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Carbon dating game

ost people think carbon dating can be used to establish the age of anything old.

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All living things, directly or indirectly, absorb carbon from the atmosphere.Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years.We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.

Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.

Anything that was never alive cannot be dated using carbon dating methods.

References to carbon dating of rocks, for example, are inaccurate since rocks were never alive.

The carbon absorbed is both C-12 and C-14 and it is absorbed at the same ratio as it exists in the atmosphere.

Once a living thing dies, it stops absorbing both C-12 and C-14.

Renfrew (1973) called it 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its impact upon the human sciences.