Best dating advice? (Carbon dating, that is)

Interesting article on adjustments in carbon dating discussed. While critics may take it as an opportunity to comment on the "confusion and unreliability " of carbon dating, it is a great review of how well confirmed and supported carbon dating is, as this just improves the accuracy, and perhaps is of most interest to archeologists and anthropologists trying to date events in proper order.
Any thoughts on carbon dating? What application does it have in Biblical archeology?

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The big point to drive home to radiometric deniers is this:

Exaggerating the extent or significance of discrepancies, discordances or error bars is lying.

It’s my old weighbridge analogy again – anti-radiocarbon rhetoric is like trying to bake a cake for a family of four by measuring your ingredients onto the back of a lorry and then when the results come out all mushy and inedible, claiming that it means that Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Mary Berry can’t even cook a ready meal in a microwave.

In fact in this case it’s worse. It’s like upgrading from a truck scale weighbridge to a proper set of kitchen scales and then claiming that because the result is better than it was before, that means that Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Mary Berry can’t even boil an egg.

As I understand it, these are refinements to the limits of sensitivity of carbon-14 dating. They are only relevant to the 50,000-55,000 year range, and only bring about corrections of about 1,000 years or so. It says nothing whatsoever to call into question the validity of radiocarbon results in the 10,000-40,000 year range, and it says even less about the validity of uranium-lead, potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium dating in the 2 million-4.5 billion year range.

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It does mention better accuracy in dating the Minoan eruption in about 1600 BC but that only changes it a few decades. Fantastic that they can date things that close. I bet the error bars are still pretty wide in the 55 kya area, but still a great tool.


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