Carbon dating is the process used to identify the approximate age of sample organisms (archaeological, geological and hydro geological). This process can date the age of bones, hair, tissues, hair and even dirt. Carbon 14 (C-14) is compared against the Carbon 12 (C-12) to find the age of the organism.
C-14 starts to decay once an organism is dead and the rate of decomposition is believed to be believed to be at a constant exponential rate. Once this carbon data in the sample is retrieved, it is dated backwards by comparing the ratio of C-14 to C-12 in the sample.
There are 2 main assumptions that derail the concreteness of the carbon dating method.
1. The process by which the decay of C-14 occurs is not escalated by any external forces such as the weather.
2. The amount of C-14 is constant throughout in the atmosphere.
These two assumptions itself show the drawback of the carbon dating method.
Firstly, it is discovered that the rate of decay of the C-14 in the body can be affected by external forces such as weather. In fact, it is agreed upon by the people who use carbon dating that even without any external forces’ intervention the rate of decomposition of the C-14 can vary from time to time.
Secondly, it is highly unlikely that the C-14 levels in the atmosphere have remained constant over the years. One of the good reasons to believe so would be the industrial revolution that took place which thrust us into this economy. The amount of carbon emissions would definitely have increased and there is no reason to believe or evidence to prove otherwise that the level of carbon in the atmosphere has remained the same ever since.
Also, events such as bombings would definitely alter the carbon levels in the atmosphere.
Moreover, natural disasters such as flood and volcanic eruptions will also alter the level of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
Moreover, samples that are used in the carbon dating process needs to be authentic to ensure accuracy even if we close an eye on the assumptions. Depending in the age of the sample, it is not possible to accurately state that the sample used for the carbon dating process is not contaminated. It could have been affected by weather conditions, other living organisms. It is also necessary to note that it is even possible that the sample taken does not even belong to the site of interest.
In summary, carbon dating is still a popular mode of determining the age of a sample organism. However, it can never be stated as conclusive due to the assumptions and the overwhelming possibilities of the incorrect sample used.