How accurate carbon dating
Specimens would then look much older than they actually are.d) Even if the rate of decay is constant, without knowledge of the exact ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14in the initial sample, the dating technique is subject to question.It's assumed that the clock was set to zero when the study material was formed.This requires that only the parent isotope be initially present or that the amount of daughter isotope present at the beginning is known so that it can be subtracted.
Carbon dating is a widely used technique to determine the age of archeological objects, fossils, or any remnant from the past. The method was developed by Willard Libby and his associates, in 1949.
This assumption is backed by numerous scientific studies and is relatively sound.
However, conditions may have been different in the past and could have influenced the rate of decay or formation of radioactive elements.
Many examples from literature show that the zero-reset assumption is not always valid.
Volcanic ejecta of Mount Rangitoto (Auckland, New Zealand) was found to have a potassium-40 age of 485,000 years, yet trees buried within the volcanic material were dated with the carbon-14 method to be less than 300 years old.A further example from a lava flow off the coast of Hawaii shows similar discrepancies.If dated with the carbon-14 method, the flow appears to be less than 17,000 years old, but dating with the potassium argon method gives dates of 160,000 to 43 million years.Elements can be transported into a sample or leach out of a sample.