Carbon dating fossil record
Let's say you found a fossil you think to be a human skeleton.
The best radioactive element to use to date human fossils is Carbon-14.
Both radiocarbon dating and radiometric dating have problems: they require assumptions to be made about the sample (Exactly how old is it?
How much of this element was present at the beginning?
The half-lives of several radioactive isotopes are known and are used often to figure out the age of newly found fossils.After you prepare your sample and put it into the machine, your readout says you have approximately 75% Nitrogen-14 and 25% Carbon-14.Now it is time to put those math skills to good use.The discrepancy between 40,000 years and 6,000 years (the age of the earth commonly upheld by young-earthers) is considerably less daunting than 6,000 years versus a sold "billions." It is important to view this issue in the proper light. There is motivation to prove certain theories—both for the sake of ambition and the sake of strong emotions against religion. For example, consider the coelacanth, a fish fossil that was thought to be 70 million years old.This is not only hard empirical scientific data we're dealing with. Extrapolating from the interpretation of this fossil, scientists believed that they had found an ancestor of humanity—the first fish who walked up onto the land and breathed air. This is not to say that everything scientists do and say is wrong, or the data is being deliberately fudged.