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Sunday, August 08, 2010

About Dating Methods and Rudyard Kipling and J.R.R.Tolkien...

Hat tip to Karl for this comic

Recently (within the last year)  I have posted evidence of a young age for bedrock and lower-level rocks (zircons with grantitic rock and polonium radiohalo evidence) and also evidence that blood and flesh and DNA, remains and  not fossilized, have been found within the sedimentary rock layers in creatures such as dinosaurs and salamanders.  Various organisms trapped within amber are now yielding evidence of a young age.   The rapid subduction theory in association with the flood is reflected in non-uniformity within the magma layer of the Earth.   In other words, there have been many posts concerning dating methods this year.   But we will likely stir up something with the Bill Jahns article anyway.

I do not know what to say to people who understand that the Laws of Thermodynamics and Abiogenesis have been proven many times and yet they not only come back with a "but", they usually come back with remarkably simplistic and unconvincing dumb reasons...so can we call such behavior being a "Dumb But?"
One last time before we go into dating methods, allow me to list a few things Darwinists could not do:

  • Account for the existence of the Universe
  • Account for the existence of information
  • Provide any proof for a material or naturalistic source for information and/or design
  • Provide a naturalistic definition of the essence of life itself
  • Account for the beginning of life
  • Explain away the Laws of Thermodynamics
  • Provide even one example of objective evidence to support macroevolution
While commenters have occasionally gone so far as to call me a liar, the statements I have made above?  I stand behind them 100%.  When you know what you are talking about you can explain it simply.  If you can prove something it will not take you long to give the answer.  If Darwinists were confident in their proofs, they would go take Dr. JP's money!  Darwinists like to bury you in long, elaborate just-so stories based on assumptions and imagination rather than fact.   Darwinists have built an elaborate imaginary world in which evolution did magic things on a consistent basis for hundreds of millions of years.  Too bad they cannot give us any actual EVIDENCE because it has not happened within the last 150 years and it has just plain never happened at all.


 Let's give you one example: This is one of Kipling's series of "Just-So" stories.  It is a rambling explanation that reminds one of the kinds of stories Darwinists make up for how a cow decided to become a whale, etc.

HOW THE FIRST LETTER WAS WRITTEN

 Now I would be unkind to make you read the whole thing here, but it starts like this:

"ONCE upon a most early time was a Neolithic man. He was not a Jute or an Angle, or even a Dravidian, which he might well have been, Best Beloved, but never mind why. He was a Primitive, and he lived cavily in a Cave, and he wore very few clothes, and he couldn't read and he couldn't write and he didn't want to, and except when he was hungry he was quite happy. His name was Tegumai Bopsulai, and that means, 'Man-who-does-not-put-his-foot- forward-in-a-hurry'; but we, O Best Beloved, will call him Tegumai, for short. And his wife's name was Teshumai Tewindrow, and that means, 'Lady-who-asks-a-very-many-questions'; but we, O Best Beloved, will call her Teshumai, for short. And his little girl-daughter's name was Taffimai Metallumai, and that means, 'Small-person-without-any-manners-who-ought-to-be-spanked'; but I'm going to call her Taffy. And she was Tegumai Bopsulai's Best Beloved and her own Mummy's Best Beloved, and she was not spanked half as much as was good for her; and they were all three very happy. As soon as Taffy could run about she went everywhere with her Daddy Tegumai, and sometimes they would not come home to the Cave till they were hungry, and then Teshumai Tewindrow would say, 'Where in the world have you two been to, to get so shocking dirty? Really, my Tegumai, you're no better than my Taffy.'

Now attend and listen!

One day Tegumai Bopsulai went down through the beaver-swamp to the Wagai river to spear carp-fish for dinner, and Taffy went too. Tegumai's spear was made of wood with shark's teeth at the end, and before he had caught any fish at all he accidentally broke it clean across by jabbing it down too hard on the bottom of the river. They were miles and miles from home (of course they had their lunch with them in a little bag), and Tegumai had forgotten to bring any extra spears.

'Here's a pretty kettle of fish!' said Tegumai. 'It will take me half the day to mend this.'

'There's your big black spear at home,' said Taffy. 'Let me run back to the Cave and ask Mummy to give it me.'

'It's too far for your little fat legs,' said Tegumai. 'Besides, you might fall into the beaver-swamp and be drowned. We must make the best of a bad job.' He sat down and took out a little leather mendy-bag, full of reindeer-sinews and strips of leather, and lumps of bee's-wax and resin, and began to mend the spear.

Taffy sat down too, with her toes in the water and her chin in her hand, and thought very hard. Then she said--'I say, Daddy, it's an awful nuisance that you and I don't know how to write, isn't it? If we did we could send a message for the new spear.'

'Taffy,' said Tegumai, 'how often have I told you not to use slang? "Awful" isn't a pretty word, but it could be a convenience, now you mention it, if we could write home.'

Just then a Stranger-man came along the river, but he belonged to a far tribe, the Tewaras, and he did not understand one word of Tegumai's language. He stood on the bank and smiled at Taffy, because he had a little girl-daughter Of his own at home. Tegumai drew a hank of deer-sinews from his mendy-bag and began to mend his spear.

'Come here, said Taffy. 'Do you know where my Mummy lives?' And the Stranger-man said 'Um!' being, as you know, a Tewara.

'Silly!' said Taffy, and she stamped her foot, because she saw a shoal of very big carp going up the river just when her Daddy couldn't use his spear.

'Don't bother grown-ups,' said Tegumai, so busy with his spear-mending that he did not turn round.

'I aren't, said Taffy. 'I only want him to do what I want him to do, and he won't understand...'"

Yep, Rudyard Kipling must be the patron saint of Darwinists, since their explanations of how creatures supposedly evolved are precisely as fact-free and fanciful as those of the esteemed Kipling.

J. R. R. Tolkien is now also long-departed and well-beloved for his The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series.  He invented a world, the world of Middle Earth and eventually became so infatuated and obsessed with making it as real as possible that he built the back story and the further adventures of Middle Earth. His son, Christopher, later unveiled the Silmarillion (which Tolkien began with notes taken during WWI) and numerous other tomes concerning Middle Earth.   Tolkien is also famed as a member of the "Inklings" discussion group which also included C.S. Lewis and many other mostly Oxford professors and thinkers concerned with metaphysical musings and considerations.  Many have credited Tolkien with bringing Lewis to Christ or at least reigniting Lewis' faith.

Tolkien did spend many years of his life writing on the people and history of the imaginary world of Middle Earth.   However, there is no doubt that he knew it was all fantasy and was rather dismayed in later years to learn that some people had either believed that Middle Earth existed or enjoyed reading his writings on the subject in tandem with an LSD trip.

People like Richard Dawkins and Eugenie Scott remind me of such Tolkien fans.   Such folks spend their lives studying and expanding upon imaginary things.   Darwinism is made up entirely of speculation and imagination with not one provable fact to support it.

Serious Problems With Dating Methods
By Bill Jahns

Why do geologists so frequently fail to understand that the biblical Flood was the force that created some geologic formations? One important answer lies in the way they date these formations.

The theory of evolution has become so ubiquitous in the scientific world today that it even distorts the way geological formations are dated. However, these dating methods have significant problems that can lead to serious errors of interpretation.

One of the most popular dating methods, carbon-14 (14C), is used for dating plant or animal remains. The book The Dynamic Earth explains the basis for this method: "Radiocarbon is continuously created in the atmosphere through bombardment of nitrogen-14 (14N) by neutrons created by cosmic radiation. 14C, with a half-life of 5730 years, decays back to 14N . . . As long as the production rate remains constant, the radioactivity of natural carbon remains constant because [the] rate of production balances the rate of decay.

"While an organism is alive and is taking in carbon from the atmosphere, it contains this balanced proportion of 14C. However, at death the balance is upset, because replenishment by life processes such as feeding, breathing and photosynthesis ceases. The 14C in dead tissues continually decreases by radioactive decay" (Brian Skinner and Stephen Porter, 1989, pp. 138-139). By measuring the amount of carbon-14 and comparing that amount to the original, scientists can obtain a date for the death of the organism.

However, there are many problems with the dates obtained through this method. For example, dating living mollusks by the carbon-14 method often yields clearly errant results—for instance, finding the mollusks to be up to 2,300 years old ("Radiocarbon Dating: Fictitious Results With Mollusk Shells," Science, Vol. 141, p. 634). Carbon-14 dating methods are obviously affected by the environment.

Archaeologist John McRay notes: "Unfortunately, several recent discoveries combine to indicate that carbon 14 is not as valuable as was once hoped: (1) radioactive carbon atoms may not have existed in the earth's atmosphere before 2000 B.C.; (2) the natural concentration of carbon 14 in the atmosphere has varied in certain periods, and (3) there is a high probability of sample contamination" (Archaeology and the New Testament, 1991, p. 34).

Recently a new method—accelerator mass spectrometry—has been used to date ancient items. This method has given a different date than previously accepted for the earliest Mayan civilization.

"The oldest known Maya turns out to be younger than archaeologists originally believed. The remains of a woman found below a layered platform at a site called Cuello in northern Belize had been thought to be more than 4,000 years old . . . As a result of new dating methods, about a thousand years have been trimmed from the chronology. Norman Hammond of Boston University, who began digging at Cuello in the 1970s, says the remains now are believed to be from about 1200 B.C., still earlier than any other known Maya settlement.

"The accelerator mass spectrometer allows scientists to analyze the bones of the ancient Maya without severely damaging them. The new technique can date carbon samples weighing only a few milligrams; a specimen the size of a match head will do" ("Oldest Known Maya: Not Quite So Old," National Geographic, November 1990). Here a new dating method has changed by 1,000 years the earliest accepted date of Mayan civilization.

Consider then. Radiometric dating methods (those measuring geologic time by rate of radioactive decay) have been used to date formations that could be associated with Noah's Flood. These dates supposedly prove these formations are millions of years old rather than thousands. Yet we find that different methods can yield radically different results.

As The Science of Evolution explains: "Several methods have been devised for estimating the age of the earth and its layers of rocks. These methods rely heavily on the assumption of uniformitarianism, i.e., natural processes have proceeded at relatively constant rates throughout the earth's history . . . It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of years). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological 'clock'" (William Stansfield, 1977, pp. 80, 84).

The potassium-argon [K-Ar] dating method, used to date lava flows, also has problems—as shown by studies of Mount St. Helens. "The conventional K-Ar dating method was applied to the 1986 dacite flow from the new lava dome at Mount St. Helens, Washington. Porphyritic dacite which solidified on the surface of the lava dome in 1986 gives a whole rock K-Ar 'age' of 0.35 + OR - 0.05 million years (Ma). Mineral concentrates from this same dacite give K-Ar 'ages' from 0.35 + OR - .06 Ma to 2.8 + OR - 0.6 Ma. These 'ages' are, of course, preposterous [since we know the rock formed recently]. The fundamental dating assumption ('no radiogenic argon was present when the rock formed') is questioned by these data.

"Instead, data from this Mount St. Helens dacite argue that significant 'excess argon' was present when the lava solidified in 1986 . . . This study of Mount St. Helens dacite causes the more fundamental question to be asked—how accurate are K-Ar 'ages' from the many other phenocryst-containing lava flows worldwide?" (Stephen Austin, "Excess Argon within Mineral Concentrates from the New Dacite Lava Dome at Mount St. Helens Volcano," Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1996, pp. 335-344).

In layman's terms, these volcanic rocks that we know were formed in 1986—less than 20 years ago—were "scientifically" dated to between 290,000 and 3.4 million years old!

Such examples serve to illustrate the fallibility of the dating methods on which many modern scientists rely so heavily.

25 comments:

Jon Woolf said...

While commenters have occasionally gone so far as to call me a liar, the statements I have made above? I stand behind them 100%.

Which is why some commenters call you a liar, Radar. Some of the things you list have nothing to do with evolutionary theory; others are contradicted by previous comments; the remainder are strawman attacks on your caricatured version of evolution.

As for this post ... once again the plaintive cry comes drifting o'er the dales, "is this all you've got?" I wrote an article on radiometric dating fourteen years ago that shows how soaking-wet the YEC claims about it are, and I have yet to see any YEC criticize it successfully.

John McRay is a YEC, therefore not a valid source. His claim that "(1) radioactive carbon atoms may not have existed in the earth's atmosphere before 2000 B.C.;" is arrant nonsense, disproven by the fact that radiocarbon dating can be used on artifacts from the Old Kingdom period of ancient Egypt, as far back as 2691 BCE.

Steve Austin's claimed debunking of potassium-argon dating based on rock samples from Mt St Helens is also arrant nonsense. Even if you bend over backwards and believe his claim that he used clean samples, which I don't, it still fails for other reasons. The conclusion is obvious and inescapable: Austin is a liar. Those who repeat his lies are either dupes, or complicit in his deception.

The no-young-isotopes phenomenon validates radiometric dating and destroys the possibility of a young Earth in a single stroke.

radar said...

The problem with your reasoning, Jon Woolf, is that you have no idea where the starting point might be on any of the assumed long processes. Scientists cannot reasonably watch a process for two hundred years and ascertain with certainty that they know the exact state of the original material.

This year we had a student from Germany and one from Denmark attending our youth class. One would by Darwinist thinking assume that Jacob, for instance, must have taken at least a day to fly from Denmark to the USA, go through customs, grab his stuff and catch a bus to the area followed by a taxi to get to class. But in fact he was an exchange student living with a church family located about ten miles away so his journey was quite short. But you had to know all the facts to know this.

Josie came from Germany but also was an exchange student living only about a half hour away.

Go ahead and explain the vast variances in radiometric dating taken from the same site, or millions of years ascribed to lava that we know is less than 30 years old.

My version of evolution is spot on. You attack me and rant and rave but when I ask you for something concrete you give me a link to leads to all sorts of assumptions and just-so stories.

Anonymous said...

"You attack me and rant and rave but when I ask you for something concrete you give me a link to leads to all sorts of assumptions and just-so stories."

If "ranting and raving" means calmly presenting you with countless concrete examples that you fail to acknowledge or even comprehend, then yes, Jon Woolf is a ranter and raver extraordinaire.

Does your hypocrisy know no bounds, Radar? Do you ever consider applying the same standards to your own evidence as you wish to subject others to?

Like your hero Mastropaolo, whose embarrassing pratfall in a previous thread has to be seen to be believed, you simply assume that you are right and that any objections that commenters post - often quite specific - are simply not worth engaging in.

"The problem with your reasoning, Jon Woolf, is that you have no idea where the starting point might be on any of the assumed long processes"

By that standard, you should retract your previous post on the decay of proteins. Will you?

Anonymous said...

Radar, an alleged "fallibility of the dating methods on which many modern scientists rely" does not constitute proof that the Earth is no more than 6,000 years old.

Such proof appears not to exist, or one suspects you would have posted it by now. Instead you crow about alleged inconsistencies and blatantly ignore anything that outright falsifies a hypothesis of a Young Earth.

Jon Woolf said...

The problem with your reasoning, Jon Woolf, is that you have no idea where the starting point might be on any of the assumed long processes.

Be careful, Radar. That sword cuts both ways, and I'm wearing better armor than you are.

Go ahead and explain

Nothing could be simpler. Like most creationists, you assume that lab tests give a single number with a single meaning. You're wrong.

the vast variances in radiometric dating taken from the same site

Easily done. Two tests using the same method on the same rock might yield different results because of experimental error, or because the rock being tested violates one or more of the conditions for a successful dating test. There was an enormous furor in the 1970s over dating of certain fossils from Koobi Fora in East Africa, all because of an ash layer (the KBS Tuff) that was thought to be single-age, but actually contained ash with a variety of ages, and so gave bad results when argon-dated.

Two tests on the same rock using different methods might give discordant results because the rock has been altered enough to throw off one method, but not the other.

or millions of years ascribed to lava that we know is less than 30 years old.

Even easier. It might be experimental error. The rock that was tested might actually be that old -- ie, it's a xenocryst or xenolith. Or the lab that ran the test might have had inadequate equipment. Science and technology do improve over time. Lab equipment designed in the 1960s is not as sensitive or precise as equipment made in the 1990s.

In this connection, it's useful to know that when workers take all the necessary precautions and use the very very best methods and equipment available, they can and have correctly dated materials as little as 1900 years old.

Jon Woolf said...

But you had to know all the facts to know this.

Right. And when it comes to evolutionary theory and dating methods, you don't.

That is why you fail.

highboy said...

"John McRay is a YEC, therefore not a valid source. "

Ridiculous. Saying that someone making an argument for YEC is an invalid source because they ascribe to yec is fallacious beyond repair.

"Even easier. It might be experimental error."

That's it? That's your hard-hitting answer? It MIGHT be an experimental error? That's how a conclusion is drawn in your version of the scientific method?

highboy said...

"Radar, an alleged "fallibility of the dating methods on which many modern scientists rely" does not constitute proof that the Earth is no more than 6,000 years old."

It does however, make the point that such fallibility in the dating methods makes the concrete conclusions mainstream science seems to have drawn appear rather questionable. There are examples of radiometric carbon dating missing the mark, and the only argument that has been used to counter these examples is that it MIGHT have been an experimental error. Shards.

highboy said...

I'm not a science expert at all, but I've been waiting for an opportunity to use Wolfe's "shards" lingo.

Jon Woolf said...

Saying that someone making an argument for YEC is an invalid source because they ascribe to yec is fallacious beyond repair.

Only if it's wrong.

That's it? That's your hard-hitting answer? It MIGHT be an experimental error?

Well, yeah. What's your beef with that? Is it not true to say that experimental error is one possible reason for an inaccurate experimental result? Scientists are human too, you know. We do make mistakes.

There are examples of radiometric carbon dating missing the mark, and the only argument that has been used to counter these examples is that it MIGHT have been an experimental error.

Read what I said, highboy, not what you want to think I said. I said experimental error was one possible source of an inaccurate result. There are at least two others that I can think of.

highboy said...

"Only if it's wrong. "

No, saying any source is invalid in regards to yec simply because they ascribe to yec will always be fallacious.

"Read what I said, highboy, not what you want to think I said. I said experimental error was one possible source of an inaccurate result. There are at least two others that I can think of."

First of all, its not about what I want to think you said, the debate between yec and evolution means very little to me so don't flatter yourself. Second, you only gave one possible source of an inaccurate result. Even with two more that you still haven't mentioned it doesn't detract from the fact that these are inaccurate findings and all of your possible sources for these inaccurate findings are nothing more than speculation.

Jon Woolf said...

No, saying any source is invalid in regards to yec simply because they ascribe to yec will always be fallacious.

In theory, perhaps. In practice ... I've yet to meet a YEC for whom it wasn't true.

Well, on second thought I have to modify that. In fourteen years I've met one YEC who I would trust to tell the truth about what science says. A scrupulously honest man, he was (and hopefully still is), the exception that proves the rule. In all other cases, YECs can be trusted to get it wrong.

the debate between yec and evolution means very little to me

Then why are you even bothering to comment about it?

highboy said...

"Then why are you even bothering to comment about it?"

I'm commenting about the fact that radiometric carbon dating is not always accurate, and that the only explanation you've give so far is that maybe someone screwed something up, which is hardly a compelling argument at all.

Anonymous said...

Highboy,

"It does however, make the point that such fallibility in the dating methods makes the concrete conclusions mainstream science seems to have drawn appear rather questionable. There are examples of radiometric carbon dating missing the mark, and the only argument that has been used to counter these examples is that it MIGHT have been an experimental error. Shards."

You seem to be taken in by this YEC argument. YECs like to make it seem as if radiometric dating methods are wildly all over the map and that some evil atheist totalitarian conspiracy is pretending otherwise and trying to stop the truth from leaking out.

The fact of the matter is that there will be a small margin of experimental error in most scientific measurements. This is accepted and not seen as disproving the respective principle as a whole. Indeed, YECs are incapable of accounting for the vast mountains of radiometric dating that do agree with each other and that do confirm an old Earth, and so they (quite dishonestly) focus on the cases of experimental error.

Since you're on the fence re. old Earth/young Earth, I'd encourage you to read the following links:

1. From here: "All of the different dating methods agree--they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of time. Some Christians make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case. The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-Earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude (e.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more). The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!"

If you have an hour or two, this is a very good read, and it is written by a Christian.

Radar's claim above ("I have posted evidence of a young age for bedrock and lower-level rocks (zircons with grantitic rock and polonium radiohalo evidence) ") is also refuted there - see items 13 - 15.

This, too, has been brought to Radar's attention before. He is unable to address it, yet repeats his claim as "evidence" here. It is instances like this where I accuse him of dishonesty. If he can address the refutation, he should do so, and if he can't, he should cease making the claim.

I've asked Radar to provide objective evidence that rocks are no older than 6,000 to 10,000 years old, actual objective evidence, not some attempts to sprinkle doubt on mainstream science. Instead, he has predictably opted for the latter, with previously refuted talking points no less.

It appears that Radar can find no such objective evidence and, like his buddy, the embarrassing Mastropaolo, Radar is now in default on this question.

2. There's a good piece on radiometric dating here (with a section on experimental error here), easily comprehensible for a lay audience like you and me.

Unfortunately I'm quite busy the next day or so. Radar has left a pile of indefensible claims in this and the preceding post, which I'll be debunking as soon as I have a bit more time.

-- creeper

highboy said...

No, creeper, my issue isn't with whether or not the carbon dating was accurate, but Jon's answer as to why the inconsistencies exist. The only answer I kept getting over and over again was "maybe they made a mistake". He even went on to suggest that there were two other possibilities that he could think of and never posted what they were. Further, the implication made that because someone ascribes to yec, that they are an invalid source on the subject of yec, was just plain absurd. Its like saying a quarterback is an invalid source on how to play quarterback. In a debate over yec, to simply dismiss anything said by a yec creationist because they are a yec creationist is fallacious beyond repair. Jon seems capable of arguing for or against a scientific theory based on the merit of the argument so I'm not sure why he decided to go that route.

Jon Woolf said...

Highboy: The only answer I kept getting over and over again was "maybe they made a mistake". He even went on to suggest that there were two other possibilities that he could think of and never posted what they were.

You weren't reading carefully enough, Highboy. I did post the other two, earlier in this very comment-thread. I just didn't put them in a list. Here they are again, carefully itemized:

A radiometric dating test on a given sample of rock might give an unexpectedly old date because of:

1) Experimental error - somebody mucked up setting the equipment or cleaning it from a previous test, or the machinery glitched, or any of the hundred other things that could go wrong with any experiment.

2) The specific bit of rock being tested might actually be as old as the result indicates. Lava flows aren't 100% virgin freshly-solidified rock. They can contain fragments of older rocks.

3) The lab that ran the test might have had inadequate equipment. Radiometric dating isn't rocket science, but it isn't Mark 1 Eyeball stuff either. It requires careful measurement of very small amounts of matter. For potassium-argon dating in particular, first-generation equipment can't deal with very young samples.

Anonymous said...

"Be careful, Radar. That sword cuts both ways, and I'm wearing better armor than you are."

I don't know about that. Being ignorant and obtuse constitutes pretty heavy armor (a.k.a. a thick skull).

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Chaos Engineer said...

Aren't these just the same old "dating method" arguments from last time? The flaws in those arguments haven't changed so the rebuttals are going to be the same as they were before...

I did spot one new thing we can talk about. You said that scientists are unable to:

Provide a naturalistic definition of the essence of life itself

Scientists would say that "life" is kind of a vague term. If you're just walking around looking at stuff then it's easy enough to categorize everything as "living", "dead", or "non-living". But if you start researching in more depth, you'll run into boundary cases where it's hard to assign a category. Is a virus alive? Is Henrietta Lacks still alive? I don't think there's an obvious right answer.

So are you saying that you can provide an objectively correct definition of life that handles all the boundary cases? Can you tell us what your definition is, and what makes it better than everybody else's?

Anonymous said...

Highboy,

I was just going to say what Jon now said - he did post the other two. He wasn't being coy or obstinate with you.

As for Jon's statement about a YEC not being a valid source because he's a YEC - it may seem like an unfair accusation until one considers what a YEC actually is and does, and the amount of empirically validated science that a YEC must deny in order to maintain his or her belief.

As a matter of principle, I happen to think it's fair not to universally cast YECs in that light, but the sad truth of the matter is that good ambassadors are frightfully hard to come by. Certainly Radar's no prize, and Mastropaolo just stinks up the place. If anybody here could name a YEC that doesn't engage in obfuscation or ill-informed strawman arguments, I'd sure appreciate any pointers. Radar himself even now insists that there's something called a "Law of Abiogenesis", even though he has been provided with accurate information on that subject (i.e. there is no such Law) and even a short trip to the electric Internet would have informed him that there is no such thing.

And that's just one of many errors/fallacies/whathaveyou that Radar likes to rattle off.

Jon himself has said that he did once encounter a YEC that he "would trust to tell the truth about what science says", and that's in 14 years of active discussion. A rare find, and I'd love to hear more from this person, since an actual plausible reconciliation of a literal reading of genesis and verifiable, objective science at least to me appears to be a practical impossibility, and I have yet to see any actual evidence to the contrary.

I've only been engaged in this subject for, say, half as long as Jon, but I, too, have yet to find an honest YEC. I don't say that to be insulting, but it occurs to me that Mastropaolo (as an alleged "big name" in creationist apologetics) is not a bizarre exception to the rule as one might at first expect, but instead the natural outcome of buying into this line of thinking that requires one to paint thousands and thousands of actual scientists as frauds while painting a small fraction of that number as unshakably steadfast evangelists who adhere to supposedly "true" science.

It's something to keep an eye on if you happen to be on the fence about these things. Why couldn't Mastropaolo answer a perfectly simple question like "what is the evidence for devolution?"? Radar asked a similar question on his blog not so long ago (about macroevolution) and was almost immediately rewarded with dozens of different pieces of evidence, something he's had to lie about it ever since.

Ask Mastropaolo for his side of the ledger, and, well, you've seen the thread. The guy's got nothing.

As far as Radar goes, as Chaos Engineer noted, why does Radar simply repeat the same flawed arguments without addressing the obvious objections to them?

Radar, are you going to be in default on all this stuff as well?

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Creeper:

Certainly Radar's no prize, and Mastropaolo just stinks up the place.

I'd say "whoever is posting under the name Mastropaolo." Rule 3 applies. The tone of those comments is such that I am unconvinced it's actually the real Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, unless and until I see some kind of confirmation from an independent source.

... I'd love to hear more from this person, since an actual plausible reconciliation of a literal reading of genesis and verifiable, objective science at least to me appears to be a practical impossibility, and I have yet to see any actual evidence to the contrary.

I don't give out his name because I don't know that he would want me to. (No, I don't have any reason to think it would cause him trouble, but I count him a friend and prefer to err on the side of caution.) He was the only creationist I can recall meeting who was completely honest and forthright about his position: he believed absolutely in the truth of Genesis, but he understood that the current weight of scientific evidence was against him. He never said scientists were deluded or liars, as most YECs do. He never attempted complicated ad hoc explanations for the geological and biological records. He simply believed that there was a missing element that, when discovered, would resolve the contradictions between science and Genesis. That's a position I can respect, even if I don't agree with it.

radar said...

I have concrete evidence that the actual Karl Priest and Joseph Mastropaolo have posted in this comments thread. In fact, I had spoken several times with Joseph over his inability to post in the comments thread with his Mac computer, so I made his first few for him before he managed to get a workaround to work for him.

Really some of the so-called proofs that Woolf and others use a laughable boilerplate arguments long disproved by research. It is getting hard to tell Woolf and talkorigins apart.

I do not do much of my work in the comments thread, though, so here comes another post tonight.

Anonymous said...

Jon, I think it's Mastropaolo, and Radar's confirmed it. Still, it's pretty embarrassing that such an allegedly big name in creationism is not only so utterly incoherent, but also incapable of answering simple questions posed to him.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Really some of the so-called proofs that Woolf and others use a laughable boilerplate arguments long disproved by research.

I am wounded. [melodramatic flourish] I try so very hard to not repeat myself, mix and match, use a variety of examples, explain points in multiple ways ...

On the other hand, it seems a waste to spend lots of time devising new arguments when you don't even try to answer the old ones. And it's grand fun to see you make some claim you think is new and different and a telling blow, then go into my archives and find something that I wrote in response to the exact same argument eight or ten years ago.

As long as you keep failing to address those "boilerplate" arguments, I'll keep repeating them.

What's the YEC explanation for fossiliferous Large Igneous Provinces, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for the "no young isotopes" phenomenon, Radar?

highboy said...

"What's the YEC explanation for the "no young isotopes" phenomenon, Radar?"

Jello.