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It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field.In the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate. Radiocarbon is used to date the age of rocks, which enables scientists to date the age of the earth.Overall, the C-14 dates from the destruction of the Bronze Age city of Jericho range from as high as 1883 BC to as low as 1262 BC—a range of over 600 years. “Introduction: Radiocarbon dating and the Iron Age of the Southern Levant: Problems and potentials for the Oxford conference,” in The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science. and Bronk Ramsey, C., “C14 Dates and the Iron Age chronology of Israel: a response,” Radiocarbon, 50(2), 2008: 159-180).
Many who argue that the city was not even occupied during the Israelite Conquest appeal to Carbon-14 dates to validate claims that the city was destroyed and abandoned 150 years earlier.
Radiocarbon is not suitable for this purpose because it is only applicable: a) on a time scale of thousands of years and b) to remains of once-living organisms (with minor exceptions, from which rocks are excluded).
MYTH #2 Radiocarbon dating has established the date of some organic materials (e.g., some peat deposits) to be well in excess of 50,000 years, thus rendering a recent creation (6 to 10 thousand years ago) impossible.
The date of the destruction of the final Bronze Age city of Jericho has been a subject of controversy over the last 100 years, and unfortunately the C-14 samples have not settled that controversy. This carbon-14 sample taken at Jericho had been analyzed by the laboratory at the British Museum for the publications of the excavations under Kathleen Kenyon, and the laboratory initially found a date of 1410 BC /- 40 (Kenyon, K, and Holland, TA. London: British School of Archaeology at Jerusalem, 1983, 763). Another C-14 sample from this same destruction layer at Jericho gave results of 3300 /- 7 BP, which calibrates to approximately 1618-1530 BC (Bruins, HJ and van der Plicht, J.
In an article discussing the destruction of Jericho City IV, archaeologist Bryant Wood presented a sample that initially “was dated to 1410 B. E., plus or minus 40 years, lending further support that the destruction of City IV occurred around the end of the Late Bronze I period, about 1400 B. However, it was discovered years later that the result of this sample testing was incorrect, and was later reissued on a list of erroneous dates due to a problem with equipment calibration at the laboratory for the years 1980-1984. “Re-Evaluation of British Museum Radiocarbon Dates Issued Between 19.” Radiocarbon 32, 1990, 74, BM-1790) which calibrates to approximately 1883-1324 BC, rendering the resulting C-14 date useless for settling the debate between a destruction in ca. “Tell es-Sultan (Jericho): Radiocarbon results of short-lived cereal and multiyear charcoal samples from the end of the Middle Bronze Age.” Radiocarbon Vol. This sample gave results surrounding the date of destruction advocated by Kathleen Kenyon (ca.