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Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).Carbon-14 cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get their carbon dioxide from the air.

Other methods scientists use include counting rock layers and tree rings.

When scientists first began to compare carbon dating data to data from tree rings, they found carbon dating provided "too-young" estimates of artifact age.

Scientists now realize that production of carbon-14 has not been constant over the years, but has changed as the radiation from the sun has fluctuated.

As stated previously, carbon dating cannot be used on artifacts over about 50,000 years old.

These artifacts have gone through many carbon-14 half-lives, and the amount of carbon-14 remaining in them is miniscule and very difficult to detect.

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