For radiocarbon dating to be possible, the material must once have been part of a living organism.This means that things like stone, metal and pottery cannot usually be directly dated by this means unless there is some organic material embedded or left as a residue.
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Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.
This has caused many in the church to reevaluate the biblical creation account, specifically the meaning of the word “day” in Genesis 1.
Some isotopes of certain elements are unstable; they can spontaneously change into another kind of atom in a process called “radioactive decay.” Since this process presently happens at a known measured rate, scientists attempt to use it like a “clock” to tell how long ago a rock or fossil formed.
There are two main applications for radiometric dating.
As explained below, the radiocarbon date tells us when the organism was alive (not when the material was used).
This fact should always be remembered when using radiocarbon dates.
The dating process is always designed to try to extract the carbon from a sample which is most representative of the original organism.
In general it is always better to date a properly identified single entity (such as a cereal grain or an identified bone) rather than a mixture of unidentified organic remains.
Berg; No part of this paper may be reproduced, used, or sold for profit without the express written consent of the author.