Timecop (1994) (part 2 of 7)
All this hypothetical talk has a noticeable effect on one silent committee member, Senator Aaron McComb. The late Ron Silver does good work here, as he silently looks at the floor and manages to also look untrustworthy at the same time. Of course, this is Ron Silver I’m talking about. He could look untrustworthy dropping money into a collection plate for orphaned hurricane victims.
Just then, George drops a real bomb on the committee. He fears there may have already been a tear in the fabric of time. An arms deal recently went down where the weapons were paid for with the gold bullion stolen in the opening scene.
George says they confirmed the shipment was legitimate Civil War-era coins through carbon dating. And this is where we get our first indication that all this time travel theorizing was a bit too much for the filmmakers.
There are two major problems here. First, even though the gold was minted in 1863, it was brought to the present, so therefore it could not have aged 100 years. Had they tested it as described, the result would have dated the gold as only a few years old at the most, so they would have actually concluded that the Confederate gold was counterfeit.
But that’s only if they’d been able to perform such a test in the first place. The second way they screwed the pooch is that radiocarbon dating measures the half-life of carbon atoms found in organic material, like plants, flesh, fabrics, etc. But there is no organic material in gold bullion.
You know, this kind of total ignorance of how carbon dating works was almost excusable back in 1958, when you could use carbon dating to tell that an object was from the future. But this movie was made in the ‘90s, and they really should have known better.