Start Is carbon dating really reliable

Is carbon dating really reliable

Some may have mistaken this to mean that the sample had been dated to 20,000 radiocarbon years.

For this reason special precautions need to be exercised when sampling materials which contain only small amounts of radiocarbon.

Reports of young radiocarbon ages for coal probably all stem from a misunderstanding of one or both of these two factors.

This gives the clam shell an artificially old radiocarbon age.

This problem, known as the "," is not of very great practical importance for radiocarbon dating since most of the artifacts which are useful for radiocarbon dating purposes and are of interest to archaeology derive from terrestrial organisms which ultimately obtain their carbon atoms from air, not the water. Samples of coal have been found with radiocarbon ages of only 20,000 radiocarbon years or less, thus proving the recent origin of fossil fuels, probably in the Flood.

Measurements made using specially designed, more elaborate apparatus and more astute sampling-handling techniques have yielded radiocarbon ages for anthracite greater than 70,000 radiocarbon years, the sensitivity limit of this equipment. Continuous series of tree-ring dated wood samples have been obtained for roughly the past 10,000 years which give the approximate correct radiocarbon age, demonstrating the general validity of the conventional radiocarbon dating technique.

Several long tree-ring chronologies have been constructed specifically for use in calibrating the radiocarbon time scale.

Long tree-ring chronologies are rare (there are only two that I am aware of which are of sufficient length to be of interest to radiocarbon) and difficult to construct.