By comparing the surviving amount of carbon-14 to the original amount, scientists can calculate how long ago the animal died.
If carbon-14 has formed at a constant rate for a very long time and continually mixed into the biosphere, then the level of carbon-14 in the atmosphere should remain constant.
If the level is constant, living plants and animals should also maintain a constant carbon-14 level in them.
And as far as we know, it has been forming in the earth’s upper atmosphere since the atmosphere was made back on Day Two of Creation Week (part of the expanse, or firmament, described in Genesis 1:6–8). Cosmic rays from outer space are continually bombarding the upper atmosphere of the earth, producing fast-moving neutrons (subatomic particles carrying no electric charge) (Figure 1a).1 These fast-moving neutrons collide with atoms of nitrogen-14, the most abundant element in the upper atmosphere, converting them into radiocarbon (carbon-14) atoms.
CARBON-14 IS CREATED (Figure 1a): When cosmic rays bombard the earth’s atmosphere, they produce neutrons.
It’s assumed to be the same number of carbon-14 atoms as in elephants living today.