Glossary radiometric dating

Radiocarbon dating works because an isotope of carbon, C, is constantly formed in the atmosphere by interaction of carbon isotopes with solar radiation and free neutrons. Living organisms absorb carbon (for example, we breathe it in). Many are also unaware that Bible-believing Christians are among those actively involved in radiometric dating.This paper describes in relatively simple terms how a number of the dating techniques work, how accurately the half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one another.

Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.

Assuming a strictly literal interpretation of the week of creation, even if some of the generations were left out of the genealogies, the Earth would be less than ten thousand years old.

Radiometric dating techniques indicate that the Earth is thousands of times older than that--approximately four and a half billion years old.

Many Christians accept this and interpret the Genesis account in less scientifically literal ways.

However, some Christians suggest that the geologic dating techniques are unreliable, that they are wrongly interpreted, or that they are confusing at best.

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