How accurate are carbon 14 and other radioactive dating methods
We stick the garden hose in and turn it on full blast.The water coming out of the hose is analogous to the continuous production of carbon-14 atoms in the upper atmosphere.If you ever wondered why nuclear tests are now performed underground, this is why. Well, there were no nearby supernovae that happened at that time, so that’s out.There’s no evidence of an unusually large solar flare or any other bizarre solar activity, so that can’t be the culprit, either.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.
Most frequently, cosmic rays are protons, but a handful are heavier ions and a few are even humble electrons.
Now, the fuller that barrel gets the more water is going to leak out the thoroughly perforated sides, just as more carbon-14 will decay if you have more of it around.
Finally, when the water reaches a certain level in the barrel, the amount of water going into the barrel is equal to the amount leaking out the perforated sides.
The barrel represents the earth's atmosphere in which the carbon-14 accumulates.
The water leaking out the sides of the barrel represents the loss (mainly by radioactive decay) of the atmosphere's supply of carbon-14.
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(The barrel is made deep enough so that we don't have to worry about water overflowing the rim.) Henry Morris argued that if we started filling up our empty barrel it would take 30,000 years to reach the equilibrium point.