Bursts of cosmic rays and of electrical discharges on an interplanetary scale would make organic-life surviving the catastrophes much richer in radiocarbon and therefore, when carbon dated, that organic matter would appear much closer to our time than actually true.

This led Libby to write in 1963: “ The data [in the Table] are separated into two groups Egyptian and non-Egyptian. The combined efforts of several researchers led them to believe that one of the conditions stipulated by Libby for a flawless functioning of his method was not historically sustained; it is claimed that the influx of cosmic rays varied with time.

This separation was made because the whole Egyptian chronology is interlocking and subject to possible systematic errors . .” Also, “ Egyptian historical dates beyond 4000 years ago may be somewhat too old, perhaps 5 centuries too old at 5000 years ago. Yet, since this influx comes from many sources, the sun being only one of them, sunspot activity could be related to the variation only in a very limited degree.

If such reversals were not instantaneous but required thousands of years, the atmosphere during that time would not be shielded from cosmic rays and substantially more of them would reach it.

However, the scientific literature of the last few decades did not contain any reference to a reversal observed on human artifacts like pottery though a paper by Manley in 1949 (Science News, Penguin Publication) told of the work of G.

And certainly the building of tree “ladders,” or carrying on the count from one tree to another may cause erroneous conclusions.

One and the same year may be dry in South California and wet in the northern part of the state.Therefore the claim was made that the magnetosphere around the earth, discovered in 1958, suffered occasional weakening, thus allowing more cosmic rays to pass it and to hit the nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere, changing them to radiocarbon.It was further claimed that the magnetic field of the earth might have reversed its polarity in the last 40 thousand years, a phenomenon known to have happened in geological epochs.When objects of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom of Egypt yielded carbon dates that appeared roughly comparable with the historical dates, Libby made his method known.With initial large margin of error and anything that did not square with expectation, judged as “contaminated,” the method appeared to work and was hailed as completely reliablejust as the atomic clock is reliableand this nobody doubted.In Worlds in Collision I claimed that the time since the last glaciation needs to be drastically shortened: the figure considered valid in 1950, the year Worlds in Collision was published, was still Lyell’s of 100 years earlier, namely 35 thousand years. previously this maximum advance had been assumed to date from about 25,000 years ago,” actually 35,000 if one looks up the literature of the time. found that, as I also claimed, another advance of ice took place only 3,500 years ago.