Radiometric dating uses the decay rates of
In particular: plants, things that eat plants, things that eat things that eat plants, and breatharians.
When things die they stop getting new carbon and the carbon-14 they have is free to radioactively decay without getting replaced.
In other words, age is not really a matter of scientific observation but an argument about our assumptions about the unobserved past.
The assumptions behind the evidences presented here cannot be proved, but the fact that such a wide range of different phenomena all much younger ages than are currently generally accepted, provides a strong case for questioning those accepted ages (currently 13.77 billion years for the universe and 4.543 billion years for the solar system).
Fortunately, the stuff ancient civilization leave lying around tend to be found in clumps called “middens”.Since uranium-238 (the isotope comprising more than 99% of natural uranium) has a half-life of billions of years, it’s useful for figuring out the age of (among other things) zircons that crystallized billions of years ago. And, not for nothing, it’s also caused a thousandfold increase in lead contamination in the bodies (or bones at least) of everything that breathes and/or eats.If you’ve ever wondered why gasoline should be “unleaded”: that’s why.Carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5,700 years, so if you find a body with half the carbon-14 of a living body, then that somebody would have been pretty impressed by bronze.Of course none of that helps when it comes to pottery and tools (except wooden tools).