Used in radiocarbon dating

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Due to all these factors, it’s common for carbon dating results of a particular sample, or even a group of samples, to be rejected for the sole reason that they don’t align with the “expected” results.

That’s not unusual in science, so far as it goes, but the relationship between assumptions and interpretations must be kept in mind. At worst, it can make carbon dating circular and self-confirming, though there are other means of dating that can reduce this risk.

In short, carbon dating is as useful as any other technique, so long as it’s done properly and the results are objectively interpreted.

It is not, however, an inherently error-free or black-and-white method for dating objects.

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For this reason, it’s preferable to date objects using multiple methods, rather than relying on one single test.Carbon dating is reliable within certain parameters but certainly not infallible.When testing an object using radiocarbon dating, several factors have to be considered: First, carbon dating only works on matter that was once alive, and it only determines the approximate date of death for that sample.The other major factor affecting the results of carbon dating is gauging the original proportion of carbon-14 itself.Carbon dating is based on the loss of carbon-14, so, even if the present amount in a specimen can be detected accurately, we must still know how much carbon-14 the organism started with.

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