Ok, I'll jump in. Seeing that all the strawmen filled back-patting didn't really make for a worthwhile discussion.
The issue of the age of the earth is two-fold for the creationist. First, he needs to adress the lines of evidence that seem to indicate that the earth is very old. Nowadays this includes predominantly the various radiometric dating methods, but also geologic issues such as how long it takes for oil to form, for example. This is what the creationist you encountered was doing.
Second, he needs to find his own lines of evidence that seem to indicate that the earth is young. Contrary to the widespread ignorance displayed in this thread, creationist routinely write and discuss such issues.
Some will argue that they are wrong from the start, because they initially start with a 6k age for the earth because that is what the Bible implies. Because they get it from a religious book, they are wrong per se. But this is flawed logic, and in fact is routinely called the ''genetic fallacy''. This is because the origin of a statement is not relevant to it's truthfulness. It does not matter if it came from a book, or from a dream, or from my imagination while I was walking down the street; a statement is to be evaluated from it's claims, not where it originated.
With all this put into perspective (and I doubt anyone will disagree with what I just said), we can now discuss some positive lines of evidence for a young earth. There are also two different types of these:
- One that is consistent with the given age. For example, the accumulation of salt in the ocean gives a maximum age consistent with a young earth. This was in fact my very first thread at EvC, and if you want to discuss it you could dig up my old thread and we could start off from there.
- One that points to the given age. For example, the helium diffusion in zircon crystals experiment done by Humphreys and Baumgardner falls into this category.
Neither of those has any value for determining the age of the earth. The age of something in the earth is not the age of the earth. You need to find the age of the oldest thing in the earth. Anything older than the salt or the zircon crystals automatically nullifies them as age indicators.
By any naturalistic model of the formation of the earth you choose, you will find that the oceans are pretty much as old as the earth itself. Putting a maximum age on them pretty much puts a maximum age on the earth itself. This is as close as you'll get to the researched proposition of ''Date of ____ roughly equals date of the earth''.
The zircon crystals issue is a tad more complicated, but when understood pretty much gives us something ressembling what the OP is asking.
I'll do an overview post on the helium diffusion research, then I'll adress critics. I have read in length Henke's paper about a year ago, and through all the smoke of the mudslinging he does, only a handful of issues are of any importance to the data and it's implications.
All you need to do here is provide a reason why oceanic salt concentrations are a reliable method for dating the age of the oceans. This would need to include the reasons as to why accumulation would be constant over any and all conditions that the Earth has experienced during it's lifetime..
You have an input, output and the total amount of something. This is the basic requirement for any dating method whatsoever. This alone shows that the accumulation of salt in the ocean can be used
But more importantly, you have to show that today's condition of the earth is appreciably different then at any other moment in the past. For all we know, there is nothing unusual about the current conditions that would suggest this is not representative of how it has generally always been.
Perhaps you mean a minimum age? If we date a rock to 1 million years before present (assuming for the moment that the method is accurate) then the minimum age of the Earth would be 1 million years old since the Earth could have existed prior to the cooling of the rock from molten form..
Fallacious argument by analogy, because we are dating the rock, but we are finding a maximum age for the ocean. As I have said, the only reason this can be transposed to the earth is because of the relationship ''the age of the ocean is roughly equal to the age of the earth'', this relationship coming from the naturalistic models of the formation of the earth.
The same relationship cannot be said of a rock. Because of this, you are correct to say that dating a rock gives a minimal age for the earth. But it's really irrelevant because the two aren't affected by the same relation.
The salt in oceans is a maximum, because of the assumption that you start with an ocean with zero sodium in it. You can see this by realizing that by changing assuming there was an initial quantity, the age you get becomes lower.
I briefly read that letter last week at my parents house (my father receives JoC).
I see nothing wrong with Humphreys being able to admit he was wrong on this. I, however, see something wrong in that Henke makes an enormous case out of nothing, since the misreading is on a model of the past temperatures of the region, not experimental data of the region. Even then, the overall effect of all this on the end result is very small, and the fact that he makes it seem so important reveal how much he is scrubbing for details. The matter of the fact is that the experimental data still supports Humphreys approach, and trumps models any day of the week.
You forgot the constancy of these inputs and outputs. That is required as well. What good is a clock if it runs backwards and forwards at random times?
Yet if you see the clock right now running forward at a constant rate, why think it was any different in the past ?
If you claim it was different, I'm sorry, but the burden of proof is on you unfortunately.
Guess what happens when seawater freezes? The salt concentration goes up. Guess what happens when polar ice thaws? Salt concentrations go down. Guess what happens when erosion increases on land? Salt concentrations go up.
Salt concentrations in the oceans are not a reflection of time. They are a reflection of erosion and temperature.
here you show a basic misunderstanding of the issue. It has nothing to do with concentrations, it is all about the total amount of sodium. If I put 10g of salt in 1L or 10L of water, sure the concentration changes, but it's still 10g of salt.
it is the salt that accumulates, not the concentration of salt, that much should be obvious.
When water freezes at the poles it takes water out of the oceans but leaves the salt in the ocean. The opposite happens when the polar ice melts. This is a HUGE problem for you model. Also, the amount of salt entering the oceans will change as erosion changes on land. There are simply too many variables affecting salt concentrations in the oceans for it to be a valid measure of time.
As the salt issue is being addressed, I took a look at the zircon one, and there is a massive essay on talkorigins, Zircon - Talkorigins, which discusses this in length, unfortunatly I don't have the time, nor the relevant understanding to read through this essay.
Maybe that's the problem right. If you have a genuine interest to dig into the Evo/creo issue, you have to be able to not just go on talkorigins.org and have the impression they got it all figured out. You have to be able to also read the creationist litterature without preconceived notions and see how they approach the data.
Without that, all you'll get is your daily shot of confirmation bias.
Back on topic though, what I want to find out is, not if there are problems with current geology and certain issues you think it might have, but what DATING methods YEC's can use, ones that correlate to a minimum age of 4350 or 6000 years.
They have this page (http://creation.com/age-of-the-earth) where they pretty much regrouped a whole lot of subjects they write about all in one list, but it's a mixed bag. Some relate pretty well with the age of earth such as it's magnetic field, salt in oceans, etc. and could be regrouped into a thread similar to RAZD's, while others are very peripheric; for example ''DNA in ancient fossils'' (as Taq said, just because you find something young on the earth doesn't mean the earth is young)
Even given the flawed methods of creationists, the maximum age came out to hundreds of thousands of years, didn't it? Which would not be consistent with a young Earth.
92 million years I think. But of course, this is going all the way back to when there wasn't a grain of salt in the ocean, a situation that never was even in the naturalistic history of the oceans.
But hey, if RAZD can correlate a 8k year old tree with the 4,5Ba of the earth, why couldn't I correlate a maximum of 92Ma with a 6k year old earth ?
However, in fairness, we should note that this is one case where omphalism is arguably justified. If God magicked saltwater fish into existence in the beginning, he'd have to make the seas salt from the get-go, since most saltwater fish perish in fresh water.
Didn't we discuss this once in another thread ? Those cases where something is only a sign of age if you presuppose it's naturalistic origin ?
The existence of the earth, for example, is hardly a sign of age unless you presuppose that it formed via naturalistic processes.
We know that the conditions are different because currently no basin-wide marine evaporite deposits are being formed.
One exception per million years (random number) does not negate the fact, that for all intents and purposes the assumption that the current conditions are representative of how it has generally always been.
Of course, it then becomes a matter of determining if these rare occasions have effect so great as to reverse the accumulation to a near equilibrium.
The age of the rock correlates between a dozen or more different methods. Your supposed age of the ocean doesn't correlate with anything.
I think you'd be hard-pressed to find such a rock that has a single age from a dozen or more different methods. I really doubt such a rock exists to be honest.
That's exactly what you're being told. You can't just assert that ocean salt gives the "true" age of the earth. You have to explain why all of the other methods are wrong and why they correlate so well with each other if they're all wrong. RAZD has a nice thread where you're welcome to try to do just that.
That's because I never said it was a ''true'' age of the earth, just a maximum.
Concerning RAZD's thread, you do realize I could build a similar one, with a bunch of so-called ''PRATT's'' which correlate with a young earth.
You would then probably start by taking each one individually, and show where you think the reasoning is flawed in each one. Of course, at that point, we would agree that it would be stupid of me to just respond ''Yeah, but why do they correlate together so well then ?''. This wouldn't really add anything to the discussion, nor does it help discovering the truth of the matter.
Yet this is usually what effectively happens just about every time we discuss one of the points on RAZD list. (usually the dating method, but I suppose the same answer would be served when discussing about any other thing on the list)
You have the opportunity to back up your claim but instead you run away.
This just shows you don't really want to have an intelligent discussion. Because I give three back to back replies right, trying to get w worthwhile discussion going, and you come in with this nonesense that I ''run away''.
All the while, very few of you are really cutting down to the fact and implications of the salt-in-sea issue. Instead you just go around hand-waving and quite frankly, I'm not going to waste my time trying to get it through why a maximum of 92 million years for the age the oceans on this planet is a problem for a 4,5Byo earth but fits with the idea of a young earth. Really, if some of you can't see that, there's no point in me discussing with you.
Two however, did go on to discuss the facts. Dr.A's concern about halite depositions will be answered in the appropriate thread. Taq, unfortunately, did not see the difference between salt concentration and salt accumulation.
Even assuming that the ocean salinity age estimate were valid, it isn't really a dating technique is it? We could say that the oceans are less than ninety something million years old, but we cannot date anything else.
Read my very first post in this thread, to see how this ocean salinity issue fits in the whole web of things. I never pretended that this was a dating technique that could be applied on a wide range of things.
Slevesque, these are the same old pratts that are shown everywhere... All they do is show 'what ifs'. I mean they're still using magnetic decay as a 'proof'?
That's because while talkorigins still talk about Barnes 30 year old arguments as if they were still the cutting-edge creationist view, while on the other end of the spectrum, creationists actually have continued to develop the idea and answer the critics.
If, on the other hand, you could show using various independant methods for instance, that every stratigraphic layer was 4350 years old as consistent with the flud, and all fossils found within those layers was 4350 years old. That would be an interesting case. The case of 'what ifs' doesn't work. If you claim the earth is 6000 years old, the burden of proof is on you. And EVERY dating method you employ needs to be consistent with this. You can not pick and choose.
Maybe if you stay here long enough, and discuss with the right approach you will be able to see how I explain all the pieces fit into a recent flood model. But to do this, we just have to discuss each piece at a time.
Also, notice I haven't used a single 'what if' the whole time.