The RATE team (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) have studied a variety of subjects pertaining to the age of the Earth including radiocarbon dating.In the traditional model of science, radiocarbon has little to do with the age of the Earth, since its lifespan is so short.It is constantly being produced by a system in which cosmic rays from the sun hit atoms, releasing neutrons. Carbon-14 becomes a part of the mostly homogenous mixture of air in the atmosphere.It can combine with other atoms and molecules such as oxygen to create carbon dioxide, or CO2.Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide which contains C left in a sample to accurately measure without contamination.Theoretically, radiocarbon techniques have the ability to date samples to around 75,000 years, but the working threshold of reliable dating is around 50,000 years.This paper will focus on how the radiocarbon dating method works, how it is used by scientists, and how creationists have interpreted the results.
Hutton's theories were short on evidence at first, but by 1830 most scientists concurred that Noah's ark was more allegory than reality as they documented geological layering.
But for humans whose life span rarely reaches more than 100 years, how can we be so sure of that ancient date? Even the Greeks and Romans realized that layers of sediment in rock signified old age.
But it wasn't until the late 1700s -- when Scottish geologist James Hutton, who observed sediments building up on the landscape, set out to show that rocks were time clocks -- that serious scientific interest in geological age began.
Geologist Ralph Harvey and historian Mott Greene explain the principles of radiometric dating and its application in determining the age of Earth.
As the uranium in rocks decays, it emits subatomic particles and turns into lead at a constant rate.