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.
It is constantly being produced by a system in which cosmic rays from the sun hit atoms, releasing neutrons. Carbon-14 becomes a part of the mostly homogenous mixture of air in the atmosphere.
This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon-14 dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters. Answer: Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen-14 (N-14) into carbon-14 (C-14 or radiocarbon).Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C-14 into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes.When the organisms die, they stop incorporating new C-14, and the old C-14 starts to decay back into N-14 by emitting beta particles.This paper will focus on how the radiocarbon dating method works, how it is used by scientists, and how creationists have interpreted the results.Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope formed in the upper atmosphere.Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide which contains C left in a sample to accurately measure without contamination.Theoretically, radiocarbon techniques have the ability to date samples to around 75,000 years, but the working threshold of reliable dating is around 50,000 years.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.Kieth and Anderson show considerable evidence that the mussels acquired much of their carbon from the limestone of the waters they lived in and from some very old humus as well.There are many radioactive elements used by scientists to date rocks and other materials.In dating rocks, Earth scientists only attempt to date igneous rocks, such as basalt, which is solidified lava from volcanic eruptions.