C) dating usually want to know about the radiometric[1] dating methods that are claimed to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only give thousands of years.

how many years can carbon dating go back-61

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This is the “half-life.” So, in two half-lives, or 11,460 years, only one-quarter of that in living organisms at present, then it has a theoretical age of 11,460 years.

Anything over about 50,000 years old, should theoretically have no detectable C.

That is, they take up less than would be expected and so they test older than they really are.

So, we have a “clock” which starts ticking the moment something dies.

Obviously, this works only for things which were once living.

It cannot be used to date volcanic rocks, for example.

The rate of decay of N in 5,730 years (plus or minus 40 years).

We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.

Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.