Radio carbon dating for dummies

Desmond Clark (1979) wrote that were it not for radiocarbon dating, "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation" (Clark, 1979:7).Writing of the European Upper Palaeolithic, Movius (1960) concluded that "time alone is the lens that can throw it into focus".Many people assume that rocks are dated at “millions of years” based on radiocarbon (carbon-14) dating. The most well-known of all the radiometric dating methods is radiocarbon dating. Carbon-14 can yield dates of only “thousands of years” before it all breaks down.Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.

Radiocarbon is not stable; over time radiocarbon atoms decay into nitrogen atoms.

(This, in turn, is caused by variations in the magnetic fields of the earth and sun, for example.) Although the ratio of radiocarbon to stable carbon in the atmosphere has varied over time, it is quite uniform around the globe at any given time because the atmosphere mixes very quickly and constantly.

Plants obtain all their carbon atoms from the atmosphere.

Thus it appears that God probably created those elements when He made the original earth.

In contrast, radiocarbon forms continually today in the earth’s upper atmosphere.