Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists at the Institute for Creation Research ICR have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years. They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon C dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods. This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters. How does carbon dating work? Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen N into carbon C or radiocarbon. Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes.
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Measurement of N, the number of 14 C atoms currently in the sample, allows the calculation of t, the age of the sample, using the equation above. The above calculations make several assumptions, such as that the level of 14 C in the atmosphere has remained constant over time. The calculations involve several steps and include an intermediate value called the "radiocarbon age", which is the age in "radiocarbon years" of the sample: Radiocarbon ages are still calculated using this half-life, and are known as "Conventional Radiocarbon Age". Since the calibration curve IntCal also reports past atmospheric 14 C concentration using this conventional age, any conventional ages calibrated against the IntCal curve will produce a correct calibrated age. When a date is quoted, the reader should be aware that if it is an uncalibrated date a term used for dates given in radiocarbon years it may differ substantially from the best estimate of the actual calendar date, both because it uses the wrong value for the half-life of 14 C, and because no correction calibration has been applied for the historical variation of 14 C in the atmosphere over time.
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It depends upon the radioactive decay of carbon 14C , an unstable isotope of carbon which is continually synthesized in the upper atmosphere by cosmic rays. Plants take up atmospheric 14C for as long as they live, through the process of photosynthesis. Animals take up atmospheric 14C indirectly, by eating plants or by eating other animals that eat plants. Measuring the proportion of 14C as opposed to 12C remaining in a sample then tells us how long ago the sample stopped taking up 14C — in other words, how long ago the thing died. Carbon dating has a certain margin of error, usually depending on the age and material of the sample used.
To obtain independent and replicable results, and to avoid conflict between the laboratories, it was decided to let all interested laboratories perform the tests at the same time. However, a disagreement between the S. In the end, a compromise solution was reached with the so-called "Turin protocol",   which stated that: The sole supervising institution would be the British Museum, headed by Michael Tite.