No you miss the point entirely with pedantics. My example of 38 years and 35 seconds is to highlight the disparity between two very different methods of measurement. When he said, "38 years" in all likelihood he did not specifically mean that exactly 38 years had passed to the day and hour, he likely just meant he had been in the job for about 38 years, meaning that could mean 38 years and 12 days or 38 years and 9 months. So you could add 35 seconds to both figures so how can your conclusion be 38 years and 35 seconds? That is too specific, and that was my point, because the removal of the original meaning and context of what was originally meant, is an incorrect assumption.
So then the point of my example is to show that to add 35 seconds wouldn't have any relevance to that scale of measurement.
Schera: In the OP, I ask that a judgment be made on the author's final sentence, which is: "When the guide tacks on that thirty-eight years, he's committed a numerical sin that turns his answer into a falsehood."
My answer is after analysing what he said, I don't find an error in what he said necessarily. Part of critical analysis is to realise that in some cases there is nothing be critical of. Also I must say, there isn't all that much to analyse in one sentence, Schera.
In this case he is saying that taking a round number of 65 million years, of which is predicated on a dating method which allows room for error of thousands of years, and then adding a specific amount of 38 years, is wrong, because like the spud-example I gave, you are taking one type of broad measure invented for measuring great eons, then using a much more acute measure where you can count individual years, and you are adding the two and it doesn't work.
In the analogy I shown this, when the man guessed by weight, for one method of measuring dozens of spuds, but for individual spuds he used a different measure of counting individual, which is analogous to conflating a dating method and counting. He then takes both and comes to a wrong conclusion.
Schera: Here are the facts:
Now you're just patronising me. Why wouldn't I know what the facts are? (You need to break this habit of condescension, you have a superiority-complex and I don't know if you realise it but most of your posts seem to come across as sanctimonious, as though we are all your pupils, and you are a god).
I'm well aware of what facts are. And your number 2 isn't a fact, if the earth matter on top of the fossil was contemporaneous and the whole section of rock was dumped with the fossil in it at the same time. Number 1 and 3 are tautologies, because anything we find is always "real" and if you find fossils in rock they are always going to be of a certain age, even if that age is 2.4 seconds, two tenths of a second or two million years.
Schera: I'll use "likely" and ask, is it likely that you spoke to the man for exactly 35 seconds if we measured the length of your discussion with an atomic stop-watch that has 9,192,631,770 "oscillation periods" per second?
This is known as a moot point. The point of measuring in seconds isn't to provide an atomic measurement of time, the relevance of counting in seconds depends on how relevant the situation is. For example if you ask how old I am I would use years, if you ask how old a fairly young baby is, we use months, if you ask how long I have been in the shower I will use minutes if you ask how long I have been picking my nose I might use seconds.
So when we say, "a dino is 65 myo" it isn't relevant that it isn't exact in seconds, minutes, hours or even years. To add 38 years as though we meant a specific year, is to misunderstand the point of the dating method which is not saying that 65 million years exactly, with all six zeros. So if they give a date of 65 million years, that can be consistent as an estimate, with 65,000,000 or 65,004,976. "38 years" could be added to both.
Also you have to consider that with a large date specifics are irrelevant for the method, but with a very small amount of time it becomes much, much more relevant. For example in formula one racing because the drivers are all so equal in ability, pole position may count on tenths or even hundredths of a second.
Schera: You like to use--loosely, all too loosely--what we call "probability."
Notice the two highlighted terms - that indicates to me you're playing a superiority-game here with this empty personal attack.
"We the superior human beings have disdain for your lack of interest in irrelevant academic pedantics, we hate the way you concisely get to the point, because then we can't tie you up with semantics, so we shall call the semantics holy and pretend you don't qualify to understand them."