If any one of these assumptions is shown to be faulty the whole system must become suspect.The theory is built on one critical assumption, that the C12 to C14 ratio has been in equilibrium for several thousand years (60,000 or more).Most often the procedure is applied in dating archeological artifacts such as bone, cloth, wood, plant fibers, and especially relics created by human activity.This dating method is used for estimating the age of materials assumed to be about 60,000 years old or less (this limitation is related to the radioactive of carbon, see below). This dating process works by measuring the ratio of normal carbon-12 atoms (C12) to radioactive carbon-14 (C14) in the remnants of once-living plants and animals.This is called its While plants, animals, and other organisms are living they use both forms of carbon in their normal metabolic processes.Because organisms have no way of discerning between these two isotopes, C12 and C14 from the atmosphere are indiscriminately cycled through their metabolic processes. This question and related subjects have been at the heart of the Bible vs. Taken literally, the Genesis creation account and genealogical records provided throughout the Bible indicate a relatively young world, not older than 6,000 years or so.
To find the amount of radioactive isotope that remains after a half-life, you use this formula: Carbon-14 is created from nitrogen-14 in the upper atmosphere of the earth.As the level of C14 is the critical variable, understanding the origin of this isotope is especially pertinent.Whenever and however one thinks the Earth came into existence, C12 has been here from the beginning and has always existed on Earth as the most fundamental atomic constituent of all life forms. Unlike normal carbon isotopes, C14 is the product of a series of reactions deep in Earth’s atmosphere. When emissions from the sun enter our atmosphere they often collide with various kinds of atoms.After the organisms die, this ratio would change at a precise rate according to the half-life of C14. In the above example where the original ratio is 100:1 and the ratio at the time of dating 400:1 we would surmise that the organism has been dead for 11,400 years (5,700 plus 5,700).The problem comes if the initial ratio is different than that assumed.
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Erroneous Assumptions Fortunately, the situation isn’t as confounding as it might appear.