The accuracy of carbon dating

13 Apr

Since it is chemically indistinguishable from the stable isotopes of carbon (carbon-12 and carbon-13), radiocarbon is taken by plants during photosynthesis and then ingested by animals regularly throughout their lifetimes.

When a plant or animal organism dies, however, the exchange of radiocarbon from the atmosphere and the biosphere stops, and the amount of radiocarbon gradually decreases, with a half-life of approximately 5730 years.

The results can be as much as 150 million years different from each other! They then pick the date they like best, based upon their preconceived notion of how old their theory says the fossil should be .

So they start with the assumption that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, then manipulate the results until they agree with their conclusion. So why is it that if the date doesn't fit the theory, they change the facts?

So if scientists believe that a creature lived millions of years ago, then they would need to date it another way. They assume dinosaurs lived millions of years ago (instead of thousands of years ago like the bible says).

They ignore evidence that does not fit their preconceived notion.

Thus creationists and others who invoke perceived weaknesses in radiocarbon dating as justification to cast doubt on the great age of the earth are either uniformed on very basic scientific facts, or else are highly being disingenuous to their audience.

Radiocarbon dating has been studied at great length over the past few decades, and its strengths and weaknesses are very well understood at this point in time.

Radiocarbon is not suitable for this purpose because it is only applicable: a) on a time scale of thousands of years and b) to remains of once-living organisms (with minor exceptions, from which rocks are excluded).

Creationists often criticize radiocarbon dating in the context of discussions of the age of the earth.

But, as is clear even from the very brief discussion in the previous paragraph, radiocarbon dating can say nothing one way or the other about whether the earth is many millions of years old, since such dates are far beyond this method's range of resolution.

Radiocarbon dating uses the naturally occurring isotope Carbon-14 to approximate the age of organic materials. Often, archaeologists use graves and plant remains to date sites.

Since its conception by Willard Libby in 1949, it has been invaluable to the discipline.