However, there is strong evidence which suggests that radioactive decay may have been greatly accelerated in the unobservable past.We must also assume that the ratio of C-12 to C-14 in the atmosphere has remained constant throughout the unobservable past (so we can know what the ratio was at the time of the specimen's death).First of all, it's predicated upon a set of questionable assumptions.

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This man-made fluctuation wasn't a natural occurrence, but it demonstrates the fact that fluctuation is possible and that a period of natural upheaval upon the earth could greatly affect the ratio.

Volcanoes spew out CO which could just as effectively decrease the ratio.

The isotope of Potassium-40, which has a half-life of 1.25 Billion years, can be used for such long measurements.

Another absolute dating method is thermoluminescence, which dates the last time an item was heated.

So, if we find the remains of a dead creature whose C-12 to C-14 ratio is half of what it's supposed to be (that is, one C-14 atom for every two trillion C-12 atoms instead of one in every trillion) we can assume the creature has been dead for about 5,730 years (since half of the radiocarbon is missing, it takes about 5,730 years for half of it to decay back into nitrogen).

If the ratio is a quarter of what it should be (one in every four trillion) we can assume the creature has been dead for 11,460 year (two half-lives).And yet we know that "radiocarbon is forming 28-37% faster than it is decaying," which means it hasn't yet reached equilibrium, which means the ratio is higher today than it was in the unobservable past.We also know that the ratio decreased during the industrial revolution due to the dramatic increase of CO produced by factories.C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).The new isotope is called "radiocarbon" because it is radioactive, though it is not dangerous.The first method was based on radioactive elements whose property of decay occurs at a constant rate, known as the half-life of the isotope.