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Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.
Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.
Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in 1960.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contains a constant amount of carbon-14, and as long as an organism is living, the amount of carbon-14 inside it is the same as the atmosphere.
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.
Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13.
Here’s an example using the simplest atom, hydrogen. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.
Organisms at the base of the food chain that photosynthesize – for example, plants and algae – use the carbon in Earth’s atmosphere.
They have the same ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 as the atmosphere, and this same ratio is then carried up the food chain all the way to apex predators, like sharks.
is a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens – for example, wooden archaeological artifacts or ancient human remains – from the distant past.