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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.
Elements can be transported into a sample or leach out of a sample.
By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.Many examples from literature show that the zero-reset assumption is not always valid.Volcanic ejecta of Mount Rangitoto (Auckland, New Zealand) was found to have a potassium-40 age of 485,000 years, yet trees buried within the volcanic material were dated with the carbon-14 method to be less than 300 years old.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. 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.
They will argue that the clock was not reset if the age is too old, or that isotopes were selectively removed if the age turns out to be too young.