singleslovedating - Study questions carbon dating

This makes the results subject to the researchers’ assumptions about those objects.

If the spear head is dated using animal bones nearby, the accuracy of the results is entirely dependent on the assumed link between the spear head and the animal.

This provides good information, but it only indicates how long ago that piece of wood was cut from a living tree.

Radiocarbon dating can’t tell the difference between wood that was cut and immediately used for the spear, and wood that was cut years before being re-used for that purpose.

Carbon dating is based on the loss of carbon-14, so, even if the present amount in a specimen can be detected accurately, we must still know how much carbon-14 the organism started with.

Scientists must assume how much carbon-14 was in the organism when it died.

All in all, setting the parameters of the carbon-14 test is more of an art than a science.

Contamination and repeatability are also factors that have to be considered with carbon dating.

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Question: "Is carbon dating a reliable method for determining the age of things?

This is perhaps the greatest point of potential error, as assumptions about dating can lead to circular reasoning, or choosing confirming results, rather than accepting a “wrong” date.

Second, radiocarbon dating becomes more difficult, and less accurate, as the sample gets older.

" Answer: Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, like any other laboratory testing technique, can be extremely reliable, so long as all of the variables involved are controlled and understood.

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