They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon (C-14) dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods.

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).

If we extrapolate as far back as ten thousand years ago, we find the atmosphere would not have had any C-14 in it at all.

If they are right, this means all C-14 ages greater than two or three thousand years need to be lowered drastically and that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years. Answer: Yes, Cook is right that C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying.

However, the amount of C-14 has not been rising steadily as Cook maintains; instead, it has fluctuated up and down over the past ten thousand years. From radiocarbon dates taken from bristlecone pines.

There are two ways of dating wood from bristlecone pines: one can count rings or one can radiocarbon-date the wood.

Even so, the missing rings are a far more serious problem than any double rings.

Other species of trees corroborate the work that Ferguson did with bristlecone pines.Concerning the sequence of rings derived from the bristlecone pine, Ferguson says: In certain species of conifers, especially those at lower elevations or in southern latitudes, one season's growth increment may be composed of two or more flushes of growth, each of which may strongly resemble an annual ring.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.Most of the tree-ring sequence is based on the bristlecone pine.This tree rarely produces even a trace of an extra ring; on the contrary, a typical bristlecone pine has up to 5 percent of its rings missing.Since the tree ring counts have reliably dated some specimens of wood all the way back to 6200 BC, one can check out the C-14 dates against the tree-ring-count dates.