If carbon dating wrong

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“Seldom has a single discovery in chemistry had such an impact on the thinking in so many fields of human endeavour,” one of Libby's colleagues wrote at the time, according to the Nobel Foundation.Today, carbon dating is used so widely as to be taken for granted.

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Beck and colleagues tested slices of a half-metre long stalagmite that grew between 45 000 and 11 000 years ago in a cave in the Bahamas.

Radiocarbon dating, which depends on the steady decay of carbon-14, is less reliable if an artefact is older than 16,000 years.

But the changes in radiocarbon, and dating, fluctuate greatly up to 45,000 years, the limit of the study.

Many people are under the false impression that carbon dating proves that dinosaurs and other extinct animals lived millions of years ago.

What many do not realize is that carbon dating is not used to date dinosaurs. Carbon dating is only accurate back a few thousand years.

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