Second, the fraction of carbon in the atmosphere (in the form of carbon dioxide) which is carbon-14 is about constant.Fourth, when the living thing dies, carbon-14 is not replenished in its organic material, so carbon-14 decays at the exponential rate mentioned above.This serves as strong evidence for the reliability of radiometric dating methods. These isotopes differ in the number of neutrons they have in their nuclei.Those isotopes that are not stable decay into daughter nuclei.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.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.Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years.They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon (C-14) dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods.
As a scientific skeptics, we ask ourselves: is this really the case?A very common claim of young earth creationists in trying to reject the evidence for an old earth is to loudly proclaim that radiometric dating methods “makes assumptions” and that these “assumptions” are somehow fatally flawed or not supported by evidence.These claims generally land in three different categories: (1) radiometric dating assumes that initial conditions (concentrations of mother and daughter nuclei) are known, (2) radiometric dating assumes that rocks are closed systems and (3) radiometric dating assumes that decay rates are constant.Radiometric dating is mostly used to determine the age of rocks, though a particular form of radiometric dating—called Radiocarbon dating—can date wood, cloth, skeletons, and other organic material.Because radiometric dating fails to satisfy standards of testability and falsifiability, claims based on radiometric dating may fail to qualify under the Daubert standard for court-admissible scientific evidence.Thus, when you find a piece of wood with half the ratio of carbon-14 that the atmosphere has, that means it's been dead for about 5730 years.