Radiocarbon dating can only be made on organic materials
For example, rootlet intrusion, soil type (e.g., limestone carbonates), and handling of the specimens in the field or lab (e.g., accidental introduction of tobacco ash, hair, or fibers) can all potentially affect the age of a sample.
Bioturbation by crabs, rodents, and other animals can also cause samples to move between strata leading to age reversals.
Carbon-14 exists in measurable amounts in even the most “ancient” rock formations, and this organic material points to a young earth that can be no more than 50,000 years old.
Image Credit: Copyright © Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Even evolutionary scientists acknowledge that radiocarbon dating cannot prove ages of millions or billions of years. Consider a 30-cm-diameter by 30-cm-long bone section sitting exposed on the ground and being bombarded by a cosmic neutron flux of approximately 6.4 × 10C would result in artificially young ages. Neutrons can only be produced by secondary nuclear reactions of alpha particles on O, Si, Al, Fe, Ca, or Na.
Radiocarbon Dating All organic matter contains carbon, which is an element.In contrast to relative dating techniques whereby artifacts were simply designated as "older" or "younger" than other cultural remains based on the presence of fossils or stratigraphic position, 14C dating provided an easy and increasingly accessible way for archaeologists to construct chronologies of human behavior and examine temporal changes through time at a finer scale than what had previously been possible.The application of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for radiocarbon dating in the late 1970s was also a major achievement.Shell may succumb to isotopic exchange if it interacts with carbon from percolating ground acids or recrystallization when shell aragonite transforms to calcite and involves the exchange of modern calcite.
The surrounding environment can also influence radiocarbon ages.Compared to conventional radiocarbon techniques such as Libby's solid carbon counting, the gas counting method popular in the mid-1950s, or liquid scintillation (LS) counting, AMS permitted the dating of much smaller sized samples with even greater precision.