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Obey No1kinobe

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How old is planet Earth?

My understanding from Science is that planet Earth is about 4.6 billion years old.

The current universe is about 13.6 Billion years.

Some claim Earth and the universe is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old.

This is not a trivial difference.

My understanding is the young earth theory is the view of some creationists. Other theists take a less literal approach to holy books and are comfortable with an older universe and even evolution.

Do YEC have it right and various radiometric dating techniques are completely flawed or are they relying on a few bogus results and ignoring what is valid science on the whole.

Is this a huge blind spot for science? Or a conspiracy? Or a bit of both?

I have to admit that it would surprise me if radiometric dating was completely misleading. I would have thought these issues would have been worked through, that there would be continuous improvements in techniques and methodology and more accurately estimating the age of the Earth.

What do you think?

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Closing Statement from Obey No1kinobe

Thank you everyone who contributed. You'd think the age of the earth is something we could follow the science and agree on. Apparently not.

Science indicates 4.6 Billion years. Bible inspired young earth creationist below say between 5700 and 13000 years. This is a huge difference.

To believe this you need to ignore or disagree with the science in many fields:
Geology - plate tectonics, sedimentary rock formation,
Biology -evolution
Astronomy - star and galaxy light distances
Physics - radiometric dating

Also each different creation myth or interpretation conflict.

Some of the science is ignored based on divine intervention which could make a world that looks 4.6 billion years ago 6,000 or so years ago.

Looking into some of the Christian materials, they state up front that the bible is the truth. Any apparent conflicts between the bible stories and science, then the bible trumps.

I guess no one has changed their minds. But the discussion has helped me better understand some of the issues.

I'm going to stick with science. I see no evidence for any god or that the bible is anything special.

If Bible literalists want to stick with the apparent mythology of a post Canaanite tribe as described in the bible, that is their choice. I would suggest the bible is not a great scientific resource - it says pi is 3, bats are birds, whales are fish and that displaying striped patterns to a pregnant cow will make it give birth to striped cats. Burning bushes and talking donkey's.

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof. But I almost admire the creatively and arguments developed to counter the science. Although the ones I looked at appeared flawed or relied on supernatural intervention of the type we never see now that we have mobile phone cameras.

Thanks for the discussion.

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    Jul 20 2012: If I remember correctly most of the helium produced from the radioactive decay is still held within the rocks. It should be dispersed in the atmosphere if the timeframe is correct. Also C14 is still present in everything which would have contained it at any time, including diamonds. C14 should be undetectable after 50k years. Check it out, am I wrong.
    http://www.icr.org/rate/

    Does anyone have any real evidence for an old earth that does not rely on radiometric dating ?

    :-)
    • Jul 20 2012: Yes the genetic molecular clock (lol nvm that uses it too sometimes). BTW I did read the data on the problem YEC has with carbon dating and I can't find a single experiment that has been published in a major scientific journal with peer review. If you could link me one I would like to read it. There were 8 scientists tied to the issue (including 2 geologists) and none published (that I could find).

      *edit, I've been reading some of the scientific publications on other subjects that John R. Baumgardner has (the Geophysics on the article), and even he is dealing with billion year time scales. And not a single one will claim any numbers for their "young earth" in a major scientific journal (leaving them in the billions), not to mention their claims have been accounted for, keeping them within the same billion year times scales. Creationist are grabbing at straws.
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        Jul 21 2012: Hi Robert.
        You will do well to find peer review on anything that contradicts the old age/ evolution worldview. Any scientist endorsing YE views would be in hot water. I might as well say that I can find no mainline papers that have been reviewed by YECs. If you read Gabo further down you will get the typical reaction of mainliners to YECs. Chalk & cheese.
        Regarding Mr. Baumgardner. I don't think the problems with radiometric dating is restricted to those of a YE persuasion. It is a complex & contentious subject. For this forum it maybe better to concentrate on other evidence for the age of the earth.
        The momentum for the old earth is considerable, & I certainly won't persuade anyone here. The evidence is easily googled, but not so easily accepted. This became obvious to me when Mary Schweitzer discovered the soft tissue in dinosaur bones. Up until that point everyone was well aware that soft tissue could not last more than a few centuries. Now we are looking for a mechanism that allows it to remain intact for 70 million years. Not for one moment would we dare question the age of the bones.
        :-)
        • Jul 21 2012: Peter I'm sorry but,

          "You will do well to find peer review on anything that contradicts the old age/ evolution worldview. Any scientist endorsing YE views would be in hot water."

          This is because there is no properly executed scientific experiments that show any data that brings the age of the earth to anywhere near 6-10k years.The scientists involved with this know this very well, which is why they have NO data to post that suggests anything substantially different - they merely go by "appearances" and we know appearances can easily be wrong -- which is why we do experiments and collect data. I have read their publishing’s and the best they can come up with is a few thousand years off of 4.3 billion, which is well within the standard deviation. But for you guys this is some big conspiracy by scientists to hide some ancient story tale. If these guys did find real empirical data they would not be shunned they would be awarded by the scientific community. The fact is there is no real problem, sorry.

          "The evidence is easily googled, but not so easily accepted."

          Again there is no evidence, which is why these guys have ZERO scientific publishing’s saying anything different. I have look all over and the only place that anything is published is on creationist web sites. When I looked into this to find out if they just where not given the opportunity (in order to be fair and through) I found that they are heard at several different scientific conventions. But according to the National Academic Press their presentations are always vague and without empirical data.
        • Jul 21 2012: *continued

          “The momentum for the old earth is considerable”

          It has nothing to do with momentum; they simple have no scientific findings that have any significance. This is why they say “young earth”, because if they had any solid scientific cause to make a claim then they would make a claim. But, they don’t because they have NOTHING to back it up. They know it and so does the scientific community. If they do present any empirical data it will be heard and published if it is worthwhile – which is why the empirical arguments for minor changes (like 4.3billion to 4.29 billion) have been published. Any empirical data that assists in a more accurate picture of our universe is reviewed, because that is what science is all about.

          "This became obvious to me when Mary Schweitzer discovered the soft tissue in dinosaur bones."

          It seems like everything to you is proof as long as it goes with your belief in God and the bible, as soon as something contradicts it then it just must be wrong no mater how much evidence there is -- if it doesn't go with your belief then you chose not to accept it (which is your choice). Science does not have that choice though. It seems like to you this is some big Anti-God conspiracy, but the fact is scientist will evaluate all data in order to come to the correct answer, not just the answer they want to believe. That's what separates science from creationism. It's fine to think something looks like it might be what you're looking for, but in order to substantiate that appearance you have to do experiments. To just say it looks like it might be (insert observation), and have no experiments to substantiate it, is just not good enough.

          John Baumgardner is not an idiot, if he had empirical data it would be published in science and nature just like several of his other publishing’s. The fact is, there is none, sorry.
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          Jul 21 2012: Hi Peter,

          I would suggest that appropriate radiometric dating is at least good enough to indicate the world is millions or billions of years old. But lets put that aside for the minute.

          Working back from now using our knowledge of the universe, an old one is consistent with much of what we see.

          Star formation would take a long time if occurred due to gravity, as would planet formation once the necessary elements were generated inside the first generation of the appropriate class of stars. Through hubble we see stars forming, back in time.

          The light from the stars and galaxies, in a natural universe, takes years, to millions to billions of years to reach us. We see older less well formed galaxies.

          As a YEC you probably need to assume that god made al the stars and planets pretty much as is, but close together, then pushed them out to near where they are now, slow them down then accerate them again I'm not sure what sort of distortions this would have on the observation of distant galaxies.

          Evolution of life to what we have now took billions of the years.

          Alernatively a god may have made it look exactly as if we evolved, via the DNA and physical relationships, even fossils from older to newer. No rabbits fossilised with dinosaurs.

          Plate tectonics and the position of the continents is also is consistent with an old Earth. Unless a supernatural event occured splitting up them up and moving them quickly to metres of their current position.

          So a natural universe would be old based on what we see, the force of gravity etc.

          Now you can inject a supernatural being that is very powerful and say it made everything say 6,000 to 13,000 years ago so that it looks like it is much older. You can explain nearly anything with this sort of idea.

          Except there is no compelling evidence for its existence or intervention in any of this.

          Nothing since we had progressed to the point of being able to evaluate supernatural phenomena. All in the ignorant past.
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      Jul 20 2012: http://www.betalabservices.com/biofuels/astm-d6866.html Go onto this site, press Cntrl-f and type in continuous production. It will take you to the part of the link which shows how C14 is constantly produced in Earth's atmosphere.
      And old earth evidence, expanding universe, nebular model, life span of stars required to make elements etc etc.
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        Jul 21 2012: Hi Stewart.
        I am well aware of C14 production & life cycle. The question remains as to why it is detected in diamonds, oil, coal, etc when it should by now be undetectable.
        :-)
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          Jul 21 2012: One of life's mysteries. You probably got this from answering genesis which I just read an article from on it. So the creationists did a bad experiment and found C14 and then some other scientists in California did a similar experiment and concluded something about the machinery I couldn't fully understand the site's wording.
          And maybe high temps and pressure slows down radioactive decay.
    • Jul 21 2012: As any arguments from creationist quacks, the helium one relies on looking only at the pieces of information that allow them to conclude what they want, rather than figuring out all the parameters necessary to verify if the claim has any merit. That one and other "YEC" arguments failures are exposed here:

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

      Jump to "Common Young-Earth "Dating Methods" if you are not interested in the whole thing. Still, this page also has refutations to creationist claims against radiometry.

      Scientists know the possible problems with C14 dating, and avoid using it if they know that the sample has problems, or know ways for correcting for such problems. However, C14 is a poor isotope to attack by creationists, since C14 does not work for much more than 60K year-old stuff, which has to contain carbon in the first place. But they insist because C14 is problematic for being dependent on knowing how much C14 was present in a sample at the beginning. Easy target, but mere distraction tactics.

      Creationists quacks have a harder time attacking the isotopes actually used for millions and billions of years because those involve measurements that do not depend on knowing the original amount of the parent isotope to work well. They rely on rations of parent to daughter isotopes, which make the process self-correcting. Not only that, scientists do not rely on a single isotope, but on many. Since the many isotopes concur, there is no doubt that our planet is much older than suggested by the Biblical myths. But that does not matter. Creationists will never admit to anything said by a scientist even if shown that the creationist quackery they read is filled with lies and misrepresentations. With rhetoric rather than with science.
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        Jul 21 2012: Hi Gabo.
        Talk Origins brings up the argument on atmospheric Helium. Whether it is escaping the atmosphere or not. However, surely we can measure the Helium that remains in the rocks & calculate that against how much should have been produced over time & come up with a time for dispersal. If that makes sense .
        As I said to Robert above, I feel this is too complicated to discuss here & suggest more mundane pointers to the earth's age. Maybe short-term comets, magnetic field deterioration, or Mary's dinosaur soft tissue.
        When I google old earth I seem to get as much religion as with young earth. Radiometric stuff aside; what convinces you ?

        :-)
        • Jul 21 2012: Peter,

          What convinces me Is knowing how horrible creationists understanding of evolution is. And since my knowledge and understanding on that subject is extensive it is obvious when they misrepresent something by stating half a fact then going off on some tangent about how they would be afraid to live in a world with evolution.

          In addition to that, I know how science works, we love to be wrong, that's half of what makes it so interesting. But, we don't just take thing's at their "appearances" we also do experiments and collect data, then we make a claim based on those experiments and data sets and give it to other scientists to have then repeat the experiments to verify the results. So if creationist actually had empirical data saying that the earth was 6000 years old, it would be in every scientific journal known to man, but they don't -- which is exactly why they say "young earth" and not 6000 year old earth. Where scientists say 4.3 billion year old earth.

          As a small example: When it was found that the universe was not only expanding, but accelerating it went against what everyone thought. Scientists were convinced that they would find the universe to be either static or contracting, but to EVERYONE's surprise it was expanding?!?!? The experiment was repeated all over the world, the data was shared, and it was found to be right. This was a great day; scientist all over the world were so excited. This is how science works, and the scientists involved with YEC know this -- which is exactly way they make no claims -- they have no experiments to repeat and in turn no data to share and review they simple want it to be so and don't care to test it. But other scientists have tested it. They did experiments, shared the data, and asked other scientists to repeat the experiments to see what they find. All the numbers converge on the same time frames -- 4.3 billion years. If you don't like it, do an experiment and put it up for review.
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        Jul 22 2012: Hi Robert.
        YEC & ID are both fairly recent offshoots of mainstream science. They seem to be growing however, so I guess their technical output will increase. If, as you & Gabo say, it is totally spurious, with no content of merit, then what is the motive? Did these guys go through all the training, build a well funded career for themselves, & then chuck it all away; just so they could be ridiculed by the rest of you. I love watching the debates on this. When the subject is hammered out on stage it is obvious that there is a serious debate to be had.
        There is a bit here about YECs going for peer-review with some examples; if you're interested :-
        http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/1998/04/15/creationists-publish

        :-)
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          Jul 22 2012: I'd guess their motive would be to generate something which sounds vaguely scientific and so they can create their ideological goal of an all religious education.
        • Jul 22 2012: Peter,

          "When the subject is hammered out on stage it is obvious that there is a serious debate to be had."

          Actually there isn't, which is why the court cases for I.D. are loosing. People can debate rigorously until they are blue in the face about anything they want to, all they have to do is simply play up conjecture and playing down fact. But "appearances" can be deceiving which is why when I.D. does finally make claims science addresses them -not just pushing aside like I.D. The problem is I.D. doesn't say anything much past "It appears like it's designed".

          "http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/1998/04/15/creationists-publish"

          This article is from 1998 and addresses other articles from mostly the 80's... Take this article for example: "Enzymic Editing Mechanisms and the Origin of Biological Information Transfer" it was in 1984. There have been quite a few advancements since then, including full evolutionary explanations of these mechanisms along with verified experimentation all the way back to abiogenisis (This article is actually talking about abiogenisis, not evolution)

          "then what is the motive?"

          These scientist have an investment in their belief in God not purely the truth. Creationists see it as an attack, so for no other reason then their faith, and they are doing everything they can to down play fact and play up conjecture. Here are 3 quotes from John Baumgardner's Bio on answeringenesis:

          "John Baumgardner was working on a Ph.D. in electrical engineering when he discovered the reality of Jesus in a dramatic way through a group Bible study of the Gospel of John.”

          "Observing the deliberate use of evolution to assault and destroy the faith of Christian college students, Dr. Baumgardner began to develop and present classroom lectures and evening forums to expose evolution's false claims."

          "he entered a Ph.D. program in geophysics at UCLA in order to obtain the expertise and credentials to address the problem of the mechanism of the Genesis Flood"
        • Jul 22 2012: *continued

          so, the motive is clear, he believes in God and wants to prove his beliefs; he's not interested in anything to the contrary.

          That said, I respect John Baumgardner because he is trying to do it the right way by getting educated, doing experiments, and presenting data (which is why I keep talking about him, because unlike the others he at least does experiments and submits data, but he still doesn't make age predictions because his findings don't suggest anything much different than what is already known). But, in all of his scientific publications he makes no predictions and leave his articles completely open ended. When his data is looked at it only finds small possible variations that are accounted for by standard deviation.

          I like this guy because he seems to take a real scientific approach by doing experiments and submitting data, he also seems to be bright, but with all of that he has yet to find anything that drastically changes our view of the world. Kudos to him if he does and it will be an exciting day, but with all his efforts so far nothing.

          After reading these articles it is quite like Gabo said creationism is really deforming facts like they do with the 1 in a billion error argument -- they say one thing and neglect to tell you the rest. So keep on playing down the whole facts by giving half ones, and keep on speculating, until actual experiments are done, data is submitted, claims/predictions are made and they allow themselves to accept facts (a big part of the issue) creationists will never be respected by the scientific community.
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          Jul 25 2012: Hi Peter,

          I just had a look at answers in genesis.

          If you could imagine for a minute what a similar site for Muslim belief would look like you might come close to my response.

          It really does my head in if Christians can not see how weak some of the arguments are. So many fallacies and assumptions.

          - You can believe fallible man’s ideas that there is no God, or trust the perfect Word of God. So you start with the assumption the bible is correct. Ignore the hundreds of internal inconsistencies. You can find a verse for nearly any position you want in the bible.

          - Everything that has a beginning requires a cause. But God doesn't have a beginning. Special pleading. Argument from ignorance

          - The argument from design. Weak. Snowflakes look designed so there must be a designer for each one I guess. If I saw a watch I would think it is designed. You can tell designed stuff from natural stuff including life.

          The basic assumption is if the results of science conflict with the bible you go looking for other more elaborate explanations rather the simplest and most consistent.

          I suspect you really must want to believe this stuff to be convinced. Some of the rationales are quite weak.

          Each to their own I guess.
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        Jul 23 2012: Hi Robert.
        I hear what you say. It is true that when the Christian penny drops that the whole world changes. However our boss; Jesus Christ; is very clear that we must seek the truth. Nothing is of any value if it isn't true. So if we, as Christians, are advocating for a lie, then we are in direct opposition to that which we claim as paramount in our own lives.
        What we have is a different worldview. My life has been largely spent in mechanical engineering. Designing & making "stuff" to fulfil a purpose. I never had a white coat, and so could never get my head around biology. Recently, with the aid of better microscopes, computer animation etc. the principles are a bit more accessible. So now, when I read about, or watch an animation on the workings of a cell, I can understand something of how it works. It is analogous with a car assembly plant, or a jet engine production line; both of which I am familiar with. The cell however is many orders of magnitude more complex in it's organisation, quite appart from its small size. The principles are much the same. The drawing office holds the plans (which it previously formulated). They are passed to the factory as required by the various departments; either as paper drawings, or digitally for automated machines. Each department sends it's contribution to the assembly line. More info comes from the drawing office for assembly, & eventually a new car or whatever is delivered. Same idea with DNA, mRNA, proteins etc.
        Now, with the best will in the world, if you want me to believe that either of these factories arose by chance over zillions of years, then your evidence will need to be cast iron. It's not that I won't accept evidence, I will; but to date there has been nothing that is greater than the evidence of my own eyes.
        How I got from this to Christianity is another story, but hopefully you get my drift.

        :-)
        • Jul 23 2012: Peter,

          “I never had a white coat, and so could never get my head around biology. Recently, with the aid of better microscopes, computer animation etc. the principles are a bit more accessible. So now, when I read about, or watch an animation on the workings of a cell, I can understand something of how it works. It is analogous with a car assembly plant, or a jet engine production line; both of which I am familiar with… It's not that I won't accept evidence, I will; but to date there has been nothing that is greater than the evidence of my own eyes.”

          See peter this is the fallacy of I.D, it preys on ignorance (for lack of a better word). Einstein once said, “A little knowledge is dangerous thing,” and it’s true beyond measure. At first appearances, it makes complete sense that someone might think it has been designed. I mean after all that’s how the whole God(s) myth started, people sought out to explain things that looked like absolute miracles (and understandably so). To live 2000 years ago and see the aurora borealis would seem like you were looking at magical spirits dancing around in the sky, is that what it is? No. We only know that it’s not magical spirits because we have finally been able to explain it through science. As we gain knowledge we gain the understanding that the way things look and the way things are can be two completely different things.

          As we look deeper into life’s mechanisms, we realize that it’s not designed. Instead, it’s just a simple series of chemical reactions that has a complex effect. As you know, Michael Behe once said that evolution could never explain the human immune system because it was just too complex to have formed naturally and without design. As you also know that was proven to be wrong, and the processes that the human immune system evolved through are now known.
        • Jul 23 2012: *continued

          I dough there is a single biologist out there that doesn’t think biology is anything short of stunningly beautiful. But the realization of how beautiful it really is comes when you understand and know enough information to realize how it all evolved. Let’s take cell receptors for example: if you take any cell receptor you have two things: first you have the parts it’s made of-- which you can take apart and make something completely different with (without changing the parts themself), and second – you can take the whole receptor and combine it with other ones to get a new mechanism. It all works this way because it all came from very simple chemical reactions. All DNA has to do is a make a few proteins and BAM! You can make any life on earth.

          I know you don’t think that god tinkers in all of our bodies every second of everyday, to make it all work. So how does it work then? Chemical reactions. These chemical reactions have been churning away for billions of years. They have combined and recombined to make all of the life on earth (this is not speculation all of this has been proven and explained with genetics and organic chemistry). Now if you want to believe that God set that all in motion, then go ahead.

          In 2009 we watched the first RNA molecules form naturally and spontaneously (with no chemical combinations that do not occur naturally). But, scientists aren’t sure this is exactly it how it happened yet, so they are still doing experiments and passing the information around to be tested. Until that is confirmed (which might be a while) you are plenty welcome to believe God set that in motion (and after it’s proved if you want to continue to believe that is your choice). But, God simply isn’t needed for it to occur. All of this can be explained naturally and is made every day -- purely by nature.
        • Jul 23 2012: **continued

          Like a string of dominos, maybe one day science will find that 15+billion years ago there was a being that set all these dominos to fall. But, the universe hasn’t “needed” God (physically-- I’ll leave the spiritual aspect of that statement up for debate) for billions of years.

          “However our boss; Jesus Christ; is very clear that we must seek the truth. Nothing is of any value if it isn't true. So if we, as Christians, are advocating for a lie, then we are in direct opposition to that which we claim as paramount in our own lives.
          What we have is a different worldview.”

          Is ignoring and denying the truth really justified because it might change what is important to you? Is spreading speculation without a strong knowledge on the subject a good idea? And I mean you, not Christians. Most Christians believe in evolution and it hasn’t changed their faith one bit. To be Christian is not to deny the truth, and not looking for the truth is not advocating a lie. But to spread an ignorant idea is to teach ignorance, and that is simply not healthy of our world.

          I.D. has a massive audience of religious people with no scientific knowledge to appeal to. Many of these people are willing to accept anything that sounds like it might confirm their faith. They don’t need to care if it’s true or not, because as long as it "sound" like it could be true they can accept it at face value because believing in God is what really matters them.

          Creationism is simply appealing to this ignorance which is why the science is evolution, because science doesn’t cater to ignorance. And yes there are a few scientists that have allowed their religious beliefs to cloud their judgment. But, religious or not, most scientists are not this way. So creationists can argue until they are “blue in the face”, but they are arguing against evidence with pure speculation.
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        Jul 23 2012: Hi Robert.
        Let's get real. We cannot make a blade of grass grow without acquiring a seed. We cannot prevent disease & death, although that may be easier than the blade of grass.
        Science today seems to work on the materialist principle. Everything must be explained in terms of material. What if we are missing complete dimensions ? Often scientists talk glibly about other dimensions, & even other universes, but deny the one non-material dimension that most of us sense in one way or another. The ID mob don't feel they want to work within such a restricted area. We can mess about with our DNA etc in the same way that a mechanic can change a plug. But that same mechanic could not make a car from scratch. First dig a hole to find iron ore, or better still 'make iron ore from nothing'. Not a chance.
        What is amazing is that we can mess with our DNA. Why should evolution guide us in that particular direction? Much more likely is that our maker thinks along the same lines we do.
        At the end of the day it is faith; nobody knows it all. Many Christians believe in evolution, some don't. The reasons for this are a mixture of science & the bible; each forms there own opinion. Same with evolution, there has been and are lots of differing flavours within the overall concept. That's what makes life interesting, we're all unique.

        :-)
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          Jul 23 2012: Why don't you reply to my posts Mr Law?
        • Jul 24 2012: Peter,

          "We cannot make a blade of grass grow without acquiring a seed."

          If you would like to look at it this way, all life on earth comes from the principles of a seed. We don't call all of them "seeds", but some life comes from seeds that isn't "grass". So we can use seeds to make stuff other than grass, why is that? DNA.

          "We cannot prevent disease & death"

          We can prevent some diseases. Once we have a scientific understanding of something we can apply it to understanding how to change it. I see no reason (yet) that we will not someday be able to prevent death. Look at crocodiles, they don't die of old age they die from their environment.

          "Everything must be explained in terms of material."

          This statement is deceptive. Everything has an explanation, but the word material is not necessarily true. But this goes down to quantum physics and back to the formation of our universe. On the topic of evolution, it is a "material" explanation. On the topic of quantum physics, we now know how matter can come into existence with the finding of the Higgs boson (this also talks about the formation of the universe since we know now there is a Higgs field).

          "but deny the one non-material dimension that most of us sense in one way or another."

          Sense with what? What sense organ do you have that I don't?
        • Jul 24 2012: *Added to be a bit more clear.

          "We can mess about with our DNA etc in the same way that a mechanic can change a plug. But that same mechanic could not make a car from scratch. "

          Not yet, but we get closer every day. It doesn't take one person/discipline to build a car. People have to mine the ore, set the steel, make the plastics, manufacture the electronics, make the tools, design them, be educated on how to put them together, know how combustion works, know how electronics works, and so on. With chemistry you don't have to teach it how to work, it all just functions according to the laws of physics. Just think about the problems people have with the very basic two body problems in physics with a frictionless slope an a massless pulley, now try real problems.

          None of this is any small task, and not all of it even pans out. But when we do finally have enough facts/supporting evidence, repeatable experiments, with verifiable data we can then make something a theory.

          In order to understand all of this we have to have people interested in science, then we have to have knowledge to build on. This means we need brilliant people to do more than just ask question they need to develop hypothesis (make claims, not just leave open ended questions), figure out how to test them, and then we need the funding to design and run the experiments. Then we need the time to do them, analyze the data we get, pass it around to be looked at, and figure out how to apply it to make it work for us.

          Remember, we are dealing with billions of years of chemical recombinations. Over that time it has become very complex because one chemical reacted with another to form a molecule , that molecule into another, into another (etc.) for billions of year. "Reverse engineering" that, is a long and complex problem. But, not having all of the answers (yet) does not open the explanation to a millennia old myth. "Not a chance" you say -- well, we can make matter now, which we couldn't do a month ago.
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        Jul 24 2012: Hi Peter.
        Sorry, not intentional. How can I help ?

        :-)
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        Jul 25 2012: thanks Gabo. Some interesting information on that website.
    • Jul 21 2012: Pete,

      Sure, helium has been measured in trapped air in antarctic and arctic ice. No accumulations.

      How about we also ask about whether the magnetic field has only "deteriorated" or if it has varied up and down and sideways?

      I am convinced because I understand the science. Example, scientists have measured the ages of the rocks at the bottom of the atlantic. The youngest rocks occur close to the fissure in the middle, oldest closer to the continents on both sides, showing that the plates have been moving, with new rock being formed closer to the middle as it opens. The measurements comply on both sides with each other. Radiometric dating. Then, if the look at the orientation of the crystals in the rocks, they can see how the magnetic field has varied and changed orientation. Again both sides look like mirrors of each other indicating this opening at the fissure and separation of the continents. That confirms the radiometric dating conclusions, and that this continental movement has been going on for millions of years.

      Same is true for many other things. There is no way in which all the geological, cosmological and biological events so far discovered would fit within 6,000 years. There is no way in which mistakes in any measurements would allow for such an enormous difference in ages from 4.5 billion to 6,000. It is ridiculous to even think that such a difference can be bridged. I know you have learned excuses for each of the discoveries that show the whole thing to be so old. But, if you need convoluted excuses to deny straightforward science, then you are the one who is wrong. Pete, you start with your conclusions, and nothing will invalidate them. Scientists like myself, look at the evidence and let it speak for itself. I rather side with those who follow the evidence however it goes, than with those who make convoluted excuses to preserve their conclusions.

      :-)
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        Jul 22 2012: Hi Gabo.
        I don't think there is any disagreement on tectonic movement other than timescale. My view is that today's movement is by way of grinding to a halt after more rapid movement in the past. We don't really know, we weren't there.
        The same with magnetism. It is deteriorating today; it appears to have fluctuated and/or reversed in the past. My view is that it must reduce over time; if not then what force is replenishing it? The only force available is the rotation of the earth. That rotation is certainly slowing as the earth transmits power to the moon to increase it's orbit. Whether some of this power is feeding a dynamo is unknowable at present, but the magnetism is at present in rapid decline. That's my take, YEC explanation here :-
        http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=371
        Although there are various theories on either side; you takes your pick .....

        :-)
    • Jul 22 2012: Pete,

      You are forgetting that the data would not fit with rapid movement of the plates. As i said, the radiometry reveals the movement. Why would it reveal the movement if it happened in less than 6000 years? Then the magnetism reorientations, why would they leave a mark on the crystals in the rock if this happened so fast? Truly that many changes in orientation for the magnetism in just 6,000 years? I could go on, but it does not matter, you ignore, rinse and repeat. I don't. The difference, again, is that I accept the facts, your "side" deforms them. There are no theories on your side. There's only denialism, cheap pseudoscience, misinformation, and plain lies. What's wrong with following the facts? Nothing. What's wrong with cherry-picking, deforming, and twisting so that everything fits some old book? Everything. So, yes, I pick the side that admits evidence.

      See ya.

      :-)

      P.S. Pete, ICR is worse than I thought. Why would any actual scientist mistake evolution with geology? Take this quote: "The free-decay theory contradicts the evolutionary "dynamo" theories." Man, if anything this exemplifies that ICR is a propaganda machine, not a scientific resource by any stretch of the imagination.
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        Jul 22 2012: Hey Gabo, on an unrelated note, you have TED email disabled, would you be willing to enable it so I could ask you a question or two on molecular biology.
        Thanks.
      • Jul 24 2012: "You are forgetting that the data would not fit with rapid movement of the plates."

        This is actually the area their geophysicist John Baumgardner has been avidly working on. And, in the publications that he has in the journals "science" and "nature", he has basically confirmed that the billion year time scales are well within standard deviation, and are accurate (not the intention of his publications I'm pretty sure).
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      Jul 22 2012: The tree ring record is reliable over about 20,000 years. I assume we all accept that trees produce one ring per year. There are at least two continuous tree ring chronologies that excede 8000 years. eg Bristle cone pines. Dendrochronology dates match C14 dates back to 8000 years so why would C14 suddenly stop working at that point?
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        Jul 24 2012: Hi Peter.
        Must admit I haven't read much on the Bristle Cone Pine. Very interesting, it seems reliable yet clashes with the biblical flood. Very neat; one up to you.
        C14 dating as I understand it is calibrated using known age artefacts. This makes it very accurate for dating items within the 5000 years or so of recorded history. Beyond that we have no artefacts for calibration. We are then back to assumptions to calculate the ages. One of these assumptions is that there was no worldwide cataclysmic flood. This would of course knock the assumptions & the results into a cocked hat.
        What is interesting however is that coal & oil deposits have a C14 date of thousands(not millions) of years. Contamination usually gets the blame for this, but when it happens with diamond as well, then it isn't so easily dismissed. Naturally, if these readings are correct, then the age of the earth swings toward a biblical perspective. We're still learning; or trying to.

        :-)

        Edit :- GABO I admit that IF the tree ring thing checks out, then I have a problem. Life's like that!
        • Jul 24 2012: Back to assumptions? If both tree rings and C14 concur, then the dating is correct.

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