Plants and animals naturally incorporate both the abundant C-12 isotope and the much rarer radiocarbon isotope into their tissues in about the same proportions as the two occur in the atmosphere during their lifetimes.When a creature dies, it ceases to consume more radiocarbon while the C-14 already in its body continues to decay back into nitrogen.Libby had first started using the dating method in 1946 and the early testing required relatively large samples, so testing on scrolls themselves only became feasible when methods used in the dating process were improved upon. Davies made a request to date a number of scrolls, which led to a series of tests carried out in Zurich on samples from fourteen scrolls.Among these were samples from other sites around the Dead Sea, which contained date indications within the text to supply a control for the carbon dating results.
The column headed "14C Age" provides a raw age before 1950 for each sample tested.It takes another 5,730 for half of the remainder to decay, and then another 5,730 for half of what's left then to decay and so on.The period of time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is called a "half-life." Radiocarbon oxidizes (that is, it combines with oxygen) and enters the biosphere through natural processes like breathing and eating.Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old. This is how carbon dating works: Carbon is a naturally abundant element found in the atmosphere, in the earth, in the oceans, and in every living creature.