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Carbon Dating - Dendrochronology As we've already seen, in order for Carbon dating to work we need to know what the C-12 to C-14 ratio was at the time of a specimen's death.If the ratio has fluctuated throughout the unobservable past (and we can be sure that it has), how can we determine what the ratio was during the lifetime of a specimen that lived and died before we first began measuring the ratio?

The vertical sequence of fossils is thought to represent a process because the enclosing rocks are interpreted as a process.

All scientists can do, and all they have done, is test the carbon levels in a few areas of our atmosphere, and everything else is the same.

This already creates a serious problem because all measuring tools require a constant with which to measure anything.

Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.

Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.

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