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Libby was the son of farmers, played tackle on his high school football team, and paid his college tuition by working on a California fruit ranch, where his job was to nail together wooden crates of fresh-picked fruit. Urey on America's then-secret Manhattan Project to develop atomic weapons, and showed that cosmic radiation produces tritium.
He remained a lifelong proponent of nuclear bombs, offering advice summarized in a glowing 1955 profile in Time magazine as "Let's build them as big as we can, and build all we can.
Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.
Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.
Here's the explanation that even a 5th-grader can understand.
If something carbon dates at 7,000 years we believe 5,000 is probably closer to reality (just before the flood).
Robert Whitelaw has done a very good job illustrating this theory using about 30,000 dates published in Radio Carbon over the last 40 years.
Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content.
This standard content of C14 can then be used for wood not associated with a historically documented date.