If you believe the scientists, radiocarbon dating is an infallible method of measuring the age of artifacts, plant life, archaeological, human and animal remains.

**Table of contents**

- Radiocarbon dating
- Want to add to the discussion?
- Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating
- Radiocarbon dating - Wikipedia

The problem is the technique, not the tool. When carbon dating was first introduced there were many uncertainties that have been resolved in the last 60 years. Just like all scientific and medical procedures they have made progress. Referring to measurements from the early years of carbon dating in criticism of the technique is as reliable as referring to the early years of heart surgery in criticism of the technique.

Here are some well known limits of carbon dating. Scientists who do this work are looking for accurate answers. They really want to refine the method to be as accurate as possible. It is disingenuous to accuse them of that. They then dated tree rings by C14 and built a calibration graph to correct the results, dates now are calibrated. Ask New Question Sign In. Quora uses cookies to improve your experience. Is there proof of carbon dating being wrong? Grammarly for Chrome is here to improve your writing on Quora.

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Libby made the following observations about the accuracy of the method: Both views were actually true, but for different reasons. To quote Immanuel Velikovsky, who painstakingly pieced together so much of the scientific evidence that clearly shows that cataclysmic events did occur in human history, and have left innumerable traces even today: Updated Oct 8, Why can't an antiquity older than 70, years be dated by carbon dating method? How accurate is radiocarbon dating?

Which is the oldest civilization confirmed by carbon dating? Are there any potential flaws in carbon dating? Nope, there is an enormous amount of evidence that it's right. Carbon dating is one of the few things in archaeology that we're lucky enough to have an unambiguous test for. Tree-ring dating, in a given region, enables you to count the years precisely, one by one. You can tell exactly how old a piece of wood is by tree-ring dating, and you can also tell approximately how old it is by carbon dating.

Carbon dating is less precise, but it matches.

## Radiocarbon dating

The only thing carbon dating don't work quite right on is recent things from the last 70 years or so, because all the aboveground nuclear testing in the 50s put more Carbon in the atmosphere than is normally there. Carbon dating only works on items that were once alive. The process assumes the object being dating was in equilibrium with atmospheric carbon when it died.

So, only living organisms. So we'll ideally start using double-precision floating point numbers and reach in the opposite direction of infinitesimally small time intervals using a very similar time convention that can keep using existing timestamps. Hopefully someone will still know how to write C so they can change the libraries and applications to use doubles instead of ints, as well as using signed values. That'd bring things into much saner territory. It's much more likely that standards will change due to wanting increased precision, rather than increased range after y2k38, at least.

Using 32bits numbers, the maximum signed positive value is 2,,, or 2 Human life span in seconds reaches max signed long int at age: Think about that for a moment: When you are 68 and a half you have lived 25, days. Using unsigned 32bit numbers the max is 4,,, or 10 Human life span in seconds reaches max unsigned long int at age: There are about ,, million people over 68 years old right now. Remarkably only one human being excluding biblical hyperboles has lived longer than years. We have to do these scale activities for my chemistry course to help conceptualize these kinds of number relationships and more extreme chemistry type numbers like moles and there are questions like "a billion minus a million is approximately It's kind of trippy.

Natural numbers 1, 2, Each number is unique, and can be counted, but you will never reach the end. Set of integers is twice as infinitely big as the Whole numbers, because they add the negative of every single member of the set except 0. Rational numbers include an infinite set between every integer. The Real set is finally uncountable. But not the same infinite. I was so disappointed you didn't continue onto imaginary numbers.

They were probably the best thing about studying Maths C. Jimbo there is right. You only described two types of infinity--countable and uncountable. Real numbers are uncountably infinite, and the other types you described natural, whole, integer, rational are countably infinite.

If there's a way to list them out a 1 to 1 map , they're countable. One neat question involving this, though, is "are there infinities of size between the reals and the naturals?

### Want to add to the discussion?

It's a fork in the mathematical road. You can take either path, and maintain a logically consistent system. And a mole minus a billion is still A litre of water has I love how a simple glass of water contains more entities than there are stars in our entire visible universe. It gets even hairer with the binary system; lots of people think going from 32 to 64 bit was an incremental improvement in counting ability, but not so. A bit computer has a native integer format of 32 bits which isn't even large enough to count the number of people in the world.

A bit integer, however, can easily count the number of atoms in the milky way and approaches being able to count the number of atoms in the universe. Or, in round figures, bit about 4. You're right that the difference between 32 and bit integers is monstrous, but these atom count comparisons are totally off. Roughly speaking, there are 10 68 atoms in the Milky Way, and 10 80 atoms in the universe. Ow, you're correct, thanks for pointing that out. I had somehow got it in my head that there were 2 70 or so rather than 10 Each new digit in binary doubles the greatest number that can be expressed.

Each new digit in decimal makes it 10 times as large. Binary has the smallest possible ramp and it's still huge. I like thinking of it in terms of distance. The difference between 1km and km at highway speeds is about 30 seconds vs about 10 hours to cover the two distances. Whereas Bill Gates is good for about twice around the Earth's equator.

We are not just bad at numbers or good at language but incredibly so.

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The mental image for a dozen is essentially identical to the one for 13 or 14 or 9 for that matter. Only when we are quite attentive does discrimination occur. Even when people that are well educated are exposed to numbers like 9.

## Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating

How can we quantify the accuracy of these methods? Like in your example about the the zircon crystals? Wouldn't we have to know the know the true age of the sample by some other method in order to say for certain what the margin of error is? Or is it more of a confidence interval type thing? Like we're a certain percentage sure that its age falls within a range of 10 million years? Flip over an hour glass and watch the sand tumble into the bottom container. Now, time how long it takes all the sand to fall from the top to the bottom an hour, let's say.

When you do this, you observe the sand falling at a predictable rate throughout that hour.

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You repeat this experiment times on different hour glasses, all nearly identical. You observe that the time it takes for the sand to fall varies between all of them, slightly. Some are within less than a second of an hour.

## Radiocarbon dating - Wikipedia

The least accurate are 90 seconds under or over. You conclude it takes an hour plus or minus 90 seconds for the hour glass to completely empty top to bottom. Now, lets say you stumble upon an hour glass mid-pour. It has identifical physical properties as all the ones you've measured: You also time it for 30 seconds and observe it pouring at nearly an identical rate as the you tested previously.

There's a few other possiblities we could come up with, but tbose are some main one's that come to mind. Now, imagine you continue to study hour glasses. Overtime you observe hundreds of thousands poor start to finish.