Graphite Date Problem

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Graphite date problem revealed in articles in ScienceDaily and Nature Geoscience online 15 May 2011; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo115. Carbon particles in rock are used as evidence of the existence of life when the rocks were formed. Therefore, finding carbon particles, or graphite, in rocks with extremely old dates has been used to estimate when life first evolved on earth. However, as researchers from Boston College, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, NASA's Johnson Space Center and the Naval Research Laboratory write in their report “this interpretation is partly based on the assumption that the graphite was formed at the same time as the host rocks, an assumption that has been difficult to prove”.

The scientists have applied new technology for analysing graphite containing rocks from the Hudson’s Bay region in Canada, estimated to be 3.8 to 4.2 billion years ago, and found the carbon was millions of years younger than the rock it was found in. Dominic Papineau of Boston College explained: “The characteristics of the poorly crystalline graphite within the samples are not consistent with the metamorphic history of the rock. The carbon in the graphite is not as old as the rock. That can only ring a bell and require us to ask if we need to reconsider earlier studies”. The scientists suggest the carbon got into the rock after it originally formed, but are not sure when. According to ScienceDaily, “a new set of assumptions may be required when using the presence of carbon to date milestones in Earth's evolution”.

ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: It is good to see scientists admit their conclusions about earth’s history are based on assumptions, as well as their observations in the present. The origin and history of the earth goes way beyond the limitations of empirical science, which depends on repeatable observations and experimenting with present day processes. You cannot directly observe the past. All you actually have is the present. Therefore to know the “milestones” in earth’s history you need the testimony of the one witness who was there from the beginning, i.e. the Creator who made the rocks and life, and later judged the earth with a worldwide catastrophe in Noah’s day that buried much organic matter and reworked the rock formations of the earth’s crust. We wonder what conclusions they would come up with if they ditched the millions of years of slow formation and interpreted their results in the light of historic revelation from the Creator of the rocks. See Genesis 1-11. (Ref. time, chronology, minerals)

Evidence News 2 November 2011

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