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#101 StormanNorman

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:06 AM

Attached File  Hawaiian.jpg   40.71KB   0 downloads

 

Hi Tirian,

 

Quick question:  How do you explain the data set above?  And, what I mean is why do we see such a high-level of correlation....so much so that the chances of this happening randomly are astronomically low.  In other words, there has to be a reason or reasons.



#102 wibble

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 05:23 PM

attachicon.gifHawaiian.jpg

 

Hi Tirian,

 

Quick question:  How do you explain the data set above?  And, what I mean is why do we see such a high-level of correlation....so much so that the chances of this happening randomly are astronomically low.  In other words, there has to be a reason or reasons.

 

He thinks all the researchers involved delete all the data points that don't conform to the pattern that matches with the measured GPS rate of island movement. Or argon contamination randomly happens to produce that apparent correlation over time. Because that is the most likely scenario apparently.



#103 Tirian

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:35 PM

Hi Tirian,
 
Quick question:  How do you explain the data set above?  And, what I mean is why do we see such a high-level of correlation....so much so that the chances of this happening randomly are astronomically low.  In other words, there has to be a reason or reasons.

 

I don't know if I've tried to do that really. I've rather tried to falsify the diagram shown, you don't need to explain something in order to falsify data, methods or reasoning. And that has been mainly by pointing out that:

1 - The facts underlying the y-axis (millions of years) doesn't say anything about ages, the ages are an interpretation. The facts only says things about ratios. And if the interpretation is false the diagram is also false.

2 - The diagram only shows 'good' ratios. And this might be a problem depending on how much 'bad' ratios there are and what they say.

If the interpretation is wrong and you mostly have 'good' ratios, then I guess one explanation could be that the amount of initial argon when the rock was formed differs with the distance from Kilauea. But I really can't say with the data at hand.

 

(Changed from dates to ratios just to be clearer)



#104 mike the wiz

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:54 AM

Tirian, I have also deduced a logical proof that a coincidence is guaranteed, and a remarkable one, like the lottery.

 

What do I mean? I mean that StormanNorman basically asked this question; "are you suggesting a remarkable coincidence, of astronomical odds?" BUT, we have a situation here, were a remarkable coincidence MUST have taken place whether you believe in a young age or an old age.

 

If you look at message at message two in this thread, you will see a correlation on a picture/diagram, for a 6,000 year old earth, and look how the temperature and diffusivity of zircons correlates perfectly with a young earth.

http://evolutionfair...hains/?p=136422

 

So if you are tempted to think, "Norman must be right, this kind of matching data set is impossible by chance", in fact under both circumstances we have a data set, and one of them MUST have happened by chance.

 

If the earth is old, the data for zircons matching with youth is a coincidence.

If the earth is young, the data for the distance and age of the islands is a coincidence.

 

So there are only two possibilities, 1. A coincidence. 2. A coincidence.

 

Someone has to be wrong. So my answer to Norman is this; why choose the young earth model as wrong, and the perfectly matching, correlating data, a coincidence? So then Norm', if you accept old age, you also have to accept a coincidence. You're in the same boat - you can't accuse us of something you have to also believe yourself! :P

 

(Just thought I would make this post as I don't want you to be tricked into chasing a red herring. Do you notice that the data set I given was completely ignored in this thread, yet they want to continue to repeat this data to us, ad nauseam. That seems to be the debate tactic - to endlessly repeat the claim even when the claim is addressed. )


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#105 wibble

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:43 PM

If the interpretation is wrong and you mostly have 'good' ratios, then I guess one explanation could be that the amount of initial argon when the rock was formed differs with the distance from Kilauea. But I really can't say with the data at hand.


What could possibly be the cause of this systematically changing amount of initial argon over time ? Why create this perplexing problem when the blatantly most parsimonious explanation for the correlation is that the K-Ar dates are accurate and the distances simply reflect the drift that we can actually observe and measure.

Why go to the trouble of looking for unexplained solutions when we have a perfectly reasonable explanation for the correlation ?



#106 piasan

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:52 PM

If you look at message at message two in this thread, you will see a correlation on a picture/diagram, for a 6,000 year old earth, and look how the temperature and diffusivity of zircons correlates perfectly with a young earth.

http://evolutionfair...hains/?p=136422

....

(Just thought I would make this post as I don't want you to be tricked into chasing a red herring. Do you notice that the data set I given was completely ignored in this thread, yet they want to continue to repeat this data to us, ad nauseam. That seems to be the debate tactic - to endlessly repeat the claim even when the claim is addressed. )

That is not true.

 

I addressed that in post #6

Right, the R.A.T.E. study.  Remember, I said the evidence is rejected "for cause?" 

 

Here's what Dr. Larry Vardiman, head of the R.A.T.E. group had to say about the findings:

Of greater concern to both supporters and skeptics of the RATE project is the issue of how to dispose of the tremendous quantities of heat generated by accelerated decay during the Genesis Flood. The amount of heat produced by a decay rate of a million times faster than normal during the year of the Flood could potentially vaporize the earth’s oceans, melt the crust, and obliterate the surface of the earth.

 

We don't even need to discuss the radiation poisoning of Noah, his family, and menagerie as the potassium in their bodies undergoes rapid radioactive decay.

 

Further, there is no proposed mechanism for the acceleration of radioactive decay nor is there a proposed mechanism for the decay rate changing to modern, measured values.  This is a significant problem in its own right.

 

I submit that vaporizing the oceans and melting the crust is sufficient cause to reject the R.A.T.E. findings without further consideration.  You probably consider such conditions to be a minor inconvenience.

 

 

Dr snelling: .... Another crucial, unverifiable assumption made by evolutionary scientists is that the decay rate has been constant throughout time—that is, the radioactive “clocks” have always ticked at the same rate. But creation research has demonstrated that all the decay rates were grossly accelerated in the recent past, during the global Flood cataclysm.9

.....

https://answersingen...stant-paradise/

Same problem.  The proposed accelerated decay would melt the planet ..... as stated by the leader, and a majority of the R.A.T.E. project team.



#107 wibble

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 04:11 PM

Tirian, I have also deduced a logical proof that a coincidence is guaranteed, and a remarkable one, like the lottery.

 

What do I mean? I mean that StormanNorman basically asked this question; "are you suggesting a remarkable coincidence, of astronomical odds?" BUT, we have a situation here, were a remarkable coincidence MUST have taken place whether you believe in a young age or an old age.

 

If you look at message at message two in this thread, you will see a correlation on a picture/diagram, for a 6,000 year old earth, and look how the temperature and diffusivity of zircons correlates perfectly with a young earth.

http://evolutionfair...hains/?p=136422

 

So if you are tempted to think, "Norman must be right, this kind of matching data set is impossible by chance", in fact under both circumstances we have a data set, and one of them MUST have happened by chance.

 

If the earth is old, the data for zircons matching with youth is a coincidence.

If the earth is young, the data for the distance and age of the islands is a coincidence.

 

So there are only two possibilities, 1. A coincidence. 2. A coincidence.

 

Someone has to be wrong. So my answer to Norman is this; why choose the young earth model as wrong, and the perfectly matching, correlating data, a coincidence? So then Norm', if you accept old age, you also have to accept a coincidence. You're in the same boat - you can't accuse us of something you have to also believe yourself! :P

 

(Just thought I would make this post as I don't want you to be tricked into chasing a red herring. Do you notice that the data set I given was completely ignored in this thread, yet they want to continue to repeat this data to us, ad nauseam. That seems to be the debate tactic - to endlessly repeat the claim even when the claim is addressed. )

 

The helium diffusion graph you presented was not relevant to the Hawaiian island chain so there was no requirement to discuss it. Besides that there isn't only the possibility of coincidence for it apparently fitting 6000 yrs. Humphrey's claims have been roundly demolished by experts in the field, here are two sources if you are interested (you won't be)

 

http://www.reasons.o...ent-part-1-of-2

 

http://www.csun.edu/...eo005/henke.pdf

 

If you can't be bothered reading the articles then realise that of the two alternative viewpoints, only your one requires unexplained accelerated radioactive decay that would melt the Earth's crust. Which in so doing, by the way, would drive off all the helium out of the zircons, your model isn't even internally consistent.



#108 piasan

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 05:02 PM

I'm attacking the science used for radiometric dating. And this should be embraced if you believe in the scientific method, since you should strive to falsify hypothesis as been discussed earlier.

Actually, to be a bit more specific, you're challenging the technology and methodology.  The way I sometimes describe the process is that scientists make discoveries, engineers apply the scientific discoveries to technologies, and technicians make the technologies.

 

The specific scientific claim here is that:

"Radioactive decay takes place at a stable and predictable rate that makes it possible, under certain conditions, to determine the age of an object."

 

That hypothesis has been thoroughly tested and verified.

 

The problem here Piasan is that I have actually pointed out why the science is bad, it's just not bare assertions from my side. And to my knowledge you (and the scientist) do agree on most of the problems I've raised.

What you have pointed out are issues with the application of the science.  Those limitations have always been openly acknowledged, even from the original researchers.  Addressing those constraints has been the subject of ongoing scientific research for decades and will continue as new technologies and improved methods become available.

 

So why not just admit that it's not good science? What investment into old ages have you done that you (and many scientist) ignore the shortcomings of the methods and still call it good science?

Where have I ignored the shortcomings?  I submit the ones ignoring shortcomings the creationists who submit seals for C14 dating, or new rocks to labs that tell you they can't test anything less than 2,000,000 years old?  In fact, I would call such actions "cherry picking" of samples that are KNOWN, in advance, to be untestable with the methods/technology applied.

 

Radioisotope dating is a tool.  No more.  No less.  A tool need not be perfect to be useful.

 

We have problem that the initial potassium/argon ratios might vary, which is a known fact, and without a known baseline the method doesn't work. We have to do assumptions on what the amount of atmospheric argon was at the time of formation and that no non-atmospheric 40Ar was incorporated into the rock. We also have to assume that the material in question have been a closed system for the entire period and that the isotopes of potassium in the rock/mineral have not fractionated, except by 40K decay. We have to assume that the decay constants of 40K are accurately known and that the quantities of 40Ar and potassium in the rock/mineral are accurately determined. The Ar-Ar method only gives relative dates and the J factor have to be calibrated by stones which are of a known age. And that is usually done with the K-Ar method, which makes it close to a circular reasoning really. The Ar-Ar method also routinely gives different ages not only for a stone but for individual minerals, which for one who is skeptic seems real strange. How could the same mineral give different ages way beyond the fault tolerance of the method? The Ar-Ar method never actually measures the initial amount of excess argon, which have been claimed in this thread, but rather if the age spectrum of the analysis is curved (in whatever way) the method assumes that it is due to high temperatures or excess argon. But (at best) that only means that the Ar-Ar method can invalidate some of the samples. It's actually impossible for the Ar-Ar to give wrong dates, it can only confirm or invalidate known ages. Assuming of course that the ratios are actually age related. It's not well established really that the correlation of the ratios is due to a million year long process, that's just an assumption in both K-Ar and Ar-Ar.

Most of the issues you point out have been dealt with by the researchers.  I have provided documentation showing how most of them are handed.  Of course, should any of those problems show up, the lab doing the testing will "Cherry pick" the sample and refuse to date it.

 

The discussion here (on pages 5 and 6) presents an example of how Ar-Ar works and one of the ways it can be used to determine a sample will not return a reliable age.

 

The problem you have isn't just with  K-Ar or Ar-Ar.  There are literally dozens of radioisotope methods that converge on an age in billions of years, not thousands.  The decay rates for all of them have been measured (not assumed) within a fraction of a percent.   Their consistency over time has been confirmed by spectral analysis of light from distant stars.

 

The whole dating game is so subjective. It's to easy to discard measurements and only keep the 'good' values, so the methods becomes more or less worthless. Calling it good science is just so unfair to science that is good.

Sometimes there are statistical outliers in all lab testing. 

 

One of the things I tell my students is they are to report the results they see.  Then if those results do not meet expected values, they should determine why.  They may do five tests and get results like:  25, 27, 24, 51, 26.  That 51 value is an obvious outlier.  They may exclude that 51 but they must still include the measurement and explain why it was excluded.  (In this case, maybe they were using a counter and didn't clear it after the previous measurement.)

 

Some years ago, I had occasion to read a paper on the dating of 12 lunar samples sent to different labs.  It's been a long time, and I don't recall the exact ages but IIRC, eleven of them returned ages of something like 3.5 billion years.  One came back at more like 1.1 billion.  Two pages of a six page paper were a discussion of that one sample and efforts to resolve the discrepancy.  The end result was that they couldn't tell why that one came back with a different age and they discarded it.  In a case like this, I would probably have concluded there was something lab-specific that caused the one outlying result and discard it too.... with full disclosure, of course.

 

The point is these discordant measurements aren't simply swept under the rug.  You wouldn't even know about them if they weren't publically disclosed.  They are investigated and reported in the literature.  That is a classic example good science. 

 

But have you bought into that paradigm then you sadly enough probably don't even realize that, unless you could look outside your own box. Kuhns thoughts about the age of earth is not why I raised his name, it is his thoughts about normal science, paradigms and scientists objectivity that is a matter for this thread. One should have at least a basic understanding of these things, even if one doesn't agree with Kuhn. Because he raises some good points about the scientific method that needs to be understood.

You seem to believe that I have "bought into that paradigm" without a great deal of examination, testing, questioning, study, debate, thought, and yes... prayer.  Understand, I started out as a YEC who was persuaded by (what I consider to be) overwhelming observational evidence that Genesis literalism is wrong not only for scientific reasons but theological and philosophical repercussions that are way outside this scope of this discussion  And I am constantly looking outside my "own box" and still learn new things every day.

 

But there are limitations as to what one can reasonably accept from a standpoint of simple reality.  Among them would be proposals that would melt the surface of the planet ... according to the researchers who propose the "solution."  Some YEC may think this is a logic error, but IMHO melting the planet is sufficient to make a proposal DOA.

 

Kuhn's position on the age of the age of the Earth and radioisotope dating is much more relevant to the topic of this discussion than his philosophy of science.  If anything your suggestion his opinions on the philosophy of science are important and his expertise as a physicist makes his opinion one that you should seriously consider.

 

I don't have a "basic" understanding of scientific paradigms and how they are overturned.  I teach it.  Scientific greatness does not come from conforming to the established paradigm, but by overturning it.  It's a long and difficult process that may take only a few years (like Einstein's relativity) or it may take decades (like plate tectonics). 

 

You need to understand that the existing scientific paradigm was once Biblical creation.



#109 StormanNorman

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 05:04 PM

I don't know if I've tried to do that really. I've rather tried to falsify the diagram shown, you don't need to explain something in order to falsify data, methods or reasoning. And that has been mainly by pointing out that:

1 - The facts underlying the y-axis (millions of years) doesn't say anything about ages, the ages are an interpretation. The facts only says things about ratios. And if the interpretation is false the diagram is also false.

2 - The diagram only shows 'good' ratios. And this might be a problem depending on how much 'bad' ratios there are and what they say.

If the interpretation is wrong and you mostly have 'good' ratios, then I guess one explanation could be that the amount of initial argon when the rock was formed differs with the distance from Kilauea. But I really can't say with the data at hand.

 

(Changed from dates to ratios just to be clearer)

 

But, when you try to, you find that it's really the strength of the argument that the Hawaiiian Island chain and seamounts are 70+ million years old.  There really is no viable alternative explanation.  Let's look at some possibilities.

 

1) Missing "bad" ratio data:  This is a possibility, but would require more than just a handful of bad data points to adequately lower the statistical confidence in the data above.  I'm guessing several randomly bad data points per island / seamount which is a lot of missing data.  While it's possible, I think it relies heavily on a certain level of dishonesty by the scientists that collected the data.  And I see no reason to believe that.

 

2) Excess argon in the rocks that lead us to drastically overestimate the ages of the rocks:  If the excess argon ratio is random in nature, e.g., varies from rock to rock, then we would NOT expect the data to be highly correlated like the data in the graph.  If the excess argon is not random in nature, but leads to a consistent bias across the samples, then the data could still be highly correlated.  However, such a bias would shift the data up and to the left with a y-intercept in the millions of years instead of zero years as seen in the graphic. Neither seems plausible to me.

 

3) Radio-active decay has been orders of magnitude greater in the past than today:  This is the gist of the argument in the Humphries link posted by Mike the Wiz.  Pi and the other guys have already explained why this is not a viable alternative not to mention there is no physical explanation for it.

 

I'm open to other alternatives if you have them.



#110 piasan

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:53 PM

 

Of course, I'm reasonably certain you'll reject these because they are based on radioisotope dating and you seem to reject both cross-calibration and the step-stone method of using methods with lower ranges as a basis for comparison with methods that work for longer ages.  As I pointed out before, that stand would also rule out astronomical distances.

Astronomical distances are another matter of course, but there are young earth explanations that do explain that as well.

:rotfl3:  :rotfl3:  :rotfl3:  :rotfl3:  :rotfl3:

 

That's a whole different topic.  In my life time I've seen creationists go from:

1) The distances aren't measured accurately.  Then, when multiple methods confirmed the distances we got...

2)  The speed of light has changed.  Debunked immediately by Aardsma at ICR and now on the list of arguments creationists should not use by multiple YEC ministries. Then it was ......

3)  The rate of time has changed.  This was Humphrey's "white hole" that was eventually abandoned by Humphreys because he couldn't make it work for nearby astronomical objects such as 1) the center of the Milky Way (about 30,000 ly); 2) Sn1987a (167,000 ly) or even the galaxy Andromeda (2.4 million ly). and more recently

4)  A claim that the speed of light may be direction dependent.  (Dr. Jason Lisle's Anisotropic Synchrony Convention) in which Lisle tries to simply explain away the problem by redefining terms and claiming it's impossible to synchronize clocks.  Both claims are easily refuted by any GPS.

 

Now, I see a trend here....

 

Without direct observation of something having formed millions of years ago, how would you suggest they go about validating and calibrating the method?  In your opinion, is it even possible?

It is possible at least in theory, but it is hard. That's why I'm so skeptical about it. Many people just buy into an old earth belief without even trying to evaluate the underlying paradigm and the methods used. And from a christian perspective that seems entirely uncalled for. Within a theistic framework it is possible to believe in a young earth, so if the evidence aren't that clear that the earth is old, it could be due to the fact that the earth/universe is young.

Within a theistic framework, it's also possible to believe in an old Earth.  To me, the evidence of an ancient creation is abundantly clear in our ability to directly observe objects billions of light years from Earth.  Within the spectra of events (such as supernova explosions) there is information that allows us to calibrate both the speed of light and radioactive decay rates as consistent with those observed on Earth today.  Multiple radioisotope methods converge on an age of billions, not thousands of years for the planet.  In other words, we have evidence from two distinct disciplines of science confirming ages in billions of years.

 

From page 19 of the same paper at ASA3, an organization of Christian scientists:

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 of Christ.

 

Beyond this, scientists have now used a "time machine" to prove that the half-lives of radioactive species were the same millions of years ago. This time machine does not allow people to actually go back in time, but it does allow scientists to observe ancient events from a long way away. The time machine is called the telescope. Because God's universe is so large, images from distant events take a long time to get to us. Telescopes allow us to see supernovae (exploding stars) at distances so vast that the pictures take hundreds of thousands to millions of years to arrive at the Earth. So the events we see today actually occurred hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago. And what do we see when we look back in time? Much of the light following a supernova blast is powered by newly created radioactive parents. So we observe radiometric decay in the supernova light. The half-lives of decays occurring hundreds of thousands of years ago are thus carefully recorded! These half-lives completely agree with the half-lives measured from decays occurring today. We must conclude that all evidence points towards unchanging radioactive half-lives.

 

Some individuals have suggested that the speed of light must have been different in the past, and that the starlight has not really taken so long to reach us. However, the astronomical evidence mentioned above also suggests that the speed of light has not changed, or else we would see a significant apparent change in the half-lives of these ancient radioactive decays.

 

 

In most of the methods discussed it seems like the scientist has a confirmation bias that affect how and what they are searching for. And that's really due to an underlying metaphysical reason, namely methodological naturalism. So are the scientists trying to find out the truth, or are they trying to look at how truth would have been given that naturalism is true. Not an easy question to answer really. But this sort of paradigmal thinking (or metaphysical bias) make looking at evidence from an objective perspective very hard. Scientist simply stop asking if this or that ratio or if this or those problems might actual be due to the fact that the stones aren't old. Instead they only search for answers within their already held belief, namely that stones are old. And that is a hallmark for a paradigm.

First, we call them "natural" and "physical" sciences for a reason.  Simply stated, the supernatural is outside the limits of natural methods available.  In other words, there are no supernatural tests available to science.  I've been asking for decades..... can you provide me just ONE test for supernatural causation available to science?  No?

 

So far as objectivity.... we all have our biases.  The best we can do is try to be as objective as we possibly can.  That said, it always amuses me when a YEC comments about objectivity when all of scientists at the leading Creation Science ministries (ICR, AIG, CMI) sign a document declaring any evidence in conflict with a literal reading of Genesis to be INVALID BY DEFINITION as a condition of employment.  How objective is that?

 

Take for example radio halos in stones. For a person holding on to an old earth paradigm, this is something that need to be discarded since it goes against reality (namely that stones are old). So instead of actually taking such facts at face value, a paradigm believer would discard the evidence. Since the paradigm believer already (from his perspective) know it to be wrong.

Wibble has already posted an excellent paper from CSUN addressing Humphreys' claims from a technical perspective.  I didn't even look at the other citation.

 

The RATE team concluded the energy release they were suggesting due to accelerated decay would melt the planet.   I see that as grounds for immediate rejection.  Apparently, you do not.  Why not?  Doesn't that say the proposal is wrong?

 

In order to look at it objectively you actually have to say that the paradigm might be right or wrong, and for a paradigm believer that's hard. And if you believe in naturalism you really can't believe anything else, unless you want to give up your belief in naturalism.

The exact same can be said of YEC.

 

When I went thru my review of the YEC paradigm I held, it was necessary to take the position that the literal interpretation of Genesis could be right or wrong .... not as YEC do that evidence conflicting with that reading is invalid by definition.  Which is the more objective approach?

 

But that's a different topic too, isn't it?



#111 piasan

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:10 PM

Actually, to be a bit more specific, you're challenging the technology and methodology.  The way I sometimes describe the process is that scientists make discoveries, engineers apply the scientific discoveries to technologies, and technicians make the technologies.

That should be technicians make the technologies work.



#112 piasan

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 11:35 PM

One of the things I tell my students is they are to report the results they see.  Then if those results do not meet expected values, they should determine why.  They may do five tests and get results like:  25, 27, 24, 51, 26.  That 51 value is an obvious outlier.  They may exclude that 51 but they must still include the measurement and explain why it was excluded.  (In this case, maybe they were using a counter and didn't clear it after the previous measurement.)

That was really unclear.

 

The data point of 51 can be discarded, but it must still be shown in the lab report with an explanation why it was discarded.  Sometimes the reason for the anomaly is unknown.






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