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But I could not and should not satisfy myself with this support without repaying by demonstrating where the difficulties and pitfalls of the method are hidden.

In the cataclysmic events reconstructed in Worlds in Collision and also those that preceded the fall of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, various effects could not but vitiate the radiocarbon performance, some of these effects tending to make organic life appear older than its actual age, and others making it appear more recent.

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.

However, three or four rings formed in one year is not uncommon, especially if the tree grows on a slope, with the ground several times in a year turning wet and dry because of rapid outflow of water (Glueck et al., Botanical Review, 7, 649-713; and 21, 245-365).

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.

A similar criticism appeared in the article by astronomer Edmondson, who cited the Indiana University geologist, J. To the above-mentioned article by Longwell a Mexicologist also contributed.

Folghereiter done at the turn of the century on Attic and Etruscan pottery: he found that the polarity was reversed in the eighth century before the present, era.

To determine the extent of correction necessary to render the radiocarbon method reliable, dendrochronologists devised a plan to control the radiocarbon dates by building a chronology of tree rings of the white bristlecone pine, the longest living tree.

As years passed and more tests were made (soon by laboratories counted in scores), a rather consistent deviation between radiocarbon age and historical age started to receive the attention of researchers.

The radiocarbon dates diverge from the historical dates by several hundred years (often 500 to 700), and, interestingly, in the Egyptian samples more so than in samples from most other ancient civilizations.

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