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What's bad science? Read here

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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What's bad science? Read here

Postby Springer » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:06 pm

Evolutionists argue that radiometric dating proves that the earth is billions of years old and that the geologic column accurately reflects the past. However, the method is highly unreliable, as evidenced by several studies of recent lava flows of known dates. (see the following link)

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creatio ... dating.asp

Radiometric dating is anything but a "gold standard", and cannot be used to defend interpretations of the fossil record.
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Postby mith » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:55 pm

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD013_1.html
Rebuttal quote:
1. Austin sent his samples to a laboratory that clearly states that their equipment cannot accurately measure samples less than two million years old. All of the measured ages but one fall well under the stated limit of accuracy, so the method applied to them is obviously inapplicable. Since Austin misused the measurement technique, he should expect inaccurate results, but the fault is his, not the technique's. Experimental error is a possible explanation for the older date.

2. Austin's samples were not homogeneous, as he himself admitted. Any xenocrysts in the samples would make the samples appear older (because the xenocrysts themselves would be old). A K-Ar analysis of impure fractions of the sample, as Austin's were, is meaningless.

Seems to me, Austin was doing bad science.
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Postby b_d_41501 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:29 pm

Since when is using half-life techniques unreliable in research? Carbon-14 dating is extremely accurate. I use http://www.answersingenesis.org for some of my youth group studies and i've noticed that the majority of their accounts use extremely bad science to try to prove a literal viewpoint from the book of Genesis.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:34 am

bd wrote:

Since when is using half-life techniques unreliable in research? Carbon-14 dating is extremely accurate. I use http://www.answersingenesis.org for some of my youth group studies and i've noticed that the majority of their accounts use extremely bad science to try to prove a literal viewpoint from the book of Genesis.


Yes, radiometric dating is very accurate, and sadly, far too many people insult both the Bible and the Christian faith, both of which I love very much, by trying to take it WAY too literally. This leads to bad religion as well as bad science.
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Postby AstusAleator » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:55 pm

If you're going to cite "bad science" dont' link to propaganda please. Here's your link

http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=res ... chp_sa_r01

After looking through the study, even though I'm not a geologist, I could see that Austin may have made several methodological errors in his sampling methods, primarily regarding identifying xenolyths that could corrupt the sample. Talk-origins refutation, citing the inability of the lab to date things less than 2 mil yrs old is also a valid point, though I haven't confirmed it personally.

This study has cast some doubt (for me at least) on accuracy of radiometric dating. Even if the current practice of K-Ar radiometric dating is proven to be unreliable, does that make it bad science? No. It makes it science. That's the principle of science, making hypotheses based on observations and then seeking to refute them.

Just because a scientific principle hasn't been proven wrong doesn't mean it's right, HOWEVER, in order for progress to be made, scientists will go on basing further studies on that principle until it is proven wrong. If it is never proven wrong, well then that just means that the probability of it being right has increased.

Take the Law of Thermodynamics for example, as far as our scientific methods have been able to determine so far, it is true. But we don't know if it applies in another galaxy or another universe. For all we know there could be a complete different set of physical laws there. Until the law is refuted, though, we will go on basing our lines of scientific inquiry on it.
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Postby mith » Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:23 am

I wasn't referring to the method as bad science but the work of Austin as such. As a scientist he should be more aware of these sources of errors before blatantly publishing an article saying that radiometrics is wrong.
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Postby Springer » Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:11 am

There is a big problem with the rebuttal of the Austin sample.

If the lab knew it couldn't determine the age of a sample if it were less than 2 million years old, why did the report read 340,000 to 2.8 million years? The conclusion that the test was invalid was retrospective and based not on any logical explanation, but on the observation that it didn't fit evolution. If the lab truely couldn't measure young samples, as stated in the talkorgins link, then the result would have stated "0 to 2.8 million years."

Another point: Given that radiometric dating cannot be relied upon for younger samples, it is therefore impossible to prove that the earth is billions of years old if the contention is that it is in reality only thousands of years old. This is because a "young sample" cannot be dated and would give an older-than-expected date.

Finally, if radiometric dating doesn't work on samples less than 2 million years, how are they dating fossils of supposed pre-human ancestors, i.e. australopithicus?
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:06 pm

i have no idea about the experiment, but australopitecus fossils are dated 2.5 mil-4.5 milion years old.
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Postby Springer » Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:24 pm

MrMistery wrote:i have no idea about the experiment, but australopitecus fossils are dated 2.5 mil-4.5 milion years old.


That may be a more recent conclusion. In the past they were dated to 2 million years old. At that time, how were they dating them?
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:53 am

Actually, some older sources that I read dated Australopithecus to five million years. From what source do you get that two million year date, Springer?
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Postby Springer » Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:27 am

alextemplet wrote:Actually, some older sources that I read dated Australopithecus to five million years. From what source do you get that two million year date, Springer?


You could be correct about the 5 million years for the first australopithecus. However, there are numerous references of australopithecine fossils which have been assinged ages of between 1.5 and 2.2 million years. Here are two links I found:

http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/humanevol.html

http://www.ecotao.com/holism/hu_austral.htm



My point is not to get into a protracted debate about supposed pre-human ancestors. The fact is, they are using 2 million year old dates and assigning them to fossils touted to be pre-human species. .Apparently researchers are completely confident in their ability assign a 4.5 million year age, while at the same time refuting any young sample as inaccurate if it's less than 2 million years. Let's face it... they're using radiometric dating to support evolution, not as an objective tool. If you contend that man evolved, you need to concede that there is no way to have any level of confidence in dating the fossils directly. On the one hand, they throw out any recent sample (not just the Austin case), while at the same time they give a 2 million year old date to a fossil that they believe is that old. In other words, if a researcher in Africa submits a sample in which he found an australopithecus fossil and the result is 0.3 to 2.4 million years, he's verified his predrawn conclusion. However, if another sample from Kilauea volcanoe from a known eruption which occurred two hundred years ago is submitted to the same lab, an identical result will be discounted because, as everyone knowns, radiometric dating cannot be used for younger samples. That is not science. That is pretending to use science only as a means to an end.
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Postby alextemplet » Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:30 am

Well, if something's only two hundred years old, C14 works very well, so it'd be very easy to verify exactly how old the fossil is. From I've read most astralopithecines are now dated to about two or three million years old. Of course, I also read once that most species survive unchanged for about four million years before it either evolves or goes extinct, so I wouldn't be suprised if there's a bit of a range of dates rather than a single exact date. And I still don't believe that science is involved in a massive conspiracy to accept only evolution and destroy everything else.[/i]
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