Radiometric dating a christian perspective
The Greeks had the "great year" of 24,500 years, based on the precession of the equinoxes.
The time-scale of the fundamentalist or Creationist Judeo-Christian is based on a word-for-word reading of the first book of the Bible, and assumes a total age of the earth and the cosmos of a mere 5 or 6,000 (some Creationists allow 10,000) years.
These unstable atoms tend to "decay" into stable ones; they do this by emmitting a particle or particles. The time it takes for half of a given amount of a radioactive element to decay into a stable one is what is known as the "half-life".
By matching the proportion of original unstable isotope to stable decay product, and knowing the half-life of that element, one can thus deduce the age of the rock , as shown in the follwoing diagram.
Any further back than that and your standard deviations go way up.
Also, C-14 years do not correlate with actual calendar years, since the amount of C-14 isotopes in the atmosphere has fluctuated in the past, and the dating method assumes it was constant.
The Christian Creationists have criticised it on the grounds that it is innacurate.
If a fossil is completely replaced (permineralized), then it would be useless in a similar test - because it no longer is organic.However, although 5730 years is the correct half-life, it is not the one used for most C-14 dating, simply because the original half-life used to determine dates back in the 1950s was wrong, and to be consistent we still tend to use the wrong value (a bit like the direction of current flow in electronics, which is the opposite of that which the electrons take, but was the original and incorrect assumption).The practical range for dating is in the order of a few hundred to about 40,000 years BP.Astronomy and Geology, working on scientific data built up over the last two centuries or so, assumes the Earth to be very ancient, more in keeping with the eastern than the western (Graeco-Judeo-Christian) perspectives.However, whereas the Eastern perspective is (like the Greek) cyclic, the Western scientific understanding is strictly linear and evolutionary.
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Of course C-14 would never be of any use for dating dinosaur bearing deposits, unless you want everything to date to around 40,000 years!