Carbon-14 Dating—Understanding the Basics

Thanks to Answers in Genesis for posting the basics of Understanding the Basics of Carbon-14 Dating. The article can be used to give a defense that God is our creator.  I'm posting excerpts from the article. Feel free to read details here.

Many people assume that rocks are dated at “millions of years” based on radiocarbon (carbon-14) dating. But that’s not the case. The reason is simple. Carbon-14 can yield dates of only “thousands of years” before it all breaks down.

Because it breaks down quickly, carbon-14 is useful for dating creatures that died in the past few thousand years, not millions of years ago.

And because the half-life of carbon-14 is just 5,730 years, radiocarbon dating of materials containing carbon yields dates of only thousands of years, not the dates over millions of years that conflict with the framework of earth history provided by the Bible, God’s eyewitness account of history.



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Comment by Adam J. Benton on April 8, 2011 at 4:42pm
Radiometric dating refers to a plethora of techniques used to date various objects, but the public frequently (and falsely) use this synonymously with radiocarbon dating. Regardless of what type of radiometric dating is used, they call it "radiocarbon" which can lead to issues - arguing that a particular radiometric date is wrong because radiocarbon dating only goes up to ~50,000 years - and so effort to correct this misconception is important.

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