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One source of inaccuracies in radiocarbon dating is contamination.

If your sample becomes contaminated with younger, modern material during the sampling process, then it will be invalid. If you sample sediments from the bottom of a lake that has a lot of incoming waters that have ancient radiocarbon in then, then you will derive an anomalously old age.

In fact, in cosmogenic nuclide dating, the greatest uncertainties come from geological problems that result in inaccurate ages.

This usually results in ‘geological scatter’, where boulders on one landform give a range of exposure ages.

Radiocarbon dating relies on the regular radioactive decay of carbon-14 in organic matter.

Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating.

These skeptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views.

Measuring the environmental dose rate for an OSL sample from Glen Tulla, Scotland.

The gamma spectrometer has been put into the sample hole (see the lead going from the gamma spectrometer crystal to the control box).

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