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

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A third, very rare type of radioactive decay is called electron absorption.

In electron absorption, a proton absorbs an electron to become a neutron.

An alpha particle contains two protons and two neutrons.

After emission, it quickly picks up two electrons to balance the two protons, and becomes an electrically neutral helium-4 (He4) atom. When an atom emits a beta particle, a neutron inside the nucleus is transformed to a proton.

Normal 12C has 6 protons and 6 neutrons, whereas 14C has 6 protons and 8 neutrons. An organism that died 11,400 years ago will have only one quarter of its original 14C, and so on.

After about 40,000 years, too little 14C remains to be measured.In other words, electron absorption is the exact reverse of beta decay.The mass number doesnt change, while the atomic number goes down by 1.To keep it short, a nuclide is usually written using the elements abbreviation.Uraniums abbreviation is U, so uranium-238 can be more briefly written as U238.The mass number doesn't change, but the atomic number goes up by 1.