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Carbon-14 cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get their carbon dioxide from the air.

This rules out carbon dating for most aquatic organisms, because they often obtain at least some of their carbon from dissolved carbonate rock.

Obviously both sides of this debate have agendas to promote, and that means that any summary you're likely to read was probably motivated by one agenda or the other.

An examination of sedimentary rocks worldwide shows a striking consistency with the unimaginably massive Flood that wiped out whole environments.

It caused massive sedimentary layering and sorting and fossilizing of the creatures buried therein.

The age of the carbon in the rock is different from that of the carbon in the air and makes carbon dating data for those organisms inaccurate under the assumptions normally used for carbon dating.

This restriction extends to animals that consume seafood in their diet.

Climate records from a Japanese lake are set to improve the accuracy of the dating technique, which could help to shed light on archaeological mysteries such as why Neanderthals became extinct.

Carbon dating is used to work out the age of organic material — in effect, any living thing.The clock was initially calibrated by dating objects of known age such as Egyptian mummies and bread from Pompeii; work that won Willard Libby the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.But even he “realized that there probably would be variation”, says Christopher Bronk Ramsey, a geochronologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the latest work, published today in Science.The resulting rock strata may harbor fossils from a particular habitat area or ecosystem, but do not represent a particular age or era.Why else do we find marine fossils on the tops of all the major mountain ranges?The technique hinges on carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of the element that, unlike other more stable forms of carbon, decays away at a steady rate.

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