Carbon dating fact fiction

There’s not much to debate about these views: One is fact, based on empirical scientific evidence; the other is fiction, based on biblically inspired fantasy.

Nye is an earnest educator; Ham is an exploitative fabulist.

The approach was a sensation when it was introduced.

The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.

Since the 1940s, scientists have used carbon dating to determine the age of fossils, identify vintages of wine and whiskey, and explore other organic artifacts like wood and ivory.

The technique involves comparing the level of one kind of carbon atom—one that decays over time—with the level of another, more stable kind of carbon atom.

Anyone who says otherwise—that is, anyone who accepts basic science—is just spreading the devil’s lies.

(That includes me.) Bill Nye’s decision to debate Ham at the Creation Museum Tuesday night, then, was a puzzling one.

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