History of carbon dating general journal dating
Unfortunately the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 has yet to reach a state of equilibrium in our atmosphere; there is more carbon-14 in the air today than there was thousands of years ago.
In order for carbon dating to be accurate, we must know what the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 was in the environment in which our specimen lived during its lifetime.
The age of the planet, though, was important to Charles Darwin and other evolutionary theorists: The biological evidence they were collecting showed that nature needed vastly more time than previously thought to sculpt the world.
A breakthrough came with the discovery of radioactivity at the beginning of the 1900s.
Using fossils as guides, they began to piece together a crude history of Earth, but it was an imperfect history.
Archaeologist Sturt Manning and colleagues have revealed variations in the radiocarbon cycle at certain periods of time, affecting frequently cited standards used in archaeological and historical research relevant to the southern Levant region, which includes Israel, southern Jordan and Egypt.
Carbon dating is thus accurate within the timeframe set by other archaeological dating techniques.
Unfortunately, we aren't able to reliably date artifacts beyond several thousand years.
Before then, the Bible had provided the only estimate for the age of the world: about 6,000 years, with Genesis as the history book.
Hutton's theories were short on evidence at first, but by 1830 most scientists concurred that Noah's ark was more allegory than reality as they documented geological layering.
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