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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Modern Science Mistakes Abound, and, Understanding Why Carbon-14 dating falsifies Evolution

As time allows, it is time to illustrate the various lies of evolution so that all can understand.  After an overview post from cre-evo headlines, we begin a look at Carbon-14 dating...again.   As always, my comments are in this color.   Green is from the authors of cre-evo headlines.

More Reasons to Doubt Scientific Pronouncements

Posted on February 11, 2012 in Darwin and Evolution, Dating Methods, Early Man, Genetics, Geology, Issues, Microbiology, Origins, Philosophy of Science, Physical Science

It’s unsettling to hear scientists say that long-held beliefs might be wrong, but that’s the nature of science. Scientific “findings” are tentative, not absolute. Some see this as a strength of science, but unless actual progress is demonstrated, that strength is called into question. Recent news casts doubt on various beliefs that had been trusted for a long time.

1. We were wrong about Neanderthal Man: For well nigh a century or more, Neanderthals were thought too brutish to make art. Not any more. Cave paintings alleged to have been created by Neanderthals have been discovered in Spain, New Scientist reported. Dating tests are still being done on the figures, which appear to be representations of seals. The correctives are more serious, though. The article also pointed out that dating of other cave art is uncertain. Paul Pettitt from the University of Sheffield let that cat out of the bag: “Even some sites we think we understand very well such as the Grotte Chauvet in France are very problematic in terms of how old they are.

(Long-time Radaractive readers would already know this, as several posts on the truth about Neanderthals, including excerpts from Buried Alive by Dr. Jack Cuozzo, illustrated that Neanderthals actually accomplished remarkable things and that Darwinists altered the appearance of Neanderthal skulls to make them appear apelike). 

2. Rings around the tree dates: What could be more reliable than tree ring dating? Trees make annual rings; count them and you’ve got an absolute date. Why, then, did PhysOrg report, “Tree rings may underestimate climate response to volcanic eruptions”? A study re-evaluated some estimates, and found them overall quite good, with one “glaring error” – trees might not produce rings after a volcanic eruption strong enough to affect climate. But if dates could be underestimated by factors not previously considered, could they be overestimated by other unknowns? The article exposed some of the assumptions that go into the dating method:

The potential absence of rings in the first one to three years following eruption further degrades the temperature reconstruction. Because tree-ring information is averaged across many locations to obtain a representative estimate of northern hemisphere temperature, tree-ring records with and without missing rings for a given year are merged, leading to a smearing and reduced and delayed apparent cooling.

Another reason tree rings and ice cores are not reliable methods to date the Earth.   As we learn more about them, we learn that they do not have a one-on-one correlation to years.

3. Power Law, or lawless power? One of science’s great strengths is the ability to describe nature mathematically. But now, PhysOrg said, it’s time for a “frank discussion,” about the use of power laws. These are widely-used techniques to describe relationships between phenomena so as to show causation, instead of just correlation. Causation is a vexed question in philosophy of science. There’s nothing like a graph to give the appearance of objectivity. Not so fast; Michael Stumpf [Imperial College London] and Mason Porter [Oxford], wrote in Science about “the inexact science of trying to apply the power law to situations in science where it’s not always easy to show a direct link between correlation and causation, a key problem they say, in much of the science that is conducted today.” The original paper in Science began,1

The ability to summarize observations using explanatory and predictive theories is the greatest strength of modern science. A theoretical framework is perceived as particularly successful if it can explain very disparate facts. The observation that some apparently complex phenomena can exhibit startling similarities to dynamics generated with simple mathematical models has led to empirical searches for fundamental laws by inspecting data for qualitative agreement with the behavior of such models. A striking feature that has attracted considerable attention is the apparent ubiquity of power-law relationships in empirical data. However, although power laws have been reported in areas ranging from finance and molecular biology to geophysics and the Internet, the data are typically insufficient and the mechanistic insights are almost always too limited for the identification of power-law behavior to be scientifically useful .… Indeed, even most statistically “successful” calculations of power laws offer little more than anecdotal value.

Sure enough; Nature last month reported a rethinking about power-law extrapolation in geology.2 “Multi-scale modelling of the deformation of magnesium oxide reveals the need for a re-examination of the way in which laboratory data are used to estimate the strength of Earth’s lower mantle,” Andrew M. Walker said. “.…The results suggest that the usual power-law extrapolation is not reliable over the wide range of strain rates that must be considered, potentially changing our view of the way in which the deep mantle deforms.” Note: “anecdotal value” is indistinguishable from “educated guesswork.”

The concept that numbers can seem to describe the Universe to an extent is just another indication that the Universe was designed by a Creator God.   More to come on that subject...

4. Rethinking evolution: Since the discovery of DNA’s structure and function as the carrier of genetic information in the 1950s, most evolutionary work has concerned mutations and natural selection on DNA alone. A major new monkey wrench has come into focus in the last decade: Epigenetics – heritable information and processes that lie beyond DNA (see new book by Woodward and Gills, The Mysterious Epigenome). One of the few papers to rewrite evolutionary history with epigenetics in mind is a paper in Current Biology,3Epigenetics: What News for Evolution?” The news is that there is little news – yet. They don’t even know the questions, let alone the answers. The authors wrote, “Having a formal body of evolutionary theory that incorporates epigenetics, as well as developing a clearer quantification of the connection between epigenetic variation and phenotypes will allow us to more rigorously ask whether or how epigenetics plays an important role in adaptive evolution.”

Evolution cannot explain DNA, let alone setting foot into Epigenetics territory.  In fact you will find that Evolution cannot explain ANYTHING without making up stories about the unobservable past and proclamations about future revelations to come...which never come.   An evolutionary explanation for life aka abiogenesis aka chemical evolution is the classic "the check is in the mail."   An evolutionary explanation for information involves trying to substitute data for information or trying to convince folks that a computer program running on hardware and software and operating systems all crammed with design and information can show us how information comes from a natural source.  Nope.  Information comes from intelligence and life comes only from life.   We've proved these things!  Check out the Law of Biogenesis.  

References:
1. Stumpf and Porter, “Mathematics: Critical Truths about Power Laws.” Science 10 February 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6069 pp. 665–666, doi:10.1126/science.1216142.
2. Andrew M. Walker, “Earth Science: Limits of the power law,” Nature 481, (12 January 2012), pp. 153–154, doi:10.1038/481153a.
3. Ben Hunter, Jesse D. Hollister, Kirsten Bomblies, “Epigenetic Inheritance: What News for Evolution?” Current Biology, Volume 22, Issue 2, R54-R56, 24 January 2012, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.11.054.

There is no question that scientists provide a wealth of knowledge in the form of data and observations of the natural world. Whether they understand what they are looking at (particularly in questions of origins), and can explain it with rigor above that of anecdote, are entirely different questions. Healthy skepticism is a virtue when approaching scientific claims – especially about non-reproducible phenomena, like origins. Would that the skeptics, who are usually skeptical of creationism and naive about evolutionism, would develop some healthy skepticism about the nature and targets of their own skepticism.

by Andrew A. Snelling

Many people assume that rocks are dated at “millions of years” based on radiocarbon (carbon-14) dating. But that’s not the case. The reason is simple. Carbon-14 can yield dates of only “thousands of years” before it all breaks down.

The most well-known of all the radiometric dating methods is radiocarbon dating. Although many people think radiocarbon dating is used to date rocks, it is limited to dating things that contain the element carbon and were once alive (like fossils).

How Radiocarbon Forms

Unlike radiocarbon (14C), the other radioactive elements used to date rocks—uranium (238U), potassium (40K), and rubidium (87Rb)—are not being formed on earth, as far as we know. Thus it appears that God probably created those elements when He made the original earth.

In contrast, radiocarbon forms continually today in the earth’s upper atmosphere. And as far as we know, it has been forming in the earth’s upper atmosphere since the atmosphere was made back on Day Two of Creation Week (part of the expanse, or firmament, described in Genesis 1:6–8).

So how does radiocarbon form? Cosmic rays from outer space are continually bombarding the upper atmosphere of the earth, producing fast-moving neutrons (subatomic particles carrying no electric charge) (Figure 1a).1 These fast-moving neutrons collide with atoms of nitrogen-14, the most abundant element in the upper atmosphere, converting them into radiocarbon (carbon-14) atoms.

Carbon-14 Cycle
CARBON-14 IS CREATED (Figure 1a): When cosmic rays bombard the earth’s atmosphere, they produce neutrons. These excited neutrons then collide with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere, changing them into radioactive carbon-14 atoms.

CARBON-14 IS ABSORBED (Figure 1b): Plants absorb this carbon-14 during photosynthesis. When animals eat the plants, the carbon-14 enters their bodies. The carbon-14 in their bodies breaks down to nitrogen-14 and escapes at the same rate as new carbon-14 is added. So the level of carbon-14 remains stable.

CARBON-14 IS DEPLETED (Figure 1c): When an animal dies the carbon-14 continues to break down to nitrogen-14 and escapes, while no new carbon-14 is added. By comparing the surviving amount of carbon-14 to the original amount, scientists can calculate how long ago the animal died.


Since the atmosphere is composed of about 78% nitrogen,2 a lot of radiocarbon atoms are produced—in total about 16.5 pounds (7.5 kg) per year. These rapidly combine with oxygen atoms (the second most abundant element in the atmosphere, at 21%) to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

This carbon dioxide, now radioactive with carbon-14, is otherwise chemically indistinguishable from the normal carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is slightly lighter because it contains normal carbon-12. Radioactive and non-radioactive carbon dioxide mix throughout the atmosphere, and dissolve into the oceans.

Through photosynthesis carbon dioxide enters plants and algae, bringing radiocarbon into the food chain. Radiocarbon then enters animals as they consume the plants (Figure 1b). So even we humans are radioactive because of trace amounts of radiocarbon in our bodies.

Determining the Rate of Radiocarbon Decay

After radiocarbon forms, the nuclei of the carbon-14 atoms are unstable, so over time they progressively decay back to nuclei of stable nitrogen-14.3 A neutron breaks down to a proton and an electron, and the electron is ejected. This process is called beta decay. The ejected electrons are called beta particles and make up what is called beta radiation.
Because it breaks down quickly, carbon-14 is useful for dating creatures that died in the past few thousand years, not millions of years ago.
Not all radiocarbon atoms decay at the same time. Different carbon-14 atoms revert to nitrogen-14 at different times, which explains why radiocarbon decay is considered a random process.

To measure the rate of decay, a suitable detector records the number of beta particles ejected from a measured quantity of carbon over a period of time, say a month (for illustration purposes). Since each beta particle represents one decayed carbon-14 atom, we know how many carbon-14 atoms decay during a month.

Chemists have already determined how many atoms are in a given mass of each element, such as carbon.4 So if we weigh a lump of carbon, we can calculate how many carbon atoms are in it.

If we know what fraction of the carbon atoms are radioactive, we can also calculate how many radiocarbon atoms are in the lump. Knowing the number of atoms that decayed in our sample over a month, we can calculate the radiocarbon decay rate.

The standard way of expressing the decay rate is called the half-life.5 It’s defined as the time it takes half a given quantity of a radioactive element to decay. So if we started with 2 million atoms of carbon-14 in our measured quantity of carbon, then the half-life of radiocarbon would be the time it takes for half, or 1 million, of those atoms to decay. The radiocarbon half-life or decay rate has been determined at 5,730 years.

Using Radiocarbon for Dating

Next comes the question of how scientists use this knowledge to date things. If carbon-14 has formed at a constant rate for a very long time and continually mixed into the biosphere, then the level of carbon-14 in the atmosphere should remain constant.

If the level is constant, living plants and animals should also maintain a constant carbon-14 level in them. The reason is that, as long as the organism is alive, it replaces any carbon molecule that has decayed into nitrogen.

After plants and animals perish, however, they no longer replace molecules damaged by radiocarbon decay. Instead, the radiocarbon atoms in their bodies slowly decay away, so the ratio of carbon-14 atoms to regular carbon atoms will steadily decrease over time (Figure 1c).

Let’s suppose we find a mammoth’s skull and we want to date it to determine how long ago it lived. We can measure in the laboratory how many carbon-14 atoms are still in the skull. If we assume that the mammoth originally had the same number of carbon- 14 atoms in its bones as living animals do today (estimated at one carbon-14 atom for every trillion carbon-12 atoms), then, because we also know the radiocarbon decay rate, we can calculate how long ago the mammoth died. It’s really quite simple.

This dating method is similar to the principle behind an hourglass.6 The sand grains that originally filled the top bowl represent the carbon-14 atoms in the living mammoth just before it died. It’s assumed to be the same number of carbon-14 atoms as in elephants living today. With time those sand grains fall to the bottom bowl, so the new number represents the carbon-14 atoms left in the mammoth skull when we found it.

The difference in the number of sand grains represents the number of carbon-14 atoms that have decayed back to nitrogen-14 since the mammoth died. Because we have measured the rate at which the sand grains fall (the radiocarbon decay rate), we can then calculate how long it took those carbon-14 atoms to decay, which is how long ago the mammoth died.

That’s how the radiocarbon method works. And because the half-life of carbon-14 is just 5,730 years, radiocarbon dating of materials containing carbon yields dates of only thousands of years, not the dates over millions of years that conflict with the framework of earth history provided by the Bible, God’s eyewitness account of history.

Dr. Andrew Snelling holds a PhD in geology from the University of Sydney and has worked as a consultant research geologist to organizations in both Australia and America. Author of numerous scientific articles, Dr. Snelling is now director of research at Answers in Genesis–USA.

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PS - So for those of you who claimed that there are no Darwinists suggesting that Evolution frees men to be Atheists who can then sin to their heart's content?   I'd already quoted a few of them but this article is a good add to that...

Psychologist Advocates Sin

Posted on February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

Is sin a scientific subject? Or is a scientist sinning who advocates sinning? One psychologist has written a book about the joy of sin. That sin brings temporary pleasure is not news, but claiming that sin is beneficial for overall health and well-being is a stretch. Should a so-called “scientific” website promote such ideas uncritically?

In time for lustful thoughts on Valentine’s Day, Medical Xpress promoted a new sin book by Michael Laham (psychologist at the University of Melbourne). The title surely attracts attention: The Joy of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (And Why They Are So Good For You). Laham says go ahead and indulge: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy, pride – all the vices the Good Book warns us about – are not only pleasurable but beneficial.

Dr Laham said that when you take a look at the evidence, the seven deadly sins can really serve us quite well despite being told for centuries they are bad for us.

This is great news for Australians as a recent BBC poll deemed Australia the most sinful country on earth,” he said.

So research now shows that it’s ok to indulge in a bit of Lust this Valentine’s Day and you’ll be better off for it. In fact, indulge in all seven deadly sins and you might just be a little smarter, happier and more successful.

Medical Xpress offered no contrary opinions. On the contrary, it opened its article by praising the “virtues of living a sinful life” and headlined, in bold letters, “Lust makes you smarter and evidence that seven deadly sins are good for you.

Jamie Condiffe at New Scientist was only halfway impressed, thinking that Laham was trying to shoehorn evidence from “experimental psychology” to fit his edgy title.

Don’t give this book to the military. Actually, it might be a smart tactical move to airdrop copies of The Joy of Sin on the military of the enemy. Let them become slothful gluttons so that they become easy targets. Students, why study? Get lazy and indulge your lustful desires; earn a B.S. (Bad Sin) the easy way. Parents, let your kids eat all the sugar and junk they want. Be angry and sin not not. Hate your neighbor as your self wants to. Tell everybody how great you are. Appoint yourself Vice President (president of vice). Why stop at the “seven deadly sins”? Break the Ten Commandments while you’re at it, and the laws of the land. Make the world a better place –land yourself in jail.

Condiffe is correct; Laham is just trying to sell books with his provocative title. The main flaw in his reasoning is confusing categories. Some of the examples he gives are misleading. For instance, napping when tired is beneficial, but that’s not sloth. Being passionate in a debate or negotiation might help you win, but that’s not the sinful kind of anger (some anger is righteous, like righteous anger). Having a piece of cake once in awhile is not gluttony. Sexual attraction to your spouse is not lust. Laham confuses naturally normal or good things with their perversions: it’s not a sin to eat, but to overeat; it’s not a sin to rest, but to turn rest into laziness. Sexual desire is not lust until it is misdirected. If Laham really practiced what he preached, his advice would implode. If he had been slothful, he would not have finished writing his book. If he were a glutton, he would be too out of shape to keep his job. If he lusted after his neighbor’s wife, he would be too preoccupied with a bitter divorce to write nonsense.

Bottom line: nonsense does not deserve to be anointed with the label of science. Thank goodness New Scientist was at least halfway critical. If Medical Xpress (a.k.a. PhysOrg) was doing its job, it wouldn’t parrot university press releases uncritically – as if university P.R. departments should put out nonsense in the first place. Aussies speak up: is your country more sinful than North Korea?

Making vice virtuous makes virtue vicious. The Good Book does not deny that sin is pleasurable; it just points out that the pleasure is passing and short-sighted (Hebrews 11:23–26). Eating cake every day feels pleasurable till you get heart disease. Telling your boss off feels wonderful till you find yourself on the street out of a job. Sleeping around is filled with bodily thrills till you get venereal disease or have to deal with unplanned pregnancy. Laham needs to hear a strong sermon and repent on his knees before a holy God, who warned,“the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
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Sadly, there are more sinful countries than Australia, such as the "Pedophile Haven of the World" = Thailand.   Trust me, if your neighbor came over, killed your family and took over your home, you would not be a big fan of sin!  We know what sin is by comparing our actions to the standards set forth by God.  The greatest and only unforgivable sin is to defy God and not believe in and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.    

Darwinism is a tool used to convince people there is no God and, therefore, no need to have a solution to the problem of sin.  Therefore I will continue to fight Darwinism until it is understood to be a myth to be abandoned and not science.   Belief in Darwinism is both tragic and pathetic.