Radiocarbon dating uses the naturally occurring isotope Carbon-14 to approximate the age of organic materials. Often, archaeologists use graves and plant remains to date sites.
Since its conception by Willard Libby in 1949, it has been invaluable to the discipline.
When a plant or animal organism dies, however, the exchange of radiocarbon from the atmosphere and the biosphere stops, and the amount of radiocarbon gradually decreases, with a half-life of approximately 5730 years.Anything that was once alive or that was produced by a living thing can be dated by using the radiocarbon method of dating.This method, which received widespread attention in connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls, relies on the fact that all living things take in carbon, some of which is very slightly radioactive. To hear some people tell it, scientists have nearly absolute confidence in the dating methods they use.Radiocarbon dating, which is also known as carbon-14 dating, is one widely used radiometric dating scheme to determine dates of ancient artifacts.
In discussions of the age of the earth and the antiquity of the human race, creationists often assail perceived weaknesses in radiocarbon dating. Morris, for instance, wrote, "Despite its high popularity, [radiocarbon dating] involves a number of doubtful assumptions, some of which are sufficiently serious to make its results for all ages exceeding about 2000 or 3000 years, in serious need of revision." [Morris2000, pg. Radiocarbon dating is based on the fact that the interaction of cosmic rays from outer space with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere produces an unstable isotope of carbon, namely radiocarbon.
But what's interesting is as soon as you die and you're not ingesting anymore plants, or breathing from the atmosphere if you are a plant, or fixing from the atmosphere. Once a plant dies, it's no longer taking in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into new tissue. And this carbon-14 does this decay at a specific rate. And you say, hey, that bone has one half the carbon-14 of all the living things that you see right now.