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But I could not and should not satisfy myself with this support without repaying by demonstrating where the difficulties and pitfalls of the method are hidden.
In the cataclysmic events reconstructed in Worlds in Collision and also those that preceded the fall of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, various effects could not but vitiate the radiocarbon performance, some of these effects tending to make organic life appear older than its actual age, and others making it appear more recent.
But as the method was refined, it started to show rather regular anomalies.
First, it was noticed that, when radiocarbon dated, wood grown in the 20th century appears more ancient than wood grown in the 19th century.
When objects of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom of Egypt yielded carbon dates that appeared roughly comparable with the historical dates, Libby made his method known.
In centuries to come a body of a man or animal who lived and died in the 20th century would appear paradoxically of greater age since death than the body of a man or animal of the 19th century, and if the process of industrial use of fossil, therefore dead, carbon continues to increase, as it is expected will be the case, the paradox will continue into the forthcoming centuries.And certainly the building of tree ladders, or carrying on the count from one tree to another may cause erroneous conclusions.