At a widely publicized news conference in August of 1972, Dr.Jeffrey Bada of Scripps Institute of Oceanography announced the "discovery" of a new dating method based on the rate of racemization of amino acids in fossil material.
The amino acids combine with each other like the links of a chain to form a long protein chain.
Proteins contain from 50 to several hundred amino acids.
He was quoted as saying that he had discovered the basis of the method in 1968, and that it was so obvious and simple he was amazed it hadn't been discovered earlier.
As a matter of fact, the basis of this method had been discovered earlier and had been reported in a series of papers published by Hare, Mitterer and Abelson in 1967, 1968, and 1969.
The rates obtained at these temperatures were extrapolated to 2° C and to 4° C, the present average temperatures where the deep-sea cores containing the sediment samples were obtained.