Errors are feared in carbon dating
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element.For example, all carbon atoms have 6 protons, all atoms of nitrogen have 7 protons, and all oxygen atoms have 8 protons.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.If this claim is true, the biblical account of a young earth (about 6,000 years) is in question, since C dates of tens of thousands of years are common.1 When a scientist’s interpretation of data does not match the clear meaning of the text in the Bible, we should never reinterpret the Bible.God knows just what He meant to say, and His understanding of science is infallible, whereas ours is fallible.COMMENT: Private companies and public sectors collect our data every day and minute.Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.
Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.
The number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary in any given type of atom.
So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.
Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.
Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.