Assumptions used in carbon dating

This gives considerable confidence that the decay rates, and the physical constants that determine them, have not changed perceptibly.

Some people, perhaps in support of a Creationist viewpoint, have suggested that decay rates have changed significantly because "energy levels" have changed significantly.

These difficulties are considerable, and are discussed below.

It also requires knowledge of the rates at which various isotopes decay. Because analysis of the various control variables that could affect the chemical composition of the sample during the decay period often depends on shrewd guesswork, radiometric dating as a whole could be said to fail the standards of testability and falsifiability, and so claims based on radiometric dating may fail to qualify under the Daubert standard for court-admissible scientific evidence.

But new research shows that commonly accepted radiocarbon dating standards can miss the mark -- calling into question historical timelines.Archaeologist Sturt Manning and colleagues have revealed variations in the radiocarbon cycle at certain periods of time, affecting frequently cited standards used in archaeological and historical research relevant to the southern Levant region, which includes Israel, southern Jordan and Egypt.These variations, or offsets, of up to 20 years in the calibration of precise radiocarbon dating could be related to climatic conditions.The underlying decay rates, on the other hand, are completely testable and falsifiable.Radiometric dating is more accurate for shorter time periods (e.g., hundreds of years), during which control variables are less likely to change.

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