RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#61  Postby Calilasseia » May 24, 2010 8:58 pm

Variable speed of light?

Oh, funny.

Which of course would impact heavily on E=mc2. A vastly accelerated speed of light, which is what creationist fantasists need to prop up their mythology, would result in the energy emitted from stars increasing by vast amounts. So much so that Planet Earth would have been vaporised by the massive gamma ray outflux that would result.

Plus, as has already been mentioned above, the distances involved have been independently confirmed by trigonometric parallax. Is Atheistoclast going to assert that trignonometry is part of his fictional "Darwinist conspiracy" next?

Oh, and I can hardly wait for the laughter that will ensue when Atheistoclast asserts that the universe is "fine tuned", after erecting the above assertion. :mrgreen:
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#62  Postby GenesForLife » May 25, 2010 7:13 am

Actually, if light was faster in the past, it must have travelled a greater distance in the observed amount of time than if it were constant, and since distance is one function that increases with inflation, it would show that the quantum inflation would be older than the current calculations, in other words, it would make the Universe even older than it is.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#63  Postby Bathynomus Giganteus » Jun 02, 2010 12:39 pm

If light travelled at various speeds, wouldn't the faster light photons overtake the slower ones, then we'd see stars exploding and suddenly still be there?
If you know what I mean. :scratch:


Oh, and what's the accuracy of the radionulide dating? (percentage wise)
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#64  Postby GenesForLife » Jun 02, 2010 12:43 pm

I guess somewhere near 2%
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#65  Postby Bathynomus Giganteus » Jun 02, 2010 12:52 pm

GenesForLife wrote:I guess somewhere near 2%



Thanks. I was just wondering if the margin of error would close the gap in the "tiktaalik/footprints" debate.
3% closes the gap. :mrgreen:
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#66  Postby GenesForLife » Jun 02, 2010 1:29 pm

haha.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#67  Postby OHSU » Jun 17, 2010 7:24 pm

Playing Devil's Advocate here, why should a YEC accept the assertion that the earth was originally created with long-lived radioactive isotopes?

I mean, let's look at this statement:

Sn126, being absent, must have disappeared over a period of 20 half lives = 20 × 100,000 years = 2,000,000 years. Therefore the Earth must be at least 2,000,000 years old for all the Sn126 to have disappeared.


"... for all the Sn126 to have disappeared." All of what Sn126? If I'm a YEC, why should I accept that there was any Sn126 to start with?

I ask, because my family are all YECs, and they're significantly smarter-than-average people (medical doctors and lawyers). I can imagine them taking one look at this and discarding it because it appears to be based on the assumption that the absence of radioisotopes indicates that they were once present but have since decayed. But who says they were there in the first place? (Please pardon my ignorance if this has already been addressed and I missed it or simply failed to understand it.)
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#68  Postby hotshoe » Jun 17, 2010 8:52 pm

Well, first you have to assume synthesis of heavy elements in supernovas to begin with. And I imagine that's a bigger stumbling block to a YECer than any specific isotope (or lack) is.

Assuming stellar synthesis of elements by rapid neutron capture (in the super energetic environment of the supernova explosion) what physical process could differentiate completely between stable 124Sn and 123Sn or 126Sn ? Yes, it's true that some of the isotopes are more stable and some are less stable (for complicated reasons) but the point is, what process could guarantee that there would be zero 126Sn formed while still allowing the formation of stable 124Sn. There's no such process.

Tin is a perfect example because it has TEN stable isotopes. So, in the synthesis process, rapid neutron capture adds neutrons to 112Sn (stable) making 114Sn (stable), but note, there is an unstable 113Sn between, weightwise -- and then adds successively more neutrons to make 115Sn through 120Sn (all stable) but then there's another instability at 121Sn before 122Sn (stable), and yet another instability at 123Sn before 124Sn (stable). Then there is a whole list of unstable isotopes, including the unstable-but-long-lived 126Sn. A person who wants to claim that the unstable elements were not ever formed in this chain (essentially, that the instabilities are gaps that were just leaped over) needs to explain how the atomic nucleus knows to accept exactly two more neutrons at 112, never accepting just one more neutron at 112, while the same atomic nucleus knows to accept exactly one more neutron at 114 through 119, but never to accept exactly two neutrons at 119, and then suddenly the exact same atomic nucleus knows to accept exactly two neutrons again at 120 and 122, but never to accept only one neutron at 120 or 122. And never, ever, ever accept any neutrons whatsoever at 124 (because that might lead to the unstable 126 that they are trying to "forbid"). It's hopeless nonsense to claim that unstable isotopes did not form in the same stellar process as the multiple stable isotopes of the element did.

Then, once formed, there is no process which could separate out the unstable-but-long-lived isotopes from the stable ones, when forming our solar system from the supernova-debris material. Because as you know, the different isotopes are identical chemically, as is their response to gravitational force, so if they were "out there" "back then" then they must have been incorporated into the dusty gas of which we were made "back then".

We know we can produce long lived and short lived isotopes of various elements in laboratory reactors. We know they can and do exist now. The YECer has to prove why they could not have existed back then. Basic atomic theory proves they could -- but then, basic atomic theory is probably something most YECers are not really comfortable with, isn't it.

Of course a YECer can merely claim that god created our young world out of the elements he wanted, and he didn't have to include any 126Sn if he didn't want to. That's why god is not a valid scientific hypothesis, because any and every observation is consistent with "god made it that way because he wanted to". Unstable isotopes present ? God wanted it that way. Unstable isotopes absent ? God wanted it that way.

Nonetheless, atomic theory works everywhere we have tried it. (So, god must want it to work, or else it wouldn't work, right?). Atomic bombs, nuclear power plants, fusion in the sun, xrays and radiation therapy in medicine ...all consistent. Our universe apparently works consistently and in accordance with regular physical laws which we can use our (god-given ;) ) brains to discover. Why would their god create our universe entirely consistent with (his) observable laws of physics, except "cheat" by making it look old, everywhere we look, when he just made it so recently ? Why, of course the same answer "because he wanted it that way".

Leave aside for one moment the question of why any human would voluntarily worship such a deceitful deity. Just think about whether the answer "because he wanted it that way" is really the best answer here. God could not be seen as a "cheat" if the universe is really as old as it looks. God only seems to be a "cheat" when viewed from the perspective that some book has primacy over the experience of the actual universe. I suggest it's a better answer that god wants us to appreciate his whole creation, 13+ billion years old and 150+ billion light years across as a true exemplar of glory and power. I suggest it's a better answer to listen to god's laws of physics as his "word" to us, than to idolize the 2000-year old words in the bible as being his last official words to us. I suggest god will be pleased when every human is mature enough to stop clinging to the so-called infallibility of one particular book (no matter how inspired it was at the time) and start appreciating the discoveries explained in all science textbooks - which are clearly inspired by the truth of god's creation, the universe, and the consistent physical laws he created to sustain us. [Well, that's what I suggest to believers, you know.]



Edit- added three last paragraphs
Now, when I talked to God I knew he'd understand
He said, "Stick by my side and I'll be your guiding hand
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to"
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#69  Postby OHSU » Jun 18, 2010 12:13 am

hotshoe wrote:Well, first you have to assume synthesis of heavy elements in supernovas to begin with.


Exactly. All a YEC has to say is, "So, God created the earth in some other way."

hotshoe wrote:what process could guarantee that there would be zero 126Sn formed while still allowing the formation of stable 124Sn. There's no such process.


Why does God need a natural process? If I'm a YEC, I already believe in magic.

hotshoe wrote:It's hopeless nonsense to claim that unstable isotopes did not form in the same stellar process as the multiple stable isotopes of the element did.


Now we're getting closer to the point I'm hoping to make.

Of course a YECer can merely claim that god created our young world out of the elements he wanted, and he didn't have to include any 126Sn if he didn't want to. That's why god is not a valid scientific hypothesis, because any and every observation is consistent with "god made it that way because he wanted to". Unstable isotopes present ? God wanted it that way. Unstable isotopes absent ? God wanted it that way.


Exactly.

Nonetheless, atomic theory works everywhere we have tried it. (So, god must want it to work, or else it wouldn't work, right?).


Yep.

Atomic bombs, nuclear power plants, fusion in the sun, xrays and radiation therapy in medicine ...all consistent. Our universe apparently works consistently and in accordance with regular physical laws which we can use our (god-given ;) )
brains to discover.


Yes.

Why would their god create our universe entirely consistent with (his) observable laws of physics, except "cheat" by making it look old, everywhere we look, when he just made it so recently ?


Why, indeed?

And here is my point, which you have beaten me to. The presence, absence, and precise proportions of the byproducts of long-lived, medium-lifespan, and short-lived isotopes support the model of an earth that is billions of years old. It isn't merely that certain radioisotopes are absent. it isn't merely that certain radioisotopes are present. It is that the whole system of isotopes and byproducts decaying at different rates creates an extremely complex system, each and every component of which supports the same conclusion.

So, we are left with two options:

1) The earth really is as old as it appears to be.

2) God went through a hell of a lot of trouble to make it appear as though it is old, even though it is young. In this case, that means not only creating a large variety of isotopes that decay at different rates, but placing them in the earth (or choosing not to place them in the earth) in such a way that a rigorous scientific evaluation of the whole system and each of its component parts leads to the same conclusion, with extreme mathmatical precision.

If one accepts conclusion #2, one has to accept that God is a liar and explain why God would want us to believe this particular lie.

God only seems to be a "cheat" when viewed from the perspective that some book has primacy over the experience of the actual universe.


Agreed.

I suggest it's a better answer that god wants us to appreciate his whole creation, 13+ billion years old and 150+ billion light years across as a true exemplar of glory and power. I suggest it's a better answer to listen to god's laws of physics as his "word" to us, than to idolize the 2000-year old words in the bible as being his last official words to us. I suggest god will be pleased when every human is mature enough to stop clinging to the so-called infallibility of one particular book (no matter how inspired it was at the time) and start appreciating the discoveries explained in all science textbooks - which are clearly inspired by the truth of god's creation, the universe, and the consistent physical laws he created to sustain us. [Well, that's what I suggest to believers, you know.]


Yes, as long as one must believe in unsupported assertions, this is certainly preferable to YECism.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#70  Postby pcCoder » Jun 18, 2010 12:34 am

If one accepts #2 that a god entity (and not necessarily even a god entity, could just be an advanced alien entity) has created a false appearance, then one can not claim that their god is the one true god as that can be a false appearance. All we have to go by is appearance in some from or another, whether what we can directly observe or what can be detected and measured by various instruments. If appearance has been forged to appear differently than it really is, then even the religious can not claim to know that they belief is correct as anything that they claim supports their belief could be a forged appearance. Therefore when a person says that the universe/earth/etc was just created with an appearance of old age, they pretty much defeat all their arguments on their own.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#71  Postby OHSU » Jun 18, 2010 1:04 am

pcCoder wrote:If one accepts #2 that a god entity (and not necessarily even a god entity, could just be an advanced alien entity) has created a false appearance, then one can not claim that their god is the one true god as that can be a false appearance. All we have to go by is appearance in some from or another, whether what we can directly observe or what can be detected and measured by various instruments. If appearance has been forged to appear differently than it really is, then even the religious can not claim to know that they belief is correct as anything that they claim supports their belief could be a forged appearance. Therefore when a person says that the universe/earth/etc was just created with an appearance of old age, they pretty much defeat all their arguments on their own.


But... but... what about all the lovely sweet feelings I have in my heart for Jesus?
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#72  Postby byofrcs » Jun 18, 2010 1:14 am

OHSU wrote:
pcCoder wrote:If one accepts #2 that a god entity (and not necessarily even a god entity, could just be an advanced alien entity) has created a false appearance, then one can not claim that their god is the one true god as that can be a false appearance. All we have to go by is appearance in some from or another, whether what we can directly observe or what can be detected and measured by various instruments. If appearance has been forged to appear differently than it really is, then even the religious can not claim to know that they belief is correct as anything that they claim supports their belief could be a forged appearance. Therefore when a person says that the universe/earth/etc was just created with an appearance of old age, they pretty much defeat all their arguments on their own.


But... but... what about all the lovely sweet feelings I have in my heart for Jesus?


Yes and if you were born in an Islamic country then you would have feelings for Muhammad and if you were born in a Hindu country then you would.....have feelings for one of whatever it is they worship and if you were born in a Jewish family then I suspect you would not have many feelings towards Jesus and so on and so on for thousands of years and thousands of gods over thousands of cultures.

That is a crap shoot - it is not rigorous. Radionuclide decay works no matter what culture you were born into. Alpha particle emission doesn't change according to the religion of the person's lungs or the god they worship.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#73  Postby Adkinsjr » Jun 23, 2010 7:54 pm

Even if the speed of light were a variable, you can't get around the fact that light still has a finite speed. No matter what the case, we see objects as they were in the past. In order to see objects billions of light years away, within the 6,000 years, light would have been traveling pretty damn fast, only to suddenly slow down to a seemingly constant speed as soon as humans developed the science to measure it.

Secondly, I don't see how creationists explain the agreement between different isotopes, as indicated on the talkorigins page:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

They show data from different samples, and different dating methods, which give the same age. I was arguing with a creationist on youtube about radiometric dating, and I pointed this out to him but he just kept ignoring it, and repeating "it's all based on assumptions."
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#74  Postby OHSU » Jun 24, 2010 1:58 am

Adkinsjr wrote:They show data from different samples, and different dating methods, which give the same age. I was arguing with a creationist on youtube about radiometric dating, and I pointed this out to him but he just kept ignoring it, and repeating "it's all based on assumptions."


Well, he does have a point... sort of... without realizing it.

All science is based on the assumption that nature (physics, chemistry, etc.) is not willy-nilly, but that it operates on consistent principles that can, in principle, be elucidated. That is a fundamental and necessary assumption of any scientific model or explanation. Anything else is Lastthursdayism.

However, that is the only assumption that needs to be made. As has previously been discussed, the situation with radioisotopes is such that there are really only two possibilities (for a creationist).

1. Things are as they appear to be.

2. God is a hoaxter.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#75  Postby Adkinsjr » Jun 24, 2010 5:20 pm

OHSU wrote:
Adkinsjr wrote:They show data from different samples, and different dating methods, which give the same age. I was arguing with a creationist on youtube about radiometric dating, and I pointed this out to him but he just kept ignoring it, and repeating "it's all based on assumptions."


Well, he does have a point... sort of... without realizing it.

All science is based on the assumption that nature (physics, chemistry, etc.) is not willy-nilly, but that it operates on consistent principles that can, in principle, be elucidated. That is a fundamental and necessary assumption of any scientific model or explanation. Anything else is Lastthursdayism.

However, that is the only assumption that needs to be made. As has previously been discussed, the situation with radioisotopes is such that there are really only two possibilities (for a creationist).

1. Things are as they appear to be.

2. God is a hoaxter.


True, but I don't think that's what he was getting at. His point was that you have to assume the constancy of the decay rate, or you have to assume the initial amounts of the parent/daughter isotopes. If these assumptions are wrong, I don't see how multiple samples and different methods would agree. :scratch:
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#76  Postby Calilasseia » Jun 24, 2010 10:03 pm

Except that as I've already pointed out, radionuclide decay rates aren't "constant", they obey an exponential law. Why do creationists need the baby steps every time?
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#77  Postby Sityl » Jun 24, 2010 10:13 pm

Calilasseia wrote:Except that as I've already pointed out, radionuclide decay rates aren't "constant", they obey an exponential law. Why do creationists need the baby steps every time?


Because religion eviscerates your ability to think critically or rationally.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#78  Postby OHSU » Jun 24, 2010 11:15 pm

Adkinsjr wrote:True, but I don't think that's what he was getting at.


Ya, I figured. Anybody who makes that kind of statement hasn't thought it through that far.

Adkinsjr wrote:If these assumptions are wrong, I don't see how multiple samples and different methods would agree.


They wouldn't.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#79  Postby OHSU » Jun 24, 2010 11:23 pm

Calilasseia wrote:Except that as I've already pointed out, radionuclide decay rates aren't "constant", they obey an exponential law. Why do creationists need the baby steps every time?


In common parlance, "constant" doesn't have to mean "linear". A phenomenon that gives an exponential result can still be considered "constant" if the physical law governing its behavior is constant. The result of this constancy is that the decay rate is consistently exponential; its behavior is the same now as it was a million or a billion years ago, and can therefore be measured, calculated, extrapolated, predicted, etc.
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Re: RADIONUCLIDE DATING IS RIGOROUS

#80  Postby hotshoe » Jun 25, 2010 6:59 am

OHSU wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:Except that as I've already pointed out, radionuclide decay rates aren't "constant", they obey an exponential law. Why do creationists need the baby steps every time?


In common parlance, "constant" doesn't have to mean "linear". Something phenomenon that gives an exponential result can still be considered "constant" as long as the physical law governing its behavior is constant. The result of this constancy is that the decay rate is consistently exponential; its behavior is the same now as it was a million or a billion years ago, and can therefore be measured, calculated, predicted, etc.


Okay, that's a good point.

And the answer to Adkinsjr's friend who complains that we have to "assume the constancy" (in the exponential sense) is actually no, we don't have to assume the constancy. The (current) decay rate of a specific isotope is measured in an element freshly created from a nuclear reactor. Then, the (ancient) decay rate of that same isotope is is measured in the spectroscopic lines of a distant (therefore, old) supernova. The decay rates are measured to be constant in both. So the universe has not "slowed down" or "sped up" or whatever the creationist imagines would make the decay rates unreliable when we apply them to old Earth rocks.

Time again for me to mention my favorite christian article: Radiometric Dating A Christian Perspective

The science is accurate, the first half dozen pages are technical and sort of difficult, but the advantage of this paper is that Dr. Wiens explains why common christian objections are not valid, and briefly deals with how christians can reconcile the old age of the Earth (and our universe) with faith. I recommend it most highly for anyone who has a christian friend who is having trouble accepting the unbiased scientific evidence.

Dr. Roger C. Wiens wrote:
[page 19]
Can We Really Believe the Dating Systems?

We have covered a lot of convincing evidence that the Earth was created a very long time ago. The agreement of many different dating methods, both radiometric and non-radiometric, over hundreds of thousands of samples, is very convincing. Yet, some Christians question whether we can believe something so far back in the past. My answer is that it is similar to believing in other things of the past. It only differs in degree. Why do you believe Abraham Lincoln ever lived? Because it would take an extremely elaborate scheme to make up his existence, including forgeries, fake photos, and many other things, and besides, there is no good reason to simply have made him up. Well, the situation is very similar for the dating of rocks, only we have rock records rather than historical records. Consider the following:

There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree rings and ice cores.
All of the different dating methods agree--they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of time. Some Christians make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case. The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-Earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude (e.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more). The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!
Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth. Several hundred laboratories around the world are active in radiometric dating. Their results consistently agree with an old Earth. Over a thousand papers on radiometric dating were published in scientifically recognized journals in the last year, and hundreds of thousands of dates have been published in the last 50 years. Essentially all of these strongly favor an old Earth.
Radioactive decay rates have been measured for over sixty years now for many of the decay clocks without any observed changes. And it has been close to a hundred years since the uranium-238 decay rate was first determined.
Both long-range and short-range dating methods have been successfully verified by dating lavas of historically known ages over a range of several thousand years.
The mathematics for determining the ages from the observations is relatively simple.

The last three points deserve more attention. Some Christians have argued that something may be slowly changing with time so all the ages look older than they really are. The only two quantities in the exponent of a decay rate equation are the half-life and the time. So for ages to appear longer than actual, all the half-lives would have to be changing in sync with each other. One could consider that time itself was changing if that happened (remember that our clocks are now standardized to atomic clocks!). And such a thing would have to have occurred without our detection in the last hundred years, which is already 5% of the way back to the time [page 20] of Christ.


(emphasis in the original)
Now, when I talked to God I knew he'd understand
He said, "Stick by my side and I'll be your guiding hand
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to"
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