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12-Feb-2017 18:42

These include the starting conditions, the constancy of the rate of decay, and that no material has left or entered the sample.Furthermore, if a sample has been contaminated, scientists will know about it.Beside a slab of trilobites, in a quiet corner of Britain's Oxford University Museum of Natural History, lies a collection of ochre-tinted human bones known as the Red Lady of Paviland.In 1823, palaeontologist William Buckland painstakingly removed the fossils from a cave in Wales, and discovered ivory rods, shell beads and other ornaments in the vicinity.

When Higham eventually got the bones, his team came up with a more likely scenario: they were closer to 33,000 years old and one of the earliest examples of ceremonial burial in Western Europe.He said that his team and the laboratories they employed took special care to avoid contamination.That included protecting the samples, avoiding cracked areas in the bones, and meticulous pre-cleaning of the samples with chemicals to remove possible contaminants.Buckland's immediate successors did a little better.

They determined that the Red Lady was in fact a man, and that the ornaments resembled those found at much older sites in continental Europe.This update isn’t about the lawsuit; I have no knowledge of how that is going. Since the current half-life of carbon-14 is “only” about 5,700 years, there should be no detectable levels of it in the original parts of the fossil, if the fossil is millions of years old. Cherkinsky’s lab found very detectable levels of carbon-14.In fact, there was so much carbon-14 in the fossil that it was given a date of 41,010 ± 220 years.A favorite tactic of Young-Earthers involves citing studies which show trace amounts of Indeed, this results from a unique decay mode known as "cluster decay" where a given isotope emits a particle heavier than an alpha particle (radium-226 is an example.) This fact is extremely inconvenient and creationist literature, accordingly, usually does not mention it.