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Author Topic:   Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 76 of 1053 (750504)
02-16-2015 10:20 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by ThinAirDesigns
02-16-2015 4:15 PM


When it comes to #4, I only started studying radiocarbon dating a few weeks ago but it didn't take me long to figure out that many statements made about it were hogwash. I do have one question from your response.
For calibrated dates, the only "assumptions" are that trees grow one ring per year (which can be validated), and that we can count tree rings.
To me, that makes it sound like science insists that trees always and only grow one ring per year - but we know that's not true (and I'm pretty darn certain that isn't how you meant it). Might it be better to say that we have ways to differentiate the times that trees occasionally *do* stray from the one ring per year norm, and that we have several ways to double check any such instance? If I'm wrong, school me by all means.
RAZD seems to know lots more than I do about dendrochronology, but my understanding is that the tree species chosen for dendrochronology (N American bristlecone pine, European Irish oak) rarely have more than one growth ring in a season. I believe they are more likely to have missing rings due to drought or other factors than to have extra rings. But with multiple independent specimens these ambiguities can be identified and eliminated.
BTW, you might also be interested in R.E. (Erv) Taylor. Erv was raised SDA and became a world-renowned expert in radiocarbon dating. He's written a couple of standard texts on radiocarbon. I believe he also wrote a paper on his personal experiences going into radiocarbon from an SDA background, but I can't find this paper at the moment. You might also be interested in this paper by Yang which mentions Erv: Radiocarbon Dating and  American Evangelical Christians.
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

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jar
Member
Posts: 34120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 77 of 1053 (750505)
02-16-2015 10:39 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by ThinAirDesigns
02-16-2015 8:56 PM


Re: A astronomy related thought
The response (and we see it here fairly often) is that conditions in the past were different. The speed of light might have been different.
The answer is that Change Leaves Evidence.
What would this universe look like if basic constants like the speed of light were different?
What happens to E=mc2 if c doubles?
The Large Magellanic Cloud (a close by galaxy) is about 160.000 light years away.
If the speed of light changed so that light 160,000 light years away got here so that it could be seen in 964 AD, how fast would the light have to travel?
Other galaxies are even further away.
For us to see them today, how fast would the light have to travel?
What would that do to E=mc2?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Coyote
Member (Idle past 2212 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 78 of 1053 (750506)
02-16-2015 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by kbertsche
02-16-2015 10:20 PM


Taylor
Interesting, I did not know that about Erv Taylor.
I have followed his excellent writings and even worked with him on a project about 25 years back. That subject never came up.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein
How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein
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.

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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 2238 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 79 of 1053 (750507)
02-16-2015 10:56 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by ThinAirDesigns
02-16-2015 8:56 PM


Re: A astronomy related thought
But here is another angle: Though I never studied astronomy, I am told that through telescopes we can/have observed at least the death of stars if not the birth of stars and even have photographs us such. This means we are not seeing just 'innocent' shafts of light from distant starts, but EVENTS.
In the YE scenario, for us to witness the death of a star shown to be say a million light years away, the event would have had to have been inserted' into the far end of a relatively short shaft of light 6,000 light years out. It also means that the star never even existed. Clearly this requires a god who is inserting manufactured events in the light stream that never happens and thus is deceiving us. If you approach it rationally, you end up with either a very small universe where everything is closer than the widely accepted (by both science and religion) evidence shows, or you end up with a deceptive god.
At any rate, it's just a thought at this point. I would need to learn a lot more about astronomy before I would be willing to use it. I need to be able to have some excellent examples available and be able to answer basic questions. But I do think that it has potential to get them thinking on another level.
Yes, I think this is a worthwhile line of reasoning. I have a missionary friend who abandoned YEC after SN1987A was discovered. This supernova is ~170,000 light years away from us. My friend reasoned just as you did above; God would not have fooled us with all of the details of this supernova (its type, light curve, etc) if it never existed.

"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 75 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-16-2015 8:56 PM ThinAirDesigns has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 80 of 1053 (750515)
02-17-2015 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by ThinAirDesigns
02-16-2015 8:56 PM


double post
deleted
Edited by RAZD, : No reason given.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 81 of 1053 (750516)
02-17-2015 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by ThinAirDesigns
02-16-2015 8:56 PM


Re: A astronomy related thought
kbertsche mentions sn1987a. There are several threads on this forum that discuss this supernova event, and it is a special case ideal for your questions: this star exploded twice -- the first time it threw off a layer of gas that expanded away from the star, the second was the nova event. What is measured is the light from the nova striking the shell of gas from the previous explosion by the time delay in seeing light from the nova star directly and then the light from the interaction with the shell. This star is also close enough so that the subtended angle can be measured, and this defines a triangle by simple geometry. Thus you can calculate the actual distance.
So not only the Nova would need to be faked, but the previous explosion that formed the outer shell.
A similar distance measurement is Eye of Sauron - the ring to "rule" them all ... distance 19 megaparsecs
If we assume that god/s don't lie or lay traps (no jokers) then we can assume that evidence represents reality, and that last assumption is all we need to do science.
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : .

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2480 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 82 of 1053 (750520)
02-17-2015 9:36 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by RAZD
02-17-2015 8:58 AM


Re: A astronomy related thought
kbertsche writes:
Yes, I think this is a worthwhile line of reasoning. I have a missionary friend who abandoned YEC after SN1987A was discovered. This supernova is ~170,000 light years away from us. My friend reasoned just as you did above; God would not have fooled us with all of the details of this supernova (its type, light curve, etc) if it never existed.
RAZD writes:
kbertsche mentions sn1987a. There are several threads on this forum that discuss this supernova event, and it is a special case ideal for your questions:
Awesome. That's what I really needed was a good example to use. I'll study that.
RAZD writes:
If we assume that god/s don't lie or lay traps (no jokers) then we can assume that evidence represents reality, and that last assumption is all we need to do science.
That's a powerful sentence and reminds me of the words of Galileo (quoted from memory so forgive errors)
quote:
Nothing physical which demonstrations prove to us, ought be called into question let alone condemned upon the testimony of biblical passages which may hold some different meaning beneath their words. ... For I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
JB

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jar
Member
Posts: 34120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 83 of 1053 (750523)
02-17-2015 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by ThinAirDesigns
02-17-2015 9:36 AM


on reasoning
Bishop Sims (at the time the Episcopal Bishop of the Atlanta Georgia diocese ) in a Pastoral letter from 1981 explaining the churches opposition to the attempt to insert Creationism into the Atlanta public schools uses similar reasoning.
You can read the letter here.
From the Pastoral Letter. (a Pastoral Letter is read aloud in every church within the diocese)
quote:
If the world is not God's, the most eloquent or belligerent arguments will not make it so. If it is God's world, and this is the first declaration of our creed, then faith has no fear of anything the world itself reveals to the searching eye of science.
Insistence upon dated and partially contradictory statements of how as conditions for true belief in the why of creation cannot qualify either as faithful religion or as intelligent science. Neither evolution over an immensity of time nor the work done in a sixday week are articles of the creeds. It is a symptom of fearful and unsound religion to contend with one another as if they were. Historic creedal Christianity joyfully insists on God as sovereign and frees the human spirit to trust and seek that sovereignty in a world full of surprises.
Edited by jar, : fix sub-title

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 84 of 1053 (750561)
02-18-2015 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by RAZD
02-17-2015 8:58 AM


Re: A astronomy related thought
kbertsche mentions sn1987a. There are several threads on this forum that discuss this supernova event, and it is a special case ideal for your questions: this star exploded twice -- the first time it threw off a layer of gas that expanded away from the star, the second was the nova event.
A super nova event, actually. A nova event is the throwing off of gas by stars that are too small to go supernova.
In addition, SN1987a helps address other YEC questions such as 'How do we know that the speed of light has been constant over time?' and 'Isn't it just an assumption that decay rates are constants'. We get a data point on those issues 170,000 years ago.
Another good resource for people who would devote time to pursuing astronomical arguments is the Wikipedia article covering the techniques for measuring the distance to stars. It gives some pretty good support to the idea that the visible universe is way larger that a 6000 light years bubble around our solar system.

Je Suis Charlie
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2480 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 85 of 1053 (750566)
02-18-2015 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by NoNukes
02-18-2015 10:07 AM


Re: A astronomy related thought
NoNukes writes:
Another good resource for people who would devote time to pursuing astronomical arguments is the Wikipedia article covering the techniques for measuring the distance to stars. It gives some pretty good support to the idea that the visible universe is way larger that a 6000 light years bubble around our solar system.
Thanks. Another great suggestion.
As a general comment to all the wonderful contributors to this thread, know that I am very busy studying the links and topics that you have suggested. I spending often 6-8 hours a day on the topic. And I'm enjoying the hell out of it. A lot to learn.
Thanks to all
JB

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 86 of 1053 (750589)
02-18-2015 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by NoNukes
02-18-2015 10:07 AM


Re: A astronomy related thought
In addition, SN1987a helps address other YEC questions such as 'How do we know that the speed of light has been constant over time?' and 'Isn't it just an assumption that decay rates are constants'. We get a data point on those issues 170,000 years ago.
Indeed, you can watch Cobalt decay just as it does on earth. As I recall there was discussion of this on at least one thread here. Message 72 shows how we know the distance, and Message 109 discusses why we know the speed of light AND the radioactive decay rates have been constant for 170,000 years.
Another indication that decay rates have been constant for a goodly while are Uranium haloes
Are Uranium Halos the best evidence of (a) an old earth AND (b) constant physics?
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(3)
Message 87 of 1053 (750590)
02-18-2015 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by ThinAirDesigns
02-18-2015 11:08 AM


the addiction ...
As a general comment to all the wonderful contributors to this thread, know that I am very busy studying the links and topics that you have suggested. I spending often 6-8 hours a day on the topic. And I'm enjoying the hell out of it. A lot to learn.
You are now hopelessly hooked on EvC.
I look forward to your 1,000th post ...
There is no cure

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 88 of 1053 (750614)
02-19-2015 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by ThinAirDesigns
02-17-2015 9:36 AM


Re: A astronomy related thought
quote:
For I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Any fundy worth his salt can provide you with half a dozen or so Bible verses warning of the folly of relying on 'human understanding' without even opening a concordance. Many of them have internalized these verses based on years of ignoring evidence. As bizarre as it might seem to people who practice science, technology, or engineering to make their living, you can actually function at a high level in this society without understanding (or even despite totally rejecting) the science taught in junior high school.
I sometimes find myself celebrating even the tiniest knowledge breakthroughs in a manner disproportionate to any real accomplishment in a fundy's education. I recommend extreme patience and a substantial amount of humility when pursuing educating a YEC. It isn't worth losing a friend over this stuff.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Je Suis Charlie
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-17-2015 9:36 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 89 of 1053 (750617)
02-19-2015 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by ThinAirDesigns
02-18-2015 11:08 AM


Logic and Skepticism
These are two topics you can introduce without challenging theistic beliefs.
From Atheists can't hold office in the USA?, Message 618
quote:
That the "absence of evidence is evidence of absence" is a logical fallacy is clearly, imho, demonstrated by this image:
All A is B does not mean that all B is A. (pursuant to Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists -- having a short course on logic would be a good starting place?)
It should be noted that many theists do perceive evidence of god/s, many feel they have a "personal relationship" with their god, others see little things as evidence of divine interventions, miracles, etc.
Good resources for logical fallacies are:
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/toc.htm
Formal fallacy - Wikipedia
Page not found - Nizkor
Logically Fallacious - Webpages
Other peeps may have other references.
quote:
... Can the basic tenets of skepticism ...
quote:
Skepticism
In ordinary usage, skepticism (US) or scepticism (UK) (Greek: 'σκέπτομαι' skeptomai, to think, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to:
  1. an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object;
  2. the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain; or
  3. the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam—Webster).
In philosophy, skepticism refers more specifically to any one of several propositions. These include propositions about:
  1. an inquiry,
  2. a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and continual testing,
  3. the arbitrariness, relativity, or subjectivity of moral values,
  4. the limitations of knowledge,
  5. a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment.

... particularly "the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt" or "a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment." ... be applied widely, and is it a useful approach to learning new things?
Logic and skepticism are natural and necessary parts of science, as is the intellectual caution due to the tentativity of knowledge.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-18-2015 11:08 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2480 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 90 of 1053 (750642)
02-19-2015 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by RAZD
02-19-2015 11:07 AM


Re: Logic and Skepticism
Good suggestions and I agree.
It seems that primers on logic, skepticism and the scientific method would sort of be the prerequisites for delving into the actual earth sciences.
JB

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