Accuracy carbon dating fossils

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By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.''The largest deviation, 3,500 years, was obtained for samples that are about 20,000 years old.'' One reason the group believes the uranium-thorium estimates to be more accurate than carbon dating is that they produce better matches between known changes in the Earth's orbit and changes in global glaciation. Fairbanks, a member of the Lamont-Doherty group, said that if the dates of glaciation were determined using the uranium-thorium method, the delay - and the puzzle - disappeared.

It is too soon to know whether the discovery will seriously upset the estimated dates of events like the arrival of human beings in the Western Hemisphere, scientists said.

Therefore they have sought ways to calibrate and correct the carbon dating method.

The best gauge they have found is dendrochronology: the measurement of age by tree rings.

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Since 1947, scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain.

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