David Hurst Thomas grudgingly proclaims that radiocarbon dating is accurate when it reveals a date for an object which is within a range of just over 75,000 years ago. Unfortunately, he is still in denial of the facts. However, he at least recognizes that radiocarbon dating cannot be used to prove that ancient "primitive man" goes back 4 million, or even 100,000 years ago. In the event, neither of these caveats was respected.Four months later in September of 1989, a spokesman for the Antiquities Authority announced that a run of carbon testing of samples taken from the Scrolls was to be undertaken.I will be arguing that Carbon dating is a completely reliable dating method. I'll do definitions here to make sure we dont get into a fight over it during the single match debate. Radiocarbon dating is accurate since it measures the constant decay of the carbon-14 isotope in things like rocks and fossils.Carbon dating: The determination of the approximate age of an ancient object, such as an archaeological specimen, by measuring the amount of carbon 14 it contains accurate: precise, not flawed, free from error. Using this method, we can map the half life of the atom, and thereby accurately determine the age of the object being dated.Stuart Piggott, a British archaeologist, excavating near Durington Walls in England, received a radiocarbon date for his site.
We will have one round to debate, so its pistols at 10 paces.
In their letter, however, aside from sending an attachment detailing these new methods, they cited two caveats.
One was that the new methods of dating materials should be applied to determine relative not absolute chronology, that is, earlier versus later in the same test run -- absolute chronology in their view being virtually impossible to determine because of the multiple imprecisions to which C14 testing was subject.
To put this in another way, they framed their request in this manner because they did not believe that anything conclusive regarding the absolute dating of the Scrolls could be achieved with a technique as subject to multiple imprecisions as carbon testing was.
As a second caveat, they insisted that opposition scholars be included in the process because they were the ones must likely to understand which were the key documents that should be tested and "they were the ones who felt the most need for it.