Carbon dating explanation for kids


Some time ago I wrote about a temple complex near the mountains of Ararat which everyone agrees is really old.

Guess what the first program I listened to talked about: Carbon-14 and those trees with higher levels than normal! Don Clark explained the C-14 in our bodies today has only been there for about a year or so since we keep cycling it out somehow. It isn’t very scientific to assume the level of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere has always been exactly the same as it is today.What if originally part of the material being measured was already carbon 12? Since we do not know what was there originally, the dates may be very far from correct." p58 “Experiments have shown that carbon 14, for instance, does change into carbon 12 at different rates, depending on factors like heat and radiation.Also, we know that high electric voltages definitely change the rate of decay of many elements.” I thought it worked like this: -there are several isotopes of carbon in the atmosphere -living things exchange carbon with the atmosphere until they die at which point they do not take on any more carbon -the carbon 14 undergoes radioactive decay to nitrogen 14 -the carbon 12 is stable and does not undergo decay -measuring the amount of carbon 14 and carbon 12 in a sample and calculating the current ratio allows you to determine how long ago the organism died (since the ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 12 in the atmosphere does change some over time, you need to use a calibration curve…these are developed by measuring carbon ratios in tree rings and other once living things that can be dated by other methods) I could not find anything about decay rates changing based on heat or radiation and the author gives no source so should I doubt that statement also??However, the findings are controversial, replication of the results has been spotty at best, the necessary conditions are extreme, and in any case, even if the effects are real, they are far, far, far too small to have any significant effect on radiometric dating results.Current YEC thinking is that nuclear decay rates must have been much faster — by a factor of a billion or more — during the first two days of the Creation Week and during the Flood. I need another set of eyes to tell me if the explanation of carbon dating is correct: p55 "…a certain percent of different radioactive elements slowly turn into other elements.

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