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All living things, plants and animals alike, contain the chemical element Carbon. A number of the Carbon atoms existing in all living things are radioactive. The radioactive carbon atoms continue to exist in animals and plants, even thousands of years after death. By measuring the radioactivity of samples derived from dead organic matter, Scientist have developed a method for dating objects that go back to earlier antiquities, and even to prehistoric times. Without this radioactive form of carbon, we might have never known just how long ago that dinosaurs walked the earth.

Some forms of Carbon include the diamond and coal. The Diamond is a natural crystallized form of Carbon. Without the diamond, what would a girl choose as her best friend? What kind of ring would a man propose with? How could anyone ever live without Carbon in this form?

One compound of Carbon, carbon dioxide, we need in order to breath and literally survive. Green plants obtain carbon from the carbon dioxide existing in the air. They combine carbon dioxide with water, and then, with the presence of sunlight, they create their food. Without this process, we would not have any green plants. Civilization and life as we know it would not exist, for the early settlers sometimes survived solely on the vegetables they obtained from green plants.

Being the sixth most abundant element in the universe, and making up 94 percent of all known compounds, Carbon is the most important element. How would we ever be able to survive without it?



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