American Evangelical Christians
Department of the
History of Science
Helen C. White Hall 4143
Madison, WI 53706
From: PSCF 45 (December 1993): 229-240.
Radiocarbon (C-14) dating has several implications for Christianity, particularly in terms of the interpretation of the first part of Genesis. Since its advent in the mid-20th century, it has been one of the central topics in the creation-evolution controversy. As of the mid-1940s, radioactive dating had not attracted serious attention from the majority of evangelicals. Since the invention of the C-14 method and the appearance of evangelical professionals in this field, however, American evangelicals have divided themselves into two groups. One group has been made up of fundamentalist evangelicals, who accepted the global effect of Noah's flood and a young earth and rejected radioactive dates. The other, non-literalist group of evangelicals accepted some kinds of evolutionary uniformitarian hypotheses and radioactive dating. The Seventh-day Adventists and the American Scientific Affiliation were central forums in the controversy regarding radioactive dating during the first decade after the invention of the C-14 dating method. Then the controversy spread out into wider evangelical circles. This paper traces the reactions of Seventh-day Adventists and American evangelical Christians toward C-14 dating.
Among several radioactive dating methods, the radiocarbon (C-14) dating method (which was invented by Willard Frank Libby of the University of Chicago in the late 1940s) occupies a special position in archaeology and ancient history, as well as geology, because it can give the absolute age of those carbonaceous archaeological findings that were not older than the half-life of C-14.1
This method also drew special attention from Christian scholars because of its effect on biblical interpretation. C-14 dating received special attention from evangelical Christians who emphasized the authority and reliability of the Bible, because it could date the age of organic remains of ancient plants, animals and men in terms of the biblical chronology. In particular, the C-14 dating method is important in the study of the Old Testament, since it professes to supply absolute dates for events within the past forty thousand years, which covers the apparent periods of Old Testament history.2
Since the revival of scientific creationism in the early 1960s, one of the most important events has been the on going debate over the validity of C-14 dating. The apparent contradiction between C-14 dates and the literal interpretation of Genesis has split the evangelical Christians of the United States into two factions: one, fundamentalist evangelicals who attempted to fit scientific findings into the literal interpretation of the Bible; and two, other evangelicals who felt that the Bible does not contain an absolute chronology of earth history.
This essay will trace the reactions of both of these groups in the United States to C-14 dating, focusing particularly on the response of the Seventh-day Adventists (SDA), the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), the Creation Research Society (CRS) and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR)ˇgroups demonstrating particularly sensitive responses to C-14 dating and its implications. Although the Adventists regard themselves as evangelicals, some hesitate to include them in a list of evangelical Christians because of their strong commitment to the writings of Ellen G. White, the Adventist prophetess. But during the twentieth century the Adventists played a very important role in the formulation of the so-called "scientific creationism" in the United States, influencing evangelical Christian responses to the idea of a young earth. Therefore, in order to understand the relationship between Christians and C-14 dating, we must include the SDA in our discussions.
Seventh-day Adventists' opinions on C-14 dating and the age of the earth have varied somewhat over time. In his 1923 book The New Geology and in other publications, George McCready Price, an Adventist geologist, framed the so-called "flood geology" theory, which greatly influenced fundamentalist evangelicals as well as the Adventist scholars. Most orthodox SDA members accepted the Pricean flood geology and therefore criticized C-14 dating. One of the first Adventist critics of C-14 dates was Robert W. Woods, a college physics teacher, who criticized not the technical process of C-14 activity measurement but the assumptions by which the dating results were interpreted.3 He conceded that C-14 dating was accurate to 4,500 years, but said that dating beyond this was extrapolation beyond the accuracy controls of the method. Thus he said that the method was good as far back as shortly after the flood, which seemed to be the practical limit of historical dating.
To Woods, if the assumptions of C-14 dating were accepted, the C-14 method was capable of measuring some 20,000 years into the past. However, this is the case only if certain conditions are met. First, the rate of the formation and decay of C-14 has always been the same. Woods admitted that no method had been found to accelerate or retard the radioactive decay of an atom. However, the assumption that the rate of formation for C-14 has been the same for long ages past was, to Woods, not certain. Such an assumption presumes that: (1) The rate of cosmic-ray activity has always been the same as it is at present; (2) The magnetic field of the earth has always been the same as it is now; and (3) The nature of the upper atmosphere has always been the same as now.
Another figure was Lester E. Harris, an Adventist biologist. While not a major figure in the creationist debate, he did demonstrate the possibility of contamination in C-14 dating samples.4 In addition to the criticisms raised by Woods concerning the level of C-14 and the constant influx of cosmic radiation in the atmosphere, Harris argued that it would be virtually impossible to know whether the C-14 sample was free of foreign carbon-containing material.
One of the most interesting and controversial defenses of a young earth was raised by Robert V. Gentry, an Adventist geophysics professor at Columbia Union College, who published several scientific articles in authoritative journals on the pleochroic halo and its implications.5 Pleochroic halos are produced in minerals such as mica when they are bombarded by alpha particles from radioactive nuclei enclosed in the mineral. Gentry argued that these halos indicated that some of the Precambrian rocks were created suddenly and recently. He used radiohalo evidence to prove the youth of the earth, Noah's flood, and the uncertainty of C-14 dating.6 His pleochroic halo argument was widely cited by flood geologists in evangelical circles. Ironically, many Adventist scholars gave little credence to Gentry's findings, some even opposing them.7
In the late 1960s, orthodox Adventists relaxed their attitude toward the C-14 method. Even Price, a major critic of C-14 dating, admitted the validity of C-14 dates for the post-diluvian period,8 assuming that the C-14 method might be reasonably accurate up to the flood. Yet he continued to believe that the environment of the pre-flood era was totally different from the present one and argued that the present conditions of cosmic radiation from outer space did not prevail before the flood. Although he sometimes accepted the antiquity of the earth by subscribing to the gap theory,9 on the whole he never went against his teacher, E.G. White, throughout his long life.
the late 1930s, Price's disciples in both evangelical
and Adventist circles actively sought to establish organizations
committed to strict creationism.
Since the late 1930s, Price's disciples in both evangelical and Adventist circles actively sought to establish organizations committed to strict creationism. While they faithfully followed Price's flood geology, some of them modified his arguments concerning the age of the earth and life on earth. Although even in the 1980s the majority of orthodox Adventists still accepted Woods' critique of C-14 dating,10 some scholars appeared who were much bolder than their predecessors in accepting the C-14 method. The apparent consistency of results achieved by many different, often independent dating methods was recognized as a serious problem by some Adventist scholars. It is worth noting that most of them were trained as professional geologists or geochemists.
Beginning in the late 1950s, some scholars in the Geoscience Research Institute (GRI), an affiliate of Andrews University and Loma Linda University, objected to a rigid young earth interpretation and accepted C-14 dating. The GRI was founded in 1958 to meet the realistic needs of the SDA church: to defend their doctrines in regards to natural science and to meet the demands of Adventist science teachers for qualified earth scientists in the church. Within a year, the church selected a student of Price's, Frank Lewis Marsh, who held a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Nebraska, and P. Edgar Hare, a chemist. In 1961 it also added Richard M. Ritland, a comparative anatomist. In spite of age differences the three men at first worked together in reasonable harmony. But the harmony was broken the next year, because, while Marsh believed in the young earth and the global flood, Hare and Ritland insisted the old earth and the local effect of Noah's flood. Marsh could not understand why both men supported radioactive dating methods that placed "Creation Week hundreds of millions of years ago" in apparent direct contradiction to the Bible and Ellen G. White.11
In 1962, in an unpublished paper entitled "Problems and Methods in Earth History," Ritland pointed out that multiple catastrophes, not just Noah's Flood, had structured the surface of the earth.12 Hare's argument came from his research. From his studies on amino-acid dating in marine shells, which were based on changes in proteins, Hare claimed that life had been on earth for much longer than a few thousands years. Hare originally developed the amino-acid dating method to undermine the credibility of C-14 dating, but to his surprise the results he achieved were consistent with C-14 dates.13 He confessed frankly to church leaders:
I am beginning to wonder if our whole approach to this problem is in error. We have been taught for years that almost everything in the geologic record is the result of the flood. I've seen enough in the field to realize that quite substantial portions of the geologic record are not the direct result of the flood. We also have been led to believe by men like Marsh and Burdick that the evidence for the extreme age of the earth is extremely tenuous and really not worthy of any credence at all. I have tried to make a rather careful study of this evidence over the past several years, and I feel the evidence is not ambiguous but that it is just as clear as is the evidence that the earth is round.14
But the struggle of Hare and Ritland for "liberalizing" the GRI came to an end when they left the institute.
Edgar Hare originally developed [this]
amino-acid dating method to undermine the credibility of C-14 dating,
but to his surprise the results he achieved were consistent with C-14 dates.
The GRI's view on C-14 dating after the 1970s was represented by its new director, physicist Robert H. Brown. Brown ardently believed that life on earth was not older than 10,000 years and "originated within six consecutive rotations of the planet," and that the earth "experienced a universal destruction as portrayed in Genesis 6-8." But because C-14 dates for the age of life on earth contradicted the "testimony given by Moses and Ellen G. White," he regarded C-14 dates as incorrect. Interestingly, though, he accepted other radioactive dates showing the antiquity of the earth.15
Later, Brown's attitude toward C-14 dating became more flexible. Beginning in the late 1970s, he proposed a new interpretation of C-14 dates rather than a total rejection of them. According to his recent papers, C-14 dates could agree with historical dates if some of the environmental factors of the antediluvian world were taken into account: the variation of cosmic ray intensity, geomagnetic field strength, water vapor concentration and C-14 dilution by the biosphere carbon. He admitted that if the premise and method of C-14 dating were sound, C-14 dates were acceptable up to about 2,000 B.C. At the same time he postulated that more carbon dioxide was present in the atmosphere prior to the flood, and that the prediluvian biosphere contained eight times as much nonradioactive carbon and 1/100 to 1/1000 of the present value of C-14.16 Later, Brown's view of the age of the earth changed. He openly advocated an old earth but argued for recently created life, and concentrated on a compromise between biblical chronology and C-14 dating, trying to extend the biblical time-scale and correct C-14 dating.17 There were similar attempts in the early 1960s by Henry F. Pearl, who tried to reduce both the age of the Bristlecone pine and C-14 dates to adjust them to the biblical chronology.
both Pearl and Brown gave comprehensive arguments,
neither gave enough scientific evidence to support their arguments,
nor could they explain the dates obtained by other dating methods.
Although both Pearl and Brown gave comprehensive arguments, neither gave enough scientific evidence to support their arguments, nor could they explain the dates obtained by other dating methods.18 Brown's compromising approach to radioactive dating has appeared in several issues of Origins, a GRI journal founded by Brown and edited by Roth.19 By accepting the antiquity of the earth, Brown clarified a topic which E.G. White had kept silent on, as Price did. He was still within the orthodox SDA's line. Brown's position is well discussed by M. Couperus.20
Under the direction of Brown and his successor, Roth, the GRI devoted itself to holding fast to flood geology and criticizing C-14 dating. Those who did not accept the great flood would find no footing in the GRI and should leave the institute. Today, with only a few exceptions, the SDA holds fast to flood geology and literal interpretations of Genesis days.21
with only a few exceptions,
Seventh-day Adventists hold fast to flood geology
and literal interpretations of Genesis days.
The strongest professional defense of the C-14 method by an Adventist scholar was offered by R. Ervin Taylor, director of a radiocarbon dating laboratory at the University of California at Riverside.22 After reviewing various dating experiments, he suggested that C-14 dating was reliable. He emphasized that the C-14 dates were supported and confirmed by many other methods such as obsidian hydration, thermoluminescience, archaeomagnetic data, the potassium-argon method, fission track dating, dendrochronology, varve dating, fluorine diffusion and archaeological sequences.23 Based on C-14 dating, Taylor tried to reinterpret the biblical chronology.24
Even Ross Barnes admitted that literal interpretations of Genesis are incompatible with scientific dates.25 M. Couperus said that Christian faith "should not be affected by views on the age of our planet, be it young or old."26 Geraty held the same line as Taylor and Couperus.27 But most of those who accepted C-14 dates and the antiquity of the earth did not represent the Adventist camp, which still advocates the literal interpretation of the Bible.
The American Scientific Affiliation
The first major controversy on C-14 dates among American evangelicals occurred in the ASA (American Scientific Affiliation). The ASA was formed in 1941 to serve as a principal forum of evangelical Christianity to "promote and encourage the study of the relationship between the facts of science and the Holy Scriptures."28 The ASA influenced other evangelical institutions, such as Wheaton College,29 the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF),30 the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS)31 and the Moody Institute of Science (MIS), affiliated with the Moody Bible Institute.32 Besides these organizations, the ASA contributed to the founding or development of other Christian organizations in other fields of study.33
the publication of its first results in 1947,
the C-14 dating method raised controversy in the ASA.
Since the publication of its first results in 1947, the C-14 dating method raised controversy in the ASA. The ASA membership had a mixed reaction to radioactive dating until the early 1950s, when advocates of radiometry began to dominate. As shown in the discussion of a paper by Monsma, the responses of key members to geologic ages and the flood varied until 1949. Monsma himself accepted the flood and seemed "to deplore the acceptance by Christians of the ideas of geologic ages." In addition, Monsma said, "so temporarily, I think possibly [the days in Genesis 1 were] at least very short periods of time." Paul Bender, a physics professor of Goshen College, seemed to have the same opinion as Monsma. But F. Alton Everest, Peter W. Stoner, (a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Pasadena City College and a supporter of the day-age theory), Russell L. Mixter (a zoology professor of Wheaton College), Delbert Eggenberger (a research chemist of Armour and Company), Cordelia Erdman (a geology instructor of Wheaton College), and especially J. Laurence Kulp were quite dubious about a recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge.34
But this period of confusion did not last long. Right after the announcement of the C-14 dating method by Libby, J.L. Kulp, (a Ph.D. in chemistry) from Princeton University and an assistant professor of Columbia University prepared the way for C-14 dating to be assimilated into evangelical Christian circles. Studying at Libby's dating laboratory at the University of Chicago, Kulp mastered C-14 techniques. He returned to Columbia University to establish his own C-14 laboratory, and pioneered the various applications of C-14 dating to geology. He eventually became one of the nation's top authorities in C-14 dating.35
Kulp played an important role in converting ASA members to C-14 dating. Although Kulp himself did not leave many writings about his role in the ASA, articles of that time revealed his influence.36 The first article was presented in a symposium on The Age of the Earth, and appeared in the proceedings, which Kulp edited. In these proceedings, Kulp added many brief editorial comments to all of the papers presented, and finally in his own paper showed the validity and limitations of the assumptions of radioactive dating. At the end of his paper, Kulp discussed the basic requirements, the effective range, and some applications of C-14 dating. Bearing in mind the criticism from some conservative Christians of radioactive dating methods, he pointed out that "(a) The half-life will not be the limiting factor.... (b) [Enriching C-14] has been done successfully. (c) The matter of addition or subtraction must be considered with each find as a special case."37
Another article showing changes in ASA members' attitudes toward radioactive dating and flood geology was Kulp's paper on "Deluge Geology" in the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (JASA) (1950). This paper was an open attack on the young earth and flood geology theories and their proponents, and played an important role in orienting the ASA toward accepting radioactive dates and refuting flood geology. Kulp pointed out the basic errors of flood geologists, discussing their ignorance of recent scientific discoveries associated with C-14 dating.38 Henry M. Morris wrote a rebuttal to the piece, trying to answer the various arguments, but the JASA editors did not publish it.39
In his own article attacking flood geology, Kulp pointed out that the proponents of flood geology lacked a formal education in geology.
What made Kulp so important in the ASA? The key was his professional background in geology, specifically geochemistry. As Kulp stated in Monsma's 1949 article in JASA, "Over the last fifty years there have been practically no Christians in the field of geology." He was trained as a chemist before he felt that "the Lord wanted me to go into geology." He said, "Most of us do not understand enough geology to appreciate the geologist's method of securing geological data."40 In his own article attacking flood geology, Kulp pointed out that the proponents of flood geology lacked a formal education in geology.41 In his discussion of Monsma's article, Kulp used his geological knowledge to persuade other ASA members to accept C-14 dating. In contrast to a confident Kulp, those who opposed him (who were not professional geologists) had to be very careful in presenting their opinions in geological matters. For example, to a question raised by Cordelius Erdmann, Monsma said, "I would not dare to answer that question because I am not a geologist." Bender also said, "I am not a geologist, but have been interested in geology for some time..."42
Kulp's paper "Deluge Geology" was only the beginning of Kulp's rebuttal of flood geology and the idea of a young earth. In a paper presented at the 1949 Los Angeles Convention of the ASA, Kulp argued that "the theory that a relatively recent universal flood can account for the sedimentary strata of the earth is entirely inadequate to explain the observed data in geology."43
@CALL OUTS = In a paper presented at the 1949 Los Angeles Convention of the ASA, Kulp argued that "the theory that a relatively recent universal flood can account for the sedimentary strata of the earth is entirely inadequate to explain the observed data in geology."
Kulp's role was also prominent in the Sixth Annual Convention at Shelton College in 1951. In a paper presented at the Convention, Roy M. Allen, a metallurgist, summarized the conditions that complicated the accuracy of radioactive dating, and then criticized the uncertainty of radioactive dates. But in the discussion session, Allen's paper was attacked by Kulp. Kulp, after pointing out the author's lack of geological training, refuted Allen's criticisms one by one. In addition to his total commitment to contemporary geology, young Kulp's partisanship and power of persuasion contributed to converting the ASA to acceptance of C-14 dating and the doctrine of the old earth and human antiquity.44
What other factors helped Kulp in his mission to convert the ASA? One was the fact that since its first decade, the ASA had many active scientists working in fields related to radioactive dating, such as geology, archaeology and anthropology.45 Besides Kulp, there were already several other professional geologists (Gedney, Eggenberger and Erdman), archaeologists (MacRae), anthropologists (Buswell), and biologists (Mixter and Tinkle). They all had been trained in the contemporary scientific traditions. B. Ramm summarized the intellectual atmosphere of the ASA in the early 1950s, which was generally accepting of current scientific ideas. In supporting Kulp in his criticism of flood geology, Ramm said, "If uniformitarianism makes a scientific case for itself to a Christian scholar, that Christian scholar has every right to believe it, and if he is a man and not a coward he will believe it in spite of the intimidation that he is supposedly gone over into the camp of the enemy."46 The ASA was ready to follow scientific evidence rather than a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible.
said, "If uniformitarianism makes a scientific case
for itself to a Christian scholar, that Christian scholar has every right
to believe it, and if he is a man and not a coward he will believe it
in spite of the intimidation that he is supposedly gone over into
the camp of the enemy."
Kulp lined up his allies within the ASA and played an active part in the background to ensure that "the ASA's publications gave neither aid nor comfort to flood geology."47 Kulp served for a term as a member of the Executive Council of the ASA, replacing Edwin Y. Monsma, a believer in recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge, in 1948. Though he eventually dropped out the ASA, "not because it had become liberal, but because it was too conservative for him," Kulp widely influenced the ASA to accept radioactive dates, and the antiquity of the earth and life on earth. With the emergence of Kulp, supporters of the young earth and flood geology were gradually isolated within the ASA.48
The Genesis Flood
In the 1950s, through the influence of Kulp and his followers, ASA members began to split into two groups: non-literalist evangelicals and fundamentalist evangelicals. In the 1960s, there was increasing evidence of personal and organizational factions among evangelical Christian circles. To fundamentalist evangelicals, the great flood and the age of the earth and life were incompatible with C-14 dates. In reaction to the shift in the ASA towards acceptance of the idea of an old earth and uniformitarianism, a revival of flood geology and the idea of a young earth and life occurred in evangelical Christianity in the early 1960s.
reaction to the shift in the ASA towards acceptance
of the idea of an old earth and uniformitarianism, a revival of flood geology
and the idea of a young earth and life occurred in
evangelical Christianity in the early 1960s.
The most significant sign of this revival was the publication in 1961 of The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris, supporters of Pricean flood geology. The Genesis Flood, which began in 1957 as Whitcomb's dissertation, was completed by the addition of several technical chapters by Morris. As an Old Testament teacher at Grace Theological Seminary, a fundamentalist institution in Indiana, Whitcomb was deeply distressed by Ramm's The Christian View of Science and Scripture (1954) which contained what he deemed an unbiblical notion of the local flood. Ramm's book, as Whitcomb confided to Morris, provided him a direct motivation to write the 450-page dissertation on The Genesis Flood: "Even if I had no other reasons for wishing to write a dissertation on Creation and the Flood, Dr. Ramm's book would be sufficient incentive for me."49
In this book the authors summarized the basic assumptions of C-14 dating: (1) the constant concentration of C-14 in the carbon dioxide cycle; (2) the constant cosmic ray flux on a scale of centuries; (3) the constancy of the C-14 decay rate; (4) no alteration of dead organic matter with respect to its carbon content by any activity, biologic or otherwise; (5) the constant amount of carbon dioxide in the ocean and atmosphere; (6) the constant reservoir of oceanic carbon, and (7) the equilibrium between the rate of formation and the rate of decay of C-14 atoms.50 The authors of The Genesis Flood argued that all of these assumptions are highly questionable "in the context of the events of Creation and the Deluge." They maintained that any correlation between the C-14 dates with known historical chronologies "is limited only to some time after the Flood and Dispersion." Libby says: "The first shock Dr. Arnold and I had was that our advisors informed us that history extended back only 5,000 years.... in fact, it is at about the time of the first dynasty in Egypt that the last historical date of any real certainty has been established."51 In order to refute the assumptions of C-14 dating, Whitcomb and Morris quoted academic writings of the C-14 dating experts who significantly contributed to creating or refining C-14 technique.52
The reaction within Christian circles to The Genesis Flood was mixed, ranging from high praise to severe criticism. Several Christian magazines praised The Genesis Flood for its defense of Genesis, while scientists, including ASA members, criticized the book for its total attack on contemporary science. Most of the evangelicals who accepted the gap and day-age theories did not heartily accept flood geology and the idea of a young earth, recognizing that the main arguments of flood geology on the whole were incompatible with their theories. Whitcomb, in a letter to Morris, expressed his embarrassment that practically everyone he knew accepted either the gap or day-age theory, "even though they seem to be happy about our position on the Flood!"53
Christian magazines praised The Genesis Flood for its defense of Genesis,
while scientists, including ASA members,
criticized the book for its total attack on contemporary science.
In contrast to the critical response of non-literalist evangelicals, however, many fundamentalists and fundamentalist institutions heartily accepted The Genesis Flood. Soon after its publication, the authors were invited to numerous meetings. Morris, who had a prestigious scientific background, was particularly forced to adapt a jetset lifestyle in order to meet nation-wide speaking engagements. Baptists invited him most frequently, but conservative Presbyterian, Lutheran, Reformed, Episcopalian, Wesleyan, Mennonite and even Pentecostal institutions heard his flood geology and his arguments for a young earth. Moreover, Tennessee Temple College, Biola College, LeTourneau College, Bob Jones University and Los Angeles Baptist College and Seminary all invited him to become a faculty member.54 Such an explosive reception of The Genesis Flood by fundamentalists was an explicit sign of the revival of flood geology.55 Actually, this book was the impetus for the creation of organizations such as the Bible-Science Association, the Creation Science Research Center, the Creation Research Society (CRS) and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). Among these, the CRS and the ICR were the most prominent in spreading the ideas of flood geology and a young earth, which were the most distinct features of the so-called "scientific creationism."
Creation Research Society
The organization most critical of C-14 dating was the CRS. It was started in 1963 by a group of strict creationists who were disappointed by the changing position of the ASA. Walter E. Lammerts, a geneticist and devout Missouri Synod Lutheran, led this group, and in its second year, the CRS began publishing the Creation Research Society Quarterly (CRSQ).56 Philip B. Marquart stated, "If the ASA had remained true to the doctrines and principles on which it was founded, the Creation Research Society would never have been necessary."57 The CRS was "committed to full belief in the Biblical record of creation and early history, and thus to a concept of dynamic special creation (as opposed to evolution), both of the universe and the earth with its complexity of living forms."58
CRS members' arguments against the C-14 method were essentially not very different from the early arguments of the Adventists.59 In 1966, Melvin A. Cook, a Mormon metallurgist and professor at the University of Utah, criticized the assumption of C-14 equilibrium in the biosphere. This assumption states that a dynamic equilibrium has existed in the earth's reservoirs of carbon for several tens of thousands of years. Cook denied the existence of this equilibrium: "the rate of decay of radiocarbon shows that C14 may not be in steady state in the atmosphere."60 In 1970, Robert L. Whitelaw, a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, presented more quantitative arguments on the nonexistence of equilibrium among the major carbon reservoirs.61 Later Henry M. Morris, director of the ICR, pointed out that for the time-period prior to dynamic equilibrium, the C-14 age would be much larger than true ages if calculated from the equilibrium model.62 It is notable that Libby had already recognized the lack of equilibrium and regarded the difference between the production rate (18.8) and the disintegration rate (16.1 +/- 0.5) as an experimental error: "The agreement seems to be sufficiently within the experimental errors involved, so that we have reason for confidence in the theoretical picture set forth above."63
The next critique concerned the possibility of the contamination of C-14 samples. It was stated thoroughly by Robert E. Lee, an Assistant Editor of the Anthropological Journal of Canada, in a paper published in CRSQ. Lee pointed out the possibility of contamination in the whole dating process, from collecting samples in the field to the final measurements in the laboratories.64 To him, foreign organic matter could possibly intrude into old material. Charcoal and peat, frequently favorable samples for C-14 dating, were noted for their ability to absorb foreign substances. In fact, Bolton Davidheiser, a zoology Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and later a biology professor at Westmont College and Biola College, also pointed out that C-14 dating seemed to be much more reliable when the materials tested were from areas with dry climates, such as Palestine and Egypt.65
B. Marquart stated, "If the ASA had remained true to
the doctrines and principles on which it was founded,
the Creation Research Society would never have been necessary."
The third critique concerned the variation of the earth's magnetic field intensity over time. The first person who systematically investigated this was Thomas G. Barnes, a physicist and member of the steering committee of the CRS. According to his study, the magnetic field of the earth decays exponentially. Based on figures from 1835 to 1965, he calculated the half-life of the magnetic field of the earth to be 1400 years. The greater the magnetic field, the less the cosmic ray influx. If the magnetic field in the past was many times stronger than it is today, there would have been less cosmic ray entering the atmosphere, and consequently less C-14 would have been produced. Therefore, any C-14 dates taken from samples from that time period would appear older than they really were.66 Although some evangelical scholars opposed Barnes' view, his arguments widely influenced conservative Christian circles.67
Although Robert Woods accepted the constancy of decay rate, Don B. DeYoung, a Grace Brethren physicist, also reported variations in the half-life of several radioactive elements under various physical and chemical stimuli or human and natural influences.68 DeYoung pointed to industrialization as a human factor. Since the Industrial Revolution, coal, oil and gas have been burned in quantity, and the carbon dioxide produced in the process has been liberated into the atmosphere. Although the Industrial Revolution was less than two centuries old, Morris pointed that the effect of this carbon dioxide must be taken into account in C-14 dating.69 Another human factor was the release of neutrons by nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. These released neutrons increased the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere.70
As for natural factors, Bolton Davidheiser cited volcanic activity, which usually adds a huge amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Davidheiser argued that within the past 50,000 years large amounts of nonradioactive carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere by volcanic activity.71
Flood geologists also presented another natural factor: the changing state of vegetation on the earth. According to them, in the past there was much more extensive and vigorous vegetation than now. Thus there would have been significantly more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.72 The flood geologists presented a great flood that occurred 4,000 to 5,000 years ago and a radically different environment in the prediluvian period as possible explanations for C-14 dating errors. Therefore, they argued that C-14 dates older than 5,000 years would be highly suspect73 and concluded that organisms alive before or immediately after the flood would contain much less C-14 than present organisms and therefore would appear to be older than they really are.74
The Institute for Creation Research
The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) was founded in 1972 by Henry M. Morris. Through numerous publications, popular talks and lectures and public debates, the ICR greatly influenced evangelical thought. From its start, as would be expected from the founder's background, the ICR adhered strictly to the doctrines of flood geology and recent creation, and, hence, the C-14 dating method was severely criticized.75 Among ICR publications, Critique of Radiometric Dating (1973) and Scientific Creationism (1974) became the prototype for ICR critiques on C-14 dating. The ICR's criticism was not much different from what appeared in CRSQ and The Genesis Flood.
Recently the ICR built a C-14 dating lab in Santee, CA. This lab seems to be the first C-14 dating facility run by an evangelical Christian organization committed to testing the C-14 dating assumptions and presenting their own data regarding C-14 dating. The C-14 dating project is led by Gerald E. Aardsma, a nuclear physics Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and a research coordinator for the ICR. Aardsma has published a monograph, Radiocarbon and the Genesis Flood (1991).76 In addition to his specialization in radiocarbon technology, Aardsma was also "committed to the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, including literal six-day creation and the global cataclysmic deluge." He wrote that he is "in full agreement with the ICR tenets, convinced that true science must conform to Bible revelation."
Aardsma did a complete analysis of the published data, "showing that the usual steady-state assumption in a radiocarbon dating is invalid." He insisted that all previous radiocarbon dates would be reduced, "bringing them much closer to the Biblical chronology." From the equation describing the radiocarbon buildup, however, he determined the date of the great flood to be 12,000 BC! Although these data "should not be accepted until he or someone else has made a much more critical analysis of the assumptions and correlations used in dendrochronology," to our surprise, Morris recognized that "his study has real merit and should be made available to the wider readership. " It is not easy to predict exactly the function of Aardsma and his C-14 lab. Without doubt, however, Aardsma's research will contribute to broadening the intellectual horizon of fundamentalist evangelicals.77
Reaction of Non-Literalist Evangelicals
One of the most crucial events since the late 1970s was the debate which was triggered by Davis A. Young's two books, Creation and the Flood (1978) and Christianity and the Age of the Earth (1982).78 Young is a geology professor at Calvin College and a leading member of the geologic section of the ASA. Young flatly opposes the idea of a young earth and flood geology. Rejecting the fundamentalists' criticisms on the antiquity of the earth, Young pointed out that the decay rate of radioactive elements is constant, that dating elements are not lost or gained during geologic time, and that the original amount of daughter element has been determined with reasonable accuracy.79 He also refuted the flood geologists' critique of the C-14 dating method. But his argument for C-14 dating was not as thorough as his evaluation of the age of the earth, that being the primary aim of the book.80 Young, as a Bible-believing evangelical, successfully found shelter in the day-age theory. He harmonized belief in the Bible with his geologic knowledge through the day-age theory: "There is biblical evidence to indicate that the days of Genesis 1 were long periods of indeterminate length, consistent with the day-age hypothesis, ...."81 He has played an important role in defending radioactive dating and an old earth in evangelical circles since the 1970s.
Why C-14 Dating?
The numerous critiques raised by strict creationists have not been taken seriously by the secular scientists and even some evangelicals, such as ASA members. Why was this so? The key factor was the ready availability of the gap and day-age interpretations of Genesis 1. In fact, most evangelicals, and even Adventists who refuted the flood theory and the idea of a young earth, could accept one of these interpretations without seriously compromising evangelical tenets. For example, Edwin K. Gedney, Peter W. Stoner and Davis A. Young accept the day-age view.
The second reason was the overwhelming number of practicing scientists who accepted C-14 dating. Most strict creationists, with the exception of G.E. Aardsma at the ICR, were not technical experts on the C-14 dating method, not having advanced degrees in geochronology, geochemistry, or radiometry. If we were to compare the backgrounds of those critics of the C-14 method who published in CRSQ with those who supported C-14 dating (such as Kulp, Gedney, Taylor, Hare and Young, etc.), the contrast would be very evident.
Third, with few exceptions,82 "serious" criticism about the C-14 method appeared mainly in religious journals. Major religious journals criticizing the C-14 method include CRSQ (published since 1964), Origins (published since 1974 by the Seventh-day Adventists) and Impact Series (published since 1972 by the ICR). All of them are conservative or fundamental publications. Among them, CRSQ is the most prominent in criticizing the C-14 method, publishing more than 25 critical papers to date. In addition to journals, most of the religious books critical of C-14 dating were written by fundamentalist evangelicals83 and published by religious publishers, and their distribution was limited to Christians.
The fourth reason is the conservative bent of established science. Since C-14 dating was introduced on a wide scale in the 1950s, it quickly replaced the older dating methods. Once accepted, "adjustments were made to achieve internal order in the radiocarbon chronology! Once that comforting operation was completed, a feeling of security enveloped the exponents and their followers."84 As Flint and Rubin stated, "the consistency of the group of dates under consideration is such as to justify the assumption that all are accurate."85 Borrowing terminology from Kuhn,86 C-14 dating is enjoying a normal science status in an evolutionary paradigm. Within a normal science, only minor corrections or improvements of a theory, or puzzle solving activities are done. "Once a structure of belief is internalized, it is very resistant to change, regardless of the empirical evidence for or against that structure."87
Besides the above-mentioned reasons, there may be other possibilities: the wide spread acceptance of evolutionary ideas, the status of the inventor as a Nobel laureate, and the lack of an alternative method comparable with the C-14 method.
The controversy over the C-14 dating method has not yet been settled. By the late 1940s, radioactive dating was not taken seriously by evangelicals. Although there might be some trace of internal tension, there was not much strife over it among Christians. But the emerging influence of J.L. Kulp in the ASA caused a split in the evangelical Christian community: one group included evangelicals who accepted radioactive dating and the antiquity of the earth and life on the earth; and the other was made up of fundamentalist evangelicals who believed in the global flood and a young earth. Largely because of Kulp's influence, supporters of flood geology and a young earth found themselves increasingly isolated within the ASA. Eventually this change within the ASA resulted in several reactions among fundamentalist evangelicals, including the publication of The Genesis Flood and numerous other materials along the same lines, and the founding of the CRS, the Creation Science Research Center, and the ICRˇall are evidence for a revival of scientific creationism since the 1960s.
In the late 1950s the Adventists had no Kulp. Although Hare did try to fill a similar role, he failed to persuade major Adventist scholars. Many orthodox Adventists remained critical toward C-14 dating. They joined the CRS in their activities and contributed to the CRSQ, even after starting their own journal, Origins. But in the late 1950s, R. Ritland and P. E. Hare opened fire on the tenets of the fundamental creationists. They indirectly challenged the authority of the writing of Ellen G. White, the founder of the Adventist church. Unlike the ASA, however, the community of orthodox Adventist scientists did not split, due to the strong doctrinal bonds of the church.
The author would like to express his sincere gratitude to Prof. Ronald L. Numbers of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his valuable comments and permission to use his personal collections. Also the author is grateful to Dr. Charles I. Choi of Fairview General Hospital, Cleveland, for his timely sending of some recent ICR materials, and to Mr. John Choe of the Korean World Mission Council, Wheaton, for his kind help in improving the style of this paper.
1For the original technical papers, see W.F. Libby, "Atmospheric Helium Three and Radio Carbon from Cosmic Radiation," Physical Review 69 (1946): 671-2; E.C. Anderson, W.F. Libby, S. Weinhouse, A.F. Reid, A.D. Kirshenbaum and A.V. Grosse, "Natural Radiocarbon from Cosmic Radiation," Physical Review 72 (1947): 931-6. For the history of C-14 dating, besides Libby's several original papers, see R.E. Taylor, Radiocarbon DatingˇAn Archaeological Perspective, Ch. 6; "Genesis and Prehistory: Conflicting Chronologies," Spectrum 3/4 (1974): 32-35.
2John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1961) p. 370.
3Robert W. Woods, "How Old Is The Earth?" Signs of the Times, (April 7, 1953) pp. 8-9, 15.
4Lester Harris, In the Beginning (Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1964) pp. 6-7.
5 Robert V. Gentry, "The Antiquity of Life and Carbon-14," The Youth Instructor 114 (October 22, 1968): 9-11, 20; "Extinct Radioactivity and the Discovery of the New Pleochroic Halo," Nature 213 (1967): 83-85; "Radiohalos in a Radiochronological and Cosmological Perspective," Science 184 (1974): 62-66.
6 Robert V. Gentry, "The Antiquity of Life and Carbon-14," The Youth Instructor; Harold W. Clark, The Battle Over Genesis (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1977) pp. 130-140.
7 Robert H. Brown, "A Critique: Criticism of Points Raised in ... Five Minutes with the Bible and Science," Supplement to the Bible-Science Newsletter, October 1975 (Mimeographed). It was cited by M. Couperus, in "Tension Between Religion and Science," Spectrum 10(4) (1980): 82.
8 G.M. Price, The Time of the End (Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Associations, 1967) p. 114.
9 G.M. Price, "In The Beginning," The Forum, Vol. I (1946): 9-10.
10 For example, see Ross O. Barnes, "Time and Earth's History," Spectrum 3(1) (1971): 43.
11 Ronald L. Numbers, The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992) Ch. 14.
12 R.M. Ritland, "Problems and Methods in Earth History," unpublished manuscript which was cited in R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch. 14.
13 P. E. Hare, "Amino Acid DatingˇA History and Evaluation," Masca Newsletter (University of Pennsylvania) 10(1) (1974): 4-7.
14 R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch. 14.
15 For a brief summary of Brown's view by the late 1960s, see his two chapters, "Radioactive Time Clocks" and "Radiocarbon Dating" in Harold G. Coffin, Creation: Accident or Design? pp. 273-316. Also see R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch. 14. By the mid-1970s, Brown was still quite critical of C-14 dates: See R.H. Brown, "C-14 Age Profiles for Ancient Sediments and Peat Bogs," Origins 2(1) (1975): 6-18.
16 Robert H. Brown, "Radiocarbon Dating," in H.G. Coffin, Creation: Accident or Design? (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1969) pp. 299-316.
17 R.H. Brown, "C-14 Age Profiles for Ancient Sediments and Peat Bogs," Origins 2(1) (1975): 6-18; Origins 6(1) (1979): 30-44; Origins 10(2) (1983): 93-95; Brown's symphathetic review of R.E. Taylor's Radiocarbon Dating: An Archaeological Perspective in R.H. Brown, Origins 14(1) (1987): 29-30. And in a recent article Brown tried to correlate C-14 ages with the biblical time scale: R.H. Brown, Origins 17(2) (1990): 56-65.
18 For Pearl's position, see Henry F. Pearl, "Letter To Hackett," (March 11, 1976). Originally Pearl presented this view in his master thesis in 1963(?). For an assesment of Brown's argument, see Ross O. Barnes, "Time and Earth's History," Spectrum, 3(1) (1971): 29-47.
19 To see Brown's changing attitude toward C-14 dating, see R.H. Brown, "The Interpretation of C-14 Dates," Origins 6(1) (1979): 30-44; "Implications of C-14 Ages vs. Depth Profile Characteristics," Origins 15(1) (1988): 19-29; "Correlation of C-14 Age with the Biblical Time Scale," Origins 17(2) (1990): 56-65.
20 M. Couperus, Spectrum 10(4): 82-83.
21 For the inner political dynamics of the Adventist church and the GRI, see R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch. 14.
22 R. Ervin Taylor, "Genesis and Prehistory: The Conflicting Chronologies," Spectrum 7(3/4) (1974): 33-34.
23 R.E. Taylor, "Concordances Between Radiocarbon and Racemization-based Dating of Bone," Carnegie Institution of Washington Conference: Advances in the Biochemistry of Amino Acids, Warren, Virginia, October 29-November 1, 1978. It was cited by Molleurus Couperus in "Tensions Between Religion and Science," Spectrum 10(4) (1980): 84. Taylor recently published comprehensive review on the C-14 dating: R.E. Taylor, Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeological Perspective (Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1987) 212 p.
24 R.E. Taylor, "Genesis and Prehistory," Spectrum 3/4 (1974): 29-36.
25 Ross O. Barnes, "Time-and Earth's History," Spectrum 3 (Winter 1971): 43-44.
26 Molleurus Couperus, "Earth's History," Spectrum 3 (Winter 1971): 5; "Tensions Between Religion and Science," Spectrum 10(4) (1980): 81-84.
27 Lawrence T. Geraty, "The Genesis Genealogies as an Index of Time," Spectrum 6(1/2) (1974): 5-18. See also p. 83 of Couperus' article of 1980 in Spectrum.
28 See the first constitution of ASA (May 1942). It was cited in F. Alton Everest, The American Scientific Affiliation: Its Growth and Early Development (1986) p. 118.
29 As shown in "The American Scientific Affiliation Membership ListˇAugust, 1946," several faculty members of Wheaton College, such as biologist Russell L. Mixter, geologist Cordelia Erdmann, chemists Marion David Barnes and Roger J. Voskuyl, and archaeologist George R. Horner participated in the ASA.
30 For the relationship between the ASA and the IVCF, see C. Stacey Woods, "Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and the Role of the American Scientific Affiliation," (Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (JASA) 8(4) (December 1956): 11-14.
31 Burton L. Goddard, "The E.T.S., History and Purpose," JASA 7(3) (September 1955): 5-8; "Biennial A.S.A.ˇE.T.S. Convention of 1957," JASA 9(4) (December 1957): 3.
32 For the relationship between the ASA and the Moody Institute of Science, see Henry M. Morris, A History of Modern Creationism (San Diego, CA: Master Book Publishers, 1984) pp. 142-143.
33 For example, Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Christian Legal Society, Christian Medical Society, Institute for Advanced Christian Studies and Institute for Christian Studies. See F. Alton Everest, The American Scientific Affiliation: Its Growth and Early Development (1986) p. 148.
34 Discussion of the paper of E.Y. Monsma, JASA 1(3): 20-26. For the hostility toward recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge, see H.M. Morris, A History of Modern Creationism, p. 134.
35 For a brief biography of J.L. Kulp and his role in the ASA, see R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch. 9.
36 For example, see the discussion session of E.Y. Monsma, "Some Presuppositions in Evolutionary Thinking," JASA 1:15-30 (June 1949); J.L. Kulp, "Deluge Geology," JASA 2(1) (1950): 1-15.
37 Members of the American Scientific Affiliation, A Symposium of "The Age of the Earth," edited by J.L. Kulp, 1948.
38 J.L. Kulp, A Symposium of "The Age of the Earth," pp. 1-15.
39 H.M. Morris, A History of Modern Creationism, p. 137.
40 E.Y. Monsma, JASA, pp. 20-21.
41 J.L. Kulp, A Symposium of "The Age of the Earth," pp. 1-2; B. Ramm also pointed out a lack of geological training in flood geologists: Bernard Ramm, The Christian View of Science and Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Pub., 1954) p. 126.
42 E.Y. Monsma, JASA, p. 24.
43J. Lawrence Kulp, "Deluge Geology," JASA 2 (1949) 15.
44 In contrast to Allen's criticism, Eggenberger, Holland and Erdman already accepted radioactive dating. See other papers appearing in the JASA in the early 1950s: Delbert Eggenberger, "Methods of Dating the Earth and the Universe," JASA, 3 (March 1951): 1-3; H.D. Holland, "Recent Concepts of the Origin and Evolution of the Earth," JASA 4 (December 1952): 23-28; Cordelia Erdman, "Stratigraphy and Paleontology," JASA 5(1) (March 1953): 3-6; Roy Allen, "The Evaluation of Radioactive Evidence on the Age of the Earth," JASA 4 (December 1952): 11-20.
45 See "The American Scientific Affiliation Membership ListˇAugust, 1946," The Yearbook of the ASA (1946); "The American Scientific Affiliation Membership ListˇAugust, 1948," The Yearbook of the ASA (1948); "The American Scientific Affiliation Membership ListˇNovember 1950," JASA 2(4) (December 1950) Appendix; "Directory of the American Scientific Affiliation," JASA 5(4) (December 1953): pp. 19-29.
46 B. Ramm, The Christian View of Science and Scripture, p. 171.
47 R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch. 9.
48 H.M. Morris, A History of Modern Creationism, p. 137.
49 J.C. Whitcomb, "A Questionnaire on Creation and the Flood," (1955); J.C. Whitcomb to H. M. Morris, October 8, 1955; both in the Whitcomb papers. All this was cited in R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch. 10.
50 J.C. Whitcomb and H.M. Morris, The Genesis Flood, pp. 371-372.
51 W. F. Libby, "Radiocarbon Dating," American Scientist 44 (January 1956): 107.
52 See footnotes in The Genesis Flood, pp. 370-377.
53 J.C. Whitcomb to H.M. Morris, June 19, 1961, Whitcomb Papers. It was cited by R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch.10.
54 R.L. Numbers, The Creationists, Ch.10.
55 Reception of The Genesis Flood was shown in its sales record, now in its 35th printing in May 1991!
56 The first inner-core steering committee of the CRS included the following: T.G. Barnes, C.L. Burdick, D.T. Gish, J.J. Grebe, R.L. Harris, J.W. Klotz, W.E. Lammerts, K.W. Lisenmann, F.L. Marsh, E.Y. Monsma, J.N. Moore, H.M. Morris, W.H. Rusch, H. Slusher,W.J. Tinkle, D.A. Warriner, W.L. Webb, and P. A. Zimmerman. Among these, Harris, Klotz, Lammerts, Marsh, Monsma, Morris, and Tinkle were members of the ASA.
57 Philip B. Marquart, Letter to the Editor, JASA 15(3) (September 1963): 100.
58 Creation Research Society Annual (1965), inside front cover.
59 Actually, many contributors to the CRSQ (Creation Research Society Quarterly) were Adventists.
60 Melvin A. Cook, Prehistory and Earth Models (London: Max Parrish and Co., Ltd., 1966) p. 1.
61 Robert L. Whitelaw, "Radiocarbon Confirms Biblical Creation (And So Does Potassium-Argon)," in Why Not Creation?, ed. by Walter E. Lammerts (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1970) pp. 90-96.
62 Henry M. Morris, editor, Scientific Creationism (El Cajon, CA: Master Books, 1974) p. 166.
63 W.F. Libby, Radiocarbon Dating (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965) p. 7.
64 Robert E. Lee, "Radiocarbon: Ages in Error," CRSQ 19 (September 1982): 117-127.
65 Bolton Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1969) p. 296.
66 The implications of variations in the magnetic field in radioactive dating were discussed in following writings: Randy L. Wysong, The Creation-Evolution Controversy (Midland, MI: Inquiry Press, 1976) p. 161; Weston W. Fields, Unformed and Unfilled (Nutley, NJ: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1976) Ch. 11.
67 Several publications from the Institute for Creation Research cited and employed Barnes' data. And in Creation and Evolution Controversy, R.L. Wysong cited Barnes' arguments as scientific evidence supporting the young earth doctrine.
68 Don B. DeYoung,"The Precision of Nuclear Decay Rates," CRSQ 13 (June 1976): 38-41; "Creationist Predictions Involving C-14 Dating," CRSQ 15 (June 1978): 14-16.
69 Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, p. 295.
70 R.H. Brown, "Radioactivity Dating Indicates a Young Earth," in Why Not Creation?, edited by Walter E. Lammerts (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1970) p. 83.
71 Bolton Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith, p. 295.
72 R.H. Brown in Why Not Creation?, p. 87.
73 There are many articles dealing with the relationship between the great flood and C-14 dating. For example: H.M. Morris and J.C. Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood, pp. 374-378; B. Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith, p. 295; R.H. Brown in Why Not Creation?, pp. 87-88.
74 H.M. Morris and J.C. Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood, p. 377.
75 The first reference to C-14 dating in an ICR publication was by H.M. Morris, "The Young Earth," ICR Impact 3(8) (September 1974). See also the more recent critique of Rybka on the constancy of radioactive decay: Theodore W. Rybka, "Consequences of Time Dependent Nuclear Decay Indices of Half Lives," Impact (April 1982).
76 Gerald E. Aardsma, Radiocarbon and the Genesis Flood (El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1991) pp. 82.
77 G.E. Aardsma, Radiocarbon and the Genesis Flood, "Foreword" by H.M. Morris.
78 Davis A. Young, Creation and the Flood (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977); Christianity and the Age of the Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1982). A full-fledged criticism of Young's second book was raised by Henry M. Morris, Science, Scripture and The Young Earth (ICR, 1983) pp. 15-34.
79 D.A. Young, Christianity and the Age of the Earth, Ch. 7.
80 D.A. Young, ibid, Ch. 10.
81 D.A. Young, ibid, Ch. 11, p. 160.
82 For examples, Robert E. Lee, "Radiocarbon: Ages in Error," Anthropological Journal of Canada 19(3) (1981): 9-29; Harold S. Gladwin, "Dendrochronology, Radiocarbon, and Bristlecones," Anthropological Journal of Canada 14(4) (1976): 2-7.
83 For example, M. A. Cook is a Mormon, and R. H. Brown is a Seventh-day Adventist. R. L. Wysong has a Jehovah's Witness background, and most of the others have a fundamentalist background.
84 Robert E. Lee, CRSQ, p. 124.
85 R.F. Flint and M. Rubin, "Radiocarbon Dates of Pre-Mankato Events in Eastern and Central North America," Science 121 (1955): 649-658.
86 Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).
87 Jerry Bergman, "Reality: Real or Conventional?" CRSQ 19 (June 1982): 62.