Carbon dating and reliability
We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].
Thus radioactive dating relies purely on assumptions.You can help Amazing Discoveries reduce costs by upgrading or replacing your internet browser with one of the options below.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.The following article is primarily based on a discussion of radiocarbon dating found in The Biblical Chronologist Volume 5, Number 1. Radiocarbon dating is based on a few relatively simple principles. The vast majority of these are C (pronounced "c twelve"), the stable isotope of carbon.However, cosmic radiation constantly collides with atoms in the upper atmosphere.This tendency to decay, called radioactivity, is what gives radiocarbon the name radiocarbon.
The atmosphere contains many stable carbon atoms and relatively few radiocarbon atoms.
We stick the garden hose in and turn it on full blast.
The water coming out of the hose is analogous to the continuous production of carbon-14 atoms in the upper atmosphere.
Rasmus Nyerup's quote reminds us of the tremendous scientific advances which have taken place in the 20th century.
In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.
The barrel represents the earth's atmosphere in which the carbon-14 accumulates.