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They found large variations in the radiocarbon 'dates' of objects of known age sent to 38 radiocarbon 'dating' laboratories around the world.Thirty-one of the labs gave results that the British group called unsatisfactory.Their results were 'two to three times less accurate than implied by the range of error they stated.' They thought the variations might have been caused by poor laboratory standards allowing contamination of the samples.
It uses accelerator mass spectrometry to determine the amounts of C14 and C12 in a small sample which is vaporised in the test.
Surely 15,000 years of difference on a single block of soil is indeed a gross discrepancy!
And how could the excessive disagreement between the labs be called insignificant, when it has been the basis for the reappraisal of the standard error associated with each and every date in existence?
It is the supposed accuracy of the new method that allows measurements sensitive enough to date objects claimed to be more than twenty or thirty thousand years old.
A recent test by the British Science and Engineering Research Council has shown that the accuracy of the new technique is greatly overrated....[Some authors have said] they were "not aware of a single significant disagreement" on any sample that had been dated at different labs.Such enthusiasts continue to claim, incredible though it may seem, that "no gross discrepancies are apparent".When they strike ordinary atoms in the upper atmosphere, the cosmic rays smash them apart. Some of these neutrons then collide with nitrogen atoms.