These cosmic rays shatter the nuclei in gas atoms in the upper atmosphere releasing neutrons.
The displaced neutrons bond with nitrogen-14 (N-14) converting it into C-14.
In fact, if an object contains (radioactive) carbon, this should be a clue that the object may not be any older than 50,000 years.
Misconception #2: Carbon dating can be used to date virtually anything Another misconception people have about carbon dating is that it can be used to date virtually anything.
Radiation counters are used to detect the electrons given off by decaying C-14 as it turns into nitrogen.
The amount of C-14 is compared to the amount of C-12, the stable form of carbon, to determine how much radiocarbon has decayed, thereby dating the artifact.
The method was developed immediately following World War II by Willard F.
Even humans contain C-14 because, of course, we also eat either animals or plants (I don’t know what else there is to eat).
Many people also don’t realize that carbon dating (along with other radioactive dating methods) is based upon unverifiable assumptions.
While this doesn’t render the dating method useless, it does bring its overall accuracy into question.
Carbon dioxide is distributed on a worldwide basis into various atmospheric, biospheric, and hydrospheric reservoirs on a time scale much shorter than its half-life.
Measurements have shown that in recent history, radiocarbon levels have remained relatively constant in most of the biosphere due to the metabolic processes in living organisms and the relatively rapid turnover of carbonates in surface ocean waters.