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  1. #111
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    If you want to deal with absolutes, then no time based mathematical model is sound when you extrapolate. In a practical sense, if you only extrapolate a small amount of time, then usually the differences in the projection are small enough that it doesn't matter much. The further you extrapolate, the less accuracy your projection has until the model becomes useless.
    How is this relevant to the question of whether the theory behind carbon dating is sound?
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #112
    Oberon
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    I think it's profoundly ironic that people on both sides of the issue discuss creation vs. evolution as a matter of faith.

    Which one must do, because none of us was there to witness either process firsthand.

    From Ambrose Bierce:

    "MYTHOLOGY, n. The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later."

    The other thing that is hilarious to me is that people pit a metaphysical operation against a physical process, as if the two are mutually exclusive.

    The third thing that amazes me is that people argue for Darwin as though it's utterly settled science, like there are no problems with his theory or gaps in what it explains.

    At present, Darwin's thesis is the leading theory, just as Newton once was the final word in physics. There's no flies on Darwin's work, to be sure, but the science on that process is not complete by a long shot. One day soon some sharp guy will come along with a better model, and Darwin will become theorist emeritus just like Newton eventually took a backseat to Einstein.

  3. #113
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Btw carbon dating is not good for dating this kinds of things since its half-life time is too short.

    What serves for this purposes are Sr, Rb , K , Ar isotopes. Becuse half-life(s) times are much much longer.

    On the other hand if evolution rellys purely on this, the argument worldn't be so strong. There are other things here as well.

    The distribution of fossl record plays a part here.

    Today scientists can track down the rate of ocean crust creation. What means they know the rate of ocean expansion. Since it is very slow process the growth rate around the world oceans is between 3-6 cm per year.
    What means that in the past continents were closer.

    Here is what is actually interesting here.




    Since the fossil record is distrubuted this way and we know that the ocean crust is growing so it is reasonable to presume that there was a different world out there long long ago. Plus methods that are already mentioned plus astronomy.

    The only real argument that is left to religion is that God is testing us.

  4. #114
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    The only real argument that is left to religion is that God is testing us.
    Eh. I don't have much respect for creationists whose worldview is so narrow that they couldn't imagine your diagram applying to a created earth. I'd have even less respect for a scientist who believed that because your diagram is accurate, it follows that God doesn't exist.

  5. #115
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Why would you "believe" in any theory whatsoever? Poorly worded polls demonstrate nothing... cartoons are fun though:


  6. #116
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Oberon, "not entirely correct" and "wrong" are not one and the same.

    Newton's theories have been displayed to have errors and limitations. They have not been demonstrated to be an utter bunch of wrongheaded rubbish.

    The same has happened with Darwin's theories upon the discovery of DNA, etc. At this point, while it's not entirely outside the realm of possibility, it's rather unlikely that Darwin's observations will shown to be utterly incorrect.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  7. #117
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Which one must do, because none of us was there to witness either process firsthand.
    Hmmm, I keep hearing this - but evolution is being witnessed first hand. Not the creation of life, which is not fundamental to evolution, but both micro and macro evolution can now be seen and tested in the lab. Darwin's theory is old now, and while him (and many others) discovered the fossil records that led to understanding evolution at work in the natural world, it's long since been surpassed with modern theories. For that matter, it's not 'Darwin's' theory anymore, if it ever was. The only reason he got any credit is because more and more people were discovering it and were approaching publication. He just wanted to get it out first. I mean, we can argue about particulars parts of the records, or some such, because it is fuzzy - the past gives itself up reluctantly - but the core part of the theory... the mechanisms, the current day experiments, genetic archives... those are not exactly "full of holes". The point here is that it isn't a one man show, taken on faith... not then, and not now.

    Heh, at this point, even engineering is done with genetic algorithms descended from understanding evolution.

  8. #118
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    This is like saying that you can't know anything about humans because you can't look at every human at every moment. The point here is that you catalog your observations. It doesn't matter how distant they are, or how removed they are. It just means you have limitations on the observations you can make (ie: "experiment").
    Humans are not the same as objects in other solar systems. You can perform experiments on humans. You can take any theory developed about humans and apply it if the theory is sound. You cannot perform experiments on heavenly bodies in other solar systems, and you cannot apply any theories you have about them.

    On the whole observation = useless thing, observation is pretty foundational to creating hypothesizes in which to test - there are reams of things that we will never be able to test on, more than astronomy (landers on mars? solar orbiters? etc.), and are still worth 'observing'. The concept that they are so far apart is misplaced, IMO.
    Yes observation is key to creating hypotheses. If you can't test the hypothesis, then all you have is a hypothesis. It might be an interesting idea, but it's untested. Personally I don't put much confidence in ideas like this. It might make interesting conversation, but ultimately there is not much there to give confidence to the validity of the ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft
    How is this relevant to the question of whether the theory behind carbon dating is sound?
    Radioactive dating is not a theory as much as a technique. (Radioactive decay is a theory. Radioactive dating is a technique.) There can be a big difference between theory and application. In application every mathematical time projection losses accuracy the further you extrapolate. Since radioactive dating is a mathematical time projection, this applies. It must lose accuracy the further out you go, since they all do. I have serious doubts about all of the dates that are say 1 million years or more. I don't think we can accurately project what happened 1 million years ago or what will happen 1 million years from now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one
    Today scientists can track down the rate of ocean crust creation. What means they know the rate of ocean expansion. Since it is very slow process the growth rate around the world oceans is between 3-6 cm per year.
    What means that in the past continents were closer.
    This is something I will probably have to look into. I looked into some of the calculations explaining the past about 10 years ago, and I found out that other projections into the past didn't fit with the commonly explained view. I don't think ocean crust creation was one I looked into, but that is the sort of thing I look for. I.e. if we do projections into the past based on ocean crust creation do the dates synch up to the radioactive decay dates?

    What I've found so far is that the dates don't match up most of the time. Most biologists and geologists seem to take the math for granted, at least that is what it looks like to me. If I can find enough models which actually match radioactive decay then I will probably be convinced, but what I usually find is evidence to give me less confidence in how the past is explained.
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  9. #119
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Yes observation is key to creating hypotheses. If you can't test the hypothesis, then all you have is a hypothesis. It might be an interesting idea, but it's untested. Personally I don't put much confidence in ideas like this. It might make interesting conversation, but ultimately there is not much there to give confidence to the validity of the ideas.
    All results from experiments is simply data.

    If you make an observation, create a hypothesis, any search for evidence is an experiment. If you observe the creation of a star and observe the conclusion, you create a hypothesis of intermediate steps. Then, you look for them. If you find them, then the hypothesis is evidenced and gains support. It's not different than experimentation. In many ways there is more information available for astronomers than human experimenters, so to speak.

    Is it weaker than being able to run infinite controlled experiments? Yes... but the original point is that time cannot be generalized- in many cases we can see back a long long way (ie: to the start of the universe) or have a actual archive of information (ie: genetics). It is possible to trace back and understand underlying conditions.

  10. #120
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Radioactive dating is not a theory as much as a technique. (Radioactive decay is a theory. Radioactive dating is a technique.) There can be a big difference between theory and application. In application every mathematical time projection losses accuracy the further you extrapolate. Since radioactive dating is a mathematical time projection, this applies. It must lose accuracy the further out you go, since they all do. I have serious doubts about all of the dates that are say 1 million years or more. I don't think we can accurately project what happened 1 million years ago or what will happen 1 million years from now.
    Either elements have the half-lives we believe them to or they don't. If they do, dating is a matter of basic 7th grade algebra. I don't see how "mathematical projections" would come into play.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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