Dating news

C14 found wanting

At ... which is the South China Morning Post, apparently read at times by Andrew - see ... and concerns a paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters which argues C14 dating is not all it is cracked up to be. C14 dating is unreliable in context as far as global warming studies are concerned - at dates older than 30,000 years ago.

cave lion

At ... accelerator mass spectrometry has been used by Russian biologists to date the remains of a cave lion that had been preserved in permafrost conditions. The remains included fossilised bone, claw and hair. The bones weighed in at 61,000 years ago but carbon extracted from animal hair was dated only 28,700 years ago. It is suggested the different dates arise because of contaminants in the fur of the animal. Obviously, they don't like the lower date - but why?

C14 dating oddity

Bob Porter over at the New Chronology Yahoo group has written that C14 dates from Thebes differ from those of the same period taken from Tell ed-Dab'a - by as much as a century. One theory being advanced is that delta water contains more older carbon than the Nile near Thebes (but plants are supposed to absorb C14 from the atmosphere). We seem to have something that might be explained by C14 samples being analysed at different laboratories - which would have to be explained in more detail.

pinning down the mammoths

At oths-alive-thought.html .... it seems mammoths may not have gone extinct in the Late Pleistocene (Younger Dryas Boundary) after all. Pockets of them may have survived in ecologically favourable areas of Alaska - and elsewhere (according to DNA extracted from frozen soil in permafrost).

The DNA of horses (that also went extinct in N America) as well as mammoth was locked in an ice and frozen soil - so how  did these herbivores survive?

different ways of dating things

An interesting development at ... the Isthmus of Panama formed between 17 and 15 million years ago rather than 3 million years ago, according to research published in the journal Science that used a novel way of dating zircon in rocks (April 12th, see The new dates are roughly contemporary with the time it is thought an ice cap fetched up on the Antarctic continent.

new C14 technique

At .... we are informed archaeologists will be able to get dating results quicker and cheaper which will be a massive boon. At the moment c14 dating is so expensive only a few sample are ever properly dated - unless the archaeology budget has big money as a back-up. The new technique can also be used on site - without being sent to a laboratory (and having to wait for weeks to get the reply).

dating by foraminifera fossils

Dating,periods of time, even cycles of the ebb and flow of global temperatures, have been aided and abetted by the lowly foraminifera, or rather, the shells of tiny sea creatures (marine plankton). It was always assumed foraminifera isotopes record the temperatures above where they are found on the ocean or sea floor. They are embedded, most importantly, in Ice Age theory and the idea of 100,000 year cycles of cold climate and brief warming episodes.

Greenland Ice Sheet

Tim Cullen has come up with two more posts on how the ice cores were calculated - which will not please the defenders of the faith ... see .. and the the great greenland snow job 08 (an no doubt he has not finished yet). I don't pretend to know if his criticism is valid or not but it is interesting to know a bit about how such calculations are made. Simply picking out pieces of odd data and criticising that is not of course enough to rest a case for bunkum.

radioactive decay rates

At face value this new paper at Astroparticle Physics 55 (2014) seems to be a case of circling the wagons, a sort of confirmation of the consensus view. Readers may like to make up their own minds by going to the press release - see

Stretching the Dark Age

At ... the Greek Bronze Age ended 100 years earlier than thought according to a Bayesian averaging of C14 dates undertaken in a recent study. It was a fairly comprehensive exercise by the sound of it - but there was perhaps a nefarious undercurrent at the same time as it was designed to fit in with the chronology advocated by those who would date the Thera eruption to the low growth tree ring event (and ice core acidity anomaly) around 1625BC.