Carbon 14 dating seal

Since carbon-14 is a radioactive substance, it has a half-life, and gradually begins losing electron.Thus the age of a once-living thing can be calculated by measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in its tissues. In other words, the amount of carbon-14 in the dead tissue declines by half once every 5.570 years.The Earth is constantly being bombarded by cosmic rays from outer space.These rays strike nitrogen-14, found in high levels in the atmosphere, and transform this into carbon-14, a radioactive substance.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).

Indeed, various concrete findings have revealed that carbon-14 dating is not all that reliable.The most important of these is the high likelihood of gas exchange between the specimen to be dated and the outside environment.This exchange mostly comes about by means of waters containing carbonate or bicarbonate.Some animals feed on plants; other living things feed on the creatures that feed on plants.Via this food chain, the radioactive carbon that plants have absorbed from the air is transferred to other living things.

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