Recent ICR "Discovery" re: Carbon-14

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JWil

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Mar 11, 2004, 5:10:05 AM3/11/04
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I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.

--Begin ICR Article--

Vol. 33 No. 2 February 2004 Online Issue No. 42

Diamonds are a Creationist's Best Friend

Last month's Acts & Facts related how three of the RATE (Radioisotopes
and the Age of The Earth) researchers were able to present their
discoveries to about ten thousand scientists at the American
Geophysical Union's national convention. This breakthrough opportunity
to present creationist research in a secular professional setting was
well received by nearly all of the scientists who interacted with the
creationists, and even yielded ideas for follow-up on research.

Last month's article didn't discuss the most recent discovery, made
just days before the convention, but which generated much discussion.
Dr. John Baumgardner's study of The Enigma of the Ubiquity of 14C in
Organic Samples Older than 100 Ka included a late investigation of
Carbon-14 in diamonds, which are a crystalline form of carbon formed
deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic action.
Diamonds are so closely packed that contamination is very unlikely and
are thought to be very old, so old that no Carbon-14 would remain.
Since Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray
bombardment of nitrogen atoms, thus none should be in diamonds.

When diamond samples were investigated, however, Carbon-14 was
present, dating those extremely "old" specimens to be only thousands
of years old. No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.

--End ICR Quote--

Steven Carr

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Mar 11, 2004, 6:35:55 AM3/11/04
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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 10:10:05 +0000 (UTC), jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil)
wrote:

>I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
>this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
>pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
>concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.

<skip>

>When diamond samples were investigated, however, Carbon-14 was
>present, dating those extremely "old" specimens to be only thousands
>of years old. No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
>the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
>"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
>Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.

So the earth is young because evidence of youth can be misleading?

Steven Carr
ste...@bowness.demon.co.uk
http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/

Jdguil

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Mar 11, 2004, 7:37:56 AM3/11/04
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> jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil)
>Date: 3/11/2004 4:10 AM Central Standard Time
>Message-id: <26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>

I can see several possible problems with this analysis. First, industrial
diamonds are recent products (less than 50 years old) made from Carbon of
indeterminate age. Only natural diamonds are known to very old. So which type
of diamond did ICR use? If it was industrial rather than natural, then their
results are completely invalid.
Second, they do not say how many thousands of years the dates are. C14
dating is only accurate to about 70,000 years. If the ICR samples dated more
than that, then the ages are nothing more than random noise in the measurement
process, and are meaningless.

Regards,
Jim

No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
>the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
>"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
>Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.

Typical bait and switch. This confirms nothing about the Bible. It just
raises questions about C14 dating.


Regards,
Jim

Phill Skelton

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Mar 11, 2004, 9:28:32 AM3/11/04
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jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil) wrote in message news:<26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>...

> I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
> this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
> pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
> concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.

From the Talk Origins archive in 2002:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html

Quote from near the start of this FAQ:


The short version: the 14C in coal is probably produced de novo by
radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium isotope series that is
naturally found in rocks (and which is found in varying concentrations
in different rocks, hence the variation in 14C content in different
coals). Research is ongoing at this very moment.

(The fungi/bacteria hypothesis [that 14C in coal is produced by modern
microorganisms currently living there --Ed.] may also be plausible,
but would probably only contribute to inflation of 14C values if coal
sits in warm damp conditions exposed to ambient air. There is also
growing evidence that bacteria are widespread in deep rocks, but it is
not clear that they could contribute to 14C levels. But they may
contribute to 13C.)


End of quoted section

The ICR article quoted at the start of this topic actually mangles the
paper presented at the conference; the high C14 content of coal isn't
news, as evidenced by the above. What was new in the paper was that
they claim that the Uranium and Thorium content of the coal in their
10 samples is too low to account for the C14 levels observed. The
abstract for the paper can be found third from the bottom of the list
at the following URL:

http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessionsfm03?meeting=fm03&part=V32C

I think it's fair to say that the absence of obvious radioactive
isotopes that could replenish the C14 supply in old coal is a
genuinely interesting scientific issue.

Frank Reichenbacher

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Mar 11, 2004, 9:32:09 AM3/11/04
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"Phill Skelton" <p...@ast.leeds.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:f4832a26.04031...@posting.google.com...

Wasn't he talking about diamonds?


Dave

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Mar 11, 2004, 10:41:14 AM3/11/04
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There's an article at talkorigins.org addressing Carbon-14 in coal samples.
(http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html) that I think would apply.

The cretinists haven't come up with anything new to speak of.

John Vreeland

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Mar 11, 2004, 10:44:30 AM3/11/04
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ste...@bowness.demon.co.uk (Steven Carr) wrote in message news:<40505087...@news.demon.co.uk>...


So they were claiming that the carbon in diamonds had an organic origin?

If so I'd like to grow them in my garden.

-=V=-

Lab Rat

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Mar 11, 2004, 11:11:41 AM3/11/04
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<snip>

> Last month's Acts & Facts related how three of the RATE (Radioisotopes
> and the Age of The Earth) researchers were able to present their
> discoveries to about ten thousand scientists at the American
> Geophysical Union's national convention.

What? As the cabaret act?? I wish I could have beena fly on the wall there.


This breakthrough opportunity
> to present creationist research in a secular professional setting was
> well received by nearly all of the scientists who interacted with the
> creationists, and even yielded ideas for follow-up on research.

Yeah- like DO SOME BLOODY RESEARCH!

Seppo Pietikainen

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Mar 11, 2004, 11:29:20 AM3/11/04
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So, they apparently claim that the C14 in diamonds has atmospheric origins?
Perhaps they can illustrate how did *that* happen?

Seppo P.


Jon Fleming

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Mar 11, 2004, 11:59:22 AM3/11/04
to
On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 10:10:05 +0000 (UTC), jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil)
wrote:

>I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest


>this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
>pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
>concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.
>
>--Begin ICR Article--
>
>Vol. 33 No. 2 February 2004 Online Issue No. 42
>
>Diamonds are a Creationist's Best Friend
>
>Last month's Acts & Facts related how three of the RATE (Radioisotopes
>and the Age of The Earth) researchers were able to present their
>discoveries to about ten thousand scientists at the American
>Geophysical Union's national convention. This breakthrough opportunity
>to present creationist research in a secular professional setting was
>well received by nearly all of the scientists who interacted with the
>creationists, and even yielded ideas for follow-up on research.
>
>Last month's article didn't discuss the most recent discovery, made
>just days before the convention, but which generated much discussion.
>Dr. John Baumgardner's study of The Enigma of the Ubiquity of 14C in
>Organic Samples Older than 100 Ka included a late investigation of
>Carbon-14 in diamonds, which are a crystalline form of carbon formed
>deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic action.
>Diamonds are so closely packed that contamination is very unlikely and
>are thought to be very old, so old that no Carbon-14 would remain.
>Since Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray
>bombardment of nitrogen atoms,

Ready ... wa-a-a-it for it ... here comes the kicker ...

>thus none should be in diamonds.

WRONG! Does not follow. This would be true if and ONLY if carbon-14
is produced ONLY in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray bombardment of
nitrogen atoms. That is the most common source of C-14, so common
that we can ignore other sources when dating organic items that are
less the 40-50 kiloyears old, but it is not the SOLE source of C-14.

At least one other possible source of C-14 has been pointed out by
other posters; I just thought it's of interest to note the exact point
at which their argument becomes invalid.

>When diamond samples were investigated, however, Carbon-14 was
>present, dating those extremely "old" specimens to be only thousands
>of years old. No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
>the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
>"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
>Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.
>
>--End ICR Quote--


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xtmprs...@erols.com

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Mar 11, 2004, 12:30:47 PM3/11/04
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Since industrial diamonds are much cheaper than gem diamonds,
I wouldn't be surprised if the creationists extracted the diamond dust
from
diamond grinding compound and
sent it to a c-14 dating lab.

They did something like that with dinosaur bones and dated them
at about 23,000 years.

> Regards,
> Jim
>
> No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
> >the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
> >"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
> >Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.
>
> Typical bait and switch. This confirms nothing about the Bible. It just
> raises questions about C14 dating.
>
> Regards,
> Jim

In the creationists minds, questions about c-14 dating
is confirmation of the bible.

Derek Potter

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Mar 11, 2004, 12:31:24 PM3/11/04
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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 16:29:20 +0000 (UTC), "Seppo Pietikainen" posted
47 lines to talk.origins

>So, they apparently claim that the C14 in diamonds has atmospheric origins?
>Perhaps they can illustrate how did *that* happen?

No, they're saying that the diamonds were created complete with C14.

Derek Potter

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Mar 11, 2004, 12:40:23 PM3/11/04
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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 15:41:14 +0000 (UTC), "Dave" posted 45 lines to
talk.origins

>jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil) wrote in message news:<26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>...

[...]

>> It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
>> Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.
>>
>> --End ICR Quote--
>
>There's an article at talkorigins.org addressing Carbon-14 in coal samples.
>(http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html) that I think would apply.

Thank you for that. "Apparently it correlates best with the content of
the natural radioactivity of the rocks surrounding the fossil fuels,
particularly the neutron- and alpha-particle-emitting isotopes of the
uranium-thorium series. Dr. Gove and his colleagues told me they think
the evidence so far demonstrates that 14C in coal and other fossil
fuels is derived entirely from new production of 14C by local
radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium series."

>The cretinists haven't come up with anything new to speak of.

Except another low in smug, premature, triumphalism.

Seppo Pietikainen

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Mar 11, 2004, 12:54:07 PM3/11/04
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Them's getting weirder by the day. Now, how did *that* happen?

Seppo P.

lanny budd

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Mar 11, 2004, 1:22:54 PM3/11/04
to
> I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
> this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
> pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
> concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.
>
> --Begin ICR Article--
>
> Vol. 33 No. 2 February 2004 Online Issue No. 42
>
> Diamonds are a Creationist's Best Friend
>
> Last month's Acts & Facts related how three of the RATE (Radioisotopes
> and the Age of The Earth) researchers were able to present their
> discoveries to about ten thousand scientists at the American
> Geophysical Union's national convention.

They stood in the men's room and haranged any legitimate scientist who
came in to take a leak.

>This breakthrough opportunity
> to present creationist research in a secular professional setting was
> well received by nearly all of the scientists who interacted with the
> creationists, and even yielded ideas for follow-up on research.

"Well received" in that the police were talked out of beating them and
dragging them off to jail. Ideas for follow-up mostly centered around
picking up a first-year text on geology and trying to follow it.

>
> Last month's article didn't discuss the most recent discovery, made
> just days before the convention, but which generated much discussion.
> Dr. John Baumgardner's study of The Enigma of the Ubiquity of 14C in
> Organic Samples Older than 100 Ka included a late investigation of
> Carbon-14 in diamonds, which are a crystalline form of carbon formed
> deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic action.
> Diamonds are so closely packed that contamination is very unlikely and
> are thought to be very old, so old that no Carbon-14 would remain.
> Since Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray
> bombardment of nitrogen atoms, thus none should be in diamonds.
>
> When diamond samples were investigated, however, Carbon-14 was
> present, dating those extremely "old" specimens to be only thousands
> of years old. No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
> the evidence and implications,

The attendees were too polite to utter the words that they were
actually thinking, which included "fucking retards", "clueless
morons", and the like.



>but they must do so to maintain an
> "old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
> Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.

Tragically, the three RATErs were accosted upon leaving the building
by a mob of old-earth creationists who convened an auto de fe right
there in the street and burned the heretics.

Tracy Hamilton

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Mar 11, 2004, 1:50:40 PM3/11/04
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"Derek Potter" <m...@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:6o8150p1jsvkh2kmi...@4ax.com...

Well, did they check a variety of diamonds, and see if they got the
same amount of C-14. If not, one has to wonder what the results
would be. If they were all created 6000 years ago, then why would
they have different C-14, or why any particular level?

What was the procedure used? What lab did it? What did the lab
report say?

For example, IN THEIR POSTER, the data shows a spread of two
half-lives in the coal samples. If indeed the amount of C-14 is related
to the original amount one has 1) the coals are different ages by 11,000
years (making one Flood hard withing 6000 years impossible to
account for coal formation) 2) the coals are the same age, but with
different amounts of C-14 (clearly absurd).

Tracy P. Hamilton


Tracy Hamilton

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Mar 11, 2004, 1:59:24 PM3/11/04
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"JWil" <jwil...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com...

The last time somebody posted this stuff, I found a source of carbon
that was below what the ICR work said was ubiquitous.

"I found a data point to ponder for you:
"Carbon-14 contamination was measured to be 1.94 (0.09) x 10 -18 (14C/12C)."
from the Borexino prototype web page http://borex.lngs.infn.it/. You will
have to look a bit for the counting test facility page (I think).

Now what percent of this of the modern amount of C-14/C12 ratio, and
does it jive with what that page told you about no sample approaching
0.001%?
http://230nsc1.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuclear/cardat.html#c1 gives
the modern ratio at 1.3 x 10 -12 (14C/12C). That would make the
ratio of (putatively, according to you) old to modern C-14 at 1.5 x 10-6
or 1.5 x 10-4% or 0.00015%. Let me remind you of what the ICR page said:
"The AMS method improved the sensitivity of the raw measurement of the
14C/12C ratio from approximately 1% of the modern value to about 0.001%,
extending the theoretical range of sensitivity from about 40,000 years to
about 90,000 years. The expectation was that this improvement in precision
would make it possible to use this technique to date dramatically older
fossil material.1 The big surprise, however, was that no fossil material
could be found anywhere that had as little as 0.001% of the modern value!2"

Now I may be wrong, but I sure would like to know where.

Tracy P. Hamilton


Jon Fleming

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Mar 11, 2004, 2:30:41 PM3/11/04
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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 17:30:47 +0000 (UTC), xtmprs...@erols.com
wrote:

The diamonds were not industrial diamonds. The poster is available at
<http://www.icr.org/research/AGUC-14_Poster_Baumgardner.pdf>. The
diamond results to which the article refers are:

ID Locality Country 14C/C (pmc)*
Orapa-A Orapa mine Botswana 0.138 +/- 0.026
Orapa-F Orapa mine Botswana 0.105 +/- 0.031
Letlk-1 Letlhakane mine Botswana 0.120 +/- 0.032
Letlk-3 Letlhakane mine Botswana 0.146 +/- 0.024
Kmbrl-1 Kimberley South Africa 0.096 +/- 0.026

* No standard background was subtracted.

One wonders what happened to samples Orapa-B through E and Letlk-2.

<snip>

John Thompson

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Mar 11, 2004, 2:52:26 PM3/11/04
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"Frank Reichenbacher" <vesu...@speakeasy.net> wrote in message news:<KMmdnZ27BfG...@speakeasy.net>...

Diamonds are made from coal - didn't you ever read Superman? :)

Serious questions - are diamonds formed by physical change from other
types of carbon, or by physical and chemical change from non-carbon
precursors? If the former, is coal a diamond precursor? If so, then
C14 in coal is directly relevant to diamonds.

John

Harlequin

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Mar 11, 2004, 3:07:22 PM3/11/04
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johnetho...@yahoo.com (John Thompson) wrote in
news:fe7ac40.04031...@posting.google.com:

[snip]


> Diamonds are made from coal - didn't you ever read Superman? :)
>
> Serious questions - are diamonds formed by physical change from other
> types of carbon, or by physical and chemical change from non-carbon
> precursors? If the former, is coal a diamond precursor? If so, then
> C14 in coal is directly relevant to diamonds.

[snip]

That is a long discredited hypothesis. Diamonds are not from Coal.


--
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I am Mike and I approve this message.

Tracy Hamilton

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Mar 11, 2004, 3:12:10 PM3/11/04
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"Jon Fleming" <jo...@fleming-nospam.com> wrote in message
news:k3f150l9g59kfinum...@4ax.com...

Ah, I missed that. I now wonder why the diamonds, which would have
been created (pre-Flood) would have more C-14 than the
younger coal (presumably formed by the flood). Talk about
inoherent - that is what you get when you argue something
ad hoc!

What would they get if they took some of the old carbon at 0.00015 pmc
and did AMS on it?

I wonder if they are really interested in checking these things?

Tracy P. Hamilton


John Stockwell

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Mar 11, 2004, 3:22:27 PM3/11/04
to
>I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
>this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
>pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
>concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.

Ok. I'm a geophysicist, but not an isotope expert, but I will give
my perspective.

>
>--Begin ICR Article--
>
>Vol. 33 No. 2 February 2004 Online Issue No. 42
>
>Diamonds are a Creationist's Best Friend
>
>Last month's Acts & Facts

content supplied: (ICR's propaganda sheet)

>related how three of the RATE (Radioisotopes
>and the Age of The Earth)
>researchers

misspelling detected, missing quotes supplied:
MRATE (Misrepresenting Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) "researchers"

>were able to present their
>discoveries to about

contradiction detected: creationists are allegedly barred from presenting
materials in mainstream scientific venues

>ten thousand scientists at the American
>Geophysical Union's national convention. This breakthrough opportunity
>to present creationist research in a secular professional setting was
>well received by nearly all of the scientists who interacted with the
>creationists,

get real moment detected: they had 3 freaking posters presented. Poster
presentations are the bottom of the ladder for scientific meetings.
Maybe 10 scientists actually saw their posters. More scientists walked
by them then saw them.

translation: contrary to common creationist claims, scientists are generally
a congenial bunch. When faced with stuff that has the form of
research, but has unusual, yet unlikely, results, scientists will often
find the result "interesting". I am sure that the few scientist who actually
stopped to look at the poster presentations found the results "interesting".

>and even yielded ideas for follow-up on research.

such as: well, if you really want to do this sort of high precision stuff,
you are going to have to do something to deal with the contamination
problem.

>Last month's article didn't discuss the most recent discovery, made
>just days before the convention, but which generated much discussion.
>Dr. John Baumgardner's study of The Enigma of the Ubiquity of 14C in
>Organic Samples Older than 100 Ka included a late investigation of
>Carbon-14 in diamonds, which are a crystalline form of carbon formed
>deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic action.
>Diamonds are so closely packed that contamination is very unlikely and
>are thought to be very old, so old that no Carbon-14 would remain.
>Since Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray
>bombardment of nitrogen atoms, thus none should be in diamonds.
>
>When diamond samples were investigated, however, Carbon-14 was
>present, dating those extremely "old" specimens to be only thousands
>of years old. No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
>the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
>"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
>Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.

observation: Funny how software jocky Baumgardner (who never touched
an isotope in his life until a few months ago) keeps getting the age estimate
corresponding to the background or contamination count of 14C content.

Yet, is JB really, himself, getting these estimates, or is he giving
them to some lab to do? If you want to do the sort of high-precision work
that the research would demand, you are going to have to take steps
far beyond those normally done to prevent contamination.

>
>--End ICR Quote--
>
>

John Stockwell | jo...@dix.Mines.EDU
Center for Wave Phenomena (The Home of Seismic Un*x)
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401 | http://www.cwp.mines.edu/cwpcodes
voice: (303) 273-3049

Our book:
Norman Bleistein, Jack K. Cohen, John W. Stockwell Jr., [2001],
Mathematics of multidimensional seismic imaging, migration, and inversion,
(Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics, V. 13.), Springer-Verlag, New York.

Frank Reichenbacher

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Mar 11, 2004, 3:20:55 PM3/11/04
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"John Thompson" <johnetho...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:fe7ac40.04031...@posting.google.com...

I had always assumed that the carbon in diamonds originated was present in
the newly formed earth and had nothing to do with later accumulations of
organic matter. I would find the latter suggestion a little hard to believe.
The southern portion of the African Plate -- where nearly all of the world's
diamonds come from -- is geologically extremely old (over 3 billion years)
and geologically dead as a door nail. The diamonds there were formed a long
time ago and have made their way to near the surface by various magma
movements. http://people.howstuffworks.com/diamond1.htm

Frank


>
> John
>


James Willemin

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Mar 11, 2004, 3:41:07 PM3/11/04
to
On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 19:52:26 +0000 (UTC), johnetho...@yahoo.com
(John Thompson) wrote:


<snip>

>> >
>>
>> Wasn't he talking about diamonds?
>
>Diamonds are made from coal - didn't you ever read Superman? :)
>
>Serious questions - are diamonds formed by physical change from other
>types of carbon, or by physical and chemical change from non-carbon
>precursors? If the former, is coal a diamond precursor? If so, then
>C14 in coal is directly relevant to diamonds.
>
>John


Well, diamonds are a crystalline form of the element carbon, as is
graphite, so there is no way to get diamonds from non-carbon material
without some serious nucleosynthesis. Coal, while being mostly
carbon, contains other stuff (sulfur, some hydrocarbons, etc.) - it
was, after all, swamp-bottom organic stinkum, and started out at the
earth's surface. Now I could be gravely mistook, but I seem to recall
that diamonds are stable only in pressure and temperature conditions
characteristic of the upper mantle (they are found pretty much only in
upper mantle rocks that have been rapidly emplaced in the upper
crust). This means that it is way, way unlikely for coal to be the
source material for natural diamonds, since continental sedimentary
rocks like coal almost never end up mixed in with the upper mantle.
(I just realized that limestone can also be a source for carbon, and
that limestone sometimes gets subducted into the mantle as part of the
"downgoing oceanic slab" of plate tectonics, so it is not impossible
for carbon to get to upper mantle pressures - just not real likely.)
Anyhow, it is a fair bet that many (maybe most) diamonds are primitive
carbon, i.e. carbon that has never before been at the earth's sruface,
and never was part of the biosphere or biotic processes - there is
just no way to get once-living stuff deep enough to become diamond.
Thus the question of 14C in diamonds becomes one of uranium-series
minerals in the surrounding rocks and very clearly NOT one of fossil
atmosphereic 14C incorporated into organic stuff that was buried and
became diamonds. My .02. :)


Bigdakine

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Mar 11, 2004, 3:55:29 PM3/11/04
to
>Subject: Recent ICR "Discovery" re: Carbon-14
>From: jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil)
>Date: 3/11/04 12:10 AM Hawaiian Standard Time
>Message-id: <26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>

What techniqes were used to measure the Carbon? Not that it matters. Even the
best mass spec can't tell the difference between 100,000 years and 4 billion,
on the basis of C-14.

In other words, can Baumgardner prove this isn't noise?

And then I'd wonder if he'd like to make a wager on the claim that cosmic ray
collision with N is the only way to make C-14.

Stuart

Dr. Stuart A. Weinstein
Ewa Beach Institute of Tectonics
"To err is human, but to really foul things up
requires a creationist"

Jon Fleming

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 4:27:22 PM3/11/04
to
On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 20:22:27 +0000 (UTC), John Stockwell
<jo...@dix.Mines.EDU> wrote:

>Yet, is JB really, himself, getting these estimates, or is he giving
>them to some lab to do? If you want to do the sort of high-precision work
>that the research would demand, you are going to have to take steps
>far beyond those normally done to prevent contamination.

It was done by "one of the foremost AMS laboratories in the world",
and "the lab's high precision procedure was applied, but no standard
background has been subtracted".

Jon Fleming

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 4:30:20 PM3/11/04
to

Of course, he didn't actually _claim_ that explicitly; it was part of
the ol' shell game in that his conclusion is only valid if cosmic ray
+ N is the only way to make C-14.

John Stockwell

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 5:28:35 PM3/11/04
to

So, basically, his paper is a "true lie".

>
>--
>Replace nospam with group to email
>
>

John Stockwell | jo...@dix.Mines.EDU

Derek Potter

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 5:44:49 PM3/11/04
to
On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 18:50:40 +0000 (UTC), "Tracy Hamilton" posted 30
lines to talk.origins

I don't doubt it's absurd, that much is axiomatic. I just can't
imagine them putting up a theory to explain the C14 at all. I'd expect
them to say "C14 is bunk, so much so that the only alternative is
Goddiddit."

Whereas I say, it's close enough for rock and coal.

Bigdakine

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 6:32:59 PM3/11/04
to
>Subject: Re: Recent ICR "Discovery" re: Carbon-14
>From: John Stockwell jo...@dix.Mines.EDU
>Date: 3/11/04 10:22 AM Hawaiian Standard Time
>Message-id: <Pine.LNX.4.58.04...@wenzel.Mines.EDU>

Unless they're mine of course :-)

>
>translation: contrary to common creationist claims, scientists are generally
>a congenial bunch. When faced with stuff that has the form of
>research, but has unusual, yet unlikely, results, scientists will often
>find the result "interesting". I am sure that the few scientist who actually
>stopped to look at the poster presentations found the results "interesting".
>

Well there use to be this old retired Naval Captain who had a poster every year
on why Plate Tectonics was wrong.

It was "Interesting". I think he actually gave a talk once tool.


>>and even yielded ideas for follow-up on research.
>
>such as: well, if you really want to do this sort of high precision stuff,
>you are going to have to do something to deal with the contamination
>problem.
>
>>Last month's article didn't discuss the most recent discovery, made
>>just days before the convention, but which generated much discussion.
>>Dr. John Baumgardner's study of The Enigma of the Ubiquity of 14C in
>>Organic Samples Older than 100 Ka included a late investigation of
>>Carbon-14 in diamonds, which are a crystalline form of carbon formed
>>deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic action.
>>Diamonds are so closely packed that contamination is very unlikely and
>>are thought to be very old, so old that no Carbon-14 would remain.
>>Since Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray
>>bombardment of nitrogen atoms, thus none should be in diamonds.
>>
>>When diamond samples were investigated, however, Carbon-14 was
>>present, dating those extremely "old" specimens to be only thousands
>>of years old. No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
>>the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
>>"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
>>Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.
>
>observation: Funny how software jocky Baumgardner (who never touched
>an isotope in his life until a few months ago)

Baumgarder knows two kinds of rocks. Light and Dark.

However, he does have a Legit Ph.D. from UCLA working with Peter Bird. He's
more than just a software programmer. He's an accomplished numerical modeler.

On the other hand his models with respect to creationism are simply GIGO.


keeps getting the age estimate
>corresponding to the background or contamination count of 14C content.
>
>Yet, is JB really, himself, getting these estimates, or is he giving
>them to some lab to do?

Undoubtedly h'es giving it to some Lab. And it wouldn't suprise me if it were
under false pretenses. None of Los Alamos's rock people like Shankland or
anyone else would touch it.


If you want to do the sort of high-precision work
>that the research would demand, you are going to have to take steps
>far beyond those normally done to prevent contamination.
>

Nevermind contamination. Just plain ordinary instrument noise could scuttle the
result.

Bigdakine

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 6:50:20 PM3/11/04
to
>Subject: Re: Recent ICR "Discovery" re: Carbon-14
>From: James Willemin jimwi...@hotmail.com
>Date: 3/11/04 10:41 AM Hawaiian Standard Time
>Message-id: <u1i15057ibcia8tej...@4ax.com>

>
>On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 19:52:26 +0000 (UTC), johnetho...@yahoo.com
>(John Thompson) wrote:
>
>
><snip>
>
>>> >
>>>
>>> Wasn't he talking about diamonds?
>>
>>Diamonds are made from coal - didn't you ever read Superman? :)
>>
>>Serious questions - are diamonds formed by physical change from other
>>types of carbon, or by physical and chemical change from non-carbon
>>precursors? If the former, is coal a diamond precursor? If so, then
>>C14 in coal is directly relevant to diamonds.
>>
>>John
>
>
>Well, diamonds are a crystalline form of the element carbon, as is
>graphite, so there is no way to get diamonds from non-carbon material
>without some serious nucleosynthesis. Coal, while being mostly
>carbon, contains other stuff (sulfur, some hydrocarbons, etc.) - it
>was, after all, swamp-bottom organic stinkum, and started out at the
>earth's surface. Now I could be gravely mistook, but I seem to recall
>that diamonds are stable only in pressure and temperature conditions

Well they form under those conditions. However, diamonds are virtually stable
under at STP. Heat them up however, and they will revert to graphite.

>characteristic of the upper mantle (they are found pretty much only in
>upper mantle rocks that have been rapidly emplaced in the upper
>crust). This means that it is way, way unlikely for coal to be the
>source material for natural diamonds, since continental sedimentary
>rocks like coal almost never end up mixed in with the upper mantle.
>(I just realized that limestone can also be a source for carbon, and
>that limestone sometimes gets subducted into the mantle as part of the
>"downgoing oceanic slab" of plate tectonics, so it is not impossible
>for carbon to get to upper mantle pressures - just not real likely.)

The limestone melts and returns as Carbonatites. However, I'd be surprised if
that were 100% efficient. Second, Kimberlites have no known association with
subduction zones that I'm aware of.

>Anyhow, it is a fair bet that many (maybe most) diamonds are primitive
>carbon, i.e. carbon that has never before been at the earth's sruface,
>and never was part of the biosphere or biotic processes - there is
>just no way to get once-living stuff deep enough to become diamond.

That is a very good bet. Evidence for that comes from examining the composition
and isotopic make-up of fluid inclusions in the diamonds.

However, there places where the crust became very thick, like in the Dabie Shan
province of China, where you have continental crustal rocks bearing diamonds
and Coesite. In this case it is not impossible that Carbonates and/or organic
matter went itno the formation of those diamonds.

So provenance can be an issue. I believe the diamonds Baumgardner talked about
were mantle diamonds though.

>Thus the question of 14C in diamonds becomes one of uranium-series
>minerals in the surrounding rocks and very clearly NOT one of fossil
>atmosphereic 14C incorporated into organic stuff that was buried and
>became diamonds. My .02. :)

Yes. But before that can be addressed, we must first determine what the true
C-14 concentration is. Is Baumgardner reporting noise or signal? Once that is
determined, we can move forward.

zosdad

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 6:59:15 PM3/11/04
to
jdg...@aol.com (Jdguil) wrote in message news:<20040311074358...@mb-m10.aol.com>...

> > jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil)
> >Date: 3/11/2004 4:10 AM Central Standard Time
> >Message-id: <26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>
> >
> >I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
> >this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
> >pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
> >concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.
> >
> >--Begin ICR Article--
> >
> >Vol. 33 No. 2 February 2004 Online Issue No. 42
> >
> >Diamonds are a Creationist's Best Friend
> >
> >Last month's Acts & Facts related how three of the RATE (Radioisotopes
> >and the Age of The Earth) researchers were able to present their
> >discoveries to about ten thousand scientists at the American

> >Geophysical Union's national convention. This breakthrough opportunity
> >to present creationist research in a secular professional setting was
> >well received by nearly all of the scientists who interacted with the
> >creationists, and even yielded ideas for follow-up on research.

> >
> >Last month's article didn't discuss the most recent discovery, made
> >just days before the convention, but which generated much discussion.
> >Dr. John Baumgardner's study of The Enigma of the Ubiquity of 14C in
> >Organic Samples Older than 100 Ka included a late investigation of
> >Carbon-14 in diamonds, which are a crystalline form of carbon formed
> >deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic action.
> >Diamonds are so closely packed that contamination is very unlikely and
> >are thought to be very old, so old that no Carbon-14 would remain.
> >Since Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray
> >bombardment of nitrogen atoms, thus none should be in diamonds.
> >
> >When diamond samples were investigated, however, Carbon-14 was
> >present, dating those extremely "old" specimens to be only thousands
> >of years old.
>
> I can see several possible problems with this analysis. First, industrial
> diamonds are recent products (less than 50 years old) made from Carbon of
> indeterminate age. Only natural diamonds are known to very old. So which type
> of diamond did ICR use? If it was industrial rather than natural, then their
> results are completely invalid.
> Second, they do not say how many thousands of years the dates are. C14
> dating is only accurate to about 70,000 years. If the ICR samples dated more
> than that, then the ages are nothing more than random noise in the measurement
> process, and are meaningless.

I thought the limit was about 50,000 years. After that, the C-14
level was so low that it's not statistically significantly different
than zero, and all you can say is that the age is >50,000.

Perhaps the limit has been increased to 70,000 with ultrasensitive new
equipment and procedures -- can you confirm?

I'd bet my boots that all the YEC results are right on this edge of
the limits of the technique.

nic

>
> Regards,
> Jim


>
>
>
> No one at the conference could think of a way to dismiss
> >the evidence and implications, but they must do so to maintain an
> >"old" earth. It will be interesting to watch old- earth advocates try.
> >Meanwhile, this is a wonderful confirmation of Biblical truth.
>

Frank Reichenbacher

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 10:09:30 PM3/11/04
to

"Bigdakine" <bigd...@aol.comGetaGrip> wrote in message
news:20040311185546...@mb-m05.aol.com...

<snip>

>
> The limestone melts and returns as Carbonatites. However, I'd be surprised
if
> that were 100% efficient. Second, Kimberlites have no known association
with
> subduction zones that I'm aware of.
>

Kimberlites no, but others, such as eclogites, apparently yes. When I was
web-researching this a few hours ago on another machine I ran across an
apparently reliable report on the origins of Venezuelan diamonds in
subduction zones. I can't find it anymore, but I did find this note in
Nature:

http://www.geology.utoronto.ca/faculty/schulze/BoxStory.pdf

Frank

<snip>


Klaus Hellnick

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Mar 11, 2004, 11:23:51 PM3/11/04
to

"Frank Reichenbacher" <vesu...@speakeasy.net> wrote in message
news:-JWdnezrXfU...@speakeasy.net...

From my understanding, natural diamonds are formed primarily from carbonate
rock subducted under the edge of a continental plate. The carbonate melts
and decomposes, releasing carbon, among othe constituant. some of the carbon
rich rock makes it to the surfrace as lava. On tha way, some of the carbon
crystallizes. Then you end up with rock such as kimberlite.
Klaus
>
> >
> > John
> >
>
>

JWil

unread,
Mar 11, 2004, 11:41:18 PM3/11/04
to
John Stockwell <jo...@dix.Mines.EDU> wrote in message news:<Pine.LNX.4.58.04...@wenzel.Mines.EDU>...

> >I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
> >this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
> >pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
> >concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.
>
> Ok. I'm a geophysicist, but not an isotope expert, but I will give
> my perspective.

<SNIP>

Thanks for your comments (and everyone else's by the way). I'm
curious, did anyone actually attend the ICR presentations (I guess
they're called "posters"?) at the American Geophysical Union's
national convention? Was there really any buzz at the convention
about these presentations and the so-called enigmas they presented?
Were there question and answer sessions after these presentations, and
if so, did any geophysicists step up to the plate and ask the right
questions, or is it true that "no one at the conference could think of
a way to dismiss the evidence and implications?"

Just curious for other eye-witness accounts of ICR's impact at the
convention.

Cheers,
John

Bigdakine

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 2:20:58 AM3/12/04
to
>Subject: Re: Recent ICR "Discovery" re: Carbon-14
>From: jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil)
>Date: 3/11/04 6:41 PM Hawaiian Standard Time
>Message-id: <26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>
>

>John Stockwell <jo...@dix.Mines.EDU> wrote in message
>news:<Pine.LNX.4.58.04...@wenzel.Mines.EDU>...
>> >I'd love to have a Carbon-14 expert, geophysicist or geologist digest
>> >this one for me, since it is outside my field of expertise. I just
>> >pulled this summary off the ICR web site and would love to see some
>> >concise arguments refuting the claims. Thanks.
>>
>> Ok. I'm a geophysicist, but not an isotope expert, but I will give
>> my perspective.
>
><SNIP>
>
>Thanks for your comments (and everyone else's by the way). I'm
>curious, did anyone actually attend the ICR presentations (I guess
>they're called "posters"?) at the American Geophysical Union's
>national convention? Was there really any buzz at the convention
>about these presentations and the so-called enigmas they presented?


I wasn't there. But usually the only that causes a large buzz at AGU, is beer
time.

>Were there question and answer sessions after these presentations,

Poster sessions don't have those. Usually you are expected to hang out at your
poster for a period of time, either in the am or the pm. And you have
discussions on the fly with whom ever expresses interest.

and
>if so, did any geophysicists step up to the plate and ask the right
>questions, or is it true that "no one at the conference could think of
>a way to dismiss the evidence and implications?"

Hyperbole to be sure.

Ron Okimoto

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 8:35:50 AM3/12/04
to
bigd...@aol.comGetaGrip (Bigdakine) wrote in message news:<20040311160054...@mb-m05.aol.com>...


Are diamonds still isolated by using a lard board that they stick to?
I don't know how he controled for contamination of people handling
them. When we have C14 contamination by accidental leaks or organic
probes you can't get it out of the aluminum rotors. It is there for
as long as it takes to decay.

Ron Okimoto

Mike Dworetsky

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Mar 12, 2004, 8:46:25 AM3/12/04
to

"Klaus Hellnick" <khellni...@houston.rr.com> wrote in message
news:N1b4c.22769$u53....@fe1.texas.rr.com...

Most natural diamonds include small amounts of contaminants, which give them
various tints, and there are often small crystalline structure flaws. Could
a small amount of natural uranium or thorium in a natural diamond be enough
to produce a small amount of C-14? Sort of the way it gets into coal?

--
Mike Dworetsky

(Remove "pants" spamblock to send e-mail)


Thomas H. Faller

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 11:38:12 AM3/12/04
to
John Thompson asked:

>Serious questions - are diamonds formed by physical change from other
>types of carbon, or by physical and chemical change from non-carbon
>precursors? If the former, is coal a diamond precursor? If so, then
>C14 in coal is directly relevant to diamonds.

Most diamonds form in the hardened magma of volcanic pipes, in material
taken from the semi-molten upper crust. This material contains the
elements
that make up rock that people usually picture as volcanic lava - that's
what
it becomes if it reaches the surface, under the conditions of
temperature
and pressure at the surface of the earth. What you get in lava eruptions
is
mostly silica rock and spews of hot gasses, like carbon dioxide and
sulfur
dioxide - the kinds of gasses that killed the citizens of Pompeii by
suffocating
them before the hot ash and lava buried them.

These are the minerals formed under surface temps and pressures. But if
the
magma of a volcano is allowed to solidify under the much greater temps
and pressures deep underground, you get different minerals formed. The
main mineral is called kimberlite, and some of the carbon dissolved in
the
magma comes out of solution and solidifies as a crystal, like sugar
crystals
in cooling supersaturated water form rock candy. The cubic crystal
version
of carbon is diamond. If the environment isn't perfect for pure diamond,

other elements can enter the crystal, causing coloring and "faults",
like
carbon seams, inclusions of other materials (the "Pink Panther" comes to
mind)
and variations in clarity.

Diamond in general doesn't come from carbon that has been previously
brought to
the surface of the earth. There are other elements in the magma, trace
radioactive
elements, that can add neutrons to the carbon atoms well below the
surface of
the earth. None of these processes involve atmospheric C14, coal or
cosmic rays.
Diamond doesn't come from coal any more than the quartz in granite comes
from
discarded integrated circuits.

Tom Faller

Derek Potter

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 12:08:37 PM3/12/04
to
On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 20:55:29 +0000 (UTC), "Bigdakine" posted 60 lines
to talk.origins


>And then I'd wonder if he'd like to make a wager on the claim that cosmic ray
>collision with N is the only way to make C-14.

For the benefit of ignorami like me could you say what other reactions
produce it and how it relates to uranium or thorium decay? I could
arm-wave about C-13 neutron capture but I don't know how plausible it
is with real numbers plugged in.

Ferrous Patella

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 2:14:07 PM3/12/04
to
> Talk about
> inoherent

Not a typing flame. Just an admiration of Murphy's timing.

--
Ferrous Patella

"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war."
--John Adams, letter to Abigail, 1797

Andrew Arensburger

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 4:29:00 PM3/12/04
to
John Vreeland <Vree...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> So they were claiming that the carbon in diamonds had an organic origin?

> If so I'd like to grow them in my garden.

Send me $20, and I'll send you some seeds for plants
guaranteed to contain carbon of a high enough quality to be used in
diamonds.

--
Andrew Arensburger, Systems guy University of Maryland
arensb.no-...@umd.edu Office of Information Technology
Mountain Dew and doughnuts... because breakfast is
the most important meal of the day.

Andrew Arensburger

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 5:08:59 PM3/12/04
to
JWil <jwil...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Thanks for your comments (and everyone else's by the way). I'm
> curious, did anyone actually attend the ICR presentations (I guess
> they're called "posters"?) at the American Geophysical Union's
> national convention?

Just commenting on something other than your main point. AIUI,
they're called posters because that's what the "presentations" are:
posters.
If you present one of these, you're expected to condense the
salient parts of your research enough that it'll fit onto a single
poster, about 50cm by 75cm, perhaps smaller.
This can be as simple as just printing out a paper that you've
written, and taping or stapling it to a sheet of posterboard. Or you
can have pretty graphs, pictures, a large title at the top, etc.

Obviously, the space limitation usually prohibits you from
making a compelling case for whatever it is you're trying to show.
Usually the point seems to be to say, "Look at this cool thing that
I've done! For full details, see http://www.foo.edu/research/"

I'm not sure where these are normally exhibited; I've just
seen them hanging on walls in hallways at UMD. Presumably conferences
have a hallway, or a roomful of easels set aside for these.

> Was there really any buzz at the convention
> about these presentations and the so-called enigmas they presented?
> Were there question and answer sessions after these presentations,

AIUI from another poster, you're expected to hang out next to
your poster at certain times, so that people can come up and ask you
questions.

Of course, I'm not a researcher, so I don't get invited to
these sorts of conferences. <Pout>

--
Andrew Arensburger, Systems guy University of Maryland
arensb.no-...@umd.edu Office of Information Technology

I agreed to suspend disbelief, not hang it until it died!

JR

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 8:22:05 PM3/12/04
to

"Ron Okimoto" <roki...@mail.uark.edu> wrote in message
news:63afe69c.04031...@posting.google.com...

I'd also like to know how they provenenced those diamonds. Knowing what I
do of the diamond trade, it's almost impossible to tell where one came from
after a certain point. Also, what precautions were taken against exposure
to radioactivity in shipping and handling? No accusations, but you have to
know those things before you go anywhere else with it.

>

xtmprs...@erols.com

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 9:21:23 PM3/12/04
to

What good is a high precision procedure if you're
not going to subtract the background?

John Norris

unread,
Mar 12, 2004, 10:11:10 PM3/12/04
to
Andrew Arensburger <arensb.no-...@umd.edu> wrote in message news:<c2tcr4$3uu$1...@grapevine.wam.umd.edu>...

> JWil <jwil...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Thanks for your comments (and everyone else's by the way). I'm
> > curious, did anyone actually attend the ICR presentations (I guess
> > they're called "posters"?) at the American Geophysical Union's
> > national convention?
>
> Just commenting on something other than your main point. AIUI,
> they're called posters because that's what the "presentations" are:
> posters.
> If you present one of these, you're expected to condense the
> salient parts of your research enough that it'll fit onto a single
> poster, about 50cm by 75cm, perhaps smaller.
> This can be as simple as just printing out a paper that you've
> written, and taping or stapling it to a sheet of posterboard. Or you
> can have pretty graphs, pictures, a large title at the top, etc.

Like a middle school science fair.

JohnN

Cyde Weys

unread,
Mar 13, 2004, 2:44:04 AM3/13/04
to
Andrew Arensburger wrote:


> Send me $20, and I'll send you some seeds for plants
> guaranteed to contain carbon of a high enough quality to be used in
> diamonds.

Okay Andrew, come deliver the seeds in person and I'll give you the $20.
Come to Ellicott Hall.

Mike Dworetsky

unread,
Mar 13, 2004, 3:46:12 AM3/13/04
to

"JR" <foin...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:Dtt4c.10883$j05.3...@news20.bellglobal.com...

Unless it was mined by a robot operating deep underground in vacuum, rather
than a hole in the ground in Africa operated by low-paid workers under
conditions that could not be called sanitary, then it will pick up a small
amount of contamination with C-14 from absorption of air into cracks or
flaws, or surface contamination that is impossible to remove completely.

People who work on the problem of finding pure carbon with NO C-14 can say
something about how difficult it actually is to avoid even the smallest
accidental contamination despite taking all sorts of precautions.

Mike Dworetsky

unread,
Mar 13, 2004, 4:06:14 AM3/13/04
to
"JWil" <jwil...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com...
> --End ICR Quote--
>

Possibly the same mechanism could be at work in diamonds that appear to be
at work in old coal deposits. Fortunately, talk.origins reader Kathleen
Hunt has prepared a faq contribution on the subject (for coal).

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html

I'm not sure what the nuclear reactions are that would produce tiny amounts
of C-14, but possibly absorption of neutrons by C-13 could do the trick. A
trace of uranium or thorium in the soil could produce occasional neutrons.
There are many possibilities for contamination of either natural or
artificial diamonds. The amounts of C-14 to get 110,000 yrs are so small
that even breathing on the diamond might produce such a reading (or just
having it in a lab room where people are breathing). Actually measuring
amounts this small is serious state of the art science involving accelerator
mass spectrometry.

About all the creationist guys have proven is that the amounts of C-14 in
their samples are extremely small, near the edge of detectability (or just
noise readings) and that as diamonds come from non-atmospheric carbon, there
must exist sources of contamination that render extreme C-14 ages completely
useless.

Ernest Major

unread,
Mar 13, 2004, 6:44:54 AM3/13/04
to
In article <c2uj7q$kgp$1...@titan.btinternet.com>, Mike Dworetsky
<plati...@pants.btinternet.com> writes

>
>I'm not sure what the nuclear reactions are that would produce tiny amounts
>of C-14, but possibly absorption of neutrons by C-13 could do the trick. A
>trace of uranium or thorium in the soil could produce occasional neutrons.
>There are many possibilities for contamination of either natural or
>artificial diamonds. The amounts of C-14 to get 110,000 yrs are so small
>that even breathing on the diamond might produce such a reading (or just
>having it in a lab room where people are breathing). Actually measuring
>amounts this small is serious state of the art science involving accelerator
>mass spectrometry.

Diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen as an impurity. Coal
contains large quantities of organic compounds, presumably including
nitrogen-bearing organic compounds.

Someone will have to do the arithmetic to work out whether the reaction
14N(n,p)14C, driven by fission neutrons, produces a sufficient quantity
of 14C for it to be relevant to the issue at hand.


>
>About all the creationist guys have proven is that the amounts of C-14 in
>their samples are extremely small, near the edge of detectability (or just
>noise readings) and that as diamonds come from non-atmospheric carbon, there
>must exist sources of contamination that render extreme C-14 ages completely
>useless.
>

--
alias Ernest Major

Derek Potter

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Mar 13, 2004, 8:08:05 AM3/13/04
to
On Sat, 13 Mar 2004 11:44:54 +0000 (UTC), "Ernest Major" posted 31
lines to talk.origins

>In article <c2uj7q$kgp$1...@titan.btinternet.com>, Mike Dworetsky
><plati...@pants.btinternet.com> writes
>>

>Diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen as an impurity. Coal


>contains large quantities of organic compounds, presumably including
>nitrogen-bearing organic compounds.
>
>Someone will have to do the arithmetic to work out whether the reaction
>14N(n,p)14C, driven by fission neutrons, produces a sufficient quantity
>of 14C for it to be relevant to the issue at hand.

[Reaches for back of envelope, grabs a mixed bag of folk-lore and
comes up with this -]

Er well, atmospheric C14 is in equilibrium concentration determined by
the rate of production and the environmental half-life which is
reckoned, iirc, as about 2 years. If it wasn't washed out of the air
it would build up until the radio half life (5730y) took over. So if
we consider a diamond that is pure nitrogen :) and subject to cosmic
ray bombardment but no washing out, then it's going to reach an
equilibrium concentration that is greater, by the ratio of the two
half lives, than that of the air. Only real diamonds have just a small
proportion of nitrogen, if it were one part in 5730/2 the equilibrium
level of C14 in a diamond floating about in the upper atmosphere would
be the about same as the surrounding air, give or take a lot. Unless I
need a geometric factor, which would make nonsense of this, but I
don't think I do.

Cosmic rays are attentuated by the atmosphere but a convenient
radioactive source that you used to be able to buy over the counter
was thorium oxide gas mantles and I have found that the radioactivity
close to one of those is several times background which in turn is
said to be only 20% or so cosmic. So if the diamond was sitting on a
gas mantle (a few percent thorium) it would equilibrate at the same
level as air IF thorium were a neutron emitter, which it isn't. Given
a rock which is, say, 10 ppm thorium (instead of, say, 10%), lots more
of it affecting the diamond (say 10 times) and a conversion of thorium
radiation to neutrons of .1% (arbitrary figure) the concentration ends
up 7 orders of magnitude less than atmospheric. That's about
20-something half lives worth of decay, so you'd be looking at C14
ages in the 100000y region. That was a fortunate result - I swear I
didn't select those test figures to make the scenario work. If I'd
ended up with just a few half-lives I'd have expected most diamonds in
the world to have a C14 age of a few tens ok thousands years - or if
it had worked out as hundred, I would have to say there is some other
explanation. So, yeah, neutron capture by included nitrogen is quite
plausible.

Thanks for pointing it out.

Bigdakine

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Mar 13, 2004, 12:00:08 PM3/13/04
to
>Subject: Re: Recent ICR "Discovery" re: Carbon-14
>From: Derek Potter m...@privacy.net
>Date: 3/12/04 7:08 AM Hawaiian Standard Time
>Message-id: <d0s350h344hiu3hs2...@4ax.com>

That is one way to go C-13. C-13 comprises 1% of all stable Carbon.

Derek Potter

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Mar 13, 2004, 1:06:20 PM3/13/04
to
On Sat, 13 Mar 2004 17:00:08 +0000 (UTC), "Bigdakine" posted 27 lines
to talk.origins

>>
>>For the benefit of ignorami like me could you say what other reactions
>>produce it and how it relates to uranium or thorium decay? I could
>>arm-wave about C-13 neutron capture but I don't know how plausible it
>>is with real numbers plugged in.
>
>That is one way to go C-13. C-13 comprises 1% of all stable Carbon.

Yes but carbon is used as a reactor moderator so I suspect the neutron
capture cross section is very low - compared with, say N-14 which I
have just learned is present in diamond in small amounts.

JWil

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Mar 14, 2004, 4:36:36 AM3/14/04
to

> Diamonds are a Creationist's Best Friend....

So, here is a summary of everyone's arguments refuting the recent ICR
claim that measuring trace amounts of Carbon-14 in natural diamonds
"proves" a young Earth because there is no way for Carbon-14 to occur
in diamonds:

1. Noise. The Carbon-14 measured by the ICR team is small enough that
it could simply be "noise" in the measuring equipment.

2. Contamination. Collecting and testing pure diamonds for Carbon-14
without any contamination throughout the process is nearly impossible.

3. Bad Science. The ICR article claims that no Carbon-14 should be
found in diamonds because it is all created in the upper atmosphere,
far from the depths of the Earth where diamonds are formed. However,
diamonds have trace amounts of Nitrogen, which may produce Carbon-14
through neutron capture from surrounding uranium series rocks.

Did I miss anything? Just trying to summarize the argument.

Cheers,
John

Ernest Major

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Mar 14, 2004, 6:04:12 AM3/14/04
to
In article <26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>, JWil
<jwil...@yahoo.com> writes
>jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil) wrote in message news:<26913c0b.0403110215.51101553@po

>sting.google.com>...
>
>> Diamonds are a Creationist's Best Friend....
>
>So, here is a summary of everyone's arguments refuting the recent ICR
>claim that measuring trace amounts of Carbon-14 in natural diamonds
>"proves" a young Earth because there is no way for Carbon-14 to occur
>in diamonds:
>
>1. Noise. The Carbon-14 measured by the ICR team is small enough that
>it could simply be "noise" in the measuring equipment.
>
>2. Contamination. Collecting and testing pure diamonds for Carbon-14
>without any contamination throughout the process is nearly impossible.
>
>3. Bad Science. The ICR article claims that no Carbon-14 should be
>found in diamonds because it is all created in the upper atmosphere,
>far from the depths of the Earth where diamonds are formed. However,
>diamonds have trace amounts of Nitrogen, which may produce Carbon-14
>through neutron capture from surrounding uranium series rocks.

I don't know exactly what the AGU presentation said, but the claim ought
to be the 14C production by mechanisms other than bombardment by cosmic
radiation in the atmosphere is *negligible*.

To the best of our knowledge the ICR did not support this claim, and it
is not a priori obviously true - there are several other production
mechanisms, and the numerical values to be placed on their magnitudes
are not immediately obvious.

The quoted article did not give sufficient information to evaluate the
claims.

"surrounding uranium series rocks" is a misstatement - we're talking of
rocks (melts, etc) containing fissionable isotopes (which do not all
belong to the Uranium series). Also the 14C may be produced before the
diamond into which it is incorporated, so "surrounding" is not
necessarily true.

Two mechanisms have been adduced - neutron absorption by 13C, and
neutron-proton exchange by 14N.

Another possible path is 14N(antineutrino,e+)14C. (This is easier to
work out numerical values for, as the low crosssection of neutrino
interactions means we don't have to worry about the geological
environment and the imperfect mixing of the material of the earth, but
can calculate it from the neutrino flux and energy spectrum and the
reaction's crosssection. Neutrino oscillations may confuse the issue
slightly. Both solar and beta decay neutrinos need to be considered.)

Yet another path is 14N(e-,neutrino)14C (I'd reckon that there's more
beta radiation produced than fission neutrons, but on the other hand
it's a weak interaction, and Coulomb shielding keeps the electrons away
from the nuclei.)


>
>Did I miss anything? Just trying to summarize the argument.
>
>Cheers,
>John
>

--
alias Ernest Major

JWil

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Mar 15, 2004, 2:05:35 AM3/15/04
to
Ernest Major <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<2tmRdbAY...@meden.demon.co.uk>...

> In article <26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>, JWil
> <jwil...@yahoo.com> writes
> >jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil) wrote in message news:<26913c0b.0403110215.51101553@po
> >sting.google.com>...
>
> I don't know exactly what the AGU presentation said, but the claim ought
> to be the 14C production by mechanisms other than bombardment by cosmic
> radiation in the atmosphere is *negligible*...

<SNIP>

Thanks for the clarifications. WAY over my head, but that's what I
wanted...some real substance to use as fuel in my debates. Plus, I
think I'll try to forward a summary of all arguments to the ICR.

Through first-hand experience, I'm convinced that much of the time
creation scientists continue to espouse their fallacies simply because
no one has corrected them. And then, because their arguments are so
strongly based on emotion rather than anything of scientific
substance, they continue to perpetuate misinformation until one of
their ilk crosses the line, and faces reality. Which can take years.
So I figure it's good to start the refuting as soon as possible. :-)

Cheers,
John

JWil

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Mar 15, 2004, 3:09:01 AM3/15/04
to
Ernest Major <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<2tmRdbAY...@meden.demon.co.uk>...
> In article <26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>, JWil
> <jwil...@yahoo.com> writes
> >jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil) wrote in message news:<26913c0b.0403110215.51101553@po
> >sting.google.com>...
> >
> Two mechanisms have been adduced - neutron absorption by 13C, and
> neutron-proton exchange by 14N.
>
> Another possible path is 14N(antineutrino,e+)14C. (This is easier to
> work out numerical values for, as the low crosssection of neutrino
> interactions means we don't have to worry about the geological
> environment and the imperfect mixing of the material of the earth, but
> can calculate it from the neutrino flux and energy spectrum and the
> reaction's crosssection. Neutrino oscillations may confuse the issue
> slightly. Both solar and beta decay neutrinos need to be considered.)
>
> Yet another path is 14N(e-,neutrino)14C (I'd reckon that there's more
> beta radiation produced than fission neutrons, but on the other hand
> it's a weak interaction, and Coulomb shielding keeps the electrons away
> from the nuclei.)

<SNIP, again>

After more thought, can you or anybody point me to any actual lab
experiments demonstrating these possible methods of Carbon-14
inclusion in diamonds, or are the ideas expressed above entirely
theoretical? Are there any peer-reviewed papers out there which
specifically discuss Carbon-14 inside diamonds?

I'm just trying to anticipate responses from ICR...

Thanks,
John

David Jensen

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Mar 15, 2004, 3:15:22 AM3/15/04
to
In talk.origins, jwil...@yahoo.com (JWil) wrote in
<26913c0b.04031...@posting.google.com>:

You are an optimist. Most of the leaders of the creation science fallacy
are knowingly telling lies. Ham, Hovind, Gish et al. cannot claim that
they know science in one breath and then show how ignorant or dishonest
about it they are in the next. Best of luck.

Derek Potter

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Mar 15, 2004, 3:20:09 AM3/15/04
to
On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 07:05:35 +0000 (UTC), "JWil" posted 27 lines to
talk.origins

>Through first-hand experience, I'm convinced that much of the time


>creation scientists continue to espouse their fallacies simply because
>no one has corrected them. And then, because their arguments are so
>strongly based on emotion rather than anything of scientific
>substance, they continue to perpetuate misinformation until one of
>their ilk crosses the line, and faces reality. Which can take years.
>So I figure it's good to start the refuting as soon as possible. :-)

You are joking, aren't you?

What annoys everyone is the fact that you can confront them with
rock-solid PROOF that they are wrong and they *still* believe their
ridiculous nonsense. Having deceived people for many years, the least
they should do is spend as much effort clearing up the mess as they
did making it. If they had any honour, they'd fall on their swords.

Derek Potter

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Mar 15, 2004, 4:04:17 AM3/15/04