Assumptions About Pterosaur and Dinosaur Extinctions
For generations, Americans and peoples of other Western countries have been indoctrinated, from early childhood, with continuous proclamations about all of the dinosaurs and pterosaurs becoming extinct many millions of years ago. The truth is now coming out, however, with direct carbon-dating of dinosaur bones.
Since carbon dating became available, in the mid-20th century, many scientists had assumed that the new method for determining ages was inappropriate for dinosaur fossils. They took it for granted that no carbon-14 could be left from those bones, for radiocarbon dating should detect no radioactive carbon from anything that had lived many millions of years ago.
The new concept in determining when particular dinosaurs lived is this: Date the bones themselves, not the layers that are removed from the layers in which the fossils are found. This direct method relies on the proven principles of radiocarbon dating (C14).
Carbon-12 is the normal non-radioactive isotope of carbon. The version with two extra neutrons is carbon-14. The dating method was invented by Willard Libby in the late 1940’s and is now a standard tool for archaeologists and some other scientists.
The radioactive version constantly gets created in the atmosphere by the collision of cosmic rays with nitrogen in the air. This transforms into carbon-14 and combines with oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide. Those CO2 molecules get into into plants by photosynthesis, the same way that carbon-12 does.
Animals get C-14 by eating plants, although the radioactive form of carbon is far less common than carbon-12. When an animal or plant dies, carbon no longer enters it. That is when the ratio of the radioactive isotopes (compared with non-radioactive) decreases, for C-14 gradually decays back into a non-radioactive form.
After some time, perhaps centuries or thousands of years, a sample from an animal or plant can be tested for the ratio of the isotopes of carbon. This gives scientists raw data for arriving at a calendar date for when that organism died.
This method of dating dead material can be accurate for a maximum of about 50,000 years before the present (BP), depending on the type of test and other factors. This brings up a question:
Can Dinosaur Bones be Carbon-14 Dated?
A better question may be this: “Can we learn anything useful from carbon dating dinosaur bones?” Different persons have different beliefs about when dinosaurs lived, and that makes for different reactions to the question.
If dinosaurs only lived many millions of years ago, then all of the carbon-14 should have decayed away millions of years ago. So why do we always seem to find that isotope of carbon when we do that testing on dinosaur bones? Many tests have shown ages well under 40,000 years.
Could there be contamination of the specimens? That’s the easy answer, if nobody digs deeper into the details. Unfortunately for the old standard models, the processes and results do not fit with simple contamination conjectures.
But the simple answer to the question is this: Something can be learned from carbon dating of dinosaur fossils, even if it is only to test the processes for accuracy or the preparations for contamination possibilities.
So why are not many scientists quickly following up on the earlier tests and sending dinosaur bones to the laboratories? Almost nobody wants to be seen as a fool for abandoning the old ideas about ancient extinctions many millions of years ago. Professors and researchers have lost their jobs, in the United States, for challenging such old established beliefs.
Waldemar Julsrud, a German living in Acambaro, Mexico, discovered some unusual objects while riding his horse around El Toro Mountain, in July of 1944, including a partially buried ceramic figurine. This led, in time, to the discovery of many more ceramic works of art, some of which depict dinosaurs.
One of the oral presentations in the 2012 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Singapore surprised at least some of the members of the audience. Dinosaur bones from several different locations had been carbon-dated, and it appears those animals lived only tens of thousands of years ago, not many millions of years ago.
How recently did the dinosaurs and pterosaurs live on this planet? Why not allow modern radiocarbon dating to continue to reveal the truth about when these wonderful creatures have lived? If no C-14 is found in any of the dinosaur bones, in the new tests, then the previous positive findings may be questioned.
My friend Mitchell was in a hurry to get to the restaurant for breakfast. Looking back, we’re grateful he was late, getting to within a few blocks of the Twin Towers when the first plane hit. That restaurant was near the top of one of those towers. Yes, it was that time, on that day, in New York.
Because so many paleontologists have so long assumed that all dinosaurs became extinct many million years old, the abstract of the report by the Paleochronology group was censured, deleted from the conference website because they did not like to consider such an apparently revolutionary discovery. The two chair persons did not challenge the data openly but removed it from public view without notifying the authors.