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Author Topic:   Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2225 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 121 of 1053 (750752)
02-21-2015 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by ThinAirDesigns
02-21-2015 5:11 PM


On the Calib. 7 site it says,
Any questions or comments regarding CALIB should be directed to Prof. Paula Reimer p.j.reimer@qub.ac.uk
She is very nice and usually answers quickly.

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.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-21-2015 7:34 PM Coyote has replied

  
ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2492 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 122 of 1053 (750754)
02-21-2015 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by Coyote
02-21-2015 5:33 PM


Thanks Coyote, I've never looked into Calib 7, but if I do and have questions I'll certainly appreciate that contact.
Thanks
JB

This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Coyote, posted 02-21-2015 5:33 PM Coyote has replied

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1524 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 123 of 1053 (750755)
02-21-2015 8:21 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by ThinAirDesigns
02-21-2015 5:11 PM


You need to see it graphically for clarity:
Oh, I've got it charted 6 ways to Sunday already (that's why I downloaded it). I'll be posting some charts with related questions in a bit, but to know what to ask I have to figure out which column is which.
Sorry I was referring to the graphical presentation of the data by Riemer et al (IntCal13):
http://www.radiocarbon.org/IntCal13%20files/intcal13.pdf
Note that the various sources of tree rings are very consistent through page 7 when they run out. Page 8 has a lot of scatter and a fair bit of it is likely due to the assumptions made on reservoir effect on the marine samples (see Corrections to radiocarbon dates.)
btw CAL BP refers to calendar BP and not calibrated BP (even though this should be the same).
I don't know how that table works - I've not looked at it. Maybe Coyote knows?
Enjoy

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by our ability to understand
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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2492 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 124 of 1053 (750756)
02-21-2015 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by RAZD
02-21-2015 8:21 PM


RAZD writes:
I was referring to the graphical presentation of the data by Riemer et al (IntCal13):
Cool. Thanks for posting that. That appears to the be the different selected inputs to the IntCal13 calibration table that I downloaded.
btw CAL BP refers to calendar BP and not calibrated BP (even though this should be the same).
I don't know how that table works - I've not looked at it. Maybe Coyote knows?
Thanks -- we'll get it figured out.
JB

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Coyote
Member (Idle past 2225 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 125 of 1053 (750758)
02-21-2015 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by ThinAirDesigns
02-21-2015 7:34 PM


Calib 7 is a web-based program to calibrate radiocarbon dates, using the Conventional Radiocarbon Age and producing either AD/BC dates or BP dates.
That program uses IntCal13, the latest calibration curve, and the email address I gave you should be good for answering any of the questions you have posed here about what those numbers represent.

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.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-21-2015 7:34 PM ThinAirDesigns has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2225 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 126 of 1053 (750759)
02-21-2015 9:37 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by RAZD
02-21-2015 8:21 PM


btw CAL BP refers to calendar BP and not calibrated BP (even though this should be the same).
You are correct, those two are the same.
When a radiocarbon sample comes back from the laboratory it is generally expressed as a Conventional Age, or Radiocarbon Age. This is the Measured Age corrected for C13, using a half life of 5568, and using AD 1950 as the base year with all results calculated back from that point.
When the laboratory (or you) calibrates that Conventional Age they express the resulting calendar age as, for example, "Cal BC 6250 to 6040 (Cal BP 8200-7990)."
Beta Analytic, the largest radiocarbon laboratory in the world, expresses their calibrated dates in just that manner. (This example is from one of my samples.)
Hope this helps.

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.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2015 8:21 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2492 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 127 of 1053 (750768)
02-22-2015 10:04 AM


Uniformitarianism
I'm struggling with something basic and I'm hoping someone can set me straight.
Uniformitarianism is a word thrown about by both sides of the EvC debate and I'm trying to understand it. The Hovind/Ham crowd throws the word around in a pejorative sense as if every scientist simply assumes everything has remained the same for billions of years and of course that's just nonsense. I was surprised however to find this in the wikipedia entry:
quote:
The axiom of uniformity of law is necessary in order for scientists to extrapolate (by inductive inference) into the unobservable past. The constancy of natural laws must be assumed in the study of the past; else we cannot meaningfully study it.
This of course would be the perfect quote for a YEC advocate to include in any of their assertions regarding scientific investigation into things past. Vast crowds of people would then nod and agree that the scientists just admitted that unless they assume things are EXACTLY the same in the past, they can't do any meaningful work. Then the YEC guy trots out changes that we know have happened and the crowd bows in reverence to the incontrovertible proof of YEC just presented.
Now, I know enough to know that the science community doesn't assume things have always been the way they are, but I'm trying to figure out how to best respond to this little trick.
Let's take gravity for instance. We don't just blindly assume that this constant has remained the same through all time do we? Haven't we come to this conclusion through evidence? It seems the only assumption made in this regard is that IF the gravitational constant has changed in the past we would find evidence of it. I mean if gravity doubled tomorrow, we can predict today the results of that change. If gravity were double 4000 years ago to what it is today, we would be able see EVIDENCE of that.
I'm think I'm misunderstanding something about that wiki statement on uniformitarianism. Can anyone set me straight? I think this is an important thing for me to understand clearly or I'll be opening a can of worms with my audience.
Thanks
JB
Edited by ThinAirDesigns, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34136
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 128 of 1053 (750770)
02-22-2015 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by ThinAirDesigns
02-22-2015 10:04 AM


Re: Uniformitarianism
Wiki is a good introduction but is not a high grade resource.
We can have evidence that natural laws have remained constant over extremely long periods of time but Uniformitarianism goes beyond that. It assumes also that processes remained the same, that mountains do not get higher as they erode, that rain falls down and not up, that collisions raise mountains and do not create oceans, that water sorts by particle size and does not sort by species.
It's always possible that at some time continents colliding did not cause mountains or that rain fell up not down or that as mountains eroded they got higher or that floods really did sort by species.
But if that were true then we are faced with an end to learning, the answer to everything is simply "God did it".
You need to remember that for many people that is not simply a possible answer but rather the desired answer.
When faced with that situation I generally point out that if true then there is no reason to expect brakes to slow your car, antibiotics to cure infections, wings to lift a plane, the sun to rise tomorrow or for God not to simply wipe all Christians from the face of the earth.

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-22-2015 10:04 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-22-2015 12:02 PM jar has replied

  
ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2492 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 129 of 1053 (750773)
02-22-2015 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by jar
02-22-2015 10:43 AM


Re: Uniformitarianism
jar writes:
It's always possible that at some time continents colliding did not cause mountains or that rain fell up not down or that as mountains eroded they got higher or that floods really did sort by species.
I guess what I'm struggling with is calling the scientific position on this "assumptions" rather than conclusions based observed evidence. It seems to me that in the physical realm where we can explore, if floods really did sort by species at some point, then what we would find is fossils in flood sediment sorted by species, etc. We don't have to assume it wouldn't happen -- we can just look at the evidence.
Again, I'm not trying to argue with an "I'm right" attitude, I'm just trying to figure out how to explain this to my audience. The way the wiki quote is portrayed, it's just as valid to assume "god did it" as to say that gravity is a historical constant - it's a 'he said, she said' situation (or that's how the YECs would see it). It just seems to me that the historical constant of gravity is backed up by evidence rather than assumption.
(and yeah, i know that Wiki isn't always the best, but it is a reference I need to be prepared for).
Thanks. Still pondering.
JB

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Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by jar, posted 02-22-2015 12:38 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied
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jar
Member
Posts: 34136
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 130 of 1053 (750778)
02-22-2015 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by ThinAirDesigns
02-22-2015 12:02 PM


Re: Uniformitarianism
I guess what I'm struggling with is calling the scientific position on this "assumptions" rather than conclusions based observed evidence. It seems to me that in the physical realm where we can explore, if floods really did sort by species at some point, then what we would find is fossils in flood sediment sorted by species, etc. We don't have to assume it wouldn't happen -- we can just look at the evidence.
But you can look at the evidence and find what you want. For example in the past floods sorted in a manner that excluded grass pollen. Other floods excluded all modern species. The Biblical flood sorted so that no humans got mixed in with dinosaurs.

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-22-2015 12:02 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6445
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.2


(2)
Message 131 of 1053 (750779)
02-22-2015 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by ThinAirDesigns
02-22-2015 10:04 AM


Re: Uniformitarianism
Uniformitarianism is a word thrown about by both sides of the EvC debate and I'm trying to understand it.
If uniformitarianism fails, then you cannot rely on tracing things back through time.
So the whole creationist story crumbles, because it depends on tracing back through time and genealogies.
Creationism itself depends on uniformitarianism.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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edge
Member (Idle past 1825 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


(1)
Message 132 of 1053 (750785)
02-22-2015 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by ThinAirDesigns
02-22-2015 12:02 PM


Re: Uniformitarianism
I guess what I'm struggling with is calling the scientific position on this "assumptions" rather than conclusions based observed evidence.
I'm not sure what would be intrinsically wrong with assumptions. Do you, or does anyone in your audience go though life without making assumptions?
Clearly, some assumptions are valid and others not. What your skeptical 'audience' needs to do is show that the assumptions are not valid if they wish to proceed with the argument. The point here is that uniformitarianism, in its present form (which we term 'actualism') has not been shown to be invalid for the explanation of natural features.
Now, if someone wants to be hyperskeptical, that's their problem. I recommend that they not board an airliner for travel purposes.
It seems to me that in the physical realm where we can explore, if floods really did sort by species at some point, then what we would find is fossils in flood sediment sorted by species, etc. We don't have to assume it wouldn't happen -- we can just look at the evidence.
There is a bit of a misunderstanding here. Floods do their sorting (if it really happens) of species in space. Evolution sorts species through time.
This notion on your part suggests to me that you still retain the YEC understanding that there is one geological event in the history of the earth, and everything really happened at once.
Frankly, it appears to me that you are not being completely honest here.
Again, I'm not trying to argue with an "I'm right" attitude, I'm just trying to figure out how to explain this to my audience. The way the wiki quote is portrayed, it's just as valid to assume "god did it" as to say that gravity is a historical constant - it's a 'he said, she said' situation (or that's how the YECs would see it). It just seems to me that the historical constant of gravity is backed up by evidence rather than assumption.
Uniformitarianism is more than just an assumption. It is a principle that is used to interpret natural phenomena. It has survived since the days of Hutton, though our understanding of what is normal has changed. In our modern usage, it does not exclude catastrophic events such as meteorite impacts, etc.
YECs would have us believe that the biblical flood refutes uniformitarianism. However, there has never been any evidence to support such an event. Consequently, the only people who deny uniformiatrianism do so for biblical (i.e. religious) reasons, not scientific ones. Basically, this requires a belief in such ideas as C-decay or alternate states, or magic (that would be supernatural intervention). All of these, of course, leave no evidence behind.
Really, if you want to refute a geological principle, you need to show that it is scientifically invalid.
Thanks. Still pondering.
Ponder harder.
Edited by edge, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-22-2015 12:02 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1524 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 133 of 1053 (750789)
02-22-2015 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by ThinAirDesigns
02-22-2015 12:02 PM


Re: Uniformitarianism
I guess what I'm struggling with is calling the scientific position on this "assumptions" rather than conclusions based observed evidence. It seems to me that in the physical realm where we can explore, if floods really did sort by species at some point, then what we would find is fossils in flood sediment sorted by species, etc. We don't have to assume it wouldn't happen -- we can just look at the evidence.
First off there are two versions of uniformitarianism:
1. The scientific position is that the laws of how things behaved have remained virtually the same,
2. The YEC (misrepresentation) is that it is in contrast to catastrophism, and thus assumes no catastrophes in the past.
CD200: Uniformitarianism
quote:
Claim CD200:
The evolution model is associated primarily with uniformitarianism, but evidence of catastrophism makes the uniformitarian assumption untenable.
Source:
Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 91-100.
Response:
  1. Modern uniformitarianism (actualism) differs from nineteenth century Lyell uniformitarianism. The prevailing view in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was that the earth had been created by supernatural means and had been shaped by several catastrophes, such as worldwide floods. In 1785, James Hutton published the proposal that Earth's history could be explained in terms of processes observed in the present; that is, "the present is key to the past." This was the beginning of uniformitarianism. Charles Lyell, in his Principles of Geology, modified Hutton's ideas and applied this philosophy to explain geological features in terms of relatively gradual everyday processes.
    Geologists today no longer subscribe to Lyell uniformitarianism. Starting in the late ninteenth century, fieldwork showed that natural catastrophes still have a role in creating the geologic record. For example, in the later twentieth century, J. Harlan Bretz showed that the Scablands in eastern Washington formed from a large flood when a glacial lake broke through an ice dam; and Luis Alvarez proposed that an asteroid impact was responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Actualism (modern uniformitarianism) states that the geologic record is the product of both slow, gradual processes (such as glacial erosion) and natural catastrophes (such as volcanic eruptions and landslides). However, natural catastrophes are not consistent with creationist catastrophism, such as "Flood geology." First, they are much smaller than the world-shaping events proposed as part of the creationists' catastrophism. More to the point, they still represent processes observed in the present. Meteorites, glacial melting, and flash floods still occur regularly, and we can (and do, as in the examples above) extrapolate from the observed occurrences to larger events of the same sort. The scale of events may change, but the physical laws operating today are key to the past.
Links:
University of Oregon. n.d. Uniformitarianism. http://zebu.uoregon.edu/2003/glossary/uniformitarianism.html
Further Reading:
Lyell, Charles, 1830. Principles of Geology. London: John Murray. http://www.esp.org/...lyell/principles/facsimile/title3.html
So confusing the issue with a different definition.
Scientific law uniformitarianism can be tested:
  1. sn1987a demonstrates uniformitarianism with decay rates the same 170,000 years ago, and that the speed of light has not changed,
  2. uranium halos demonstrate uniformitarianism with constant decay rates during their formation over hundreds of thousands of years,
  3. the oklo natural fission reactor demonstrates uniformitarianism with decay chains through isotopes the same as we see today,
  4. coral heads show that the length of the day was shorter and there were more days per year in the past (see Message 10 -- the corals have daily growth rings within the annual formations) just as predicted by astronomical observations and demonstrating that the orbital mechanics involving the earth moon system have not varied significantly for over 400,000,000 years.
There are many such examples.
I guess what I'm struggling with is calling the scientific position on this "assumptions" rather than conclusions based observed evidence. ...
Well I would classify it more as a scientific "law" than an assumption (or a conclusion): somethings seen so pervasively (like gravity) that it hardly needs testing -- except to show YEC folks that it has been observed.
As mentioned, wiki can be edited by anyone, and articles that some people find contentious (like evolution) periodically get "hit" with changes.
IIRC Dr A discussed uniformitarianism in his book as it affect geology.
There is also a discussion of how Lyell influenced Darwin at Page not found
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 129 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-22-2015 12:02 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2492 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 134 of 1053 (750791)
02-22-2015 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by edge
02-22-2015 1:40 PM


Re: Uniformitarianism
edge writes:
This notion on your part suggests to me that you still retain the YEC understanding that there is one geological event in the history of the earth, and everything really happened at once.
Frankly, it appears to me that you are not being completely honest here.
Thank you for a real world demonstration of how you personally integrate assumptions into your daily life. I'll keep that in mind as I consider the value of any of your comments going forwards.
Thanks
JB

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ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2492 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 135 of 1053 (750792)
02-22-2015 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by RAZD
02-22-2015 2:33 PM


Re: Uniformitarianism
RAZD writes:
Scientific law uniformitarianism can be tested:
sn1987a demonstrates uniformitarianism with decay rates the same 170,000 years ago, and that the speed of light has not changed,
uranium halos demonstrate uniformitarianism with constant decay rates during their formation over hundreds of thousands of years,
the oklo natural fission reactor demonstrates uniformitarianism with decay chains through isotopes the same as we see today,
coral heads show that the length of the day was shorter and there were more days per year in the past (see Message 10 -- the corals have daily growth rings within the annual formations) just as predicted by astronomical observations and demonstrating that the orbital mechanics involving the earth moon system have not varied significantly for over 400,000,000 years.
There are many such examples.
Perfect -- THAT's what I'm talking about. If we unquestioningly assumed that the speed of light had always been the same, why do a TON of experiments to show that this is the case.
It seems to me that we 'assume' uniformitarianism is a fact because over and over when tested it actually turns out to be true and we have ways to know if it weren't true. That to me separates it from the assumptions that YECs make that are based on pure faith.
JB
Edited by ThinAirDesigns, : No reason given.

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