As is often the case, the controversy over this topic is at least as interesting as the topic itself.
Carbon Copies Carbon dating begins, logically enough, with carbon.
It has become my custom here at Interesting Thing of the Day to choose topics that I think will be unfamiliar to most readers—a sort of implicit “I’ll-bet-you’ve-never-heard-of-this” test.
I think it’s fair to say that any educated person over the age of 10 or so has probably heard of carbon dating.
The level of atmospheric Radiometric dating in general, of course, poses a huge problem for people who believe that the universe is 6000-odd years old.
A favorite tactic of Young-Earthers involves citing studies which show trace amounts of Indeed, this results from a unique decay mode known as "cluster decay" where a given isotope emits a particle heavier than an alpha particle (radium-226 is an example.) This fact is extremely inconvenient to them, and creationist literature, accordingly, usually does not mention it.
Clearly, such huge time periods cannot be fitted into the Bible without compromising what the Bible says about the goodness of God and the origin of sin, death and suffering—the reason Jesus came into the world (See Six Days? He said, This only makes sense with a time-line beginning with the creation week thousands of years ago.
Carbon-14, along with the more common, stable (nonradioactive) carbon isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-13, combine with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide.Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.But I realized the other day that even as an adult with a fair amount of scientific knowledge, I could not articulate exactly how or why carbon dating works.So I did a bit of research to fill in the gaps in my understanding, and not surprisingly I found the details to be quite interesting.