In the light of what is known about the radiocarbon method and the way it is used, it
is truly astonishing that many authors will cite agreeable determinations as
"proof" for their beliefs...
Radiocarbon dating has somehow avoided collapse onto its own battered foundation, and now
lurches onward with feigned consistency. The implications of pervasive contamination and
ancient variations in carbon-14 levels are steadfastly ignored by those who base their
argument upon the dates.
...[Some authors have said] they were "not aware of a single significant
disagreement" on any sample that had been dated at different labs. Such enthusiasts
continue to claim, incredible though it may seem, that "no gross discrepancies are
apparent". Surely 15,000 years of difference on a single block of soil is indeed a
gross discrepancy! And how could the excessive disagreement between the labs be called
insignificant, when it has been the basis for the reappraisal of the standard error
associated with each and every date in existence?
Why do geologists and archaeologists still spend their scarce money on costly radiocarbon
determinations? They do so because occasional dates appear to be useful. While the method
cannot be counted on to give good, unequivocal results, the numbers do impress people, and
save them the trouble of thinking excessively. Expressed in what look like precise
calendar years, figures seem somehow better--both to the layman and professional not
versed in statistics--than complex stratigraphic or cultural correlations, and are more
easily retained in one's memory. "Absolute" dates determined by a laboratory
carry a lot of weight, and are extremely useful in bolstering weak arguments...
No matter how "useful" it is though, the radiocarbon method is still not capable
of yielding accurate and reliable results. There are gross discrepancies, the chronology
is uneven and relative, and the accepted dates are actually selected dates. This whole
blessed thing is nothing but 13th century alchemy, and it all depends upon which funny
paper you read.
Robert E. Lee, Radiocarbon: Ages in Error. Anthropological Journal of Canada, vol. 19 (3),
1981, pp. 9-29
THE EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD
A major force altering the formation rate of C14 is the earth's magnetic field.
This field has a dramatic effect on cosmic radiation heading towards the earth. The
magnetic field works like a huge bumper-bar. When the radiation strikes the field, it is
bent towards the earth's polar regions. Some radiation is deflected so much that it
totally misses the earth. Much of the remaining radiation is channelled into the
relatively unoccupied polar regions. As the magnetic field extends far beyond the earth's
atmosphere, some cosmic radiation never gets a chance to produce C14. Increasing the
strength of the magnetic field will increase the shielding effect, reducing the amount of
It is an accepted fact that the measurements of the Earth's magnetic field strength show
that the field is rapidly growing weaker. Professor Thomas G. Barnes, who has studied the
earth's magnetic field, says that the magnetic field is declining in strength
exponentially. Prof. Barnes, who has developed the earlier work of Horace Lamb,
demonstrates mathematically that the observed exponential decline in the strength of the
earth's magnetic field is exactly what one would expect if the earth's magnetic field is
generated by an enormous electric current flowing in the earth's iron core. The decline is
due to a continuous loss of electrical energy caused by electrical resistance in the core.
If this type of decline has been occurring in the past, the field loses half of its
strength every 1400 years. Scientific research suggests that an increase in the earth's
magnetic field to 100 times its present strength would result in complete shielding from
cosmic radiation. As a crude approximation, I have accordingly allowed a 1% decrease in
C14 formation for each doubling of the current field strength in the calculations of
radiocarbon dates. As Table 1 shows, the effect of the magnetic field increase does not
become large until times earlier than Noah's Flood.
However, as we go even further back in time, the effect of the magnetic field becomes
staggering. The field strengths for dates as recent as 20,000 BCE are so intense that the
electric current required to produce such a field would destroy the earth's core. Barnes
estimates that the heating effect of the current required would be about 250 million times
what it is today. Unless one is prepared to believe that the magnetic field in the past
was stable - an idea that conflicts with all the direct observational evidence - one must
accept that the earth is young, very young. The rapid decline
of the earth's magnetic field makes a recent beginning point for the field (and thus the
earth) a necessity.
The increased magnetic shielding of the earth's surface would also make life easier than
it is today. This would result from the reduction in incoming radiation, which would make
radiation-induced cancers and mutations rarer than they are today.