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Posted on 08/11/2003 8:57:56 AM PDT by fishtank

PDF file.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: carbon14; creation; creationism; creationvevolution; evolution; radioisotopes; science
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To: Right Wing Professor; PatrickHenry
Day 2 of Atkins. I've eaten nothing but meat for 48 hours. YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WARNED!!!!!

We are carnivores. You are returning to your normal state

Before Atkins, wasn't there a 'paleolithic diet', lotsa meat, roots, berries, no refined flour or sugar?

441 posted on 08/12/2003 8:39:50 PM PDT by Virginia-American
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To: 50sDad
But how do we know, since we cannot observe it un-aided with the five senses, that light doesn't travel at a progressivly faster speed the further you move away from earth, allowing the light from far distant nebulei to arrive here in only 6000 years!!!!!!

Chromatic aberration of starlight.

442 posted on 08/12/2003 8:47:32 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Doctor Stochastic
"We know, by now — or at any rate, we have no excuse for not knowing — what happens when people get it into their heads that all the accumulated teachings, customs, and traditions of centuries can be swept away, mankind having now advanced to a stage where we are wise enough to do without them. We know where the heresy of Joachim leads. It does not lead to Heaven on earth."

"Yet still it persists; still there are those who tell us that history has ended, that religion has no more need of scripture, society no more need of customary morals, humanity no more need of guidance, behavior no more need of restraints. Still ... it persists --— the Eternal Heresy!"

443 posted on 08/12/2003 8:52:59 PM PDT by f.Christian (evolution vs intelligent design ... science3000 ... --- * architecture * !)
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To: PatrickHenry; 50sDad; bondserv
The book title is wordy (in English):

Dialogue of Galileo Galilei, Lyncean

Special Mathematician of the University of Pisa

And Philosopher and Chief Mathematician

of the Most Serene

Grand Duke of Tuscany

Where, in the meetings of four days, there is discussion

concerning the two

Chief Systems of the World,

Ptolemaic and Copernican,

Propounding inconclusively the philosophical and physical reasons

as much for one side as for the other.

Published in 1632 in Tuscany (due to the death of the Roman printer in 1630).

444 posted on 08/12/2003 9:08:01 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: AndrewC
OK, after a very busy day, I've read through the paper.

We have one fact which is observed: samples from coal seams, and other sampes of very old carbon of a biological origin, seem to contain a nonzero amount of 14C. This fact can't be chalked up to instrument error; elaborate steps are taken to account for systematic error, and the statistics render the random error smaller than the quantities detected.

That being said, we have to examine possible explanations. These are:
  1. The radiocarbon ages measured are the actual ages of the samples.
  2. Carbon-14 has somehow been added to the sample . (Or subtracted, but that's not the direction of change we're interested in.)
  3. One or more of the assumptions underlying radiocarbon dating is flawed.
  4. Something else.

There are a number of dating methods which can be applied to coal seams and other sources of ancient carbon. Comparison with overlying and underlying strata of igneous rock, for example, can "pinch" the age of the carbon deposit between ages that can be determined by the use of other radiometric clocks. The ages yielded for coal seams, for example, are incompatible with the radiocarbon ages. Explanation 1 is seriously downgraded, if not rejected altogether.

Extra 14C could be added by a number of possible methods. Modern water seeping through a coal seam could conceivably exchange dissolved carbon with carbon from the seam. Since dissolved CO2 makes the water slightly acid, this is not too unreasonable.

Another possibility involves the presence of uranium and other radioactive materials which synthesize 14C in situ. And indeed, a report I saw mentioned in the newsgroup mentions that the background 14C correlates better with concentrations of uranium than anything else.

Is it surprising that uranium would show up in and around carbon of biological origin? Not terribly. When I was learning health physics in college, one of the things I studied was the tendency for living organisms to concentrate particular elements from the environment. Phosphorus, for example, was found in fish at concentrations up to 30,000 times higher than in the surrounding water. If you want to assess the fraction of phosphorus that is 32P, rather than filtering 30,000 gallons of sea water, you could process one gallon of native fish. Uranium and other radioactive metals are also taken up by living things. Indeed, this is one of the concerns of radioactive contamination -- radioactive elements often follow the same pathways non-radioactive elements do.

I suppose it's even possible some evil force is creating small amounts of 14C in situ to fool us all. Maybe that's what Screwtape was demoted to after that miserable failure of a nephew he produced. :-)

The paper does postulate one assumption in radiometric dating the authors believe to be faulty -- that rates of decay have been constant.

At the bottom of page 11, the authors speculate that all radioactive elements might, during the Flood, have undergone accelerated decay, and this acceleration would have been proportional to the half life.
...if 40K, for example, underwent 400 Ma of decay during the Flood relative to a present half-life of 1250 Ma, then 14C would have undergone (400/1250)*5730 years = 1834 years of decay during the Flood.
(Note: if you do the algebra, you'll find this implies 20% of all radionuclides disappeared during the Flood. The half-life terms cancel out.)

We're starting to get into cafeteria science here. While nuclides are decaying, they're also releasing energy. Most, if not all, of the heat in the interior of the earth comes from radioactive decay. U-238, with a half-life of 4*109 years is a significant contributor. What is the effect on the planet of cramming 1.44 billion years' energy release into a little over one year? How about Thorium with a half-life of 14.4 billion years? That crams 4.5 billion years of energy release into a little over a year.

Shall I look up the natural abundances and calculate how much energy that is to infuse into the planet?

Another side-effect, which should be readily calculable, has to do with nuclear decay series. One of the nuclides in the decay series of U-238 is U-234. It has a half-life of some 247,000 years, and is found in nature in secular equilibrium with U-238.

If there had an event which had perturbed radioactive decay rates as suggested in the article you cite, we should see considerably more U-234 in nature -- about a billion times more than we see now.

With a little more work, I could come up with countless examples, without even addressing the effects we should expect to see when we try to date rock samples by radiometric methods.

Certainly, this aspect of the authors' model is falsified.

I think for the time being, it looks like radioactive elements behave just the way the "uniformitarian model" holds they do.
445 posted on 08/12/2003 9:45:09 PM PDT by Karl_Lembke
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To: Right Wing Professor
If you had a solid canopy of ice, with full integrity, it would function as a bubble would it not

I don't think it would have the tensile strength to hold together.

Not to mention that without support, the ice shell would begin to drift after the first perturbation, and very soon thereafter be pulled into the earth to shatter into bits.
446 posted on 08/12/2003 9:49:31 PM PDT by Karl_Lembke
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To: Karl_Lembke
How would such a shell avoid a Raleigh-Taylor instability?
447 posted on 08/12/2003 9:53:38 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: 50sDad

Thanks for responding.

I have to note at this point that Galileo was very near done in by the Church for supposing that the Earth was round. Clearly, the Pope of that time ascribed to the most literal interpretation of the Word.

My belief is the Pope was not taking a literal enough interpretation at that time. He was clearly being influenced by the scientists of his time (other than Galileo).

The word is very clear regarding the earth not being flat.

Isa 40:22
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell.

See this post for a more exhaustive treatment of the scriptual reference to the earth.

448 posted on 08/12/2003 10:22:38 PM PDT by bondserv
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To: js1138
I'm curious about using trigonometry to measure the distance to the stars. Can this really work beyond our immediate stellar neighborhood, and if not, how can trigonometry be relevant to YEC?

You can also measure the size of certain astronomical objects with nothing more than a clock. Imagine a variable star with a circular nebula around it. At some point the star hiccups and emits more light than usual. However far away the star is from us (and it doesn't matter for this calculation, nor do we have to know how far it is), the increase in light will arrive at Earth to be observed at some point in time, call it T. Meanwhile, some of the light from the same flash will have left the star traveling perpendicular to our line of sight, eventually reach the ring nebula after an elapsed time of X (i.e., that's the amount of time it took the flash to travel from the star to the nebula), and then the light of the nebula suddenly being illuminated will travel to Earth and become visible to us at time T+X. Voila, we now know that the nebula is X multiplied by the speed of light in radius. QED.

Note that in order to get the correct answer we needed to know *nothing* but the elapsed time between our seeing the star brighten, and the time we saw the nebula brighten. Well, that and the speed of light. We didn't have to know how far they were from us, or how big we thought they were, or anything else.

Also note that now that we know for sure how big across the nebula is, we can directly calculate its distance from us by simple algebra given how big the nebula looks in a given telescope of a known magnification.

449 posted on 08/12/2003 10:24:58 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: VadeRetro
You know that only Irish coffee has all the essential nutrients: sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and fat.

Ah, yes, the four adult food groups.

450 posted on 08/12/2003 10:26:00 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: AndrewC
[So contrary to your assertions, the primary researchers *do* have an explanation, and it *is* the current authors who have chosen to rule it out.]

"I don't know" is not an explanation.

Don't misrepresent, please. They didn't say "I don't know" what's producing the readings, they said that contamination was producing it. For example:

Rather than deal with the issue of the nature of the 14 C intrinsic to the anthracite itself, the authors merely refer to it as “contamination of the sample in situ”, “not [to be] discussed further.”
This same approach of treating measurable and reproducible 14 C values in samples that ought to be 14 C dead, given their position in the geological record, as ‘contamination’ is found throughout the current literature.
The fact that you apparently don't agree with their explanation or you consider it inadequate doesn't change the fact that they do, indeed, have one. And it appears to be the correct one -- see my next post.

The primary researcher's tried and tried to eliminate the anomalous result. They failed. The result was. "I don't know".

No, they did numerous things which would likely eliminate *surface* contamination (from the original site as well as during transport/testing) and contamination of the testing equipment, and concluded that the readings were thus coming from contamination *in* the sample itself. That's not "failure", that's successful elimination of other factors. The result was not "I don't know", it was "we now think that the contamination is likely from within the sample and not from *external* contamination".

Any of your hypothetical explanations fails to account for the tests used by the primary researchers and described by the "non-reading" current authors.

Oh? How do you figure that? You forgot to "show your work".

Now you might note that Giem is cited from [18] Giem, P., Carbon-14 Content of Fossil Carbon, Origins, 51(2001) pp.6-30. and these are the primary researchers on the case I mentioned [30] Nadeau, M.-J., Grootes, P.M., Voelker, A., Bruhn, F., Duhr, A., and Oriwall, A., Carbonate 14C Background: Does It Have Multiple Personalities?, Radiocarbon, 43:2A(2001), pp. 169-176.. Giem does not cite them.

Yes, I "might" note that, since I was the one to point that out to you in my prior post:

That refers *only* to citation #30, and describes their inability to explain why C14 levels would be correlated with species. It's not a summation of all the "primary researchers" [i.e., the dozen-plus cited by Giem].
Is there any special reason you're repeating it back to me?

Finally, despite your aspersions, Uranium is not as ubiquitous as Nitrogen.

Red herring alert. Not only did I not claim that it was, but that's irrelevant to the point I made. I would be highly interested to hear why you thought it was.

What is relevant, however, is that Uranium is more ubiquitous than Carbon-14. The human body, for example, contains about a thousand times as many Uranium atoms as Carbon-14 atoms, and in long-dead organisms the disparity is even greater. Carbon-14 is present in only trace amounts even at the best of times (it comprises only 0.0000000002% of the Carbon in living tissue). It doesn't take much C-14 from other sources (internal or external) to contaminate things.

Furthermore, Carbon-14 can be produced in situ by muon capture by Oxygen nuclei -- and needless to say organic material has a lot of Oxygen. See for example In situ produced 14 C by cosmic ray muons in ablating Antarctic ice. Additional measurable C-14 was produced at depths of over 40 meters.

The authors of the PDF failed to examine either of these possible sources of de novo Carbon-14, among others, as well as the possibility that there may be others sources which we just haven't learned about yet (note that Ac-225's alternate decay mode into Carbon-14 was only discovered in 1993, for example).

However, it seems that the real explanation is simple surface contamination after all. See my next post.

451 posted on 08/13/2003 2:05:40 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: fishtank; wysiwyg; Right Wing Professor; SengirV; IpaqMan; sleepy_hollow; VadeRetro; 50sDad; ...
First, sorry for the mega-ping, but I tried to catch everyone who had expressed some manner of interest in the validity in the original article. I believe the mystery may be solved.

First, a quick recap of what the "too much Carbon-14" measurements may mean (bear with me please):

1. Systematic error in the testing equipment or methods.

2. External contamination.

3. Internal contamination (i.e., new Carbon-14 being produced within the sample in some manner).

4. All organic samples really *are* no older than 40,000 years.

5. Decay rates have varied in the past.

6. Bad data, dishonest reporting, sloppy technique, fabricated results, etc.

7. Some combination thereof, including the original authors' overburdened combo of "they indicate a max of 40,000 years because a) nothing died earlier than that *and* b) they're even much younger than those careful 40,000-year measurements indicate by an order of magnitude because *also* c) decay rates have changed drastically from time to time *and* d) so have production rates". Uh huh...

From the original article in this thread:

#1 seems ruled out by the repeatability of the results for different samples, and the fact that some samples measure just fine at "damned little C-14" as expected. Although it would still be possible that something about the testing methods may produce spurious results only when applied to samples with certain compositions, but that's unlikely.

#2 seems ruled out by the many methods which were used to try to "wash away" external contaminants.

#3 seems possible, and that's the direction I was leaning, but some quick back-of-the-envelope calculations led me to think that they might not be able to account for as much C-14 as was measured (although I'm hardly a nuclear physicist, and may have overlooked some possibilities).

#4 is incredibly implausible on its face, for reasons I've given earlier -- there are just *too* many other lines of evidence that firmly indicate that the Earth really is quite old.

#5 is highly unlikely, *no* evidence has been found that decay rates have ever fluctuated while we've been monitoring them, nor that they ever have in the past (since that would have left tell-tale signs).

#6 is tempting, but... Other than the fact that I think it's pretty sloppy to try to compare readings from multiple researchers across multiple labs across multiple years (since their techniques and precisions and equipment are all likely to vary), I'm willing to give the authors and the researchers they cite the benefit of the doubt.

#7 is... Imaginative, but unlikely cubed. Not only does it postulate *multiple* outlandish deviations from established principles of science just to "reconcile" one anomalous finding, but it flies in the face of innumerable other findings which are much better supported *and* its proposed solution would have caused countless other noticeable effects (like, say, a million-fold increase in natural radiation which would have flash-fried Noah) which simply are not the case.

So since we seem to have eliminated -- or at least cast strong doubt on -- all possibilities, what the heck *is* the explanation for the results?

I can't resist a good puzzle, so I've been researching this question off and on all day. I've learned a lot of interesting things in the process (and expanded my IE bookmarks even further), but I think I hit paydirt when I came across the following:


New dating confirms that people occupied the Australian continent before the earliest time inferred from conventional radiocarbon analysis. Many of the new ages were obtained by accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dating after an acid–base–acid pretreatment with bulk combustion (ABA-BC) or after a newly developed acid–base–wet oxidation pretreatment with stepped combustion (ABOX-SC). The samples (charcoal) came from the earliest occupation levels of the Devil's Lair site in southwestern Western Australia. Initial occupation of this site was previously dated 35,000 14C yr B.P. Whereas the ABA-BC ages are indistinguishable from background beyond 42,000 14C yr B.P., the ABOX-SC ages are in stratigraphic order to ~55,000 14C yr B.P. The ABOX-SC chronology suggests that people were in the area by 48,000 cal yr B.P. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), electron spin resonance (ESR) ages, U-series dating of flowstones, and 14C dating of emu eggshell carbonate are in agreement with the ABOX-SC 14C chronology. These results, based on four independent techniques, reinforce arguments for early colonization of the Australian continent.

-- From Early Human Occupation at Devil's Lair, Southwestern Australia 50,000 Years Ago (published online 11 March 2002)

Oh look, someone's broken the "radiocarbon barrier". And the fact that they did it with a new method for removing external contaminants seems pretty convincing evidence that the "radiocarbon barrier" was due to, well, external contaminants. Looks like those prior researchers weren't off-base after all (the ones that the authors of the PDF sneered at for attributing the results to contaminants).

Note the interesting parts of the abstract, which I've highlighted in color.

The green portion notes that this is a new technique for removing contaminants.

The red portion is key -- it notes that although older pretreatments for eliminating contaminants still showed the 40,000-year-old "radiocarbon barrier", the new technique allowed readings way beyond 40kya -- up to 55,000 years. Furthermore, in a NERC grant, one of the authors was granted 19,627 British pounds to develop a facility to apply the technique in greater volume, with claimed ability to read dates up to 60,000 years.

Furthermore, the technique is shown to not just produce higher numbers by some means, but to do them accurately, as matched against the results of four other independent dating methods (blue text).

So to summarize:

1. The PDF authors concluded that the "radiocarbon barrier" was due to some real feature of the specimens (i.e., they all really did die "recently") and pooh-poohed the notion that it was due to contaminants. However, the fact that a particular technique can make specimens read older than the proposed "barrier" *and* match the results of other independent dating methods pretty much blows that one out of the water.

2. The fact that a contaminant-removing method has succeeded in overcoming the "barrier" indicates that the barrier was indeed caused by contaminants.

3. The fact that the dates "uncovered" by the method make sense (i.e. are consistent with the origin of the specimens and their relationship to each other and to younger specimens) and match four independent dating methods very strongly indicates that the findings are "real" and not artifacts of the processing method.

4. The new higher results can't be the result of "washing out" too much of the original Carbon-14 -- C-14 dating is done by measuring the ratio of C-14 to C-12 within the sample, and this will remain constant despite vigorous "washing" because any cleaning method is going to remove proportionately equal amounts of C-14 and C-12 because they are chemically identical.

5. At its upper limits, contamination will always be a problem for techniques like C-14 dating which rely on measuring the amount of very trace amounts of material. Even at the best of times (i.e., before an organism's death) Carbon-14 only makes up 0.0000000002% (not a typo) of the Carbon in the organism. *Very* small amounts of additional C-14 will contribute a significant amount of "noise" to the measurements of the smaller amounts of C-14 present in an old sample. This is not an indictment of C-14 dating in general, though, since such contamination has a far smaller effect on the relatively larger amounts of original C-14 being measured in younger samples. It's only when stretching the technique to its upper end that contamination "noise" becomes almost as large (or larger) than the true amount you're attempting to measure. Previously, the best techniques would still leave enough contamination to swamp a 40,000+ year reading. With the new more effective ABOX-SC technique, the noise level has been pushed back to 60,000 years -- but it's still there. The authors of the PDF would have you believe that this is because there's always measurable amounts of "original" C-14 in all samples. But this does not follow. The much more mundane (and likely) explanation is that there will always be an unavoidable amount of modern C-14 creeping into everything, like the way that sand on a beach always gets into your socks and shorts no matter how you try to avoid it.

6. This is the sort of thing which would have been caught by peer-review publishing. That's one of the many reasons why it's valuable.

7. In reference [12] the PDF authors cite an earlier work by some of the same authors as the article I abstracted above, and their overview of it sounds rather like ABOX-SC, or an earlier version of it -- and yet they did not point out the breaking of the 40,000kya radiocarbon barrier. Call me suspicious, but I'm going to track down a copy of that earlier work and see whether the PDF authors glossed over its implications or presented it misleadingly (although it's possible that the earlier work had not yet achieved the above success). I'll report back after I do that.

452 posted on 08/13/2003 2:06:11 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: 50sDad
Good heavens, no! We wouldn't want any of those sinners coming in and getting the place dirty.
AMEN Brother!!!
(We IN THE CHURCH do that quite well already!!)

453 posted on 08/13/2003 3:39:01 AM PDT by Elsie (Don't believe every prophecy you hear: especially *** ones........)
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To: Virginia-American
2) the fraud was exposed by evolutionists.
Does this mean that NO 'C' folks had said it was bogus before then?

454 posted on 08/13/2003 3:41:32 AM PDT by Elsie (Don't believe every prophecy you hear: especially *** ones........)
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To: Virginia-American
Myself, I am an omnivore.........
455 posted on 08/13/2003 3:42:40 AM PDT by Elsie (Don't believe every prophecy you hear: especially *** ones........)
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To: bondserv
The word is very clear regarding the earth not being flat.

I thought it was the idea that the Earth revolved around the Sun, instead of the other way, that got him in trouble.

That 'earth shall not be moved' stuff.
456 posted on 08/13/2003 3:48:00 AM PDT by Elsie (Don't believe every prophecy you hear: especially *** ones........)
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To: Elsie
Let me get this straight. The earth is older than 6000 years and we just got Direct TV in the last 10 years?

Something is not right with this picture! This digital picture!
457 posted on 08/13/2003 3:48:45 AM PDT by Bluntpoint
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To: f.Christian

You win...... for having the LARGEST 'home page' on FR that I've ever seen!

458 posted on 08/13/2003 4:00:22 AM PDT by Elsie (Don't believe every prophecy you hear: especially *** ones........)
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To: f.Christian
...still there are those who tell us that history has ended, that religion has no more need of scripture, ...
Am I getting the wrong take on this??
Does he mean that not ALL Scripture has already been given?
It seems that's how Mohammad and Joseph Smith got started: by writing down MORE 'stuff' that 'god' had given them.

459 posted on 08/13/2003 4:04:39 AM PDT by Elsie (Don't believe every prophecy you hear: especially *** ones........)
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To: fishtank
I didn't read the article, but will if you assure me it explains how Noah got the kangaroos, dodo birds, llamas, tapirs, and other remote species on board the Ark and then back to their current habitiat in such a short time and without their leaving any evidence of such a migration.
460 posted on 08/13/2003 4:05:54 AM PDT by laredo44
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