Jump to navigation. Response: I asked several people who know about this field. Their responses are numbered below. C14 dating is very accurate for wood used up to about 4, years ago. This is only because it is well calibrated with objects of known age. Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content.
Carbon dating is used to work out the age of organic material - in effect, any living thing.
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The technique hinges on carbon, a radioactive isotope of the element that, unlike other more stable forms of carbon, decays away at a steady rate. Organisms capture a certain amount of carbon from the atmosphere when they are alive. By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.
But that assumes that the amount of carbon in the atmosphere was constant - any variation would speed up or slow down the clock.
The clock was initially calibrated by dating objects of known age such as Egyptian mummies and bread from Pompeii; work that won Willard Libby the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Various geologic, atmospheric and solar processes can influence atmospheric carbon levels. Since the s, scientists have started accounting for the variations by calibrating the clock against the known ages of tree rings.
As a rule, carbon dates are younger than calendar dates: a bone carbon-dated to 10, years is around 11, years old, and 20, carbon years roughly equates to 24, calendar years.
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The problem, says Bronk Ramsey, is that tree rings provide a direct record that only goes as far back as about 14, years. Marine records, such as corals, have been used to push farther back in time, but these are less robust because levels of carbon in the atmosphere and the ocean are not identical and tend shift with changes in ocean circulation. Two distinct sediment layers have formed in the lake every summer and winter over tens of thousands of years.
The researchers collected roughly metre core samples from the lake and painstakingly counted the layers to come up with a direct record stretching back 52, years. Take the extinction of Neanderthals, which occurred in western Europe less than 30, years ago.
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Archaeologists vehemently disagree over the effects changing climate and competition from recently arriving humans had on the Neanderthals' demise. The more accurate carbon clock should yield better dates for any overlap of humans and Neanderthals, as well as for determining how climate changes influenced the extinction of Neanderthals.
We believe all the dates over 5, years are really compressible into the next 2, years back to creation. So when you hear of a date of 30, years for a carbon date we believe it to be early after creation and only about 7, years old. If something carbon dates at 7, years we believe 5, is probably closer to reality just before the flood.
Robert Whitelaw has done a very good job illustrating this theory using about 30, dates published in Radio Carbon over the last 40 years.
One of the impressive points Whitewall makes is the conspicuous absence of dates between 4, and 5, years ago illustrating a great catastrophe killing off plant and animal life world wide the flood of Noah! I hope this helps your understanding of carbon dating.
Whither Carbon Dating? With such obvious difficulties, scientists now only had one alternative: submit carbon dating to another new dating method by tree rings for verification. "Accuracy of Radiocarbon Dates," Science, Vol. , No. , April 19, , p. ). More Than One Ring Per Year. Libby's statement was partially based on.
If you have any more questions about it don't hesitate to write. I just listened to a series of lectures on archaeology put out by John Hopkins Univ. The lecturer talked at length about how inaccurate C14 Dating is as 'corrected' by dendrochronology.
The methodology is quite accurate, but dendrochronology supposedly shows that the C14 dates go off because of changes in the equilibrium over time, and that the older the dates the larger the error.
Accuracy of carbon dating
Despite this she continually uses the c14 dates to create 'absolute' chronologies. She says this is ok so long as you take into account the correction factors from dendrochronology.
Check This Out: Radiometric Dating
They conveniently forget to mention that the tree ring chronology was arranged by C14 dating. The scientists who were trying to build the chronology found the tree rings so ambiguous that they could not decide which rings matched which using the bristlecone pine.
Oct 18, From Nature magazine. The carbon clock is getting reset. Climate records from a Japanese lake are set to improve the accuracy of the dating technique, which could help to shed light on Author: Nature Magazine. C14 dating is very accurate for wood used up to about 4, years ago. This is only because it is well calibrated with objects of known age. Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content. In order for carbon dating to be accurate, we must know what the ratio of carbon to carbon was in the environment in which our specimen lived during its lifetime. Unfortunately the ratio of carbon to carbon has yet to reach a state of equilibrium in our atmosphere; there is more carbon in the air today than there was thousands of.
So they tested some of the ring sequences by C14 to put the sequences in the 'right' order. Once they did that they developed the overall sequence.
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And this big sequence is then used to 'correct' C14 dates. Talk of circular reasoning!!!! Even if the rate of decay is constant, without a knowledge of the exact ratio of C12 to C14 in the initial sample, the dating technique is still subject to question.