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We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.
Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.
It cannot be used to date volcanic rocks, for example.
The rate of decay of N in 5,730 years (plus or minus 40 years).
This information has also helped determine the age of the Earth itself.
While the oldest known rocks on Earth are about 3.5 billion years old, researchers have found zircon crystals that are 4.3 billion years old [source: USGS].
It makes no sense at all if man appeared at the end of billions of years.Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.So, we have a “clock” which starts ticking the moment something dies.Obviously, this works only for things which were once living.