Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 65 (9073 total)
137 online now:
AZPaul3, PaulK, Phat, ringo, Tangle (5 members, 132 visitors)
Newest Member: MidwestPaul
Post Volume: Total: 893,329 Year: 4,441/6,534 Month: 655/900 Week: 179/182 Day: 12/47 Hour: 0/2

Announcements: Security Update Released


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Creationist problems with radiocarbon dating
Pollux
Member
Posts: 277
Joined: 11-13-2011


Message 91 of 194 (642239)
11-26-2011 10:27 PM


Snelling's experiments
Thanks for the links Percy and JonF. They were interesting.
I don't know how they will go with my opponent, who wrote a book about how dinosaurs and man were co-existent a few thousand years ago!

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Coyote, posted 11-26-2011 10:48 PM Pollux has taken no action

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1346 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 92 of 194 (642241)
11-26-2011 10:48 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Pollux
11-26-2011 10:27 PM


Re: Snelling's experiments
I don't know how they will go with my opponent, who wrote a book about how dinosaurs and man were co-existent a few thousand years ago!

Someone who believes that dinosaurs and man co-existed is not amenable to scientific evidence.

(See signature.)


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Pollux, posted 11-26-2011 10:27 PM Pollux has taken no action

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1371 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 93 of 194 (642249)
11-27-2011 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by Pollux
11-26-2011 7:12 AM


Re: Snelling's experiments
quote:
I have been having an on-line discussion with a YLC who brought up Snelling's test on fossilised wood in old deposits. A google check for radiocarbon in fossil wood only turned up Snelling's reports for the relevant age formations. I see the possible sources of error mentioned. Is it known whether anyone has done tests to refute Snelling? I understand that no significant C14 is expected in deposits millions of years old, so it is not likely anyone would bother.
I was helped to an understanding of the age of the Earth by EvC Forum, especially Razd's excellent Correlations thread, and Daniel Wonderly's "Neglect of Geologic Data by Creationists" which I heard of here. So thanks to all!

I met Dan Wonderly many years ago, and was very impressed by him. He was a godly, approachable, humble person.

You might also take a look at the paper on radiometric dating by Roger Wiens, if you aren't already familiar with it.

FYI, I suspect the fossil wood has been deteriorated and contaminated by its environment. The best way to date old potentially contaminated wood is to chemically separate the cellulose and date only the cellulose. But if the wood is too deteriorated this is not always possible.


"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 88 by Pollux, posted 11-26-2011 7:12 AM Pollux has taken no action

  
David Carroll
Junior Member (Idle past 3473 days)
Posts: 12
From: Fairmont, West Virginia, USA
Joined: 08-22-2012


Message 95 of 194 (671154)
08-22-2012 5:14 PM


One ostensibe philosophical complication with radio-carbon dating would be that if one were to assume non-uniform rates of isotope decay, the assumption - in order to maintain that the samples in question are actually younger than they appear - would be that decay rates were FASTER years ago. (I'll explain why this is philosophically problematic real soon).

It is as if we were looking at a tub of a dozen eggs that has come from the warehouse. Mr. Chicken, my co-worker, has established that eggs break exactly at a rate of one per week. We peer into the styrofoam tub and confirm that 8 eggs are broken. Mr. Chicken interjects, "Ah-hah! The tub left the warehouse 8 weeks ago!"

But I, who we will call The Ghost, interrupt him: "But, Mr. Chicken, eggs break more slowly now than they used to. Four of those eggs may have indeed broken within the last 4 weeks, but the other 4 were broken at a time when the break-rate was a whopping 2 a week. The tub left the warehouse 6 weeks ago....not 8 weeks ago."

Carrying the metaphor over into isotope decay rates, we would have to maintain that isotopes decay (assuming that a deceleration of isotope decay rates were uniform across ALL isotopes of any kind) more slowly now than they used to.

The philosophical problem is this: Since the Creationist Worldview (or at least a large segment of it) maintains that life in this universe has corrupted and decayed since the time of the Fall, it would not make sense to stipulate that things decay (including isotopes) more slowly NOW than they did at the beginning. To make the viewpoint consistent, the exact OPPOSITE would have to be the case: as a result of the curse of death and decay that the fallen world has come under, we would have to say that the rate of decay of things (including isotopes) is getting FASTER, not slower.

But, this is only an "ostensible" problem because of the wording involved. We use a word like "decay" to apply to isotopes merely out of semantic convenience. The word "decay" has loaded metaphysical connotations. But just because a mass of elements emits a set number of alpha-particles, resulting in a mass of newer, lighter elements, we need not call such a situation a "decay" in the more evasive metaphysical/spiritual sense. It could very well be that the strictly physical "decay" of isotopes somehow conduces to some sort of "building-up" in a more spiritual sense, whatever this may mean ultimately.

Incidentally, is there actual evidence that isotope decay-rates are slower now than they were, say, in the 1940's? This is my question.

*Caveat: more speculative monologue now ensues*

Also, incidentally - which would really come to the same question - is there any evidence that the speed of light is slower now than it was any number of years ago? A faster speed of "light" (or, which is the same thing, speed of physical causality) would result in a faster weak nuclear force field effect (i.e. an insufficiently fast neutron entering the weak nuclear field of an atom would be "spit out" out of the field that much more quickly because the increased rate of the causal relations between the field and the unwelcome neutron would outbalance the inertia of the mass of that neutron). Also, the tension that co-relates the strong field, the weak field, and the electro-magnetic field within the atom such that an atom of a given element has a decay-rate of "x" - this tension would be "resolved" more quickly with a faster rate of physical causality (i.e. speed of light), resulting in a quicker decay rate.

Sorry about that last paragraph. More knowledgeable physicists are welcome to debunk me (please do so, in fact: I want my inner spiritual tension between faith and unbelief resolved more quickly).


Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by NoNukes, posted 08-22-2012 7:32 PM David Carroll has replied
 Message 99 by kofh2u, posted 08-24-2012 1:37 PM David Carroll has taken no action

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 96 of 194 (671178)
08-22-2012 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by David Carroll
08-22-2012 5:14 PM


Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
The philosophical problem is this: Since the Creationist Worldview (or at least a large segment of it) maintains that life in this universe has corrupted and decayed since the time of the Fall, it would not make sense to stipulate that things decay (including isotopes) more slowly NOW than they did at the beginning.

I think you are hurtling towards a cliff of your own making. There are a number of things offered as reasons for radioactive decay rates (or accumulation rates in the case of C14) being different. One answer I've seen offered in these forums are differences in conditions after the flood rather than post-Fall. In any event, I would never attempt to rebut creationists claims by arguing directly that decay rates should have been lower instead of higher pre-Fall because the world was "perfect" pre-Fall.

I cannot remember anyone citing in evidence that decay rates have changed. What we have seen is a number of excuses for why there is no evidence.

As for the speed of light changing, the "evidence" for such a thing is based on cherry picking old speed of light determinations, ignoring the uncertainty associated with those old measurements, and some sleight of hand bordering on lying to remove data points that suggest that the speed of light is actual increasing.

A faster speed of "light" ... resulting in a quicker decay rate.

And also a change in energy of the emitted particle, something for which we have evidence has not occurred over hundreds of millions of years. See the thread on Uranium halos in this same forum.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.

“Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own.” George Bernard Shaw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by David Carroll, posted 08-22-2012 5:14 PM David Carroll has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 12:39 PM NoNukes has replied

  
David Carroll
Junior Member (Idle past 3473 days)
Posts: 12
From: Fairmont, West Virginia, USA
Joined: 08-22-2012


Message 97 of 194 (671340)
08-24-2012 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by NoNukes
08-22-2012 7:32 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
Thank you, NoNukes. Your answer to the effect that, most likely, c has not changed (or, indeed, that is increasing) is very enlightening. Question, though: what if, perhaps, the speed of light changed in one large quantum leap, if you will....sometime in the past (whether at the Flood or at the Fall)? Thus, we living after this event would not notice any changes in c during our epoch. In fact, might it not be possible that this quantum leap of sudden c-change (I don't know how to do italics here, sorry...let's just call it "charlie") was so large that it would more than balance any subsequent charlie-increase after the event? Thus, at least during our epoch, even if charlie is increasing it still won't reach the magnitude that this constant was pre-Fall/Flood.

(?)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by NoNukes, posted 08-22-2012 7:32 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Coyote, posted 08-24-2012 12:53 PM David Carroll has taken no action
 Message 100 by NoNukes, posted 08-24-2012 2:35 PM David Carroll has replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1346 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 98 of 194 (671343)
08-24-2012 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by David Carroll
08-24-2012 12:39 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
We can tell that there has been no recent change in a variety of parameters by the simple method of tree rings.

By counting tree rings (using the overlapping method) you can go back over 12,000 years in the US and twice that in Europe.

By then dating those individual tree rings you can determine the accuracy of radiocarbon dating, and create a calibration curve to correct for fluctuations in the atmospheric levels of C14. But that same method also shows that the decay constant has not changed during that time.

And you can also determine that there was no flood during that time using tree rings, and learn a bit about the climate in the past as well.

Face it, the global flood ca. 4,350 years ago and the "fall" are myths, and not supported by evidence.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 12:39 PM David Carroll has taken no action

  
kofh2u
Member (Idle past 3059 days)
Posts: 1162
From: phila., PA
Joined: 04-05-2004


Message 99 of 194 (671356)
08-24-2012 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by David Carroll
08-22-2012 5:14 PM


David Carroll

Junior Member

One ostensibe philosophical complication with radio-carbon dating would be that if one were to assume non-uniform rates of isotope decay, the assumption - in order to maintain that the samples in question are actually younger than they appear - would be that decay rates were FASTER years ago. (I'll explain why this is philosophically problematic real soon).

////////

That suggests we entertain a hypothetical and is dead in the water, since it is merely side stepping that actual facts that we need compare with what Genesis says.

It seems better for Bible believers to utilize modern knowledge as supporting information for Genesis.

For instance, the Geologists use to ways to classify the rock layers which he date with their tools such as Radiocarbon testing.

One classification system is a mere listing of the many layers and subdivisions of rock found one place overthe last from bottom up.

This called the Chronostratigraphic Charting and it uses the suffixes of eon, era, etc to tell us how old that particular layer of rock is, but does not separate the layers into divisions which note the timing of distinct biological and geologicalevents like meteoric impacts and devastating mass extinctions.
It merely identifies every subdivision without reference to the grouping of six layers according to these major events.

The second method of classification (above) is called Geochronological Classification, and organizes the many rock layers into six groups based upon actual catastrophic geological events that end one duration of time and begin the next.

Excerpt:
"The geologic time scale provides a system of chronologic measurement relating stratigraphy to time, i.e.; The Geochronological Chart, that is used by geologists, paleontologists and other earth scientists to describe the timing and relationships between events that have occurred during the history of the Earth."

1. Formative/Cosmologic Era-Hadean Era/ = First Day

2. Hadean Era-Archaean Era/ = Second Day

3. Archaean Era-Proterozoic Era/ = Third Day

4. Proterozoic Era-Paleozoic Era/ = Fourth Day

5. Paleozoic Era-Mesozoic Era/ = Fifth Day

6. Mesozoic Era-Cenozoic Era/ = Six Day

7. Cenozoic Era-Common Era/ = Seventh Day

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Off-topic banner.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by David Carroll, posted 08-22-2012 5:14 PM David Carroll has taken no action

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 100 of 194 (671365)
08-24-2012 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by David Carroll
08-24-2012 12:39 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
Thank you, NoNukes. Your answer to the effect that, most likely, c has not changed (or, indeed, that is increasing) is very enlightening.

I didn't say the speed of light was increasing. My point was that one could cherry pick some speed of light measurements and do a faulty analysis leading to that result.

Thus, we living after this event would not notice any changes in c during our epoch. In fact, might it not be possible that this quantum leap of sudden c-change

Such a theory would not be consistent with observations of SN1987A unless that change was more than 168,000 years ago. Is there some point in speculating that the speed of light was greater than the current value at some time earlier than that?

was so large that it would more than balance any subsequent charlie-increase after the event?

There is no subsequent increase in the speed of light in a vacuum.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.

“Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own.” George Bernard Shaw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 12:39 PM David Carroll has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 9:12 PM NoNukes has taken no action

  
David Carroll
Junior Member (Idle past 3473 days)
Posts: 12
From: Fairmont, West Virginia, USA
Joined: 08-22-2012


Message 101 of 194 (671407)
08-24-2012 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by NoNukes
08-24-2012 2:35 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
Thank you, kofh2u, for those diagrams. I tried clicking on the blue links on the second diagram, but alas, nothing came up. What are the hypotheses as to what these diverse catastrophes are? The Flood, I imagine, would be one, but that wasn't in the Seven Day Creation Period. Did God's separating of the waters create sudden catastrophic sedimentary changes and perhaps cause crystals to be made of hydrates? Did the Spirit hovering over the face of the waters "blow" atmospheric elements like Nitrogen and Argon into rocks (Hebrew "Ruach" = Spirit or Wind)? I'm just throwing these out there because I couldn't match in my mind what physical catastrophes match with which epoch/Day.

NoNukes, thank you. As to what specific reason why I suggested a faster c in the past: I offered this because it is my own thought experiment to suggest a mechanism whereby decay rates would have been faster in the past (with a faster c, it's my suggestion that the faster rate of physical causality, which is essentially what c is, would not be limited to the electro-magnetic force, but would effect the weak force and strong force as well. I.e. the precarious tension between the weak, strong, and electro-magnetic forces that holds the particles of a carbon-14 atom together, would "resolve" more quickly if c - the rate or "speed" of physical causality - were faster. Thus, instead of a half-life of 5,700 years, it might have a much shorter half-life if there were a faster c.)

Edited by David Carroll, : The last sentence, originally, implied that a shorter half-life would result in ejected photons with a faster c...which is not what I meant.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by NoNukes, posted 08-24-2012 2:35 PM NoNukes has taken no action

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by Coyote, posted 08-24-2012 9:29 PM David Carroll has replied
 Message 107 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-24-2012 11:55 PM David Carroll has replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1346 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 102 of 194 (671412)
08-24-2012 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by David Carroll
08-24-2012 9:12 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
As to what specific reason why I suggested a faster c in the past: I offered this because it is my own thought experiment to suggest a mechanism whereby decay rates would have been faster in the past (with a faster c, it's my suggestion that the faster rate of physical causality, which is essentially what c is, would not be limited to the electro-magnetic force, but would effect the weak force and strong force as well. I.e. the precarious tension between the weak, strong, and electro-magnetic forces that holds the particles of a carbon-14 atom together, would "resolve" more quickly if c - the rate or "speed" of physical causality - were faster. Thus, instead of a half-life of 5,700 years, it might have a much shorter half-life if there were a faster c.)

I'll let the others deal with the problems inherent with a faster C.

Regarding the C14 dating method -- we can directly count back into the past using tree-rings, glacial varves, corals, and other annular data.

We can then directly radiocarbon date those rings, varves, etc. from the past and compare the radiocarbon age against the known age. And we can do this for ages past 25,000 years ago.

If there was a change in C (and hence, a lot of other constants) ca. 4,350 years ago with the "flood," this would show up as a drastic change in the radiocarbon dates derived from tree-rings and other annual indicators. We do not see such a change.

Your thought experiment has already been tested and found to be incorrect. The evidence suggests that radiocarbon dating and other forms of radiometric dating do produce quite accurate dates, and that the constants have remained quite constant.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 9:12 PM David Carroll has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 10:03 PM Coyote has replied

  
David Carroll
Junior Member (Idle past 3473 days)
Posts: 12
From: Fairmont, West Virginia, USA
Joined: 08-22-2012


Message 103 of 194 (671415)
08-24-2012 10:03 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by Coyote
08-24-2012 9:29 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
Thank you, Coyote. It looks like I have yet more branches of science to study (terrestial and aquatic botany).

I don't have any charts available. Which isotope - if any - has a daughter decay isotope of carbon-14? Is it possible that the organisms in question contained this parent element, whatever that is?

Biology is not exactly my field of ken, so I appreciate the discussion. But, just throwing this out there, could we suggest that that ALL organisms originally had longer lifespans, and not just humans (i.e. Adam, Methusalah, etc.), and then would this have any effect on rates of coral accumulation, numbers of tree rings, etc.?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by Coyote, posted 08-24-2012 9:29 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by Coyote, posted 08-24-2012 10:15 PM David Carroll has replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1346 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 104 of 194 (671420)
08-24-2012 10:15 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by David Carroll
08-24-2012 10:03 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
I don't have any charts available. Which isotope - if any - has a daughter decay isotope of carbon-14? Is it possible that the organisms in question contained this parent element, whatever that is?

The daughter element of C14 is N14. Not much help there.

Here is an excellent essay on radiocarbon dating that might help.

If you have any questions let me know, as I've worked with this technique for nearly 40 years now.

Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective by Dr. Roger C. Wiens.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 10:03 PM David Carroll has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 10:51 PM Coyote has replied

  
David Carroll
Junior Member (Idle past 3473 days)
Posts: 12
From: Fairmont, West Virginia, USA
Joined: 08-22-2012


Message 105 of 194 (671426)
08-24-2012 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Coyote
08-24-2012 10:15 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
Wow. Thank you, Coyote. I'll be perusing this. Is Dr. Roger C Wiens, perhaps, THOU?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Coyote, posted 08-24-2012 10:15 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Coyote, posted 08-24-2012 11:06 PM David Carroll has taken no action

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1346 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 106 of 194 (671427)
08-24-2012 11:06 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by David Carroll
08-24-2012 10:51 PM


Re: Philosophy?? Physics not metaphysics
Is Dr. Roger C Wiens, perhaps, THOU?

No, alas.

I have written and lectured on radiocarbon dating, but I think Dr. Wiens works at Los Alamos so he's in a whole different league.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by David Carroll, posted 08-24-2012 10:51 PM David Carroll has taken no action

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.1
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2022