The clock was initially calibrated by dating objects of known age such as Egyptian mummies and bread from Pompeii; work that won Willard Libby the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
But even he “realized that there probably would be variation”, says Christopher Bronk Ramsey, a geochronologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the latest work, published today in Science.
Radiometric dating of rocks and minerals using naturally occurring, long-lived radioactive isotopes is troublesome for young-earth creationists because the techniques have provided overwhelming evidence of the antiquity of the earth and life.
Some so-called creation scientists have attempted to show that radiometric dating does not work on theoretical grounds (for example, Arndts and Overn 1981; Gill 1996) but such attempts invariably have fatal flaws (see Dalrymple 1984; York and Dalrymple 2000).
Geologic assessment of active tectonism depends on two key measures: the age and the amount of deformation of a given stratigraphic unit.
The amount of deformation can normally be measured with greater accuracy than the age.
Obviously, this works only for things which were once living.
C) dating usually want to know about the radiometric dating methods that are claimed to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only give thousands of years.
People wonder how millions of years could be squeezed into the biblical account of history. Christians, by definition, take the statements of Jesus Christ seriously.
We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.
Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.