It cannot be used to date volcanic rocks, for example.The rate of decay of N in 5,730 years (plus or minus 40 years).
Also, the Genesis flood would have greatly upset the carbon balance.
The flood buried a huge amount of carbon, which became coal, oil, etc., lowering the total C ratio in plants/animals/the atmosphere before the flood had to be lower than what it is now.
This also has to be corrected for. Second, the ratio of C in the atmosphere at that time to be estimated, and so partial calibration of the “clock” is possible.
Accordingly, carbon dating carefully applied to items from historical times can be useful.
Clearly, such huge time periods cannot be fitted into the Bible without compromising what the Bible says about the goodness of God and the origin of sin, death and suffering—the reason Jesus came into the world (See Six Days? He said, This only makes sense with a time-line beginning with the creation week thousands of years ago.
It makes no sense at all if man appeared at the end of billions of years.
However, even with such historical calibration, archaeologists do not regard C produced and therefore dating the system.
The amount of cosmic rays reaching the Earth varies with the sun's activity, and with the Earth's passage through magnetic clouds as the solar system travels around the Milky Way galaxy.
So, we have a “clock” which starts ticking the moment something dies.
Obviously, this works only for things which were once living.
We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.