Carbon dating the dead sea scrolls
However, a more general problem concerns whether or not observations made in the present can actually help us know the past.In particular, one critical assumption is that the radiometric decay rates, of different substances, have remained constant over time.Some Christians are not fans of radiometric dating.They believe that radiometric dating has been used to attack the Bible.The Scrolls are a set of ancient documents, including a large part of the Old Testament, that were recovered from clay jars, preserved for centuries in the caves at Qumran, most probably by a now lost Jewish sect, the Essenes.For a seven-minute overview of how carbon radiometric dating works, and how it was used to demonstrate that many of the Dead Sea Scrolls could be dated back to several centuries before Christ, you should view this 7-minute video by Reasons to Believe: Why is the dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls so important?First, it serves as evidence for the antiquity and integrity of the Old Testament.
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But there is a serious problem with this type of skepticism: We currently have no compelling evidence to support the assertion that radiometric decay rates have changed over time to support the Young Earth hypothesis.
Skeptics of radiometric dating contend that the reliability of radiometric dating depends upon certain assumptions being valid.
Concerns about such assumptions do raise some important questions.
Scientists have tried various methods to see if decay rates can be altered, including high pressure, radical temperature changes, etc., but the results have been negligible.
Still, the decay rates for various substances remain essentially constant.So until contrary evidence becomes available, the scientific consensus regarding the reliability of radiometric dating remains in good standing.
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