Carbon-14 Dating and Dinosaurs

On February 2, 2015, in Old Testament, by Jonathan Whitcomb

First, radiocarbon (14C) dating has traditionally been done with assumptions outside the Biblical framework, namely this: Interpretations have been without any consideration for the possibility that the Flood of Genesis was an actual event. When we consider the worldwide flood of the Old Testament as part of actual history, the raw data will be seen to be highly inflated for the ages of living things further back in time. In other words, if a tree or animal died only a few centuries after the Flood of Noah, the remains could be radiocarbon dated to be tens of thousands of years old rather than the correct date of thousands of years old. But that’s a long story, not where we’re going with carbon-14 dating in this post.

Radiocarbon Dating Reliability

Radiocarbon dating is the most accurate and most verifiable of the radiometric dating systems. Dates for carbon material can often be independently verified by testing something that is known historically, from records of human observations. Dating with 14C is possible for up to “50 to 80 thousand years” before the present, yet we need to remember that these older dates are under the assumption that there never was any worldwide flood. We generally refer to those numbers as “carbon-14 dates.”

Consider now how the 14C dating method has been used on dinosaur remains. (I would be delighted beyond words if scientists had already begun dating pterosaur fossils through radiocarbon methods, but it appears we need to wait for that.)

Shellac contamination?

A 1990 experiment that involved radiocarbon dating of pieces from two dinosaur bones—that test will not be covered, for it involved a controversy regarding a report of shellac that may have contaminated one of the two sample sources.

Today, I did a Google search with “radiocarbon dating dinosaurs” (not in quotes). The second place position on the first page was an article by an organization that is centered on two goals, one of them being to support traditional ideas about evolution. Unfortunately, that article is outdated, written in 1992, before critical 14C testing was done by members of the Paleochronology group, who presented their findings at a geophysics meeting in Singapore, in 2012.

I saw problems with the 1992 article, more than just its being outdated, but we need to move on. The proclamation that shellac had contaminated dinosaur remains from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is irrelevant to the many tests on dinosaur bones since 1990. Let’s consider more promising testing that has taken place in more recent years.

dinosaur called Scutosaurus


From Site “Carbon-14-dated dinosaur bones are less than 40,000 years old”

Members of the Paleochronology group presented their findings at the 2012 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Singapore, August 13-17, a conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS).

Sad to report: Because so many paleontologists have so long assumed that all dinosaurs became extinct many million years old, the abstract of the report by the Paleochronology group was censured, deleted from the conference website because they did not like to consider such an apparently revolutionary discovery. The two chair persons did not challenge the data openly but removed it from public view without notifying the authors.

No investigation was done by those censure officials: no looking at the methods used; no asking any questions of the researchers. It was just crude censuring. Fortunately it was not as devastating as what happened to Galileo, for the members of the Paleochronology group were allowed to leave Singapore and travel home, rather than being put under house arrest in somebody’s house. But that approach to a new discovery is far from what I would call an act of science.

Comment on a Theologyweb Forum

Carbon-14 dating can only extend back to roughly 50,000 years. You will never get a date of millions of years old from it. It is similar to taking a bowling ball and weighing it on one of those old hand held postage scales and triumphantly declaring that the 16 lb. ball only weighs a few ounces. [, archive 2792]]

The above comparison is seriously flawed. Weigh an apparent bowling ball on a postage scale that has a maximum capacity of 16 ounces. If the ball weighs only 14 ounces, according to that scale, it is not really a bowling ball but it is probably hollow. In that case, we really can “triumphantly” declare that the ball weighs only a few ounces. The commenter on that Theologyweb discussion was completely wrong.

Does that appear strange? Not if the person weighing the ball already had some evidence that it was a fake bowling ball, one that weighed much less than a real one. In that case, weighing the ball would be a natural way of testing the idea.

Actually, a more realistic comparison would be with what looks like a family car. If you could find a way to put that car onto the postage scales, and it showed a weight of 14 ounces, it would obviously not be a real car. It could be a balloon shaped like a car, and probably filled with hot air, at that. What a critic would not proclaim is that it was a real car but the spring in the postage scale was stuck. No.

Even giving a scientific-sounding explanation for spring jamming, that idea is ludicrous. No family car, if it is a real car, would do anything less than squash a small postal scale. And using the word “science” for a ridiculous idea gives it no credence.

Age of Dinosaurs

Why did I use an example of a car, when it’s over 2,000 times too heavy for a small postal scale? Dinosaur bones that have been carbon-14 dated have been found to be over 2,000 times younger than paleontologists have assumed.

How to Weigh a Giant Dinosaur

Ask politely, “Do you mind using the commercial truck scales?”



Flood of Genesis (quoting Genesis)

And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Dinosaur Bones Less Than 40,000 Years Old

Researchers have found a reason for the puzzling survival of soft tissue and collagen in dinosaur bones – the bones are younger than anyone ever guessed.  Carbon-14 (C-14) dating of multiple samples of bone from 8 dinosaurs found in Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Montana revealed that they are only 22,000 to 39,000 years old.

Dinosaurs Living With Humans

Dr. Dennis Swift has spoken much and written much about the concept that people, in earlier centuries, have lived with dinosaurs. The following is just a brief summary of what he has revealed about evidences that ancient people have lived with extant dinosaurs.


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