Question: What is the biggest challenge to carbon dating?

To gain a reliable date from bone using the radiocarbon, or C-14 dating method, we need to be able to extract the protein from it – collagen and gelatin. The challenge here is that the amount of protein remaining in the bone decreases with age, to the point where there may not be much left in the sample at all.

Why is carbon dating in danger?

Since fossil fuels are millions of years old, they no longer contain any measurable amount of Carbon-14. Thus, as millions of tons of Carbon-12 are pushed into the atmosphere, the steady ratio of these two isotopes is being disrupted.

Is carbon-14 found in coal?

The short version: the 14C in coal is probably produced de novo by radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium isotope series that is naturally found in rocks (and which is found in varying concentrations in different rocks, hence the variation in 14C content in different coals).

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