Start Carbon dating system accuracy

Carbon dating system accuracy

The young-Earth argument goes something like this: helium-4 is created by radioactive decay (alpha particles are helium nuclei) and is constantly added to the atmosphere.

Some of these rocks are sedimentary, and include minerals which are themselves as old as 4.1 to 4.2 billion years.

Rocks of this age are relatively rare, however rocks that are at least 3.5 billion years in age have been found on North America, Greenland, Australia, Africa, and Asia.

While these values do not compute an age for the Earth, they do establish a lower limit (the Earth must be at least as old as any formation on it).

It has previously been assumed that the ancient Egyptians ate fish, which they caught in the Nile, as seen in paintings in tombs.

A relief showing net fishing is pictured Using their loaves: The finding that Egyptians ate a lot of wheat echoes many paintings in Egyptian tombs that show people working the land and harvesting wheat (pictured is a painting from the Tomb of Menna circa 1,400BC) to make loaves of bread, which are often offered to god of the afterlife, Osiris When the results were also compared to isotope ratios in the hair of modern European vegetarians, the experts could confirm that the ancient Egyptians were mostly vegetarians, eating a diet based around wheat and barley.

See the Isochron Dating FAQ or Faure (1986, chapter 18) for technical detail.

A young-Earther would object to all of the "assumptions" listed above.

Young-Earthers have several methods which they claim to give "upper limits" to the age of the Earth, much lower than the age calculated above (usually in the thousands of years).