The math behind radioactive carbon dating
anthropologist Geoffrey Clark echoed this view in 1997 when he wrote that 'we select among alternative sets of research conclusions in accordance with our biases and preconceptions -- a process that is, at once, both political and subjective.'In the case of fossils; which are essentially bones that have fossilized, meaning turned to stone; fossils are generally dated on the basis of factors other than radiometric dating; such as a particular date may be chosen for a fossil because Thus, if "Fossil A" is believed to be 4,000,000 years old, "Fossil B" may be dated to be 3,700,000 years old solely on the basis of the date of "Fossil A" and a belief in evolution (i.e.
In his article Light Attenuation and Exponential Laws in the last issue of Plus, Ian Garbett discussed the phenomenon of light attenuation, one of the many physical phenomena in which the exponential function crops up.
No matter when Kennewick Man died, his bones were exposed to the flooding of the Columbia River, plus the bones were exposed to rain, humidity, moisture in the soil (i.e.
water which came from the river through the soil), and so on.
The ratio of C-14 to C-12 in the atmosphere's carbon dioxide molecules is about 1.3×10, and this value is assumed constant for the main part of archaeological history since the formation of the earth's atmosphere.
Knowing the level of activity of a sample of organic material enables us to deduce how much C-14 there is in the material at present.