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Helium Evidence For A Young World


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#1 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 04:59 PM

I had read through an article critiquing Dr. Humphreys' work on the helium contained in zircons that are indicator that the earth is not billions of years old.

http://www.talkorigi...um/zircons.html


For those interested here is Dr. Humphrey's response.

http://www.icr.org/h...ys_to_hanke.pdf

Bottom Line: Dr. Humphreys' says that Dr. Henke is, more or less, all bluff, and has done nothing to refute his research.

Terry

#2 Modulous

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 05:50 AM

I just scanned through those and came to some interesting conclusions. First, Humphreys seems only refutes the methodoligical crticism summaries, not the full text. For example in response to misidentifying samples as originating from the Jemez Granodiorite Humphreys retorts: What he doesn’t realize is that “Jemez Granodiorite” is a name I invented (since the literature had not previously named it) to apply to the whole unit from about 700 meters depth

This completely ignores the central core of the dispute. Granodiorite is a very specific rock type. Hanke's actual criticism is as follows:

Nevertheless, a review of the subsurface geology of the Fenton Hill borehole site... indicates that a granodiorite is not encountered at the site until depths of more than 2500 meters...Precambrian gneisses and mafic schists occur between depths of 722 meters and to slightly below 2500 meters. In particular, at depths of 750 and 1490 meters, Humphreys et al. (2003a,B) clearly sampled a Precambrian gneiss (a highly metamorphosed volcanic, intrusive or sedimentary rock) and not a granodiorite


There is actually a lot of this kind of thing going on. I doubt the results of any paper which has so much potential error in it...a lot of it is above my head, but some of it isn't. The most damning aspect are the assumptions that Humphreys has made. When geochronologists test the age using radiological dating, they make one assumption (Which has been tested and confirmed in a variety of ways), and that is that decay rates have remained largely constant. Humphreys makes quite a few more:

Assumption #1: Laboratory Vacuum Diffusion Results Accurately Model Diffusion under Relatively High Pressure Subsurface Conditions. (It doesn't)

Assumption #2: Constant Temperatures over Time. (uniformatarianist? Well other evidence indicates temperatures weren't constant)


To be honest - YEC are going to need a little more solid evidence than this...there are too many variables that could enter into the equations, too many assumptions to be made. It would be interesting to repeat the tests at multiple locations with multiple teams who are unaware of one anothers work, in interpreting the data individually.

#3 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:45 AM

For example in response to misidentifying samples as originating from the Jemez Granodiorite Humphreys retorts:  What he doesn’t realize is that “Jemez Granodiorite” is a name I invented (since the literature had not previously named it) to apply to the whole unit from about 700 meters depth

This completely ignores the central core of the dispute.  Granodiorite is a very specific rock type. Hanke's actual criticism is as follows:


This is interesting, if you examine the link that you provided that shows what a Granodiorite is, and look up what a gneiss is, its very difficult to understand how Henke can claim that Baumgartner was not able to find Granodiorite, and not confuse it with gneiss.

Nevertheless, a review of the subsurface geology of the Fenton Hill borehole site... indicates that a granodiorite is not encountered at the site until depths of more than 2500 meters...Precambrian gneisses and mafic schists occur between depths of 722 meters and to slightly below 2500 meters. In particular, at depths of 750 and 1490 meters, Humphreys et al. (2003a,:) clearly sampled a Precambrian gneiss (a highly metamorphosed volcanic, intrusive or sedimentary rock) and not a granodiorite.


This realy shouldn't to hard to resolve. I would think all they have to do is go examine the core that Baumgartner took his samples from. He says that he his confident that he sampled the right kind of rock, and without more conclusive evidence than Henke's assertion I see no reason to doubt him.

Either way, the zircons contained essentially the same amount of U/Pb isotope concentrations, and therefore still have the same apparent radiometric age with too much helium in them.

The most damning aspect are the assumptions that Humphreys has made.  When geochronologists test the age using radiological dating, they make one assumption (Which has been tested and confirmed in a variety of ways), and that is that decay rates have remained largely constant.


I think your protesting too much here. If the rocks are truely billions of years old, then they should contain no helium. This assumption is being tested by RATE, and its results demonstrate that it may not be valid.

Assumption #1: Laboratory Vacuum Diffusion Results Accurately Model Diffusion under Relatively High Pressure Subsurface Conditions. (It doesn't)


The data from Gentry shows that the helium levels in the rocks decreases with increasing depth and tempurature.

Assumption #2: Constant Temperatures over Time. (uniformatarianist? Well other evidence indicates temperatures weren't constant)


Humhprey's has already delt with this Point 12, page 8.Constant Temp over time

To be honest - YEC are going to need a little more solid evidence than this...there are too many variables that could enter into the equations, too many assumptions to be made.


That's a matter of opinion. I guess its just coincidene that the radiogenic helium is apparently still in the rocks, and that the earth's atmosphere doesn't contain the helium that it should if it had all leaked out of the rocks.

I know that old agers have ideas about what may have happened to the helium that leaked out, but if its still in the rocks, then those ideas are more likely built on sand, and not rock(pun intended...:))

Terry

#4 Modulous

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 09:38 AM

This is interesting, if you examine the link that you provided that shows what a Granodiorite is, and look up what a gneiss is, its very difficult to understand how Henke can claim that Baumgartner was not able to find Granodiorite, and not confuse it with gneiss.

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I was simply responding that in Humphreys response to his critics, he failed to respond to the actual criticism. If he wanted to say that it was Granodiorite he was working with and there was a mistake made when the area was surveyed that's fine. He could have just said that though.

"Dr. Humphreys' reply raises even more questions about the quality and accuracy of his work, including his ability to distinguish an intrusive igneous rock (biotite granodiorite) from a partially veined strongly foliated (metamorphic) gneiss. The chemistry of the light and dark layers of this gneiss do not even resemble a granodiorite"source


This realy shouldn't to hard to resolve.  I would think all they have to do is go examine the core that Baumgartner took his samples from.  He says that he his confident that he sampled the right kind of rock, and without more conclusive evidence than Henke's assertion I see no reason to doubt him.


So basically, you see reason to doubt Henke's assertion backed with his source for that assertion, but you see no reason to doubt Humphreys. May I ask why?

I think your protesting too much here.  If the rocks are truely billions of years old, then they should contain no helium. 


I think that's actually the central issue at debate here. Are you sure they should? Perhaps other factors could account for the Helium...I think Henke has done a valid job of demonstrating that there are points of contention. Humphreys has dated the rock in two ways and has got two different results. He discards the one that is regarded as reliable, writing it off as being changed by miracle. He then accepts the more controversial figure. I think the scientific community has every right to be highly skeptical of such a claim, don't you agree? Think about it, if all radiodating said that the earth was at most 6,600 years old but somebody claimed that one controversial experiment demonstrates that it actually at least 1.5 billion years old...wouldn't you be protesting the validity of the claim?

This assumption is being tested by RATE, and its results demonstrate that it may not be valid.


That decay rates have not been constant? That's fine, but I hope their results can also explain the fact that decay rates from the 1987 supernova (that happened well before 6,000 years ago) were the same.


That's a matter of opinion. I guess its just coincidene that the radiogenic helium is apparently still in the rocks, and that the earth's atmosphere doesn't contain the helium that it should if it had all leaked out of the rocks.


It is a coincidence, but not a significant one. Some helium is in the rocks, some of it leaked out. The atmosphere doesn't contain the helium because it is no longer in the atmosphere (source provided in next paragraph).

I know that old agers  have ideas about what may have happened to the helium that leaked out, but if its still in the rocks, then those ideas are more likely built on sand, and not rock(pun intended...:))


Well, as you said, the helium that has leaked out is accounted for in other papers (Lie-Svendsen, O. and M. H. Rees, 1996) and is irrelevant to this discussion.

#5 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 05:41 PM

So basically, you see reason to doubt Henke's assertion backed with his source for that assertion, but you see no reason to doubt Humphreys. May I ask why?


I couldn't find any information about that source on the internet, so its not possible to tell if Henke's assertion has any merrit or not. In any case, Baugartner is an eye witness to what he sampled, and so it will take more than Henke's assertion to discredit him, with or without another refernce that may or may not be applicable or conclusive.

Humphreys has dated the rock in two ways and has got two different results. He discards the one that is regarded as reliable, writing it off as being changed by miracle. He then accepts the more controversial figure.


You call is a miracle because it doesn't fit your paradigmn. The helium content is measurable data, where as the assumption about the past decay rates of uranium is not measurable. Its simply an assumption. If the helium content of the rock is valid, and noother demonstrable explanation exists, then the assumptions about the decay rates are wrong, or at the minimum under serious doubt. I would think that an objective unbiased scientist would be very interested in such a claim and go out and see if he could verify such results, and not just cast insults at the messanger. After all, its the truth that were intertested in, not just maintaining false paradigms. Don't you agree????

Terry

#6 Modulous

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 05:18 AM

You call is a miracle because it doesn't fit your paradigmn.

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What do you define as a miracle then? Here is Humphrey's own explanation for the inconsistency between the two dating methods:

Thus our new diffusion data support the main hypothesis of the RATE research initiative: that God drastically accelerated the decay rates of long half-life nuclei during the earth's recent past.


He also mentions direct intervention by God. Personally, I define a miracle as divine intervention.


The helium content is measurable data, where as the assumption about the past decay rates of uranium is not measurable.  Its simply an assumption.


You got mixed up here I think. The current helium content is measurable data. The current helium diffusion rate is measurable data. The current quantities of radioactive daughter products is measurable data. The current radioactive decay rate is measurable data.

What isn't measurable is the helium diffusion rates over the past thousand years, six thousand years or the past billion years. This diffusion rate is an assumption. Also, the rate of decay of radioactive materials over the past x amount of time is an assumption.

The latter assumption has been rigorously tested and investigated in a number of ways and has been found to be accurate. The former assumption is problematic, and will need a lot more supporting science than radioactive decay rates has before it will be accepted as a more reliable method; there is evidence that helium diffusion rates can vary and no evidence that radioactive decay can vary. I am perfectly willing to accept helium diffusion as a valid dating method once a suitable level of supporting evidence is reached. I wish Humphreys the best of luck.

I would think that an objective unbiased scientist would be very interested in such a claim and go out and see if he could verify such results, and not just cast insults at the messanger.  After all, its the truth that were intertested in, not just maintaining false paradigms.  Don't you agree????


Agreed, but scientists have their own projects to be getting on with. If Humphreys starts getting this same result at multiple locations, I'm sure people will start to pay attention to them. Verification, or falsification would soon follow. If we were after truth, then we do what all scientists do, if there is an outlier and there is possibility that outlier was caused by experimental error, then we don't instantly start believing that the outlier is the truth, we discard it. If I was measuring acceleration due to gravity by using a pendulum and I got 9.8 m/s/s 100 times, and then I timed once how long it takes for a large sheet of paper to fall 10 metres and I get 1 m/s/s I don't suddenly think that the pendulum experiment is faulty, and that acceleration due to gravity must be 1/m/s/s

The onus is on Humphreys et al as the researchers in this area to repeat their results in other locations and demonstrate that the Fenton Hill site isn't an anomaly. Of course, being the intellectually honest person he is, he will also report all the places that he tested that didn't give the 6,000 year result, right? He surely wouldn't conveniently ignore them or anything, after all - a good scientist reports inconvenient data along with their explanation as to why that data might disagree with their hypothesis.

#7 Method

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 08:42 AM

http://www.answersin...3/old_earth.asp
and for the critics:
http://www.answersin...8/i2/helium.asp

Try reading these.

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Funny how your web sites only mention one form of escape, thermal escape. There are also other forms of helium escape which are conveniently absent. From http://www.talkorigi...ea.html#proof14

"The most probable mechanism for helium loss is photoionization of helium by the polar wind and its escape along open lines of the Earth's magnetic field. Banks and Holzer [1969] have shown that the polar wind can account for an escape of 2 to 4 x 106 ions/cm2 sec of Helium-4, which is nearly identical to the estimated production flux of (2.5 ± 1.5) x 106 atoms/cm2 sec. Calculations for Helium-3 lead to similar results, i.e., a rate virtually identical to the production flux. Another possible escape mechanism is direct interaction of the solar wind with the upper atmosphere during the short periods of lower magnetic-field intensity while the field is reversing. Sheldon and Kern [1972] estimated that 20 geomagnetic-field reversals over the past 3.5 million years would have assured a balance between helium production and loss."


My advice to creationists is to check the list of creationist refutations at http://www.talkorigi...dexcc/list.html before cutting and pasting something from a creationist website. It would be more honest if your argument also included the possible refutations and how the data overcomes these refutations.

#8 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 01:55 PM

"The most probable mechanism for helium loss is photoionization of helium by the polar wind and its escape along open lines of the Earth's magnetic field.....

Another possible escape mechanism is direct interaction of the solar wind with the upper atmosphere during the short periods of lower magnetic-field intensity while the field is reversing. "

The key words here are "probable" and "possible". 

My advice to creationists is to check the list of creationist refutations at http://www.talkorigi...dexcc/list.html before cutting and pasting something from a creationist website.  .


Floating something that's probable, or possible, doesn't refute anything, nor does it require refutation. Its just a statement of faith.

It would be more honest if your argument also included the possible refutations and how the data overcomes these refutations


1st, this is a back door way of saying someone is dishonest, and I don't think that's warranted under these circumstances.

2nd, it presumes that anything on talkorigins requires refutation. I've seen little that does. No offesne, but IMO, most of it is conjecture that ends up being overstated by those who depend on it.

Terry

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 02:15 PM

Perhaps what is worth discussing?


Perhaps the conclusive evidence, not speculation, that evolutoinists have that demonstrate that helium outflux of the atmosphere is enough to account for the low level in the atmospere.

In the end I guess its a moot point if the amount of helium in the rocks cannot be accounted for given their supposed age. Fast leakage out of the atmosphere does not equal fast leakage out of some rocks.

Terry

#10 Method

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 02:24 PM

Floating something that's probable, or possible, doesn't refute anything, nor does it require refutation.  Its just a statement of faith.


In the case of helium in the atmosphere, if it is possible it must be dealt with. The argument put forth states that the only possible escape mechanism is through thermal escape. This is not true.

1st, this is a back door way of saying someone is dishonest, and I don't think that's warranted under these circumstances.


You are quite right. I should say that the most common creationist arguments (eg moon dust, helium in the atmosphere, shrinking sun) have been dealt with at the talkorigins site I provided. The first thing I am going to do is go to that site. It would help move the discussion along if those refutations were dealt with right away.

2nd, it presumes that anything on talkorigins requires refutation.  I've seen little that does.  No offesne, but IMO, most of it is conjecture that ends up being overstated by those who depend on it.


It cuts both ways, does it not? I could state the same about AiG. What matters is the data. All I am asking is that the data from BOTH sides be dealt with. Claiming that thermal escape, for helium in the atmosphere, is inadequate and NO OTHER MECHANISM COULD BE INVOLVED is incorrect once both sides are taken into account. I think it would be honest to show how the mechanism described at talkorigins is also inadequate.

Perhaps the conclusive evidence, not speculation, that evolutoinists have that demonstrate that helium outflux of the atmosphere is enough to account for the low level in the atmospere.


Perhaps conclusive evidence, not speculation, from creationists that thermal escape is the only mechanism involved.

Added in edit:

After a five minute google search I came to this site which has pictures of IONIZED HELIUM surrounding the earth. It is no longer speculation that there is ionized helium in earth's atmosphere. Since this ionized helium carries a charge, and is one of the lightest elements in the atmosphere, other forces such as solar winds and the earth's magnetic field have to be taken into account.

The picture germain to this discussion has the caption: "Ultraviolet image of sunlight scattered from the Earth's extended atmosphere of helium using the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager instrument. This image shows that the ionized helium atmosphere extends to about 2 - 3 times the size of the Earth. Irregularities at the fringe of the image, such as the upper left, indicate magnetic storm activity. This is the first time such features have been imaged. (Courtesy NASA) "

#11 Modulous

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 06:37 AM

Perhaps the conclusive evidence, not speculation, that evolutoinists have that demonstrate that helium outflux of the atmosphere is enough to account for the low level in the atmospere.

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Actually, the creationists are making the claim that the helium outflux is not enough to account for the low levels. How about they stop speculating about it and actually show some conclusive evidence?

#12 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 05:15 PM

Actually, the creationists are making the claim that the helium outflux is not enough to account for the low levels. How about they stop speculating about it and actually show some conclusive evidence?


I'm not making the claim that the outflux is not enough to account for the low levels. But lets face it, both sides are speculating on the outflux to a certain degree, so its kind of a wash.

The diffusion rates of the zircons are something that can be understood with a higher degree of certainty, so we'll see where it goes.

Terry

#13 Modulous

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:33 PM

I'm not making the claim that the outflux is not enough to account for the low levels.  But lets face it, both sides are speculating on the outflux to a certain degree, so its kind of a wash.

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Well, creationists are the ones making absolute statements "This cannot happen", "This is what happens", "That is against this law of x". If someone is going to make an absolute statement "The Helium content of the atmosphere is too low compared with what it should be with an old earth", it is perfectly reasonable to simply point out, "You only took into account, one possible method of Helium escape. If you take some other methods into account, maybe your results would be different? We would predict that to be the case".

If you are going to try and prove something, you have to take into account all the variables. Miss any major variables out, and someone is sure to point them out.

The diffusion rates of the zircons are something that can be understood with a higher degree of certainty, so we'll see where it goes.


Very well, I'm happy to add this to the board of anomalies until the weight of evidence merits serious investigation. As I said, I wish Humphreys the best of luck.

#14 Fred Williams

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 07:24 AM

My advice to creationists is to check the list of creationist refutations at http://www.talkorigi...dexcc/list.html before cutting and pasting something from a creationist website. It would be more honest if your argument also included the possible refutations and how the data overcomes these refutations.


While it is true we should try to understand the argument we are presenting, including searching for arguments against our POV, the way you stated it isn’t the way to go about it. As Terry mentioned, your comments imply the poster is being intellectually dishonest, which isn’t necessarily the case. Plus, the above is a double-standard because most of the time evolutionists do the same thing (don’t provide the “possible refutations”). Suppose I posted something like this: “Evolutionists, please refer to Answers In Genesis to see the refutations of your argument before you post them, it would make your argument more honest”. This would not be well-received, and rightly so since it would be just as hypocritical.

This whole thing started when a forum guideline wasn't followed. As a friendly reminder, I would like to remind our members of this forum guideline:
  • Your post should not be simply a link to an article/website, or a wholesale cut&paste of an article/web-page. Various snippets from articles are fine, provided it is in the context of the argument you are developing. This shows the reader you understand the topic you are debating and makes for more productive discussion.
If as a member you see this, please use the “Report” button so we can delete the post and remind the member not to do this.

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