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Two papers which examine this are: M. L. Keith & G. M. Anderson, "Radiocarbon dating: Ficticious results with mollusc shells", Science, v141, 16 Aug 1963, pp634-637 M. Rubin & D. W. Taylor, "Radiocarbon activity from living clams and snails", ibid., p637 Both papers examine the mechanisms by which sources of old C14 (especially carbonate ion in water from C14-inactive limestone, but also carbon from organic detritus) can enter the shells of these, and thus provide an explanation for the error, not merely reporting the fact of the error. The original hoaxer in this thread needs to be a bit more careful about his quoting, though. An error of 4000 years was claimed, but the mapers mention errors of a mere 3000 :-) The simple resolution is that carbon in shells, particularly those which grew in a lime-rich environment, cannot be used for C14 dating. Similarly, care must be taken to avoid any other organisms which may be recieving "old" carbon from some source.

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