Rock varnish dating
The article in Science revealed that an analysis by two AMS laboratories found pieces of coal and/or charcoal-like material in about 80 of Dorn's samples from previous projects.
The coal and charcoal have widely disparate radiocarbon dates, say the scientists, who also are from Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Northern Arizona University and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Switzerland.“If you have a sample mixture of two different ages, it will not yield a reliable age, just a measure of a ratio for the age of the two components,” says J.
After the publication of the Science article, a geologist from a fifth institution — John W.
Bell of the University of Nevada at Reno — told Nature that he had discovered the same type of irregularities with Dorn's work as had been identified by the Arizona-led group.
Ramon Arrowsmith, who Dorn writes “replicated in an independent study” his work after being “trained in sample collection and preparation procedures”.
After first making the unusual discovery in 1996, the University of Arizona scientists reported the findings to the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funds both their AMS laboratory and Dorn's research.
Officials say that the NSF then subpoenaed Dorn's samples from the University of Arizona, and ASU began an inquiry into whether Dorn had committed scientific misconduct by altering the samples with coal and/or charcoal to fabricate dates.