Introduction to C-14 Dating
The carbon-14 (14C) method of dating biological material was developed by the American physicist Willard Libby in the mid-20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for that achievement. This scientific method for determining ages of specimens is also called radiocarbon dating, abbreviated RC.
The 14C technique of dating fossils is an established way to determine the ages of archaeological specimens, sometimes accurate from 500 to 50,000 years old, although adjustments may need to be made for oceanic organisms that are tested. It has often been used by scientists such as geologists (Pleistocene materials), anthropologists, archaeologists, and other scientific investigators.
Until recent years, however, it was rarely used with any dinosaur bones, for most Western scientists had long assumed that all dinosaurs and pterosaurs had become extinct many millions of years ago. If the old assumptions were correct, it would seem pointless to try to date a fossil of such a creature by the radiocarbon process, for no 14C would be expected to still exist in it.
Yet scientific progress sometimes involves astonishing new discoveries and concepts, and the previously-assumed ages of “prehistoric” fossils is now being disputed.
Take Recent Scientific Testing in Context
When ordinary persons, who are not scientists, read a little about scientific testing that indicates dinosaurs may not be so old, it may leave an impression. But when an ordinary person sees an apparent pterosaur flying overhead, the impression is overwhelming.
From the book Searching for Ropens and Finding God (4th edition, nonfiction, page 309):
Data from the 128 sighting reports demonstrates no significant number of hoaxes could have been involved. Examining a few of the critical sightings shows how unlikely misidentifications could have been involved. That can open our minds to the possibility that most of those 128 reports are more likely than not to have come from encounters with modern pterosaurs. That is when simple math takes over, making it practically impossible for all of those reports to have come only from non-pterosaurs. Remember: only one modern pterosaur disproves universal extinction.
The Paleochronology Group
From their web site on radiocarbon dating:
Almost all paleontologists never date dinosaur bones, because they have assumed for some time that the bones have to be millions of years old. True science is all about measurements and verifications of the assumptions underlying each old theory in order to improve or replace outdated ideas. Scientific methods and instrumentation have greatly improved since the earlier days of dinosaur dating, and those old assumptions are now being tested.
What Dinosaurs Were Involved?
Bones of an Acrocanthosaurus were 14C dated as recently as 23,760 years (+/- 270 years) before the present (excavated in Texas). An Allosaurus excavated in Colorado was 14C dated 31,360 years before present (+/- 100 years). A Triceratops found in Montana was dated as recently as 24,340 years before present (+/- 70 years).
A Simple Explanation
Why does 14C dating continue to give results that are so shocking? Dinosaurs living only tens of thousands of years ago—that shocks many persons. Yet the simplest explanation is this: Those dinosaurs whose bones were tested with the trusted radiocarbon method lived much more recently than the old assumptions had proclaimed.
Some scientists believe that dinosaurs lived much more recently. In fact, some researchers believe that dinosaurs and pterosaurs lived in human times, the source of some legends of dragons.
The exact location for the Triceratops femur is 47 degrees 6 minutes & 18 seconds North by 104 degrees, 39 minutes & 22 seconds West. This is on private land in Dawson County, Montana being located in the NW ¼ of NE ¼, Sec. 32, T.16 N., R.56 E. Regarding elevation, the GPS unit showed 647 m.
“Since the 1800’s, dinosaur bones have been assigned ages according to their place in the geologic column.” [This need a major revision, since they have recently been dated to much more recently.]
Switek had best stop ridiculing those with different religious beliefs from his own and start looking at the important eyewitness testimonies that he ignored in his Smithsonian Magazine blog post.