Radioactive carbon dating method

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Radiocarbon dating has been studied at great length over the past few decades, and its strengths and weaknesses are very well understood at this point in time.For instance, even in the 1950s, when Willard Libby first developed the process, it was recognized that the scheme assumes that the level of carbon-14 in the atmosphere is constant.The ratio of radiocarbon to stable carbon atoms in the atmosphere has varied in the past.This is because the amount and strength of cosmic radiation entering the earth's atmosphere has varied over time.Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that remains to the age of the object.Radiocarbon dating, which is also known as carbon-14 dating, is one widely used radiometric dating scheme to determine dates of ancient artifacts.

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Understand how decay and half life work to enable radiometric dating.

These researchers collected core samples 70 meters deep, and then painstakingly counted the layers, year by year, to obtain a direct record stretching back 52,000 years.

Comparing these counts with a series of 651 radiocarbon-dated samples spanning this record, they obtained a calibration curve that is very close to the 2009 calibration shown above [Callaway2012]. It should be emphasized that the actual calibrated dates are about 10%-20% older than the raw uncorrected radiocarbon dates that were once used.

But, as is clear even from the very brief discussion in the previous paragraph, radiocarbon dating can say nothing one way or the other about whether the earth is many millions of years old, since such dates are far beyond this method's range of resolution.

Thus creationists and others who invoke perceived weaknesses in radiocarbon dating as justification to cast doubt on the great age of the earth are either uniformed on very basic scientific facts, or else are highly being disingenuous to their audience.

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