Carbon 14

Carbon-14 Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible

In Articles, Featured, Science and Technology by JD Rucker8 Comments

One of the biggest scientific misconceptions that plagues the untrained minds of Christians and non-believers alike is Carbon-14 dating. Many non-believers point to it as evidence that the Bible is untrue. Many Christians shift their worldview to accommodate it scientifically while still reconciling the Biblical telling of Creation.

Both are actually incorrect.

It is not a matter of whether the science itself is faulty. The reality is that the science is rather elegant in its function. The challenge is that it operates under a set of assumptions. Any scientist with an open mind would tell you that if these assumptions were shifted towards a Biblical view, the carbon dating process would still work, though at a much shorter time scale.

In other words, whether you assume that the planet is billions of years old or if you believe that the earth is thousands of years old, carbon dating still works in both situations. In several documented situations when carbon dating ran contrary to common scientific assumptions, the results were only an anomaly if the world were billions of years old. If the earth were thousands of years old, the results of these tests would have fit in perfectly.

I’m going to go through this very quickly and touch on the basics; one could write a book on this topic and still have more to say.

The Basics of Carbon-14 Dating

First, let’s start with the basics. Carbon-14 (14C) is a radioactive isotope of carbon that is in a constant state of decay. Scientists are able to determine the age of formerly living materials by determining the amount of 14C relative to the amount of Carbon-12 (12C). Since the former is radioactive and decays at a constant pace while the latter is stable, the ratio between the two can determine the age of anything that was on the earth and breathed. Once it stops breathing, it stops taking in 14C and the decaying process begins.

Now, let’s get a quick understanding of half-life. Radioactive isotopes like 14C decay at a constant rate relative to the amount of material present. In the case of 14C, it has a half-life of 5,730 years. This means that if you have 2 grams of 14C today, in 5,730 years you will have 1 gram of 14C. 5,730 years later, you will have a half-gram of 14C.

Using an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS), scientists can determine the ratio. It’s assumed that an organism will have the same ratio of 14C to 12C as the environment does at the time of death. Since 14C has a steady half-life and the known ratio of our environment is currently at 1 part 14C to 1 trillion parts 12C, scientists can use this to determine how long ago the creature leaving behind their remains had died.

Scientific Assumptions

There are two major assumptions that are impossible to prove or disprove. The first is that the earth is old. Based upon the Big Bang theory as well as the theory of evolution, most scientists (and therefore the general public) believe that the universe and the world are billions of years old. This assumption allows for 14C dating to apply to former-living material as old as 80,000 years before it becomes too difficult to distinguish between 14C radiation and other radioactive isotopes such as Potassium-40 (40K).

The second assumption is that the level of 14C in the environment is mostly constant. It was believed for two centuries that it was an absolute constant, but scientists have recently discovered that it fluctuates based upon several different factors. Despite these fluctuations, they believe that it’s steady enough to still make the process work.

This is the biggest assumption that is challenged by many scientists today because 14C is produced when cosmic rays hit the upper atmosphere and change Nitrogen into 14C. Since the amount of cosmic rays hitting these Nitrogen atoms is affected by the magnetic field of the earth and that field has been in a diminishing state since it was first observed in the mid-19th century, many scientists have a hard time assuming that the levels of 14C in the atmosphere is anywhere near constant enough to use in measurements.

According to John Roach from National Geographic News:

Earth’s magnetic field is fading. Today it is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in 1845, scientists say.

If one were to adjust their assumptions and apply the Biblical telling of Creation, Carbon Dating still fits. The reason that it fits is based upon the Flood of Noah.

Biblical Assumptions

The magnetic field is decaying. The world itself has been dramatically changed on two occasions according to the Bible – during the Great Flood and in the resulting shifts that occurred.

The Genesis Flood tells of a planet that was much more rich in life than it is today. One particularly interesting theory shows that the majority of the world has a single large land mass. When a huge shelf of water 10 miles beneath the earth was released, the very shape of the earth was changed. Plates moved across the planet, forming the continents and oceans as we see them today.

Genesis 7:11

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

It creates amazing scientific explanations for things such as the Grand Canyon, portions of the fossil record, and the tectonic plates. It also partially explains the various ages associated with fossils of creatures from before the flood.

The second component is the speeding of the earth’s rotation that may have happened as a result of the flood. As the shelf of water spewed forth into the land and the land masses themselves collapsed into the void, the earth may have in essence, shrunk. This would have had the same effect as a spinning ice skater pulling in her limbs to accelerate her rotation. The days were measured at 360 per year prior to the flood and eventually the calendars were shifted to the current 365 day model. Did this happen because the earth had started spinning more rapidly, causing more days to occur during a single revolution around the sun?

If one believes the story of Noah and applies that assumption to current scientific models, they do not conflict. That lack of conflict includes Carbon Dating. In many ways, Carbon Dating is another example of science demonstrating the literal truths found in the Bible.

* * *

For further research from a different angle, here’s an interesting video compiled from research done in the 70s and 80s that points to other effects of the flood.

(This article is part of the Compassion and Fear Series)


  1. Young earth creationists are deluded. The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly against them. Mainstream Christianity has accepted this and incorporated the premise that the biblical story of creation is figurative, not literal. The earth is not 6000 years old; it is 4.5 billion years old.


  2. Just how old is the earth, we know by Genesis that the earth was here long before God created Adam and Eve and the animals and plants. According to Genesis 1:2 The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and just what was under that water? The earth was under the water, So the earth was already here before God created anything on the earth.So now the question is, What happen that caused water to cover the whole earth, We know this water is not from the flood of Noah, Noah had not come into being yet. For Adam and Eve had not been created yet. So what happened that caused the water to cover the whole earth? You can not try and tell me, that God created the earth and put water to cover the whole earth and then caused the water to dry up that the dry land to appear, God could haved that right at the first, created the dry land on the earth and place the water where it is now. So why and what happened for water to cover the whole earth. We know according to 2 Peter 3:4-7. Note that in Verse 4-“And saying, Where is the promise of his coming, for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished”. How do we know that this is not the flood of Noahs, first take the word ( perished) according to this word, Perished, means that nothing was left over, but everything perished, unlike the flood of Noahs, there were 8 souls save and animals saved, so not everything perished. That is what Perished means that nothing is left over. So the question is, why and what happened that God caused the world that then was being overflowed with water to perished?

    1. You are interpreting those verses as one even, but it refers to two, the first being the creation, the second refers to an event after the creation and the earth standing out of the water (creation as recorded in the Bible). The words “Whereby the world that then was ” indicates the world after creation. The verse also says that the world perished by water. “The world” represents the sinful world around righteous Noah and his family. The sinful world perished. If you had accurately read the verse you would have had the correct interpretation.

  3. This article just waffles on and doesn’t give any proof that carbon dating is inaccurate.
    Just face it, religion is out dated, if religion was created today by someone with all the knowledge that we now have from science then that person would be locked up in the loony bin.

    If you don’t believe in science, the next time you need to medical operation I hope you’re not going to turn to science and go to a hospital….
    Or the next time you need to travel large distances I presume you will walk cos these cars, trains and planes that science produced for us are clearly false
    But yeah, I’m guessing you won’t do that will you……..

  4. When Adam was created he was a man ,if any one could go back to the day after he was created and looked upon him how old would we say he was,in his twenties maybe,but how old would he be.
    We could say that it took one hundred thousand years for some thing to crawl out of the mud and evolve into Adam but he was made the day before.
    If we could be there the day after god put the stars in the sky,we could say it took millions of years for their light to reach us but it took at the most a day.
    Every thing god created has appearance of will do his best to say every thing comes from events that are billions of years past. We must trust in the Bible.

  5. And the human heart starting beating how, science? Oh how man has perverted God’s Living Word, A Relationship with A Living God, Jesus, and The Fact that God became man, died on a cross and rose from the dead, of His own power…The Bible is either True or False, that simple, prove it’s false or where Jesus sinned, if you doubt?

Leave a Comment