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And certainly the building of tree “ladders,” or carrying on the count from one tree to another may cause erroneous conclusions.One and the same year may be dry in South California and wet in the northern part of the state.When objects of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom of Egypt yielded carbon dates that appeared roughly comparable with the historical dates, Libby made his method known.With initial large margin of error and anything that did not square with expectation, judged as “contaminated,” the method appeared to work and was hailed as completely reliablejust as the atomic clock is reliableand this nobody doubted.

To check on the method before applying it on various historical and paleontological material, Libby chose material of Egyptian archaeology, under the assumption that no other historical material from over 2,000 years ago is so secure as to its absolute dating.Now let us review in the light of research in cosmic catastrophism the correctives that, in our view, need to be introduced into the method.We must also evaluate the basic reliance on Egyptian chronology that, as we shall see, needs to be discontinued.Bursts of cosmic rays and of electrical discharges on an interplanetary scale would make organic-life surviving the catastrophes much richer in radiocarbon and therefore, when carbon dated, that organic matter would appear much closer to our time than actually true.But if the invasion of the terrestrial atmosphere by “dead” (non-radioactive) carbon from volcanic eruptions, from meteoric dust, from burning oil and coal and centuries-old forests, predominated the picture, then the changed balance of radioactive and of radio-inert carbon would make everything in the decades following the event appear much older.The method caught the fancy of the radiocarbon researchers.

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