Some processes, such as photosynthesis for instance, favour one isotope over another, so after photosynthesis, the isotope C13 is depleted by 1.8% in comparison to its natural ratios in the atmosphere (Harkness, 1979).
Conversly the inorganic carbon dissolved in the oceans is generally 0.7% enriched in 13C relative to atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Hereafter these isotopes will be referred to as 12C, 13C, and 14C.
14C is radioactive and has a half-life of 5730 years.
These newly formed 14C atoms rapidly oxidize to form 14CO..
Photosynthesis incorporates 14C into plants and therefore animals that eat the plants.
Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
Because this decay is constant it can be used as a “clock” to measure elapsed time assuming the starting amount is known.
A d13C value, then, represents the per mille (part per thousand) deviation from the PDB standard.
PDB refers to the Cretaceous belemnite formation at Peedee in South Carolina, USA.
This has caused many in the church to reevaluate the biblical creation account, specifically the meaning of the word “day” in Genesis 1.
With our focus on one particular form of radiometric dating—carbon dating—we will see that carbon dating strongly supports a young earth.