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This is the “half-life.” So, in two half-lives, or 11,460 years, only one-quarter of that in living organisms at present, then it has a theoretical age of 11,460 years.Anything over about 50,000 years old, should theoretically have no detectable C.It cannot be used to date volcanic rocks, for example.The rate of decay of N in 5,730 years (plus or minus 40 years).

The isotope concentrations can be measured very accurately, but isotope concentrations are not dates.Also, the Genesis flood would have greatly upset the carbon balance.The flood buried a huge amount of carbon, which became coal, oil, etc., lowering the total C ratio in plants/animals/the atmosphere before the flood had to be lower than what it is now.Since the flood was accompanied by much volcanism (see Noah's Flood…, How did animals get from the Ark to isolated places? ), fossils formed in the early post-flood period would give radiocarbon ages older than they really are.In summary, the carbon-14 method, when corrected for the effects of the flood, can give useful results, but needs to be applied carefully.

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