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Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.
One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.
The strength of the Earth's magnetic field affects the amount of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.
A stronger magnetic field deflects more cosmic rays away from the Earth.
Furthermore, different types of plants discriminate differently.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.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).