time can tell exactly how long ago the organism died. For any logical method, if the assumptions are right, and the reasoning is valid, then the conclusion is right. Carbon-14 dating assumptions ratio has never changed. Nothing but radioactive decay would alter the ratio in a dead plant or animal. We will look at the method first, and then the assumptions.There are three simple steps to getting a carbon-14 date: sample preparation, getting the ratio, and using a calibration chart to get the age from the ratio. Before dating, samples are first soaked in an 8% HCL, and then an Na OH caustic solution to clean them of contaminants, such as dirt, microbes, and tree sap. Or are the above statements all false, and the truth is something else?
Since the carbon-14 decays, comparing the current ratio to the predicted C ratio vs. To sum up these assumptions, if you know the initial conditions, the final conditions, and everything in between, you will get the right answer.
A more difficult to deal problem with radiocarbon dating came from Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts when the dates were already known.
In Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, and Sumeria, there are "king lists" of who reigned and for how long.
It is better in that an individual bristlecone pine can live for 2,000 years.
Anyway, all these different calibrations from around the world agree with each other within about 5%. 1973, Stuiver & Pearson 1986, Stuiver & Reimer 1986, van der Plicht & Mook 1989 and others).