Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.This belief in long ages for the earth and the existence of life is derived largely from radiometric dating."Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.
This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.Radiocarbon dating, which is also known as carbon-14 dating, is one widely used radiometric dating scheme to determine dates of ancient artifacts.In discussions of the age of the earth and the antiquity of the human race, creationists often assail perceived weaknesses in radiocarbon dating. Morris, for instance, wrote, "Despite its high popularity, [radiocarbon dating] involves a number of doubtful assumptions, some of which are sufficiently serious to make its results for all ages exceeding about 2000 or 3000 years, in serious need of revision." [Morris2000, pg. Radiocarbon dating is based on the fact that the interaction of cosmic rays from outer space with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere produces an unstable isotope of carbon, namely radiocarbon.By the year 2100, the atmosphere will have a radiocarbon age of 2,000 years old. If Graven's calculations are correct, carbon dating as we know it today will no longer be reliable by the year 2030.Which means scientists won’t be able to use carbon dating to distinguish between new materials and artifacts that are hundreds or thousands of years old.