Carbon dating fossil record
Scientists attempt to check the accuracy of carbon dating by comparing carbon dating data to data from other dating methods.Other methods scientists use include counting rock layers and tree rings.Nuclear tests, nuclear reactors and the use of nuclear weapons have also changed the composition of radioisotopes in the air over the last few decades.
Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.
Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.
This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).
When scientists first began to compare carbon dating data to data from tree rings, they found carbon dating provided "too-young" estimates of artifact age.
Scientists now realize that production of carbon-14 has not been constant over the years, but has changed as the radiation from the sun has fluctuated.