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.

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).

Throughout an organism’s life, it is constantly balancing its C-14 decay with intake so that it will always contain C-14.

While this doesn’t render the dating method useless, it does bring its overall accuracy into question.

How radioactive carbon is formed Normal carbon atoms weigh 12 atomic mass units, while a radioactive form of carbon weighs 14 atomic mass units, which is called carbon-14 (C-14). It is estimated that only one out of every trillion carbon atoms is C-14.

The displaced neutrons bond with nitrogen-14 (N-14) converting it into C-14.

Because C-14 is radioactive, it is unstable, and is constantly decaying back into N-14.Be cautious of accepting a carbon age One should not accept any age from a dating method, including carbon dating, without knowing exactly how the dating method works and its limitations.Many people also don’t realize that carbon dating (along with other radioactive dating methods) is based upon unverifiable assumptions.C-14 is formed in the earth’s upper atmosphere as a consequence of cosmic radiation bombardment.These cosmic rays shatter the nuclei in gas atoms in the upper atmosphere releasing neutrons.A correct date is not possible unless there was neither the addition nor loss of parent or daughter isotopes.” This assumption is not one that I am willing to concede on.