Rev. David Rives — Carbon-14 in Diamonds

The Drool-o-tron™ summoned us with its sirens and flashing lights, and the blinking letters of its wall display said WorldNetDaily (WND). It had found the latest video by the brilliant and articulate leader of David Rives Ministries.

Our computer was locked onto this headline at WND: How diamonds disprove evolution. That looked interesting — especially since diamonds were never alive. We had to take a look.

The actual title of the rev’s video is “C-14 in Diamonds.” The rev says that C-14 decays rapidly, so it can’t be used to date things that are supposed to be millions of years old. Evolution, however, requires millions of years. So why do diamonds, which are supposed to be billions of years old, have C-14 in them? Diamonds must be young — and so is the Earth! That means evolution makes no sense.

The TalkOrigins website has an article on Carbon-14 in Coal Deposits. It explains that there are various ways C-14 can contaminate coal samples. The article doesn’t discuss diamonds, but we assume the same factors would be applicable. To be candid, however, your Curmudgeon doesn’t know much about C-14 in diamonds, so perhaps you, dear reader, can assist in debunking the rev’s video. We’re not particularly worried, because there are other isotopes with far longer half-lives than C-14 that are routinely used to date old rock formations, but the video doesn’t mention any of those.

The rev is wearing the same gray bible-boy suit without a necktie that he was wearing for the last couple of videos. It seems that he does several of them at the same time. But it doesn’t matter what he wears. He’s the cutest rev you’ve ever seen! This video runs almost four minutes before the commercial at the end. Go ahead, click over to WND and watch it.

As we always do with the rev’s videos, we dedicate the comments section for your use as an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. You know the rules. Okay, the comments are open. Go for it!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Rev. David Rives — Carbon-14 in Diamonds

  1. The good reverend manages to get it wrong twice about diamonds. First, of course, they aren’t thousands of years old; there are too many independent lines of evidence pointing to a much greater age. But they aren’t billions of years old either; merely millions or tens of millions.

  2. there are other isotopes with far longer half-lives than C-14 that are routinely used to date old rock formations, but the video doesn’t mention any of those.

    It’s really quite astonishing the rev omitted to mention these — I’m sure he’s kicking himself right now for the oversight, and praying heartily to his God for forgiveness for having unwittingly deceived his audience.

    Or maybe not. After all, was it not the Good Lord himself who said, “Go forth and, in between sneakily multiplying taking walks along the Appalachian Trail, lie for me.”

  3. And the TalkOrigins article mentioned above suggests a particular way for carbon-14 to contaminate diamonds: by being manufactured within them by natural radioactivity (there needn’t be a high level) in surrounding rock.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    My Google Now feed had a link to a story on Reddit about a creationist couple who went to Hambo’s dry-dock ark … the longer they were there, the more obvious the whole thing was a farce. They’re no longer creationists.

  5. What diamonds exactly is he talking about? Those found naturally in the earth, or those artificially created in the lab? How did they determine C-14 is in the diamonds? Who did the analysis, and how was it conducted? If C-14 was present, in what proportion to other C isotopes was it found?

  6. Published inclusion dating studies on diamonds from South Africa’s Premier Kimberlite show 3 age groups: 1) ~1.2 billion year old eclogitic diamonds; 2) ~1.9 billion year old lherzolitic diamonds; and 3) ~3.2 billion year old diamonds. The Premier Kimberlite Pipe itself formed about 1.2 billion years ago.

    Siberia’s Mir Kimberlite Pipe formed during the Late Devonian to Early Mississippian, at about 354 to 360 million years ago. Mir Kimberlite diamond inclusion dates are well into the Precambrian. However, geologists have interpreted Mir’s diamonds as having crystallized not long before eruption of the pipe (they incorporated very old inclusions). So, there is mounting evidence that diamond inclusion dating doesn’t necessarily reliably indicate diamond crystallization dates. But creationists still can’t get their grubby, lying hands on this info. to push a very young Earth.

  7. I seem to recall, but I didn’t look it up, that there’s a uranium decay that transforms Nitrogen to C-14 in trace amounts.

    In any case, it’s a well studied phenomenon and not a problem for science to explain.

    Still, for Rives, trace analysis doesn’t help his case for young earth unless he pushes his timeline back 50,000 years!

  8. For the IFFZ: Ig Nobel win for Alpine ‘goat man’. Olivia thought at first that our Curmudgeon was that particular recipient–but never mind.

    Other notable winners featured in the above article:

    Reproduction Prize – The late Ahmed Shafik, for testing the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats.

    Economics Prize – Mark Avis and colleagues, for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.

    Physics Prize – Gabor Horvath and colleagues, for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.

    Chemistry Prize – Volkswagen, for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.

    Medicine Prize – Christoph Helmchen and colleagues, for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa).

    Psychology Prize – Evelyne Debey and colleagues, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.

    Peace Prize – Gordon Pennycook and colleagues, for their scholarly study called “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bull$#!+”.

    Biology Prize – Awarded jointly to: Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; and to Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming hills in the company of, goats.

    Literature Prize – Fredrik Sjoberg, for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.

    Perception Prize – Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.

  9. O Great Cosmic Goat Man of Correction, I have omitted the quote tagging in my previous post! Meeehhhh!!

  10. Free neutrons can be formed from the direct fission of Uranium-238 or Thorium-232. These two isotopes mostly decay in several steps to lead isotopes, emitting an alpha particle at each stage. If these collide with the nucleii of Beryllium-9, Boron-11, and possibly even Carbon-13, more neutrons are produced. Carrying no electrical charge, neutrons have a range of at least several centimetres in carbon. A small proportion will be captured by Carbon-13 nucleii: 13C+n=14C. An interesting prediction from this is that decaying Carbon-14 should leave a slow accumulation of nitrogen in the diamond lattice, and indeed notrogen is the commonest impurity: up tp 1%. Such a high level is compatible only with an age of billions of years.

  11. there is measuable 14C in coal, a fact that has been known since the 1930s. It derives, as mentioned, by (n,p) reactions of 14N, which coal inherits from its living precursor. The more completely graphitised the coal, the less the amount of 14C, and 14C is undetectable in graphite.

    AFAIK, the only people to claim 14C in diamonds are Baumgartner’s RATE (Real Age of The Earth) group, which includes . These are people who claim that Noah’s flood was accompanied by lightning fast tectonic movements (reconciling the geography of the garden of Eden with that of the post-flood world) and a massive increase in the rate of formation of 14C, which is why pre-flood material can have an apparent radiocarbon age greater than 6000 years. I don’t know how they explain all the other kinds of dating, but I’m sure they’ve thought of something.

  12. I was going to see who else was included in RATE, but they now seem to be so obscure that a quick google search failed to find them. Anyway, IIRC they include Snelling, who keeps on reporting apparent ages of a mere in 60,000 years in dirty dino bone

  13. “Evelyne Debey and colleagues, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.”
    Dutch pride:

    http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/6700/Wetenschap/article/detail/4382183/2016/09/23/Nep-Nobelprijs-voor-Amsterdams-onderzoek-naar-eerlijke-leugenaars.dhtml

  14. Wasn’t Rev. Rives the subject of an old Beatles’ song: Looney Tellin’ Lies ’bout Diamonds, or something like that?

  15. Because this is a Free Fire Zone, we have to mention this headline from Fox News: Docs attach woman’s colon to her vagina in botched cancer surgery. It happened in Macedonia.

  16. If you trust Fox |News to give an accurate account of events in Macedonia, I have a bridge to sell you

  17. My irrefutable intuition categorically concludes that the same inept surgeon in Macedonia is responsible for bifurcating the colons of the Discoveroids, reattaching the ends to their brains and their oesophagae, enabling thereby to endlessly spew the same old recycled {beep beep boop}!

  18. @Richard Bond

    Thanks. I recalled the essence but not the details of that process dealing with this same question years ago.

  19. Speaking of accommodation of science and religion: Brother Guy J. Consolmagno is an American research astronomer and Director of the Vatican Observatory. His Wikipedia entry is here. He also believes that one of the important science/faith questions is Would Extraterrestrials Need to Be Baptized?. (see the topics list at the bottom of the page.) Is that an example of Sophisticated Theology?

  20. Perception Prize – Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.

    This might go a long way to explaining creationism…

  21. Free-Fire Zone
    The Macarthur awards for 2016 have been announced. There is one evolutionist, Dianne Newman.
    Which reminds me that the Nobel Prizes are due to be announced in, I believe, a couple of weeks. Is there to be any related to evolution? Is it likely that Gravitational Wave to be subject of the physics prize, or is it too soon for that?