A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.
How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?
They have masses of 13 and 14 respectively and are referred to as "carbon-13" and "carbon-14." If two atoms have equal numbers of protons but differing numbers of neutrons, one is said to be an "isotope" of the other.
Carbon-14 is most abundant in atmospheric carbon dioxide because it is constantly being produced by collisions between nitrogen atoms and cosmic rays at the upper limits of the atmosphere.
There are two reasons uncalibrated dates must be mentioned: 1) this prevents people from making up any number they please, and 2) it is for the sake of posterity, where future scientists can check the results and apply new ideas of calibration. Radiocarbon dates are affected by many outside factors.
The accuracy of the machines is not in question (especially modern ones, which are astoundingly accurate when properly zeroed in). But, any source of old carbon in the ancient environment can affect the amount of C-14 in a sample.
group published the list of tests to be performed on the shroud; these aimed to identify how the image was impressed onto the cloth, to verify the relic's purported origin, and to identify better-suited conservation methods. We are faced with actual blackmail: unless we accept the conditions imposed by the laboratories, they will start a marketing campaign of accusations against the Church, which they will portray as scared of the truth and enemy of science.
lack of blindness in the measurements is a rather insubstantial reason for disbelieving the result." (t)he Church must respond to the challenge of those who want it to stop the process, who would want us to show that the Church fears the science.