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Carbon 14 dating accuracy

Carbon dating is somewhat accurate because we are able to determine what the ratio was in the unobservable past to a certain extent.

By taking a carboniferous specimen of known age (that is, a specimen which we are able to date with reasonable certainty through some archaeological means), scientists are able to determine what the ratio was during a specimen's lifetime.

The answer to the problem of fluctuating amounts of this important isotope is calibration.

Many scientists will use carbon dating test results to back up their position if the results agree with their preconceived theories.

But if the carbon dating results actually conflict with their ideas, they aren't too concerned. Thorpe, Nikos Kokkinos, Robert Morkot and John Frankish), Preface to Centuries of Darkness, 1991) So, is carbon dating accurate?

While an uncalibrated reading may be off by a factor of 10%-20%, calibration severely reduces that value.

Standard calibration curves are now used for more accurate readings.

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