Message 307 of 309 (665316)
06-11-2012 9:13 PM
Summary -- cause and effect
It is interesting to me that we have two creationist that have participated in some depth on this thread:
foreveryoung, who is looking for a way to resolve science with his beliefs, this is a struggle when he recognizes some evidence, but can't bring himself to accept all of the overwhelming evidence of an old age earth. This is the root issue for this this thread.
godsriddle, who has developed a fantasy about a "first principle" underlying science that -- purportedly -- makes all modern science conclusions false in one way or another.
When it comes to the psychology of these issues it becomes clear that issues of confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and delusion are involved to various degrees.
Confirmation bias means only accepting\seeing evidence that supports existing beliefs.
Cognitive dissonance is the effect of not accepting evidence that contradicts existing beliefs on the ways that such evidence is treated. There are several ways that this is done, one of which is to conclude that there is a conspiracy trying to fool you, or lie to you. Another is to invent a reason for the evidence appearing the way it does.
Delusion is the condition of refusal to accept objective evidence contradicting existing beliefs.
When it comes to physical constants, and the possibility of them being different in the past, there are two basic problems:
(1) There is no mechanism to cause significant change/s, and
(2) There is no evidence of any significant changes having occurred.
That makes such speculation a series of "what if" proposals, concepts that don't even really qualify as scientific hypothesis, it's more just making wild guesses in the dark.
One of these that keeps coming up is changing the speed of light.
In SN1987A part 1 we see that simple geometry can be used to calculate the actual distance to the star regardless of any changes in the speed of light (as long as any change occurs consistently across the universe and the speed of light is consistent for the time delay between arrival of light from the star and light from the ring), and this distance is ~168,000 light years. This necessarily means that the universe is a big place, and not something painted on the ceiling.
It is interesting -- and telling -- that godsriddle cannot bring himself to agree with this distance calculation.
In SN1987A -- part 2: correlations with the speed of light we see that there are a number of other things that must change -- and change in just the right way -- when the speed of light changes:
- the frequency of energy absorption of elements
- radioactive decay rates
- neutrino vs photon delay in supernova emissions
Just for starters.
These changes need to be orchestrated so that the end result magically matches what we see on earth today -- but also what we see from other supernovas that are even further away.
When we look at the changes to radioactive decay, we can also look at Are Uranium Halos the best evidence of (a) an old earth AND (b) constant physics?, where we see that the energy of decay is tied to the decay rate, and that this would cause changes to the halos: uranium halos would not exist unless other aspects are magically changed as well.
When we look at the changes in radioactive decay rates we can also look at Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1, where linear counting methods of ice layers in the arctic and the antarctic are also matched to radioactive decay rates in the Devil's Hole calcite deposits by climate markers in trapped samples of atmosphere (δ18O and δ13C ) ... and we can note that one of these systems is linear and the other is exponential, so that different causes would be needed and they would need to be orchestrated just right to give the results seen.
Then there is the evidence of the Oklo natural reactors in Gabon (Africa), where 235U spontaneously began to fission due to the concentration of uranium in this area. When we look at the byproducts we see the same formations that we see today from man-made reactors. This means there has been no change in the way radioactive elements break down in the last 2 billion years.
We can also note that just a very small increase in neutron energy would allow 238U to undergo similar spontaneous fission, and that deposits existing today would be sufficient in concentration to allow this to happen. As these concentrations have decreased with the decay that has already occurred, it is evident that no such increase in neutron energy ever occurred in the past.
Changes need a cause.
Changes have an effect.
The conceptual system that best ties all these together in a way that fits the observed evidence, with known cause and effect, is the current scientific system, with constant constants.
The alternative is a conceptual system that everything is illusion.
Edited by RAZD, : cause and effect