Carbon dating and half life
That is, the equilibrium point should have long since been reached given the present rate of carbon-14 production and the old age of the earth.The next step in Henry Morris' argument was to show that the water level in our barrel analogy was not in equilibrium, that considerably more water was coming in than leaking out.Creationists don't want their readers to be distracted with problems like that -- unless the cat is already out of the bag and something has to be said.Tree-ring dating (see Topic 27) gives us a wonderful check on the radiocarbon dating method for the last 8000 years.The curve is roughly 180 degrees out of phase with the C-14 curve.
The argument may be compared to filling a barrel which has numerous small holes in its sides.We say that the input and output of water is in equilibrium.The water level just sits there even though the hose is going full blast.That is, we can use carbon-14 dating on a given tree-ring (the 8000-year sequence having been assembled from the overlapping tree-ring patterns of living and dead trees) and compare the resulting age with the tree-ring date.A study of the deviations from the accurate tree-ring dating sequence shows that the earth's magnetic field has an important effect on carbon-14 production.
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The barrel represents the earth's atmosphere in which the carbon-14 accumulates.