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With our focus on one particular form of radiometric dating—carbon dating—we will see that carbon dating strongly supports a young earth.Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.

By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.

Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.

The amount of carbon-14 in the air has stayed the same for thousands of years.

There is a small amount of radioactive carbon-14 in all living organisms because it enters the food chain.

Rachel Wood does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Radiocarbon dating has transformed our understanding of the past 50,000 years.Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.The results showed that Ötzi died over 5000 years ago, sometime between 33 BC. It is found in the air in carbon dioxide molecules. Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.Materials that originally came from living things, such as wood and natural fibres, can be dated by measuring the amount of carbon-14 they contain.