Is radiocarbon dating reliable


This assumption is backed by numerous scientific studies and is relatively sound.However, conditions may have been different in the past and could have influenced the rate of decay or formation of radioactive elements.



If dated with the carbon-14 method, the flow appears to be less than 17,000 years old, but dating with the potassium argon method gives dates of 160,000 to 43 million years.It's assumed that the clock was set to zero when the study material was formed.This requires that only the parent isotope be initially present or that the amount of daughter isotope present at the beginning is known so that it can be subtracted.It is assumed that we are dealing with a closed system—no loss of either parent or daughter elements has occurred since the study material formed.

No scientist can guarantee that any sample can be considered a closed system unless it was isolated from its environment when it was formed.

We could put forward the following counter arguments to the constancy of these assumptions: a) The constancy of cosmic ray bombardment might be questioned.



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