Scientists attempt to check the accuracy of carbon dating by comparing carbon dating data to data from other dating methods.Other methods scientists use include counting rock layers and tree rings.The mathematical premise undergirding the use of these elements in radiometric dating contains the similar confounding factors that we find in carbon-14 dating method.
Nuclear tests, nuclear reactors and the use of nuclear weapons have also changed the composition of radioisotopes in the air over the last few decades.
This human nuclear activity will make precise dating of fossils from our lifetime very difficult due to contamination of the normal radioisotope composition of the earth with addition artificially produced radioactive atoms.
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.
Levels of carbon-14 become difficult to measure and compare after about 50,000 years (between 8 and 9 half lives; where 1% of the original carbon-14 would remain undecayed).
The question should be whether or not carbon-14 can be used to date any artifacts at all? There are a few categories of artifacts that can be dated using carbon-14; however, they cannot be more 50,000 years old.These isotopes have longer half-lives and so are found in greater abundance in older fossils.Some of these other isotopes include: back to the last global catastrophe (i.e.Carbon dating cannot be used on most fossils, not only because they are almost always allegedly too old, but also because they rarely contain the original carbon of the organism that has been fossilized.Also, many fossils are contaminated with carbon from the environment during collection or preservation procedures.Uranium-lead dating is usually performed on the mineral zircon (Zr Si O), though it can be used on other minerals.