Radiocarbon dating on fossils

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The older an organism's remains are, the less beta radiation it emits because its C-14 is steadily dwindling at a predictable rate.

So, if we measure the rate of beta decay in an organic sample, we can calculate how old the sample is. Question: Kieth and Anderson radiocarbon-dated the shell of a living freshwater mussel and obtained an age of over two thousand years.

Radiocarbon dating (usually referred to simply as carbon-14 dating) is a radiometric dating method.

It uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 (14C) to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years old. Carbon-14 has a relatively short half-life of 5,730 years, meaning that the fraction of carbon-14 in a sample is halved over the course of 5,730 years due to radioactive decay to nitrogen-14.

ICR creationists claim that this discredits C-14 dating. Answer: It does discredit the C-14 dating of freshwater mussels, but that's about all.

These include the starting conditions, the constancy of the rate of decay, and that no material has left or entered the sample. From this science, we are able to approximate the date at which the organism were living on Earth.Radiocarbon dating is used in many fields to learn information about the past conditions of organisms and the environments present on Earth.Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.

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