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One advantage to using BP is it avoids the occasionally irate philosophical debate about whether, in this multicultural world of ours, it is more appropriate to use AD and BC, with their explicit references to Christianity, or to use the same calendar but without the explicit references: CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before the Common Era).The problem is, of course, that CE and BCE still use the estimated date of the birth of Christ as the reference points for its numbering system: the two years 1 BCE and 1 CE are numerically equivalent to 1 BC and 1 AD.Nonetheless, 1950 is a long time ago now—should we adjust the starting point to 2000?No, the same problem would have to be addressed again in the coming years.It might not matter if a 100,000-year-old luminescence date was measured in 1990 or 2010.But scholars still need a starting point, because, for a TL date of 500 years ago, even 50 years difference would be an important distinction. Current practice is to quote the age along with the date it was measured, but other options are being considered.Thermolumiscence dating, on the other hand, has a unique situation.
Scholars use the science of dendrochronology, which matches those annular rings to known carbon fluctuations.
Long after the Gregorian calendar was established throughout most of the world, atomic clocks have allowed us to adjust our modern calendars with leap seconds to correct for the slowing spin of our planet and other corrections.
But, perhaps the most interesting outcome of all this investigation is the wide variety of modern mathematicians and programmers who have taken a crack at perfecting the matches between ancient calendars using modern technology.
This idea is advanced, for example, in The Young Earth: C ratio was like before the industrial revolution, and all radiocarbon dating is made with this in mind.
How do we know what the ratio was before then, though--say, thousands of years ago?
Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation about radiocarbon dating has been circulated by individuals who have neither training nor hands-on experience in this area.