“And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills,”
There is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding what carbon dating actually is and does. For example, we mentioned in a previous Creation Moment that, contrary to popular opinion, carbon dating is not used to find a date for fossils because such fossils do not usually contain the original material of the organism.
Carbon dating relies on an isotope of carbon with a mass of 14, whereas normal carbon atoms have a mass of 12. About one in every trillion carbon atoms is carbon-14. It is just as well that the amount of carbon-14 is so small because it is radioactive, having a half-life of 5,730 years. Carbon-14 is produced in the atmosphere by bombardment by cosmic rays. These rays produce thermal neutrons which crash into atoms of nitrogen (mass 14), dislodging a proton in a microscopic game of pool, thus producing a carbon-14 atom. As carbon-14 acts chemically the same as carbon-12, it gets into carbon compounds and enters the food chain. Both plants and animals are constantly both taking in and emitting carbon-14, so its quantity is assumed to remain constant. On death, however, the existing carbon-14 will simply decay, so the amount of carbon-14 left can be used to calculate how long ago it died.
Used correctly, carbon dating is actually a useful technique, but it relies on the assumption that atmospheric bombardment has been constant. This is an unsupported conjecture, and the devastating effects and aftermath of the biblical Flood would have greatly affected calculated carbon-dates.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for the Bible and the truthful and accurate information that it contains for our benefit. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica, < https://www.britannica.com/science/carbon-14-dating >, accessed 1/24/2019. Image: created by author, CC BY-SA 4.0 International.
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