Misconception #2: Carbon dating can be used to date virtually anything Another misconception people have about carbon dating is that it can be used to date virtually anything.
Carbon dating can only be used to date objects that were once living or even apart of a living organism. It cannot be used to directly date inorganic objects, such as rocks (other radioactive dating methods are used to date radioactive rocks).
Instead, it can only give up to approximately 50,000 years. Unfortunately, dating methods such as the carbon dating method have only been around for a short period of time.
Assumptions While this dating method sounds pretty good and simple enough to understand, there are some assumptions that aren’t often pointed out. So far, no known environmental factors have been able to significantly cause the decay rates to vary.
But, as C-14 continuously decays, it is also continuously being replaced by new C-14 being formed.
How carbon-14 enters an organism Most C-14 will combine with oxygen to produce radioactive carbon dioxide (C-14 O-2).
Therefore, all the C-14 remaining in the organism will eventually decay and disappear.
If one can measure the rate in which it decays, and the amount the organism started off with, then one might be able to figure out when the organism, such as a frog, croaked.
Many people also don’t realize that carbon dating (along with other radioactive dating methods) is based upon unverifiable assumptions.Even humans contain C-14 because, of course, we also eat either animals or plants (I don’t know what else there is to eat).Throughout an organism’s life, it is constantly balancing its C-14 decay with intake so that it will always contain C-14.With this said, it would be worth while to check out this feedback session which does seem to suggest that there might have been an accelerated decay rate in the past, at least for the uranium-lead method.“It is important to realize that an accurate radiometric date can be obtained only if the mineral remained a closed system during the entire period since its formation.