Carbon dating for children
The next few pages cover a broad overview of radiometric dating techniques, show a few examples, and discuss the degree to which the various dating systems agree with each other.
The goal is to promote greater understanding on this issue, particularly for the Christian community.
Most of the elements in nature are stable and do not change.
However, some elements are not completely stable in their natural state.
Most processes that we are familiar with are like sand in an hourglass.
In exponential decay the amount of material decreases by half during each half-life.
Many Christians have been led to distrust radiometric dating and are completely unaware of the great number of laboratory measurements that have shown these methods to be consistent.
Radioactive atoms are like individual grains of sand--radioactive decays are like the falling of grains from the top to the bottom of the glass.The passage of time can be charted by the reduction in the number of parent atoms, and the increase in the number of daughter atoms.Radiometric dating can be compared to an hourglass.Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them.