There are three carbon isotopes that occur as part of the Earth's natural processes; these are carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14.
Accuracy of carbon 14 dating
If greater likelihood is sought, we could look at the interval $5730 \pm 80$ years, encompassing two standard deviations, and the likelihood that the half-life of a given sample of Carbon $14$ will fall in this range is a little over $95$ percent.
This task addresses a very important issue about precision in reporting and understanding statements in a realistic scientific context.
The half-life of Carbon $14$, that is, the time required for half of the Carbon $14$ in a sample to decay, is variable: not every Carbon $14$ specimen has exactly the same half life.
The half-life for Carbon $14$ has a distribution that is approximately normal with a standard deviation of $40$ years.
Though radiocarbon dating clearly enjoys “wide public interest,” it also generates much confusion and discord among Christians, which leads to an obvious question: is Libby’s celebrated work a reliable technique for dating ancient objects?
The short answer is a resounding YES and here’s why.MYTH #2 Radiocarbon dating has established the date of some organic materials (e.g., some peat deposits) to be well in excess of 50,000 years, thus rendering a recent creation (6 to 10 thousand years ago) impossible.Some organic materials do give radiocarbon ages in excess of 50,000 "radiocarbon years." However, it is important to distinguish between "radiocarbon years" and calendar years.The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 1940's.It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field.These two measures of time will only be the same if all of the assumptions which go into the conventional radiocarbon dating technique are valid.