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Carbon-14 dating tests on specimens whose age is known for certain have often given false results.For instance, the skin of a newly dead seal was depicted as being 1.300 years old.70 A living shell was dated as 2.300 years old.71 A deer antler was variously dated as 5.340, 9.310 and 10.320 years old.72 A piece of tree bark was dated as 1.168 and 2.200 years old.73 Carbon-14 dating gave an age of 6.000 years for the city of Jarmo in northern Iraq, where people have been living for 500 years.74 For all these reasons, carbon-14 dating, like other radiometric tests, cannot be regarded as wholly reliable.Since carbon-14 is a radioactive substance, it has a half-life, and gradually begins losing electron.Thus the age of a once-living thing can be calculated by measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in its tissues. In other words, the amount of carbon-14 in the dead tissue declines by half once every 5.570 years.In this way, every living thing on Earth absorbs an equal level of carbon-14 into its body.When that plant or an animal dies, it is of course no longer able to feed and absorb any more carbon-14.The exact opposite of this situation may also arise.Under certain conditions, the amount of carbon-14 in the specimen to be dated can be released into the external environment in the form of carbonate and/or bicarbonate.
Radiocarbon is not suitable for this purpose because it is only applicable: a) on a time scale of thousands of years and b) to remains of once-living organisms (with minor exceptions, from which rocks are excluded).
In that event, the specimen will appear to be older than it actually is.
Indeed, various concrete findings have revealed that carbon-14 dating is not all that reliable.
In the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate. Radiocarbon is used to date the age of rocks, which enables scientists to date the age of the earth.
Radiocarbon is not used to date the age of rocks or to determine the age of the earth.