This is how carbon dating works: Carbon is a naturally abundant element found in the atmosphere, in the earth, in the oceans, and in every living creature.
C-12 is by far the most common isotope, while only about one in a trillion carbon atoms is C-14.
The book originated with Egyptian papyri that Joseph Smith translated beginning in 1835.
Many people saw the papyri, but no eyewitness account of the translation survives, making it impossible to reconstruct the process.
The Muslims count the Prophet’s departure from Mecca, or the Hegira, as their beginning at AD 662.
The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.
typically assumes an expert knowledge of multiple languages. He readily acknowledged that he was one of the “weak things of the world,” called to speak words sent “from heaven.” The same principle can be applied to the book of Abraham.
The Lord did not require Joseph Smith to have knowledge of Egyptian.
When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.
Plants and animals naturally incorporate both the abundant C-12 isotope and the much rarer radiocarbon isotope into their tissues in about the same proportions as the two occur in the atmosphere during their lifetimes.
When a creature dies, it ceases to consume more radiocarbon while the C-14 already in its body continues to decay back into nitrogen.
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.