While a number of Answers in Genesis (Ai G) articles related to radiometric dating have focused on discordant ages obtained from igneous suites (such as K/Ar dates obtained from volcanic flows, see last post), I have found that the most intriguing claims deal with the radiocarbon, or 14-C, dating method.The reason is that Ai G authors do not simply try and persuade their readers to discount this method as wholly unreliable (even when the ages obtained exceed 10,000 years) but actually present the results as positive evidence for a young Earth.Here, my goal is to take a more careful look at the conclusions put forth by various Ai G articles with regard to both anomalous ages obtained by the 14-C method (such as from coal, diamonds, and permineralized wood) and typical ages obtained from latest-Pleistocene (~80,000-12,000 years B. In doing so, I will consider their use of sources (from scientific literature), their understanding of the method itself, and the assumptions that go into their reasoning for why these ages (commonly more than 10,000 years B.

Thus a large portion of research in radiocarbon dating has dealt with that very issue.

Riddle then notes: "To do this, scientists use the main isotope of carbon, called carbon-12 (12C).

Because 12C is a stable isotope of carbon, it will remain constant; however, the amount of 14C will decrease after a creature dies.

Ai G author Mike Riddle addresses this very question in an article entitled Doesn't Carbon-14 Dating Disprove the Bible?

The article begins with a simplified explanation of the radiocarbon method.

While his synopsis includes a number of minor factual errors (see below), I would recommend it to anyone not entirely familiar with the method at this point.At the end of his explanation, he states: "Since no one was there to measure the amount of 14C when a creature died, scientists need to find a method to determine how much 14C has decayed." This is a valid point: if we don't know how much 14-C was present in the sample to begin with, our age estimate based on the remaining 14-C will simply be wrong.However, this is not out of ignorance on anyone's part.The radiocarbon method is often used as a starting point for understanding radiometric dating techniques, especially in classes unrelated to geology, because: 1) most are familiar with Carbon, as opposed to elements like Osmium, Neodymium, Rubidium, Thorium, etc.; 2) the technique is relatively easy to understand (try explaining a U-Pb concordia over dinner, if you don't believe me); and 3) the method is used in historical studies, such as the dating of artifacts or trees, which can be confirmed by more 'tangible' witnesses like tree ring counts (Sakurai et al., 2004).The third point is most relevant to our discussion, since it results in 'both sides' affirming the accuracy of radiocarbon dating for any 'recent' samples (as opposed to nearly any other method, which must be discounted in all cases by anyone that believes in a young Earth).Thus even from a 'young-Earth' standpoint, all radiocarbon dates (assuming that care is taken to eliminate contamination) are taken to be meaningful indicators of a given sample's age. Anyone familiar with typical studies employing the radiocarbon method knows that model ages obtained often exceed 10,000 years (e.g. So doesn't the method already affirm that the Earth (or at least it's now deceased inhabitants) must be at least this old?