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Author Topic:   Radiometric Dating and the Geologic Column: A Critique
Anti-Climacus
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 113 (166168)
12-08-2004 7:41 AM


Radiometric Dating and the Geologic Column: A Critique

Hello all!

This is one of my first posts on the EVC Forum. I hope that I can offer some fresh perspectives on the various debates that take place here, including this one.

The age of the earth is an important issue that affects all theories of origins, including Evolution, Creation, and Intelligent Design. A common claim made with regards to these matters is that the theory of Young Earth Creationism (YEC) has been falsified by numerous lines of empirical evidence that contradict the YEC assumption of a young earth no more than 15,000 years old.

The purpose of this post is to critique radiometric dating and the geologic column; which are arguably the strongest lines of evidence that contradict YEC and support an ancient earth. If these time-designating methods can be proven to be flawed, then the paradigm of YEC will be greatly strengthened.

YEC Paradigm Predictions of Radiometric Dating

The YEC paradigm asserts that radiometric dating is unsound and predicts the following in accordance with this assertion: (a) radiometric dating will frequently yield ages which are grossly discordant compared with the predictions of geochronology; (b) such discordances will frequently exhibit poor precision; (c) the reliability criteria used in the ascertainment of accuracy will frequently contradict geochronological expectations; and (d) the geologic column for strata between and including the Tertiary and Cambrian is virtually nonexistent.

Due to space limitations, I will only address claims (a) and (b) in this initial post. I hope to comprehensively cover claim (d) and at least touch on claim (c) later on.

The Frequency, Magnitude, and Range of Discordant Results

One could compile a listing of discrepant dates and analyze the frequency, magnitude, and range accordingly. This has been performed by using the listing of over 400 discrepant dates compiled by John Woodmorappe (“Studies in Flood Geology”, p. 148-158).

Additional procedures were performed in addition to those by Woodmorappe. The listing of discrepancies were analyzed and organized by geologic period. The difference (and related magnitude of error) between the expected age and the most deviant calculated age (which designated either an age “too old” or “too young”) was then computed for each of the 432 trials. These results were then used to compute an average magnitude of error for each geologic period.

To assist the reader in comprehending the significance of the calculated average magnitude of error, an example has been provided which begins with an expected age within each geologic period. The average magnitude of error for that specific period was then applied to the expected age to compute an age of discordance. For example, in the 432 trials analyzed, discordances for the Permian period have an average magnitude of error of 164.49% for “too old” ages; which means that a geochronologist who expects a date of 250 million years will instead compute an age of 661 million years. In like fashion, in the 432 trials analyzed, discordances for the Permian period have an average magnitude of error of 40.48% for “too young” ages; which means that a geochronologist who expects a date of 250 million years will instead compute an age of 149 million years.

Results are summarized as follows:

Average Magnitude of Error for “Too Old” Ages

(Period…..Magnitude of Error…..Expected Age…..Computed Age)

Tertiary………….1001.64%.......50 mya…….551 mya
Cretaceous………..259.42%.....100 mya…….359 mya
Jurassic…………...532.92%.....150 mya…….949 mya
Triassic…………….85.84%.....200 mya…….372 mya
Permian…………..164.49%......250 mya…….661 mya
Carboniferous…….121.23%......300 mya……664 mya
Devonian…………..47.55%......375 mya…….553 mya
Silurian…………….65.57%......425 mya…….704 mya
Ordovician…………46.25%......475 mya…….695 mya
Cambrian…………..62.58%......525 mya…….854 mya
Precambrian………100.00%......625 mya…...1250 mya

Average Magnitude of Error for “Too Young” Ages

(Period…….Magnitude of Error…….Expected Age…….Computed Age)

Tertiary………………-39.43%............50 mya………..30 mya
Cretaceous……………-47.72%.........100 mya………..52 mya
Jurassic……………….-48.18%.........150 mya………..78 mya
Triassic……………….-43.48%.........200 mya………113 mya
Permian………………-40.48%.........250 mya……….149 mya
Carboniferous……….. -39.61%.........300 mya……….181 mya
Devonian……………..-32.52%.........375 mya……….253 mya
Silurian……………….-36.51%.........425 mya……….270 mya
Ordovician……………-32.19%.........475 mya……….270 mya
Cambrian……………..-29.37%.........525 mya………..371 mya
Precambrian…………..-39.67%.........625 mya……….377 mya

Note that for computed ages which overshoot geochronological expectations (i.e., “too old”), 6 of the 10 periods yield an average magnitude of error exceeding 100%; and that all 10 periods yield an average magnitude of error exceeding 46%. Also note that for computed ages which underscore geochronological expectations (i.e., “too young”), 4 of the 10 periods yield an average magnitude of error exceeding 40%; and that all 10 periods yield an average magnitude of error exceeding 29%.

An additional study was performed by computing the range between the smallest and largest age for any trials exhibiting multiple results. The average range was computed for each geologic period and summarized below. The alleged time span for each period (talkorigins.org/origins/geo_timeline.html) has been provided for comparison purposes.

Average Ranges for Discordances

(Period …….Range…….Alleged Length of Geologic Period)

Tertiary………………125 mya……….65 mya
Cretaceous…………...119 mya……….70 mya
Jurassic………………..89 mya……….70 mya
Triassic………………101 mya……….45 mya
Permian………………..98 mya……….40 mya
Carboniferous………...150 mya………65 mya
Devonian……………..111 mya……….55 mya
Silurian……………….119 mya……….28 mya
Ordovician…………….92 mya………..67 mya
Cambrian……………..106 mya……….40 mya

Of notable interest is that the average range for discordances exceeds the alleged time length for every geologic period between and including the Tertiary through the Cambrian. This demonstrates a character of gross imprecision.

This empirical evidence strongly supports the YEC assertion that radiometric dating is flawed, because it verifies YECs first and second predictions that radiometric dating will frequently yield ages which are grossly discordant compared with the predictions of geochronology and that such discordances will frequently exhibit poor precision.

Released from Proposed New Topics by Admin


This, that a man’s eye cannot see by the light by which the majority see could be because he is used to darkness; but it could also be because he is used to a still clearer light, and when this is so, it is no laughing matter.

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 16465
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 2 of 113 (166175)
12-08-2004 8:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Anti-Climacus
12-08-2004 7:41 AM


According to the YEC paradigm ALL the dates - even those classified "too low" are orders of magnitude too high.

Therefore any sources of error that reduce the reported age, as well as errors that rely on the existence of older material to raise the age have no place in the YEC paradigm unless and until a reasoanble explanation for the actual results is found.

In fact without any attempt to explain the results the YEC paradigm can offer no predictions about the nature of the expected errors.

There is a further logical error in that an analysis that is restricted to discordant results cannot confirm point a) because it provides absolutely no information on the frequency of such results.

So thus the predictions have not been shown to follow from the YEC paradigm and no attempt has been made to support point a) despite the fact that that was the major purpose of the post. These are serious errors.


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JonF
Member
Posts: 6158
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 3 of 113 (166176)
12-08-2004 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Anti-Climacus
12-08-2004 7:41 AM


Sorry, your post does not support " ... the YEC assertion that radiometric dating is flawed, because it verifies YECs first and second predictions that radiometric dating will frequently yield ages which are grossly discordant compared with the predictions of geochronology and that such discordances will frequently exhibit poor precision."

You have extrapolated the analysis of a flawed and biased sample to the statistics of a much larger population. Alas, that's invalid.

To support your thesis, you need to discuss exactly how the 432 sample dating studies were chosen (the brief answer is that Woodmorappe specifically chose samples that were known to exhibit problems), the relationship of the statistics samples chosen to the population of all possible samples (the brief answer is that the samples chosen are hopelessly biased and therefore the analysis of them bears no relationship to the statistics of the population), and you should discuss whether or not Woodmorappe accurately transmits and represents the content of the chosen studies (the brief answer is that in many cases he does not).

You also need to discuss the many "age-diagnostic" radioisotope dating methods such as Ar-Ar, the several varieties of isochron methods (especially including Pb-Pb), and the concordia-discordia methods. These avoid several of the issues which can (but seldom do, as verified by cross-checking) affect K-Ar dating. Since a large majority of the dating studies performed in the last 20 years or so (that is, several thousands to tens of thousands) are not K-Ar studies but are the more robust age-diagnostic methods, ignoring them relegates your "study" to yet another YEC sidestepping of the real data.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 4 of 113 (166210)
12-08-2004 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Anti-Climacus
12-08-2004 7:41 AM


The YEC paradigm asserts that radiometric dating is unsound and predicts the following in accordance with this assertion: (a) radiometric dating will frequently yield ages which are grossly discordant compared with the predictions of geochronology; (b) such discordances will frequently exhibit poor precision;

These are not the correct predictions. The YEC paradigm would predict that radiometric dating would always yield ages which bear no concordinance with the predictions of geochronology. Your article begins, and is pinned on, this erroneous interpretation.

This has been performed by using the listing of over 400 discrepant dates compiled by John Woodmorappe (“Studies in Flood Geology”, p. 148-158).

I'm not surprised that Woodmorappe was able to cherry-pick the most discordant dates. What controls did he use to make sure these discordant dates were not simply the result of procedural errors in the laboratory?

This approach is akin to hand-picking 400 of the world's most inaccurate, poorly-constructed stopwatches and using them to prove that there's no such thing as time.

But what's most astounding is that, even in your cherry-picked erroneous dates, there's still significant, if imprecise, corellation between the "phoney" radiometric dates and the expected ages from other geochronology techniques. This counters your prediction a.

If radiometric dating was truly flawed, there would be no corellation, under any circumstances, ever. Dates returned would be entirely random. But your own data, hand-picking the most egregious examples of erroneous radiodating, shows that this is not the case. There is significant correlation between dates and ages, which is exactly what we would expect if radiometric dating was a legitimate tool for geochronology, which it is.

Good post but your data outright contradicts your thesis. Nonetheless this is infinitely better than the majority of YEC arguments put forth, and you should be applauded for that, at least.


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Anti-Climacus
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 113 (166211)
12-08-2004 11:20 AM


Well, to start off, I would like to thank the administrators for posting my thread, as well as my soon-to-be opponents for their criticisms. I hope we can have a respectable debate, not only on this topic, but for others in the future.

PaulK: According to the YEC paradigm ALL the dates - even those classified "too low" are orders of magnitude too high. Therefore any sources of error that reduce the reported age, as well as errors that rely on the existence of older material to raise the age have no place in the YEC paradigm unless and until a reasonable explanation for the actual results is found.

Reply: The basis for my full-length article is that even though some evidence exists to support radiometric dating (e.g., vague “younging-up” trends), the ranges of the dates are frequently massive and the geochronologist is frequently incapable of objectively narrowing the range of dates to a level that provides value to his experiments.

You do make a good point, however, in requesting a “reasonable explanation” from creationists to account for the large ages. There are, actually, competing theories that attempt to provide an explanation. But even if the YEC Paradigm was incapable of providing an alternative explanation, the imprecision and rationalizations of uniformitarian geochronology still stand.

PaulK: “In fact without any attempt to explain the results the YEC paradigm can offer no predictions about the nature of the expected errors . . . So thus the predictions have not been shown to follow from the YEC paradigm and no attempt has been made to support point a) despite the fact that that was the major purpose of the post. These are serious errors.”

Reply: Even if the computed ages are simply attributed to unexplained geochemical distributions, the YEC assertion that radiometric dating is unsound would automatically predict analytical imprecision and results that contradict geochonological expectations.

PaulK: “There is a further logical error in that an analysis that is restricted to discordant results cannot confirm point a) because it provides absolutely no information on the frequency of such results.”

Reply: Good observation. And it would be exceedingly interesting to see a huge compilation of ALL dates computed for thousands of studies to determine the overall reasonableness. Such a study, however, is impossible, for various reasons:

(1) The uniformitarians and evolutionists will most likely not perform such an analysis, simply because they are convinced of the reliability of the radiometric dating.

(2) Many of the discordant dates are not published in the literature, thus skewing the results.

(3) Due to the absence of governmental funding, creation scientists do not have the resources to perform such an extensive experiment.

In light of this situation, the skeptic is limited in options. However, from the 400+ date study provided by Woodmorappe, as well as citations from scientific literature, it is my opinion that this is the best type of critique currently available.

JonF: “You have extrapolated the analysis of a flawed and biased sample to the statistics of a much larger population. Alas, that's invalid.”

Reply: Again, considering how a comprehensive random sampling of both discordant and concordant ages is virtually impossible, this is the only study capable of critiquing the methodologies employed.

JonF: “To support your thesis, you need to discuss exactly how the 432 sample dating studies were chosen (the brief answer is that Woodmorappe specifically chose samples that were known to exhibit problems), the relationship of the statistics samples chosen to the population of all possible samples (the brief answer is that the samples chosen are hopelessly biased and therefore the analysis of them bears no relationship to the statistics of the population), and you should discuss whether or not Woodmorappe accurately transmits and represents the content of the chosen studies (the brief answer is that in many cases he does not).”

Reply: The pages in Woodmorappe’s book that I cited in my original post includes exactly how he compiled the information. I did not want to include that in this post, as it would have surely become too lengthy.

Again, the study you suggest, although a great idea, is virtually impossible.

Also, your contention that Woodmorappe misrepresents the data is flawed for a variety of reasons. First, you must read his work to understand exactly how the information was compiled. Next, you must take a sample size of the references to demonstrate that the dates he recorded were inaccurate, instead of relying on the statements of ostensibly preconditioned “critics”.

I can most definitely say that I did not trace all 432 data lines to the relevant scientific literature. I do remember tracing a few back, however.

JonF: “You also need to discuss the many "age-diagnostic" radioisotope dating methods such as Ar-Ar, the several varieties of isochron methods (especially including Pb-Pb), and the concordia-discordia methods. These avoid several of the issues which can (but seldom do, as verified by cross-checking) affect K-Ar dating. Since a large majority of the dating studies performed in the last 20 years or so (that is, several thousands to tens of thousands) are not K-Ar studies but are the more robust age-diagnostic methods, ignoring them relegates your "study" to yet another YEC sidestepping of the real data.”

Reply: The compilation of ages include dozens of Pb-Pb results. Even if they didn’t, I would still disagree. The compilation of ages, in and of themselves, provide the evidence sufficient to prove my point: imprecision and contradictory results.


This, that a man’s eye cannot see by the light by which the majority see could be because he is used to darkness; but it could also be because he is used to a still clearer light, and when this is so, it is no laughing matter.

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 16465
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 6 of 113 (166221)
12-08-2004 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Anti-Climacus
12-08-2004 11:20 AM


I think that you need to take a step back and consider that you haven't proven the imprecision of radiometric dating at all.

Indeed how can we tell that the imprecision found in discordant dates is typical ? Surely if we expect erroneous results to display greater imprecision that applies regardless of which paradigm is true, since both reject the dates in "Woodmorappe's" survey.

To establish that radiometric dating is imprecise you need to take into account both the proportion of discordant results and the nature of the errors. For instance if a result is discordant because it used low-quality material, it cannot be relied on to indicate that radiometric dating is inaccurate when better quality material is available.

As to producing a proper survey any method of obtaining a representative sample should do. It is far from clear that the majority of discordant dates go unpublished - and if they do it will likely be because they are the result of uninteresting errors. If the errors indicate a genuine problem then they will usually be published for that reason.

Moreover creationist orgnaisations seem to have no problem obtaining funds. Answers in Genesis have spent millions on their "Creation Musuem". A simple survey should not require expenditure on anywhere near that scale.

But without real data we should consider that radiometric dates are not produced simply to deny YEC claims. Geologists have an obvious interest in making sure that their methods are accurate and so the presumption must be that discordant dates are relatively uncommon and can usually be adequately explained. Any other assumption has to explain why a profession would continue to use a method that plainly did not work. Indeed it is hard to see that a method that routinely failed could ever become established.

Also there are other dating methods which contradict YEC and have good agreement with radiometric dates. For instance this article deals with sedimentary cycles:
http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/eos96336.html


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roxrkool
Member (Idle past 122 days)
Posts: 1497
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003


Message 7 of 113 (166225)
12-08-2004 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Anti-Climacus
12-08-2004 11:20 AM


Anti writes:

Reply: The compilation of ages include dozens of Pb-Pb results. Even if they didn’t, I would still disagree. The compilation of ages, in and of themselves, provide the evidence sufficient to prove my point: imprecision and contradictory results.


Age-dating is not within my area of expertise, but I am confused as to how compiling a list of ONLY discordant dates is going to give you anything BUT discord. It doesn't really seem to say anything other than, "age-dating can result in discordant dates."

Well, we already know that!

It seems to me all you've done is calculated some sort of biased standard deviation using questionable data. Questionable because I can't see the actual data and how it was collected.

As JonF stated, before anyone can critically review your proposal, you're going to have to show exactly how and from where the numbers you used were collected. So you are probably going to have to write up that long summary.


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Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 113 (166226)
12-08-2004 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Anti-Climacus
12-08-2004 7:41 AM


2 Critiques
I have 2 major problems with Woodmorappes "bad dates".

Critique #1:

Woodmorappe is infamous for misusing primary sources. He makes his sources say what he wants them to say instead of what they actually said. One example (found here) shows that Woodmorappe is incapable of honestly portraying the dat from a primary source.

Woodmorappe: "The Pharump diabase from the Precambrian of California yielded an RbSr isochron of no less than 34 b.y., which is not only 7 times the age of the earth but also greater than some uniformitarian estimates of the age of the universe. This superanomaly was explained away by claiming some strange metamorphic effect on the Sr."

This would seem to be a problem, trying to throw out a good isochron just because it comes up with a bad date. However, this is far from the truth, as is mentioned by Dalrymple in 1984:

The data do not fall on any straight line and do not, therefore, form an isochron. The original data are from a report by Wasserburg and others [1964], who plotted the data as shown but did not draw a 34billionyear isochron on the diagram. The "isochrons" lines were drawn by Faure and Powell [1972] as "reference isochrons" solely for the purpose of showing the magnitude of the scatter in the data. ... The scatter of the data in Figure 6 shows clearly that the sample has been an open system to Sr87 (and perhaps to other isotopes as well) and that no meaningful RbSr age can be calculated from these data. This conclusion was clearly stated by both Wasserburg and others [1964] and by Faure and Powell [1972]. The interpretation that the data represent a 34billionyear isochron is solely Woodmorappe's [1979] and is patently wrong.

Aha, Woodmorappe, by claiming that they threw out an isochron is in fact fudging the data. No isochron ever formed because the data points did not form a straight line. This date was mentioned in the original study because it was an example of the isochron method detecting a contaminated or unclosed system. If such dates are included in Woodmorappe's list of 450 "Bad Dates" then the list contains dates that are known to be wrong for real, testable and logical reasons. How many of Woodmorappe's dates are derived from known contaminated or unclosed systems? We don't know which does not lend credence to those dates.

Critique #2:

You are claiming that bad dates occur "frequently". What is frequently? 1%, 10%, or 50% of the time? If those 450 dates were pulled from 45,000 total dates, this means that bad dates only occur 1% of the time. I would hardly call that "frequent". So, without knowing the pool from which Woodmorappe pulled his bad dates from you can not make the claim that bad dates occur "frequently" or even at what rate they occur.


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Anti-Climacus
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 113 (166227)
12-08-2004 12:06 PM


Thanks for your post, Crashfrog. I think you brought forward some important questions.

Crashfrog: “These are not the correct predictions. The YEC paradigm would predict that radiometric dating would always yield ages which bear no concordinance with the predictions of geochronology. Your article begins, and is pinned on, this erroneous interpretation . . . But what's most astounding is that, even in your cherry-picked erroneous dates, there's still significant, if imprecise, correlation between the "phony" radiometric dates and the expected ages from other geochronology techniques. This counters your prediction a.”

Reply: It depends on what you define as a “prediction of geochronology”. You may be referring to the younging-up trend prediction, which appears to have been at least partially confirmed (although unpublished discordances may add greater imprecision). But even if such a trend exists, if geochronologists are incapable of narrowing the wide ranges of ages with objective and consistent reliability criteria (which they can’t), then the field of geochronology loses much of its explanatory power, and even provides a basis for outright falsification of evolutionary theory, because it places alleged descendants before their supposed ancestors.

I have personally noted numerous rationalizations invoked by geochronologists to explain away clusters of dates that are materially different from the expected age of the sample. If scientists can arbitrarily disregard ages that contradict their theories, they cannot then turn around and criticize creationists for doing the same.

Crashfrog: “I'm not surprised that Woodmorappe was able to cherry-pick the most discordant dates. What controls did he use to make sure these discordant dates were not simply the result of procedural errors in the laboratory? This approach is akin to hand-picking 400 of the world's most inaccurate, poorly-constructed stopwatches and using them to prove that there's no such thing as time.”

Reply: First of all, the comprehensive study which could verify the few “poorly-constructed stopwatches” in geochronology is impossible – as I have already pointed out in an earlier post. Second, you must remember that these 400+ discrepancies were compiled by one man. Hire a few hundred assistants, and I suspect that the cited number of discordant ages would mount to an astronomical level. Third, we must not forget citations from the scientific literature, where dozens of scientists have openly admitted the common presence of discordant ages and the difficulties in narrowing the age pool objectively.

Crashfrog: “If radiometric dating was truly flawed, there would be no corellation, under any circumstances, ever. Dates returned would be entirely random. But your own data, hand-picking the most egregious examples of erroneous radiodating, shows that this is not the case. There is significant correlation between dates and ages, which is exactly what we would expect if radiometric dating was a legitimate tool for geochronology, which it is.”

Reply: But it takes a lot more than overall trends to justify geochronology as a “legitimate tool”. Explaining away unwanted ages despite an absence of supporting evidence does not validate radiometric dating. On the contrary, it acts as evidence against it.

Crashfrog: “Good post but your data outright contradicts your thesis. Nonetheless this is infinitely better than the majority of YEC arguments put forth, and you should be applauded for that, at least.”

Reply: Thank you. I am hoping to provide some fresh perspectives on issues here and I definitely hope to learn from other participants.


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Dr Cresswell
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 113 (166230)
12-08-2004 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by PaulK
12-08-2004 11:57 AM


quote:
It is far from clear that the majority of discordant dates go unpublished
And, at least 400 such results have been published. Whereelse did the numbers in the analysis presented come from if not published literature? Besides, a relatively simple analysis of the literature would reveal if there was any significant under-reporting of outlying results. Collect as many reported results as possible, it'll take a while going through the literature but neither impossible nor expensive (a moderately capable scientist with access to on-line journals and some spare time could do it), and for each method and time frame (assume initially that different methods and ages will result in different distributions) determine the difference between each measurement and the assume aged of the sample measured. Plot a histogram of these differences and one would expect something not too far from a normal distribution; a significant step down at greater than 3 or 4 standard deviations from the mean would indicate that a lot of outliers are not reported.

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roxrkool
Member (Idle past 122 days)
Posts: 1497
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003


Message 11 of 113 (166231)
12-08-2004 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by PaulK
12-08-2004 11:57 AM


Something that hit me after reading this post (in fact the very same statememt Dr. Cresswell quoted ): discordant dates are often listed in papers because event those dates tell us (mainstream geoscientists) something about the geologic history of an area. It can tell us about metamorphism, re-heating due to igneous events, etc. Discordant dates to us are just as important as concordant dates. While YECs may scoff at our use of them (lamenting upon our desire to find anything to support our biased mindset - or something along those lines) they are still out there in published papers for anyone to compile.

This message has been edited by roxrkool, 12-08-2004 12:19 PM


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Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 113 (166232)
12-08-2004 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by PaulK
12-08-2004 11:57 AM


Creationist Observers
quote:
Moreover creationist orgnaisations seem to have no problem obtaining funds. Answers in Genesis have spent millions on their "Creation Musuem". A simple survey should not require expenditure on anywhere near that scale.

Even better, if creationists wanted to save money they could tag along on a geologic survey. They could witness the collection of rocks for dating. They could then travel with those samples to the lab where they are dated. They could ensure that the person doing the dating is blinded from the expected age, much like a double blind clinical trial. The creationist could watch the printers pump out the data and do his own critique of that minutes old data. I can't think of one reason why a geologist would not allow oversight and observation from a creationist organization. It would only cost the creationist organization plane fare and travel costs and spare them the cost of having the samples analyzed.

Why don't we see this happening? Because it is easier to fool your audience with smoke and mirrors instead of doing the actual work of substantiating your claims with real evidence. This is why Woodmorappe uses supposed "bad dates", accuses geologists of conspiring to hide the skads of supposed "bad dates", and claims that radiometric dating produces random scatter. He is unwilling to do the work, and probably knows that radiometric dating has none of the flaws he claims it does.


This message is a reply to:
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 Message 13 by roxrkool, posted 12-08-2004 12:23 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
roxrkool
Member (Idle past 122 days)
Posts: 1497
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003


Message 13 of 113 (166235)
12-08-2004 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Loudmouth
12-08-2004 12:14 PM


Re: Creationist Observers
Loudmouth writes:

Even better, if creationists wanted to save money they could tag along on a geologic survey.


Yes. That is an excellent suggestion!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Loudmouth, posted 12-08-2004 12:14 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16465
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 14 of 113 (166239)
12-08-2004 12:33 PM


Review of Woodmorappe
This review appears to refer to the same data. Although the paper was originally published elsewhere it is indicated that it was reprinted in Studies in Flood Geology

Also linked is a reply by Woodmorappe (which takes a very nasty tone) and a response to that reply.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/woodmorappe-geochronology.html

[Added in Edit]
Example 6 gives some indication of the reliability of radiometric dating.
An early (1961) paper on K-Ar dating of glauconite (a difficult mineral to date) reported 5 discordant results Woodmorappe uses. And 40 dates that were within 10% of the expected value. Assuming that there are no other discrepent results this indicates that nearly 90% of the results were within 10% of the expected value - given a less than ideal choice of mineral and in an early paper before there had been much study of the use of this particualr mineral in radiometric dating.
Since the purpose of the paper is to discuss the reliability of dating glauconite there is no reason to suspect that erroneous results have been suppressed, and given that we should expect the results to be poor they are quite good enough to call the YEC claim into question.

This message has been edited by PaulK, 12-08-2004 12:47 PM


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Anti-Climacus
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 113 (166274)
12-08-2004 3:03 PM


Thank you for all of your posts. I want to make sure that I respond to everyone, so I may lag behind a bit in posting replies.

Good questions and criticisms all around.


This, that a man’s eye cannot see by the light by which the majority see could be because he is used to darkness; but it could also be because he is used to a still clearer light, and when this is so, it is no laughing matter.

Replies to this message:
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