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Specimens would then look much older than they actually are.
d) Even if the rate of decay is constant, without knowledge of the exact ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14in the initial sample, the dating technique is subject to question.
It's assumed that the clock was set to zero when the study material was formed.
This requires that only the parent isotope be initially present or that the amount of daughter isotope present at the beginning is known so that it can be subtracted.
They will argue that the clock was not reset if the age is too old, or that isotopes were selectively removed if the age turns out to be too young.
In the study on the Hawaii lava flow cited above, it was argued that entrapment of excessive amounts of argon gas had made the samples appear older than they were.
Many examples from literature show that the zero-reset assumption is not always valid.
Volcanic ejecta of Mount Rangitoto (Auckland, New Zealand) was found to have a potassium-40 age of 485,000 years, yet trees buried within the volcanic material were dated with the carbon-14 method to be less than 300 years old.
No scientist can guarantee that any sample can be considered a closed system unless it was isolated from its environment when it was formed.
Carbon-14 comes from nitrogen and is independent of the carbon-12 reservoir.
If even a small percentage of the limestone deposits were still in the form of living marine organisms at the time of the Flood, then the small amount of carbon-14 would have mixed with a much larger carbon-12 reservoir, thus resulting in a drastically reduced ratio.
A rock sample from Nigeria was dated at 95 million years by the potassium-argon method, 750 million years by the uranium-helium method, and less than 30 million years by the fission-track method.
If the clock is not set to zero when a deposit forms, then there can be no starting point from which to calculate the age of a deposit.
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