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Now let us review in the light of research in cosmic catastrophism the correctives that, in our view, need to be introduced into the method.
We must also evaluate the basic reliance on Egyptian chronology that, as we shall see, needs to be discontinued.
The Mexicologist, Professor George Kubler of Yale, stressed that certain traditions contained in Mesoamerican heritage were referred by me to events of the pre-Christian era.
Kubler insisted that this heritage could not date from the 8th to 4th pre-Christian centuries, but rather was generated in the 4th to 8th century of the Christian era.
The correctness of the method depends greatly on the condition that in the last 40 or 50 thousand years the quantity of water in the hydrosphere (and carbon diluted in it) has not substantially changed. The method depends also on the condition that during the same period of time the influx of cosmic rays or energy particles coming from the stars and the sun has not suffered substantial variations.
To check on the method before applying it on various historical and paleontological material, Libby chose material of Egyptian archaeology, under the assumption that no other historical material from over 2,000 years ago is so secure as to its absolute dating.
But in December, 1956, the National Geographical Society m conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution made it known that excavations at La Venta proved by radiocarbon that the classical period of the Meso-American civilizations (Olmec, Toltec, Maya, etc.) needs to be pushed back by a full thousand years and ascribed not to the 4th to 8th centuries of the Christian era but to the 8th to 4th centuries before that era.
Of the three reservoirs of radiocarbon on earththe atmosphere, the biosphere, and the hydrosphere, the richest is the lastthe oceans with the seas.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.But I could not and should not satisfy myself with this support without repaying by demonstrating where the difficulties and pitfalls of the method are hidden.In the cataclysmic events reconstructed in Worlds in Collision and also those that preceded the fall of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, various effects could not but vitiate the radiocarbon performance, some of these effects tending to make organic life appear older than its actual age, and others making it appear more recent.