1. Baumgardner, J., 14C Evidence for a recent global flood and a young earth; in:
Vardiman, L., Snelling, A.A., and Chaffin, E.F. (Eds.), Radioisotopes and the
Age of the Earth, vol. II, Institute of Creation Research and Creation Research
Society, El Cajon, CA, and St. Joseph, MO, p. 587–630, 2005; www.icr.org/i/
2. Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. For an overview of this project see
RATE group reveals exciting breakthroughs! creation.com/rate.
3. Baumgardner, ref. 1, p. 604.
4. Baumgardner, ref. 1, p. 598. ‘pMC’ stands for ‘percent Modern Carbon’, where
‘Modern Carbon’ is, effectively, the 14C-to-12C ratio in the atmosphere today.
5. Whereas the present discussion pertains to some particular coal samples, it
should be noted that, as part of the project, the RATE paper listed 90 instances
of non-zero AMS measurements of pMC in materials that were considered
to be older than 100,000 years and, therefore, 14C ‘dead’. These were taken
from papers published in the primary radiocarbon journals Radiocarbon and
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B [Baumgardner, ref. 1,
p. 592]. The reported values ranged from 0.014 to 0.71 pMC. Although these
did not have a ‘background’ subtracted (since, because of their alleged age, they,
themselves, were intended to be used as ‘blanks’ to measure the ‘background’),
fully 65 of them were greater than the 0.077 pMC used as the ‘background’ in the
RATE coal measurements and 61 of the measurements were greater, even, than
0.077+0.005 pMC, which would be a reasonable upper limit for the so-called
‘background’ if the experimental uncertainty in the ‘background’ is included.
6. Rotta, R.B., Evolutionary explanations for anomalous radiocarbon in coal?
CRSQ 41( 2): 104–112, 2004.
7. Chart of Nuclides, www.nndc.bnl.gov/chart, accessed 18 March 2017.
8. Trent, V.A., Medlin, J. H., Coleman, S.L., and Stanton R. W., Chemical analysis
and physical properties of 12 coal samples from Pocahontas Field, Tazewell
Country, Virginia and McDowell County, West Virginia, Geological Survey
Bulletin 1528, US Department of the Interior, table 5 p. 19, 1982; pubs.usgs.
9. Yim, M.S. and Caron, F., Life cycle and management of carbon- 14 from nuclear
power generation, Progress in Nuclear Energy 48: 2–36, 2006 | doi: 10.1016/j.
pnucene.2005.04.002; p. 5.
10. Shultis, J.K. and Faw, R.E., Fundamentals of Nuclear Science and Engineering,
3rd edn, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, p. 151, table 6. 2, 2017. However, Chart of
Nuclides, ref. 7, gives the probability of spontaneous fission of 235U as 7 × 10–9
% (= 7 × 10–11) versus a probability of 2 × 10–9 in the table in Wikipedia. Using
7 × 10–11 instead of 2 × 10–9 would make the factor 1,190 instead of 42, which
would make the spontaneous fission of 235U even more irrelevant.
11. Bé, M. M. and Chechev, V. P., 14C ̶Comments on evaluation of decay data, www.
nucleide.org/DDEP_WG/Nuclides/C-14_com.pdf, January 2012.
12. Chart of Nuclides, ref. 7. The chart lists the overall decay rate for 238U as 4.468
× 109 years and the spontaneous fission probability as 5. 5 × 10–7, from which
the spontaneous fission half-life can be calculated to be 8. 12 × 1015.
13. This is the reductio resulting from spontaneous fission. The 238U is also
decreasing by normal radioactive decay with a half-life of 4. 54 × 109 years.
This represents a decrease by a factor of 0.9999991 during one half-life of 14C,
so the assumption of negligible change in the number of atoms of 238U during
a few half-lives of 14C is still valid.
14. Coal, chemistryexplained.com/Ce-Co/Coal.html, 2017.
15. Lamarsh, J.R., Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, as cited in New flux in a
sphere of moderator of radius R, physicsforums.com/threads/new-flux-in-a-
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subsurface, Geophysical Research Letters 11( 6):607–610, 1984.
26. Šrámek, O., Stevens, L., McDonough, W.F., Mukhopadhyay, S., and Peterson,
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27. Merrill, R. T. et al., The Magnetic Field of the Earth: Paleomagnetism, the Core,
and the Deep Mantle, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, p. 55, 1998.
28. Poorter, H., Interspecific variation in the growth response to an elevated and
ambient CO2 concentration, Vegetatio 104/105: 77–97.
29. Berner, R. A. and Kothavala, A., GEOCARB III: A revised model of atmospheric
CO2 over Phanerozoic time, American J. Science 301:182–204, 2001.
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32. Berner and Kothavala, ref. 29, figure 13, p. 201.
Jim Mason has a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from
Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and
a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from McMaster University
in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He worked for a major
Canadian defence company for 37 years in various
engineering-related roles, encompassing system
engineering and project and line management, including
Technical Director for a C$ 1.5B army communication
system and Vice President of Engineering. He retired