You can only establish the time for the race if it was timed by two or more qualified eyewitnesses who observed the start, the progress and the finish.This illustrates the whole problem with the radioactive dating of geological events.

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During the race you have to watch the swimmer and count how many laps he has swum so you know that he has done 1,500 metres.

And you have to check to make sure he touches the edge at the end of each lap.

Radiocarbon dating estimates can be obtained on wood, charcoal, marine and freshwater shells, bone and antler, and peat and organic-bearing sediments.

They can also be obtained from carbonate deposits such as tufa, calcite, marl, dissolved carbon dioxide, and carbonates in ocean, lake and groundwater sources.

If you check this educational page by the US Geological Society you will see that they spend all their time talking about the technicalities of radioactive decay.

But they do not even mention the basic problem that you cannot know the radioactive concentrations that existed in the rock in the past.And that is what geologist do, they make up an assumed geological history for rock depending on the numbers that come from the geochronology lab (see Dating secrets).Radiocarbon dating, which is also known as carbon-14 dating, is one widely used radiometric dating scheme to determine dates of ancient artifacts.Each sample type has specific problems associated with its use for dating purposes, including contamination and special environmental effects.More information on the sources of error in carbon dating are presented at the bottom of this page.Radiation counters are used to detect the electrons given off by decaying C-14 as it turns into nitrogen.