(Strahler, 1987, p.158) Lingenfelter actually attributed the discrepancy between the production and decay rates to possible variations in the earth's magnetic field, a conclusion which would have ruined Morris's argument.
Henry Morris chose not to mention that portion of the paper!
(The barrel is made deep enough so that we don't have to worry about water overflowing the rim.) Henry Morris argued that if we started filling up our empty barrel it would take 30,000 years to reach the equilibrium point.
Thus, he concluded, if our Earth were older than 30,000 years the incoming water should just equal the water leaking out.
Sometimes it slows down to a trickle so that much more water is leaking out the barrel than is coming in; sometimes it goes full blast so that a lot more water is coming into the barrel than is leaking out. Lingenfelter's paper was written in 1963, before the cycles of C-14 variation we described had been fully documented.
Thus, the mere fact that the present rate of water coming in exceeds that of the water leaking out cannot be extrapolated back to a starting time. The point is that fluctuations in the rate of C-14 production mean that at times the production rate will exceed the decay rate, while at other times the decay rate will be the larger.
Creationists don't want their readers to be distracted with problems like that -- unless the cat is already out of the bag and something has to be said.
A study of the deviations from the accurate tree-ring dating sequence shows that the earth's magnetic field has an important effect on carbon-14 production.It's a great argument except for one, little thing.