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Radioactive carbon (Carbon 14) is formed in the upper atmosphere as a byproduct of cosmic radiation.
Cosmic rays are positively charged atoms moving at enormous speeds.
Their results were 'two to three times less accurate than implied by the range of error they stated.' They thought the variations might have been caused by poor laboratory standards allowing contamination of the samples.
Some scientists believe the problem runs far deeper than this, as the following quote shows: In the light of what is known about the radiocarbon method and the way it is used, it is truly astonishing that many authors will cite agreeable determinations as "proof" for their beliefs...
Such enthusiasts continue to claim, incredible though it may seem, that "no gross discrepancies are apparent". BASIS OF RADIOCARBON DATING Radiocarbon dating compares the amount of normal carbon with the amount of radioactive carbon in a sample. What effect would the declining strength of the earth's magnetic field and a catastrophic worldwide flood have on radiocarbon dates?As you might guess, radioactive carbon (C) is quite rare.Only one out of every trillion carbon atoms is C14. The C14 created in the upper atmosphere reacts with oxygen to become carbon dioxide.