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—Charles Ginenthal, 1997 Many of the most obvious conflicts between science and religion involve timing issues—the dating of events in Earth’s history. Scott wrote: “It has long been acknowledged, though not always fully acted upon, that radiocarbon dating measurements are not definitive, i.e. “If a C14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text.
Bible chronologies typically list Adam and Eve at about 4,000 BC. they do not produce precise age estimates.” Failing to acknowledge this lack of precision, a Nova program that aired in 2009 showed a paleontologist who had found a skeleton of an extinct animal deep in a cave. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a foot-note.
That assumption error causes C14 dates to appear “older” than the actual ages of the specimens dated.
(See the “Assumption Error” section later in this paper for more details.) The decay rate of C14 is estimated by comparing measurements taken in the recent past with C14’s current radioactivity levels.
Radioactive decay causes once-living specimens to lose half of their C14 atoms in about each 5,730-year half-life.
Thus, if the level today is half of what it was estimated to be when the thing died, it is said to be 5,730 years old.
Testing the accuracy of this required fact is limited and subject to a huge array of possible assumptions.
Carbon-14 is rare, Plants are eaten by animals, and living things on Earth become ever-so-slightly radioactive due to ingesting things containing C14. When they strike atoms in the atmosphere, chain reactions occur, some of which result in free neutrons (n) that readily react with nitrogen-14 to form C14.
The small box on the decay curve represents the current level of a particular once-living specimen, in this instance measured at 50% of its assumed original content.
When something dies, it no longer assimilates C14, at least not by the means described above. To test the assumption, the rate that C14 forms in Earth’s atmosphere was estimated (based on measurements from various locations around the globe). The testing indicated that C14 is forming faster than it is decaying.
If an artifact is preserved from physical decay and leaching of chemicals, radioactivity may be the sole means whereby it gradually loses its C14. A simple analogy may be helpful: Suppose water is steadily dripping into a large tub.
Therefore, he used modern C14 levels to approximate the ancient. Estimated years since a specimen died based on how much C14 was believed to have decayed since the death of the specimen.
The curved line represents the loss of C14 over time due to radioactive decay.