Before carbon dating
They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon (C-14) dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods.This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon-14 dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters. Answer: Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen-14 (N-14) into carbon-14 (C-14 or radiocarbon).Radiocarbon dating can easily establish that humans have been on the earth for over twenty thousand years, at least twice as long as creationists are willing to allow.Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years.This has caused many in the church to reevaluate the biblical creation account, specifically the meaning of the word “day” in Genesis 1.With our focus on one particular form of radiometric dating—carbon dating—we will see that carbon dating strongly supports a young earth.I have tried here to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I receive from students via email, as well as providing some basic information about scientific dating methods.
But while the difficulties of single life may be intractable, the challenge of determining the age of prehistoric artifacts and fossils is greatly aided by measuring certain radioactive isotopes.
Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.
After death the amount of carbon-14 in the organic specimen decreases very regularly as the molecules decay.
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Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.