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So based on this ratio, and I go into much more detail in other videos, you can figure out how old these things are and you get reasonably precise, within a couple of a hundred, hundreds of years.
If you want to go further into the past, there's things like potassium-argon dating, which is once again taking a radioactive form of potassium and using the idea that it decays into argon.
Just to put it in perspective, if this is present time, if you wanted to put, when was the Roman Empire?
And the carbon-14 which can become part of carbon dioxide incorporate into plants through photosynthesis which then get eaten into animals.
So while something is living, they'll have a certain amount of carbon-14 in their tissue.
But then once they die, they're now no longer adding more carbon-14.
We know, today, even if two observers observed something yesterday, something that just happened, they might have very very different perceptions of what happened.
So even though there's writing, we have to be skeptical.