Carbon dating rock
A new dating method finally is allowing archaeologists to incorporate rock paintings -- some of the most mysterious and personalized remnants of ancient cultures -- into the tapestry of evidence used to study life in prehistoric times.A new dating method finally is allowing archaeologists to incorporate rock paintings — some of the most mysterious and personalized remnants of ancient cultures — into the tapestry of evidence used to study life in prehistoric times. Rowe points out that rock paintings, or pictographs, are among the most difficult archaeological artifacts to date.They lack the high levels of organic material needed to assess a pictograph's age using radiocarbon dating, the standard archaeological technique for more than a half-century.Rowe describes a new, highly sensitive dating method, called accelerator mass spectrometry, that requires only 0.05 milligrams of carbon (the weight of 50 specks of dust).That's much less than the several grams of carbon needed with radiocarbon dating.The research included analyzing pictographs from numerous countries over a span of 15 years.It validates the method and allows rock painting to join bones, pottery and other artifacts that tell secrets of ancient societies, Rowe said.
It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field.In the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate. Radiocarbon is used to date the age of rocks, which enables scientists to date the age of the earth.Radiocarbon is not used to date the age of rocks or to determine the age of the earth.Other radiometric dating methods such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium are used for such purposes by those who believe that the earth is billions of years old.Radiocarbon is not suitable for this purpose because it is only applicable: a) on a time scale of thousands of years and b) to remains of once-living organisms (with minor exceptions, from which rocks are excluded).
MYTH #2 Radiocarbon dating has established the date of some organic materials (e.g., some peat deposits) to be well in excess of 50,000 years, thus rendering a recent creation (6 to 10 thousand years ago) impossible.