How accurate is radiometric dating

Carbon dating is somewhat accurate because we are able to determine what the ratio was in the unobservable past to a certain extent.

By taking a carboniferous specimen of known age (that is, a specimen which we are able to date with reasonable certainty through some archaeological means), scientists are able to determine what the ratio was during a specimen's lifetime.

other isotope pairs cover intermediate time periods between the spans for carbon 14 and uranium.

Some radiometric dating methods depend upon knowing the initial amount of the isotope subject to decay.

The result is that carbon dating is accurate for only a few thousand years. This fact is born out in how carbon dating results are used by scientists in the scientific literature.

Unfortunately, we aren't able to reliably date artifacts beyond several thousand years.

Scientists have tried to extend confidence in the carbon dating method further back in time by calibrating the method using tree ring dating.

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