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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.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.
Ramon Arrowsmith, who Dorn writes “replicated in an independent study” his work after being “trained in sample collection and preparation procedures”.
In an accompanying rebuttal, Dorn acknowledged that his method for dating rock surfaces was fundamentally flawed.
But he denied any impropriety, calling the suggestions of sample content manipulation “utterly false”.
Bell's discovery, involving rock varnish samples for a research project near the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in Nevada, seem to provide independent confirmation of the findings of the Arizona-led group, raising further questions about the credibility of Dorn's research.“We are worried about the scientific integrity of the work [Dorn did for us]” said Bell.