Academic journal article Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

Testing and Verifying Old Age Evidence: Lake Suigetsu Varves, Tree Rings, and Carbon-14

Academic journal article Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

Testing and Verifying Old Age Evidence: Lake Suigetsu Varves, Tree Rings, and Carbon-14

Article excerpt

In 2010, we wrote a paper that combined published carbon-14 measurements from tree rings and annually laminated sediments from Lake Suigetsu, Japan, to show how we can test and validate assumptions about Earth's past. (1) That paper made use of carbon-14 from sediment cores collected up through 1993. In 2006, the Suigetsu team collected a new set of cores with greater controls on sediment recovery between extractions. Detailed analyses of the new cores, with publications leading up to 2013, included more sophisticated counting methods, Ar-Ar dating of an ancient ash layer, and a greatly increased sampling density for carbon-14. The new data, plus published reactions to our 2010 paper by young-earth writers, has provided material for a more rigorous comparison to test competing conventional and young-earth models.

The objectives of this article are two-fold. The first is to illustrate how calculations about past geologic processes can be rigorously tested and verified. By combining independent measurements such as counts of tree rings, counts of lake-sediment couplets that appear to be annual deposits, and carbon-14 content, we can demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the trees put on one ring per year, the sediments in question formed annual layers, radioactive decay rates have not changed over time, estimates of past atmospheric production of carbon-14 are accurate, and the history of [INCOMPLETE IN ORIGINAL SOURCE. …

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