"This attitude is clearly reflected in a regrettably common practice: when a radiocarbon date agrees with the expectations of the excavator it appears in the main text of the site report; if it is slightly discrepant it is relegated to a footnote; if it seriously conflicts it is left out altogether." (Peter James, et al. It is for specimens which only date back a few thousand years.
Carbon dating is somewhat accurate because we are able to determine what the ratio was in the unobservable past to a certain extent.
By taking a carboniferous specimen of known age (that is, a specimen which we are able to date with reasonable certainty through some archaeological means), scientists are able to determine what the ratio was during a specimen's lifetime.
Unfortunately, we aren't able to reliably date artifacts beyond several thousand years.
Scientists have tried to extend confidence in the carbon dating method further back in time by calibrating the method using tree ring dating.
The 32-year-old got his phone number and made up an excuse to talk to him.