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Author Topic:   Uranium Dating
Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 1261 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008

Message 76 of 153 (573901)
08-13-2010 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by archaeologist
08-12-2010 7:29 PM

There are many obvious contrasts between, on the one hand, people who accept physical evidence as truth (because observation of the evidence is replicable and reliable and yields accurate predictions), and on the other hand, people who deliberately ignore, reject, deny or distort physical evidence (because they consider religious dogma to be more valuable somehow).

Perhaps the most striking contrast is in the amount of self-contradiction that can be found when these two types of people are expressing their viewpoints. The objectivists (methodological naturalists -- i.e. scientists) tend to show self-contradiction only as a means of expressing irony and sarcasm, but the dogmatists show it in their direct and sincere assertions.

Here's a simple demonstration in the views expressed by "archaeologist":

archaeologist writes:

... God wants the truth to be told ...

leave out the 15 billion year date and you would be on the right track. God doesn't tell us exactly when he created all things, He just simply said 'in the beginning...' meaning the when is not important.

Now, obviously, "the when" actually counts as part of "the truth" about things. Ask anyone who has to spend real money on finding new petroleum reserves. Doing this in an economically feasible way these days requires having a lot of knowledge about when various geological strata were deposited, which happens to correlate consistently with finding the fossil remains of particular species of plant and animal life (many of which are currently extinct). It's also remarkably and predictably consistent with the particular radiometric properties of materials found in the strata. And owing to the apparently immutable laws of physics, biology and geology, the relationships among these various pieces of evidence entail that some rather long periods of time have elapsed, on the order of many millions of years.

If you don't accept that entailment, you'll fail in the business of drilling for oil, because you'll never understand where you should (and should not) be looking for it.

So according to you, archaeologist, God wants the truth to be told -- which would properly include "the when" -- and geologists are doing quite well in that regard, much to the delight of the people who own stock in oil companies.

And also according to you, "the when" is not important, because God chose not to tell us about it specifically in His Revealed Word(*), and therefore, God doesn't want us to know about that, and we shouldn't even be asking about it, let alone actually learning about it successfully on our own and blabbing about it to the oil companies -- that is, telling the truth about it, which is what God wants us to do.

Oh wait... do you mean to say that all those geologists are actually lying to the oil companies? That would require a very strange definition for "lying".

Well anyway, I guess that's all clear enough now. Thanks.

*Footnote about that "Revealed Word" thing: Your "system" of belief, which you are using as the rationale for rejecting observed facts, is based on a translation of a translation of a redaction of a selective compilation drawn from a larger set of letters and varied other texts, some of which didn't actually survive long enough to be available for selection, and others of which were simply discarded at one or another point several hundred years after the alleged time of Christ. Of course none of the texts -- certainly not the ones actually chosen for inclusion in the Christian Bible -- were written during the alleged time of Christ. Some sections (the OT) were written long before, and others (the NT) were written dozens or hundreds of years after. If that's the basis of your authority, I'm sorry, but it's awfully tenuous, to say the least.

Just the issues involved with having a translation of a translation can be a show-stopper for anyone trying to assert a particular interpretation as "the one true version." Human language just doesn't work that way, no matter what you say about inspiration, and the countless dogmatic schisms within Christianity are ample proof of the problem.

BTW, you might not have noticed how this religious-dogma-causes-self-contradiction stuff actually stems from the Bible itself. For an easy start on this, there are lots of entertaining and informative videos at YouTube about contradictions in the Bible.


autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by archaeologist, posted 08-12-2010 7:29 PM archaeologist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by archaeologist, posted 08-13-2010 6:07 AM Otto Tellick has not yet responded

Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 1261 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008

Message 132 of 153 (574275)
08-15-2010 4:57 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by archaeologist
08-15-2010 12:35 AM

archaeologist writes:

shalamabobbi writes:

Your argument is incoherent. You say that dating techniques are calling God a liar and yet you claim that the Bible doesn't pinpoint when God created the heavens and the earth.What makes more sense?

before answering that question one has to consider the ramifications...

Um, you forgot to answer the question. In fact, you apparently didn't understand shalamabobbi's point at all, which is: According to you, God doesn't say how long ago the earth was created, and according to you, when scientists start to figure out how old the earth really is, the age they come up with contradicts what God said and therefore they call God a liar.... That's incoherent -- in fact it qualifies as a form of self-contradiction, which tends to be a frequent attribute in your posts.

1. who has th eright or authority to determine that story an allegory? 2. who gave them that right and what right/authority did they have?

I gather you are referring to the creation story in Genesis. Well, who has the right or authority to determine this the story must be interpreted "literally" as a 6-day (144-hour) event?

In a nation that guarantees religious freedom to its citizens, and does not impose or endorse specific religious beliefs as a matter of government policy or law, every citizen has the right to determine his or her own interpretation of religious texts, and no one has the authority to impose or coerce their own belief on another. This has been established and maintained through the consent of the governed. It's actually a pretty good approach, all things considered. Don't you agree?

3. if it is open to any and all to make their own interpretations as to what is or isn't an allegory then anarchy prevails over the Bible and a fight ensues as to who is right.

When arguments about the interpretation of religious text are based solely on the text itself and on unevidenced extrapolation from the text (e.g. "God said 'X', but He didn't say 'Y', therefore, He must have meant that 'Y' cannot be true, or 'X' actually means 'Z', or..."), you are absolutely right: if it is open to any and all to make their own interpretation, then anarchy prevails.

This has been seen repeatedly in the history of Christian (and Jewish and Islamic) dogma, and we continue to see it happening again and again. Most (perhaps all) of the irreconcilable schisms among the various sects involve differences of interpretation on issues where observable evidence is unobtainable -- i.e. issues that can only be imagined (hence, are imaginary), such God's will, God's plan, the kind of afterlife assigned by God to homosexuals (or unbaptized infants or virtuous Buddhists or Democrats or ...), etc, ad nauseum.

Avoiding anarchy -- that is, reaching consensus -- can be assured only when there is a reliance on observable evidence to settle disputes. In other words, until you can establish an empirical, objective basis for answering a given question, you really cannot reconcile opposing views about how to answer the question.

We are able to measure the consistency of uranium decay and the distribution of pre- and post-decay isotopes in nature; we can even observe the mechanism of the decay and the effect it has on other elements. These are empirical findings that can be (and have been) repeatedly confirmed by independent researchers using a variety of techniques. What the findings tell us about the age of various geological formations on the planet can be (and has been) checked for consistency with other (distinct and independent) forms of evidence.

The observed consistency of the age estimates is not a matter of opinion or assumption or interpretation or faith. It's a matter of simple logical entailment applied to repeated and consistent physical measurements, with an ever-growing range of validation checks to rule out mistakes. Despite your inability to see it, consensus among scientists is widespread and stable, particularly regarding the age of the earth.

4.what evidence do they have that it is an allegory?

It is simply the unavoidable fact that a "literal 6-day" interpretation of Genesis cannot be reconciled with this overwhelming (and continuously growing) body of observed evidence.

... science can't prove ... that the process of evolution acrtually exists (it can't put the process in a test tube and study it)

Um, no -- actually science can "put the process in a test tube and study it". This has been done repeatedly, over many decades. It works: bacteria, viruses, fruit flies, genetically altered crops -- and of course animal husbandry and plant hybridization. Despite your inability to understand it, these are all cases of evolution happening before our very eyes.

5. too much subjectivity- everyone is human and not greater than another thus whose opinion is correct

Yes, everyone is human, but when lots of people address the same problem empirically, they come at it in lots of different ways, covering many different side issues about verifiability (i.e. "checking the math"), possible errors in sampling or measurement, gaps and entailments in logic, and so on. When they arrive at consistent results and establish an objective consensus, they successfully overcome the limitations of subjectivity.

Religious dogmatists such as yourself, on the other hand, have no objective basis for overcoming that same, intrinsically human problem of subjectivity, and the result is the inevitable descent into anarchy, as shown repeatedly in the schismatic histories of the Abrahamic religions.

Your religious text is no help -- in fact it is the source of the problem, as you have demonstrated in your own posts. In every argument you've made, you've shown a complete unwillingness to understand how objective evidence settles disputes about real-world phenomena. Since you appeal only to your own interpretations of the bible, and your sense of "logic" is limited to making bare assertions, your opinions carry the same "validity" and "authority" as every other conflicting opinion that is based only on religious text, which is to say: no validity or authority whatsoever.

All the inconsistencies and self-contradictions in your posts just emphasize the problem -- this seems to be a symptom of a common disease among people who somehow feel that they must accept the entire content of the bible as "literally" inerrant, and that its obvious inconsistencies and self-contradictions must be ignored or rationalized. It's an unfortunate state of mind, having an obvious (and negative) impact on the ability to communicate (and think) clearly.

{This message has essentially no contact with the topic theme - Adminnemooseus}

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Off-topic banner etc.

autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by archaeologist, posted 08-15-2010 12:35 AM archaeologist has not yet responded

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