The article is in straightforward language and the non-technical reader could profitably work through it.
, we find that this ration is the same if we sample a leaf from a tree, or a part of your body.
There are two reasons uncalibrated dates must be mentioned: 1) this prevents people from making up any number they please, and 2) it is for the sake of posterity, where future scientists can check the results and apply new ideas of calibration. Radiocarbon dates are affected by many outside factors.
The accuracy of the machines is not in question (especially modern ones, which are astoundingly accurate when properly zeroed in). But, any source of old carbon in the ancient environment can affect the amount of C-14 in a sample.
I understand calibration might have something to do with this, but then in the article it says in italicized words that the uncalibrated date “Must Always Be Mentioned”. CMI’s Dr Rob Carter responds: Anthony, As a fan of biblical archaeology, I was asked to address your question.
But when I read articles about the results, they never mention the uncalibrated data, which could actually be correct. I am not an expert in every subject that impinges on the discussion, but I will do my best.
This does not mean that recalibration is bad, indeed it is necessary, but it should make one more soberly assess any reported dates as being tentative.
So, scientists can estimate the age of the fossil by looking at the level of decay in its radioactive carbon.Think of it like a teaspoon of cocoa mixed into a cake dough—after a while, the ‘ratio’ of cocoa to flour particles would be roughly the same no matter which part of the cake you sampled.The fact that the C doesn’t matter in a living thing—because it is constantly exchanging carbon with its surroundings, the ‘mixture’ will be the same as in the atmosphere and in all living things.As soon as it dies, however, the C ration gets smaller.In other words, we have a ‘clock’ which starts ticking at the moment something dies.
However, it is also used to determine ages of rocks, plants, trees, etc. When the sun’s rays reach them, a few of these particles turn into carbon 14 (a radioactive carbon).