Radiocarbon dating by sheridan bowman clay matthews dating who
Yet, as simple and straightforward as this seems, the process of dating objects via radiocarbon is far from simple and straightforward.Here I will present what radiocarbon is, the dating methods, the assumptions that govern them, and the known discrepancies that plague the method.As is common fact, plants photosynthesize and consume CO2, fixing its carbon.Since a small fraction of CO2 contains C14, some of carbon fixed within the plant is that of C14.Animals eat the plants, ingesting the C14 which in turn enters the animal’s tissues (Warf, 212).When an organism dies, it obviously no longer eats, photosynthesizes, etc.This is a common misunderstanding the general layman has of radiocarbon dating that is important to clarify.What makes C14 significant is that it is an unstable atom.
Radiocarbon Every day cosmic rays bombard our atmosphere.
These methods were fraught with dating conflicts, many of which will be discussed later.
AMS, developed in the 1980s, which overcomes many of the shortfalls of conventional carbon dating, directly measures C14 atoms relative to C12 and C13 atoms (Bowman, 31). Assumptions As straightforward as radiocarbon seems to be there are actually a large number of underlying assumptions that the entire dating process relies on. Andrew Snelling of the Institute of Creation Research writes, “There can be no doubt that this constitutes a very ingenious dating tool, provided of course that the inherent assumptions are valid,” (Snelling, 856).
As the Carbon 14 slowly descends into our lower atmosphere it bonds with oxygen becoming the very unpopular CO2 greenhouse gas (Bowman, 10).
Though the vast majority of CO2 is comprised of the more common and stable isotope of carbon, carbon 12 (C12), a small fraction of CO2 (one in 765 million), contains C14.
-After ceasing exchange, C14 levels are only modified by radio decay. 3) Carbon ratios are only altered by C14 decay after an organism dies. In order for radiocarbon to be effective in dating objects of antiquity, these assumptions must be true.