5 limitations of radiocarbon dating

The terrestrial carbon cycle is fairly simple: plants get their carbon from the atmosphere via the process of photosynthesis; herbivores get their carbon from plants, and carnivores from the herbivores.After the death of the organism, processes of decay will return its carbon to the atmosphere, unless it is sequestered — for example in the form of coal.

To date a radioactive rock, geologists first measure the “sand grains” in the top glass bowl (the parent radioisotope, such as uranium-238 or potassium-40).

Part 1 (in the previous issue) explained how scientists observe unstable atoms changing into stable atoms in the present.

Part 2 explains how scientists run into problems when they make assumptions about what happened .

They also measure the sand grains in the bottom bowl (the daughter isotope, such as lead-206 or argon-40, respectively).

It is confusing when the maximum date for Carbon 14 is listed as 60,000 years and 80,000 years in the same article (Chapter 4 Dating Methods by Roger Patterson and the reference article summary 4.2 by Riddle.) and as 50,000 years in another (The Answers Book) as well as 95,000 years in the Creation College lecture by Dr. This is why there is the disparity in the quoted limits to radiocarbon dating, as highlighted by this inquirer.

5 limitations of radiocarbon dating