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This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon-14 dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters. Answer: Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen-14 (N-14) into carbon-14 (C-14 or radiocarbon).Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C-14 into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes.
When dating wood there is no such problem because wood gets its carbon straight from the air, complete with a full dose of C-14.Such multiple growth rings are extremely rare in bristlecone pines, however, and they are especially infrequent at the elevation and latitude (37� 20' N) of the sites being studied.In the growth-ring analyses of approximately one thousand trees in the White Mountains, we have, in fact, found no more than three or four occurrences of even incipient multiple growth layers. 840) In years of severe drought, a bristlecone pine may fail to grow a complete ring all the way around its perimeter; we may find the ring if we bore into the tree from one angle, but not from another.The correlation is possible because, in the Southwest region of the United States, the widths of tree rings vary from year to year with the rainfall, and trees all over the Southwest have the same pattern of variations.When experts compare the tree-ring dates with the C-14 dates, they find that radiocarbon ages before 1000 BC are really too young—not too old as Cook maintains.