Margin of error in radiocarbon dating


Here's another minor (possibly) point about Carbon-14 dating that I just recently read somewhere but I can't remember where...(at least I didn't get it from a friend of a friend): C-14 dating will not work for anything that has died after 1945. ) mix of the elements in the environment at about that time...It causes the margin of error to be essentially zero when the number of random things becomes very large.If you had a bucket of coins and you threw them up in the air, it would be strange if they all came down heads.

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Young-Earth creationists -- that is, creationists who believe that Earth is no more than 10,000 years old -- are fond of attacking radiometric dating methods as being full of inaccuracies and riddled with sources of error.

This question is asked with the intention of understanding basically the decay constant of radiometric dating (although I know the above is not an entirely accurate representation).

I do understand that radioisotope decay is modeled exponentially, and that a majority of this dating technique is centered in probability.

Even seals and otters that eat a lot of shellfish will have very old C-14 dates.

: Suppose there is a set of variables whose individual values are probably different, and may be anything larger than zero. If there is a group of radioisotopes whose eventual decay is not predictable on the individual level, I do not understand how a decay constant is measurable.

This is a naturally occuring isotope that is found in bones among other things). I think that a old creationist canard should have been explicitly mentioned: You do not expect accurate C-14 dates from carbon samples that come from under the ocean.

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