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Carbon-14 is a method used for young (less than 50,000 year old) sedimentary rocks.This method relies on the uptake of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of carbon, carbon-14 by all living things.Most scientists and many Christians believe that the radiometric dating methods prove that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Since the 1950s, geologists have used radioactive elements as natural "clocks" for determining numerical ages of certain types of rocks. "Forms" means the moment an igneous rock solidifies from magma, a sedimentary rock layer is deposited, or a rock heated by metamorphism cools off.
It's this resetting process that gives us the ability to date rocks that formed at different times in earth history.
Radioactive elements were incorporated into the Earth when the Solar System formed.
All rocks and minerals contain tiny amounts of these radioactive elements.
When a single body of liquid rock crystallizes, parent and daughter elements may separate so that, once solid, the isotopic data would define a series of points, such as those shown as open circles designated R.
With time each would then develop additional daughter abundances in proportion to the amount of parent present.The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive dating.Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.The boat of a pharaoh was discovered in a sealed crypt and reassembled in a museum near the pyramids (see Fig. The age of our galaxy and earth also can be estimated using radioactive dating.Using the decays of uranium and thorium, our galaxy has been found to be between 10 and 20 billion years old and the earth has been found to be 4.6 billion years old. Within experimental error, this estimate agrees with the 15 billion year estimate of the age of the Universe.In this case, it is a big advantage to present the data in a form in which the abundance of both the parent and daughter isotopes are given with respect to the abundance of the initial background daughter.