Dating techniques that
I understand calibration might have something to do with this, but then in the article it says in italicized words that the uncalibrated date “Must Always Be Mentioned”. CMI’s Dr Rob Carter responds: Anthony, As a fan of biblical archaeology, I was asked to address your question.
But when I read articles about the results, they never mention the uncalibrated data, which could actually be correct. I am not an expert in every subject that impinges on the discussion, but I will do my best.
This does not mean that recalibration is bad, indeed it is necessary, but it should make one more soberly assess any reported dates as being tentative.
The problem is that most people reporting on these issues fail to report the initial number along with the calibrated date. The Jericho controversy is soundly rooted in C-14 calibration.
In this relative dating method, Latin terms ante quem and post quem are usually used to indicate both the oldest and the most recent possible moments when an event occurred or an artifact was left in a stratum.
But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.
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In contrast, uranium is soluble to some extent in all natural waters, so any material that precipitates or is grown from such waters also contains trace uranium, typically at levels of between a few parts per billion and few parts per million by weight.
As time passes after the formation of such a material, uranium-234 in the sample, with a half-life of 245,000 years, decays to thorium-230.
Instead, the uranium-thorium technique calculates an age from the degree to which secular equilibrium has been restored between the radioactive isotope thorium-230 and its radioactive parent uranium-234 within a sample.
Thorium is not soluble in natural waters under conditions found at or near the surface of the earth, so materials grown in or from these waters do not usually contain thorium.
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.