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#21 SeeJay

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:57 PM

Can you please state what measurements are taken to confirm the initial concentration... In my mind there are none, since no scientist lived at that time to take samples and test them, and record the iniital concentration... This can be said for any other radioactive isotope for all other radioactive dating... IF you cannot define what measurements are taken then we must conclude that it is an assumption.


Hi again gilbo12345

Well, as I said: "...any initial assumptions of the C14 method ... have since been confirmed from observational evidence as valid and correct within the limits of the scientific method." So of course you're correct that the scientific method is limited to measurements they can make today i.e. they don't have time machines.

Nevertheless, evolutionist scientists take the approach that, if assumption X about the past is true, we should be able to take measurement Y today, and if X is false, the measurement taken today will be something else. This is the sort of approach e.g. forensic scientists take as well, to test hypotheses about past events.

Following this logic, scientists have compared ages from C14 versus ages from numerous other methods. If the assumptions behind C14 dating are correct (atmospheric C14 concentrations, half-lives etc), then we would expect a good correlation between C14 ages and the other methods. And in fact, the correlation is very, very good. For this reason, scientists believe their assumptions are valid, within the limits of the scientific method:

Posted Image

Yes living things exchange carbon with the atmosphere, (which we get in turn from plants and animals), you suggesting are that the concentration levels are relatively the same throughout the biosphere? Just to let you know, this is an assumption and a very large one at that. How is this assumption justified?


C14 concentrations have been measured roughly the same all over the world since scientists began looking into this in the 50s. There certainly are variations - Wikipedia has more info on this here in the section "Carbon exchange reservoir".

All these other methods of dating are assuming that there is a constant rate... Yet this assumption is not logical...

Trees can form more than one ring in a year
Coral growth is dependant on the creature inside, which is dependant on its environment. Considering the state of the oceans today, I'd assume they are working slower than is normal.
Limestone caves are formed from water yes? So the rate of rainfall would determine the speed, how is this constant?


You're right, logic would not dictate that the rates of formation of independent things like coral, tree rings, limstone caves and sediment layers must necessarily be constant. Instead, the rate of formation is inferred from circumstantial evidence.

For example, coral growth rings are currently observed to occur daily and the reasons for this are understood on the basis of their physiology (ie. they produce their layers mostly during daylight). Similarly, some sediment layers are currently observed to alternate between an organic-rich layer in spring & summer, and an organic-poor layer in the colder seasons. When scientists find tens of thousands of such layers in the same pattern, they conclude that the lower layers were formed via the same process as the upper layers which they can directly observe in modern times i.e. that that a pair of organic-rich and organic-poor layers represents one year.

Here is another thought. If life is a continuation of atoms being used for different processes, which is linked to the claim that we are "space dust"... then in reality we should see no C14 at all since it is believed that all atoms were created via big bang and the age should start from there.... If these carbon atoms have existed for billions of years, (despite what form) then there should be no C14 left in the entire galaxy. Or do we assume that when a person eats food some of the carbon somehow turns into C14?

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Again, I'm not an expert, but the evolutionist explanation is that the C14 isotope is being continually produced in the earth's upper atmosphere. Cosmic rays approaching the earth transform into neutrons, which interact with nitrogen, converting the nitrogen into carbon-14 plus a proton. The production of C14 in the upper atmosphere has apparently reached equilibrium with the decay of C14 (back into N), so the overall concentration of C14 remains roughly constant.

Kind regards - SeeJay

#22 gilbo12345

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:15 PM

Hi again gilbo12345

1. Well, as I said: "...any initial assumptions of the C14 method ... have since been confirmed from observational evidence as valid and correct within the limits of the scientific method." So of course you're correct that the scientific method is limited to measurements they can make today i.e. they don't have time machines.

2. Nevertheless, evolutionist scientists take the approach that, if assumption X about the past is true, we should be able to take measurement Y today, and if X is false, the measurement taken today will be something else. This is the sort of approach e.g. forensic scientists take as well, to test hypotheses about past events.

3. Following this logic, scientists have compared ages from C14 versus ages from numerous other methods. If the assumptions behind C14 dating are correct (atmospheric C14 concentrations, half-lives etc), then we would expect a good correlation between C14 ages and the other methods. And in fact, the correlation is very, very good. For this reason, scientists believe their assumptions are valid, within the limits of the scientific method:

4. Posted Image
You're right, logic would not dictate that the rates of formation of independent things like coral, tree rings, limstone caves and sediment layers must necessarily be constant. Instead, the rate of formation is inferred from circumstantial evidence.

5. Again, I'm not an expert, but the evolutionist explanation is that the C14 isotope is being continually produced in the earth's upper atmosphere.  Cosmic rays approaching the earth transform into neutrons, which interact with nitrogen, converting the nitrogen into carbon-14 plus a proton. The production of C14 in the upper atmosphere has apparently reached equilibrium with the decay of C14 (back into N), so the overall concentration of C14 remains roughly constant.

Kind regards - SeeJay

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Thanks

1. Thanks for agreeing that there is no initial concentration, and that there is no empirical sure-fire process to obtain a correct reading.

2. Actually no their assumptions are not valid, since they have nop empirical evidence to back themselves up. How is it possible to claim that everything remained constant for billions of years, as I said before this is a HUGE assumption, and one that is not empirically justified.

3. Yes they believe their assumptions are valid, but no it is not according to the scientific method... You cannot assume data

4. Thank you for agreeing that these tests are based on the ludicrus assumption that everything remains constant... It is inferred, but wether it is inferred correctly remains to be seen. The only way to validate the coral claims is to video it over a year.. Believing that one layer = 1 year is suspect, what evidence is there to suggest this? Or is this also assumed..

5. How can scientists know if C14 production and decay are in equilbrium.. This is a HUGE pill to swallow and one that will require empirical evidence, (which will be nigh impossible to obtain), hence I am at a loss as to why this conclusion will be stated with absolute certainty by the scientists.


All I see here is scientists making assumptions to support their own worldview

#23 SeeJay

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:00 AM

Thanks

1. Thanks for agreeing that there is no initial concentration, and that there is no empirical sure-fire process to obtain a correct reading.

2. Actually no their assumptions are not valid, since they have nop empirical evidence to back themselves up. How is it possible to claim that everything remained constant for billions of years, as I said before this is a HUGE assumption, and one that is not empirically justified.

3. Yes they believe their assumptions are valid, but no it is not according to the scientific method... You cannot assume data


Hi gilbo12345

1. Sure, no empirical method is expected to be perfect.

2 & 3. With regard to C14 dating the period in question is from around 50000 years ago up to the present.

Whether the assumptions (C14 levels, decay rates, sedimentation rates etc) are huge, empirically unjustified or ludicrous I'm not in an expert position to judge. Personally, I don't see that its much of a stretch to hypothesise that such processes, which we can study and understand in detail in the present, probably worked similarly in the past.

The more important question is, I think, can such assumptions about the past be validated by making measurements in the present, as the scientists have purported to do with C14 dating, in the same way as forensic scientists do? As I said above, this method involves identifying a measurement you can make in the present that should be Y if your assumption is true, and Z if your assumption is false.

Would you agree this method, whilst not perfect, can be used to validate assumptions within the limits of the scientific method?

4. Thank you for agreeing that these tests are based on the ludicrus assumption that everything remains constant... It is inferred, but wether it is inferred correctly remains to be seen. The only way to validate the coral claims is to video it over a year.. Believing that one layer = 1 year is suspect, what evidence is there to suggest this? Or is this also assumed.


I understand evolutionists use two kinds of evidence to infer the regularity of these processes.

The first is to obtain a detailed understanding of the process itself. For example, studies of some lake sediments show alternate layers being laid down once a year in the present day, with a layer rich in organic material being deposited in the warm seasons, and a layer poor in organics being deposited in the cold seasons. This makes sense as during the warm seasons there is more growth, flowers are blooming etc. The inference, then, is that if many thousands of layers are found beneath the ones observed in the present day, having the same appearance, made of the same materials, and in the same location, then they were caused by the same process, and thus each pair of layers represents an alternation between spring/summer and autumn/winter i.e. a year.

The second kind of evidence is correlation. If different methods of counting years in the past, based on different and independent processes (like radioactive decay, sedimentation rates, tree rings etc) give the same ages for the same samples, the inference is that those regular processes we observe today really do remain regular into the past. Numerous correlations are shown in the chart in my previous post. The alternative hypothesis - that these processes are not regular in the past - logically implies that the correlations have occurred purely by chance, which due to the number of different methods is extraordinarily unlikely in a statistical sense.

5. How can scientists know if C14 production and decay are in equilbrium.. This is a HUGE pill to swallow and one that will require empirical evidence, (which will be nigh impossible to obtain), hence I am at a loss as to why this conclusion will be stated with absolute certainty by the scientists.
All I see here is scientists making assumptions to support their own worldview

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I don't know the exact answer to your question. I believe the scientists who have looked into this rely on the correlations with other methods to validate this assumption, such as those shown above. They also apparently rely on other correlative methods like measuring atmospheric isotopes in air bubbles in ice cores, which line up well, as I understand it, with various parameters of the earth's orbit (e.g. precession of the equinoxes, a 26000 year cycle).

Cheers - S.

#24 Fred Williams

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:25 AM

Regarding your points:

1. If you are referring to the paper by Taylor and Southon (2007), they specifically disagreed that the C14 is too much to be contamination. Instead, they carefully noted that the distribution of isotopes in diamonds was uneven (reported as delta C13, which varied from -23 to +4 between different diamond samples). If the AMS was measuring C14 from the diamond, rather than from the background, then we would expect C14 to vary proportionately to delta C13. But C14 did not vary proportionately to delta C13. The only conclusion supported by this evidence is that the C14 readings are from background sources, not from within the diamonds.

2. Yes, you are correct. C14 even shows up when they run the AMS with a completely empty sample holder. That's because of the well-known issue of background C14.

3. I don't think anyone suggests that modern C14 gets inside diamonds as a source of contamination. The possible sources of background C14 are listed by Taylor and Southon in their paper:
(1) Pseudo 14C-free sample
(2) Combustion/acidification background
(3) Graphitization background
(4) Transfer (to the sample holder) background
(5) Storage background
(6) Instrument background

Regards - S.

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SeeJay, you've inserted el foot into el mouth again, due to more selective reading on your part (I wonder if you have even read the article). Their article actually confirmed C14 in diamonds was NOT due to contamination; that is, they confirmed work by creation scientists that Diamonds have C-14 that can't be explained away by contamination.

"Natural diamond samples (N = 14) from different sources within rock formations with geological ages greatly in excess of 100 Ma yielded a range of currents (110–250 μA 12C− where filamentous graphite typically yields 150 μA 12C−) and apparent 14C ages (64.9 ± 0.4 ka BP [0.00031 ± 0.00002 fm] to 80.0 ± 1.1 ka BP [0.00005 ± 0.00001 fm]).... At this time, it is not clear to us what factors might be involved in the greater variability in the apparent 14C concentrations exhibited in individual diamonds as opposed to splits from a single natural diamond."

You know, the great irony in this is that you haven't even bothered to address the topic of this thread, the overwhelming evidence that these dino bones have original collagen that was not the result of contamination, and hence must be very young, no older than 10K years according to secular scientists own peer-reviewed articles.

SeeJay, methinks your mind is made up despite any evidence presented your way.

Fred

EDIT: Just found this article by Dr Baumgardner refuting a silly post at T.O.:

http://www.answersin...e-contamination

#25 gilbo12345

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:23 PM

Hi gilbo12345

1. Sure, no empirical method is expected to be perfect.

2. Whether the assumptions (C14 levels, decay rates, sedimentation rates etc) are huge, empirically unjustified or ludicrous I'm not in an expert position to judge. Personally, I don't see that its much of a stretch to hypothesise that such processes, which we can study and understand in detail in the present, probably worked similarly in the past.

3. The more important question is, I think, can such assumptions about the past be validated by making measurements in the present, as the scientists have purported to do with C14 dating, in the same way as forensic scientists do? As I said above, this method involves identifying a measurement you can make in the present that should be Y if your assumption is true, and Z if your assumption is false.

4. Would you agree this method, whilst not perfect, can be used to validate assumptions within the limits of the scientific method?

5. I don't know the exact answer to your question. I believe the scientists who have looked into this rely on the correlations with other methods to validate this assumption, such as those shown above. They also apparently rely on other correlative methods like measuring atmospheric isotopes in air bubbles in ice cores, which line up well, as I understand it, with various parameters of the earth's orbit (e.g. precession of the equinoxes, a 26000 year cycle).


6. The first is to obtain a detailed understanding of the process itself. For example, studies of some lake sediments show alternate layers being laid down once a year in the present day, with a layer rich in organic material being deposited in the warm seasons, and a layer poor in organics being deposited in the cold seasons. This makes sense as during the warm seasons there is more growth, flowers are blooming etc. The inference, then, is that if many thousands of layers are found beneath the ones observed in the present day, having the same appearance, made of the same materials, and in the same location, then they were caused by the same process, and thus each pair of layers represents an alternation between spring/summer and autumn/winter i.e. a year.

7. The second kind of evidence is correlation. If different methods of counting years in the past, based on different and independent processes (like radioactive decay, sedimentation rates, tree rings etc) give the same ages for the same samples, the inference is that those regular processes we observe today really do remain regular into the past. Numerous correlations are shown in the chart in my previous post. The alternative hypothesis - that these processes are not regular in the past - logically implies that the correlations have occurred purely by chance, which due to the number of different methods is extraordinarily unlikely in a statistical sense.



Cheers - S.

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There is alot to cover here :)

1. This isn't an empirical method... Assumptions are not empirical

2. If you feel it isn't empirically unjustified, please show some empirical evidence, not tainted with assumptions. If you cannot then it is empirically unjustified.

3. No, because some things change... and there is no way to account for that

4. No, because assumptions are assumptions no matter what you try to claim them as. What can and what is assumed is totally dependant on the scientist, hence it is subject to bias as well.

5. As mentioned in 4. assumptions are subject to bias hence correlating lots of assumption based data, (that has been subjected to the same bias), does nothing.

6. Perhaps they should first do proper investigation and work out the right process. Sedimentation occurs sideways, as has been proven by field trials and empirical experiments... Look for Drama in the Rocks.

7. As said in 4 and 5 correlating multiple points of data that have been based on assumptions and has been subject to bias has no explanatory value. Empirical evidence is what the scientific method requires.. Until then all these "scientific methods" are unscientific.

#26 SeeJay

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 03:39 AM

3. The more important question is, I think, can such assumptions about the past be validated by making measurements in the present, as the scientists have purported to do with C14 dating, in the same way as forensic scientists do? As I said above, this method involves identifying a measurement you can make in the present that should be Y if your assumption is true, and Z if your assumption is false.

4. Would you agree this method, whilst not perfect, can be used to validate assumptions within the limits of the scientific method?


3. No, because some things change... and there is no way to account for that

4. No, because assumptions are assumptions no matter what you try to claim them as. What can and what is assumed is totally dependant on the scientist, hence it is subject to bias as well.


Hi gilbo12345

I believe we may be using the word "assumption" to mean different things, which is confusing me.

I think you regard an assumption as something which can never, even in principle, be confirmed by evidence. Perhaps wrongly, I was using the word "assumption" to mean a proposition that, whilst it may initially be presupposed with weak or no evidence, it may later be confirmed or validated by new evidence, even by different people. Maybe a better word for this would be "conjecture".

For example, a police officer may conjecture, purely out of bias and prejudice, that a blood stain at a crime scene came from a suspect, and arrest him on that basis. Later, a lab technician matches the suspect's DNA to the bloodstain, and the conjecture is confirmed by that evidence. So what was initially a weakly supported, biased presupposition, is later empirically confirmed.

In like manner, in the 1940s Willard Libby conjectured that the decay rate and atmospheric concentration of C14 had remained relatively constant for thousands of years and, if this was so, the concentration of C14 in a once living thing would correlate with the half-life of C14. Proceeding on this unsupported conjecture, based I suppose on a naturalistically biased worldview, his lab later measured C14 concentrations in a number of objects of known, historical age, which empirically confirmed his conjecture:
Posted Image
(Note: The red lines are the historically dated objects, with +/- 1 standard deviation. The names are Egyptian pharaohs).

The way I see it, the case of the police officer and the case of Willard Libby are examples of virtually exactly the same sort of reasoning - an initial guess or conjecture, when followed through, is later confirmed by empirical evidence. In both cases, things could have changed, but the empirical measurement later showed that they hadn't.

So, would you agree this process, whilst imperfect, can be used to confirm and validate conjectures within the limits of the scientific method?

Thanks - SeeJay

#27 jason777

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:39 AM

In like manner, in the 1940s Willard Libby conjectured that the decay rate and atmospheric concentration of C14 had remained relatively constant for thousands of years


It would take 30,000 years to reach equilibrium and atmospheric C14 is still increasing every time it's measured.

http://creationwiki....arbon-14_dating


Then your not accepting the fact that the earths magnetic field has been constantly decreasing in strength.


eQ7PhYz3xV4&hl


Given these facts, if the C14 proportion is still increasing, then dinosaur fossils dated to an age between 30-60 thousand years could be much younger, but not older.



Enjoy.

#28 SeeJay

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:44 PM

In like manner, in the 1940s Willard Libby conjectured that the decay rate and atmospheric concentration of C14 had remained relatively constant for thousands of years


It would take 30,000 years to reach equilibrium and atmospheric C14 is still increasing every time it's measured. link
Then your not accepting the fact that the earths magnetic field has been constantly decreasing in strength.
Given these facts, if the C14 proportion is still increasing, then dinosaur fossils dated to an age between 30-60 thousand years could be much younger, but not older.
Enjoy.

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Hi jason777

Thanks for that. Just to try to link some themes together, how do we know that C14 concentrations and the earth's magnetic field were changing in the past? Is it from using the method -- outlined in my previous post -- of making conjectures about the past, and then confirming those conjectures using measurements in the present day?

Thanks - S.

#29 jason777

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 03:04 PM

Hi jason777

Thanks for that. Just to try to link some themes together, how do we know that C14 concentrations and the earth's magnetic field were changing in the past? Is it from using the method  --  outlined in my previous post  --  of making conjectures about the past, and then confirming those conjectures using measurements in the present day?



Geomagnetic field decay is based on observations regarding the strength of Earth's magnetic field for over the last 150 years. Dr. Thomas Barnes determined that it is decaying and these findings imply a young age of the Earth because if the decay is projected back 20,000 years, the heat produced by the electric current that generates the Earth's magnetic field would have liquefied the Earth. Naturally this would make life impossible.

http://creationwiki....tic_field_decay


Even if the magnetic - dynamo model were proven to be true, then it would still account for wildly varying C14 levels throughout the past.

#30 SeeJay

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 05:46 PM

Hi jason777

Thanks for that. Just to try to link some themes together, how do we know that C14 concentrations and the earth's magnetic field were changing in the past? Is it from using the method  --  outlined in my previous post  --  of making conjectures about the past, and then confirming those conjectures using measurements in the present day?

Geomagnetic field decay is based on observations regarding the strength of Earth's magnetic field for over the last 150 years. Dr. Thomas Barnes determined that it is decaying and these findings imply a young age of the Earth because if the decay is projected back 20,000 years, the heat produced by the electric current that generates the Earth's magnetic field would have liquefied the Earth. Naturally this would make life impossible.

http://creationwiki....tic_field_decay
Even if the magnetic - dynamo model were proven to be true, then it would still account for wildly varying C14 levels throughout the past.

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Hi jason777

It appears to me Dr Barnes was using the method I described earlier, of confirming conjectures about past processes based on empirical measurements taken in modern times.

As I understand it, this is the same method that scientists generally use to confirm conjectures about past processes. Certainly, initially, the conjectures may arise from worldview bias, presuppositions, or even blind guesses. But later they can be confirmed (or refuted) by empirical measurements, sometimes many times over using different types of measurements.

Would you agree this is a legitimate way to gain reliable, but not perfect, knowledge within the limits of the scientific method? I'm not certain everyone would agree with this.

Regards - S.

#31 Spectre

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 07:34 PM

^Last time I checked, one of the uses of the dynamo theory was for Uranus and Neptune after Dr. Humphreys successfully predicted the strength of both magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune using a model that assumes a 6000 year old universe. The dynamo theory was put in place to fill in the gap for data for an old universe. Naturalists have presuppositions that cause them to go out of the way to make the evidence fit for an old universe. I find it odd that you state that there are presuppositions that affect interpretations of evidence, but you seem to be acting as if it is not happening on the old earth view side.

#32 jason777

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:10 PM

Hi jason777

It appears to me Dr Barnes was using the method I described earlier, of confirming conjectures about past processes based on empirical measurements taken in modern times.


So it's alright to exclude the fact that the earths magnetic field has weakened by 10% over the last 150 years, then refuse to calculate and calibrate for objects known to be much older when using carbon dating?

That's why creationists know objects 5,000 years old should give a radio carbon age ~10 times that because the magnetic field was so much stronger back then.

#33 SeeJay

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:11 PM

^Last time I checked, one of the uses of the dynamo theory was for Uranus and Neptune after Dr. Humphreys successfully predicted the strength of both magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune using a model that assumes a 6000 year old universe. The dynamo theory was put in place to fill in the gap for data for an old universe. Naturalists have presuppositions that cause them to go out of the way to make the evidence fit for an old universe. I find it odd that you state that there are presuppositions that affect interpretations of evidence, but you seem to be acting as if it is not happening on the old earth view side.

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Hi Spectre

I agree that presuppositions and worldview bias affect evolutionist conjectures, as discussed in previous posts.

The question I'm asking is: Is it legitimate to use modern-day empirical measurements to confirm or refute conjectures about past processes? This appears to be the method that both Dr Barnes and Willard Libby used, in the examples discussed above, in spite of the fact that both of these scientists had different biases and presuppositions. However, its not clear to me that everyone actually agrees this is a legitimate method.

Cheers - S.

#34 Spectre

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:18 PM

Hi Spectre

I agree that presuppositions and worldview bias affect evolutionist conjectures, as discussed in previous posts.

The question I'm asking is: Is it legitimate to use modern-day empirical measurements to confirm or refute conjectures about past processes? This appears to be the method that both Dr Barnes and Willard Libby used, in the examples discussed above, in spite of the fact that both of these scientists had different biases and presuppositions. However, its not clear to me that everyone actually agrees this is a legitimate method.

Cheers - S.

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I am trying to follow your point, but to my recollection Science does require certain presuppositions for advancements, however when they are not considered falsified when they should be, then we have a problem.

#35 SeeJay

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:11 PM

I am trying to follow your point, but to my recollection Science does require certain presuppositions for advancements, however when they are not considered falsified when they should be, then we have a problem.

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Hi Spectre

Sure, I agree with you that presuppositions are made for the purposes of further investigation, even though some of those presuppositions may actually be false (and of course some may be true, too).

But my question is: How do we falsify, or confirm, such presuppositions, if they are about past events and processes? I suggested in an earlier post that they are tested by making empirical measurements. This is because presuppositions may have certain consequences, such that if the presupposition is true, we will make measurement X, and if its false we will make meaurement Y. So we can make the measurement and see if its X or Y, and thus confirm or falsify the presupposition, even if the presupposition relates to events in the past.

However, I got the impression from another poster that this was not regarded as a legitimate or valid way of confirming or refuting presuppositions about the past. So that's why I'm asking the question: Is this a legitimate, albeit imperfect, method of testing conjectures about the past, as used by Dr Barnes and Willard Libby? Or is the method fatally flawed?

Thanks - SeeJay

#36 SeeJay

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:40 PM

Hi jason777

It appears to me Dr Barnes was using the method I described earlier, of confirming conjectures about past processes based on empirical measurements taken in modern times.


So it's alright to exclude the fact that the earths magnetic field has weakened by 10% over the last 150 years, then refuse to calculate and calibrate for objects known to be much older when using carbon dating?

That's why creationists know objects 5,000 years old should give a radio carbon age ~10 times that because the magnetic field was so much stronger back then.

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Hi jason777

I don't believe is alright to exclude any empirical measurements. My understanding is that the methods of science attempt to gather all possible evidence, to be compared, contrasted, retested, analysed, critically reviewed etc from many different points of view.

That's why I'm interested to understand if anyone agrees that its valid to confirm or refute conjectures about events from the past, based on empirical measurements. If yes, then a discussion of all the evidence is warranted. If no, then I suppose that would make empirical evidence completely irrelevant for those sorts of questions.

Thanks and regards - SeeJay

#37 Spectre

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 11:59 PM

Hi Spectre

Sure, I agree with you that presuppositions are made for the purposes of further investigation, even though some of those presuppositions may actually be false (and of course some may be true, too).

That's correct.

But my question is: How do we falsify, or confirm, such presuppositions, if they are about past events and processes? I suggested in an earlier post that they are tested by making empirical measurements.

I understand your point about falsification but the old earth view is just as unfalsifiable as the young earth view is, especially with how dogmatic both sides are when it comes to the age of the Earth.

There are a few reasons why YECs can legitimately question the decay of C14.

1. YECs believe that there was a global flood, which would certainly affect the apparent age of the fossils as well as the Earth.

2. According to the catastrophic plate tectonic model during the flood the Earth's magnetic field would be reversing multiple times during the event.

3. Carbon has been found in fossils and rocks that were supposed to be millions or billions of years old. Are you familiar with the RATE Committee's findings?


This is because presuppositions may have certain consequences, such that if the presupposition is true, we will make measurement X, and if its false we will make meaurement Y. So we can make the measurement and see if its X or Y, and thus confirm or falsify the presupposition, even if the presupposition relates to events in the past.

If Scientists followed that logic in regards to the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune they would believe that the universe is younger than 20 billion years. While this line of thinking sounds good on paper, the ideas put forth are not kosher and this process is not followed by secular scientists due to them being dogmatic about the age of the Earth, they tend to affirm the consequent.

However, I got the impression from another poster that this was not regarded as a legitimate or valid way of confirming or refuting presuppositions about the past. So that's why I'm asking the question: Is this a legitimate, albeit imperfect, method of testing conjectures about the past, as used by Dr Barnes and Willard Libby? Or is the method fatally flawed?

Thanks - SeeJay

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Any presupposition about the past is unfalsifiable. The old universe model is just as unfalsifiable as God himself is. The thing is, Creationists don't have to make as many presuppositions as secular scientists do. We didn't need the dynamo theory to predict magnetic fields, we only needed to look in Genesis for the answers for our models. We predicted that there would be carbon found in rocks that were supposed to be millions of years old, and we did. You can say that is contamination, but to make such a statement would require evidence. Dr. Henke tried to drive that point home but he never got any of his ideas peer reviewed, likely because such accusations are unsubstantiated. This may be at least part of the point that my peers are trying to convey to you.

#38 SeeJay

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:07 AM

I understand your point about falsification but the old earth view is just as unfalsifiable as the young earth view is, especially with how dogmatic both sides are when it comes to the age of the Earth.
...
Any presupposition about the past is unfalsifiable. The old universe model is just as unfalsifiable as God himself is. The thing is, Creationists don't have to make as many presuppositions as secular scientists do. We didn't need the dynamo theory to predict magnetic fields, we only needed to look in Genesis for the answers for our models. We predicted that there would be carbon found in rocks that were supposed to be millions of years old, and we did. You can say that is contamination, but to make such a statement would require evidence. Dr. Henke tried to drive that point home but he never got any of his ideas peer reviewed, likely because such accusations are unsubstantiated. This may be at least part of the point that my peers are trying to convey to you.

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Hi Spectre

If you mean that any guess, assumption or presupposition about the past is unfalsifiable, then I would suppose that makes any sort of argument or evidence just irrelevant for those sorts of questions, and there's just no way to tell who's right and who's wrong.

I'd like to think there really is an objective way to determine what's true and what's false, even if our methods may not be perfect. The relativism of modern culture concerns me greatly, along with many others like CS Lewis, numerous popes, Plato etc.

In any case, I hope I've understood you correctly, and thanks for the response.

Regards - S.

#39 AFJ

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 05:30 AM

Hi

The evolutionist explanation is that trace amounts of C14 get added to the sample during handling, preparation, etc, for example during the combustion process, as well as there being tiny amounts in the AMS machine itself.

That's why they process a "blank" sample (no C14) along with the actual samples. The C14 reading from the "blank" is regarded as a background reading, and can be deducted from the sample readings to correct for the background. See e.g. here at the end of the first paragraph.

Regards - S.

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Seejay,
There is a contamination allowance always subtracted from ALL samples being dated. You can not discriminate against these samples, or you need to throw out all C-14 dating. That would render the science of archaeology null and void.

To simply say 'contamination' because it doesn't follow the 'prescribed' model is a scientific foul. You can't keep sweeping aside counter evidence until you have a big pile of it under the rug, while you set your evolutionary 'trophies' on display. People will eventually ask you what is under the rug.

#40 Spectre

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 11:25 AM

Hi Spectre

If you mean that any guess, assumption or presupposition about the past is unfalsifiable, then I would suppose that makes any sort of argument or evidence just irrelevant for those sorts of questions, and there's just no way to tell who's right and who's wrong.

In the context of an old earth, it is unfalsifiable, we can't prove/disprove that fossils were indeed transitional because we weren't there, we can't prove/disprove that the universe came about by an unguided premise. These are outside of the realm of Science. Sure, it is okay to speculate these things, but people really need to start thinking and understand that Science can not answer the question of origins on an empirical basis. Science can, however, work with the present. There is strong evidence for a young earth, but it largely goes ignored and the possibility of a young Earth is not even mentioned in textbooks in school, don't you think that there is something wrong with that? That is another reason why these origin theories are unfalsifiable in the secular community, because anything to the contrary is not considered.

I'd like to think there really is an objective way to determine what's true and what's false, even if our methods may not be perfect. The relativism of modern culture concerns me greatly, along with many others like CS Lewis, numerous popes, Plato etc.

Relativism mostly applies to moral principles and does not necessarily mean that all points are equally valid in every circumstance. I do agree that relativism(In morality) is a concern, but the Creationist movement is not a contributing factor to that world view. However, in the instances of old earth theories, it is true that presuppositions do apply. In this case, relativism outside of the context of morality is not a illogical way of thinking.




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