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Carbon dating only

These two measures of time will only be the same if all of the assumptions which go into the conventional radiocarbon dating technique are valid.

Comparison of ancient, historically dated artifacts (from Egypt, for example) with their radiocarbon dates has revealed that radiocarbon years and calendar years are not the same even for the last 5,000 calendar years.

The rates of decay of various radioactive isotopes have been accurately measured in the laboratory and have been shown to be constant, even in extreme temperatures and pressures.

These rates are usually expressed as the isotope's half-life--that is, the time it takes for one-half of the parent isotopes to decay.

(The nucleus of an atom is made up of protons and neutrons.) For example, the element carbon, which always has six protons in its nucleus, has three isotopes: one with six neutrons in the nucleus, one with seven, and one with eight.

Some isotopes are stable, but some are unstable or radioactive.

Over time, carbon-14 decays radioactively and turns into nitrogen.

A living organism takes in both carbon-12 and carbon-14 from the environment in the same relative proportion that they existed naturally.

Radiometric dating is based upon the fact that some forms of chemical elements are radioactive, which was discovered in 1896 by Henri Becquerel and his assistants, Marie and Pierre Curie.

The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 1940's.

It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field.

Geologists do not use carbon-based radiometric dating to determine the age of rocks.

Carbon dating only works for objects that are younger than about 50,000 years, and most rocks of interest are older than that.

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