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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8751
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 16 of 94 (392722)
04-01-2007 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Reserve
04-01-2007 4:19 PM


Calculated rates
There is something else that has not as yet been mentioned.

As I understand it the decay rates can be calculated from quantum mechanics and known constants. Apparently these calculated rates agree with the measured rates. (though I can't check the math). Have you found any creationist sites that even mention this much less show what is wrong with the calculations?

If the measured rates agree with the calculations you need to either accept that there is a high probability that they are right or explain this amazing coincidence.

Of course, that isn't the only coincidence you have to explain. You have to explain all of them that RAZD points to in Message 14


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18242
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 17 of 94 (392724)
04-01-2007 10:42 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by NosyNed
04-01-2007 10:12 PM


Re: Calculated rates - Cavediver? Son Goku?
From Wiens
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

quote:
The half-lives have all been measured directly either by using a radiation detector to count the number of atoms decaying in a given amount of time from a known amount of the parent material, or by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent atoms in a sample that originally consisted completely of parent atoms. Work on radiometric dating first started shortly after the turn of the 20th century, but progress was relatively slow before the late forties. However, by now we have had over fifty years to measure and re-measure the half-lives for many of the dating techniques. Very precise counting of the decay events or the daughter atoms can be done, so while the number of, say, rhenium-187 atoms decaying in 50 years is a very small fraction of the total, the resulting osmium-187 atoms can be very precisely counted. For example, recall that only one gram of material contains over 1021 (1 with 21 zeros behind) atoms. Even if only one trillionth of the atoms decay in one year, this is still millions of decays, each of which can be counted by a radiation detector!

The uncertainties on the half-lives given in the table are all very small. All of the half-lives are known to better than about two percent except for rhenium (5%), lutetium (3%), and beryllium (3%). There is no evidence of any of the half-lives changing over time. In fact, as discussed below, they have been observed to not change at all over hundreds of thousands of years.


From
http://www.nde-ed.org/EducationResources/HighSchool/Radiography/halflife1.htm

quote:
Not all of the atoms of a radioisotope decay at the same time, but they decay at a rate that is characteristic to the isotope. The rate of decay is a fixed rate called a half-life. The half-life of a radioisotope describes how long it takes for half of the atoms in a given mass to decay. Some isotopes decay very rapidly and, therefore, have a high specific activity. Others decay at a much slower rate.

How do you measure the decay of radioactive isotopes?

Now that we have an idea of how radioactive isotopes decay, let's look at how this is measured and apply the terms we just learned.

The basic unit of measure for describing the activity (radioactivity) of a quantity of radioactive material is the curie, named after Marie Curie. A quantity of radioactive material is considered to have an activity of 1 curie or 1 C, when 37 billion of its atoms decay (disintegrate) in one second. In scientific terms, this is expressed by the equation: 1C = 3.7 X 1010 disintegrations/sec. Remember that we said each isotope has its own decay pattern. If the rate of decay is greater than 37 billion atoms in one second, then the source would have an activity greater than one curie, and if that source had fewer than 37 billion atoms decaying in one second, its activity would be less than one curie.

* Take this link to learn how to determine radioactive sources in curies:
o Comparing Radioactive Activity

* Take this link to learn how to assess how much radiation is emitted from a source:
o Assessing the Amount of Radiation Coming From a Source


I couldn't find anything on calculating half-lives (too many responses about using them in decay calculations). We'll need one of the physics gurus ...

Enjoy.


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CTD
Member (Idle past 3223 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 18 of 94 (392745)
04-02-2007 1:17 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Chiroptera
04-01-2007 5:24 PM


No mystery
Chiroptera writes:
Now why in the world would they publish the fact that they discarded the dates, for the entire world to read, if there was something fishy going on?

It may be otherwise but there's a pretty simple and obvious answer. Submit a paper with a "wrong" date and you don't get published. So even if one of the other dates is more strongly indicated, the safe bet is to publish the "correct" date, and then include the information on other dates for completeness.

Too bad it's for pay. I'd be curious to see how much camoflague, if any, was applied to the other dates. Might be they smuggled some truth past the gatekeepers.


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DrJones*
Member
Posts: 1643
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 08-19-2004


Message 19 of 94 (392748)
04-02-2007 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by CTD
04-02-2007 1:17 AM


Re: No mystery
Submit a paper with a "wrong" date and you don't get published.

Wrong. Scientists get recognized by overturning the status quo, not by plodding along continually reaffirming it. If someone had a paper with a "wrong" date and the science checked out the journals would be falling over themselves to publish it.

Edited by DrJones*, : No reason given.


Just a monkey in a long line of kings.
If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist!
*not an actual doctor
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CTD
Member (Idle past 3223 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 20 of 94 (392762)
04-02-2007 7:12 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by DrJones*
04-02-2007 1:20 AM


Re: No mystery
DrJones* writes:
Wrong. Scientists get recognized by overturning the status quo, not by plodding along continually reaffirming it. If someone had a paper with a "wrong" date and the science checked out the journals would be falling over themselves to publish it.

Sure. And the science can't be "checked out" if it isn't published.

Catch-22


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Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1059
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 21 of 94 (392765)
04-02-2007 7:46 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by RAZD
04-01-2007 10:42 PM


Re: Calculated rates - Cavediver? Son Goku?
Son Goku writes:

I couldn't find anything on calculating half-lives (too many responses about using them in decay calculations). We'll need one of the physics gurus ...


Calculating Half-Lives basically involves calculating decay rates. Calculating decay rates is a very difficult, technical and involved subject. I was going to give a post describing it, but then I realised that the post would have to be five posts long to really convey anything properly.

Basically you've to right down the Lagrangian, the entity that describes the particle interactions, then you've to calculate in a rest frame that simplifies the calulcation. Then you've to compute the Feynman Diagrams......blah,blah......... and there's a huge amount of dirac algebra, unless your dealing with simple scalar particles with simplified Lagrangians.
Then after you've done all that you'd still have only calculated one mode (i.e. only one of many possible decays), any given particle can decay into quite a different number of things.

Quantum Mechanics isn't really enough to deal with decay rates (in fact it treats them artificially, at the very least I don't like it), you need Quantum Field Theory.

Even then I've only ever truly worked out free-particle decays. Actually working out decay rates for bound states like atoms would require teams of people (that's what 90% of the physicists at the Manhattan Project were doing) or a computer.

Edited by Son Goku, : Spelling.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18242
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 22 of 94 (392766)
04-02-2007 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by CTD
04-02-2007 1:17 AM


Re: No mystery - Just Delusion
It may be otherwise but there's a pretty simple and obvious answer. Submit a paper with a "wrong" date and you don't get published. So even if one of the other dates is more strongly indicated, the safe bet is to publish the "correct" date, and then include the information on other dates for completeness.

So the dates for an old earth are incorrect and it is a world wide conspiracy of dedicated deceivers .... yeah THAT is a simple explanation.

You of course can tell this from your vast experience with doing science and dealing with professional scientists. This is also why you are able to refute the correlations on Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Version 1 No 3 (formerly Part III) ... except that I don't see you doing that.

But yeah, it is not any great mystery what appears to be going on in your world:

de·lu·sion –noun1. an act or instance of deluding.
2. the state of being deluded.
3. a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
4. Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.

That's what happens when you start believing in world wide conspiracies eh?

Also see How can Biologists believe in the ToE?.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : fixed wording


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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 1933 days)
Posts: 6202
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 23 of 94 (392782)
04-02-2007 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by CTD
04-02-2007 1:17 AM


Re: No mystery
quote:
Submit a paper with a "wrong" date and you don't get published.

But they did publish the "wrong dates". Or at least they published an acknowledgement that some of the datings had to be discarded. Why would they admit that? Why not just ignore them?

As a conspiracy, this is sounding pretty lame.

I think I'm going to order a copy of this paper through inter-library loan.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 94 (392784)
04-02-2007 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by CTD
04-02-2007 7:12 AM


Re: No mystery
Sure. And the science can't be "checked out" if it isn't published.

Catch-22

...wha?

I get the sense you have no idea how the peer-review process works.


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Reserve
Junior Member (Idle past 3533 days)
Posts: 26
Joined: 03-29-2007


Message 25 of 94 (392814)
04-02-2007 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Chiroptera
04-02-2007 10:15 AM


Re: No mystery
The website I got it from did not mention anything about conspiracy, that is something you guys have placed inside creationists mouths. Stop doing that.

The author of the website believes that the paper submitted did not try to deceive, but says that the disregarded dates should have been published. The reason the paper doesn't is because the author of the paper truly believes in a long ages as established fact, that anything that disagrees is just an error, or something not worth wasting time and money to pursue. Therefore, I, or the author of the website do not claim a conspiracy, just that there is less published wrong dates, and therefore dating seems to corrolate so well.

Remember that the 5/6th of samples that were disregarded passed the test for dating when they were in the field collecting them, it was after they got the dates that they threw them out because they were way off, so instead of saying "why" they throw them out because it does not agree with the "factual" dating paradigm. And to pursue this "why" question would just be a waste of time and money for them. And we understand that. But it would be interesting for a creationists (even evolutionists) to pursue the why question.

Here is why radioactive dating could give wrong dates, (not talking about the decay being increased), again, it is from the website mentioned earlier.

quote:
Below the surface of the earth, where would the Argon go? If there is no place for the Argon to go as the rock is cooling, the rock will probably retain its Argon. Also, if there is a partial pressure of Argon surrounding the rock, then, as experiments indicate, Argon might even enter the rock during its cooling to increase its content of Argon.

quote:
Now, what happens when volcanic lava flows go underwater into the sea? Two different papers (Dalrymple GB, Moore JG: Science 1968;161:1132-5) (Noble CS, Naughton JJ: Science 1968;162:265-7) show that lava flows in the ocean, show excess ages. The deeper the lava goes in depth into the ocean, the older the K/Ar date.

quote:
In the Creationary Flood Model, essentially all layers were deposited under water. So the idea that the Argon does not come out of the rocks very well, when water pressure is surrounding the rock, is extremely interesting!

http://www.creation-science-prophecy.com/K-Ar-dating.htm
http://www.creation-science-prophecy.com/K-Ar-dating2.htm

This is a possible explanation of why dates are actually older than they appear using K-Ar method. As for other methods, maybe this explanation could work, maybe not.

I think it would be false of me to say (and other creationists) that radiometric dating is known to be false. There is ongoing research, and only glimpses of errors and possible reasons of why it is wrong. I will accept that today most of the radiometric dating seems to support long ages, but I have reason to believe that future endeavours will shed more light on how young ages can fit in with these dating methods.


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Iname
Junior Member (Idle past 1238 days)
Posts: 28
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 26 of 94 (392816)
04-02-2007 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Reserve
04-02-2007 12:40 PM


Re: No mystery
quote:
The website I got it from did not mention anything about conspiracy, that is something you guys have placed inside creationists mouths. Stop doing that.

Did you miss the part where the creationist above you, by the name of CTD, said that papers with the "wrong" (ie against the consensus) date will be refused publishing thereby establishing a giant conspiracy to quiet dissenting ideas by the entirety of the scientific community?

No need to put words in creationists' mouths.

[lurk]


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JonF
Member
Posts: 3486
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 27 of 94 (392834)
04-02-2007 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by RAZD
04-01-2007 10:42 PM


Re: Calculated rates - Cavediver? Son Goku?
I couldn't find anything on calculating half-lives (too many responses about using them in decay calculations). We'll need one of the physics gurus ...

Stegve Carlip is pretty guru-ish. From The Constancy of Constants, Part 2:

quote:
First, the physics of radioactive decay is quite well understood. For the case of alpha decay, the simple underlying mechanism is quantum mechanical tunneling through a potential barrier. You will find a simple explanation in any elementary quantum mechanics textbook; for example, Ohanian's Principles of Quantum Mechanics has a nice example of alpha decay on page 89. The fact that the process is probabilistic, and the exponential dependence on time, are straightforward consequences of quantum mechanics. (The time dependence is a case of "Fermi's golden rule" -- see, for example, page 292 of Ohanian.)

An exact computation of decay rates is, of course, quite a bit more complicated, since it requires a detailed understanding of the shape of the potential barrier. In principle, this is computable from quantum chromodynamics, but in practice the computation is much too complex to be done in the near future. There are, however, reliable approximations available, and in addition the shape of the potential can be measured experimentally.

For beta decay, the underlying fundamental theory is different; one begins with electroweak theory (for which Glashow, Weinberg and Salam won their Nobel prize) rather than quantum chromodynamics. For gamma decay, one again needs electroweak theory. In each case, though, the underlying physics is well understood.

As described above, the process of radioactive decay is predicated on rather fundamental properties of matter. In particular, in order to explain old isotopic ages on a young Earth by means of accelerated decay, an increase of six to ten orders of magnitude in rates of decay would be needed.

Now, the fundamental laws of physics, as we presently understand them, depend on about 25 parameters, such as Planck's constant h, Newton's gravitational constant G, and the mass and charge of the electron, and a change in radioactive decay rates would require a change in one or more of these constants. The idea that these constants might change over time is not new, and is certainly not restricted to creationists. Interest in this question was spurred by Dirac's "large number hypothesis." The "large number" in question is the ratio of the electric and the gravitational force between two electrons, which is about 10^40; there is no obvious explanation of why such a huge number should appear in physics. Dirac pointed out that this number is nearly the same as the age of the Universe in atomic units, and suggested in 1937 that this coincidence could be understood if fundamental constants -- in particular, Newton's gravitational constant G -- varied as the Universe aged. The ratio of electromagnetic and gravitational interactions would then be large simply because the Universe is old. Such a variation lies outside ordinary general relativity, but can be incorporated by a fairly simple modification of the theory. Other models, including the Brans-Dicke theory of gravity and some versions of superstring theory, also predict physical "constants" that vary.

Frankly, physicists are not, for the most part, interested in silly creationist arguments. But they are interested in basic questions such as whether physical constants or laws change in time -- especially if such changes are proposed by such a great physicist as Dirac. As a result, there has been a great deal of experimental effort to search for such changes. A nice (technical) summary is given by Sisterna and Vucetich, Physical Review D41 (1990) 1034 and Physical Review D44 (1991) 3096; a more recent reference is Uzan, Reviews of Modern Physics 75 (2003) 403, available electronically at http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0205340. Among the phenomena they look at are:


  • searches for changes in the radius of Mercury, the Moon, and Mars (these would change because of changes in the strength of interactions within the materials that they are formed from);
  • searches for long term ("secular") changes in the orbits of the Moon and the Earth --- measured by looking at such diverse phenomena as ancient solar eclipses and coral growth patterns;
    ranging data for the distance from Earth to Mars, using the Viking spacecraft;
  • data on the orbital motion of a binary pulsar PSR 1913+16;
    observations of long-lived isotopes that decay by beta decay (Re 187, K 40, Rb 87) and comparisons to isotopes that decay by different mechanisms;
  • the Oklo natural nuclear reactor (mentioned in another posting);
  • experimental searches for differences in gravitational attraction between different elements (Eotvos-type experiments);
  • absorption lines of quasars (fine structure and hyperfine splittings);
  • laboratory searches for changes in the mass difference between the K0 meson and its antiparticle;
  • searches for geological evidence of "exotic" decays, such as double beta decay of Uranium 238 or the decay of Osmium to Rhenium by electron emission, which are impossible with the present values of basic physical constants but would become possible if these changed;
  • laboratory comparisons of atomic clocks that rely on different atomic processes (e.g., fine structure vs. hyperfine transitions);
  • analysis of the effect of varying "constants" on primordial nucleosynthesis in the very early Universe.

While it is not obvious, each of these observations is sensitive to changes in the physical constants that control radioactive decay. For example, a change in the strength of weak interactions (which govern beta decay) would have different effects on the binding energy, and therefore the gravitational attraction, of different elements. Similarly, such changes in binding energy would affect orbital motion, while (more directly) changes in interaction strengths would affect the spectra we observe in distant stars.

The observations are a mixture of very sensitive laboratory tests, which do not go very far back in time but are able to detect extremely small changes, and astronomical observations, which are somewhat less precise but which look back in time. (Remember that processes we observe in a star a million light years away are telling us about physics a million years ago.) While any single observation is subject to debate about methodology, the combined results of such a large number of independent tests are hard to argue with.

The overall result is that no one has found any evidence of changes in fundamental constants, to an accuracy of about a part in 10^11 per year. There are some recent, controversial claims of observational evidence for changes in certain constants (notably the "fine structure constant") in the early Universe, but these are tiny, and would have minimal effects on radioactive decay rates.

So the idea that decay rates could vary enough to make a significant difference to measurements of ages is ruled out experimentally.


That's most of the text, but the rest and The Constancy of Constants are worth reading.

David Ewan Kanaha comments on Woodmorappe's extrapolation of observed increased beta decay in fully-ionized (no electrons) rhenium to other decay systems in Modifications of Nuclear Beta Decay Rates, which includes discussion of some of the factors involved.


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5266
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 6.1


Message 28 of 94 (392835)
04-02-2007 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Reserve
04-02-2007 12:40 PM


Re: No mystery
(Dalrymple GB, Moore JG: Science 1968;161:1132-5)

39 years old, and the abstract says

Submarine pillow basalts from Kilauea Volcano contain excess radiogenic argon-40 and give anomalously high potassium-argon ages. Glassy rims of pillows show a systematic increase in radiogenic argon-40 with depth, and a pillow from a depth of 2590 meters shows a decrease in radiogenic argon40 inward from the pillow rim. The data indicate that the amount of excess radiogenic argon-40 is a direct function of both hydrostatic pressure and rate of cooling, and that many submarine basalts are not suitable for potassium-argon dating.
(my emphasis)

Noble CS, Naughton JJ: Science 1968;162:265-7

39 years old, and the title says
Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas Content and Uncertainties in Age Dating

Reserve, do you think the authors were complete morons, or perhaps is it your source being less than forthright with what they know?


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JonF
Member
Posts: 3486
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 29 of 94 (392836)
04-02-2007 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by CTD
04-02-2007 1:17 AM


Re: No mystery
It may be otherwise but there's a pretty simple and obvious answer. Submit a paper with a "wrong" date and you don't get published.

Ruled out by observation. For example, the KBS Tuff is beloved of creationists 'cause the first set of answers conflicted ... but it's an excellent example of real science in action and only incidentally an example of "wrong" dates getting published.


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JonF
Member
Posts: 3486
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 30 of 94 (392837)
04-02-2007 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Reserve
04-02-2007 12:40 PM


Re: No mystery
This is a possible explanation of why dates are actually older than they appear using K-Ar method. As for other methods, maybe this explanation could work, maybe not.

Not. No doubt about it. Creationists focus on K-Ar because it is susceptible to more errors than other methods; however, it's reliable (when rational sample selection and treatment is practiced), low-cost, and well understood. It has its place. But it's not widely used.

Well over half of the geologic dates are obtained using U-Pb, Ar-Ar, or isochron methods. All these methods are not susceptible to the problem of excess initial daughter, all of them indicate when the system has been opened (i.e. relevant material has been gained or lost since solidification) and many of them provide a valid date in many cases even if the system has been opened.

There is ongoing research, and only glimpses of errors and possible reasons of why it is wrong.

Sorry, there are no glimpses of errors and/or possible reasons why it is wrong. It is well understood and cross-correlated with many independent lines of investigation. It ain't wrong.

Probably this has been posted already, but in the unlikely event you are interested in actually learning something about the subject, see Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective.


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