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It can combine with other atoms and molecules such as oxygen to create carbon dioxide, or CO2.
Without this calibration, atmospheric fluctuations in C cause some radiocarbon dates to have an error up to 10%.The logic for the theory is as follows: 1) The Bible reveals the age of the earth to be somewhere around 6,000 years.2) Since the earth is only 6,000 years old, the entire group of life forms represented in the fossil record (save the most recent fossils) existed at the same time and were all buried together in the world-wide biblical flood.In order to function properly, natural clocks need an irreversible process that occurs at a constant and known rate.
Nuclear decay has a constant rate of decay, but as it turns out, the formation of C has been reliably calibrated to tens of thousands of years.
Carbon isotopes are generally measured through the use of a machine called the accelerated mass spectrometer.