Radiocarbon dating organic materials

Other radiometric dating methods such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium are used for such purposes by those who believe that the earth is billions of years old.

Radiocarbon is not suitable for this purpose because it is only applicable: a) on a time scale of thousands of years and b) to remains of once-living organisms (with minor exceptions, from which rocks are excluded).

— A new dating method finally is allowing archaeologists to incorporate rock paintings -- some of the most mysterious and personalized remnants of ancient cultures -- into the tapestry of evidence used ...

— Researchers have produced a new archaeological tool which could answer key questions in human evolution.

MYTH #2 Radiocarbon dating has established the date of some organic materials (e.g., some peat deposits) to be well in excess of 50,000 years, thus rendering a recent creation (6 to 10 thousand years ago) impossible.

Some organic materials do give radiocarbon ages in excess of 50,000 "radiocarbon years." However, it is important to distinguish between "radiocarbon years" and calendar years.

— Scientists have developed a first-of-its-kind method for determining the age of ancient artifacts without causing damage to the objects.Since the atmosphere is composed of about 78 percent nitrogen,2 a lot of radiocarbon atoms are produced—in total about 16.5 lbs. These rapidly combine with oxygen atoms (the second most abundant element in the atmosphere, at 21 percent) to form carbon dioxide (CO This carbon dioxide, now radioactive with carbon-14, is otherwise chemically indistinguishable from the normal carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is slightly lighter because it contains normal carbon-12.Radioactive and non-radioactive carbon dioxide mix throughout the atmosphere, and dissolve in the oceans.Contributing Studies: Szmidt, CC, Normand C, Burr GS, Hodgins GWL, La Motta S (2010) AMS 14C dating the Protoaurignacian/Early Aurignacian of Isturitz, France., “Implications for Neanderthal-modern human interactions and the timing of technical and cultural innovations in Europe”, .Project Description: Five parchment Portolan (early nautical) Charts from the Mediterranean were selected by the curators of the Geography and Maps Division, Library of Congress for radiocarbon dating.

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