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The controversy of using radioactive dating

I found several good sources, but none that seemed both complete enough to stand alone and simple enough for a What is radiometric dating?

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To keep it short, a nuclide is usually written using the elements abbreviation.Since all atoms of the same element have the same number of protons, different nuclides of an element differ in the number of neutrons they contain.For example, hydrogen-1 and hydrogen-2 are both nuclides of the element hydrogen, but hydrogen-1's nucleus contains only a proton, while hydrogen-2's nucleus contains a proton and a neutron.Young-Earth creationists -- that is, creationists who believe that Earth is no more than 10,000 years old -- are fond of attacking radiometric dating methods as being full of inaccuracies and riddled with sources of error.When I first became interested in the creation-evolution debate, in late 1994, I looked around for sources that clearly and simply explained what radiometric dating is and why young-Earth creationists are driven to discredit it.Radiometric dating methods are the strongest direct evidence that geologists have for the age of the Earth.

All these methods point to Earth being very, very old -- several billions of years old.

The new atom doesnt form the same kinds of chemical bonds that the old one did. It may not even be able to hold the parent atoms place in the compound it finds itself in, which results in an immediate breaking of the chemical bonds that hold the atom to the others in the mineral. In the next part of this article, Ill examine several different radiometric dating techniques, and show how the axioms I cited above translate into useful age measurements. C14 is also formed continuously from N14 (nitrogen-14) in the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

And since carbon is an essential element in living organisms, C14 appears in all terrestrial ( get C14 from the environment.

The half-life of a radioactive nuclide is defined as the time it takes half of a sample of the element to decay.

A mathematical formula can be used to calculate the half-life from the number of breakdowns per second in a sample of the nuclide.

Some, however, are unstable -- given time, they will spontaneously undergo one of the several kinds of radioactive decay, changing in the process into another element.