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The apparent contradiction between C-14 dates and the literal interpretation of Genesis has split the evangelical Christians of the United States into two factions: one, fundamentalist evangelicals who attempted to fit scientific findings into the literal interpretation of the Bible; and two, other evangelicals who felt that the Bible does not contain an absolute chronology of earth history.
This essay will trace the reactions of both of these groups in the United States to C-14 dating, focusing particularly on the response of the Seventh-day Adventists (SDA), the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), the Creation Research Society (CRS) and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR)groups demonstrating particularly sensitive responses to C-14 dating and its implications.
This method also drew special attention from Christian scholars because of its effect on biblical interpretation.
C-14 dating received special attention from evangelical Christians who emphasized the authority and reliability of the Bible, because it could date the age of organic remains of ancient plants, animals and men in terms of the biblical chronology.
As of the mid-1940s, radioactive dating had not attracted serious attention from the majority of evangelicals.
Since the invention of the C-14 method and the appearance of evangelical professionals in this field, however, American evangelicals have divided themselves into two groups.
adiocarbon (C-14) dating has several implications for Christianity, particularly in terms of the interpretation of the first part of Genesis.
Since its advent in the mid-20th century, it has been one of the central topics in the creation-evolution controversy.
The other, non-literalist group of evangelicals accepted some kinds of evolutionary uniformitarian hypotheses and radioactive dating.Woods, a college physics teacher, who criticized not the technical process of C-14 activity measurement but the assumptions by which the dating results were interpreted.He conceded that C-14 dating was accurate to 4,500 years, but said that dating beyond this was extrapolation beyond the accuracy controls of the method.The Seventh-day Adventists and the American Scientific Affiliation were central forums in the controversy regarding radioactive dating during the first decade after the invention of the C-14 dating method.
Then the controversy spread out into wider evangelical circles.However, this is the case only if certain conditions are met.