Carbon Dating Time

The general equation for calculating an organic sample’s age based on Carbon-14 (C14) content is:




t = age of sample (organic in nature)

[ ] = absolute value (results in positive)

ln = natural log

N = % C14 remaining out of 100%

N0 = 100 %

C14 rate of decay = -0.693 (but is this always constant? I argue “No!” see here, here, here, here and here for starters)

t1/2 = half-life of C14 around 5,730.

The half-life of C14 can be 5,700 or 5,730 or 5,740 depending on the source. Early experiments starting in 1951 calculated it as 5,370 -/+ 200 years. In other words, anywhere from 5,170 to 5,570 years.

This has been revised up to a current value of 5,730 -/+ 40 years on average. But how to truly verify this? Since the late 1940s this value has been debated, from a low of 4,700 to a high of 7,200. And can we be sure this half-life is or will ALWAYS be constant? In light of recent discoveries, we simply cannot because of heretofore unaccounted for temperature and atmospheric effects, solar activity at maximum and minimum, as well as our own errors in measurements over the years. Again, see links above.

Let’s allow for the rate of decay to change due to solar activity, as it is documented it can. Instead of -0.693, why don’t we try other figures such as -1.337, which is about double. The result?

Example: A fossil containing 35% C14 yields 4,500 years before present. But is this reliable?

For this dating method to be reliable, both the half-life and the rate of decay must be verified to be correct, time after time after time. Being unable to verify whether they are or not means we are unable to fully accept absolute ages calculated using this method. It may give us a plausible range, but it will be impossible to verify. The plausible range is any age result up to 50,000 years; anything past that is discarded as unreliable. For example, a barely trace amount such as 0.05% C14 would yield an age of approximately 62,847 years before present, which is well beyond the region of plausibility for the C14 test and would therefore be dismissed.

Consequently, any result under 50,000 years of age must then be carefully evaluated for contamination with more recent carbon using more than one lab test result, and is often performed.

The important point is that C14 should not be detectable in ANY organic sample claimed to be millions of years old, unless it is present via contamination and properly accounted for as such.

However, if the C14 content in the sample is original and yields ages up to 50,000 years before present, then that fossil cannot possibly be millions of years old and neither can the strata that it was found in. A whole paradigm shift would need to take place. Logic dictates that an old rock cannot contain a young fossil.

Certainly, an old rock cannot contain a young  fossil which contains soft tissues such as red blood cells, blood vessels, muscle tissue, skin or proteins which all break down within several thousand years.

Therefore, both the rock and the fossil MUST be the same age.

Except that I don’t think any paleontologist will submit his or her fossil samples for C14 testing, the results of which would only encourage YECs like me. Certainly there have been offers from creationists to pay for the test but as of this writing, no paleontologist has agreed. A few samples were actually successfully submitted for testing by the Paleochronology group, with whom I have no affiliation. The results they received were scandalous to the point where they were dis-invited from a conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS), where they had been accepted to speak and present their findings.

Their initial publication was also subsequently recalled and the carbon dating lab they had worked with informed them that no further samples would be accepted for testing due to the group’s “anti-science” position. Note that there were no complaints as to the validity of the ages assigned via C14 dating,  rather the conclusion of the group – that these dinosaur bone samples must not be millions of years old – was not acceptable in mainstream science. To read more about the issue and to see a list of age results for the samples, as well as the letters of refusal to test further samples, the curious can visit

The outright refusal to even test for C14 speaks volumes as to the level of paranoia at being questioned, and an implicit lack of trust in the evidence to substantiate original organic matter being present in fossils supposedly millions of years old, which paleontologists cannot explain. Indeed, when these soft tissues findings were first revealed, the general reaction of the entire paleontology field was to ridicule and deny the observations and researchers who made them. Now they dare to claim “preservation may be more common than previously thought.” 

Funny guys.

It is important to remember that proteins, blood cells and amino acids all degrade within a few thousand years, even in the best of conditions. To date, no mechanism or lab-reproduced process can adequately explain the exquisite preservation of these extremely sensitive soft tissues in fossils purportedly millions of years old.

No biochemical process is known to exist that we can look to for answers. A few iron studies were performed, but were incapable of reproducing the required variables or conditions and could not be used to conclusively support the idea. These few experiments conducted with iron chelates are insignificant and cannot compare to the millions of years’ preservation claimed. It would be irrational and illogical to rely on them alone. As a result, the only solution is for scientists to now claim that this preservation is more common than thought and is likely to result in more soft tissue finds in the future. (Indeed, this is the case and I’ve linked some of them at the bottom of this post.)

In light of this, why are fossils dated to be tens or hundreds of millions of years old? Because they were found in strata layers believed to be tens or hundreds of millions of years old, which is based on other dating techniques themselves fraught with assumptions that cannot be verified and constancy rates that are not constant! Revision of these would undermine current evolutionary dogma and are therefore anathema to mainstream Science, as already seen above. We will discuss some of these at a later time.

Meanwhile, here’s a short list of science publications in which soft tissues have been found in samples claimed to be millions of years old (Myo), for which contamination has been ruled out. The results are that the organic matter/tissue is original to the sample and therefore likely contains sufficient residual C14  to be carbon-date tested. When will we see the results? (Muscle tissues in 18Myo salamander) (Oil gland in 48Myo bird.) (Protein and pigment in 54Myo turtle.) (Blood vessels of dinosaurs.) (Collagen proteins in T. rex bone.) (Cretaceous fossils containing soft-tissues) (Cretaceous fish with complete demineralized skeletons)  (More soft-tissues in 6 specimens tested; preservation may be more common than previously thought.) (100+Myo dino egg coloring pigment.) (110Myo spiky armor soft-tissue protein with color.) (200Myo leaves with organic molecules that were analyzed and prove similar to current ones.) (300Myo yet “modern beetle.”) (540Myo jellyfish fossils in Death Valley. How can such soft bodies be preserved without being destroyed in the process and remain intact that long? Plus they look just like modern jellies.) (540Myo soft-tissues from metazoans.) (1.9Byo soft-tissue and organic structures found in the Gunflint cherts.) (C14 in mosasaur bone corresponding to an age of 24,600 years before present, using the accepted half-life of C14, defying that they are 60+Myo as claimed.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *