Before I begin to illustrate the basics of carbon dating (otherwise referred to as radiocarbon dating), it is prudent to explain how Carbon-14, the carbon compound that serves as a testing material for dating carbonaceous, fossilized matter.Everyday, cosmic rays enter through Earth's atmosphere, bringing about certain chemical reactions which are essential for the sustainence of life on this planet.Long regarded with as much vitriol as Darwin's revolutionary idea of Evolution, carbon dating debunks the "Young Earth" Creationist Model: Because of its ability to date fossils upwards to 60,000 years, radiocarbon dating has long been regarded as Darwin's (Read Satan's) advocate.Discovered by Willard Frank Libby and his colleagues in 1949, during his tenure as a professor at the University of Chicago, Libby invented what would eventually change the face of archaeology by giving a time frame to fossilized specimens.Often times, I have come across websites, such as "Answers In Genesis" (Judging from the title, it is obvious that this website isn't really about Science), which shamelessly debunk the basic tenets and empirical methods of Science.Being the intellectual equivalent of hucksters and mobsters, Creationists of these sort are apt to criticize the Scientific Method in a bid to construe evidence to fit into their biblical bullshit.They thraw through scientific literature, pick the parts that supposedly criticize a scientific method, and put up claims that mainstream Science is bogus.These deranged fundamentalists are not interested in Science; they don't carry out any field work or research.
So, without further ado, I would like to proceed to one of the more controversial topics amongst the Creationist community (not the Scientific Community): Carbon Dating.
When a cosmic ray collides with an atom in the atmosphere, a secondary cosmic ray is formed in the form of an energetic neutron.
When this neutron collides with a nitrogen atom (N-14), a chemical reaction takes place: The Nitrogen 14 (seven protons, seven neutrons) converts into a carbon-14 aom (six protons, eight neutrons) and a hydrogen atom.
Because C-14 is constantly being absorbed by plants for the purpose of photosynthesis, the natural cycle of C-14 (Radioactive Carbon), along with C-12 (non-radioactive carbon), is constantly absorbed to other animals via the food chain.
Libby estimated that the steady state radioactivity concentration of exchangeable carbon-14 would be about 14 disintegrations per minute (dpm) per gram.In recognition of his work, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1960.