Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.This has caused many in the church to reevaluate the biblical creation account, specifically the meaning of the word “day” in Genesis 1.
Carbon-14 (C-14) dating was one of the first scientific analytical techniques that we employed to confirm the date for this piece, thought to be approximately 1420 B. C-14 dating requires that the material in question be at least 2,000 years old (and up to 50,000 years old) to get a result with a significant certainty.
For several reasons, it is a rare opportunity for us to test Museum objects using this technique.
There was also a historical test of a piece of linen performed in 1950 by Willard Libby, the inventor of the dating method.
Libby had first started using the dating method in 1946 and the early testing required relatively large samples, so testing on scrolls themselves only became feasible when methods used in the dating process were improved upon. Davies made a request to date a number of scrolls, which led to a series of tests carried out in Zurich on samples from fourteen scrolls.
Because of the role of radiocarbon dating in today’s archaeological research, Book of Mormon believers as well as critics should consider evaluating the book’s credibility on the basis of radiocarbon dating of Mesoamerican archaeological sites and artifacts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Frankly, the dating correlations between Mesoamerican archaeological endeavors and the Book of Mormon are impressive—especially when we realize that Joseph Smith put himself in a potential archaeological bottomless pit via the BC and AD dates found throughout the Book of Mormon.Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.Fortunately, we believed our papyrus fit into this time range.Additionally, with works of art on paper, we do not often have an expendable sample for this type of analysis.Perceptive Book of Mormon nonbelievers of the past failed to challenge what they could have labeled Joseph Smith’s audacity in thinking that his “creative insanity” could enable him to date precisely the year-by-year historical events of the Nephites throughout their thousand-year history.