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Author Topic:   Research for a book - Survey of various dating methods
damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 31 of 82 (595792)
12-10-2010 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Dr Adequate
12-10-2010 12:10 PM


We can see things twelve billion light years away and can measure the distance to the Moon so accurately that we can say that it's receding from the Earth at a rate of 38 millimeters per year. The Sumerians didn't even know how many planets there were and were geocentrists.

See one of my later posts. I wasn't referring to modern astronomy, but rather ancient astronomy. It's declined since 3500 BC onwards, at least as far as the Middle Ages, from what I've read.

Why would you think that I meant to say that the ancient Britons discovered these things by building Stonehenge?

Because you called it an "observatory". Which is a place where you discover truths about astronomy.

I think we're misunderstanding one another. I meant that Stonehenge was used to "observe" solstices and lunar eclipses. Why would you *reasonably* think I meant anything else, given how I've responded to your other comments in this thread?

Damon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-10-2010 12:10 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-10-2010 12:41 PM damoncasale has not yet responded
 Message 35 by ringo, posted 12-10-2010 1:45 PM damoncasale has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15929
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 32 of 82 (595793)
12-10-2010 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by damoncasale
12-10-2010 12:14 PM


See one of my later posts. I wasn't referring to modern astronomy, but rather ancient astronomy. It's declined since 3500 BC onwards, at least as far as the Middle Ages, from what I've read.

You wrote: "it's only gotten worse, not better". If you meant: "It's only gotten worse up until Galileo or thereabouts, when it suddenly got much better", maybe you should have said that.

And even as to that I am doubtful. I was reading a book about ancient Babylon just last month (my interests are pointlessly eclectic) and while I should have to look a few things up to be definite, I have the impression that they were inferior to (e.g.) classical Greek civilization.

I think we're misunderstanding one another. I meant that Stonehenge was used to "observe" solstices and lunar eclipses. Why would you *reasonably* think I meant anything else, given how I've responded to your other comments in this thread?

Because you used the word "observatory".

I can observe lunar eclipses from anywhere in the right hemisphere, but that doesn't make wherever I stand an observatory.

Indeed, what would it even mean to say that people "used" Stonehenge to observe lunar eclipses? You don't need a big bunch of megaliths to do so, you need a clear sky and a lunar eclipse. People used their eyes to observe lunar eclipses.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 12:14 PM damoncasale has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Panda, posted 12-10-2010 12:54 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1125 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 33 of 82 (595794)
12-10-2010 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Dr Adequate
12-10-2010 12:41 PM


Dr. A. writes:

Indeed, what would it even mean to say that people "used" Stonehenge to observe lunar eclipses? You don't need a big bunch of megaliths to do so, you need a clear sky and a lunar eclipse. People used their eyes to observe lunar eclipses.


Maybe he meant observe as in "We observed a 2 minute silence."
quote:
Observe: To keep or celebrate (a holiday, for example): observe an anniversary.
But this lack of clarity does not bode well for a scientific book.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-10-2010 12:41 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 6461
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 34 of 82 (595797)
12-10-2010 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by damoncasale
12-10-2010 8:44 AM


I've already responded to this via PM, but in an attempt to stay on topic in the forum, let me ask this. What astronomical dating methods -- if any -- do scientists normally use for purposes of dating?

This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but many have argued that the Milankovitch cycles are responsible for the cyclic nature of global climate. So there is a possible linkage between the temperature proxies in polar ice layers and the changes in Earth's tilt and orbit.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 8:44 AM damoncasale has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 3:18 PM Taq has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13025
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 35 of 82 (595800)
12-10-2010 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by damoncasale
12-10-2010 12:14 PM


damoncasale writes:

Why would you *reasonably* think I meant anything else, given how I've responded to your other comments in this thread?


You'll find that EvC members are sticklers for precise language. Even if they agree with your point, they'll zap you for stating it badly. You should take it as constructive criticism.


"I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 12:14 PM damoncasale has not yet responded

  
damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 36 of 82 (595820)
12-10-2010 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Taq
12-10-2010 1:12 PM


This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but many have argued that the Milankovitch cycles are responsible for the cyclic nature of global climate. So there is a possible linkage between the temperature proxies in polar ice layers and the changes in Earth's tilt and orbit.

Yes, I'm familiar with Milankovitch cycles through "Climate Change in Prehistory" by William Burroughs. Excellent book. And good idea to include mentioning those in the book I'm writing, thanks.

Damon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Taq, posted 12-10-2010 1:12 PM Taq has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 12-10-2010 4:08 PM damoncasale has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 15630
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 37 of 82 (595835)
12-10-2010 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by damoncasale
12-10-2010 3:18 PM


Hi Damon,

You seem to be catching a lot of flak, and I think it's because you accept many things as true or likely true that have not yet been established with any certainty. Famous authors who have taken a similar cavalier attitude toward the need for strong supporting evidence are Erich von Dniken and Immanuel Velikovsky, and you've already mentioned a number of less famous authors who follow in the same vein.

Using books like these as sources can only produce more books like these. If that's your goal then fine, they do make money, but those here on the science side of the creation/evolution debate will tell you you're only producing more woo, something already in plentiful supply. Such books might make good beach reading but contribute to public confusion about science by allowing people to come away falsely believing the scientific community takes such ideas seriously.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 3:18 PM damoncasale has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 5:06 PM Percy has responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5765
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 38 of 82 (595839)
12-10-2010 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by damoncasale
12-10-2010 11:47 AM


Re: Really?
Hopefully it has been obvious *to others* that I'm actually interested in science and not "new age woo." Especially as I accept when others in this thread have mentioned things that were unreliable or unverifiable and I've accepted such.

Please show the things that were mentioned that are "unreliable or unverifiable".

The only things mentioned that I have seen are what you have brought. Everything you have presented is either pseudoscience or pseudohistory. (except of course, "The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes" which the Dr has shown to be not very highly accepted).Nothing you have presented stands up to scrutiny.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 11:47 AM damoncasale has not yet responded

    
damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 39 of 82 (595849)
12-10-2010 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Percy
12-10-2010 4:08 PM


You seem to be catching a lot of flak, and I think it's because you accept many things as true or likely true that have not yet been established with any certainty. Famous authors who have taken a similar cavalier attitude toward the need for strong supporting evidence are Erich von Dniken and Immanuel Velikovsky, and you've already mentioned a number of less famous authors who follow in the same vein.

Well, it depends. I've read many books espousing the commonly accepted scientific views (such as Climate Change in Prehistory) as well as many others that are more controversial. As I mentioned in a PM to Dr. Adequate, I don't *need* the controversial theories in order to make my book work. In fact, I plan to have a chapter called "False Starts" which compares theories that are easily falsifiable -- such as Graham Hancock's theory that Antarctica was once unglaciated and once contained an advanced civilization; theories that are controversial but may contain useful evidence nonetheless -- such as the comet impact theory in the Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes, for which no adequate explanation has been found for the magnetic/radioactive grains found in the Clovis boundary layer, even though other evidence they discussed could very well have another explanation (such as the nanodiamonds they found); and finally the theories that find a large percentage of acceptance like the one that extreme climate variability was the main reason that agriculture wasn't "discovered" until after the end of the last Ice Age (discussed in Climate Change in Prehistory by Burroughs).

I'm very familiar with authors like Erich von Daniken, and lump him in with Graham Hancock as having theories that are easily falsifiable. On the other hand, I'm also careful to not dismiss certain evidence, just because the ones bringing forth that evidence have a bias and an agenda (like Christopher Knight in Civilization One). I feel that it's important to be able to sift the wheat from the chaff, rather than to just stick with what's commonly accepted. It's those critical thinking skills that I mainly want to get across in the chapter in my book on dating methods, because those are what are sorely lacking among the religious fundamentalists that this book hopes to be able to adequately answer.

And FYI, I absolutely do NOT take a cavalier attitude towards the need for strong supporting evidence. I have a long history of dealing with various *religious* issues (since I have two parents with completely different religious backgrounds, who ended up divorcing partly for religious reasons) and really questioning what constitutes proof and what constitutes sufficient evidence. I intend to take the same careful approach with the book I'm writing. (And moderator, that was why I mentioned this background in my first post, in the whited-out section.)

Damon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 12-10-2010 4:08 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Percy, posted 12-10-2010 8:44 PM damoncasale has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 15630
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 40 of 82 (595871)
12-10-2010 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by damoncasale
12-10-2010 5:06 PM


damoncasale writes:

And FYI, I absolutely do NOT take a cavalier attitude towards the need for strong supporting evidence.

If you're serious about the need for strong supporting evidence, why haven't you talked about anything with strong supporting evidence? Everything you've mentioned is speculative at best.

There's a reason why views that have been vetted by the scientific process have the most credibility. Science is the way we gain confidence that what we think we know about the real world *is* actually something true about the real world.

Your attention is being drawn to things that are very fascinating and intriguing, but also very speculative. It would be really neat if there were strong evidence for any of these things, but there's not. You're drawn to them because they're fun ideas.

If you're really interested in things with strong evidence then talk about things with strong evidence, instead of trying to convince us that speculations are evidence. For instance, about the cometary bombardment, the link to a supernova is incredibly tenuous. Why are you pushing things like this if you're interested in things with strong evidence?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 5:06 PM damoncasale has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 9:34 PM Percy has responded

    
damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 41 of 82 (595875)
12-10-2010 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Percy
12-10-2010 8:44 PM


Let me clarify, since there seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding, here.

#1, I actually *have* talked about things with strong supporting evidence. I mentioned one of them above. From what I've read, William Burroughs was one of the most respected climatologists around. He passed away recently, though.

#2, the reason why I'm discussing these other things is because they tie into what I'm researching. I've spent over 10 years attempting to figure out how to bridge the gap between science and religion, with my major focus being on ancient history, culture, and comparative religion. I've got a ton of books on my bookshelf that deal with the history of Egypt, Sumer, Ebla, the Maya, a comparison of kingship among ancient cultures by Henri Frankfort, stuff by Joseph Campbell, Samuel Noah Kramer, etc., etc. So it's not like I'm unfamiliar with the standard fare.

More recently, I've begun to expand that focus, as I've realized that in order to give a firm grounding for my treatment of the cultures of Egypt and Sumer in the book that I'm writing, I need to delve into prehistory and explain what happened prior to "creation". So I've been voraciously devouring all sorts of books which deal with various aspects of prehistory, both the scientifically grounded and the speculative, along with everything in between.

Why? Because in order to give a good answer to religious fundamentalists, I need to show exactly what is, and is not, good evidence for a particular theory. And so I'm setting out to very carefully examine various theories that deal with man's prehistory.

Damon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Percy, posted 12-10-2010 8:44 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Percy, posted 12-11-2010 7:57 AM damoncasale has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 15630
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 42 of 82 (595903)
12-11-2010 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by damoncasale
12-10-2010 9:34 PM


damoncasale writes:

And so I'm setting out to very carefully examine various theories that deal with man's prehistory.

You're examining theories that are not based upon strong evidence. As Wittenstein said, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent," meaning that one cannot speak meaningfully about things one doesn't know. You're in the process of joining those who without evidence speak anyway.

From what I've read, William Burroughs was one of the most respected climatologists around.

Yes, he was, and in your Message 39 you mention him in the context of "theories that are controversial." You finally mentioned a genuine scientist, but only to characterize as controversial a theory he discusses in one of his books. While you don't want to commit the fallacy of argument from authority, you do want to invest more credibility in true scientists rather than frauds.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.

Edited by Percy, : Shorten second quote.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by damoncasale, posted 12-10-2010 9:34 PM damoncasale has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by damoncasale, posted 12-11-2010 1:00 PM Percy has responded

    
damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 43 of 82 (595948)
12-11-2010 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Percy
12-11-2010 7:57 AM


I think you misread what I wrote. I described three types of theories in that post. Ones that garner a majority of acceptance (of which I included Burroughs' theory regarding climate variability), ones that are controversial, and ones that are easily falsifiable.

Anyway, browsing around at the bookstore today, I ran across a very well-balanced article on the theory of a comet impact at the end of the Clovis period in the current issue of American Archaeology. If a respected publication can give a balanced approach on such a theory, why can't I?

Damon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Percy, posted 12-11-2010 7:57 AM Percy has responded

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 Message 44 by Percy, posted 12-11-2010 1:46 PM damoncasale has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 15630
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 44 of 82 (595950)
12-11-2010 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by damoncasale
12-11-2010 1:00 PM


damoncasale writes:

If a respected publication can give a balanced approach on such a theory, why can't I?

Why can't you? From the little I've seen from you, which is just what's in this thread and your book reviews over at Amazon, you seem highly credulous. With a credulous approach the possibility that a comet was responsible for the Younger Dryas extinction becomes the basis for drawing time correlations with a supernova and concluding that was the cause. Speculation piles upon speculation. This is why I don't believe you can take a balanced approach.

The original PNAS paper upon which the American Archaeology article is based can be found here:

http://www.pnas.org/content/104/41/16016.full?sid=e0b7261...

Note that a key sentence in the conclusion begins like this:

PNAS paper writes:

These associations, if confirmed, ...

It would be really neat if such things were confirmed, but all they have right now is a really neat idea, and it's competing with a bunch of other really neat ideas. There's insufficient evidence at this time to choose among the possibilities.

I think you misread what I wrote.

Yes, you're right, sorry about that.

Since you're not doing any original research, if you want to do a scholarly work you would do well to keep your focus on what is well established. If you follow this course then you become a science popularizer, distilling complex scientific knowledge for laypeople, and so, for instance, about the cometary possibility you would discuss it as one among many possibilities, and you would discuss the other possibilities, too. But if you want to sell books then I think your current path is the best choice.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by damoncasale, posted 12-11-2010 1:00 PM damoncasale has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by damoncasale, posted 12-11-2010 2:30 PM Percy has responded

    
damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 45 of 82 (595954)
12-11-2010 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Percy
12-11-2010 1:46 PM


Why can't you? From the little I've seen from you, which is just what's in this thread and your book reviews over at Amazon, you seem highly credulous. With a credulous approach the possibility that a comet was responsible for the Younger Dryas extinction becomes the basis for drawing time correlations with a supernova and concluding that was the cause. Speculation piles upon speculation. This is why I don't believe you can take a balanced approach.

IMHO, I think you're only seeing "credulousness" in me because you're so used to dealing with other forum posters who *are* credulous and easily swayed into believing far-out theories. As far as there being insufficient evidence to come to a firm conclusion on the cause of the end of the last Ice Age and the beginning of the Younger Dryas, I agree with you. And it seems to me that no matter what I've said up to this point, you don't really believe that I can be objective enough to take that position.

But this conversation is getting us nowhere. And in any case, yes I *am* doing original research. It's just not connected with the research I'm currently doing into prehistory, but more along the lines of the cultural context of Genesis 1-3. No one else that I know of has attempted to set this text in its cultural context while taking into account its textual structure as well as symbolism that already exists elsewhere in the bible. Every single analysis I've seen of this text that assumes that it's non-literal always, without fail, injects a modern interpretation into it.

As far as what my purpose in writing this book is, it's not necessarily to do a scholarly work, but neither is it to write from a pseudoscientific perspective, like authors like Graham Hancock and others of his ilk have done. It's to write a book which takes a conservative approach to certain issues of science, history and prehistory, while tying them into issues of faith and morality, for the purpose of building a bridge between those who approach the origin of civilization from a faith-based perspective and those who approach it from a scientific perspective. But until I write the book, it sounds like I'm not going to have any degree of confidence -- at least from several of the posters that I've interacted with on this forum -- that I'll be able to take that conservative approach.

So we'll see.

I'm still waiting to see if there are any other recommendations of various different dating methods that I can cover in the book. So far I've gotten:

* Radiocarbon
* Radiometric
* Potassium/argon
* Milankovitch cycles
* Astronomical dating is unreliable

But that's about it. Anything else?

Damon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Percy, posted 12-11-2010 1:46 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by lyx2no, posted 12-11-2010 3:41 PM damoncasale has responded
 Message 48 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-11-2010 6:47 PM damoncasale has not yet responded
 Message 55 by NoNukes, posted 12-11-2010 9:25 PM damoncasale has not yet responded
 Message 56 by Percy, posted 12-12-2010 7:46 AM damoncasale has not yet responded

    
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