This post is in response to ross, a reader who commented on the note The Evolution of Creation and the
Thanks to everyone so far who has read my rather long and probably boring posts, but to the one who wanted me to clear up some stuff, here we go:
Carbon dating is only applicable to material that has the carbon-14 isotope, which forms in the atmosphere and then becomes part of a carbon dioxide molecule. Carbon dioxide is then taken by an organism capable of photosynthesizing and used. Those organisms are then eaten by other organisms, so in consequence the only places that this radiocarbon can be found are in organic molecules and the atmosphere or water as dissolved carbon dioxide. It is never put into a mineral. It is only good for dating things up to approximately 60,000 years, because it is based on the half-life of the radiocarbon isotope which is about 600 years. After 60,000 there is not enough of the radiocarbon left to test and date. The unstable radiocarbon gives up an electron and an anti-neutrino, (a particle that is neutral and only given out during radioactive decay,) causing it to be changed back into a stable molecule. It is however pretty accurate to within a few decades, when it is done right.
However, radiometric dating is the main reason for the age of the Earth but it uses different molecules than carbon dating. The half-life of any radioactive isotope remains constant, although different isotopes have different half-lives. The time it takes for a certain amount of a substance to get from being radioactive to a stable substance is what is used in determining the age of the Earth. Here is the equation for how the age is found using this information. Potassium-Argon dating is the form of radiometric dating used commonly to derive the age of the Earth, and is fairly accurate with a standard deviation of only about 1 million years. This seems like a lot, but it is actually pretty little when compared to the 4.3 billion years old the earth is estimated to be. Of course this is only in a pretty simple form, but going into greater depth would be tedious and unnecessary, but for the most part these are pretty conclusive and accurate testing methods with margins of error that are minimal compared to the amount they go against. They can’t carbon date you and see when your birthday is, but they can carbon date you in 1000 years and say that you are approximately 1000 years old. Other tests for the age of the earth are done using rock layers and what we know about the patterns in which they are laid down and changed. They give another good estimate for the age of the Earth.
In conclusion, the age of the Earth is a good estimate based on measurements and observation. Of course there is a little discrepancy between exact ages, (ranging from 4 - 4.54 billion years,) but it is rather conclusive that the Earth is really freaking old.
The passage is actually in reference to God creating the animals and leaving them alone but I think I was a little hasty in referencing it. Here is what I meant when I put it in:
After he creates all of the animals in the first chapter of Genesis, he doesn’t do anything else with them aside from have Adam name them. They are pretty much left out of everything else until the flood story which happens a long time after the creation. This is in reference to the whole God creating animals and then letting them do their own thing.
I really only used
And for the last point, I understand and appreciate the not trying to insult and offend, and even more I appreciate trying to make me a more informed person. I hold that without information, no argument can be won. However, I didn’t say anything about Creationism. Just that too often arguments are stupid and illogical, and carried out by misinformed people. Hence the attempt at humor in the first point of the original post. I thank you for your comment and taking the time to read all of everything, and hope that any confusion is now finally put to rest.
Until another day, your friend Revkale. (With special thanks to ross, for reading commenting and making me back up my points. I probably would have not been nearly as knowledgeable without your help.)
Copyright 2008, Revkale