carbon 14 methodology and its weaknesses

2 Jun 2014

Over at ... Tim Cullen continues his quest to disect carbon 14 methodology - and where its weaknesses might lie. It has continued through a succession of posts and all are entertaining as well as informative. How on earth did this methodology usurp the older dating methods - and it can only be that they were even more unreliable. Cullen claims Willard Libby skewed the data and fudged the core analysis that two atoms of C14 are formed every second for each square centimetre of the surface of the Earth. Big assumption, for a big science, especially as C14 has become invaluable to archaeologists and historians as the process has developed over the years. Libby's science can be read in 'History of Radiocarbon Dating' (1967) and Cullen quotes from it in a liberal fashion. He then goes on to show how the data was fudged - but where have we seen this process before? Yes, 21st climate science is full of fudged data - they are continuing in a long tradition.

Carbon 14 varies by latitude, studiously avoided, and is altered by lightning, among other things. The theory is also unable to account for the massive injection of C14 into the atmosphere in 774/775AD (and at various other points in history, to varying degrees). However, in spite of what Cullen says it should be borne in mind that scientists reached the conclusion that C14 methodology had problems and they have adopted measures to suppress the more objectionable sides of the dating method. They are also aware of C14 plateaus - caused by injections of C14, and claim that in the long term such injections can be ironed out and a realistiic dating tool is at hand and fairly reliable as a resource for archaeology. On the other hand, a dating bias is likely to remain within the methodology as it was manipulated early on in order to get orthodox onboard (in order to sell the product to historians and archaeologists). The good news is that this might amount to little more than a hundred years - with two hundred years being an outside chance. However, the orthodox consensus is so rigid and resistant to upgrading that it has become impossible to make the slightest dent in their self awareness. This is all a bit like climate science where it has become increasingly clear there is something drastically wrong with the models - but nobody in authority is willing to check them out. They simply parrot the PR - and wonder why the general public is laughing at them. It would be comical if it didn't involve a lot of unsavoury characters with an ear to the politicos, sucking up to them in order to keep the money flow gushing in their direction.