Carbon 14 dating flawed

Posted by / 26-Mar-2017 06:15

Carbon 14 dating flawed

Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.Although the theory of radiocarbon dating is interesting, there are several inherent problems with the process.The first of these problems is the fact that the original ratio of carbon and radioactive carbon is unknown.Desmond Clark (1979) wrote that were it not for radiocarbon dating, "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation" (Clark, 1979:7).

To base our knowledge on the age of the earth and its various constituents on information gleaned from a technique that depends on carbon and radioactive carbon ratios is very simply unrealistic.Some, however, have serious doubts about the credibility of this technique.Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the amount of normal carbon that is found in a sample with the amount of radioactive carbon.Even the use of accelerator mass spectrometry to analyze the relative levels of carbon and radioactive carbon has resulted in flawed determinations.It is not uncommon for different laboratories to determine quite different ages for the same artifact!

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The second problem is that the possibility of contamination of the sample over time is quite high.