Thus, a freshly killed mussel has far less C-14 than a freshly killed something else, which is why the C-14 dating method makes freshwater mussels seem older than they really are.
When dating wood there is no such problem because wood gets its carbon straight from the air, complete with a full dose of C-14.
Estimating an Earliest Likely Date Before trying to assign dates to particular Gospels, it can be helpful to try to identify a broader range of years in which they were composed.
Concerning the earliest the Gospels might have been written, Ehrman writes: To begin with, none of the Gospels appears to have been known to the apostle Paul, writing in the 50s. Many of Paul’s epistles were written in the 50s, and in those epistles, Paul does not quote from the Gospels.
Admittedly, this old wood comes from trees that have been dead for hundreds of years, but you don't have to have an 8,200-year-old bristlecone pine tree alive today to validly determine that sort of date.
It is easy to correlate the inner rings of a younger living tree with the outer rings of an older dead tree.
ICR creationists claim that this discredits C-14 dating. Answer: It does discredit the C-14 dating of freshwater mussels, but that's about all.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years.
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.
Kieth and Anderson show considerable evidence that the mussels acquired much of their carbon from the limestone of the waters they lived in and from some very old humus as well.
Carbon from these sources is very low in C-14 because these sources are so old and have not been mixed with fresh carbon from the air.