Plants take in atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis, and are ingested by animals.So, every living thing is constantly exchanging carbon-14 with its environment as long as it lives. The carbon in its body will remain until it decomposes or fossilizes.A favorite tactic of Young-Earthers involves citing studies which show trace amounts of Indeed, this results from a unique decay mode known as "cluster decay" where a given isotope emits a particle heavier than an alpha particle (radium-226 is an example.) This fact is extremely inconvenient and creationist literature, accordingly, usually does not mention it.Carbon-dating Carbon dating, like other radiometric dating methods, requires certain assumptions that cannot be scientifically proved.Strata are differentiated from each other by their different colors or compositions and are exposed in cliffs, quarries, and river banks.These rocks normally form relatively horizontal, parallel layers, with younger layers forming on top.Beyond that timespan, the amount of the original C formed by irradiation of nitrogen by neutrons from the spontaneous fission of uranium, present in trace quantities almost everywhere.For these samples, other dating methods must be used.
Stratigraphy is the science of understanding the strata, or layers, that form the sedimentary record.
We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].
The person who wrote these words lived in the 1800s, many years before archaeologists could accurately date materials from archaeological sites using scientific methods.
Welcome to the K12 section of the Radiocarbon WEBinfo site.
The aim here is to provide clear, understandable information relating to radiocarbon dating for the benefit of K12 students, as well as lay people who are not requiring detailed information about the method of radiocarbon dating itself.