Carbon dating is reliable within certain parameters but certainly not infallible.
" Answer: Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, like any other laboratory testing technique, can be extremely reliable, so long as all of the variables involved are controlled and understood.
Second, radiocarbon dating becomes more difficult, and less accurate, as the sample gets older.
The bodies of living things generally have concentrations of the isotope carbon-14, also known as radiocarbon, identical to concentrations in the atmosphere.
The other major factor affecting the results of carbon dating is gauging the original proportion of carbon-14 itself.
Carbon dating is based on the loss of carbon-14, so, even if the present amount in a specimen can be detected accurately, we must still know how much carbon-14 the organism started with.
Contamination and repeatability are also factors that have to be considered with carbon dating.