Radiocarbon dating problem

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.

By comparing the two categories of carbon in organic remains, archaeologists can judge how recently the organism that left them last absorbed carbon-14 out of its environment.

Over millennia the level of carbon-14 in the atmosphere changes, meaning measurements need to be calibrated against a chart that takes the atmospheric concentration into account, such as INTCAL13.

The current version of INTCAL13 is based on historical data from North America and Europe, and has a fairly broad resolution over thousands of years.

The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 1940's.

It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field.

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