Carbon dating for idiots
As another example, a date that is obviously wrong would confirm a strong belief in the fundamental unreliability of radioactive dating.In either case, there will be a subjective tendency to accept the result, rather than performing additional checks that might reveal unsuspected problems.A recent overview can be found in Manfred Bietak and Felix Höflmayer, Introduction: High and Low Chronology, pp. Manfred Bietak and Ernst Czerny, Vienna: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2007.Because of the inconsistencies and uncertainties of C14 dating, most archaeologists prefer historical dates over C14 dates. This arises when the person performing the analysis has a strong expectation of what the result should be.For example, the geological formations and dates from surrounding features may suggest that the "true" date can only lie within a certain range. Additional tests were done on six grain samples from the destruction level resulting in dates between 16 B. and 12 charcoal samples from the destruction level resulting in dates between 16 B. The literature on the subject is enormous, so I will not attempt to give you references. There is a heated debate going on among scholars concerning this, especially with regard to the date of the eruption of Thera (Santorini).
Given the complexity of radioactive dating, confirmation bias can also be a problem.
half the original level, we know the sample is around one half life or 5,700 years old.