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thaphantum

How Exactly Do They Date Fossils?

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thaphantum

i figured i'd do some digging into how fossils are dated... so i pulled up some info...

Carbon 14 Dating...

"Because the half-life of carbon-14 is 5,700 years, it is only reliable for dating objects up to about 60,000 years old. However, the principle of carbon-14 dating applies to other isotopes as well."

source: http://www.howstuffworks.com/carbon-142.htm

source2: http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/prehistoric/what/fossilage.html (states a max dating of 70,000 years)

once i saw that it was only accurate up to 60,000 years... i figured i'd have a look at the rest...

carbon 14 - Fossil wood, shell, bone, fabric and ash between 1000 and 70000 years old.

uranium 235 - Uranium ores and granite rocks more than 110000 years old.

potassium 40 - bearing minerals more than 100000 years old

uranium 238 -Uranium ores and granitic rocks more than 10 million years old.

thorium 232 - Uranium ores and granitic rocks more than 50 million years old.

rubidium 87 - Some granitic rocks, sandstones, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks more than 10 million years old.

source: http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/prehistoric/what/fossilage.html

ok... so at this point... i notice there aren't any other means of testing bone, wood, fabric, and ash... all the rest are used to test some form of rock...

so someone explain to me exactly how they test the fossils?

so i figured i'd check out fossil dating... and from what i understand... they don't actually test the fossil... they date it according to how far down it's buried and what rocks are near it...

"The oldest method is stratigraphy, studying how deeply a fossil is buried. Dinosaur fossils are usually found in sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock layers (strata) are formed episodically as earth is deposited horizontally over time. Newer layers are formed on top of older layers, pressurizing them into rocks. Paleontologists can estimate the amount of time that has passed since the stratum containing the fossil was formed. Generally, deeper rocks and fossils are older than those found above them.

Observations of the fluctuations of the Earth's magnetic field, which leaves different magnetic fields in rocks from different geological eras.

Dating a fossil in terms of approximately how many years old it is can be possible using radioisotope-dating of igneous rocks found near the fossil. Unstable radioactive isotopes of elements, such as Uranium-235, decay at constant, known rates over time (its half-life, which is over 700 million years). An accurate estimate of the rock's age can be determined by examining the ratios of the remaining radioactive element and its daughters. For example, when lava cools, it has no lead content but it does contain some radioactive Uranium (U-235). Over time, the unstable radioactive Uranium decays into its daughter, Lead-207, at a constant, known rate (its half-life). By comparing the relative proportion of Uranium-235 and Lead-207, the age of the igneous rock can be determined. Potassium-40 (which decays to argon-40) is also used to date fossils. "

so after getting passed that... i get down to this...

"Radioisotope dating cannot be used directly on fossils since they don't contain the unstable radioactive isotopes used in the dating process. To determine a fossil's age, igneous layers (volcanic rock) beneath the fossil (predating the fossil) and above it (representing a time after the dinosaur's existence) are dated, resulting in a time-range for the dinosaur's life. Thus, dinosaurs are dated with respect to volcanic eruptions. "

source: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/...ssildating.html

bascially what i gather from this... it's just a long drawn out way of making a guess?

from what i figure... if tectonic plates shift... wouldn't it be possible for fossils to move further down in the earth? or if something collapsed on a person... and they are found 200 years from now... would they be dated at millions of years old?

how exactly is dating rocks an accurate way of testing the age of fossils?

isn't it possible that they could be wrong?

TrueThat said earlier that they found "soft tissue" in dinosaur bones... and maybe they should look closer at the how they date the age of dinos... instead of trying to figure out how "soft tissue" can survive as long as it has...

after further investigating the dating system... i really think they should take a closer look at the dating of fossils...

if it turns out their dating system is off...

1) how would it effect the theory of evolution?

2) would you still have faith in science if it turns out that the fossils were millions of years younger?

3) if the fossils were millions of years younger, would you still think evolution is correct?

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Samael

1. Don't know.

2. Yes, because they aren't.

3. Yes, because it is.

It's very unlikely that carbon 14 dating is wrong. There are some factors which can make it inaccurate, but they occur very rarely.

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Fearisgood

1) The theory of the common ancestor will have to be radically changed.

2) Don't put your faith into evolutionary science. Evolutionary science theory (molecules-to-man) is structureless, and predicts virtually nothing - It adapts to data like fog adapts to landscape. Rather put a bit of faith in physics, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology etc...

3) Evolution/adaptation is observable, however don't expect anything to adapt into anything other than their present form. Bacteria will not become anything else than....bacteria. It will be detrimental to the theory that everything came from a common ancestor.

It's very unlikely that carbon 14 dating is wrong. There are some factors which can make it inaccurate, but they occur very rarely.
Do you think it is strange that they constantly find carbon-14 in fossils that are millions of years old? 10 times the detection limit in many cases. Edited by Fearisgood

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thaphantum
1. Don't know.

2. Yes, because they aren't.

3. Yes, because it is.

It's very unlikely that carbon 14 dating is wrong. There are some factors which can make it inaccurate, but they occur very rarely.

you obviously didn't read the post or the sources...

Carbon 14 is only accurate up to 70,000 years... so how do they get millions of years to be accurate?

not possible according to the decay rate... :no:

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GreyWeather

Scientists use natural indicators of age as well as sophisticated methods.

Q: How do scientists determine all of the dates that they give for when the dinosaurs lived, when humans came along, etc.?

A: We tell the age of dinosaurs from the rocks they were in or other better known and dated fossils found along with them or near them, particularly mammal teeth and small sea creatures. We can only date a rock precisely if it was made from a volcano — not by gradual buildup like most dinosaurs are found in. Volcanic rock contains some radioactive minerals in tiny amounts. These minerals break down over time at a very steady rate. By measuring how much of these minerals have broken down we can date such a volcanic rock to within 100,000 years of when it was made, even if it was many millions of years ago. Of course, such volcanic rock isn't always around dinosaur fossils. So often we have to guess from these other clues.

source for the above

Also, Carbon dating is obviously useless for dating the ages of dinosaurs, Carbon dating is used for human civilisations - aging Egyption mummies ect ect. To gain the age of anything before humanity and the uprise of Mammals, Radiometric dating is used.

Radiometric (or radioactive) dating

This method is based upon radioactive decay. The spontaneous release of energy and/or particles from the nucleus of an unstable atom (referred to as the parent ) into a stable atom (referred to as the daughter ) is radioactive decay. This rate of decays occurs at a specific and constant rate. The age of a rock can be determined by measuring the amount of the daughter product and adding that to the amount of the remaining parent material.

There are four standards necessary for elements to be useful in radometric dating.

* 1. The numbers of parent atoms and daughter atoms must be measurable.

* 2. The parent element must decay rapidly enough to produce measurable amounts of the daughter element, but measurable amounts of the parent element must also be present in the sample.

* 3. Little or no daughter element must have been present in the sample when it was formed.

* 4. The sample used must have been chemically isolated from outside chemical changes.

These systems meet the standards listed above. Half-life refers to the length of time required for 50% of the parent material to decay into the daughter product.

* Uranium 235 to Lead 207 (half-life = 710,000,000 years)

* Uranium 238 to Lead 206 (half-life = 4,500,000,000 years)

* Thorium 232 to Lead 208 (half-life = 14,000,000,000 years)

* Rubidium 87 to Strontium 87 (half-life = 47,000,000,000 years) - this is the most common system used for dating rocks older than 100 million years.

* Potassium 40 to Argon 40 (half-life = 1,300,000,000 years) - this method is very often used to date rock less than 60 million years old.

* Carbon 14 to Nitrogen 14 (half-life = 5,570 years)--- There are 3 forms (isotopes) of carbon occuring in nature: Carbon 12 (accounts for 99%), Carbon 13 (accounts for 1%), and Carbon 14 (accounts for less than 1%). While alive, plants and animals incorporate these isotopes of carbon into their tissues at the ratio found in the atmosphere. Upon death, the Carbon 14 in their tissues begins to decay. By measuring the remaining amount of Carbon 14, the age of the fossil can be determined. This method can be used to date material ranging in age from a few hundred years to about 50,000 years. The use of Carbon 14 permits the determination of age directly a fossil. For fossils greater than 50,000 years old, the age of the fossil is found indirectly by determing the age of the rock associated with the fossil. Carbon 14 dating has a dating range of several hundred years before present to 50,000 years before present.

Source for the above

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Fearisgood

How do you explain measurable amounts of Carbon 14 in fossils presumably millions of years old. Theoretically these fossils should be utterly void of any Carbon 14, yet up to 10 times the detection limit is found almost ubiquitously among "supposedly carbon dead" specimens.

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GreyWeather
How do you explain measurable amounts of Carbon 14 in fossils presumably millions of years old. Theoretically these fossils should be utterly void of any Carbon 14, yet up to 10 times the detection limit is found almost ubiquitously among "supposedly carbon dead" specimens.

*shrug* I just know carbon dating isn't used for anything older than 50,000 years. I'd guess whatever carbon 14 is left in a fossil, isn't managable for dating back to a specific time line. Which is why Radiometric is used insead.

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Dark Arc

Thaphantum please excuse this, but I have been posting this on boards regarding evolution.

Evolutionary Hoaxes, Scams, and Abuses

1. Dating Methods - Billions? Millions? Or Just Thousands of Years Old?

1. Date the fossils by the “strata” they are found in. Most scientists believe that layers of the earth’s crust (called strata) represent different time periods, and were laid down over millions and even billions of years. In the 1800’s, each layer was labeled by its depth and rock type. Then, the fossils found within each layer were classified by that layer (i.e., Cambrian, Jurassic, Carboniferous, etc).

2. Date the strata by what fossils are found in it. As time went on, strata were not found to be uniform in layering, and so the fossil type that was found in each strata was used to label the strata. The problem is this: based upon a preliminary assumption in the 1800's that all the strata in the world were laid down uniformly, all fossils and strata are classified based upon each other’s preliminary labeling - i.e., the strata is identified by the fossils it contains, and the fossils are classified by the strata they are found in - circular reasoning! Not science!

3. The “Flood” ruined everything! A creationist approaches the problem from the vantage of the world-wide flood of Genesis 7 & 8, which sorted the fossils and strata in a cataclysmic, not uniform fashion.

2. The So-Called “Missing Links” of Human Ancestry

1. Java Man (Pithecanthropus) - In 1890, a skull cap, femur, and two molar teeth were grouped together as belonging to the same person. The skull is that of an ape, but the teeth and the femur bone of an human. What was not published was that they were found 45 feet apart from each other, along with many other bones of clearly apes, humans, and other animals. It was a grocery store of “parts” to construct any animal you wanted! Java man has since been reclassified as human.

2. Neanderthal Man (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) - 1856, in Neanderthal, Germany, a skull cap and limb bones were found. It was grouped with a set of skeletons found all over Europe that had the following characteristics: prominent eyebrow ridges, low forehead, long narrow brain case, protruding upper jaw, a strong lower jaw lacking a chin. The overall skeletons were short, and stooped-over. Anthropologists believed it to be a “missing link” between man and ape because it seemed to have shuffled along when walking. However, 150 years later, it is now admitted that these skeletons were of people that suffered from rickets, and syphilis. Neanderthal Man was just a variation of the modern human kind with disease!

3. The Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus). In England, in 1912, a human skull cap and an orangutan’s jaw were grouped together, along with a tooth as a hoax to prove another so-called “missing link.” It was believed by the scientific world for over 40 years until tested for age, only to find that the tooth had been filed down to look human, and the jaw bone stained to look as old as the skull cap.

4. The Peking Man - all the “evidence” of this ape-man was lost in World War II, and is not available for examination.

5. The Nebraska Man (Hesperopithecus) - an entire skeleton of an ape-man was constructed based upon a single tooth of a supposed “missing link.” The tooth was discovered to be of a rare pig found in Paraguay.

6. Lucy (Ramapithecus) - once widely accepted as the direct ancestor of humans, it has now been realised that this skeleton is merely an extinct type of orangutan - not an early human.

And they call all this "SCIENCE?"

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GreyWeather

ugh... I don't know how many of these are of actual fact - apart from the piltdown man, it is a well known fraud. Thing is.... is that there have been many skeletal remains of early homo sapien ancesters found. Yes, more than one... and each one found corresponds with others found from around the world (the same speices of skeletal remains) :tu:

Edited by Leliel

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Dark Arc
ugh... I don't know how many of these are of actual fact - apart from the piltdown man, it is a well known fraud. Thing is.... is that there have been many skeletal remains of early homo sapien ancesters found. Yes, more than one... and each one found corresponds with others found from around the world (the same speices of skeletal remains) :tu:

Yes but homo sapien ancestors are apeish correct? How are we sure these aren't just more monkeys with big brains?

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thaphantum
ugh... I don't know how many of these are of actual fact - apart from the piltdown man, it is a well known fraud. Thing is.... is that there have been many skeletal remains of early homo sapien ancesters found. Yes, more than one... and each one found corresponds with others found from around the world (the same speices of skeletal remains) :tu:

one way to find out is a quick search on GOOGLE or WIKIPEDIA... and they turn out to be true... :yes:

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GreyWeather
one way to find out is a quick search on GOOGLE or WIKIPEDIA... and they turn out to be true... :yes:

Of the fruads she mentioned, However there is overwhelming evidence that our ancesters did exist even during homo sapien expansion - with the neandethals. It's a classic case of natural selection and adaptation, but still those mentioned were frauds but the way she wrote it made it to seem that homo sapiens have no ancesters and we just popped up from a cabbage patch. I apologize if I read your post wrong in the first place if that was not your intention.

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ninjadude
one way to find out is a quick search on GOOGLE or WIKIPEDIA... and they turn out to be true... :yes:

You do know that anyone can write and edit a wiki and that anyone can create a webpage, right? That doesn't make them true.

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ninjadude
ok... so at this point... i notice there aren't any other means of testing bone, wood, fabric, and ash... all the rest are used to test some form of rock...

so someone explain to me exactly how they test the fossils?

Fossils are rock.

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WhatIsReal?

Formation of a fossil:

Thing dies.

Dirt, mud, etc. covers it.

Minerals in surrounding material slowly replace the organic matter of the thing being fossilized. This creats a "rock" which fills the space of the thing that died.

New "rock" is fossil.

Fossil is rock.

Oh, how so simple.

Also, if you don't believe evolution is real, might I suggest reading some things which were written in the last hundred years. There is a lot of information that we have now that they did not have 2000 years ago.

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thaphantum
You do know that anyone can write and edit a wiki and that anyone can create a webpage, right? That doesn't make them true.

you could call national geographic... since they released an issue and a statement about the fraud... *sigh* as they have done many times...

for some reason, they don't check stuff before they release it... then they have to renig on previous statements... :yes:

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thaphantum
Formation of a fossil:

Thing dies.

Dirt, mud, etc. covers it.

Minerals in surrounding material slowly replace the organic matter of the thing being fossilized. This creats a "rock" which fills the space of the thing that died.

New "rock" is fossil.

Fossil is rock.

Oh, how so simple.

Also, if you don't believe evolution is real, might I suggest reading some things which were written in the last hundred years. There is a lot of information that we have now that they did not have 2000 years ago.

unfortunately... i've read too much BS put out by science in the last 2 years...

i'll give you a perfect example...

stalactites SUPPOSEDLY take tens of thousands of years to grow a few feet long...

but somehow... underneath the Lincoln Memorial... they started growing and they are a few feet long right now...

i think they may be a few thousand years off... <_<

let me get this other thing straight...

rocks that are however old... replace organic matter... and then they test the rocks that already existed... to get the age of animals that existed after the rocks?

let me know if i have that part correct... i just want to make sure before i make my next statement... <_<

oh and i don't believe SPECIATION is real... it's about as valid as the easter bunny...

micro evolution/adaptation is real...

but species becomeing other species has never been observed and the fossil record doesn't support it at all...

so we have no proof and no observation... just speculation... sounds like a religion to me... :yes:

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Invader Skoodge
1) how would it effect the theory of evolution?

Depends on what you refer to:

It would in no way change the notion that evolution does happen.

I also don't see that it could affect the theory that evolution explaines the origin of species'.

But--depending on the magnitude of error--theories on how exactly evolution of life on earth went might need major reconsideration.

2) would you still have faith in science if it turns out that the fossils were millions of years younger?

I have no faith. I have reason.

3) if the fossils were millions of years younger, would you still think evolution is correct?

Theories on the course of evolution would most probably be incorrect. But I'd still apply the principles of evolution for trying to understand.

but species becomeing other species has never been observed and the fossil record doesn't support it at all...

so we have no proof and no observation... just speculation... sounds like a religion to me... :yes:

Please read this->Observed Instances of Speciation and comment on it.

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Samael
you obviously didn't read the post or the sources...

Carbon 14 is only accurate up to 70,000 years... so how do they get millions of years to be accurate?

not possible according to the decay rate... :no:

They also use the depth that the fossil is buried at to determine its age, which is a fairly accurate dating method. They probably haven't got fossil ages wrong.

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ninjadude
unfortunately... i've read too much BS put out by science in the last 2 years...

i'll give you a perfect example...

stalactites SUPPOSEDLY take tens of thousands of years to grow a few feet long...

but somehow... underneath the Lincoln Memorial... they started growing and they are a few feet long right now...

i think they may be a few thousand years off... <_<

rocks that are however old... replace organic matter... and then they test the rocks that already existed... to get the age of animals that existed after the rocks?

let me know if i have that part correct... i just want to make sure before i make my next statement... <_<

Where did you read that all stalactities take tens of thousands of years to grow? It depends on the mineral and conditions of the deposit. I can grow stalactities in my kitchen in minutes depending on the mineral. MOST stalagtites and stalactities grow from minerals and conditions that take many thousands of years because of the minerals they are based upon.

Fossilization occurs when minerals diluted in a usually liquid medium like water replace the orgainic matter. These then solidify over time. Sometimes they crystalize. Sometimes they are affected by further heat and pressure over time. It would be impossible to test the millions of years old solution for diluted minerals before fossilization. We test the fossil rock and/or the layer of rock that they are found in.

I would suggest you take a geology class in a real college sometime. They will show you how stratigraphy and other methods we reliably use to date a number of rocks.

I'll let the rest of the community describe how wrong creationism is.

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thaphantum
They also use the depth that the fossil is buried at to determine its age, which is a fairly accurate dating method. They probably haven't got fossil ages wrong.

the pretty much GUESS based on the depth... they don't test it... how is guessing accurate?

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thaphantum
Where did you read that all stalactities take tens of thousands of years to grow? It depends on the mineral and conditions of the deposit. I can grow stalactities in my kitchen in minutes depending on the mineral. MOST stalagtites and stalactities grow from minerals and conditions that take many thousands of years because of the minerals they are based upon.

Fossilization occurs when minerals diluted in a usually liquid medium like water replace the orgainic matter. These then solidify over time. Sometimes they crystalize. Sometimes they are affected by further heat and pressure over time. It would be impossible to test the millions of years old solution for diluted minerals before fossilization. We test the fossil rock and/or the layer of rock that they are found in.

I would suggest you take a geology class in a real college sometime. They will show you how stratigraphy and other methods we reliably use to date a number of rocks.

why exactly would i waste my money to learn something that can be learned for free?

I'll let the rest of the community describe how wrong creationism is.

based on what, your opinion?

last time i checked... it hadn't been proved wrong...

if it is so obviously wrong... how come science can't prove it?

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ninjadude
why exactly would i waste my money to learn something that can be learned for free?

last time i checked... it hadn't been proved wrong...

if it is so obviously wrong... how come science can't prove it?

it can't be learned for free. Which is why so many seemingly outlandish questions get asked here and those that actually went to college answer.

And creationism is not science. So you're talking apples and oranges. Creationism is a faith that blatantly denies nearly everything we've come to know about the world using the scientific method. Creationism claims to know all the answers. Even if they conflict with every known fact about the world. Creationism is expounded by the uneducated and miseducated. Creationism misrepresents facts to "convert" beleivers. You've done it yourself with this thread claiming that stalactites under the Washington memorial somehow support your claim. A piece of knowledge that would cause someone uneducated to pause and say hmmmm maybe there is something to Creationism without actually knowing the science behind how nature works that comes from education.

Edited by ninjadude

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thaphantum
it can't be learned for free. Which is why so many seemingly outlandish questions get asked here and those that actually went to college answer.

And creationism is not science. So you're talking apples and oranges. Creationism is a faith that blatantly denies nearly everything we've come to know about the world using the scientific method. Creationism claims to know all the answers. Even if they conflict with every known fact about the world. Creationism is expounded by the uneducated and miseducated. Creationism misrepresents facts to "convert" beleivers. You've done it yourself with this thread claiming that stalactites under the Washington memorial somehow support your claim. A piece of knowledge that would cause someone uneducated to pause and say hmmmm maybe there is something to Creationism without actually knowing the science behind how nature works that comes from education.

you said all that... none of contained any proof that evolution is correct... nor did it contain any proof that religion is wrong...

when Darwin OBSERVED nature and came to the conclusion the we evolved... is that religion or science? and why?

when Christians observe nature and come to the conclustion that God exists... is that religion or science? and why?

please think about it before you answer... :tu:

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ninjadude
you said all that... none of contained any proof that evolution is correct... nor did it contain any proof that religion is wrong...

when Darwin OBSERVED nature and came to the conclusion the we evolved... is that religion or science? and why?

when Christians observe nature and come to the conclustion that God exists... is that religion or science? and why?

please think about it before you answer... :tu:

Don't be snarky.

I didn't say anything about evolution. Evolution of the species is a theory that seems to currently best reprsent the facts for the majority of the world and the majority of scientists. The theory of Evolution couldn't give a rats ass about religion or proving it is wrong. I guess you just answered my question you believe creationism is a religion. So therefore it is not science.

Darwins observations are observations. In that he included them in making his initial theories - it would be part of the scientific method. Modeling the world based on all of the observed facts about the world.

When people of faith observe nature and come to the conlustion that God exists - that is a matter of faith or religion. This is because they ignore most of the observed facts about the world. We make a leap of faith that God exists.

And contrary to other threads, Christianity is not the same as the crazy fundamentalism in the US. ALL Christians do not beleive the rubbish that some spew. There are a majority of us that are Christian, believe in God and JC, and that the theory of evolution is perfectly ok.

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