C-14 Dating of Dinosaur Bones

Consider the following data carefully and think clearly. In other words, do not allow any gross emotional reaction while reading, to interfere with your ability to reason.

Before we get into the material, let me introduce myself. I’m Jonathan Whitcomb, an American cryptozoologist with some knowledge and understanding of some branches of science but relying a great deal on the work many scientists. I am still learning about carbon-14 dating (as of early February of 2015), but I have noticed a misconception held by some journalists:

Radiocarbon Dating Cannot Prove Millions of Years of age

Let’s begin with the words of Paul B. Farrell, a journalist who writes for Market Watch:

“Other reviews point out that while carbon dating proves that dinosaurs went instinct 65 million years ago, creationists simply dismiss that bit of science.”

No! Scientists of all religious beliefs, of all origin philosophies, would agree that carbon-14 dating (also known as radiocarbon or 14C dating) cannot place any time frame on anything close to a million years, let alone “65 million years ago.” The maximum age it can date is in tens-of-thousands of years, about a tenth of 1% of the age that Mr. Farrell proclaims.

Perhaps Farrell was thinking of other radiometric dating methods and simply confused them with carbon-14 dating. Well, that would be understandable, except that none of the other methods of radiometric dating can be done directly on any fossil.

I am not ridiculing the intelligence of Mr. Farrell. But if I understand what he was trying to portray in his article from which the above words were taken, I would advice him to avoid ridiculing the intelligence of a group of people with whom he disagrees in philosophy. After all, Mr. Farrell was wrong, in one sentence, by a factor of about 1,000 times.

Dinosaur Bones Dated Recently

All scientists can agree that 14C dating cannot give us any knowledge of when something lived, if that life was over a million years ago. So why use that method for dating dinosaur fossils? Simple: Some scientists believe that dinosaurs lived much more recently. In fact, some researchers believe that dinosaurs and pterosaurs lived in human times, the source of some legends of dragons.

Have dinosaur bones been dated recently? Yes, in two ways: Most of the dating tests were done in recent years, and the results showed that the dinosaur bones tested were alive (parts of living dinosaurs) only tens of thousands of carbon-dated years ago.

Members of the Paleochronology group, in August of 2012, presented their findings in a conference in Singapore: the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting. A number of dinosaur bones had been carbon-14 tested by the Paleochronology group, with the following results:

Acrocanthosaurus (thought to be extinct for 100+ million years)

Five 14C tests were done on Acrocanthosaurus bones (excavated in 1984 near Glen Rose, Texas), with the following dates obtained:

>32,400 years it lived before present (BP)

25,750 years BP, plus-or-minus 280 years

23,760   ”  ”  +/- 270 years

29,690   ”  ”  +/- 90    ”

30,640   ”  ”  +/- 90    ”


Allosaurus (thought to be extinct for 150+ million years)

One 14C test was done on an Allosaurus bone (excavated in 1989 by the Hall-Murray team and  found in the Wildwood section of a ranch west of Grand Junction, Colorado):

31,360 years old, +/- 100 years


Hadrosaur #1 (thought to be extinct for at least 65 million years)

Two 14C tests were done on bone fragments that had been excavated in 1994 near the Colville River, in the Liscomb bone bed of the Alaskan North Slope, by G. Detwiler and J. Whitmore.

31,050 years BP with an error range of +230/-220 years

36,480 years BP, +560/-530


Hadrosaur #2

Five 14C tests were done on a femur bone that was excavated, in 2004, from clay in Dawson County, Montana, by the O. Kline team (Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum).

22,380  years BP with potential error of +/- 800 years

22,990  years BP +/- 130 years

25,670      ”       ”  +/- 220    ”

25,170      ”       ”  +/- 230    ”

23,170      ”       ”  +/- 170    ”


Hadrosaur #3

One 14C test was done on scrapings from a large Hadrosaurid bone excavated by Joe Taylor of the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum in Crosbyton, Texas. The bone was found in Colorado, in Cretaceous strata.

37,660  years before the present, with error potential of plus-or-minus 160 years


Triceratops #1 (thought to have gone extinct 66 million years ago)

Three 14C tests were done on a Triceratops femur bone that was excavated in 2004, in Cretaceous clay in Montana.

30,890  years BP with error potential of +/- 200 years

33,830      ”      ”  +2910/-1960

24,340      ”      ”  +/- 70


Triceratops #2

Two 14C tests were done on the outer bone fragments of a Triceratops femur that was found in a slightly different area of Montana than the first Triceratops (O. Kline team of the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum, MT).

39,230  years before the present, with error of maybe +/- 140 years

30,110     ”          ”         ”          ”  +/- 80 yrs


Apatosaurus (thought to have gone extinct by about 150 million years ago)

A test was done on scrapings taken from an Apatosaur rib found in clay soil in Colorado, in 2007 and 2009, in 150 Ma (late Jurassic) strata.

38,250  years BP, with error potential of +/- 160 years



The above information on carbon-14 testing of bones of several types of dinosaurs was taken from: http://newgeology.us/presentation48.html

An Obvious Response

An average Western non-scientist encountering that astonishing information could react with something like the following:

“Why would recent testing show such recent ages of dinosaurs when they had previously been known to be have become extinct many millions of years ago? What about all the old dating tests of dinosaurs that showed the bones were much older?”


For many decades, scientists had used indirect methods for coming to conclusions about how long ago dinosaurs lived. The bones were not dated with non-14C radiometric methods because uranium-lead testing (and similar methods) cannot be done on the bones themselves. Why did scientist not use carbon-14 dating on dinosaur bones until recently? Most scientists had assumed that dinosaurs had lived much too long ago for that kind of test to yield any meaningful result. Recent testing has now shown that the old assumptions, originating in the 19th century, need to be reevaluated regarding when the dinosaurs lived.

Censoring the Discovery

The report was received favorably by those in attendance at the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Singapore. Unfortunately all materials related to those radiocarbon studies were later removed, without warning, by two chairmen. According to the newgeology.us web site:

Unwilling to challenge the data openly, they erased the report from public view without a word to the authors. . . . They did not look at the data and they never spoke with the researchers. They did not like the test results, so they censored them.

Apparently those two chairmen had no desire to allow any challenge to a long-standing popular idea: that all dinosaurs became extinct many millions of years ago.

.Green dinosaur

Don’t put all dinosaurs in a box, insisting they all died millions of years ago.


Radiocarbon Dating of Dinosaur Bones

How Carbon-14 has been used to date dinosaur bones to between 22,000 and 39,000 years before present.

Carbon-14 Dating and Dinosaurs

Radiocarbon dating is the most accurate and most verifiable of the radiometric dating systems. Dates for carbon material can often be independently verified by testing something that is known historically, from records of human observations.

Do Paleontologists Date Dinosaur Bones?

Our group of cutting edge-scientists have directly dated dinosaur bones from Texas to Alaska and even China. The alleged 100 million and 150 million year old specimens above were dated by C-14 methods and found to be only thousands of years old.

How do Scientists Date Dinosaur Bones?

Something else that most would consider being obvious is that dinosaur bones are millions of years old. Most scientists believe them to be at least 65 million years old. . . . circular reasoning . . .

Jonathan Whitcomb and “Flying Dinosaurs”

Referring to the 33,000 ceramic clay figurines  discovered around 1945, in Acambaro, Mexico, “. . .  during the years since their discovery the  advancement of scientific findings has changed  opinions about the appearances of dinosaurs,  including appearances of dinosaurs that seem to be  on some figurines.


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