There are two main applications for radiometric dating.
One is for potentially dating fossils (once-living things) using carbon-14 dating, and the other is for dating rocks and the age of the earth using uranium, potassium and other radioactive atoms.
The atomic number corresponds to the number of protons in an atom.
Atomic mass is a combination of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
If this assumption is not true, then the method will give incorrect dates. If the production rate of C in a specimen difficult or impossible to accurately determine. Willard Libby, the founder of the carbon-14 dating method, assumed this ratio to be constant.
His reasoning was based on a belief in evolution, which assumes the earth must be billions of years old.
With our focus on one particular form of radiometric dating—carbon dating—we will see that carbon dating strongly supports a young earth.
The illustration below shows the three isotopes of carbon.
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.
The procedures used are not necessarily in question. The secular (evolutionary) worldview interprets the universe and world to be billions of years old. The use of carbon-14 dating is often misunderstood.
Carbon-14 is mostly used to date once-living things (organic material). Carbon-14 is constantly being added to the atmosphere.
It cannot be used directly to date rocks; however, it can potentially be used to put time constraints on some inorganic material such as diamonds (diamonds could contain carbon-14). Cosmic rays from outer space, which contain high levels of energy, bombard the earth’s upper atmosphere.