The illustration below shows the three isotopes of carbon.
Some isotopes of certain elements are unstable; they can spontaneously change into another kind of atom in a process called “radioactive decay.” Since this process presently happens at a known measured rate, scientists attempt to use it like a “clock” to tell how long ago a rock or fossil formed.
This has caused many in the church to reevaluate the biblical creation account, specifically the meaning of the word “day” in Genesis 1.
God knows just what He meant to say, and His understanding of science is infallible, whereas ours is fallible.
So we should never think it necessary to modify His Word.
The atomic number corresponds to the number of protons in an atom.
Atomic mass is a combination of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
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