Radioactive isotopes carbon 14 dating

Now there is no question that many of the finds from these digs are tens of thousands to millions of years old.However, due to a lack of precision and certainty among these dating systems, there is also a corresponding uncertainty regarding the species ancestry timelines being proposed.

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Radioactive dating of carbon-14 and other isotopes assume several factors unknown to modern scientists.In the case of carbon-14; when a cosmic ray enters our atmosphere, it will bombard atoms, creating neutrons that will bombard nitrogen molecules.These nitrogen atoms then initiate carbon-14 production.Theoretically, carbon-14 is consumed by trees and other living matter at a linear rate.Once that tree or other living organism dies, the carbon-14 will decompose without new carbon-14s being added (because the organism died).

This means that a researcher can measure the amount of carbon-14 left in the dead matter, compare it to the amount of carbon-14 in a living form of a similar species today, and determine the age by extrapolating the theoretical half-life (how long it takes for half of the molecules to degrade) of carbon-14.However, there are a number of problems relating to the method’s accuracy.First, we are assuming the same rate of cosmic radiation is entering the atmosphere over the expanse of time between that date and the date of measurement.Variances in the sun’s emissions, the universe’s movements, and other atmospheric changes we may not be aware of can all affect the levels of cosmic rays bombarding organisms in our atmosphere.Some records show that the earth’s magnetic fields have dramatically decreased through the years, which would directly affect carbon-14 levels.Second, we are assuming the atmosphere has remained constant, allowing the same amount of isotope creation.