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Archaeologists vehemently disagree over the effects changing climate and competition from recently arriving humans had on the Neanderthals' demise.
But that assumes that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere was constant — any variation would speed up or slow down the clock.
“If you’re trying to look at archaeological sites at the order of 30,000 or 40,000 years ago, the ages may shift by only a few hundred years but that may be significant in putting them before or after changes in climate,” he says.
Take the extinction of Neanderthals, which occurred in western Europe less than 30,000 years ago.
The creation rate of C14 (and so the proportion in the atmosphere) depends on the suns activity - so a lot of dates which assumed a constant rate are known to be wrong.
We can now calibrate this out by looking at C14 in tree rings of a known age - but the charge of "C14 dates are wrong" is used by nutters (sorry creationists) either deliberately or in ignorance.