The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 's. It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field. In the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate. MYTH 1. Radiocarbon is used to date the age of rocks, which enables scientists to date the age of the earth.
The Reliability of Radiocarbon Dating
How has radiocarbon dating changed archaeology? | HowStuffWorks
Archeologists use various methods to date objects. And if the artifact is organic, like wood or bone, researchers can turn to a method called radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dating, or simply carbon dating, is a technique that uses the decay of carbon 14 to estimate the age of organic materials. This method works effectively up to about 58, to 62, years. Since its introduction it has been used to date many well-known items, including samples of the Dead Sea Scrolls, enough Egyptian artifacts to supply a chronology of Dynastic Egypt, and Otzi the iceman. Willard Libby at the University of Chicago developed the technique of radiocarbon dating in
How has radiocarbon dating changed archaeology?
Though archaeologists can come up with good guesses about the date of artifacts through different processes, most methods of dating are trumped by a relatively new technique called radiocarbon dating. Developed in , it is considered the most useful way of determining the dates of artifacts for archaeologists. Since 14 C is radioactive, it decays at a relatively quick exponential rate Figure 1 , while non-radioactive carbon 12 C does not. While Libby noted that radiocarbon dating remains effective because the amount of 14 C produced in the atmosphere does not vary with time, this may not always be the case.
The top priority in these uncertain times remains the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of our campus community. Due to safety precautions during this time, normal turn-around times may be longer than usual. We appreciate your patience and patronage. Founded by J. Noakes in , the Center for Applied Isotope Studies is one of the largest and most comprehensive radiocarbon and isotope geochemistry facilities in the world.