I am a homeschooling parent, so pardon me asking stupid questions. Everywhere I read, it is said carbon based lifeforms eat carbon and after their death that atom starts a decay.
But what I cannot understand, we dont eat or work with food at atomic levels. Yes, life forms breaks down molecules from food and use them as they wish. But that chemical process does not effect the atom structure. I dont think any life form has capacity or energy to break down atoms.
So if one atom of C14 was having a decay already before we ate it, it keeps having it while it gets digested and goes on in the same way if life is alive or dead. If another C14 was not having a decay, then it starting a decay has nothing to with the life form is alive or dead.
As Dr. Manhattan(Watchmen 2009) said atoms dont care if you are alive or dead. They stayed there at the same place before and after.
So how can a lifeform have any effect in the C14 decay at all?
Got some good answers, so I clarifying my questions:
How can we be sure that we have eaten only fresh out of factory C14? It may be already decayed by hundred or thousand of years when we eat it. It applies to all living beings. If there is fresh C14 in the air, there is also decaying levels of C14 as old as 50K years. So when you check my c14 count, you would have a wrong answer of when I died cause origin of C14 was even before I was my great grandfather was.