Carbon dating art
Used to estimate the age of ancient artifacts and human and animal remains, radiocarbon dating is regarded by many as one of the miracles of modern science.Some, however, have serious doubts about the credibility of this technique.
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The first of these problems is the fact that the original ratio of carbon and radioactive carbon is unknown.
The second problem is that the possibility of contamination of the sample over time is quite high.
Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon.
The carbon-14 method was developed by the American physicist Willard F. It has proved to be a versatile technique of dating fossils and archaeological specimens from 500 to 50,000 years old.
The method is widely used by Pleistocene geologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and investigators in related fields.
The theory of carbon dating is interesting, but there are inherent problems with the presumptions upon which it is based.
It is not uncommon for different laboratories to determine quite different ages for the same artifact!
While some of this deviation could possibly be explained by contamination or erred methodology in the labs themselves, it is apparent that the problems with carbon dating are much more complex than that.
Even changes in the atmosphere itself could impact this carbon ratio.