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This restriction extends to animals that consume seafood in their diet.As stated previously, carbon dating cannot be used on artifacts over about 50,000 years old.In the last video, we talked about the idea that if I dug up a bone someplace, if I dug up a bone, and if I were to measure its carbon-14, and I found that it had half of the carbon-14 that I would expect to find in a living animal or plant, that I said, hey, maybe one half life has gone by, or roughly for carbon-14, one half life is 5,730 years.So I said maybe it's 5,730 years since this bone was part of a living animal, or it's roughly that old.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.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.And you can look at their tree rings, and I think most of us are familiar with this idea that every year that a tree grows, it forms another layer of bark.

If you want to go even further back, you can look at cave deposits, and the fancy word for these cave deposits are speleothems. But the reason why these are useful is these are formed by calcium carbonate, so they have carbon in them, and slowly over, really, tens of thousands of years, the water in the cave deposits that calcium carbonate.Also, many fossils are contaminated with carbon from the environment during collection or preservation procedures.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.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.The question should be whether or not carbon-14 can be used to date any artifacts at all? There are a few categories of artifacts that can be dated using carbon-14; however, they cannot be more 50,000 years old.

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