Radiocarbon dating and evolution computer dating for dogs
Half-life of Carbon-14: Radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.
The half-life of carbon-14 is 5,730 years, so carbon dating is only relevant for dating fossils less than 60,000 years old.
There are several different methods for estimating the ages of fossils, including: Paleontologists rely on stratigraphy to date fossils.
Stratigraphy is the science of understanding the strata, or layers, that form the sedimentary record.
For example, if fossils of B date to X million years ago and the calculated “family tree” says A was an ancestor of B, then A must have evolved earlier.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.
Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.
Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geological time scale.
Beds that preserve fossils typically lack the radioactive elements needed for radiometric dating (” radiocarbon dating ” or simply “carbon dating”).