The slope of the line determines the date, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of the resulting date.
Technical details on how these dates are calculated are given in Radiometric dating. As with any experimental procedure in any field of science, these measurements are subject to certain "glitches" and "anomalies," as noted in the literature.
Carbon-dating Carbon dating, like other radiometric dating methods, requires certain assumptions that cannot be scientifically proved.
These include the starting conditions, the constancy of the rate of decay, and that no material has left or entered the sample.
By measuring the ratio of carbon-14 to stable carbon-12, scientists can then determine when the organism in question died.
When Libby developed the radiocarbon dating technique, he validated the method by comparing measured carbon ratios (carbon-14/carbon-12) from artifacts of known age with predictions of the ratio expected by assuming the decay rate.
A favorite tactic of Young-Earthers involves citing studies which show trace amounts of Indeed, this results from a unique decay mode known as "cluster decay" where a given isotope emits a particle heavier than an alpha particle (radium-226 is an example.) This fact is extremely inconvenient and creationist literature, accordingly, usually does not mention it.Notice that something must have been alive to absorb C-12 and C-14.Therefore it is not possible to date inorganic material. Carbon dating has a certain margin of error, usually depending on the age and material of the sample used.Carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5730 years, and therefore it is used to date biological samples up to about 60,000 years in the past.