When granite rock hardens, it freezes radioactive elements in place.The most common radioactive element in granite is Uranium-238.Thus creationists and others who invoke perceived weaknesses in radiocarbon dating as justification to cast doubt on the great age of the earth are either uniformed on very basic scientific facts, or else are highly being disingenuous to their audience.Radiocarbon dating has been studied at great length over the past few decades, and its strengths and weaknesses are very well understood at this point in time.This element is locked in tiny zircons within the granite. While it stays within the zircon for a period of time, being a very small atom, helium escapes the zircon within a few thousand years.When creation scientists studied granite samples, they made interesting discoveries.Because of this relatively short half-life, radiocarbon is useful for dating items of a relatively recent vintage, as far back as roughly 50,000 years before the present epoch.
A 10 gram sample of U-238Now that has changed, and some important discoveries are being made.
In this relative dating method, Latin terms ante quem and post quem are usually used to indicate both the oldest and the most recent possible moments when an event occurred or an artifact was left in a stratum.
But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.
The age of the fossil must be determined so it can be compared to other fossil species from the same time period.
Understanding the ages of related fossil species helps scientists piece together the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.