The idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, but years of work were required to develop the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained.
Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years.
The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
The older a sample is, the less (the period of time after which half of a given sample will have decayed) is about 5,730 years, the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, although special preparation methods occasionally permit accurate analysis of older samples.
Each was concluded from a range of experiments and observations made across multiple disciplines of science, including astronomy, geology, biology, palaeontology, chemistry, geomorphology and physics.
The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.
This article collects evidences that place a lower limit on the age of the Universe beyond the 6,000 to 10,000 years asserted by most Young Earth creationists (YECs) and the literalist Ussher chronology.
Robert Hooke, not long after, suggested that the fossil record would form the basis for a chronology that would “far antedate ...
even the very pyramids.” The 18th century saw the spread of canal building, which led to the discovery of strata correlated over great distances, and James Hutton’s recognition that unconformities between successive layers implied that deposition had been interrupted by enormously long periods of tilt and erosion.
This essay discusses the ICR's Grand Canyon Dating Project, as proposed and executed by the ICR's Steve Austin.
Austin has obtained some bad Rb-Sr isochron dates, although there are several serious questions regarding his methodology.