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"You read in books and find statements that such and such a society or archaeological site is 20,000 years old. What About "Historical" Dates Egyptian history begins around 5,000 years ago, according to the most liberal estimates.

"We learned rather abruptly that these numbers, these ancient ages, are not known; in fact, it is at about the time of the first dynasty of Egypt that the last historical date of any real certainty has been established. Some historians believe that Egyptian history does not extend that far into the past.

"There was only one way to check the reliability of radiocarbon dating over a longer span," said archaeologist Edward S.

Deevey, Jr., "and that was to test it on the materials of geology and prehistoric archaeology. There were no dates historically fixed with which to check. In the more recent historic period, radiocarbon dates generally seemed to agree with historical dates.

35.) Searching for the Answers It is difficult if not impossible for scientists to prove that these crucial assumptions of the radiocarbon method are correct.

Deevey, Jr., "Radiocarbon Dating," Scientific American, Vol. Libby, "History of Radiocarbon Dating," Symposium on Radioactive Dating and Methods of Low Level Counting, March, 1967, page 24.) Dr. Basic Assumptions The entire radiocarbon method stands on certain basic assumptions which have never been proven to be true.Experimental evidence indicates rather clearly that some of the assumptions, may in fact, be wrong. That assumption is recognized by scientists but ignored by laymen who almost superstitiously accept radiocarbon dates as true calendar years.For example, has the amount of radiocarbon in the atmosphere remained fairly constant in past ages? "An assumption on the constancy of atmospheric radiocarbon concentration in the past is basic for radiocarbon dating. Scientists, of course, generall assume any variation has not been great enough to upset the method in prehistory. Suppose cosmic radiation varied for a considerable time and magnitude in the past?There is no way to get away from assumptions for the prehistoric period.In order to postulate the relative constancy of carbon-14, several other assumptions had to be made. Suess also gives another related assumption on the same page : "Carbon contents of the various reservoirs containing cosmic-ray-produced C transfer from the atmosphere into the other reservoirs, in particular into the oceans, have also remained constant over this length of time." (Ibid., p.

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