Describe the process of carbon dating
Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.(This, in turn, is caused by variations in the magnetic fields of the earth and sun, for example.) Although the ratio of radiocarbon to stable carbon in the atmosphere has varied over time, it is quite uniform around the globe at any given time because the atmosphere mixes very quickly and constantly.Plants obtain all their carbon atoms from the atmosphere.Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element.
In contrast, radiocarbon forms continually today in the earth’s upper atmosphere.Part of the result of these collisions is the production of radiocarbon (C, pronounced "c fourteen"), carbon atoms which are chemically the same as stable carbon, but have two extra neutrons.Radiocarbon is not stable; over time radiocarbon atoms decay into nitrogen atoms.This has caused many in the church to reevaluate the biblical creation account, specifically the meaning of the word “day” in Genesis 1.With our focus on one particular form of radiometric dating—carbon dating—we will see that carbon dating strongly supports a young earth.