Start Age earth radiometric dating

Age earth radiometric dating

Carbon-14 is a method used for young (less than 50,000 year old) sedimentary rocks.

There was a great deal of excitement around radiometric dating in the early 1900s, but after a series of faulty calculations and small but significant errors, most people had just given up.

Of course, none of those are true, but how do we know it?

Before modern science, the age of the Earth remained virtually unknown.

However, the calculations were faulty because they didn’t take account heat produced via radioactive decay, a process then unknown to science.

In 1900, John Joly calculated the rate at which the oceans should have accumulated salt from erosion processes and came up with an age of about 100 million years, but that was way off too.

When living things die, they stop taking in carbon-14, and the radioactive clock is "set"!

Any dead material incorporated with sedimentary deposits is a possible candidate for carbon-14 dating.

Radioactive elements were incorporated into the Earth when the Solar System formed.