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The imbalance makes carbon 14 a radioisotope with a half-life of 5,700 years, and an emitter of beta particles.This radioactive isotope of carbon is called radiocarbon.The creationist argument that the ratio of C-14 to C-12 is not constant is actually based on the assumption of a young earth with an age of 10,000 years, and sudden changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by the assumed catastrophic events of the Genesis flood.This is the motivation behind the 30,000 year figure quoted in the creationist position.

The same is true of animals that eat plant material.

This magnetic shield, and consequently the particle flux, has slowly changed over time, and the quantity of carbon 14 formed on Earth changes with it.

Stages of Carbon-14 Formation Carbon-14 is continuously generated in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation.

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The nucleus of carbon 14 contains 6 protons and 8 neutrons, as opposed to the 6 and 6 found in ordinary carbon 12.

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