Carbon dating for idiots

Let’s examine the underlying assumptions of let C-14 dating techniques.

Please remember that anytime the words “every”, “always”, and “only” appear in assumptions, one should be wary: To seemingly completely change gears on you, My Lovely Assistant found this article regarding the oddity of the Dry Valleys near Mc Murdo in Antarctica.

And when you do this people become confused as to what science and technology actually are, to the point that we have to deprogram juries and judges of the CSI Effect in capital punishment trials because Reality. NOTE: at no point in the process do you create the Fantastic Four. For any given element, its chemical properties are dictated by the number of protons, and thus electrons, that it has.

Chemically speaking, you can have any number of neutrons you want in the nucleus and it will still be the same element; those different mass nuclei with varying numbers of neutrons are known as “isotopes” of that element.

After about ten half-lives (~60000 years for C-14), we in the radiation detection game declare a radioactive isotope to be effectively gone.

It was then published in the final issue of Coilhouse.

Nor am I talking about the 60-somethings trying to pass for 18 as well. I would like to blame the movie Prometheus for this rant, but they’re hardly the only guilty party; it’s just the one that finally made me snap. But we also have all our neighboring suns of the Milky Way, many of which are much larger and energetic than ours, and the monstrous galactic core belching stripped nuclei at relativistic speeds at us.

Hollywood, you don’t understand how carbon dating works, that there are other dating methods that sometimes work better, and that the true (unattainable) goal is to find the perfect point of reference to scale them all against. Oh, then there’s the entire rest of the universe, supernovae, black holes and all, sending nuclei (mostly hydrogen & helium) at us at 99.999% of the speed of light, exploding in particle physics collisions with our atmosphere.

For this reason, we add spikes of C-14 to bring really old samples out of the background noise.

For these reasons, carbon dating is best used within the last 6000 years or so and gets progressively less accurate the further back you go.

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