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Now, the fuller that barrel gets the more water is going to leak out the thoroughly perforated sides, just as more carbon-14 will decay if you have more of it around.Finally, when the water reaches a certain level in the barrel, the amount of water going into the barrel is equal to the amount leaking out the perforated sides.That is, the equilibrium point should have long since been reached given the present rate of carbon-14 production and the old age of the earth.The next step in Henry Morris' argument was to show that the water level in our barrel analogy was not in equilibrium, that considerably more water was coming in than leaking out.Creationists don't want their readers to be distracted with problems like that -- unless the cat is already out of the bag and something has to be said.Tree-ring dating (see Topic 27) gives us a wonderful check on the radiocarbon dating method for the last 8000 years.Sometimes it slows down to a trickle so that much more water is leaking out the barrel than is coming in; sometimes it goes full blast so that a lot more water is coming into the barrel than is leaking out. Lingenfelter's paper was written in 1963, before the cycles of C-14 variation we described had been fully documented.Thus, the mere fact that the present rate of water coming in exceeds that of the water leaking out cannot be extrapolated back to a starting time. The point is that fluctuations in the rate of C-14 production mean that at times the production rate will exceed the decay rate, while at other times the decay rate will be the larger.
Thus, he concluded, if our Earth were older than 30,000 years the incoming water should just equal the water leaking out.
The barrel represents the earth's atmosphere in which the carbon-14 accumulates.
The water leaking out the sides of the barrel represents the loss (mainly by radioactive decay) of the atmosphere's supply of carbon-14.
The following material has been taken from a sheet entitled Several Faulty Assumptions Are Used in all Radiometric Dating Methods.
Carbon 14 is used for this example:, which was put out by Dr. is presently only 1/3 of the way to an equilibrium value which will be reached in 30,000 years. Knowing how faulty creationist "facts" can be, let's do a little research of our own.