Failed carbon dating

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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.So, by comparing many different trees in a forest in South Germany, and performing radiocarbon dating on a large number of samples, a calibration scale was developed.Other researchers did similar work in a forest in Northern Germany.Using tree rings, the calibration of carbon-14 has been extended back to ~4,760 B. Of course, they could all be wrong, but if enough independent studies agree with each other, then being wrong becomes a more remote possibility.In addition to tree rings, scientists have looked at what are called lake varves in Northern Sweden.

Finally American researchers did this with bristlecone pine trees in Arizona.

Bristlecone pine is both worse and better to use than oak.

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.

So if one does these three steps: prepare a valid sample well, run the test correctly, and read the right calibration, the date should be good.

So while many date to dance, you might say scientists do the "three-step" to date.

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