Shortcomings of radiocarbon dating

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Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show annual layers (varves) and can be traced up to about 40,000 years before the layers become too thin due to compaction.Similarly, annual lake sediments can be used to estimate relative age and conventional interpretation for the Green River varves suggests they have been formed over some 20 million years.The earth precesses (wobbles like a spinning top) around the sun in a series of cycles.These cycles affect sunlight and hence long-term can form layers in rock.Most people accept the current old-earth (OE) age estimate of around 4.6 billion years.

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A full discussion of the topic must therefore include the current scientific challenge to the OE concept.This challenge is mainly headed by Creationism which teaches a young-earth (YE) theory.A young earth is considered to be typically just 6,000 years old since this fits the creation account and some dating deductions from Genesis.Absolute dating supplies a numerical date whilst relative dating places events in time-sequence; both are scientifically useful.This is based upon the spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei.

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