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Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content.
This standard content of C14 can then be used for wood not associated with a historically documented date.
In the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate. Radiocarbon is used to date the age of rocks, which enables scientists to date the age of the earth.
Radiocarbon is not used to date the age of rocks or to determine the age of the earth.
Libby, the discoverer of the C14 dating method, was very disappointed with this problem.
He understood that archaeological artifacts were readily available.
The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 1940's.
Any scientist with an open mind would tell you that if these assumptions were shifted towards a Biblical view, the carbon dating process would still work, though at a much shorter time scale.
Other radiometric dating methods such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium are used for such purposes by those who believe that the earth is billions of years old.
Radiocarbon is not suitable for this purpose because it is only applicable: a) on a time scale of thousands of years and b) to remains of once-living organisms (with minor exceptions, from which rocks are excluded).
The Seventh-day Adventists and the American Scientific Affiliation were central forums in the controversy regarding radioactive dating during the first decade after the invention of the C-14 dating method.
Then the controversy spread out into wider evangelical circles.