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Author Topic:   Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists
edge
Member (Idle past 1817 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 151 of 1053 (750876)
02-23-2015 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by ThinAirDesigns
02-23-2015 4:23 PM


Re: C14 generation/decay
So, in reading article after article on carbon dating, I came up with this tidbit from a 1982 NCSE article and it seemed to contradict my understanding. I'd like some help if possible figuring out where my understanding has fallen down (or if the article is just incorrect).
The quote in question is from this link:
http://ncse.com/...s-to-creationist-attacks-carbon-14-dating
And here's the quote. I have green highlighted the part I am questioning.
quote:
Question: Creationists such as Cook (1966) claim that cosmic radiation is now forming C-14 in the atmosphere about one and one-third times faster than it is decaying. If we extrapolate backwards in time with the proper equations, we find that the earlier the historical period, the less C-14 the atmosphere had. If we extrapolate as far back as ten thousand years ago, we find the atmosphere would not have had any C-14 in it at all. If they are right, this means all C-14 ages greater than two or three thousand years need to be lowered drastically and that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years. How do you reply?
Answer: Yes, Cook is right that C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying. However, the amount of C-14 has not been rising steadily as Cook maintains; instead, it has fluctuated up and down over the past ten thousand years. How do we know this? From radiocarbon dates taken from bristlecone pines.
The reason this caught my eye is my familiarity with the following 'bomb carbon' chart.
If as the chart shows (and I've seen many charts confirming this) C14 levels were still falling dramatically in 1982 after artificially high levels from open air bomb tests, how could C14 be forming faster than it was decaying. I haven't been able to find a graph that continues this reporting to the current day (2005 is the latest I've found and it was still falling at that time) to know what it's doing today.
What's up? I would normally consider NCSE a reliable science source.
JB
Not sure what your question is. The chart shows a peak 14C level in 1963 which was the year of the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed, ending atmospheric tests for US, UK and the USSR. The level has been declining ever since. This is what we would expect.
China's last atmospheric test was in 1980.
I don't know of anyone age-dating objects less than a hundred year old.
It seems you might be confusing two time ranges here.
ETA: I see that the chart shows declining 14C as the NCSE article states. I also see that the rate of production is still higher than an equilibrium state. That is because the production, while high, is declining eventually back to natural levels.
So, the NCSE article is correct. Nulear testing temporarily raised the production level and the amount of 14C in the atmosphere. We are now going back to equilibrium. It is just taking a while.
Edited by edge, : No reason given.
Edited by edge, : No reason given.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1516 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 152 of 1053 (750878)
02-23-2015 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by ThinAirDesigns
02-23-2015 4:23 PM


Re: C14 generation/decay
The quote in question is from this link:
Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating | National Center for Science Education
And here's the quote. I have green highlighted the part I am questioning.
quote:
Question: Creationists such as Cook (1966) claim that cosmic radiation is now forming C-14 in the atmosphere about one and one-third times faster than it is decaying. If we extrapolate backwards in time with the proper equations, we find that the earlier the historical period, the less C-14 the atmosphere had. If we extrapolate as far back as ten thousand years ago, we find the atmosphere would not have had any C-14 in it at all. If they are right, this means all C-14 ages greater than two or three thousand years need to be lowered drastically and that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years. How do you reply?
This is a slightly different take on their old argument that 14C is not in equilibrium in the atmosphere (so the earth is young), and -- like quote mining -- is it taking one piece of data out of context.
The answer is correct, as far as it goes, but not as complete as it could be. Note that the date of Cook's claim is right at the peak of the bomb testing 14C generation (1966) -- and that creationists like to repeat old (falsified) arguments.
The reason this caught my eye is my familiarity with the following 'bomb carbon' chart.
That means that Cook is using the bomb generated 14C as "natural" formation (which he then extrapolates into the past ignoring the data from pre testing times).
If as the chart shows (and I've seen many charts confirming this) C14 levels were still falling dramatically in 1982 after artificially high levels from open air bomb tests, how could C14 be forming faster than it was decaying. I haven't been able to find a graph that continues this reporting to the current day (2005 is the latest I've found and it was still falling at that time) to know what it's doing today.
The Cook claim is not talking about today levels, which remain high from the testing. Note there are still bomb tests, and we also have Chernobyl and Fukushima that have caused measurable radioactivity in the atmosphere, so I would expect it to still be above normal sun cosmic ray generated 14C, but when you look at that graph you can see what looks like a pretty good exponential decay curve for it to continue dropping today towards the natural generation level on the chart -- ie it is currently decaying faster than it is being generated, and has been since 1966.
Enjoy

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-23-2015 4:23 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-23-2015 6:03 PM RAZD has replied

  
ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2484 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 153 of 1053 (750879)
02-23-2015 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 152 by RAZD
02-23-2015 5:30 PM


Re: C14 generation/decay
RAZD writes:
This is a slightly different take on their old argument that 14C is not in equilibrium in the atmosphere (so the earth is young), and -- like quote mining -- is it taking one piece of data out of context.
Thanks for your response RAZD, but it seems to focus on the claim of Cook and I'm actually uninterested in the Cook claim (it's PRATT). I'm actually only interested in the assertion of the NCSE in 1982. I probably should have not confused the issue by even including Cook's nonsense - my bad.
The article makes the 1982 claim that "C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying." I find this claim contrary to the posted chart which documents a steadily declining percentage of C14 in the atmosphere. Surely if C14 was forming faster than it was decaying, the chart would have to show a increasing trend rather than decreasing.
ie it is currently decaying faster than it is being generated, and has been since 1966.
Exactly my point. Why does the NCSE claim the opposite is my question.
Is the problem caused by chart resolution? In other words, on average through the surrounding years it *was* decaying faster than it was forming, but in specifically 1982 there was a increase that the chart doesn't show? There certainly is some 'noise' in that data but I can't zoom in far enough to make that case. Seems doubtful.
Again, I'm not talking about Cook's claim at all -- only the NCSE claim of rising levels of C14.
Thanks
JB
Edited by ThinAirDesigns, : No reason given.
Edited by ThinAirDesigns, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by RAZD, posted 02-23-2015 5:30 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 155 by RAZD, posted 02-24-2015 9:20 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 154 of 1053 (750889)
02-23-2015 10:58 PM
Reply to: Message 151 by edge
02-23-2015 5:17 PM


Re: C14 generation/decay
ETA: I see that the chart shows declining 14C as the NCSE article states. I also see that the rate of production is still higher than an equilibrium state. That is because the production, while high, is declining eventually back to natural levels.
This does not make sense. There are places in this description where you are using the second derivative of the amount of C-14, when only the first derivative is appropriate. If you want to answer the question of why the amount of C-14 is declining, that happens only when the rate of production is less than the rate of removal.

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)
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 151 by edge, posted 02-23-2015 5:17 PM edge has replied

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1516 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 155 of 1053 (750906)
02-24-2015 9:20 AM
Reply to: Message 153 by ThinAirDesigns
02-23-2015 6:03 PM


Re: C14 generation/decay - separating the wheat from the chaff
Thanks for your response RAZD, but it seems to focus on the claim of Cook and I'm actually uninterested in the Cook claim (it's PRATT). I'm actually only interested in the assertion of the NCSE in 1982. I probably should have not confused the issue by even including Cook's nonsense - my bad.
Ah.
Well, it is always a good idea to look at where creationist information comes from that is behind their claims as a starting point. I can provide several examples where science provides information that is then misused\misidentified by creationists to "prove" the science wrong. This is a new one in the list for me.
Certainly the timing of the Cook claim is important to see where he gets the "data" to extrapolate back in time -- data provided by science to show the effect of nuclear testing on 14C levels in the atmosphere. By simply ignoring the nuclear testing effect Cook claims that 14C production is increasing and increasing faster than it is decaying.
Once this "meme" is introduced in Creationist circles it will get repeated ... even in 1982.
The article makes the 1982 claim that "C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying." I find this claim contrary to the posted chart which documents a steadily declining percentage of C14 in the atmosphere. Surely if C14 was forming faster than it was decaying, the chart would have to show a increasing trend rather than decreasing.
This is where Chris Weber's response is incomplete, or less complete than it could be. He should have - imho - addressed the time of the Cook claim and the conflation of nuclear (bomb) 14C and cosmic ray (natural) 14C, and then sorted out cosmic ray (natural) 14C production from total production. Instead his response is only related to the cosmic ray (natural) 14C fluctuations.
Now look carefully at the chart again:
Compare the graph at 1981 and 1982: it is higher in 1982 than in 1981 because of the natural fluctuation in cosmic rays and hence in the production of 14C in the atmosphere by cosmic rays.
Is the problem caused by chart resolution? In other words, on average through the surrounding years it *was* decaying faster than it was forming, but in specifically 1982 there was a increase that the chart doesn't show? There certainly is some 'noise' in that data but I can't zoom in far enough to make that case. Seems doubtful.
That "noise" in the data is the result of the natural variation of cosmic rays and the related production of atmospheric 14C -- it changes year to year.
Weber's answer ...
Answer: Yes, Cook is right that C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying. However, the amount of C-14 has not been rising steadily as Cook maintains; instead, it has fluctuated up and down over the past ten thousand years. How do we know this? From radiocarbon dates taken from bristlecone pines.
... is in relation to this natural variation from year to year ... and ignores the nuclear (bomb) 14C residual decay. His answer was written in 1982.
AND part of the problem is that "natural level" 14C is portrayed on the chart as a flat line instead of showing the annual variations, so it should read "average natural level" or "1950 standard level" or something similar.
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : ...

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-23-2015 6:03 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-24-2015 11:21 AM RAZD has replied

  
edge
Member (Idle past 1817 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 156 of 1053 (750917)
02-24-2015 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by NoNukes
02-23-2015 10:58 PM


Re: C14 generation/decay
This does not make sense. There are places in this description where you are using the second derivative of the amount of C-14, when only the first derivative is appropriate. If you want to answer the question of why the amount of C-14 is declining, that happens only when the rate of production is less than the rate of removal.
Right, it is confusing. I think Weber discusses variation of the natural 14C, but that is not what the chart emphasizes (particularly since it only goes back to 1955).

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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2484 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 157 of 1053 (750926)
02-24-2015 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 155 by RAZD
02-24-2015 9:20 AM


Re: C14 generation/decay - separating the wheat from the chaff
RAZD writes:
This is where Chris Weber's response is incomplete, or less complete than it could be.
Yeah, piss poor (at best unfortunate) wording IMO if you're trying to refute the claim.
The logical conclusion of his statement "C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying." is that concentrations of 14 were rising in the atmosphere, and while that could have been true during the single day (or perhaps even year) he wrote that, big picture truth is that he wrote it during the most dramatic decline in 14 concentrations in recorded history.
JB

This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1516 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 158 of 1053 (750935)
02-24-2015 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by ThinAirDesigns
02-24-2015 11:21 AM


Re: C14 generation/decay - separating the wheat from the chaff
Yeah, piss poor (at best unfortunate) wording IMO if you're trying to refute the claim.
The logical conclusion of his statement "C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying." is that concentrations of 14 were rising in the atmosphere, and while that could have been true during the single day (or perhaps even year) he wrote that, big picture truth is that he wrote it during the most dramatic decline in 14 concentrations in recorded history.
It would appear that he didn't even think of looking at data for the chart, but just went with the standard response to the "equilibrium" type creationist argument ...
Enjoy

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 395 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 159 of 1053 (750950)
02-24-2015 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by ThinAirDesigns
02-24-2015 11:21 AM


Re: C14 generation/decay - separating the wheat from the chaff
The logical conclusion of his statement "C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying." is that concentrations of 14 were rising in the atmosphere, and while that could have been true during the single day (or perhaps even year) he wrote that, big picture truth is that he wrote it during the most dramatic decline in 14 concentrations in recorded history.
I think you're right. Given the graph that you've presented.

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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2484 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 160 of 1053 (751170)
02-28-2015 12:27 PM


I'm sure this tidbit is old hat on this forum, but I thought it was really cool and useful to my project.
Apparently, this excursion was first noticed in Japanese cedars (I could be wrong) and then confirmed on a worldwide basis by testing in both the other core dendrochronologies (not sure I've applied the right term there).
Here's the link:
http://www.geo.arizona.edu/....arizona.edu/files/JullAGU.pdf
And an image from the paper.
JB

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1516 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 161 of 1053 (751205)
03-01-2015 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 160 by ThinAirDesigns
02-28-2015 12:27 PM


I'm sure this tidbit is old hat on this forum, but I thought it was really cool and useful to my project.
It's the first time I've seen this graph, so it looks like a spike in 14C production at ~775AD
What it does look like is strong confirmation in the accuracy and precision of the different tree ring chronologies back to 750AD.
quote:
... They also cited Chinese historical records from A.D. 773 that described a major atmospheric disturbance at the time, including a significant dust event (e.g., Napier, 2001). ...
... The fact that the 14C signal is observed in five very different locations with exactly the same amplitude is remarkable in itself. ...
Interesting.
on a worldwide basis by testing in both the other core dendrochronologies (not sure I've applied the right term there).
"Core" is not necessary, dendrochronologies use both cores and cross-cuts to collect data, with cores normally done on living tree samples, cross-cuts on dead samples.
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 ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-28-2015 12:27 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2484 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 162 of 1053 (751210)
03-01-2015 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 161 by RAZD
03-01-2015 8:48 AM


RAZD writes:
It's the first time I've seen this graph, so it looks like a spike in 14C production at ~775AD
What it does look like is strong confirmation in the accuracy and precision of the different tree ring chronologies back to 750AD.
That's what I thought was so cool about it. I'm looking for ways to demonstrate that totally different people and institutions in various parts of the world can investigate an apparent anomaly and end up confirming the accuracy of both dendrochronology and carbon dating. This flies in the face of quotes they've heard all their lives that say some version of "You can take an item of known age and carbon date it and it will come out wrong.". (though yes I understand that it is possible to make that quote true if one is either careless or wishes to).
Thanks to everyone here for their knowledge. I'm learning so much.
JB

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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2484 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 163 of 1053 (751236)
03-01-2015 2:22 PM


Evaporites
Ok, I've got salt questions. Saline giants / halite evaporites / etc.
Been digging my way through the geology wikibook that Dr. Adequate suggested (wrote?). As I read sections I also google things that interest me and questions I have. As Google search would have it, YEC material often rises to the top of the results and if I think there is something that doesn't look like PRATT and might help me with my curriculum I scan it. Often I will follow up that with a quick trip to the Talk Origins list of creationist claims to read that material.
On evaporites, this link came to the top of one of my searches:
Magmatic origin salt deposits - creation.com
The two search terms I gathered from that link were of course the author "Stef Heerema" and "igneous halite magma".
First red flag was that the search term "igneous halite magma" returned only two results with that exact name and both of those were to the very same article I got the term from. Apparently no one on earth other than one Stef Heerema uses that term - not a good sign for the idea.
Research on Heerema returned a slew of references and articles on just this one topic and nothing else. A linkedIn profile lists him as the owner of an engineering firm in the Netherlands (whose listed name returns zero results) and shows no relevant education. A bunch of YouTube videos exist of him presenting this topic and I finally found one in english.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfN0MIOnRNQ
A few minutes into the video I noticed the name "Hovland" accompanying a chart.
That search brought me to Hovland's website and an article on Researchgate.net
The Hydrothermal Salt Theory
Just a moment...
Additionally I found a critique of Hovland's work (openly referenced on Hovland's own site).
Just a moment...
I could use some help from the geology experts. From my (inexperienced) research, it appears that Hovland is a legitimate scientist with some relevant cred. It appears that he has thrown out a researched hypothesis regarding the formation of *some* saline giants (and having nothing to do with YEC). It also appears (as usual) that one YEC creationist has run to the mountain tops with this hypothesis as written in stone directly from God and the creationist web sites have picked up on this one guy as a writer of gospel.
This started near a decade ago (original paper) and so I'm wondering if it's been largely dismissed or confirmation is in process? Not sure how slow things move in the geology world.
It would seem to me that geologists might have ways of looking at the the crystal structure (ignorance alert here) in the salt that could determine if salt was laid down by evaporation or the supercritical process, but from the critique article, it may not be that simple.
Thanks
JB
Edited by ThinAirDesigns, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
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edge
Member (Idle past 1817 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 164 of 1053 (751246)
03-01-2015 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by ThinAirDesigns
03-01-2015 2:22 PM


Re: Evaporites
I could use some help from the geology experts. From my (inexperienced) research, it appears that Hovland is a legitimate scientist with some relevant cred. It appears that he has thrown out a researched hypothesis regarding the formation of *some* saline giants (and having nothing to do with YEC). It also appears (as usual) that one YEC creationist has run to the mountain tops with this hypothesis as written in stone directly from God and the creationist web sites have picked up on this one guy as a writer of gospel.
This started near a decade ago (original paper) and so I'm wondering if it's been largely dismissed or confirmation is in process? Not sure how slow things move in the geology world.
It would seem to me that geologists might have ways of looking at the the crystal structure (ignorance alert here) in the salt that could determine if salt was laid down by evaporation or the supercritical process, but from the critique article, it may not be that simple.
Wow, this is another one of those YEC-type explanations that we used to say, 'doesn't approach the level of being wrong'.
Before anything else, I will admit that I have not researched nor read all of your references, but after reading the abstract by Hovland, I have a few observations right of the top of my head.
My first questions are about the size and shape of the salt deposits:
Hovland mentions the GOM salt deposits, which primarily refers to the Luann Salt which, curiously, has a source confined to the Jurassic System in the Gulf area. To me this is kind of weird. To have a regional alteration pattern confined to one age and one rock type that forms a nice, tabular deposit, parallel to stratigraphy, just stretches the imagination. For reference, this map shows how large that deposit is.
If you look at the size of this deposit, one wonders exactly where is the intrusion that caused so much seawater to boil (which it won't do, by the way, due to hydrostatic water pressure). It's got to be huge, and yet there is no evidence of it; not even a gravity anomaly or a remnant thermal anomaly.
Another argument is with regard to the Red Sea. We see plenty of salt deposits forming in the evaporative way in the adjacent Afar region (an almost identical and continuous geological setting), so why does Hovland have to reach for a magmatic-replacement origin for the salt?
And where are the salt deposits at the modern mid-ocean ridges? Sure, the rocks are enriched in sodium, but never do we see huge salt deposits...
Neither do I see any chemical formulas showing the reactions to form such a replacement of sedimentary minerals by salt. Nor do I see an explanation for the purity of the salt beds. The author should be able to show us some replacement textures, even if they are synthetic, to provide some evidence that this could happen.
What was the protolith (original rock type) of the 'replaced' bed?
What is the composition of the intrusion?
Maybe all of this information is reported somewhere in the sources that you cite, but my guess is that they are not. As you note the paucity of information on this subject suggests that it is a red herring. I have no idea (well, maybe one...) why anyone would postulate such an origin of regional salt beds based on such flimsy arguments.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-01-2015 2:22 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2484 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 165 of 1053 (751248)
03-01-2015 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by edge
03-01-2015 4:21 PM


Re: Evaporites
edge writes:
As you note the paucity of information on this subject suggests that it is a red herring. I have no idea (well, maybe one...) why anyone would postulate such an origin of regional salt beds based on such flimsy arguments.
Well, I can say for certain what is motivating Stef Heerema to take Hovland's work and make YEC gospel out of it - there's no need to guess on that one if you read or watch him, but since there's nothing in Hoveland's material anywhere referencing YEC, nor can I find any statements he has made to any YEC site (they would surely promote them), I'm not yet ready to impune Hovland on the basis of any theology.
That of course isn't an endorsement of the quality (or not) of Hovland's work in any way. I ask that question so others with more experience can read and comment.
JB

This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by edge, posted 03-01-2015 4:21 PM edge has replied

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