Carbon-14 Dating and the 70s
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21-05-2012, 08:38 AM
RE: Carbon-14 Dating and the 70s
The religious young-earthers are no different than wacko conspiracy theorists. They find anything in the evidence that can possibly be twisted to cast doubt on the accepted conclusion and support the conspiracy. Creationism is no different. They do not have any actual evidence to support their arguments, only weak refutations and distortions of legitimate evidence of evolution and an old earth. When the evidence shows them to be wrong or they bring up rumors of scientific support for their arguments they start talking about conspiracies and cover-ups. It's ridiculous, really and usually is an unwinnable argument.

I think bearded asked in an earlier post how an old earth disproves their God. My view is that anything that undermines the veracity of the biblical account starts a chain reaction that unravels the entire religion. Think of a pyramid built of blocks... upside down. When everything is in place (believed to be true and accurate) it's impressive, but if even one block gets taken away the entire structure comes crashing to the ground.
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21-05-2012, 11:56 AM
RE: Carbon-14 Dating and the 70s
My point with telling him to ask that question is for a few reasons. A) Their god is very stupid and weak if determining the age of a rock can disprove him. If they do not feel that he is stupid and weak then B) they must believe he is trying to trick his creations by changing decay rates and assembling the fossil record the way he did. C) is the point they appear to be trying to make about a global science conspiracy, but this is easy to show as false once logic is used to examine the evidence.

There are numerous scientists, including some friends of mine, who maintain a belief in some supernatural being (some would also claim the title of christian) despite being scientists, and they are not YEC nor do they believe in a global science conspiracy (they are a part of the science community and they have never spoken of scientists in black lab coats showing up to "persuade" them into believing radiometric dating).

In the video posted on the previous page, the narrator explains the confusion with the samples that were analyzed. There is a mistake in saying that there is no carbon in them, but the point is that given the half-life of carbon, there would not be any C14 left (or not enough left for our meager detection limits depending on its actual age). Contamination is an issue that all paleontologists and geochemists have to account for. I had to be very methodical when prepping my own samples for stable isotope and trace element analyses because cross-contamination or even my own skin can upset the analyses and give incorrect measurements. This is why bone specimens are prepared differently for different techniques and why different techniques require different steps for processing. It isn't just some magic machine where you take the bone, stick it in, and out pops a number. A portion of the specimen is powdered, then dissolved through multiple stages of chemicals and acids before it is analyzed for the elemental ratios in mass spectrometers (the most accurate way for dating specimens, one could also use a SHRIMP, which stands for Single High-Resolution Ion Microprobe, but that is usually reserved for spot sampling of single grains of minerals like zircon.)

If you do decide to debate science with them in the future (which as you mentioned, may be both a futile and pointless effort), then they will need to do some work in order to understand what is being analyzed and why. For instance, I could not do Ar-Ar dating on zircon crystals because they would have had no initial K40.

Evolve
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