Radio carbon dating mistakes

While this soaking removes some good material too, it does not change the C ratio, but it is altered the same way in the calibration samples too.

For example, while the Catholic Church was unwilling to let scientists burn a square inch piece of the Shroud of Turin, when mass spec technology advanced, it was willing to let them burn a thread, and that was all that was needed. Finally, one reads the age from a calibration chart of age vs. In the Radiocarbon journal the ratio is reported, so readers can calibrate for themselves.

time can tell exactly how long ago the organism died. For any logical method, if the assumptions are right, and the reasoning is valid, then the conclusion is right. Carbon-14 dating assumptions ratio has never changed. Nothing but radioactive decay would alter the ratio in a dead plant or animal. We will look at the method first, and then the assumptions.

There are three simple steps to getting a carbon-14 date: sample preparation, getting the ratio, and using a calibration chart to get the age from the ratio. Before dating, samples are first soaked in an 8% HCL, and then an Na OH caustic solution to clean them of contaminants, such as dirt, microbes, and tree sap.

A more difficult to deal problem with radiocarbon dating came from Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts when the dates were already known.

In Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, and Sumeria, there are "king lists" of who reigned and for how long.

The ring is thick when the winter is short, and thin when the winter is long.

Different trees growing at the same time in the same forest have very similar tree ring patterns.

It is worse, in that the rings are very thin, and roughly 5% of the time the tree either does not grow a ring in a year or else grows two rings.

Some clams were dated as having died 50,000 years ago, and they were still alive!

Many Middle Eastern artifacts, preserved under ideal conditions, were consistently giving dates wrong by 20%. Let's look critically at assumption 2, that nothing else affects the ratio in a dead organism.

All plants take in carbon from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A carbon-14 atom is radioactive; it eventually loses an electron and a neutrino and changes to nitrogen-14.

Its half-life is 5,730 30 years, so it never has nor can be used to date carbon samples millions of years old.

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