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Thread: Is science faith-based?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Robot View Post
    As far as I know, there has never been a scientifically accepted definition of the word "God".
    There isn't even a consensual unscientific definition.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild615 View Post
    I only went to the Catholic School for 1 1/2 hours a week, and yes you are correct, it was for communion not confirmation.
    I attended that around I'd say 1978-1979. They really did not teach us much about what you are saying. They would basically just take us to church for about 40 minutes and then back to the class for the remainder of the 1 1/2 hrs.
    It's a basic tenet of the faith. The Ascencion and the Assumption are Holy Days of Obligation, for starters. (That's days you have to go to church, for those who didn't grow up Catholic.) Perhaps they didn't teach it in your First Communion classes because, you know, they assumed you should already have known it, and the shock came not from impertinent questions but from shock at your basic ignorance of your own faith! (No offence meant, of course.)

    Now, you are correct, instead of getting in trouble for my question, she should have given me your answer.
    Yes, and I assure you that I'm not excusing her behaviour.

    I watch a lot of programs on history and discovery about the relics and bones and even the greatest professors say that there is no proof that they are the actual bones of the saints etc. The only story that intrigued me was the Story of St Bernadette, they exhumed the body approx 50 years later and they said it was still in tact. They have the body on display in a church in Lourdes. I would like to think it is real, but who knows. Then theres that whole Shroud of Turin thing, now they are carbon dating it and saying DaVinci made the shroud. Who knows, I guess it's all down to what we want to believe and have faith in.
    Since the Shroud of Turin is documented to have existed before Leonardo da Vinci did, let us say I find that latter unlikely. I'm also curious as to how you expect them to prove that relics are anyone's bones in particular without DNA. I grant you that, for the older and better-known saints, it's pretty much true that you can build about fifteen people out of the various relics. But there's limited proof that can be done.

    As far as the School, like I said, I only attended 1 1/2 hrs per week, I can ask some old friends I have that attended full time what they learned, I think that it would be interesting to find out. I love this kind of conversation, my brain thrives on questions, information and controversy.
    Well, I was raised Catholic and am currently Pagan, so I'm used to answering a lot of questions.
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    Wow! I'm out of town for a couple of days and I miss out on a lot of stuff.

    First, I want to clarify a couple of things. Creationists don't go around saying "we can't expain it so God did it".
    Creationists actually say that there is so much evidence in the universe and everything in it that it points to intelligent design. The way the universe functions and is organized points to intelligent design. The odds that the universe exists the way it is and for life to exist on this planet are so astronomical as to be impossible. ( i have numbers if you want them) The answer isn't always that "God Did IT!", but that you can't avoid the fact that there is intelligence behind it. There are so many things in the universe that don't make sense unless there is intelligent design. I could make a list of things, but you could too. I am curious about what people think happened to all the anti-matter. If the big bang is true, then there should be equal amounts of matter and anti-matter in the universe. There should be whole galaxies made of the stuff. There isn't. There's very little detectable anti-matter in the universe. The law of averages states that there should be equal amounts of both. Where did it go or was it ever there? This is a fantastic discussion, so please keep it going.

  4. #64
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    The problem is that all the things that creationists point to as evidence for ID can just as easily (and usually more easily) be explained by evolution, as Michael Behe's pwning in Dover, Pennsylvania ably proved. There is simply no evidence anywhere that unequivocally points to an intelligent designer and nothing else. The issue of "God did it" isn't about motive, it's about falsifiability. God cannot be disproven, so he cannot be employed as a scientific cause. God can do anything, he doesn't need to leave any evidence of his work behind, and he doesn't need to follow cause and effect or obey the laws of physics, so there is no way to investigate the God hypothesis scientifically. "God did it" is a philosophical brick wall that stops rational inquiry dead. As the introductory sign to the Creation Museum in Kentucky puts it, "Don't think. Just listen and believe." With God, that's all you can do.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  5. #65
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    Well, I don't completly think I made my point. Creationist scientists aren't going around saying "God Did It" and leaving it at that. The inquiry doesnt' stop there. The big difference is that Creation scientists are still on a quest for knowledge. They still want to know how it works or why it works. They don't stop at "God did it." They all firmly believe that "God did it." They are still trying to find out how "God did it". "God did it" isn't the end of the quest for knowledge, it's the beginning.

    Where do Creationist start with their quest for knowledge? God.
    Where does everyone else start? Random acts of nature.

    I know this example has been thrown around a lot, but if you can look at a watch, or a car, or computer and know that there is a designer that built it then how hard is it to believe that one red blood cell, that is vastly more complex, was designed and not a random event. I hope this helps.

  6. #66
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    You cannot scientifically analyze God or his works. Since God is omnipotent and capable of performing miracles, he can skip from thought to result without any need for physical action or effect. Since science only studies the physical universe, there is no point in attempting to understand how God Did It from a scientific perspective.

    The issue, as I said, is falsifiability. Take the proposition, "The Moon is made of green cheese." This is a scientific hypothesis, because you can prove it is wrong. You can send a craft to the Moon, sample its soil, and, if necessary, grind the Moon to dust to show that there is not a single trace of green cheese anywhere within it. The Green Cheese Hypothesis is falsifiable. God doesn't work like that. You can imagine scientific ways in which He Might Have Done It, but, because God can do anything, you can never develop a testable hypothesis that shows how He Did Not Do It. This means that God is not a scientific hypothesis; from a scientific point of view "God Did It" is as far as you can go.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    You cannot scientifically analyze God or his works. Since God is omnipotent and capable of performing miracles, he can skip from thought to result without any need for physical action or effect. Since science only studies the physical universe, there is no point in attempting to understand how God Did It from a scientific perspective.

    The issue, as I said, is falsifiability. Take the proposition, "The Moon is made of green cheese." This is a scientific hypothesis, because you can prove it is wrong. You can send a craft to the Moon, sample its soil, and, if necessary, grind the Moon to dust to show that there is not a single trace of green cheese anywhere within it. The Green Cheese Hypothesis is falsifiable. God doesn't work like that. You can imagine scientific ways in which He Might Have Done It, but, because God can do anything, you can never develop a testable hypothesis that shows how He Did Not Do It. This means that God is not a scientific hypothesis; from a scientific point of view "God Did It" is as far as you can go.
    You may not be able to analyze God, but you can analyze His works. If we are to assume that God is infalliable and true, then God will follow the laws He placed on His creation. Since God is not deceptive then we can analyze the universe with a scientific inquiry as to how God did it. Again, "God did it" is not the end of the search for knowlege, but the beginning. Creationist are not debating the existance of God or "That" He did it, just how He did it.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    At 9? snip...... Confirmation (which usually involves teenagers these days) is the process by which you declare as an adult your intention to be a member of the Catholic faith. (I don't think other religions do Confirmation.) ....snip
    Just for the records: If you mean by other religions, other Christian religions, then your thinking is wrong.
    Protestants in Germany (and as far as I know in several other countries) do have confirmation. (Typically at the age of 14). It is held together with first Communion.
    As far as I know (not sure) Martin Luther said that with 9 or 10 a kid ain't old enough to be aware of what all this is about and therefore changed that point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    You may not be able to analyze God, but you can analyze His works. If we are to assume that God is infallible and true, then God will follow the laws He placed on His creation. Since God is not deceptive then we can analyze the universe with a scientific inquiry as to how God did it. Again, "God did it" is not the end of the search for knowledge, but the beginning. Creationist are not debating the existence of God or "That" He did it, just how He did it.
    That's all well and good. Scientific evidence does not, after all, disprove God, since God, as I said, is not disprovable. Many scientists, while fully accepting the accumulated evidence of 400 years of scientific observation, nonetheless believe in God. The issue arises not when one decides to use science to study the wonder of God's creation, but when one's preconceived notions about God and the Bible interfere with objective viewing of the evidence. There is clear evidence in the fossil record that animals did not all exist at once, but existed in separate geological eras separated by millions of years. No dinosaur, despite Creationist wishful thinking, has ever been found in the same geological stratum as an anatomically modern animal, and no Cambrian creature has ever been found in the same stratum as a dinosaur. (If either was ever found, by the way, evolution would be disproven instantly, which is why evolution is a scientific theory and creationism is not) These strata have been dated radiologically to be millions of years apart. Astronomers routinely detect light that has traveled millions of light years to reach our eyes, which means that it must have left its source galaxies millions of years ago, or we wouldn't be able to see it. We can accept the evidence, or we can twist it, ignoring the bits that don't fit, into our preconceived ideas of what should have happened. This is not scientific thinking. In science, you go where the evidence takes you. We may wish to see the world as the flawless creation of a beneficent God, but there are just as many horrific and terrible creatures as there are beautiful and charming ones. More, if absolute numbers are counted. As David Attenborough likes to say, the same God that created the leaping gazelle and the majestic lion must also have created the malarial mosquitoes and the worms that eat into children's eyeballs. No one ever films them and they don't end up in zoos, but they affect our lives far more profoundly than the gazelles. So to see nature as the product of a benevolent creator, while perfectly fine and good, runs the risk of blinding the observer to the objective reality of the natural world.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2008-Mar-10 at 05:20 PM.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    Creationist are not debating the existance of God or "That" He did it, just how He did it.
    That might be the attitude of most Creationists, I don't know. But the Creationists who get in the media (and build museums) don't share that attitude; their prevailing and often-expressed attitude seems to be that any support or acceptance of human evolution makes you a Godless Commie(TM).
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    There’s too much here to debate. I’ll touch on a couple of things.
    One, radiometric and radiocarbon dating are notoriously inaccurate. Radio carbon dating is good for only about 80,000 years. Knowing that, why do they always find C14 in coal deposits that took millions of years to form? If a diamond formed about 3 billion years ago, why do they still find C14 in it? If dinosaurs did die out over 65 million years ago, how do you explain the T-rex soft tissue that was found in a fossil dig in Montana that was reported in 2005? If radiometric dating is as accurate as claimed, then why do rocks of known age (new lava rock for example) always date into the millions of years? Samples taken from Hawaii and Mount St Helens that are known to be just a few years old always date to the millions?

    What is objective? Science is not objective. People want to believe that they can be un-biased, but nobody is. Even our discussion is biased. You started with one preconceived notion and I started with another. Whose is ultimately correct? Just claiming that your unbiased isn’t enough. That is a bias in itself. You said “We can accept the evidence, or we can twist it, ignoring the bits that don't fit, into our preconceived ideas of what should have happened”, and I can say the same thing. Just because we have similar DNA to a monkey doesn’t mean we evolved from monkeys. It doesn’t’ mean we have a common ancestor, but a common designer. Everybody’s car has round wheels, but not all wheels fit on all cars. Some are not interchangeable.

    If the geologic strata are indeed correct, how do you explain petrified trees that stand upright in several different layers of strata that are millions of years apart?

    Your results will always reflect your bias that you start with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    That might be the attitude of most Creationists, I don't know. But the Creationists who get in the media (and build museums) don't share that attitude; their prevailing and often-expressed attitude seems to be that any support or acceptance of human evolution makes you a Godless Commie(TM).
    Be nice. Your just throwing stones. Most creationist that claim that your are a Godles Commie, problaby have other problems to deal with. I've looked through some of the stuff from creationist that built the museum and they haven't called anybody Godless unless they claimed to already be. "Richard Dawkins for example".

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    Your results will always reflect your bias that you start with.
    Yes, that's why science has developed so many means to minimize the effects of bias, like duplicatable test results and double-blind testing. And so far, the evidence has held up to these methods.

    I'm pretty sure the "facts" you just listed are ATM, and if you want to say anything further in that line of thought you'd be better off doing so in the ATM section. The rules here prohibit promoting ATM concepts in other threads.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I would like to see them answered though; those are commonly used creationist arguments and I know they have been disproven, but I would like to know exactly how.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    Be nice. Your just throwing stones. .
    No, I'm saying what I have seen. I didn't claim to know what all or most of Creationists think, as I said in my post. The ones I have seen or heard all seem to share the attitude I mentioned.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreH View Post
    Just for the records: If you mean by other religions, other Christian religions, then your thinking is wrong.
    Protestants in Germany (and as far as I know in several other countries) do have confirmation. (Typically at the age of 14). It is held together with first Communion.
    As far as I know (not sure) Martin Luther said that with 9 or 10 a kid ain't old enough to be aware of what all this is about and therefore changed that point.
    Ah. Thank you kindly. I knew that there were some differences in sacraments, but not that one.

    Thumping, I hate to get into an "am not/are too" debate with you, but you're flat wrong. Once you say "God did it" (which quite a lot of creationists do give as their only answer), there is no inquiry left or needed. You have your answer. If you look at why it happened, you are acknowledging that "God did it" is not a suitable answer and that science has the right system, and when you do that, there is no answer not made out of willful ignorance that does not result in awareness of the overwhelming evidence for evolution.

    You really need to get thee to a library. Your "facts" are all wrong. The reason, for example, that new lava "always" gives an ancient dating is that, well, it doesn't. Sometimes, there are crystals within the lava that really are that old. More frequently, it's because someone is applying the wrong radiometric dating system. You seem unaware that there's more than one; C-14 dating is only used up to a certain age. After that, other forms are needed. The lava dating that you don't seem to realize is completely debunked comes from people applying incorrect science in the first place. If you haven't already, you need to go to http://www.talkorigins.org, because they know what they're talking about and you don't.
    _____________________________________________
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    "You can't erase icing."

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  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    I not sure how the red shift proves the Big Bang. Most creationist / evolutionist theories have solutions to the red shift of the universe expanding. Nobody argues that the universe is expanding.
    Don't you mean everybody argues that the universe is expanding?

    There are a few of us who argue otherwise.

    Welcome to the board - I think you posted good philosophical questions and responded well to the answers. We try to limit discussion of faith simply because faith implies absence of evidence: We try to understand evidence without imposing faith-based bias. But as you observed, that is not always easy.
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    You really need to get thee to a library. Your "facts" are all wrong. The reason, for example, that new lava "always" gives an ancient dating is that, well, it doesn't. Sometimes, there are crystals within the lava that really are that old. More frequently, it's because someone is applying the wrong radiometric dating system. You seem unaware that there's more than one; C-14 dating is only used up to a certain age. After that, other forms are needed. The lava dating that you don't seem to realize is completely debunked comes from people applying incorrect science in the first place. If you haven't already, you need to go to http://www.talkorigins.org, because they know what they're talking about and you don't.
    You must be teasing me. I argued that radiometric dating is inaccurate and gave examples. You argued that there are crystals in the lava that are really that old. You proved my point. Also, if any of the radiometric dating methods were correct then why have to use more than one. Using different methods until you get the result you expect just proves my point again. I would absolutly love to see one example of new (known age) rock that dates with a young age. I do also understand that Radiocarbon dating is used mostly to date plants and animals and the half life of C14 is about 5730 years. Still doesn't explain millions of year old coal with C14 in it. This is a fantastic discussion and I'm really enjoying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Don't you mean everybody argues that the universe is expanding?

    There are a few of us who argue otherwise.

    Welcome to the board - I think you posted good philosophical questions and responded well to the answers. We try to limit discussion of faith simply because faith implies absence of evidence: We try to understand evidence without imposing faith-based bias. But as you observed, that is not always easy.
    Thanks. I agree about adding faith to the argument. My main point is that your results will always reflect your starting point. If you start with evolution and filter your results with that starting point, you will get a different interpertation of the data than someone starting with a creationist standpoint. The data is still the same. The only difference is how you look at it. This may not be the best example, but it's like looking at a new car. I might like the car and I might think it'll last for years, while another person that had a different experience will look at the car and think it's junk or won't last but a few miles. The car hasn't changed, but our views are still different.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    snip.. Using different methods until you get the result you expect just proves my point again....
    this is a typical "fact twisting" claim.

    If someone would use a caliper to meassure the length of timber wood, it would be applying the wrong method and he would get an in accurate result.
    For small parts which have to be machined accurately you use a caliper, for timber wood you use a rule.
    Different methods for different applications. Very easy.
    Last edited by AndreH; 2008-Mar-11 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Typo

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    My main point is that your results will always reflect your starting point
    If you have a start point, as you put it (based on factual evidence) the facts in the future may or may not lead away from that point. If those facts have to reach an end point then you are telling the facts which direction to take. If that end point is immovable then you are biased towards that end! How much more obvious do you need that to be?

    Your results will always reflect your bias that you start
    I trust what science says because it does not have a biased stance. I cannot trust what creationist science says because it does have a biased stance. When you say "they know God did it " that means that the work creationist science is doing in understanding facts, and how it presents those facts will be biased towards that end.

    If you already have an end point to the were the facts need to end up then you are biased towards that end (yes, I am labeling the point). And however the facts come out, you will have to point them towards that end ('God'), even if they do not point to that end*! So if I say that creationist science may not intentionally manipulate facts (and that's being kind to them), It is directly associated with how creationist science works that may cause the manipulation of facts.
    ------------
    ------------
    ------------
    (Maybe an exaggeration, but the basic point is the same)

    It seems clear that many churchmen were unhappy with the decision to prosecute the eminent scientist. Even under the Church law of the time, the case against Galileo was questionable, and he was given a comparatively light sentence. He was not, in fact, confined to jail at all, but merely to house arrest in his own comfortable villa in Arcetri. Theoretically, he was to have no visitors, but that provision of the sentence was not enforced. His only other punishment was the requirement that he publicly recant his view that the Earth moved around the Sun.

    Some people want to understand the facts of nature, and allow nature to tell them what it is. Some people try to fit the facts (anyway possible) into how there personal belief says it should be. You can see from the quote above what that 'personal belief' can do to the facts of nature.

    *And there's no point saying "They already know God did it".. As far as I know ( and in respect to this conversation) God only exists in your head.

    No offense intended.
    Last edited by steve000; 2008-Mar-11 at 07:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreH View Post
    this is a typical "fact twisting" claim.

    If someone would use a caliper to meassure the length of timber wood, it would be applying the wrong method and he would get an in accurate result.
    For small parts which have to be machined accurately you use a caliper, for timber wood you use a rule.
    Different methods for different applications. Very easy.
    I guess I didn't expain myself correctly. What I mean is that there are different radiometric dating methods for dating rock. Uranium/lead or potassium/argon. Each is supposed to be completly accurate in dating rock, but which one is right if they both give different results?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve000 View Post
    If you have a start point, as you put it (based on factual evidence) the facts in the future may or may not lead away from that point. If those facts have to reach an end point then you are telling the facts which direction to take. If that end point is immovable then you are biased towards that end! How much more obvious do you that need to be?



    I trust what science says because it does not have a biased stance. I cannot trust what creationist science says because it does have a biased stance. When you say "they know God did it " that means that the work creationist science is doing in understanding facts, and how it presents those facts will be biased towards that end.

    If you already have an end point to the were the facts need to end up then you are biased towards that end (yes, I am labeling the point). And however the facts come out, you will have to point them towards that end ('God'), even if they do not point to that end*! So if I say that creationist science may not intentionally manipulate facts (and that's being kind to them), It is directly associated with how creationist science works that may cause the manipulation of facts.
    ------------
    ------------
    ------------
    (Maybe an exaggeration, but the basic point is the same)

    It seems clear that many churchmen were unhappy with the decision to prosecute the eminent scientist. Even under the Church law of the time, the case against Galileo was questionable, and he was given a comparatively light sentence. He was not, in fact, confined to jail at all, but merely to house arrest in his own comfortable villa in Arcetri. Theoretically, he was to have no visitors, but that provision of the sentence was not enforced. His only other punishment was the requirement that he publicly recant his view that the Earth moved around the Sun.

    Some people want to understand the facts of nature, and allow nature to tell them what it is. Some people try to fit the facts (anyway possible) into how there personal belief says it should be. You can see from the quote above what that 'personal belief' can do to the facts of nature.

    *And there's no point saying "They already know God did it".. As far as I know ( and in respect to this conversation) God only exists in your head.

    No offense intended.
    Well, we can't get into the God debate here, but God does exist and He's not just in my head. If you really read into history about Galileo, he was a Christian scientist who believed in the authority of the bible and was trying to convince the church of what he believed and of what science told him. Galileo is a great example of a Christian scientist. In fact Galileo was not in trouble with the Church for believing that the Earth revolved around the sun but for disobeying papal orders. Until the trial against him Galileo was held in high esteem by the Holy See and even had an audience with Pope Paul V. Using Galileo to prove your point against Creationists doesnt work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    You must be teasing me. I argued that radiometric dating is inaccurate and gave examples. You argued that there are crystals in the lava that are really that old. You proved my point.

    She didn't say that. Radiometric dating only measures the age of a rock from the point it solidified. Liquid lava may possess, floating within it, microscopic crystals that are already solid and thus far older than the lava around it, but the lava around it will still keep the time it froze.

    Also, if any of the radiometric dating methods were correct then why have to use more than one.
    Different methods are used because different elements decay at different rates. Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years, so it's useful in dating things from, say 10-20,000 years ago, but after about 100,000 years there's too little of it left to give an accurate measurement. Potassium-40 has a half-life of 1.3 billion years, so it can be used to measure dates from as far back as the formation of the Earth, but, on the other hand, really isn't useful for any date before, say 1 billion years ago.

    Still doesn't explain millions of year old coal with C14 in it.
    Well, I'm not an expert, but radioactive decay is completely random. No one can predict exactly when a particular atom of any element will decay. May be tomorrow, may be in a billion years. All half-life measures is the time by which probability dictates that 50% of the material will have decayed. Even after millions of years, there is still likely to be some carbon-14 left. Plus it is also likely that carbon-14 could have entered the sample through later impurities.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    She didn't say that. Radiometric dating only measures the age of a rock from the point it solidified. Liquid lava may possess, floating within it, microscopic crystals that are already solid and thus far older than the lava around it, but the lava around it will still keep the time it froze.



    Different methods are used because different elements decay at different rates. Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years, so it's useful in dating things from, say 10-20,000 years ago, but after about 100,000 years there's too little of it left to give an accurate measurement. Potassium-40 has a half-life of 1.3 billion years, so it can be used to measure dates from as far back as the formation of the Earth, but, on the other hand, really isn't useful for any date before, say 1 billion years ago.

    Well, I'm not an expert, but radioactive decay is completely random. No one can predict exactly when a particular atom of any element will decay. May be tomorrow, may be in a billion years. All half-life measures is the time by which probability dictates that 50% of the material will have decayed. Even after millions of years, there is still likely to be some carbon-14 left. Plus it is also likely that carbon-14 could have entered the sample through later impurities.
    I'm not trying to be uncivil. I'm just trying to make a point and I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall. I do have a question for you. You gave examples of half lives of different elements as an accurate account of dating and then said that decay rates are completly random. Could you clarify that for me? I'm not sure if your arguing for or against any of the above dating methods.

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    The decay rate for any one particular atom is completely random. A single atom of an isotope may decay tomorrow or in a million years. But you can determine, depending on how stable, on average, an element is, how much of an element will have decayed by a certain point. Physicists use as a yardstick the amount of time it will take, on average, for fifty percent of an element to have decayed into its daughter elements. That's its half-life. Something with a half life of 5700 years will have lost 1/2 its original amount in 5700 years, half of the remainder in 11400 years, half of the remainder in 17100 years, half of the remainder in 22800 years and so on. If you started with, say, a trillion atoms of the material (about the amount in a speck of dust), then in 2 million years there would still, according to probability, be 14 atoms left.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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    Earth revolved around the sun
    Are you saying that the Earth going round the sun proves the existence of God.. in your opinion ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve000 View Post




    Are you saying that the Earth going round the sun proves the existence of God.. in your opinion ?
    Nope. I was arguing about the use of Galileo against the Church, when in fact he was a Christian scientist who believed in the authority of the Bible.

    Does that help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumping View Post
    I'm not trying to be uncivil. I'm just trying to make a point and I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall. I do have a question for you. You gave examples of half lives of different elements as an accurate account of dating and then said that decay rates are completly random. Could you clarify that for me? I'm not sure if your arguing for or against any of the above dating methods.
    We feel that way, too, because you obviously don't know what you're talking about. Learning about half-lives would take perhaps two minutes on Wikipedia. Or talkorigins, which I pointed out to you earlier. In fact, the calipers to tape measure analogy given to you earlier is a very good one. C-14 is the calipers. It gives very fine measurements for a very specific time. Potassium-40 is a very, very long tape measure. If you use C-14 to measure where you need a tape measure, you're probably going to get the wrong answer, because you're using the wrong instrument. And vice versa. I really don't understand what's so difficult to understand about this concept unless you don't want to.
    _____________________________________________
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    The decay rate for any one particular atom is completely random. A single atom of an isotope may decay tomorrow or in a million years. But you can determine, depending on how stable, on average, an element is, how much of an element will have decayed by a certain point. Physicists use as a yardstick the amount of time it will take, on average, for fifty percent of an element to have decayed into its daughter elements. That's its half-life. Something with a half life of 5700 years will have lost 1/2 its original amount in 5700 years, half of the remainder in 11400 years, half of the remainder in 17100 years, half of the remainder in 22800 years and so on. If you started with, say, a trillion atoms of the material (about the amount in a speck of dust), then in 2 million years there would still, according to probability, be 14 atoms left.
    Me thinks we are talking in circles. I'm not arguing about half lives of any elements. That is not in question. I'm just arguing about the results. For example:
    For argument sake, lets say we have three devices designed to measure distance from point "A" to point "B". All three devices are scientifically accurate and not in dispute. All three devices give different results and when measured a second time with the same three devices the results are different than the first. This is the point I'm making about radiometric and/or radicarbon dating. If all of them are supposedly accurate, then why do they give different results?

    About your argument that the molten lava has crystals that are not melted that could give old dates. I'm really REALLY not trying to be rude or anything, but, does that really make sense? Using your argument, I could say that all lava deposits are not any good for dating. Also, are you saying that all cooled lava deposits that date old and shouldn't, have crystals in them that would date old? I'm seriously not trying to offend, but that doens't make sense to me.

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