by Dr Carl Wieland An attempt to explain this very important method of dating and the way in which, when fully understood, it supports a ‘short’ timescale.In fact, the whole method is a giant ‘clock’ which seems to put a very young upper limit on the age of the atmosphere.This is partly due to the legacy of the doctrine of uniformitarianism passed down from one generation of geologists to the next since the time of Charles Lyell in the early nineteenth century.Uniformitarianism assumes that the vast amount of geological change recorded in the rocks is the product of slow and uniform processes operating over an immense span of time, as opposed to a global cataclysm of the type described in the Bible and other ancient texts.The Bible, by contrast, paints a radically different picture of our planet's history.
Small amounts of carbon-14 are not easily detected by typical Geiger–Müller (G-M) detectors; it is estimated that G-M detectors will not normally detect contamination of less than about 100,000 disintegrations per minute (0.05 µCi).
C, or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons.
Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples.
Carbon-14 was discovered on 27 February 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California.
Its existence had been suggested by Franz Kurie in 1934. The primary natural source of carbon-14 on Earth is cosmic ray action on nitrogen in the atmosphere, and it is therefore a cosmogenic nuclide.