Evolutionists have long used the carbon-14, or radiocarbon, dating technique as a “hammer” to bludgeon Bible-believing Christians.
A straightforward reading of the Bible describes a 6,000-year-old universe, and because some carbon-14 (C) age estimates are multiple tens of thousands of years, many think that the radiocarbon method has soundly refuted the Bible’s historical accuracy.
However, these excessively long ages are easily explained within the biblical worldview, and C should be present in specimens that are even a little more than 100,000 years old!
Radiocarbon Basics Carbon comes in three “varieties” or isotopes: C is 5,730 years.
Because carbon is expected to be thoroughly mixed throughout the biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans, living organisms (which continually “take in” carbon throughout their lifetimes) are expected to have the same C in their bodies begins to decrease.
In principle, this decay rate may be used to “date” the time since an organism’s death.
But the calculated dates will only be accurate if the assumptions behind the method are correct.
Smallest Detectable Amount of Radiocarbon Sensitive instruments called acceleration mass spectrometers (AMS) are used to count the C/C ratio in a sample drops below 0.001 p MC?
One can estimate this time by dividing 100 p MC by 2 repeatedly until the resulting number drops below 0.001 p MC.
We find that about 18 such halvings are required for the p MC value to drop below 0.001 (Figures 1 and 2).
(We could “round up” the value of 0.0007 p MC at 17 half-lives to 0.001 p MC, but the 0.00038 p MC at 18 half-lives is definitely below the detection threshold.) Since each half-life is 5,730 years, this means that no C has even been detected in diamonds, which some scientists claim are billions of years old!
Radioisotope dating methods involving the heavier, longer-lived isotopes (methods such as uranium-lead, potassium-argon, etc.) are one of the main justifications that evolutionists use to argue for such vast ages.
Because these radioisotope methods yield age estimates of many millions of years for igneous rocks, it is thought that sedimentary rocks are also millions of years old, as well as the organic remains found within them.
Yet this assumption leads to a contradiction: If these organic samples really are many millions of years old, then they should be radiocarbon “dead.” But they aren’t! Evolutionists have attempted to blame these surprising results on a number of mechanisms. Furthermore, laboratories take great pains to keep contamination to a minimum, and researchers have found that, provided a sufficiently large testing sample is used (in the ballpark of 100 milligrams or so), the amount of such possible lab contamination is negligible compared to the C already present within the specimen.