How do scientists use radioactive dating

This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers.

Carbon-14 dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharaohs among other things. The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. dinosaurs the evolution alleges lived millions of years ago.

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Carbon dating cannot be used on most fossils, not only because they are almost always allegedly too old, but also because they rarely contain the original carbon of the organism that has been fossilized.

Also, many fossils are contaminated with carbon from the environment during collection or preservation procedures.

Nuclear tests, nuclear reactors and the use of nuclear weapons have also changed the composition of radioisotopes in the air over the last few decades.

This human nuclear activity will make precise dating of fossils from our lifetime very difficult due to contamination of the normal radioisotope composition of the earth with addition artificially produced radioactive atoms.

These isotopes have longer half-lives and so are found in greater abundance in older fossils.

Some of these other isotopes include: back to the last global catastrophe (i.e.

Once our geologist had the “index fossil” that was found approximately in the same layer as the newly discovered fossil, he would then see where in the geologic column it came from and presto, he now had a date for his newly discovered fossil.

He would simply go to a chart that listed the geologic column by ‘ages’ and find the place where the index fossil appears, and thereby the geologists could tell the paleontologist how old his fossil was.

As stated previously, carbon dating cannot be used on artifacts over about 50,000 years old.

These artifacts have gone through many carbon-14 half-lives, and the amount of carbon-14 remaining in them is miniscule and very difficult to detect.

Levels of carbon-14 become difficult to measure and compare after about 50,000 years (between 8 and 9 half lives; where 1% of the original carbon-14 would remain undecayed).

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