How Do We Know the Age of the Earth?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    MARGARET

    Oddly though, for all the attention it gets from creationists, the
    radiocarbon dating method is not the primary problem for those
    who want to believe the earth is young. There are dozens of
    other methods that date objects millions or even billions of
    years old that produce results far more problematic for
    creationists. The evidence for an old earth is so strong that
    many bible believing christians accept it. See the link below
    for a christian viewpoint.

    http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/radiometricdating/

    The next link below is from a site that summarizes very well
    the mainstream scientific view of the age of the earth.

    http://www.stassen.com/chris/origins/faq-age-of-earth.html


    I will quote here, the conclusing paragraphs from the Christian
    web site mentioned above. Remember that this is not an atheist
    speaking, but a Christian:

    In short, there is an abundance
    of evidence pointing to an old earth. Before concluding this post,
    I want to give some actual results, quoted in the second link above,
    of age determinations on meteorites. The earth itself does not give
    age measurements as old as this, because it is believed that the
    first part of the earth's history was a stage in which whatever rocks
    were created did not survive until the present time. So the best idea
    of the age of the earth is derived indirectly from the ages of
    meteorites. Some of these age determinations are given below:

    Most of the other measurements for the age of the Earth rest upon
    calculating an age for the solar system by dating objects which are
    expected to have formed with the planets but are not geologically
    active (and therefore cannot erase evidence of their formation),
    such as meteorites.
    The table could not be easily reproduced in this post, but it
    contains a large number of results from meteorite samples whose ages
    average approximately 4.5 billion years. The table can be seen
    at the following URL, near the end of the page:

    http://www.stassen.com/chris/origins/faq-age-of-earth.html

    As shown in the table, there is excellent agreement on about 4.5
    billion years, between several meteorites and by several different
    dating methods. Note that young-Earthers cannot accuse us of
    selective use of data -- the above table includes a significant
    fraction of all meteorites on which isotope dating has been
    attempted.
    According to Dalrymple (1991, p. 286), less than 100 meteorites have
    been subjected to isotope dating, and of those about 70 yield ages
    with low analytical error.

    Further, the oldest age determinations of individual meteorites
    generally give concordant ages by multiple radiometric means,
    or multiple tests across different samples."

    The above ages represent only a small fraction of the hundreds of
    dates available in mainstream science. Although there are a very
    few scientists, who for religious reasons, still maintain that the
    earth is young, they have never mounted a scientific challenge to
    data such as is shown above. Mainstream science has a coherent theory
    of the age of the earth, based on data such as the above. There is no
    competing coherent theory, that is based on real data, in the young
    earth camp.

    Creationists often claim that it is the assumption of an old earth or
    the need to support evolution that motivates mainstream
    scientists to claim an old earth. But the above ages, arrived at by
    more than one independent method, are dates that are objective and
    based on methods that are open to scrutiny and debate. Creationists
    could attack the methods and prove them wrong except for the fact that
    the methods are defensible and reasonable and objective. Although it
    is possible to find sites on the Internet that criticize these
    methods,
    to my knowledge, no YEC has ever published any critique in the
    peer reviewed literature that challenges these methods. With the
    thousands of journals available, the power to squelch a good paper
    is quite limited, so the possible argument that science censors any
    criticism does not hold any water with me. As a matter of fact, anyone
    who could show that the above dates are mistaken, would make a name
    for himself or herself in the history of science. So far, such a paper
    has not even appeared in the journals (one or two of them) that are
    under the control of creationists.
     
  2. Administrator2

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    DEAN

    Re: There are dozens of other methods that date objects millions or even billions of years old...

    Don't you mean there are dozens of methods of doing radiometric dating? Dating ice cores is only as good as the recorded historic weather data. Tree ring dating is only good for a few thousand years. Radiometric dating can't provide an estimated date for sedimentary rock. It can only date the age of the material that is found in the rock layers. Genesis 1:2 states "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep..." The Bible indicates the deep existed before the provision of light on day one. What was the deep and when was it created? Some other unanswered questions rergarding radiometric dating: What process was used to create atoms? Was there any deterioration causing the appearance of aging when atoms and molecules were created? What was radioactivity rates in the environment that created matter?

    Re: There is no competing theory based on real data.

    Some evidences for a young universe - Notice these are unrelated reasons:
    Lack of earth erosion
    Lack of ocean sediments
    Lack of metallic elements in the ocean (dozens of methods)
    The existence of comets
    The existence of planetary rings
    The existence of micrometeoroids
    Sun shrinkage
    Moon dust
    Magnetic field erosion
    The amount of helium in the atmosphere
    Spiral galaxies
    Small number of supernova remnants
    Lack of meteorites on earth
    Moon recession
    Ages of coral and trees
    Lack of fossils
    Lack of volcanic material
    Moon and planet heat
    Details of some of this evidence can be found in the book "In the Beginning", Part I. The book is on the web at www.creationscience.com. and in the book "Search For the Truth" pages IV-10 and IV-11 on the web at www.searchforthetruth.org.

    [ August 13, 2002, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    HELEN

    Hi Dean.

    I’m a young “everything” creationist. Just for the information of others of our ilk here, the list you provided has some ‘evidences’ in it which are more the result of not keeping up with discoveries rather than their validity on their own. I have left the list here and have a bit of a comment for each.


    Lack of earth erosion – this is more solid than they like to admit.
    Lack of ocean sediments – this is good especially in the trench areas
    Lack of metallic elements in the ocean (dozens of methods) – good to an extent, but there is known ‘recycling’ of a number of the elements and more needs to be known by both sides here.
    The existence of comets – too much is not known to use this one reasonably
    The existence of planetary rings – good evidence not because of their existence, but because of the strength of their separations
    The existence of micrometeoroids – not good. We can see that meteors break up. Another one was just in the news (Science News Aug. 3, p. 69).
    Sun shrinkage – that would be fine if the sun were actually shrinking. It doesn’t seem to be.
    Moon dust – may or may not be good. Measurements of dust fall can only measure certain size fragments and both sides of the argument are not taking into account the effects of meteor bombardment on both burying and metamorphizing the existing dust via heat into actual rock.
    Magnetic field erosion – I think this one is solid regardless of their protests to the contrary. They have too many unexplained problems to get out from under this one completely.
    The amount of helium in the atmosphere – undecided. There is too much we don’t know, still, about a number of things here.
    Spiral galaxies – this one may or may not be good depending on the existence of ‘gravitational belts’ of what appears to be dark matter which have recently been seen, we THINK…
    Small number of supernova remnants – be careful with this one. There is too much we still don’t know although this looks like it may be a valid argument.
    Lack of meteorites on earth – what lack of meteorites? We are finding more and more evidence of bombardment all the time…
    Moon recession – I believe this one is still good. I have not seen any reasonable arguments against it, although it does depend on the very thing we hold against them: gradualism and uniformitarianism.
    Ages of coral and trees – not good. Coral growth is still being explored, first of all and dendrochronology is an extraordinarily inexact science, despite their use of it.
    Lack of fossils – fossilization in the sense of mineral replacement rather than simple imprints is extremely difficult. It requires rather specific conditions which are not really met by the one-flood-did-everything model either. We do not know enough about the process of fossilization to honestly use this.
    Lack of volcanic material – where? Living in California I have to say that most of what we have in many places is volcanic material. We don’t have ANY lack of it here!
    Moon and planet heat – this depends on assumptions and is not evidence by itself.

    One of the problems with both sides, Dean, is that they are often defended by those who are not bothering to keep up with current discoveries and data. I know that is hard. We subscribe to a number of journals and magazines in an effort to keep on top of it to an extent and there are some areas where I think I am over a year behind in my ‘in depth’ reading! In other words, those who know the most about the current data and discoveries often have the least time to present the new material in forums like this, so the mistakes and sometimes even deceptions ON BOTH SIDES continue relatively unabated. I’m not sure how we can stop that except to correct things when we can.

    Your best bet is not to take a shotgun at the side of the barn approach as you did above, hoping to hit something, but to really spend some time, at least with a search engine, checking into the arguments presented by both sides. Be careful of any arguments from either side which seem to be using the same words over and over on different websites – that indicates to me that they are drawing from the same source(s) without checking for themselves.

    This is a young universe and a young earth. I am personally convinced of that. So choose the areas you are most interested in and start digging. I am betting as I write this that your list is going to be slammed four ways from Sunday by the evolutionist apologists reading it, and I hate to see that happen to a brother in Christ!
     
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    JOE MEERT

    JM: This is not correct. Sedimentary rocks can be dated via
    radiometric
    methods and also indirectly using magnetic reversal stratigraphy. For
    example Foeling et al. (2000) describe a method for U-Pb dating of
    carbonates (Chemical Geology, vol.171, no.1-2, pp.97-122). Other
    sedimentary rocks such as shales have been successfully dated using
    radiometric methods (see Gunter Faure's text on isotope geology for
    examples).

    JM: There is no evidence for varying the rate of radioactive decay due
    to environmental factors such as high temps or pressures. In fact,
    constancy of decay has been verified by a number of experiments (for
    example do a search on Oklo natural reactor). You can certainly
    question these assumptions, but you must also provide evidence that
    your
    assertions are scientifically valid.

    JM: The following is a 'laundry list' from Walt Brown. Let me deal
    with
    a few of the objections and others can discuss the rest of the list:

    JM: There is plenty of earth erosion going on! Look at the massive
    amounts of sediments coming out in the Bengal Fan. Could you
    elaborate?
    No geologist that I know argues that there is a lack of erosion on
    earth.

    JM: This is vague. There are very thick sediments on the ocean floor
    (see the Mississippi delta for example or the Bay of Bengal). What
    exactly makes you think there is a deficit of oceanic sediments?

    JM: Depends on what elements you are talking about of course. If you
    are saying that the levels of certain metals in the ocean point to a
    young age for the earth, then you must also discuss the possibility
    that
    some of those metals are locked up in the sediments. In fact, if one
    takes the level of Aluminum as an example and does not consider total
    flux into and out of the system, then the conclusion is that the earth
    is no older than 100 years. So, what exactly do you mean?

    JM: Why shouldn't there be comets in an old earth scenario?

    JM: I'll bite, why would we expect no rings if the earth is old?

    JM: Why should there be no micrometeoroids?

    JM: The sun is not shrinking.

    JM: There is dust on the moon! I suppose you are referring to the old
    gem about there not being enough dust on the moon. When Apollo
    landed on the moon, the level of dust was almost exactly what was
    estimated using a 4.5 billion year old earth-moon system. The
    calculations that originally suggested there should be more were
    erroneous and were corrected long before the Apollo modules ever
    landed.

    JM: The magnetic field does not erode. The dipolar magnitude of the
    field fluctuates and undergoes reversal, but it most certainly does
    not
    'erode'. Are you sure you didn't mean 'decay'?

    JM: There is plenty of helium in the atmosphere. Why is this
    important?

    JM: I suspect this follows because you do not think the earth is
    eroding. Craters are 'healed' by tectonic processes and erosion on
    earth. Nevertheless, there are many many examples of craters on earth
    (Sudbury, Kentland, Meteor crater, chixulub etc).

    JM: I thought the abundance of fossils meant there was a global flood!
    So which is it? Too many fossils or a lack of fossils?

    JM: The continents are underlain by plutonic material and every
    continent has many layers of volcanic material. Why do you think this
    material is lacking? I must admit this is a new argument. Could you
    tell me how much volcanic material is lacking and why?
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    This is in reply to DEAN from above.

    Dean, you asked these questions:

    The process used to create atoms in our universe was twofold. Initially, as the unverse came into being by some unknown process (God of course being behind it all) the very energy of creation transformed into elementary particles including protons, and hydrogen. Helium was also formed by some kind of fusion process that occurred while the entire universe was so small, and the scientists like to point out that the observed abundance of helium in the universe correlates nicely with how much helium they calculate would be created that way.

    The heavier elements that we all know and love, including the atoms you and I are made of, were all formed in the heart of stars that blew themselves up in supernova explosions. The violence of the supernova explosion itself forced many nucleii together. Anything that was so unstable as to fall apart immediately fell apart immediately. Anything that takes longer to fall apart is still around, still falling apart, and we call that radioactive decay. The stable atoms just stayed.

    As far as the appearance of aging for atoms and molecules, nothing of the sort has ever been observed. Atomic particles and their immediately assembled products, atoms and molecules, seem to always be perfectly identical, except that they come in different combinations. When you and I age, it is not that our molecules are getting frail, but rather that the organization of all the molecules is falling apart.

    No variation in radiocative rates has ever been observed. Evaluations of nuclear processes in stars seems to show nuclear processes proceding at the same rate no matter how far back we observe the star in time (due to the finite speed of light). Evaluation of geologic formations of uranium ore that by chance allowed for a nuclear reactor to form leads to the conclusion that nuclear reactions ran the same millions of years ago.

    I hope this helps answer the questions you posed.
     
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    DEAN

    Hi Helen:

    Re: ...the list you provided has some 'evidences' in it which are more the result of not keeping up with discoveries...

    Thanks for the comments but you failed to indicate any scientific evidence that invalidates any of the list.

    Re: The existence of comets – too much is not known to use this one reasonably

    It seems the best known fact about comets is their short life span. There is no scientific evidence for the creation of new comets.

    Re: The existence of micrometeoroids – not good. We can see that meteors break up. Another one was just in the news (Science News Aug. 3, p. 69).

    Approximately 200 tons of dust comes from space to earth every year. This much dust isn't coming from a few broken up comets that consist mostly of ice. The Science News comet dust is strung out for 1 million kilometers. The chance of this one comet contributing a significant amount of dust to the earth has got to be about zero.

    Re: Moon dust – may or may not be good. Measurements of dust fall can only measure certain size fragments and both sides of the argument are not taking into account the effects of meteor bombardment on both burying and metamorphizing the existing dust via heat into actual rock.

    Answers in Genesis has said not to use this arguement due to lack of information; however, NASA expected lots of dust that wasn't there when they arrived. Analysis of moon rock indicates that moon rock has been turned to dust rather than dust turned to rock. If dust had been turned to rock I would assume this would occur at large craters and not affect most areas since there is no wind or water to move material around.

    Re: The amount of helium in the atmosphere – undecided. There is too much we don't know, still, about a number of things here.

    A number of factors contribute to the amount of helium in the atmosphere; however, if the earth is old helium has somehow escaped earth's gravitational pull.

    Re: Spiral galaxies – this one may or may not be good depending on the existence of 'gravitational belts' of what appears to be dark matter which have recently been seen, we THINK…

    Spiral galaxies are considered to be young because they are unstable. If gravitational belts are holding everything together there must be lots of design involved.

    Re: Lack of meteorites on earth – what lack of meteorites? We are finding more and more evidence of bombardment all the time…

    I should have said lack of meteorites in the earth and their location. Meteorites are found in pre-flood deposits and surface deposits but not in between. Page 80 of the book "In the Beginning" gives 11 references indicating the lack of meteorites in the "ancient" geologic formations.

    Re: Ages of coral and trees – not good. Coral growth is still being explored, first of all and dendrochronology is an extraordinarily inexact science, despite their use of it.

    I think some people believe the trees that are thousands of years old are like giant redwoods with obvious tree rings. What the "Manuel of Woody Landscape Plants" by Michael Dirr has to say about the Pinus aristata (bristlecone pine) is interesting:
    Re: Lack of volcanic material – where? Living in California I have to say that most of what we have in many places is volcanic material. We don't have ANY lack of it here!

    Only 25% of the earths sediments are volcanic in origin.

    Re: Moon and planet heat – this depends on assumptions and is not evidence by itself.

    Look at the assumptions for the earth in the article "Core Values" in the Aug 1 issue of Nature.

    Re: Your best bet is not to take a shotgun at the side of the barn approach as you did above...

    It seems to me that ignoring the barn has been the problem. How else can one reply to the comment there is no evidence for a young earth except to provide some of the evidence?
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    For Dean:

    Dean, besides your interesting list which I'm ignoring at the moment, you posted these questions:

    The process used to create atoms? Almost all the atoms of atomice number greater that 2 were formed in supernova explosions. Our sun and our solar system therefore formed from the debris of previous star explosions (along with, of course, a lot of primordial hydrogen and helium) about 5 billion years ago - may a tad more.

    As for the primordial hydrogen and helium, apparantly they were created from the very energy of the creation of the universe itself.

    Aging? Fundamental particles like protons, neutrons, electrons, never vary in their properties as far as we can tell in any way. They combine to form atoms that, as you know, can split and transform. They can transform to each other. But ever electron is exactly like every other electron in the universe, as far as we can tell, regardless of space or time.

    There is some question about that recently - there may be a slight variation in the properties of matter 11 or 12 billion years ago or distant or both - the evidence is just coming in. But so far the variation is so slight you wouldn't notice the difference without very precise measuring equipment.

    We have no evidence of radioactive decay time variation anywhere.

    As for what the "deep" of Genesis chapter one was - it was the primordial waters that, at one time, was all there was. In the cosmology of Genesis chapter one, the earth was formed within that water, then light was created, then a firmament was created to seperate water above the earth from water beneath the earth, then sea life was formed, plant life formed, stars and moon and sun put into the firmament, then birds, then animals were created. The firmament has windows, called the windows of heaven, and they were opened to flood all the earth in the time of Noah, letting in some of that water still above the earth.

    We do not believe that cosmology literally today, but we remain enthralled with the majesty of He who made all things.

    * * *

    from a second post in the same email:

    In his post above, Dean asked another question. He asked, what is the deep of Genesis 1:2 and when was it created? This is an excellent question, and I trust you will bear with my somewhat long winded answer.

    Gen 1:1-2:3

    1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.


    Here is the first day of creation. To the ancient world, knowing nothing of vacuum or galaxies or atoms or relativity or quantum mechanics, came the clear revelation: God was the creator of all heaven and earth. The beginning of all is the deep. The waters. The mind envisions the vast, unbounded waters in darkness. To those who told this tale from generation to generation around the campfires before they were reduced to writing there was no thought about how much water there was. It was all there was. It was dark. Light had never been yet. The earth was there too – deep in the water, formless, waiting. Then came the light. There was not yet any sun, there was not yet any moon or stars, but God made the light come. It was the first day. The darkness before was the first evening. From now on, the first part of the day is dark, the second part is the light. It is for this reason that the new day, for the Hebrews, begins at sunset.



    6 Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7 And God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 And God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

    The expanse is, of course, the dome of the sky. To all the ancients, it was considered to be like an upside down bowl, huge over our heads. The dome is placed over the earth, which is in the midst of the waters. This creates a dry space over the earth, with water above it and water below it. Again, God calls on the light to come and show forth what He has made. How big was this dome? As Abraham told the story to Isaac, as his father had told him before, looking up at the vast starry array, they had no way of saying how big it was. They could just see it was very very big. And beyond it, and beneath all the earth, the ancient waters of the deep still existed.

    9 Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

    The earth, formless and shapeless until this day, is gathered and shaped under the expanse of the dome of the sky. Vegetation is also created to adorn the ground; in a sense, the ground is not complete without its covering of plant life. Again God shines the light forth to show His work.

    14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth ";and it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

    On the first day, God created light. Until now, light has been made only by him. Now, on the fourth day, God makes the Sun, Moon, and Stars. They are stuck into the dome of the sky, of course. Placed on the underneath side, where they do their job of providing light to the earth below. The link between day one and day four is clear.



    20 Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens." 21 And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

    On the second day, God separated the waters from the waters. Now, on the fifth day, God populates the waters. Whales are included here of course. Have you heard about sea monsters? Everybody in the ancient world knew all about great sea monsters. Well, God made them too. He had also populates the space created between the waters, with winged birds. Again the light comes to show what God has made, this time the light comes from the Sun by day and the Moon and Stars by night.

    24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food ";and it was so. 31 And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    On the sixth day, we have the land itself populated. Because it includes Adam, we have more time spent on this day than any other. Note the clear connection between day six and day three; land was made in day three, land was populated in day six.

    Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

    And then we have the day of rest, which completes the first week of the whole world. This is the literal story of creation, and there is no question it was accepted as the literal truth by all who read it before the dawning awareness of science began to whisper the universe was not like that. Today, only a few die-hards still believe the dry land and seas have a great dome over them which keeps the waters above from the waters below. We know that the Sun, far from being a light stuck into a firmament, is instead a vast sphere of hot gas far larger than the earth itself. After the Old Testament was written, the Greeks began to speculate and measure the size of the globe of the earth. In the temple at Jerusalem, these particular heathen notions were ignored. When Copernicus came to realize the earth actually goes around the Sun, he put off publishing until his deathbed for fear of those who would condemn his work as impious; and it was so condemned, like all those who said anything like that in the centuries before. We are all familiar with the trials of Gallileo and the resistance met by Keppler as they worked out the mechanics of the solar system. And when Geology came along establishing a long age of the earth, and evolution! Why, the cries against them reverberate to this day! Shocking, isn’t it?

    There is no use saying these words of Genesis don’t mean a day for a day and a week for a week. The text is quite plain. But do we throw out the Word of God because it is clothed in the cosmology and chronology of an earlier period? God forbid! I can think of a hundred ways that the kingdom of God is not like a bit of leaven that a woman hid in the dough. Shall I therefore reject the teaching of My Lord who said otherwise? We who have been entrusted with a greater understanding of the nature of the universe have no call to hold in contempt the simpler notions of an earlier time when men were not ready to receive what we know today. Truly, we are still not ready, and may God deliver us from the evils we bring upon ourselves with that knowledge of which we are so proud. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is still bringing death to us all.

    We hold this truth to be self evident: That God is creator and sustainer; In Him we live and move and have our being; and we thank God that he revealed this to our ancestry and to us. He has chosen the narrative that is to be blessed by being included in His word and we shall always cherish it for what it reveals about Him. There are some who say we cannot accept the discoveries of science because that would be to forsake His word. Many of these are good people, faithful people, and God blesses them as He blesses all who seek Him. Nevertheless, in an ultimate sense, they lack faith. God is real, not just a story in the Bible, and He can be trusted to take care of His people, his church, and our faith in Him even when we face the truth revealed by faithful investigation of His world, as well as His Word.

    [ August 16, 2002, 10:56 AM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    A few questions for clarification:

    Does assuming a 4.5 billion year old earth also assume the Nebula Hypothesis is indicative of reality? (if no please explain)

    Does radiometric dating assume all clocks were reset (set to zero) during the planetary formation process?

    If humans can figure out how to increase the decay rate what are the odds that God already knew?

    Billion-fold Acceleration of Radioactivity Demonstrated in Laboratory

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2001/0321acc_beta_decay.asp/
     
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    JOE MEERT

    Some answers

    1. In terms of actual radiometric dating of the earth, we have
    measured
    rocks as old as 4.02 Ga and detrital zircons of ~4.2 Ga. The
    assumption
    is that these zircons were present in earlier igneous rocks and were
    recycled into sediments. Thus, direct measurements on the age of the
    earth constrain it to be at least older than 4.02 Ga and, if the
    sedimentary recycling idea is valid for the zircons, then the earth is
    older than 4.2 Ga. 4.5 Ga is derived from the dating of numerous
    meteorites on earth and the age of lunar rocks. Since our earth is
    basically an amalgam of material found in meteorites, it is assumed
    that
    the age of these meteorites dates to the age of the formation of our
    solar system (however it formed by divine fiat or Nebular
    condensation).

    2. No. This is not an assumption.
    3. This makes two assumptions. One is that humans can increase decay
    significantly. There is no good evidence for this. Secondly, it
    assumes that God somehow needed or wanted to vary decay rates. Where
    is
    the evidence for either one of these. We've measured decay rates and
    seen no evidence for slowing down during the time we have been
    measuring. That means that the decay rate increase must have been a
    one-time miraculous happening in the past. That makes the assertion
    untestable and unscientific. Furthermore, we have no observational
    evidence to suggest that rates have varied in the past (from Oklo to
    astronomical measurements to the abundance of short-lived
    radionuclides)
    so there seems little point in making such a statement.
    4. Irrelevant to the discussion. The paper on which this article is
    based Phys. Rev. Lett 77 (1996) tells a different story than what AIG
    would have you believe. What Bosch et al. were describing is what
    happens to 187Re in a hot plasma (e.g. inside a star). Thus, if you
    want to postulate that sometime within the past 6000 years the earth
    became a hot plasma body, then you are welcome to change half-lives.
    Bosch et al are describing some of the uncertainties in using Re-Os
    as a
    galactic geochronometer and state in their abstract:
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    For John Paul:

    I suppose that the people who accept a 4.5 billion year earth are highly correlated with the people who accept the nebular hypothesis, with a 99% or more overlap. But I have done no surveys! There might be some old earth creationists out there who nevertheless abandon the nebular hypothesis - if so, this would be a likely board to find one, and maybe one will mention he exists for our edification.

    As for the clock set time, that would appear to be the case, that radiometric dating assumes all clocks were reset (set to zero) during the planetary formation process. Of course, the same rocks would be RESET when melted and cooled (as in being spit out by a volcano)

    As for the link to increasing radioactive decay events by a billionfold, the link seems to be out of date. But a billion is an awfully big number. Are we talking about setting up a nuclear reactor or a nuclear explosion? Or are we putting radioactive material in the beam of an accelerator and blasting the stuff

    [ August 20, 2002, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    EARL DETRA

    John Paul asks:

    A few questions for clarification:

    Does assuming a 4.5 billion year old earth also assume the Nebula Hypothesis is indicative of reality? (if no please explain)


    Not sure, but I don't see why they would be exclusive.

    Does radiometric dating assume all clocks were reset (set to zero) during the planetary formation process?

    No.

    If humans can figure out how to increase the decay rate what are the odds that God already knew?

    Billion-fold Acceleration of Radioactivity Demonstrated in Laboratory

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2001/0321acc_beta_decay

    So, if we place the entire earth in a plasma state at 200 MK temperatures we can accelerate radioactive decay! Most magmas solidify at temperatures under 1000 degrees C and many radiometric clocks are set at even lower temperatures. It is highly doubtful that they suffered plasma conditions for a long time before, much less after, the clocks were set. This article is completely irrelevant in attempting to convince the layman that radiometric dates are somehow compromised by accelerated decay.
     
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    HELEN

    First of all, with apologies, I simply do not have the time right now to respond as fully as I would like to a number of the threads here. I have two family members due for surgery this autumn and life is a bit hectic right now preparing for all of that. I am not ignoring anything for any other reason.

    But let's have a quick go at some of this. Plate tectonic acceptance (and therefore mainstream discussion) is only about forty years old. Joe said "No geologist that I know argues that there is a lack of erosion on earth." And yet it is precisely because the oceanic trenches do NOT show 'enough' results of erosion that the plate subduction model was presented! It seems to me that perhaps what is really happening in mainstream geology is that when not enough sediments are found, there are no lack of possible excuses for it and this might be the reason that no geologist Joe knows of ARGUES (regardless of what he or she may think!) that there is a lack of erosion on earth. It should also be mentioned that if the mountains rose as slowly as postulated by long-age folks, then mountain valleys should have had their topsoil eroded away entirely by snowmelt and rains in those millions of years. But that is not what we see…

    Joe then asked why we should expect no planetary rings if the earth is old. It is not their presence nearly as much as the sharpness of their delineation, Joe. That is still a bugaboo for those who believe the solar system is ancient.

    Joe also mentioned that the dust expectations for the Apollo landing "were corrected long before the Apollo modules ever landed." I'm not sure what he defines as 'long before,' but I do know that they were unsure enough to be ready for anything! And that lack of confidence was precisely why they had the large flat landing feet that the spacecraft did.

    And yes, the magnetic field is decaying. Russ Humphreys continues to do research in this area
    http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-242.htm
    http://www.trueorigin.org/ca_rh_01.asp

    Regarding helium. The first ICR article was, I believe, by Vardiman, here:
    http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-143.htm

    A short explanation of the helium problem is
    Atmospheric helium. Our helium comes from three sources: Radioactive decay of either uranium or thorium produces helium. Helium spewed out by the sun, is pulled in by earth's gravity. Helium is also produced in the upper atmosphere. All of that helium is accumulating, since helium is not able to reach escape velocity and go into outer space. But the amount of helium we have is too small if our world has existed for long ages. Based on all three helium producers, earth's atmospheric age cannot be over 10,000 years.- (from http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/05agee2.htm#Evidence%20from%20Atmosphere)

    Regarding meteorites and fossils, Joe simply played with a couple of answers and there is nothing to respond to in his material there.


    Regarding Paul of Eugene's response, I can only say that you have got the current explanation down fine. And it will work until science changes its mind again…

    In the meantime, the Bible doesn't change and bit by bit science keeps finding out "oh, well THAT part was right in the Bible, but…."

    Someday there will be no more 'buts' left.

    The fact is, even about a lot of what you wrote, there is so much we don't know that we have got to quit pretending we do, especially regarding the actual process of creation.

    Nor is aging the organization of the molecules falling apart. We really don't know what causes aging and can only zero in on some factors that seem to go along with it. This does not mean they cause it, however.

    And back to radio decay, I came across this very interesting series of pages on the net which point out problems and fallacies involved:

    http://www.trueauthority.com/cvse/radiometric.htm

    I have emailed the author asking him to please reference his quotes. I noticed that in his "Come Let Us Reason in Circles Together", linked from that page that the quotes used there are linked. Maybe he is simply not done with the page. Nevertheless, it has some good points made, such as these:

    Unless it is absolutely known that the system has always been a closed system, the dates provided are meaningless. Evelyn Driscoll said:

    "If all of the age-dating methods (rubidium-strontium, uranium-lead and potassium-argon) had yielded the same ages, the picture would be neat. But they haven't."

    Another factor to consider is that the Uranium decay rates may not be stable, but variable in nature. Dr. Fred Jueneman deals with this:

    "Being so close, the anisotropic neutrino flux of the super-explosion must have had the peculiar characteristic of resetting all our atomic clocks. This would knock our Carbon-14, Potassium-Argon, and Uranium-Lead dating measurements into a cocked hat. The age of prehistoric artifacts, the age of the earth, and that of the universe would be thrown into doubt."

    Yet another factor to take into view is that the daughter products were most likely present from the beginning. There is no way possible to know whether or not the daughter components were actually absent from the original system. This possibility is evident in the case of modern volcanic eruptions. Sidney P. Clementson performed detailed studies on modern volcanic rock, and endeavored to obtain their radiometric ages. All of the uranium-lead ages he produced for the volcanic rock he studied were vastly older than the rock's true age. A majority of the tested rocks put forth ages of over a billion years, when in fact it was known that the rocks had been formed in very recent times.

    Clementson stated that:

    "Calculated ages give no indication whatever of the age of the host rocks."

    Who would readily accept a method of dating when it is known and proven to be wildly inaccurate? Why should Uranium methods be assumed correct on rocks of an unknown age, when it is known that the methods are incorrect on rocks of a known age? Is it just plain ignorance of the facts? Or blatant acceptance of obvious fallacies? It will not be admitted, in fact most likely denied, but the true method of dating which is always consulted is that of the Geologic Column (see article entitled, "Come, Let Us Reason In Circles Together"). This quote supports my point:

    "The most reasonable age can be selected only after careful consideration of independent geochronologic data as well as field, stratigraphic and paleontologic evidence, and the petrographic and paragenetic relations."

    Potassium-Argon method:

    The most widely used method for dating rocks is the Potassium-Argon method. Found in igneous and sedimentary rocks, Potassium 40 minerals decay along the lines of "electron-capture" (the capture of an orbital electron by the nucleus). The daughter component is Argon 40, and the process has a half-life of 1.3 billion years. Also, simultaneously, using the "beta decay" (emission of an electron and a neutrino) Potassium 40 decays into Calcium 4.

    Problems with Potassium-Argon:

    - As with the majority of the other methods, Potassium-Argon is calibrated to Uranium-Lead, which we have seen to be a faulty system. Any age given by the Potassium-Argon methods will be incorrect as it is matched with an incorrect system. Therefore, it in itself is a faulty dating method.

    - The decay process is an open system, and as Argon 40 is a gas, migration in and out of a Potassium mineral is quite common. Therefore any date achieved in this method will be in the margin of error because of a modulating amount of daughter component. This quote is support to my point:

    "Processes of rock alteration may render a volcanic rock useless for potassium-argon dating. We have analyzed several devitrified glasses of known age, and all have yielded ages that are too young. Some gave virtually zero ages, although the geologic evidence suggested that devitrification took place shortly after the formation of a deposit."

    Potassium itself is a mobile element:

    "As much as 80 percent of the potassium in a small sample of an iron meteorite can be removed by distilled water in 4.5 hours."

    So if the actual contents and potassium are not concrete in existence, then it seems foolish to rely upon such a dating for accurate results.


    One more point, Paul, regarding your post on creation: speak for yourself that 'we do not believe' the Biblical account today, OK? I believe it. I don't think it has anything to do at all with what any of our ancestors thought might have happened but what God Himself says DID happen. Genesis 5:1 is not only Adam's signature to the material from 2:4b to that point but the declaration that the material was written and not orally transmitted. Also you might consider that the first light on earth was from the quasar that was originally associated with the black hole at the center of our galaxy…

    And now, directly to Dean:

    Your list was so long that if I had really responded with references to each point it would have taken me forever to do and others forever to wade through. I was hoping simply by stating a few things you might take pause before quoting lists like that. Also, when you quote material here, it is requested that it be referenced. Is Joe right that the list is from Walt Brown? If so, he does need to revise it a bit.

    I don't want to argue about the entire list, but repeat that I urge you to become well-aquainted with just a few of them, doing some of your own reference work on the net and/or in libraries so that you can really back up your points and not just copy someone's list. Some of those points are good and do hold up.
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    Thanks for the responses.

    Joe Meert:
    In terms of actual radiometric dating of the earth, we have
    measured rocks as old as 4.02 Ga and detrital zircons of ~4.2 Ga. The
    assumption is that these zircons were present in earlier igneous rocks and were
    recycled into sediments. Thus, direct measurements on the age of the
    earth constrain it to be at least older than 4.02 Ga and, if the
    sedimentary recycling idea is valid for the zircons, then the earth is
    older than 4.2 Ga. 4.5 Ga is derived from the dating of numerous
    meteorites on earth and the age of lunar rocks. Since our earth is
    basically an amalgam of material found in meteorites, it is assumed
    that the age of these meteorites dates to the age of the formation of our
    solar system (however it formed by divine fiat or Nebular
    condensation).


    John Paul:
    In the ionized hot plasma scenario (ie God Created) discussed below what you think to be 4+ billion really wouldn't be and that would hold true for all matter in the universe (skewed age). Of the two only the Nebula Hypothesis requires billions of years.

    Joe Meert:
    2. No. This is not an assumption.


    John Paul:
    Is it a given? If earth formed via the Nebula Hypothesis the matter in that nebula would have been subjected not only to time but to possible altering effects- for example- a Nova, Super-nova or in an ionized state.

    Joe Meert:
    3. This makes two assumptions. One is that humans can increase decay
    significantly. There is no good evidence for this. Secondly, it
    assumes that God somehow needed or wanted to vary decay rates. Where
    is the evidence for either one of these.


    John Paul:
    The evidence for the first assumption is in the link I provided. The link I provided for support and was not an issue in and of itself even though you responded as if it were.
    Secondly we don't have to assume what God did or didn't do. We look at the evidence and infer a possible scenario based on a Special Creation framework.

    Joe Meert:
    We've measured decay rates and seen no evidence for slowing down during the time we have been measuring. That means that the decay rate increase must have been a
    one-time miraculous happening in the past.


    John Paul:
    We know of ways that would allow for a more rapid decay rate. The question isn't how many samples were measured or for how long we have been measuring decay rates but when and in what environment they were measured.
    Miraculous is a relative word Joe. God Creating this universe is no more/ no less miraculous than space, matter & time unfolding from some singularity and forming what we observe today. Did the fundamental Laws of Nature evolve or were they part of the unfolding space, matter & time?

    Joe Meert:
    That makes the assertion untestable and unscientific.


    John Paul:
    Creationists have no problem saying "God did it" because we realize there is much more to it than that. Now we have to study the Creation so we may come to understand it. The need to understand stems from the need to maintain. I would wager that Pasteur made it a point to refute spontaneous generation because he was a Creationist (meaning he knew only God could bring forth life so what was thought to be observed was obviously just an illusion). In that same mold Newton, Kepler, & Galileo looked at the universe (In the book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty by Morris Kline, Kline states that these scientist-mathematicians believed that "God had designed the universe, and it was to be expected that all phenomena of nature would follow one master plan. One mind designing a universe would almost surely have employed one set of basic principles to govern all related phenomenon" [see also page 160 of Signs of Intelligence, chapter 12 by Walter Bradley]). As did (do) many other scientists, including Russell Humphreys & Barry Setterfield (cosmology, Creation style).

    Creationists would do the same basic type of testing as any scientist would do when trying to determine unobserved and unrepeatable events of the (distant) past.

    Joe Meert:
    Furthermore, we have no observational evidence to suggest that rates have varied in the past (from Oklo to astronomical measurements to the abundance of short-lived
    radionuclides) so there seems little point in making such a statement.


    John Paul:
    Obviously what happened at Oklo happened after the earth was Created. The ionized hot plasma state occurred before.

    We have evidence that rates can be varied:

    Joe Meert:
    Thus, if you want to postulate that sometime within the past 6000 years the earth
    became a hot plasma body, then you are welcome to change half-lives.


    John Paul:
    No Joe. Earth came from a hot plasma body:

     
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    JOE MEERT

    John Paul
    JM: Two easy points. (1) There is no evidence that the earth came
    from
    a hot plasma body unless you are talking about the supernovae that
    pre-dated the formation of our own solar system That's fine, but
    puts a
    damper on your young earth arguments. Furthermore, the effect is only
    valid for the time that the body exists as a hot plasma. Once the
    body
    no longer exists in this state, the rapid decay noted in the paper (I
    gave you the direct reference rather than a second hand source) would
    cease and the 1/2 life we measure now is valid. That also means it is
    valid for the time since the earth cooled from its plasma state.
    Please
    note, I don't agree that the earth EVER endured such a state, but for
    the sake of pointing out JP's problems it is useful.

    For Helen (hope the surgeries go well):

    (1) There is no shortage of erosion and there is no shortage of
    sediments on earth. There is no problem with current rates of
    denudation which are balanced in part by concurrent uplift. As far
    as I
    can tell, this is a totally fictitious argument. Can you support this
    with some peer-reviewed references?
    (2) There was no concern about the depth of moon dust to be
    encountered by Apollo 11. This is one of the old creationist gems
    that
    has no validity. Even AIG
    (http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/faq/dont_use.asp) says this
    is a 'definitely should not use' argument.
    (3) You supplied no references to support your argument that
    planetary rings are a bugaboo for an old earth. Therefore, I ask you
    again to cite the peer-reviewed literature discussing this anomaly.
    (4) You state that the magnetic field is decaying. This statement
    is
    misleading for several reasons. First, it is the dipole harmonic that
    is currently in decay. There is no evidence that the higher harmonics
    (quadrupolar and octupolar) fields are decaying. Second, the dipole
    field has varied in intensity in the past and has also reversed, so
    the
    fact that we might be in decay (or even about to undergo a reversal)
    says nothing about the age of the earth. Since the field reverses
    periodically, the fact that one harmonic is currently in decay is
    meaningless w/respect to age of the earth arguments.
    (5) The long list of quotes from a website without references is
    tough to deal with. We know how easy it is for quotes to be taken out
    of context and I don't see how your list 'proves' anything. Perhaps,
    if
    you could pick out one or two of the statements, provide the original
    source we could debate the issue without blindly arguing about
    misquotes. I'll await some clarification on those.
    (6) With respect to your earlier comments regarding 'avoid
    anything
    to do with argon', you still have yet to provide a cohesive defense of
    that argument or a discussion about concordant dates using the K-Ar,
    Ar-Ar and other systems that I outline at
    http://gondwanaresearch.com/radiomet.htm . Could you please back up
    your statement with some peer-reviewed research?
     
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    SCICWRU

    Billion-fold Acceleration of Radioactivity
    Demonstrated in Laboratory


    John Paul states this as fact, but I bet he hasn't
    touched the numbers. I will:

    First the equations we need:

    r(t)/r(t_i) = exp(k*t)

    Where the LHS is the fraction remaining of what's
    decaying, k is the decay constant, and t is time in
    years. The decay constant is in inverse years
    (years^(-1)), and the fraction remaining is
    dimensionless.

    First we find todays decay rate by solving the
    following.

    0.5 = exp(42x10e9*k)

    In this case, k is -1.65*10e-11 years^(-1)

    Then we solve for it in the accelerated model. Note
    that I'm using their numbers. I'm assuming (for the
    sake of argument), that these are correct.

    0.5 = exp(33*k)

    k is -0.021

    Now the article said that the element was completly
    ionized. This means that there are no electrons.
    Most assuredly Adam would never be able to survive in
    these conditions (since the Earth would have to be
    VERY HOT!) This is because atoms don't like to lose
    electrons. Each time one is removed the amount of
    energy to remove another dramatically increases.
    Furthermore AiG is talking about a Re-Os system, which
    has LOTS of electrons. The amount of energy gained by
    these electrons rejoining the atoms would leave Adam
    toast.

    This means that for only the first few days could the
    Earth had these conditions. It had to have been
    before the creation of life. I will be extremely
    generous though, and say that the Earth was like this
    for the ENTIRE creation week. After this week,
    creation was done, and the atoms were most certainly
    no longer so ridiculously ionized.

    So one week is about 0.01917 years. We through that
    in the accelerated model:

    exp(0.01917*-0.021) = 0.9995975

    Next we figure out how much time John Paul has bought
    with this incredible boost in decay by plugging the
    result into the old model.

    0.9995978 = exp(-1.65*10e-11*t)
    so t is about 24,408,000 years.

    Therefore, if Aig is compeletely correct then the
    Earth can be no older than...
    4,500,000,000 - 24,408,000 = ?
    I'll let someone else do that last step and take all
    the glory, but don't be surprised if it leaves JP
    feeling a little silly.

    One electron came up to another and said, "Hey I think
    I lost an electron." The other said, "Are you sure,"
    and the first replied, "Yes, I'm positive."
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    Writing in response to Helen's post just above. Greetings, Helen, thanks for squeezing in a bit of a reply. May God give you strength to minister to those in need of your help at this time. I have some selective replies here . . . .

    Sharp edges are maintained in ring systems by shepherd moons. I thought everybody knew that.

    Pay close attention here, readers. Mainstream science agrees the earth magnetic field is currently "decaying" in a sense. But from what? Mainstream science says the earth magnetic field has REVERSED every half million years or so. Records of that reversing are PRESERVED in rocks that solidify and are accurately dated, for example, the rocks formed in the middle of the atlantic oceon as the continents continue to drift apart. If we are in the phase where the magnetic field is preparing to reverse again, why wouldn't it look just like what we observe? Especially if their seems to be an INCREASE in anomolous magnetic field strength BACKWARDS from the usual magnetic field direction. Creationists who bother to read anything about geology know this. Why do they claim geology has no explanation for a current waning of the magnetic field? It's one of the mysteries we leave for the psychologist to explain.

    By the way, those rocks in the floor of the atlantic ocean form a wonderful spectrum of ages, older ones near the shores of the continents, getting younger as you work towards the rift where new rock is being created even as we speak. Amazing how that sort of thing is seen over and over, verifying the accuracy of the dating methods used. We're talking many millions of years, of course. But solid rock ocean floor and solid rock continents don't gallup apart. They creep at inches per year!

    Of course the helium can escape the earth. It drifts preferentially to the top of the atmosphere and there, atom by atom, it evaporates into space. Don't mistake the average atomic velocity at a given temperature for the maximum atomic velocity! There is always a range of speeds! The fastest helium molecules achieve escape velocity. Then others take up the upper range of speeds vacated by the ones that left the earth. In addition, Helium becomes ionized by ultraviolet light in the upper reaches of the atmosphere and is caught up in the magnetic field of the earth, where the ions become part of the Van Allen belts and then get blown away by the solar wind. Here's a link that leads to discussion of that sort of thing:

    http://www.tim-thompson.com/resp3.html

    Oh, then why are we having this discussion? ;)

    Paul of Eugene
    One more point, Paul, regarding your post on creation: speak for yourself that 'we do not believe' the Biblical account today, OK? I believe it. I don't think it has anything to do at all with what any of our ancestors thought might have happened but what God Himself says DID happen. Genesis 5:1 is not only Adam's signature to the material from 2:4b to that point but the declaration that the material was written and not orally transmitted. Also you might consider that the first light on earth was from the quasar that was originally associated with the black hole at the center of our galaxy…
    [/QUOTE]

    When the quasar was shining in the heart of our galaxy that was a few billion years before earth was formed, assuming our galaxie's quasar thrived at the same time as most of the universe's quasars.

    Genesis 5:1 reads as follows:

    Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.
    NAS


    I see nothing about "signature"; I see a subject heading, which relates perfectly to the material that follows. I see the word "book" which means that at the time Genesis was put into its present form the collator was using a written source. This does not preclude a substantial period of oral transmission prior to being reduced to written form.

    And you do not believe the literal narration of the creation in Genesis chapter one! In particular, you do not believe the sky is literally a firm dome over our heads with lights stuck on the underneath side, and which serves to seperate the waters above the dome from the waters underneath the dome (also underneath the earth).

    You explain these away by reinterpreting them to mean something other than what they literally say. But let me share with you what was written concerning the meaning of these verses by the Psalmist:

    Ps 148:1-4
    Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!
    2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
    3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!
    4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! NAS


    And let me share further the writings of 2 Esdras 6:38 and following; this literal believer in Genesis makes it quite clear what Genesis says! I read where it is estimated this was produced in the first century. I do not cite this as being scripture, I cite this as evidence concerning what Genesis One meant to people of former generations.

    Do you have a copy of the Apocrypha, from which this was taken? You might find his comments about Behemoth and Leviathan interesting, as well. I did.

    Oh, and here's a link to the catholic enclopedia article on the firmament. Whatever one might think about Catholic doctrine, usually their research is pretty thorough!

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06079b.htm
     
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    EARL DETRA

    Helen: But let's have a quick go at some of this. Plate tectonic acceptance (and therefore mainstream discussion) is only about forty years old. Joe said "No geologist that I know argues that there is a lack of erosion on earth." And yet it is precisely because the oceanic trenches do NOT show 'enough' results of erosion that the plate subduction model was presented!

    And so? I'm not sure what you are getting at here. Plate tectonics does describe the current geological data surrounding deep see trences. That is what it is supposed to do. In fact it also describes what has happened to the sediments that are expected in the oceans and this is verifiable by independent methods such as geophysics, igneous petrology and the geology of accreted terranes. I'm not sure what the 'problem' is.

    It seems to me that perhaps what is really happening in mainstream geology is that when not enough sediments are found, there are no lack of possible excuses for it and this might be the reason that no geologist Joe knows of ARGUES (regardless of what he or she may think!) that there is a lack of erosion on earth.

    Well, I guess. Again, I'm not sure what you are saying. It is apparent that wherever oceanic crust is not being subducted, we have large sediment build-up. Therefore, erosion and consequent sedimentation are not exactly a mystery when viewed in a plate tectonics scenario.

    It should also be mentioned that if the mountains rose as slowly as postulated by long-age folks, then mountain valleys should have had their topsoil eroded away entirely by snowmelt and rains in those millions of years. But that is not what we see…

    Again, not sure what you mean. There is very little soil on top of the Himalayas or the the Rocky Mountains, for instance. It would seem to me that rapid uplift or slow uplift would have the same effect: increased erosion. And please note that this means variable rates of sedimentation in both time and space, so if you want to project current erosion rates or some such process, you need to be very careful.

    Helen (quoting): "Unless it is absolutely known that the system has always been a closed system, the dates provided are meaningless. Evelyn Driscoll said:..."

    Hmm, what is this 'absolute' business? Does everything have to be 'absolute' for creationists? (Never mind, just a rhetorical question). Are you absolutely sure that your speedometer is correct? Does that keep you from driving? Are you absolutely certain that your watch is correct? Do you call into the National Observatory every day, to make sure? The point here is that well-trained people believe this assumption is valid in many cases. Can we tell that there has been an open system?.... In many cases, yes. That is why many samples are not collected and some results are disqualified in retrospect.

    Helen (quoting): "Being so close, the anisotropic neutrino flux of the super-explosion must have had the peculiar characteristic of resetting all our atomic clocks. This would knock our Carbon-14, Potassium-Argon, and Uranium-Lead dating measurements into a cocked hat. The age of prehistoric artifacts, the age of the earth, and that of the universe would be thrown into doubt."

    This is utter nonsense. No atomic clock was set anywhere near the neutrino flux of the super explosion. No evolutionist has ever said so. In fact if this were so, then all radiometric dates should be equal since they were all set at the same time when the neutrino flux abated. Or it could be that they were all reset to different geological events and are actually valid! Do you really think that any mineral that we have ever dated actually formed before or during the super explosion?

    Helen: Yet another factor to take into view is that the daughter products were most likely present from the beginning. There is no way possible to know whether or not the daughter components were actually absent from the original system. This possibility is evident in the case of modern volcanic eruptions. Sidney P. Clementson performed detailed studies on modern volcanic rock, and endeavored to obtain their radiometric ages. All of the uranium-lead ages he produced for the volcanic rock he studied were vastly older than the rock's true age. A majority of the tested rocks put forth ages of over a billion years, when in fact it was known that the rocks had been formed in very recent times.

    Again, this is irrelevant. The assumption is not that there were no daughters present in the universe, but that there were none, or there were measurable amounts in newly formed rocks and minerals. Furthermore, as we have previously indicated, the radiometric analysis of modern volcanic rocks is a misuse and abuse of the method. The reasons have been stated elsewhere, but if you want a treatment of this we can probably accomodate you.

    [/i]Helen (quoting): Who would readily accept a method of dating when it is known and proven to be wildly inaccurate? [/i]

    The author fails to point out that the tests are completely invalid and were not done under the protocols of actual geochronologists in the field. In fact, several forms of error were intentionally introduced to 'prove' the inefficacy of radiometric dating. Do you see this at all?

    Why should Uranium methods be assumed correct on rocks of an unknown age, when it is known that the methods are incorrect on rocks of a known age? Is it just plain ignorance of the facts? Or blatant acceptance of obvious fallacies? It will not be admitted, in fact most likely denied, but the true method of dating which is always consulted is that of the Geologic Column (see article entitled, "Come, Let Us Reason In Circles Together").

    This is a completely invalid argument. Helen, for the reasons stated above, your source is in gross error.

    Helen: Problems with Potassium-Argon:

    - As with the majority of the other methods, Potassium-Argon is calibrated to Uranium-Lead, which we have seen to be a faulty system. Any age given by the Potassium-Argon methods will be incorrect as it is matched with an incorrect system. Therefore, it in itself is a faulty dating method.


    Could you please find a reference to this? I have never calibrated K-Ar methods with U-Pb. Indeed, they may be compared and come up favorably, but then you have to explain why there are any concurrent dates at all.

    - The decay process is an open system, and as Argon 40 is a gas, migration in and out of a Potassium mineral is quite common. Therefore any date achieved in this method will be in the margin of error because of a modulating amount of daughter component. This quote is support to my point:

    In fact, argon does not fit into most mineral lattices at all. So, how does it get there in such minerals? And the statement above is misleading. Argon can migrate easily when the material is above its trapping temperature. Below that it is quite immobile. I believe that there are studies that show this. So, no, this does not support the author's point...

    "Processes of rock alteration may render a volcanic rock useless for potassium-argon dating. We have analyzed several devitrified glasses of known age, and all have yielded ages that are too young. Some gave virtually zero ages, although the geologic evidence suggested that devitrification took place shortly after the formation of a deposit."

    Very good. This is true. It is also a well-recognized feature of radiometric dating. Alteration can change or reset the radiometric clock. That is why geologists are trained to recognize it. In fact, I have used K-Ar to estimate the age of alteration rather than the rock itself. On the other hand, it seems that creationists intentionally seek out altered specimens for analysis.

    Potassium itself is a mobile element:

    "As much as 80 percent of the potassium in a small sample of an iron meteorite can be removed by distilled water in 4.5 hours."


    This is a misleading statement. It does not tell us how the K was originally situated in the rock. Was it located in minerals such as microcline? And just how much K was there anyway? And how much would bind with the metallic components of a meteorite? Really, creationists need to be more critical of their sources.

    So if the actual contents and potassium are not concrete in existence, then it seems foolish to rely upon such a dating for accurate results.

    It would actually be more foolish to rely on an anlysis such as the one you have presented to us.

    Helen (to Dean): I don't want to argue about the entire list, but repeat that I urge you to become well-aquainted with just a few of them, doing some of your own reference work on the net and/or in libraries so that you can really back up your points and not just copy someone's list. Some of those points are good and do hold up.

    I actually agree with Helen here. Laundry lists are hard to deal with on message boards.

    I don't have time to go through John Paul's post, but a few comments are interesting.

    John Paul:
    Obviously what happened at Oklo happened after the earth was Created. The ionized hot plasma state occurred before.


    Correct! Actually, all events on earth occurred after the hot plasma state abated. That is why these conditions did not affect the radiometric clocks.

    John Paul: We have evidence that rates can be varied:

    "Subsequently, theoretical analyses3 suggested that a significant perturbation of radioactive decay rates could occur in the nuclides of 25 different elements as a consequence of bb decay. Experimental demonstration of the actual existence of bb decay, however, did not occur until the 1990s. 163Dy, a stable nuclide under normal-Earth conditions, was found to decay to 163Ho, with t½ = 47 days, under the bare-nucleus conditions of the completely ionized state.4 More recently, bb decay has been experimentally demonstrated in the rhenium-osmium (187Re-187Os) system. (The Re-Os method is one of the isotopic 'clocks' used by uniformitarian geologists5 to supposedly date rocks.) The experiment involved the circulation of fully-ionized 187Re in a storage ring. The 187Re ions were found to decay to a measurable extent in only several hours, amounting to a half-life of only 33 years.6 This represents a staggering billion-fold increase over the conventional half-life, which is 42 Ga! (Ga = giga-annum = a billion (109) years).


    This is all very interesting, but I would really like to see evidence that the minerals we date actually crystallized from a plasma or somehow endured the plasma state after formation. Do you begin to see where this is all irrelevant to radiometric dating? There are NO conditions on earth that would permit the variation of radiometric decay in any crustal rocks that we can or do date.

    Joe Meert:
    Thus, if you want to postulate that sometime within the past 6000 years the earth
    became a hot plasma body, then you are welcome to change half-lives.

    John Paul:
    No Joe. Earth came from a hot plasma body:...


    Exactly! The rocks came along later. Therefor they were not influenced by the hot plasma conditions.
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    For John Paul:

    You postulate the following scenario:

    You know, it would appear to me that all you have here is a manufactured scenario that attempts to find a way that God could have created the world with the appearance of age. As in, whatever it takes to fast decay those elements, God must have done it. It's not a scenario that is required in the nature of things, rather, it is a scenario explicitely designed to save the literal interpretation of Genesis AND at the same time account for the state of radioactive remnants we still have that seems to require billions of years to have achieved if the laws of physics were by some strange happenstance to have remained constant over time. Which raises the question: Why bother with the details in trying to do that? Why not just postulate from the beginning that God, somehow, created all that is 6000 years ago in a mannner that made it appear to be billions of years old? Because it seems to me that's what you are doing anyway! I certainly can think of no logical reason why God would want to start the world as a plasma, nor any way you could tell if He had!

    And there are other indications of age besides radioactive decay, you know. How about them Hawaiian Islands? Look at them. All strung out like batter dropped from a moving spoon - each one made up the same size, then each one worn away a little longer,depending on how recently it was made, getting smaller and smaller the older they are . . . . can't you just SEE the ancient age of the earth, there displayed before your eyes? Earth is very very old. That's the way it is.
     
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    JHAPPEL

    Paul of Eugene said:
    If you would have taken the time to read the articles linked to you, you would have seen creationists have taken into account these reversals since the mid-1980's as occuring during the flood. In fact there is evidence these reversals were rapid and not occuring over millions of years as creationists predict http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/3397.asp

    Evolutionists have not produced a detailed working model to account for the magnetic field for 4.6 billion years that makes predictions that we observe.
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    SCICWRU:
    John Paul states this as fact, but I bet he hasn't
    touched the numbers. I will:


    John Paul:
    First I did NOT state that as fact. That is the title of the article I linked to. Second I understand that heat was generated. I don’t know of any learned Creationist that thinks God went poof or used magic to Create the universe. The heat generated was then transformed into the energy required. Heat to energy- don’t we do that now?

    SCICWRU”
    Now the article said that the element was completely ionized. This means that there are no electrons.


    John Paul:
    Yup it said that in the article also.

    SCICWRU:
    Most assuredly Adam would never be able to survive in these conditions (since the Earth would have to be VERY HOT!)


    John Paul:
    Thank God Adam wasn’t Created until after the earth was formed and cooled. The heat that wasn’t required for Creating bedrock, life and life sustaining ecosystems is safely tucked away in the core were it is used to power the core, which in turn generates more heat. Volcanoes and vents are required to release the pressure build-up caused by this dynamo.

    SCICWRU:
    This means that for only the first few days could the Earth had these conditions.


    John Paul:
    Or, as the article states, several hours.

    SCICWRU
    It had to have been before the creation of life.


    John Paul:
    Yes, that should have been understood.

    SCICWRU
    I will be extremely generous though, and say that the Earth was like this for the ENTIRE creation week.


    John Paul:
    That is only generous if every day in the Creation week depicted in the Bible were a true 24-hour day. And it also omits the fact that only several hours might have been required.

    Falsifying the 24-hour-day premise does not falsify a God Created scenario. More & more this is turning away from a Creation vs. evolution (materialistic naturalism) debate and more towards a bone to pick with Biblical fundamentalists.

    I am a Creationist because of the evidence and not because of the Bible. To me 6,000 represents the absolute possible (improbable) minimum age of the earth. I question that number not only because of the method used to deduce that number (Biblical genealogies) but also the archaeological evidence that tells me it is not correct. I figure either humans have been around longer than 6,000 years or Adam & Eve were but two of many that were Created. (I don’t think God Created only 2 of every Kind) But then we would have to figure out why Adam & Eve were so special that their actions led to the consequence that affected all.

    SCICWRU:
    After this week, creation was done, and the atoms were most certainly no longer so ridiculously ionized.


    John Paul:
    What is so ridiculous about ionization? When’s the last time you created a living planet without using that method? ;)

    * * *

    [from a second email]

    JM: Two easy points. (1) There is no evidence that the earth came
    from a hot plasma body unless you are talking about the supernovae that
    pre-dated the formation of our own solar system That's fine, but
    puts a damper on your young earth arguments.


    John Paul:
    There is no evidence that the earth formed via any unguided accretion process but that isn’t stopping scientists from pursuing that avenue. The hot plasma scenario is a hypothesis Joe. Creationists that are pursuing the truth (science being the search for the truth via our never-ending quest for knowledge) are allowed to form them. What part of the scenario in the AiG article didn’t you understand?

    Creationists are sure God Created the universe. Some of us are trying to figure out how in light of the evidence. That is where science & deduction come in.

    As for putting a damper on my young earth arguments, even a 100,000-year-old earth would be young relative to 4.5 billion. For the record: I only once assumed a 6,000-year-old earth for the sake of argument. I was soon to find that the only evidence for that number was from Biblical genealogies and that even ICR’s John Morris gave it a swing to 12,000 years max. If I had to choose between those two I would be partial to 12,000.

    One more thing- What evidence would we look for if the earth came from a hot plasma body?

    JM: Furthermore, the effect is only valid for the time that the body exists as a hot plasma. Once the body no longer exists in this state, the rapid decay noted in the paper (I gave you the direct reference rather than a second hand source) would cease and the 1/2 life we measure now is valid. That also means it is valid for the time since the earth cooled from its plasma state.

    John Paul:
    Every atom that went into making the earth would have been “aged”. The clocks would have started ticking at that time (in the plasma) and then would have slowed once the atoms were de-ionized (electrons added) before (or even during) the planetary formation process began. The heat generated was used for the Creation of planets, stars, etc. (heat-to-energy)

    For all we know this could have been a necessity for the Creation of a dynamic planet & the (very rapid) acceptance of life.

    Of course if you have evidence that in a God-Created scenario all clocks started after the formation of earth, now would be the time to share it.

    JM:
    Please note, I don't agree that the earth EVER endured such a state, but for
    the sake of pointing out JP's problems it is useful.


    John Paul:
    One more time- the earth did NOT endure such a state. The atoms that went into making the universe did. (earth wouldn’t have existed yet)

    To Earl Detra:

     

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