Elements can be transported into a sample or leach out of a sample.

Rocks and fossils, consisting only of inorganic minerals, cannot be dated by this scheme.

Carbon normally occurs as Carbon-12, but radioactive Carbon-14 may sometimes be formed in the outer atmosphere as Nitrogen-14 undergoes cosmic ray bombardment.

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We thank you in advance for partnering with us in this small but significant way. All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time.

For more on this subject, see the video Bones in Stones i. Ogden III, "Annals of the New York Academy of Science," 288 (1977): 167-173.

Perhaps no concept in science is as misunderstood as "carbon dating." Almost everyone thinks carbon dating speaks of millions or billions of years.

It's assumed that the clock was set to zero when the study material was formed.

This requires that only the parent isotope be initially present or that the amount of daughter isotope present at the beginning is known so that it can be subtracted.

A further example from a lava flow off the coast of Hawaii shows similar discrepancies.