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Carbon dating the history of life on earth

The layers that contain fossils and archeological clues can be dated by more than a dozen techniques that use the basic principles of physics, chemistry, and Earth sciences.

Some techniques can even estimate the age of the ancient teeth and bones directly.

He came to his conclusion after re-examining a theory from two amateur scientists that he had earlier dismissed as being from "the lunatic fringe".

Sue Benford and Joe Marina, from Ohio, suspected the 1988 sample was from a damaged section of the linen shroud repaired in the 16th century after being damaged in a fire.

Rogers said: "I was irritated and determined to prove Sue and Joe wrong."However, when he came to examine threads taken in 1978 - luckily from the same section as the 1988 sample - he found cotton in them.

He said: "The cotton fibres were fairly heavily coated with dye, suggesting they were changed to match the linen during a repair.

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This method is based on the assumption (which nearly always holds true) that deeper layers of rock were deposited earlier in Earth's history, and thus are older than more shallow layers.For the last 21 years most have considered it to be a medieval fake, after the 1988 tests dated it as being made between 12.The result overturned 10 years of hope among Christians that it was real, after the first scientific tests found evidence of blood and serum stains.The two main types of dating methods are relative and absolute.Relative dating methods are used to determine only if one sample is older or younger than another."I concluded that area of the shroud was manipulated by someone with great skill. The worst possible sample for carbon dating was taken."It consisted of different materials than were used in the shroud itself, so the age we produced was inaccurate." In the video, made shortly before he died of cancer in March 2005, he said: "I came very close to proving the shroud was used to bury the historic Jesus."This latest evidence, to be broadcast in The Turin Shroud: New Evidence at 8pm on Sunday on the Discovery Channel, is the latest chapter in the shroud's history.The successive layers of rock represent successive intervals of time.Since certain species of animals existed on Earth at specific times in history, the fossils or remains of such animals embedded within those successive layers of rock also help scientists determine the age of the layers.The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE); at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's NOSAMS Facility.Measuring carbon in the Pacific and Indian Ocean to understand better the processes of ocean circulation.

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  5. Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material. The stable form of carbon is carbon 12.

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