We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).The new isotope is called "radiocarbon" because it is radioactive, though it is not dangerous.The only way that this can happen is by changing the number of protons in the nucleus (an element is defined by its number of protons).There are a number of ways that this can happen and when it does, the atom is forever changed.Clearly, such huge time periods cannot be fitted into the Bible without compromising what the Bible says about the goodness of God and the origin of sin, death and suffering—the reason Jesus came into the world (See Six Days? He said, This only makes sense with a time-line beginning with the creation week thousands of years ago.It makes no sense at all if man appeared at the end of billions of years.
The period of time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is called a "half-life." Radiocarbon oxidizes (that is, it combines with oxygen) and enters the biosphere through natural processes like breathing and eating.Statistical probablity is the only thing we can know exactly.Often students get bogged down in the fact that they don't "understand" how and why radioactive elements decay and miss the whole point of this exercise. This is how carbon dating works: Carbon is a naturally abundant element found in the atmosphere, in the earth, in the oceans, and in every living creature.C-12 is by far the most common isotope, while only about one in a trillion carbon atoms is C-14.Radiometric dating is a method of dating based on the rate of decay of radioactive isotopes present in all organic materials.