Carbon dating criticism

The Mexicologist, Professor George Kubler of Yale, stressed that certain traditions contained in Mesoamerican heritage were referred by me to events of the pre-Christian era.Kubler insisted that this heritage could not date from the 8th to 4th pre-Christian centuries, but rather was generated in the 4th to 8th century of the Christian era.

As years passed and more tests were made (soon by laboratories counted in scores), a rather consistent deviation between radiocarbon age and historical age started to receive the attention of researchers.

The radiocarbon dates diverge from the historical dates by several hundred years (often 500 to 700), and, interestingly, in the Egyptian samples more so than in samples from most other ancient civilizations.

But I could not and should not satisfy myself with this support without repaying by demonstrating where the difficulties and pitfalls of the method are hidden.

In the cataclysmic events reconstructed in Worlds in Collision and also those that preceded the fall of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, various effects could not but vitiate the radiocarbon performance, some of these effects tending to make organic life appear older than its actual age, and others making it appear more recent.

Therefore the claim was made that the magnetosphere around the earth, discovered in 1958, suffered occasional weakening, thus allowing more cosmic rays to pass it and to hit the nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere, changing them to radiocarbon.

It was further claimed that the magnetic field of the earth might have reversed its polarity in the last 40 thousand years, a phenomenon known to have happened in geological epochs.

The method caught the fancy of the radiocarbon researchers.

However, three or four rings formed in one year is not uncommon, especially if the tree grows on a slope, with the ground several times in a year turning wet and dry because of rapid outflow of water (Glueck et al., Botanical Review, 7, 649-713; and 21, 245-365).

But in December, 1956, the National Geographical Society m conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution made it known that excavations at La Venta proved by radiocarbon that the classical period of the Meso-American civilizations (Olmec, Toltec, Maya, etc.) needs to be pushed back by a full thousand years and ascribed not to the 4th to 8th centuries of the Christian era but to the 8th to 4th centuries before that era.


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