Scientific american carbon dating
These methods provide valuable and valid age data in most instances, although there is a small percentage of cases in which even these generally reliable methods yield incorrect results.
Such failures may be due to laboratory errors (mistakes happen), unrecognized geologic factors (nature sometimes fools us), or misapplication of the techniques (no one is perfect).
The development of this page will be gradual and contributions are invited.
There are many, many interesting applications of radiocarbon dating in a variety of different fields.
Usually determinations of age are repeated to avoid laboratory errors, are obtained on more than one rock unit or more than one mineral from a rock unit in order to provide a cross-check, or are evaluated using other geologic information that can be used to test and corroborate the radiometric ages.
Scientists who use radiometric dating typically use every means at their disposal to check, recheck, and verify their results, and the more important the results the more they are apt to be checked and rechecked by others.
If you would like to set up information regarding a project in which radiocarbon dating illuminated or solved a problem or in which C14 played a central role, please contact [email protected] The Origins of Angkor Archaeological Project From the University of Otago (New Zealand) and the Fine Arts Department of Thailand, the project is concerned with investigating archaeology of pre-formative Angkorean society of South East Asia.
We often test them under controlled conditions to learn when and why they fail so we will not use them incorrectly. For example, after extensive testing over many years, it was concluded that uranium-helium dating is highly unreliable because the small helium atom diffuses easily out of minerals over geologic time.
Creationists seem to think that a few examples of incorrect radiometric ages invalidate all of the results of radiometric dating, but such a conclusion is illogical.
Even things that work well do not work well all of the time and under all circumstances.
In most instances, these efforts are flawed because the authors have misunderstood or misrepresented the data they attempt to analyze (for example, Woodmorappe 1979; Morris HM 1985; Morris JD 1994).
Only rarely does a creationist actually find an incorrect radiometric result (Austin 1996; Rugg and Austin 1998) that has not already been revealed and discussed in the scientific literature.