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The universe is full of naturally occurring radioactive elements.Radioactive atoms are inherently unstable; over time, radioactive "parent atoms" decay into stable "daughter atoms." When molten rock cools, forming what are called igneous rocks, radioactive atoms are trapped inside. By measuring the quantity of unstable atoms left in a rock and comparing it to the quantity of stable daughter atoms in the rock, scientists can estimate the amount of time that has passed since that rock formed.The results came back dating the rock to 350,000 years old, with certain compounds within it as old as 2.8 million years. Austin's conclusion is that radiometric dating is uselessly unreliable. Austin chose a dating technique that is inappropriate for the sample tested, and charged that he deliberately used the wrong experiment in order to promote the idea that science fails to show that the Earth is older than the Bible claims.
One half-life is the amount of time required for of the original atoms in a sample to decay.This is despite the fact that it causes more problems for interpreting rock strata than it solves.And today we know through lab experiments and natural disasters (such as the eruption of Mt. Helens) that major layering of rock strata can happen catastrophically in a short period of time.So in order to date most older fossils, scientists look for layers of igneous rock or volcanic ash above and below the fossil.Scientists date igneous rock using elements that are slow to decay, such as uranium and potassium.
As a result, there is a changing ratio of carbon-14 to the more atomically stable carbon-12 involves actually counting individual carbon-14 atoms.