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Author Topic:   Assumptions involved in scientific dating
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1405
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 16 of 60 (790911)
09-07-2016 8:09 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Faith
09-07-2016 5:05 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions

Pretty much what I've been saying. It's insisted that specific old age dates are needed but that makes no sense. All the OE dates do is point to the relevant rock, and it's the relevant rock that points to the oil.

ABE: Not the morphology, though, right? That would have to be discovered some other way in any case./abe

But if they see a way to find oil as a YEC, why become OEC?


Good question. If one's only interest is the pragmatic issue of finding oil, and not truth, one could continue as a YEC just fine. But the geologic data simply does not fit YEC.

Glenn Morton is a very inquisitive polymath with a nearly photographic memory. As he continued to look at the geologic data, he continued to see conflicts with the YEC paradigm. The geologic data gave evidence of long processes and much older ages than can fit in a YEC paradigm. You can read the details in his paper, "Why I Left Young-Earth Creationism".

But as Coyote pointed out, this thread is about scientific, radiometric dates. I believe Glenn pretty much accepted the YEC arguments against radiometric dates until he was already well on the road to leaving YEC.

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 5:05 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 11:16 PM kbertsche has responded

    
Coyote
Member
Posts: 6012
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 17 of 60 (790914)
09-07-2016 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Faith
09-07-2016 6:31 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
Faith writes:

Coyote writes:

Relative dating is not the subject of the thread.

Have you any observations on the assumptions involved in scientific dating?

Sure: absolute or "scientific" dating is irrelevant if relative dating is all it takes to find oil or do other practical geological work.


You and other creationists have challenged radiometric dating based on "assumptions."

Here's your chance to present your evidence.

Leave relative dating for another thread.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 6:31 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 60 (790918)
09-07-2016 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by kbertsche
09-07-2016 8:09 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
I'm aware of Glenn Morton's experience that changed his mind. I think he misinterpreted the data. I just reread the first few paragraphs and have the same opinion.

It remains interesting and important that there is no conflict between YEC assumptions and the practical work of finding oil, despite the familiar accusation that there is a conflict.

You brought up the change to OE beliefs, I didn't.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by kbertsche, posted 09-07-2016 8:09 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Coyote, posted 09-07-2016 11:42 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 20 by kbertsche, posted 09-07-2016 11:45 PM Faith has responded

  
Coyote
Member
Posts: 6012
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 19 of 60 (790920)
09-07-2016 11:42 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Faith
09-07-2016 11:16 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
Please, tell us how the assumptions involved in scientific radiometric dating are incorrect.

Don't get sidetracked. I know its easy to do, but this thread is for a specific purpose and I'd really appreciate your input on the OP.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 11:16 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1405
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 20 of 60 (790921)
09-07-2016 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Faith
09-07-2016 11:16 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
It remains interesting and important that there is no conflict between YEC assumptions and the practical work of finding oil, despite the familiar accusation that there is a conflict.

I don't think I've ever seen accusations that YECs cannot find oil. Do you really think this is a "familiar accusation"? (But I DO find it a bit surprising that absolute dates can be completely ignored while doing oil exploration, to be honest.)

But this thread is not about the pragmatic issue of finding oil; it is about the supposed "assumptions" used in radiometric dating. For radiocarbon, I claim that the major "assumptions" are that trees grow one ring per year, we can count tree rings, and we can measure the amounts of radiocarbon in tree rings and in unknown samples. The amount of radiocarbon originally in the atmosphere is irrelevant, and the radiocarbon decay rate is irrelevant.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 11:16 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 11:56 PM kbertsche has responded

    
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 60 (790922)
09-07-2016 11:56 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by kbertsche
09-07-2016 11:45 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
I think I probably misread your Message 12. You say what the YEC view is which I read as your agreeing with it. Apparently you don't.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by kbertsche, posted 09-07-2016 11:45 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Pressie, posted 09-08-2016 5:51 AM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 23 by kbertsche, posted 09-08-2016 6:11 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
Pressie
Member
Posts: 1794
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 22 of 60 (790929)
09-08-2016 5:51 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Faith
09-07-2016 11:56 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
So, Faith, let's discuss the 'assumptions' you think involved in scientific dating. That's what this threat is about.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 11:56 PM Faith has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Pressie, posted 09-08-2016 6:40 AM Pressie has not yet responded

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1405
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


(3)
Message 23 of 60 (790930)
09-08-2016 6:11 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Faith
09-07-2016 11:56 PM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
think I probably misread your Message 12. You say what the YEC view is which I read as your agreeing with it. Apparently you don't.

I think you read my message 12 correctly. Though it is somewhat surprising to me, apparently oil exploration can be done without use of absolute (scientific, radiometric) dates. I agree that a YEC can find oil. But as Glenn found, to remain a YEC while doing oil exploration requires one to deny the huge amount of evidence for earth history that one starts to uncover while doing his job.

But again, this is a side issue to the thread topic. This is not a thread about finding oil, but about assumptions used in radiometric dating.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 09-07-2016 11:56 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Pressie
Member
Posts: 1794
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


(2)
Message 24 of 60 (790931)
09-08-2016 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Pressie
09-08-2016 5:51 AM


Re: Creationists have been very silent on assumptions
ICANT disappeared about those 'assumptions'. ICANT knows that he/she can't defend those claims.

My bet is that ICANT will just carry on spreading the same untruths about the nature of geological dating systems to people not educated in geology (probably 99.9999999999%) of people regardless of the evidence.

I mean in my country only around 3000 living people have had any formal education in geology out of a total population of more than 50 million living people. In a country where the economy is very dependent on mining.

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Pressie, posted 09-08-2016 5:51 AM Pressie has not yet responded

    
Coyote
Member
Posts: 6012
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.4


(2)
Message 25 of 60 (791644)
09-19-2016 2:55 PM


Bump for creationist input
This thread has been open for about six weeks, and still no posts by creationists detailing why they think the assumptions used by radiometric dating, and particularly by radiocarbon dating, invalidate the results.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Pressie, posted 09-20-2016 6:57 AM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Pressie
Member
Posts: 1794
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 26 of 60 (791705)
09-20-2016 6:57 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Coyote
09-19-2016 2:55 PM


Re: Bump for creationist input
Yet, they still keep on going around those "assumptions" on the CMI website, where people are not allowed to comment without severe restrictions on what evidence is allowed. They don't even allow direct measurements...
This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Coyote, posted 09-19-2016 2:55 PM Coyote has not yet responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7190
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 27 of 60 (791737)
09-20-2016 2:52 PM


Devil's Advocate
Since we are probably not going to hear from the creationists, I thought I would ask a question that has intrigued me, and also to take advantage of someone who has experience in the field.

How does one determine the extent or presence of exogenous 14C contamination in carbon dating? Do you test multiple samples from different environments in the same geologic layer? Do you avoid specific conditions, such as potential water contamination? Do you test material from the interior of a sample instead of the exterior? Are there controls to determine if contamination is an issue?

In my experience in other fields, sample selection is the bedrock of a solid methodology. Is this the case with 14C dating?

On a side note, does it drive you nuts when they call it "radiocarbon dating" when it is actually K/Ar dating or U/Pb dating? In my field, it drives me crazy when they people conflate bacteria and viruses, so I imagine you cringe when people confuse matters in your field of work.

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Coyote, posted 09-20-2016 4:35 PM Taq has responded

  
Coyote
Member
Posts: 6012
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.4


(2)
Message 28 of 60 (791741)
09-20-2016 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Taq
09-20-2016 2:52 PM


Re: Devil's Advocate
Contamination is indeed a problem in C14 dating.

Small rootlets in a charcoal sample can make it date too young.

Marine shell has to be corrected for deep water upwelling, and a lot of research has gone into establishing the amount of upwelling for different parts of the world.

Freshwater shell is also a problem if fed by water sources rich in dissolved limestone--they will date way too old.

One way of determining how good your sample is is the C13 reading. Clean charcoal should have a reading somewhere close to 25 (don't worry about what the number means at this point). Good marine shell should be somewhere around 0 or 1.

Bone should be somewhere around 22 unless it is marine mammal bone, then expect something around 14. (You'd be surprised how many archaeologists submit a piece of unidentified bone and get a C13 reading around 14 and treat it as terrestrial bone. Their date is likely off by about 500 years, as marine mammal bone needs a correction for deep water upwelling.)

If you get a C13 reading that differs greatly from the normal figure for that material, better cross-check the results with additional samples. You should never do just one sample anyway!

Laboratories will do a good pretreatment on the samples and this catches most contamination. For shell, the will treat it with a weak acid and dissolve away a decent percentage of the sample to get rid of the soft outer layers, leaving good dense shell for the sample. Charcoal is pretreated in a variety of ways to get rid of modern organics like rootlets.

And you're right--sample selection is very important. In addition to contamination there are a lot of sources of bias in sample selection. Multiple pieces of shell from a midden will result in a "homogenized" date. You need to date single pieces of shell. Another problem we've noted: prehistoric inhabitants changed and improved their technologies and subsistence/settlement systems over time. In the area I work the most, the oldest dated abalone shell is about 5900 years old, while the oldest mussel shell is over 9400 years old (this is out of about 500 samples, so its a good universe). What this means though is 1) the prehistoric inhabitants didn't make much use of abalones early on, and 2) if archaeologists date just abalone shells they'll miss some 3500 years of early prehistory.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Taq, posted 09-20-2016 2:52 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Taq, posted 09-21-2016 11:47 AM Coyote has responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 7190
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 29 of 60 (791770)
09-21-2016 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Coyote
09-20-2016 4:35 PM


Re: Devil's Advocate
Coyote writes:

One way of determining how good your sample is is the C13 reading. Clean charcoal should have a reading somewhere close to 25 (don't worry about what the number means at this point). Good marine shell should be somewhere around 0 or 1.

This does pique my curiosity, so I have a few more questions if you have the time to answer them.

I suspect that this is due to both carbon source and fractionation during photosynthesis. Photosynthesis favors lighter isotopes, so I suspect that the 13C values you are giving are probably related to 13C/12C ratios. In terrestrial ecosystems, photosynthesizers fix carbon, and that carbon then filters down through each trophic level.

Is this not also the case with aquatic environments? I wouldn't be surprised if free 13C/12C ratios were different for aquatic environments, but do marine animals fix dissolve carbon dioxide instead of deriving it from photosynthesizers? Or is the dissolved CO2 in aquatic environments just that different?

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Coyote, posted 09-20-2016 4:35 PM Coyote has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Coyote, posted 09-21-2016 4:43 PM Taq has not yet responded

  
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 60 (791788)
09-21-2016 4:12 PM


Maybe off topic
Since the exchange with Coyote on the Glenn Morton thread was declared off topic I thought maybe I could bring it over here, although it's really also off-topic here. Maybe it will have the virtue at least of not precipitating much of a discussion.

Coyote had said this in Message 404 on that thread:

YECs attempt to explain the physical world in terms of scripture, but the facts don't support that explanation. That leads to enormous stretches of interpretation, misinterpretation of facts, ignoring facts that run contrary to belief, in some cases making up facts, quote mining, and other problems.

I objected that he needed to support such a list of accusations, and in Message 406 he made the familiar statement that

one prime example is that YECs can't accept the results of a dozen or more different forms of dating that all agree, and all point to the same conclusion--an old earth.

And all I really want to say, that I didn't get to say on the other thread, is that I agree. That is true. This IS a case where Coyote is right that it is the Bible that determines the YEC's position on dating. The Bible gives historical markers that I believe set the Flood around 4500 years ago, give or take a few hundred years, and that is why I reject scientific dating methods.

But dating is Coyote's constant refrain. When he made that general accusation quoted above, "enormous stretches of interpretation, misinterpretation of facts, ignoring facts that run contrary to belief, in some cases making up facts, quote mining, and other problems" he clearly includes many other issues, and I still have to ask him to support these.

Maybe this is not the thread for it. Mostly I just wanted to say I agree that it is the Biblical framework that leads me to reject scientific dating methods. Beyond that I still claim to base my arguments on what I understand of the physical facts and not on the Bible.

As for the "assumptions" scientific dating is based on, I just don't get into dating issues at all if I can help it. The Bible pre-empts them and I haven't spent time trying to understand them for that reason.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Coyote, posted 09-21-2016 4:44 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 35 by Pressie, posted 09-26-2016 6:38 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
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