Such an assumption presumes that: (1) The rate of cosmic-ray activity has always been the same as it is at present; (2) The magnetic field of the earth has always been the same as it is now; and (3) The nature of the upper atmosphere has always been the same as now.
In addition to the criticisms raised by Woods concerning the level of C-14 and the constant influx of cosmic radiation in the atmosphere, Harris argued that it would be virtually impossible to know whether the C-14 sample was free of foreign carbon-containing material.
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Pleochroic halos are produced in minerals such as mica when they are bombarded by alpha particles from radioactive nuclei enclosed in the mineral.
Gentry argued that these halos indicated that some of the Precambrian rocks were created suddenly and recently.
Woods, a college physics teacher, who criticized not the technical process of C-14 activity measurement but the assumptions by which the dating results were interpreted.
He conceded that C-14 dating was accurate to 4,500 years, but said that dating beyond this was extrapolation beyond the accuracy controls of the method.
In particular, the C-14 dating method is important in the study of the Old Testament, since it professes to supply absolute dates for events within the past forty thousand years, which covers the apparent periods of Old Testament history.