Absolute dating supplies a numerical date whilst relative dating places events in time-sequence; both are scientifically useful.
This is based upon the spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei.
But YE scientists point out some anomalies in relation to C-14 and a very old earth.
For instance, measurable amounts of C-14 have been found in fossil material, such as coal (traditionally Carboniferous period c300 mya).
This challenge is mainly headed by Creationism which teaches a young-earth (YE) theory.
A young earth is considered to be typically just 6,000 years old since this fits the creation account and some dating deductions from Genesis.
A full discussion of the topic must therefore include the current scientific challenge to the OE concept.Radioactive parent (P) atoms decay to stable daughter (D) atoms e.g.the carbon isotope C-14 decays to nitrogen-14 and the uranium isotope U-235 decays to the lead isotope Pb-207.Most people accept the current old-earth (OE) age estimate of around 4.6 billion years.This age is obtained from radiometric dating and is assumed by evolutionists to provide a sufficiently long time-frame for Darwinian evolution.These estimates give 4.4-4.5 billion years for moon rock, and 4.54 billion years for iron metreorites.These techniques utilize the physical parameters of the earth, such as ice cores, annual lake sediments, and astronomical cycles.And OE Christians (theistic evolutionists) see no problem with this dating whilst still accepting biblical creation, see Radiometric Dating - A Christian Perspective.This is the crucial point: it is claimed by some that an old earth supports evolutionary theory and by implication removes the need for biblical creation.The technique gave 90 million years, but took no account of the non-constant erosion rate, or the loss and recycling of salt, or the fact that salt is obtained from other sources as well as continents.More recently, work has been done on ocean sediments [S. This suggests that, given the current annual rates of erosion (some 27.5 billion tons), all earth's continents would be delivered into the oceans in just 14 million years.