Radiocarbon dating range
The precision of a radiocarbon date tells how narrow the range of dates is.There are two main factors which determine the precision of a radiocarbon date.A common misconception about radiocarbon dating is that it gives a precise date---3577 B. In actual practice radiocarbon dating can only give a range of dates for a given sample---3650 to 3410 B.C., for example---the true date lying somewhere in that range.Measurements can be made with a high degree of precision. Aardsma submitted a sample from a reed mat known to be over 5,000 years old.
The technology involved is fascinating and impressive.
It is confusing when the maximum date for Carbon 14 is listed as 60,000 years and 80,000 years in the same article (Chapter 4 Dating Methods by Roger Patterson and the reference article summary 4.2 by Riddle.) and as 50,000 years in another (The Answers Book) as well as 95,000 years in the Creation College lecture by Dr. This is why there is the disparity in the quoted limits to radiocarbon dating, as highlighted by this inquirer.