So, when looking at the history of a cliff face, it is important to read the story it tells from the bottom layer up.With the release of key peer-reviewed papers at the 2003 ICC (International Conference on Creationism), it is clear that RATE has made some fantastic progress, with real breakthroughs in this area.The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.Carbon is naturally in all living organisms and is replenished in the tissues by eating other organisms or by breathing air that contains carbon.
The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.
When physicist Dr Russell Humphreys was still at Sandia National Laboratories (he now works full-time for ICR), he and Dr John Baumgardner (still with Los Alamos National Laboratory) were both convinced that they knew the direction in which to look for a definitive answer to the puzzle of why radiometric dating consistently gives ages of millions and billions of years.
Others had tried to find an answer in geological processes—e.g.
Radiometric dating remains a reliable scientific method.
For articles on the RATE project, see the Rate Index.