Those who don’t accept the Biblical account of history look for other ways to discover the age of things.One of these methods is based on a substance found in our bodies, plants and all living things—it’s called carbon. This makes the plant appear to have died many more years ago than it actually did (for example, the plant might appear to be, say, 3,000 years old, rather than 2,000).Most people think that scientists can actually measure the ages of rocks, using a method called “radiometric” or “radioisotope” dating.

carbon dating article kids-13

When they find one, they gather a sample of the hardened lava and send it off to a laboratory to test it for radioactive elements.

When a volcano erupts, hot, molten rock (called “lava”) from deep inside the Earth is released. Elements are the “building-blocks” of the universe (for example, water is made from the elements hydrogen and oxygen).

Of course, the best method is to check the account of a reliable eyewitness, if one is available. Since it is the written Word of God, we can trust it to tell us the truth about the past.

Carefully studying the Biblical record, we find that the universe has an age of around 6,000 years, and that a world-changing, global Flood occurred about 4,300 years ago.

So if scientists wanted to measure the age of a fossil using this method, they would look for a nearby layer of igneous rock (e.g.

rock that forms from lava from a volcanic eruption)—perhaps in the rock layers above where the fossil was found, or in the layers below.(See also anthropology, “ Dating.”) Enable free complete viewings of premium articles from Britannica Online for Kids when linked from your website or blog-post.Now readers of your website, blog-post, or any other web content can enjoy full access to this article on radiocarbon dating , or any other Britannica Online for Kids premium article for free, even if they do not have a membership.C in the atmosphere haven’t been constant throughout history (for instance, Noah’s Flood lowered the total amount of available carbon by burying lots of animals and plants).So something that lived (and died) when the proportion of C was less than normal would appear to have died more years ago than it actually did (for example, it might give an age of 3,000 years before the present, rather than its true age of 2,000 years). It’s important that we allow God’s written record of history, the Bible, to guide our thinking about the past—this includes our understanding of the age of the Earth/universe How many times have you heard something like, “This animal lived 50,000 years ago”, or “This person died 20,000 years ago’?