Limitations of carbon dating

Another limitation is that carbon-14 can only tell you when something was last alive, not when it was used.

A limitation with all forms of radiometric dating is that they depend on the presence of certain elements in the substance to be dated.

The key is to measure an isotope that has had time to decay a measurable amount, but not so much as to only leave a trace remaining.

Given isotopes are useful for dating over a range from a fraction of their half life to about four or five times their half life.

The oldest rock so far dated is a zircon crystal that formed 4.4-billion-years ago, which was only 200 million years or so after the Earth itself formed.

YEC biblical literalists are necessarily bound to the dogmatic religions conclusion that the Earth is of a certain age based on a particular literal interpretation of the Genesis creation myth.

Note that although carbon-14 dating receives a lot of attention, since it can give information about the relatively recent past, it is rarely used in geology (and almost never used to date fossils).

The solution is: where is the half-life of the element, is the time expired since the sample contained the initial number atoms of the nuclide, and is the remaining amount of the nuclide.Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.We can measure directly, for example by using a radiation detector, and obtain a good estimate of by analyzing the chemical composition of the sample.The half-life , specific to each nuclide, can be accurately measured on a pure sample, and is known to be independent of the chemical composition of the sample, temperature and pressure.

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