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. Leon Kass, respected author, professor and bio-ethicist, puts words to our worst fears in this second excerpt from a three-part series. Reading romantic subtext into completely normal communication?
Thus radioactive dating relies purely on assumptions.Specimens would then look much older than they actually are.d) Even if the rate of decay is constant, without knowledge of the exact ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14in the initial sample, the dating technique is subject to question.This assumption is backed by numerous scientific studies and is relatively sound.However, conditions may have been different in the past and could have influenced the rate of decay or formation of radioactive elements.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.
In the study on the Hawaii lava flow cited above, it was argued that entrapment of excessive amounts of argon gas had made the samples appear older than they were.
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.
It's assumed that the clock was set to zero when the study material was formed.
This requires that only the parent isotope be initially present or that the amount of daughter isotope present at the beginning is known so that it can be subtracted.
Though it's discouraging news, being able to expose the problem is the first step toward finding a solution. Maybe you've been through a breakup but you can't stop thinking about your ex.