IF WE KNOW, THE AMOUNT OF CARBON-14 IN THE ORGANISM AT DEATH AND WE KNOW THE RATE AT WHICH CARBON-14 IS BREAKING DOWN (WE KNOW BOTH THINGS), THEN WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT CLOCK, BASED ON THE AMOUNT OF CARBON-14 REMAINING IN THE ORGANISM, TO Refresh your memory about our discussion of the three isotopes of hydrogen. Most of the carbon of our Universe occurs as carbon-12 but there is also a little bit of radioactive carbon-14 as well.
IT IS A SIMPLE MATTER TO DETERMINE THE EXACT AMOUNT OF CARBON IN A GIVEN BIOLOGICAL SAMPLE.
And a radiocarbon result that contradicts old-earth dogma is not a good enough reason by itself to invoke contamination!ON THE OTHER HAND, THE AMOUNT OF CARBON-14 IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING BECAUSE IT IS A RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPE.IF WE KNEW THE RATE OF CHANGE, THAT IS THE DECOMPOSITION RATE OF CARBON-14, THEN ALL WE WOULD HAVE TO DO IS TO COMPARE THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT OF CARBON-14 THAT WAS IN THE BONE WHEN THE ANIMAL DIED TO THE AMOUNT OF RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPE REMAINING IN THE BONE.WE KNOW VERY ACCURATELY HOW MUCH OF THE TOTAL CARBON IS MADE UP OF EACH OF CARBON'S ISOTOPES INCLUDING ITS RADIOACTIVE, CARBON-14 ISOTOPE.Therefore, once we know the total amount of carbon in the sample, we know exactly how much radioactive carbon-14 was initially present in the sample.Although C decays fairly quickly, heavier isotopes (such as uranium-238) decay much more slowly.Because the present decay rates of these heavier isotopes are so small, the assumption that these rates have always been constant naturally leads to age estimates of millions and even billions of years.Because these radioisotope methods yield age estimates of many millions of years for igneous rocks, it is thought that sedimentary rocks are also millions of years old, as well as the organic remains found within them.Yet this assumption leads to a contradiction: If these organic samples really are many millions of years old, then they should be radiocarbon “dead.” But they aren’t! Evolutionists have attempted to blame these surprising results on a number of mechanisms. Furthermore, laboratories take great pains to keep contamination to a minimum, and researchers have found that, provided a sufficiently large testing sample is used (in the ballpark of 100 milligrams or so), the amount of such possible lab contamination is negligible compared to the C already present within the specimen.Thus, the final product, nitrogen-14, has the same mass as carbon-14 (because nitrogen-14 lost a neutron while gaining a proton), but it is now a new element, nitrogen-14 (because of the proton it gained).REMEMBER, NEW ELEMENTS ARE CREATED WHENEVER THE NUMBER OF PROTONS CHANGES.