Problems with carbon 14 dating method

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We thank you in advance for partnering with us in this small but significant way. All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time.

Prior to that, they had to depend on more rudimentary and imprecise methods, such as counting the number of rings on a cross-section of tree trunk.

This all changed in the 1940s when US chemist Willard Libby discovered that carbon-14, a radioactive isotope, could be used to date organic compounds.

Scientists across countless disciplines rely on it to date objects that are tens of thousands of years old. An analysis by Heather Graven, a climate-physics researcher at Imperial College London, finds that today's rate of fossil-fuel emissions is skewing the ratio of carbon that scientists use to determine an object's age.

Combustion of fossil fuels is “diluting the fraction of atmospheric carbon dioxide containing radiocarbon,” Graven told , the large amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make new organic material appear to be 1,000 years old based on today’s carbon-dating models.

By the year 2100, the atmosphere will have a radiocarbon age of 2,000 years old. If Graven's calculations are correct, carbon dating as we know it today will no longer be reliable by the year 2030.

However, conditions may have been different in the past and could have influenced the rate of decay or formation of radioactive elements.

Evolutionists assume that the rate of cosmic bombardment of the atmosphere has always remained constant and that the rate of decay has remained constant.

Scientists place great faith in this dating method, and yet more than 50% of radiocarbon dates from geological and archaeological samples of northeastern North America have been deemed unacceptable after investigation.

"The radiocarbon dating technique may significantly underestimate the age of sediment for samples older than 30,000 years,” said the authors of the report from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics.

“Thus it is necessary to pay [special] attention when using such old carbon data for palaeoclimatic or archaeological interpretations," they added.

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