On radiocarbon dating

Since a small fraction of CO2 contains C14, some of carbon fixed within the plant is that of C14.

Animals eat the plants, ingesting the C14 which in turn enters the animal’s tissues (Warf, 212).

Thus radiocarbon serves biblical chronology mainly by helping to eliminate large-scale biblical chronology errors arising out of misinterpretation of the biblical text or textual corruption.

(For a good example of the role radiocarbon plays in biblical chronology see Is Bryant Wood's chronology of Jericho valid? Once such large-scale errors have been eliminated the precision of biblical chronology rivals that of dendrochronology. Radiocarbon is not generally useful for narrowing the range of such biblical chronology dates further because radiocarbon tends to have poorer precision than biblical chronology.

The precision of a radiocarbon date tells how narrow the range of dates is.

There are two main factors which determine the precision of a radiocarbon date.

Older samples have a lower concentration of radiocarbon, but they can be (and often are) counted for longer periods of time to compensate for this lower concentration.

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These cosmic rays release free neutrons which zip around our nitrogen rich atmosphere at high velocities.Here I will present what radiocarbon is, the dating methods, the assumptions that govern them, and the known discrepancies that plague the method.With a thorough understanding of this dating method, it is my opinion that its ingenious fundamentals can be appreciated, yet greatly overshadowed by its limitations.Though the vast majority of CO2 is comprised of the more common and stable isotope of carbon, carbon 12 (C12), a small fraction of CO2 (one in 765 million), contains C14.As is common fact, plants photosynthesize and consume CO2, fixing its carbon.

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