Why carbon dating works Desisexychat
Plants and animals naturally incorporate both the abundant C-12 isotope and the much rarer radiocarbon isotope into their tissues in about the same proportions as the two occur in the atmosphere during their lifetimes.When a creature dies, it ceases to consume more radiocarbon while the C-14 already in its body continues to decay back into nitrogen.Often times, I have come across websites, such as "Answers In Genesis" (Judging from the title, it is obvious that this website isn't really about Science), which shamelessly debunk the basic tenets and empirical methods of Science.
If the ratio is a quarter of what it should be (one in every four trillion) we can assume the creature has been dead for 11,460 year (two half-lives).
It is naturally unstable and so it will spontaneously decay back into N-14 after a period of time.
It takes about 5,730 years for half of a sample of radiocarbon to decay back into nitrogen.
Specimens which lived and died during a period of intense volcanism would appear older than they really are if they were dated using this technique.
The ratio can further be affected by C-14 production rates in the atmosphere, which in turn is affected by the amount of cosmic rays penetrating the earth's atmosphere.
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It takes another 5,730 for half of the remainder to decay, and then another 5,730 for half of what's left then to decay and so on.