Carbon dating how does it work

by Dr Carl Wieland An attempt to explain this very important method of dating and the way in which, when fully understood, it supports a ‘short’ timescale.

In fact, the whole method is a giant ‘clock’ which seems to put a very young upper limit on the age of the atmosphere.

Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.

The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.

For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles below.

This does not mean that recalibration is bad, indeed it is necessary, but it should make one more soberly assess any reported dates as being tentative.

The problem is that most people reporting on these issues fail to report the initial number along with the calibrated date. The Jericho controversy is soundly rooted in C-14 calibration.

Carbon is naturally in all living organisms and is replenished in the tissues by eating other organisms or by breathing air that contains carbon.

At any particular time all living organisms have approximately the same ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in their tissues.

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When granite rock hardens, it freezes radioactive elements in place.

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