C14 in coal deposits

Science firmly accepts the validity of Radiocarbon dating for organic material and (e.g) potassium argon dating for mineral remains. One either accepts the science or not.

Well, let’s take a look at this…

Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), a sensitive radiometric dating technique, is in some cases finding trace amounts of radioactive carbon-14 in coal deposits, amounts that seem to indicate an age of around 40,000 years. Though this result is still too old to fit into any young-earth creationist chronology, it would also seem to represent a problem for the established geologic timescale, as conventional thought holds that coal deposits were largely if not entirely formed during the Carboniferous period approximately 300 million years ago. Since the halflife of carbon-14 is 5,730 years, any that was present in the coal at the time of formation should have long since decayed to stable daughter products. The presence of 14C in coal therefore is an anomaly that requires explanation.


How does it explain C14 in deposits that are supposedly 300 million years old? It presents an ad hoc explanation by claiming surrounding material is producing C14.

“The short version: the 14C in coal is probably produced de novo by radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium isotope series that is naturally found in rocks (and which is found in varying concentrations in different rocks, hence the variation in 14C content in different coals). Research is ongoing at this very moment.”