QUESTION: Can we use radioactive carbon dating to determine the age of the earth? Other radiometric dating methods such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium are used for such purposes by those who believe that the earth is billions of years old.
ANSWER: Can we use radioactive carbon dating to determine the age of the earth? 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)."WHAT DO YOU THINK? God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
Try It risk-free Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows.
It works because we know the fixed radioactive decay rates of uranium-238, which decays to lead-206, and for uranium-235, which decays to lead-207.
The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.
Carbon is naturally in all living organisms and is replenished in the tissues by eating other organisms or by breathing air that contains carbon.
At any particular time all living organisms have approximately the same ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in their tissues.
When an organism dies it ceases to replenish carbon in its tissues and the decay of carbon 14 to nitrogen 14 changes the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14.
Experts can compare the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in dead material to the ratio when the organism was alive to estimate the date of its death.