Free 5-day trial Ever wondered how scientists know the age of old bones in an ancient site or how old a scrap of linen is?The technique used is called carbon dating and in this lesson we will learn what this is and how it is used. Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, is a method used to date materials that once exchanged carbon dioxide with the atmosphere. In the late 1940s, an American physical chemist named Willard Libby first developed a method to measure radioactivity of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope.
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.
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).
Evolutionists have long used the carbon-14, or radiocarbon, dating technique as a “hammer” to bludgeon Bible-believing Christians.
A straightforward reading of the Bible describes a 6,000-year-old universe, and because some carbon-14 (C) age estimates are multiple tens of thousands of years, many think that the radiocarbon method has soundly refuted the Bible’s historical accuracy.Radiocarbon Basics Carbon comes in three “varieties” or isotopes: C is 5,730 years.Because carbon is expected to be thoroughly mixed throughout the biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans, living organisms (which continually “take in” carbon throughout their lifetimes) are expected to have the same C in their bodies begins to decrease.However, these excessively long ages are easily explained within the biblical worldview, and C should be present in specimens that are even a little more than 100,000 years old!Nearly anyone can verify this for themselves using basic multiplication and division.The older an organism's remains are, the less beta radiation it emits because its C-14 is steadily dwindling at a predictable rate.