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A small percentage of this Carbon is the radioactive form, Carbon-14.While an organism is alive this exchange of Carbon continues, and the percentage of Carbon-14 in its body is the same as the percentage of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere.It refers to one specific source of error – the uncertainty in the measurement of the amounts of various atoms used in the analysis.Most likely, that is the least important source of error.Radiometric dating is possible because the radioactive decay of large numbers of radioactive atoms follows a predictable pattern.This predictability allows scientists to measure the age of an object if they can work out how many radioactive atoms were originally present.

Of course, that error estimate is complete nonsense.As someone who has studied radioactivity in detail, I have always been a bit amused by the assertion that radioactive dating is a precise way to determine the age of an object.This false notion is often promoted when radioactive dates are listed with utterly unrealistic error bars.Their age was measured to be 6.0 /- 0.3 billion years old. Those who are committed to an ancient age for the earth currently believe that it is 4.6 billion years old.Obviously, then, the error in that measurement is 1.4 billion years, not 0.3 billion years!

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