In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.

Until this century, relative dating was the only technique for identifying the age of a truly ancient object.

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.

Love-hungry teenagers and archaeologists agree: dating is hard.

But while the difficulties of single life may be intractable, the challenge of determining the age of prehistoric artifacts and fossils is greatly aided by measuring certain radioactive isotopes.

Introduction Many people have been led to believe that carbon dating (along with other radioactive dating methods) proves the earth to be much older than 6,000 years old.

If the dates received from carbon dating are accurate, it would be a huge problem for those who believe in the Genesis account of creation.Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.After death the amount of carbon-14 in the organic specimen decreases very regularly as the molecules decay.Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.This argument was popularized by Henry Morris (1974, p.164), who used some calculations done in 1968 by Melvin Cook to get the 10,000-year figure. Whitelaw, using a greater ratio of carbon-14 production to decay, concluded that only 5000 years passed since carbon-14 started forming in the atmosphere!