The Glories of Global Warming and the Faint Young Sun Paradox

It is a little known fact that scientists who argue that the paleontological record of life is hundreds of millions of years old, when confronted with astrophysical facts, must eventually rely heavily on the hypothesis of finely tuned, large scale global warming. The problem is known as the Faith Young Sun Paradox. A few claim they have solved the paradox, but many remain skeptical of the solutions. But one fact remains, it is an acknowledged scientific paradox. And beyond this paradox, the question of Solar System evolution on the whole has some theological implications.

Astrophysicists concluded that when the sun was young, it was not as bright as it is now. As the sun ages it creates more and more heat, eventually incinerating the Earth before the sun eventually burns out. This is due to the change in products and reactants in the nuclear fusion process that powers the sun. This nuclear evolution of the sun will drive the evolution of the solar system, unless Jesus returns…

As a brief aside, my favorite agnostic/atheist philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell, made this observation that mentioned the evolution of the solar system:

Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief…all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.

A Free Man’s Worship

Ironically Russell’s words inspired my re-acceptance of Christianity after I nearly left the faith in 2001-2003. There seemed little ultimate personal benefit over infinite timescales if there were no God. If I were to find personal benefit on infinite timescales, it would have to be something God himself provided, and thus from that time forward I sought to find evidence to support creation, Noah’s flood, and the historicity of the gospels.

To that end, any anomaly that challenges evolutionary theory caught my attention. One of them was the Faith Young Sun Paradox.

The faint young Sun paradox describes the apparent contradiction between observations of liquid water early in Earth’s history and the astrophysical expectation that the Sun’s output would be only 70 percent as intense during that epoch as it is during the modern epoch. The issue was raised by astronomers Carl Sagan and George Mullen in 1972. Explanations of this paradox have taken into account greenhouse effects, astrophysical influences, or a combination of the two.

The unresolved question is how a climate suitable for life was maintained on Earth over the long timescale despite the variable solar output and wide range of terrestrial conditions.[2]

Faint Young Sun Paradox

If the Earth were an ice ball, there would be no Cambrian explosion. If the Earth were an ice ball, the shiny white ice ball Earth would likely reflect sunlight back into space and keep it an ice ball to this day. To solve the problem of how the Earth did not remain frozen during the pre-Cambrian and Cambrian, advocates of the billion-year-old fossil record invoke global warming!

Not only are there serious empirical and theoretical problems to solve the Faint Young Sun Paradox, but even assuming there is a solution to the paradox through global warming, it would be nothing short of miraculous.

The sun’s heat output is constantly increasing over time, and the necessary greenhouse effect would have to be finely tuned to spontaneously diminish itself to keep the Earth from incinerating as the sun got hotter. So this glorious global warming must walk a tight rope of fine tuning with no intelligent direction to prevent the Earth from either turning into an ice ball or becoming an incinerator.

Emeritus professor of Astronomy, University North Carolina, Danny Faulkner:

For instance, the current makeup of Earth’s atmosphere is in a non-equilibrium state that is maintained by the widespread diversity of life. There is no evolutionary imperative that this be the case: it is just the way it is. Thus the incredibly unlikely origin and evolution of life had to be accompanied by the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere in concert with the Sun. One could call this the Goldilocks syndrome, an obvious comparison to the children’s tale of the three bears.
….
The physical principles that cause the early faint Sun paradox are well established, so astrophysicists are confident that the effect is real. Consequently, evolutionists have a choice of two explanations as to how Earth has maintained nearly constant temperature in spite of a steadily increasing influx of energy. In the first alternative, one can believe that through undirected change, the atmosphere has evolved to counteract heating. At best this means that the atmosphere has evolved through a series of states of unstable equilibrium or even non-equilibrium. Individual living organisms do something akin to this, driven by complex instructions encoded into DNA. Death is a process in which the complex chemical reactions of life ceases and cells rapidly approach chemical equilibrium. Short of some guiding intelligence or design, a similar process for the atmosphere seems incredibly improbable. Any sort of symbioses or true feedback with the Sun is entirely out of the question. On the other hand, one can believe that some sort of life force has directed the atmosphere’s evolution through this ordeal. Most find the teleological or spiritual implications of this unpalatable, though there is a trend in this direction in physics.

Of course, there is a third possibility. Perhaps the Earth/Sun system is not billions of years old…

Faint Young Sun Paradox and the Age of the Solar System

So even assuming the glories of global warming solve the Faint Young Sun Paradox, it would do so in a way that is indistinguishable from a miracle. Like so many things, the Faint Young Sun Paradox adds to the view that we live on a privileged planet in a privileged universe. At some point privileged observations are statistically indistinguishable from miracles.

356 thoughts on “The Glories of Global Warming and the Faint Young Sun Paradox

  1. Now with respect to the secular study of diamonds, I should point out they were trying to use “blank” diamonds (diamonds were supposedly C14 according to the “wisdom” of evolutionary paleontologists). These “blank” diamonds were then intended to monitor the quality of the AMS instruments and see if they had problems in their AMS instruments.

    But first their assumption:

    Because of their great geologic age, we view it as a reasonable assumption that these gem-carbon samples contain no measurable 14C and that their unique physical characteristics significantly reduce or eliminate exogenous contamination from more recent carbon sources.

    Ok, so if they take the same diamond and cut it up and sample the pieces individually they should get the same “instrument error”. Well they did. But if all the diamonds that are supposedly C14 free are used, they should get the same “instrument error” as well with these other diamonds. They didn’t. This is what they got, and it was a result that they couldn’t explain:

    At this time, it is not clear to us what factors might be involved in the greater variability in the apparent 14C concentrations exhibited in individual diamonds (Section B) as opposed to splits from a single natural diamond (Section A).

    So, if the researchers were willing to admit there was C14 in the diamonds, that would explain the variability in finding trace amounts in the diamonds rather than zero!

    Regarding materials and methods:

    The natural diamonds employed in this study were obtained from alluvial deposits in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil [20]. The youngest geological contexts of Brazilian alluvial diamonds are early Paleozoic, thus we have assumed an age for these materials greatly in excess of 100 my. The diamonds obtained were less than one caret in size (1 caret = 200 mg), but of gem quality.

    Lesson to be learned the hard way. Don’t rely on paleontologists to provide C14-free materials to do physics.

    Better for physicists to look elsewhere for C14-free carbon. Don’t rely on evolutionists to do real science like physics because:

    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.” — Jerry Coyne

  2. GlenDavidson: No worse than what is routine “explanation” in ID/creationism.

    Per Dr Hawking materialists “explain” the laws of nature: “They just are (the way they are)” – Briefer History of Time

  3. stcordova:

    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.” — Jerry Coyne

    In science’s pecking order, Young Earth Creationism ranks somewhere below the canine feces you scrape off the bottom of your shoe.

  4. stcordova: So, if the researchers were willing to admit there was C14 in the diamonds, that would explain the variability in finding trace amounts in the diamonds rather than zero!

    LOL…here are some comments from Kurt Bertsche on the Rate diamond conclusions as well as some general comments on background sources which need to be controlled for:

    <

    <

    blockquote>;Diamond is difficult to combust. The RATE samples apparently required modifications to the normal procedure [1], presumably higher combustion temperatures and longer combustion times, likely increasing the sample chemistry contamination. The samples were reportedly pitted and may have been subjected to previous analyses and to unknown contamination. Nevertheless, RATE’s five deep-mine diamond samples had radiocarbon levels only slightly above background (0.01 to 0.07 pMC after background subtraction), while the seven alluvial samples ranged from 0.03 to 0.31 pMC after background subtraction.

    Subsequently, the RATE team inserted diamond directly into an ion source, eliminating the sample chemistry, and measured much lower radiocarbon values, “between 0.008 and 0.022 pMC, with a mean value of 0.014 pMC,” apparently with no background subtraction [6]. This much lower value for unprocessed diamond provides strong evidence that their processed diamond samples had been contaminated, most likely by the modified sample chemistry.

    Taylor and Southon have also measured unprocessed diamond, finding a similar range of 0.005 to 0.03 pMC without background subtraction. They interpret this result as their instrument background, primarily due to ion source memory. Their ion source current varied, unintentionally, over about a factor of two, perhaps due to crystal face orientation or to conductivity differences between samples. “The oldest 14C age equivalents were measured on natural diamonds which exhibited the highest current yields” [4]. This important observation provides evidence about the source of the radiocarbon.

    If the radiocarbon were intrinsic to the sample, there would be no change in the radiocarbon ratio with sample current. The 14C, 13C, and 12C would change in unison. However, if the radiocarbon were coming from ion source memory or elsewhere in the accelerator, it should give a count rate independent of ion source current. Normalizing the radiocarbon count rate to the ion source current, which is predominantly 12C, would result in higher radiocarbon content for lower source currents, as observed. This data provides clear evidence that at least a significant fraction of the radiocarbon detected by Taylor and Southon in diamond measurements did not come from the diamonds themselves and thus could not be “intrinsic radiocarbon.”

    The lower values for unprocessed diamond and the current-dependent behavior find no explanation in Baumgardner’s “intrinsic radiocarbon” model. But these results fit well with the Taylor and Southon evidence that instrument background (specifically ion source memory) is material-dependent, with diamond exhibiting significantly less ion source memory than graphite. The radiocarbon detected in natural, unprocessed diamond measurements seems to be nothing more than instrument background.

    and his summary of the RATE data:

    Radioisotope evidence presents significant problems for the young earth position. Baumgardner and the RATE team are to be commended for tackling the subject, but their “intrinsic radiocarbon” explanation does not work. The previously published radiocarbon AMS measurements can generally be explained by contamination, mostly due to sample chemistry. The RATE coal samples were probably contaminated in situ. RATE’s processed diamond samples were probably contaminated in the sample chemistry. The unprocessed diamond samples probably reflect instrument background. Coal and diamond samples have been measured by others down to instrument background levels, giving no evidence for intrinsic radiocarbon.

    While some materials, e.g., coals and carbonates, often do show radiocarbon contamination that cannot be fully accounted for, resorting to“intrinsic radiocarbon” raises more questions than it answers. Why do only some materials show evidence of this intrinsic radiocarbon? Why does some anthracite and diamond exist with no measurable intrinsic radiocarbon? Why is its presence in carbonates so much more variable than in other materials, e.g., wood and graphite? Why is it often found in bone carbonates but not in collagen from the same bone? Since intrinsic radiocarbon would be mistakenly interpreted as AMS process background, why do multi-laboratory intercomparisons not show a much larger variation than is observed? Why does unprocessed diamond seem to have less intrinsic radiocarbon than processed diamond?

    These and many other considerations are inconsistent with the RATE hypothesis of “intrinsic radiocarbon” but are consistent with contamination and background. “Intrinsic radiocarbon” is essentially a “radiocarbon-of-the-gaps” theory. As contamination becomes better understood, the opportunities to invoke “intrinsic radiocarbon” will diminish. Most radiocarbon measurements of old materials, including many of shells and coal, can be accounted for by known contamination mechanisms, leaving absolutely no evidence for intrinsic radiocarbon. The evidence falsifies the RATE claim that “all carbon in the earth contains a detectable and reproducible … level of 14C”

    keep flailing, Sal, everyone is having a good time over your misguided efforts to support bogus data.

  5. GlenDavidson: That’s one of the most absurd things I’ve ever seen.

    The C-14 doesn’t even decay to carbon, rather it becomes N-14 via the primary decay mode. Nitrogen is a gas, and it has a good chance of escape.And anyway, your made-up figure of 1% is ridiculously high:

    These isotopes are present in the following amounts C12 – 98.89%, C13 – 1.11% and C14 – 0.00000000010%. Thus, one carbon 14 atom exists in nature for every 1,000,000,000,000 C12 atoms in living material.

    So another strange and wrong in at least two ways “argument by analogy,” a false accusation, and Sal has done his duty.

    Glen Davidson

    Wait — Sal is on his third college biochemistry class, and he still doesn’t know that C14 decays to Nitrogen?

    After all these years of reading and studying and arguing on the internet, how come he still doesn’t know the first thing about natural science?

  6. stcordova,

    Recent contamination? As in recent (50,000 years or less) contamination in all the coal deposits world wide simultaneously for no good reason?

    Wait, you are saying that worldwide coal is consistent in the apparent ages it gives? That’s some made-up consilience, right there.

    If only there were some means to cross check. Sadly, all dating methods except C14 – and then only sometimes – are bunk.

  7. stcordova,

    Don’t rely on paleontologists to provide C14-free materials to do physics.

    […]

    Don’t rely on evolutionists to do real science like physics

    OK. What do physicists say, re: the age of the earth?

  8. stcordova,

    I should point out this study by creationist Andrew Snelling and Don DeYoung and others. I know them personally. Did I ever hear them say, “Hey Sal, we have to figure a way to fudge the data and bamboozle everyone.” No never. Instead they laughed at how expensive their tests were since they had to crush diamonds.

    While lighting their cigars with hundred dollar bills!

    I don’t doubt that this is all very sincere. But it still doesn’t seem the way to do science, to me – to pursue a preconceived conclusion, batting aside ALL possible alternative explanations for the data, and all independent data besides.

  9. stcordova: I should point out this study by creationist Andrew Snelling and Don DeYoung and others. I know them personally. Did I ever hear them say, “Hey Sal, we have to figure a way to fudge the data and bamboozle everyone.” No never. Instead they laughed at how expensive their tests were since they had to crush diamonds.

    They laughed maniacally, occasionally stroking their cat, “Pebbles”–when they weren’t sticking pins into a Dawkins-doll.

    Wow, so creationists don’t act like the villains in dime-store novels? Just more like deluded shlubs pushing their One True belief at the expense of science and the evidence? Andrew Wakefield rather than Dr. Frankenstein?

    It’s so hard for us not to see creationists as masterminds having a prodigious understanding of themselves and of science, you know.

    Glen Davidson

  10. Allan Miller:

    I don’t doubt that this is all very sincere.

    Thank you.

    And I should add with the YEC crew at a Baraminlogy conference (open to the public) was all together with Snelling in attendance (along with Todd Wood, Kurt Wise the prodigy of Stephen J. Gould and Richard Lewontin, geologists Tim Clarey and Stephen Austin, paleontologist Marcus Ross, biologists Gordon Wilson, Joe Francis, Roger Sanders, and others….) They were all quite open about the legitimate issue of the other clocks such as Long term Radiometric clocks. They didn’t try to whitewash the severity of the problem.

    That’s why I feel there was not any intent to deceive. Only two individuals in the ID movement ever pressured me to whitewash what I believed to be the truth. One was a no-name theology teacher at an un-accredited bible school by the name of John Anderson who really didn’t have any science background, and the other was this guy:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/barry-arringtons-bullying/

    Allan Miller:

    But it still doesn’t seem the way to do science, to me – to pursue a preconceived conclusion, batting aside ALL possible alternative explanations for the data, and all independent data besides

    Excellent complaint, that’s why God’s placed guys like you and the mainstream to force the creationists to work harder and argue their case with more integrity than Kent Hovind and venom FangX.

    But independent of the question of YEC, there are at least 5 anomalies or problems that require resolution. YEC may or may not resolve the solution, but the anomalies exist. I’ve mentioned them here, and I’ll rank them in order of what I think is of most significance:

    the erosion rate problem. Known and published erosion rates on the order of microns opposes the claim of slow sedimentary buildup of the Phanerozoic fossil record. Rain and gravity are basic facts. Erosion rates on the order of microns per year would wipe out the accumulated deposition of fossils from the Cambrian and beyond. Besides, many of the fossil record indicates cataclysmic or at least highly traumatic entombment that is on the order of weeks if not minutes. So the deposition that created the fossil record was not a slow steady sedimentary deposition. The Colorado school of mines experiments on layered strata was very convincing that the mainstream view of slow accumulation is dead wrong.
    C14 traces. More experiments need to be done, especially on diamonds.
    Amino Acid Racemization Dating. More experiments needed.
    Faint Young Sun Paradox
    DNA half life.

    Here is a paper on DNA half-life that should be troubling. When we compare present day bacteria with 250 million year old bacteria, they look alike. It tells me the evolutionary molecular clocks are bogus. Otherwise the INTRAspecies molecular clock appears magically frozen, but if so, what is the cause of sequence divergence that create the hierarchical diagrams that are misinterpreted as evidence of phylogeny?

    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/9/1637.long

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes

    Heather Maughan*,
    C. William Birky Jr.*†,
    Wayne L. Nicholson*‡,
    William D. Rosenzweig§ and
    Russell H. Vreeland§

    +
    Author Affiliations
    *Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Genetics,
    †Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
    ‡Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, University of Arizona; and
    §Department of Biology, West Chester University
    Accepted May 10, 2002.

    The isolation of microorganisms from ancient materials and the verification that they are as old as the materials from which they were isolated continue to be areas of controversy. Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.

    The response I usually get is “contamination” or some other sweeping under the rug in favor of a foregone conclusion. The complaint of pre-conceived conclusions cuts both ways. The solution will hopefully be more evident as more data and research are accomplished.

    I’ve laid out anomalies that until they are resolved, continue my skepticism of the evolutionary narrative. And I point out again I was an Old Earth Evolutionist once upon a time, then and Old Earth Creationist. So I am amenable to changing my mind.

    More so than any YEC on the net I know, I’ve said there are serious problems with YEC (not the least of which is the distant starlight problem), but on the other hand the evolutionary narrative has very serious challenges as well. It seems scientifically irresponsible to suggest evolutionary theory is anywhere near as credible as theories of electromagnetism, classical mechanics, relativity, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, chemistry, etc.

    Thank you very much, Allan, for reading and responding.

  11. Allan Miller: OK. What do physicists say, re: the age of the earth?

    It’s a catch-22. Physicists can’t tell us the age of the fossils, because, you know, they are biological. We need biologists for that.

  12. stcordova: More so than any YEC on the net I know, I’ve said there are serious problems with YEC …

    Salvador is sort of cherry-picking here, because he leaves out all the ex YEC’s.

    People who saw how silly the while thing is and how the Bible doesn’t demand that we consent to the belief that the earth was created in 4004 BC.

    But I do see the humor in Sal presenting himself as a YEC critic, just like he presents himself as an ID critic.

  13. stcordova,
    Sal,
    Given that we can’t “rely on evolutionists to do real science”, why are you referencing a paper written by evolutionary biologists that was published in an evolutionary biology journal? Surely it’s not reliable?

  14. Mung,

    I may not be as old as I thought?

    Let me just check your rings …

    Depends what you’ve been eating. Seafood eaters are substantially older than vegetarians, and those who eat them. If we go by uncalibrated C14, that is.

  15. Moved some comments to guano. Please try and and attack arguments and not fellow commenters, however provoking they can be.

  16. BK uncritical acceptance of arguments from authority:

    Most radiocarbon measurements of old materials, including many of shells and coal, can be accounted for by known contamination mechanisms, leaving absolutely no evidence for intrinsic radiocarbon. The evidence falsifies the RATE claim that “all carbon in the earth contains a detectable and reproducible … level of 14C”

    keep flailing, Sal, everyone is having a good time over your misguided efforts to support bogus data.

    BK shows the usual uncritical acceptance of what someone says.

    BK and Bertche ignore the compounding interest problem. C14 contaminants are effectively decontaminated trough C14 decay in situ. The absurd alternative is that for no good reason, worldwide contamination happened simultaneously and quite recently (a few C14 half life cycles).

    I showed the compounding interest problem nixes most of Bertche’s claims. Did BK refute it? No. Just ignores it.

    Now regarding this claim by Bertche:

    If the radiocarbon were intrinsic to the sample, there would be no change in the radiocarbon ratio with sample current. The 14C, 13C, and 12C would change in unison. However, if the radiocarbon were coming from ion source memory or elsewhere in the accelerator, it should give a count rate independent of ion source current. Normalizing the radiocarbon count rate to the ion source current, which is predominantly 12C, would result in higher radiocarbon content for lower source currents, as observed. This data provides clear evidence that at least a significant fraction of the radiocarbon detected by Taylor and Southon in diamond measurements did not come from the diamonds themselves and thus could not be “intrinsic radiocarbon.”

    BK failed to include the able response by Baumgardner:

    https://biblescienceforum.com/2014/11/02/carbon-14-in-diamonds-not-refuted/

    Dear T,In his 2008 critique Bertsche references the Taylor and Southon 2007 paper describing their application of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to natural diamonds. Bertsche calls attention to the authors’ statement, “The oldest 14C age equivalents were measured on natural diamonds which exhibited the highest current yields.” He claims that this means that the measured C-14 cannot be intrinsic to the diamonds themselves. What Bertsche fails to mention is that the correlation of low 14C level with high ion current was restricted to only a subset of the authors’ data. Such a correlation did not exist across all the samples the authors tested and reported.
    ….
    “Previous tests showed that 14C count rates from silver powder cathodes were comparable with those from diamonds. Because of this and because the silver packing was largely shielded from the cesium beam by the diamonds themselves, the excess 14C was therefore probably due to differences between diamonds or run-to-run changes in the spectrometer, not from carbon in the silver powder.” Note that the authors emphatically do not attribute the higher 14C counts as Bertsche claims, to ion source memory contamination.

    In other words Bertche was reduced to cherry picking and confirmation bias and outright distortion to defend his point. Pathetic.

  17. Alan Fox:
    Moved some comments to guano. Please try and and attack arguments and not fellow commenters, however provoking they can be.

    With all due respects Alan, when Slimy Sal starts blatantly lying about other TSZ posters we have the right to defend ourselves.

  18. Adapa,

    It’s a moderation issue so further discussion should take place there. I agree there is a problem that the rules don’t currently address.

  19. stcordova,

    the erosion rate problem. Known and published erosion rates on the order of microns opposes the claim of slow sedimentary buildup of the Phanerozoic fossil record.

    Erosion and deposition are not uniform across the globe. Strata do not erode when they are covered. The very act of erosion generates covering material. Erosional material does not simply evaporate.

    C14 traces. More experiments need to be done, especially on diamonds.

    I find it odd that Creationists flip from trying to discredit C14 to saying its presence is always a reliable clock. It just isn’t. It needs cross-calibration, and care.

    Amino Acid Racemization Dating. More experiments needed.

    No amino acids in most fossils. Not even any carbon to speak of.

    Faint Young Sun Paradox

    Extensively discussed, and found wanting as a problem for ‘old earth’. The sun was created with a significant fraction of its fuel already used up? I’m doubtful.

    DNA half life.

    Most fossils contain no carbon.

    Here is a paper on DNA half-life that should be troubling. When we compare present day bacteria with 250 million year old bacteria, they look alike. It tells me the evolutionary molecular clocks are bogus.

    That’s not a particularly robust conclusion.
    – Molecular clocks are likely to be most reliable when dealing with neutral sequence – that is the fraction presumed to have the most regular ‘tick’.
    – It would be hard to correlate morphological perception with molecular change.
    – And finally, we don’t get the same sense when we look at 250 million year old plants and animals.

    Thank you very much, Allan, for reading and responding.

    No problem!

  20. Allan Miller:

    No amino acids in most fossils. Not even any carbon to speak of.

    That doesn’t agree with some papers I’ve read such as Bada’s:

    http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.ea.13.050185.001325?journalCode=earth

    Not even any carbon to speak of.

    Coal is a fossil with lots of carbon. So is marble. Although coal carbon is not part of amino acids and neither is marble, amino acid dating has been applied to shells.

    I did see a paper that talked about the issues with chemical kinetics that ancient amino acids pose. I’ve looked in vain to find it again. If I find it, and I remember, I will post.

    One of Bada’s papers, or someone else’s, mentioned non-racemized amino acids in the Silurian. I should point out, the compounding interest problem for C14 also applies to the issue of amino acid contamination.

  21. stcordova,

    BK and Bertche ignore the compounding interest problem. C14 contaminants are effectively decontaminated trough C14 decay in situ. The absurd alternative is that for no good reason, worldwide contamination happened simultaneously and quite recently (a few C14 half life cycles).

    Percolation is a continuous process. If that’s the source of the contamination, it’s not a one-off thing. And, if the percolant brings down radioactive species, which do preferentially adsorb to carbon, it can cause additional generation beyond simply conveying upper-atmosphere c14.

    Thing is, calibration curves need to have a very precise history. The burning of fossil fuels in the 19thC sufficiently diluted C14 to require a calibration adjustment. Nuclear tests in the 50’s and 60’s doubled the C14 content of the atmosphere.

    Intuitively, one would think these things far too small to have any effect. But they do. So, likewise, one should be cautious about just waving away these seemingly minute contributors to sample C14. With the kinds of tiny residue being asserted, they could easily be responsible for all of it.

  22. stcordova,

    Me: Not even any carbon to speak of.

    Sal: Coal is a fossil with lots of carbon. So is marble. Although coal carbon is not part of amino acids and neither is marble, amino acid dating has been applied to shells.

    Yeah, I should not have said ‘no carbon’ when 10% of the earth’s sedimentary rock is composed of carbonates! I meant organic carbon. There is neither DNA nor amino acids in these. Nor (AFAIK) in coal.

  23. stcordova: Dear T,In his 2008 critique Bertsche references the Taylor and Southon 2007 paper describing their application of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to natural diamonds. Bertsche calls attention to the authors’ statement, “The oldest 14C age equivalents were measured on natural diamonds which exhibited the highest current yields.” He claims that this means that the measured C-14 cannot be intrinsic to the diamonds themselves. What Bertsche fails to mention is that the correlation of low 14C level with high ion current was restricted to only a subset of the authors’ data. Such a correlation did not exist across all the samples the authors tested and reported.

    I have already refuted this with the very well known, and accepted fact, that Baumgardner and associates did not include any sample processing controls. Not only is this a critical and fatal error but given the modifications necessary for modified sample processing chemistry that were required for the diamond analysis makes it all the more necessary. Their data is bogus and as other labs have reported NO intrinsic C14 samples who are we to believe: the YEC who failed to include sample processing controls or other labs which have done the requisite due diligence required for any such analytical procedure. Keep straining Sal, but the fact remains their (RATE) data are meaningless and worthless to make draw any conclusions at all….unless of course there is an agenda to maintain!d

    Allan Miller: Percolation is a continuous process. If that’s the source of the contamination, it’s not a one-off thing. And, if the percolant brings down radioactive species, which do preferentially adsorb to carbon, it can cause additional generation beyond simply conveying upper-atmosphere c14.

    not to mention the C14 found in carbonates, and carbonate-containing ground water that readily exchanges with C!4 with coal.

    stcordova: BK and Bertche ignore the compounding interest problem. C14 contaminants are effectively decontaminated trough C14 decay in situ.

    But does nothing to reduce the amount of C14 incorporated during same processing…..which ALWAYS happens….something Baumgardner, et. al. failed to account for in any fashion….outside of using sample processing data cherry-picked from 5 years before the RATE project samples were analyzed.

    Any way you look at it, Sal, their data is bogus and your continued defense of such shoddy work demonstrates that it isn’t the science you are trying to defend it is a preconceived bias you are trying to justify. It just isn’t going to work out for you in the long run, Sal.

  24. Dave Carlson:

    Sal,
    Given that we can’t “rely on evolutionists to do real science”, why are you referencing a paper written by evolutionary biologists that was published in an evolutionary biology journal? Surely it’s not reliable?

    Dave,

    Sorry for the late reply. You strike me as a descent guy, and I’m sorry to trash talk you field.

    I reference evo papers in an attempt to show internal contradictions in their thesis.

    I still remember your thread on lncRNAs. There are now about 41,000 candidate linc/lnc RNAs like HOTAIR and XIST that are targeted for potential study. The function of these classes of linc/lnc RNAs is the recruitment of molecular machines in process of cell-type specific gene regulation and often entails chromatin modifications to boot.

    I have no problem discussing biology in those terms, but sorry we can’t agree regarding evolution.

    Sorry we have to encounter each other as opponents in this exchange. I hope you are well.

  25. stcordova: The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes

    The response I usually get is “contamination” or some other sweeping under the rug in favor of a foregone conclusion. The complaint of pre-conceived conclusions cuts both ways. The solution will hopefully be more evident as more data and research are accomplished.

    As usual, there are several possible hypotheses to explain the results. Contamination seems the simplest. Incredibly long dormant phases in many bacteria is another. But I don’t see how a 6000-year-old earth can be considered a conceivable explanation, any more than insertion of bacteria by Klingons using a Star Trek transporter. Explanations must be compatible with background knowledge. A 6000-year-old earth is ruled out by all that other data about the world that you seem willing to ignore.

  26. stcordova: That qualifies as Tard comment of the hour. The experiment in question was conducted by non YECs in the process of trying to determine instrument errors in AMS machines. They were not doing the RATE group experiments!!!!

    Sal, I’ve already posted the pertinent conclusions from Taylor and Southon in comment 5 on this page….do try to keep up.

    BK: Taylor and Southon have also measured unprocessed diamond, finding a similar range of 0.005 to 0.03 pMC without background subtraction. They interpret this result as their instrument background, primarily due to ion source memory. Their ion source current varied, unintentionally, over about a factor of two, perhaps due to crystal face orientation or to conductivity differences between samples. “The oldest 14C age equivalents were measured on natural diamonds which exhibited the highest current yields” [4]. This important observation provides evidence about the source of the radiocarbon.

    If the radiocarbon were intrinsic to the sample, there would be no change in the radiocarbon ratio with sample current. The 14C, 13C, and 12C would change in unison. However, if the radiocarbon were coming from ion source memory or elsewhere in the accelerator, it should give a count rate independent of ion source current. Normalizing the radiocarbon count rate to the ion source current, which is predominantly 12C, would result in higher radiocarbon content for lower source currents, as observed. This data provides clear evidence that at least a significant fraction of the radiocarbon detected by Taylor and Southon in diamond measurements did not come from the diamonds themselves and thus could not be “intrinsic radiocarbon.”

    I’m sure you will ignore all of this in your efforts to rewrite C14 analytical methodologies.

  27. I have to say, though, Young Earth Creationism is every bit as smart as Intelligent Design.

  28. AhmedKiaan: I have to say, though, Young Earth Creationism is every bit as smart as Intelligent Design.

    The book covers are somewhat more garish however. It’s close.

  29. I can only take joy in watching these few debase themselves. If I let myself think about the humiliation, I’d feel a tinge of grief for the rest of my days.

  30. stcordova: BK was clear referring to RATE experiments conducted by Baumgardner and the YECs, not the Taylor and Southon 2007 experiments.

    I’m glad to see you at least acknowledge the bogus nature of Baumgardner et.al. RATE C14 conclusions……the question is why would you give any credence at all to someone (Baumgardner) statements given the shoddy nature of his own work. Oh, that’s right that agenda thingy you and he are pursuing.

    If I have your position on the RATE data wrong perhaps you would address the obvious shortcomings in their work, e.g., no sample processing controls and the disingenuous use of 5-year old sample processing data. Paul Giem (a collaborator/advisor on that project) readily admits that this was a big mistake so it isn’t like this is in contention.

    If you think Bertsche’s critiques are flimsy you should have no problem providing the evidence for that rather than your simple assertions. So far you’ve done nothing to refute what has been presented by myself and others.

    Care to give it a go?

    Bestriche further explains (as you and Baumgardner have studiously ignored) why the C14 is not intrinsic to the diamond samples:

    BK: If the radiocarbon were intrinsic to the sample, there would be no change in the radiocarbon ratio with sample current. The 14C, 13C, and 12C would change in unison. However, if the radiocarbon were coming from ion source memory or elsewhere in the accelerator, it should give a count rate independent of ion source current. Normalizing the radiocarbon count rate to the ion source current, which is predominantly 12C, would result in higher radiocarbon content for lower source currents, as observed. This data provides clear evidence that at least a significant fraction of the radiocarbon detected by Taylor and Southon in diamond measurements did not come from the diamonds themselves and thus could not be “intrinsic radiocarbon.

    Sal why do you suppose the world of AMS C14 analysis uses Ceylon graphite?

  31. Moved a comment to Guano. Trying to evade the rules by using the term “Tard comment” doesn’t work. You’re clearly referring to the person making the comment.

    FYI, TARD is an acronym for “The Argument Regarding Design”. Intelligent design creationists may want to refrain from using it as an insult.

  32. Adapa:

    Alan Fox:
    Moved some comments to guano. Please try and and attack arguments and not fellow commenters, however provoking they can be.

    With all due respects Alan, when Slimy Sal starts blatantly lying about other TSZ posters we have the right to defend ourselves.

    I agree.

    In response to Alan’s subsequent comment asking for rule change suggestions, I propose the following:

    Change:

    “Assume all other posters are posting in good faith.”

    to:

    “Initially assume all other posters are posting in good faith. If a participant demonstrates a lack of good faith, for example by quote mining or other obviously dishonest behavior, call them out. When the bad faith behavior has ceased, assume that the participant is again posting in good faith.”

    This proposal requires further discussion.

  33. Here’s a question for you, Sal. In the preparation of samples to be used to quantify instrument background, e.g, Ceylon graphite, is the C14 content mass-dependent in regards to the sample size?

    Simpler, will smaller sample size provide data indicating they are younger or older than larger sample sizes of the same material?

  34. By Sal’s standards his argument is Ridiculous Comment of the 21st Century. Using a non C14 bearing inert sample to determine the noise floor of the AMS machine doesn’t make the sample be the actual age of the noise floor. It only sets a minimum age for the sample.

    There’s a freight shipping company with a scale for weighing their trucks. It can measure from 50,000 lbs. to 1,000 lbs. Yesterday a stray housecat walked on the scale and the scale readout was 1,000 lbs. By Sal’s YEC “logic” the cat must weigh 1000lbs, all cats everywhere must weigh at least 1000 lbs, and everything science knows about the average weight of housecats is wrong.

    Yes Sal, what you claim really is that stupid.

  35. AhmedKiaan: What’s your angle?

    Sal is determining which YEC arguments he can use based on the quality of the rebuttals he receives. Arguments which he uses that can be demonstrated to be false on the basis of simple logic are discarded, whereas those which require an understanding of the material in question are prefered as that then demonstrates that “the experts disagree”. And it requires a significant level of effort on the part of the person being taught to determine that what they are being taught is actually cherry-picked for maximum effect.

    He is teaching this stuff to children, and his aim seems to be to give them content that cannot be determined to be false for as long as possible presumably with the idea that if he can get them when they are sufficient ignorant they will never get to the point where they are able to question what he’s told them.

    Sal has mentioned all this himself over the years, he’s proud of the fact he’s not here to learn but rather have his arguments refined. Note how when someone destroys a claim he’s made his response is “thanks for that” not “I will now have to change my ideas”. He does not change his ideas based on if they are right or wrong, rather he keeps believing but just stops using that as an argument when brainwashing the unfortunate people who see him as a source of knowledge.

    Sal makes a big deal of saying that there are some arguments that should not be used to support ID. Not because he does not believe those arguments are true, but because those arguments have easily demonstrated counters. He prefers arguments that cannot be countered without an understanding that most people will struggle to obtain.

    People have been giving Sal a free education in carbondating for at least a decade: http://antievolution.org/aebb-archive/aebbarchive_young_cosmos_t5144.html

    If truth and understanding was his aim, he’d have achieved it already.

  36. If one is arguing with someone who feels their eternal soul depends upon the outcome, it’s probably best just to see it as an exercise in sharpening one’s own intellectual tools, rather than to convince per se.

  37. “Sal is determining which YEC arguments he can use based on the quality of the rebuttals he receives. Arguments which he uses that can be demonstrated to be false on the basis of simple logic are discarded, whereas those which require an understanding of the material in question are prefered as that then demonstrates that “the experts disagree”. And it requires a significant level of effort on the part of the person being taught to determine that what they are being taught is actually cherry-picked for maximum effect.”

    Oh, I know, I’ve been watching Salvador lie and dissemble for 10+ years. He’s an obvious scam artist, I just don’t know what he gets out of the whole charade.

  38. AhmedKiaan,

    You write:

    Oh, I know, I’ve been watching Salvador lie and dissemble for 10+ years. He’s an obvious scam artist, I just don’t know what he gets out of the whole charade.

    I have to say that’s a very uncharitable comment. Sal strikes me as a decent human being.

    Regarding carbon-14, I’d like to quote from a communication I received from a physicist a while ago, regarding Baumgardner’s dating of diamonds:

    Yes, Baumgartner (sic) discusses these other channels of C-14 production, and then calculates the rate as being too low to account for coal and diamonds.

    Of course, if I dig the coal out of the ground, and do the lab work in Denver, I’m raising the neutron flux rate by 10 or 100 fold, so all of those possible contamination pathways have to go into a big model and estimates made. I’m not convinced that Baumgartner’s model has every C-14 production pathway in it, but the fact he did a model is a big step toward solving the mystery.

    You should realize just how few C-14 atoms we are discussing. These are parts per quadrillion. If you start with a 1 gm dry sample of dino soft tissue (and I’m being generous), it might have 800mg of C-12, so we are talking about 8×10^-16 grams of C-14 will give a date around 50000 years. At 6×10^24 atoms per 12 gms, that is all of 4×10^8 atoms of C-14 total. That is so few atoms you could probably start giving them names.

    And now everything around you has more neutrons and more C-14 than your sample. A fingerprint of a fingerprint has more C-14 in it. And while your sample prep might keep out most of that contamination, did anyone control for neutrons? If an accelerator is being used to analyze the sample, did the accelerator have a neutron background from activated iron isotopes? Generally, the labs use controls–diamonds or coal that is assumed to have no C-14 in it, and subtract out the signal from these controls and call it background. But were the controls exposed to exactly the same conditions as the sample prep of the soft tissue? Neither diamond nor coal has hydrogen bound to the carbon. Would this make a difference?

    That is why this is a really hard measurement at the boundary of noise, what Irving Langmuir famously called “pathological science” in his 1957 lecture, and that is why I advise great caution in interpreting it.

    I hope this puts the problem in perspective.

  39. vjt,, there are some apparent misconceptions in the following quote that you provided:

    vjtorley: And while your sample prep might keep out most of that contamination, did anyone control for neutrons?

    Sample prep for C14 analysis does attempt to remove contamination but the process, particularly the condensation phase, always adds modern carbon to the sample. You can’t get away from that simple fact and labs have spent years trying to minimize and control for this ubiquitous problem.

    vjtorley: Generally, the labs use controls–diamonds or coal that is assumed to have no C-14 in it, and subtract out the signal from these controls and call it background.

    Diamonds aren’t used on any widespread basis due to the cost and difficulty of producing a diamond standard that can be utilized as a general, commercially available standard. What is more common is the use of Ceylon graphite or one, or more, of the available oxalic acid standards which are available commercially and have been well characterized by many labs.

    vjtorley: Neither diamond nor coal has hydrogen bound to the carbon. Would this make a difference?

    both diamonds and coal are, typically, subjected to combustion and then condensation of the produced CO2 into a solid sample for analysis. One has to ask why your source is even pondering the issue of hydrogen bonding as having any impact on the analysis. Of course you want, and need to have your samples and standards subjected to the same process in order to obtain any data that has any interpretability. This is where Bamgardner et. al. failed so miserably. Failing to include sample process controls, they cited cost as a reason, provides a data set where you have nothing meaningful to monitor instrument and process background contributions of modern carbon. Instead they chose to use process data that was collected 5 years prior to having their samples analyzed. Any conclusions and models they attempt to draw and construct are worthless without the ability to subtract the appropriate background in their final analysis.

    vjtorley: I’m not convinced that Baumgartner’s model has every C-14 production pathway in it, but the fact he did a model is a big step toward solving the mystery.

    Your source is probably not aware of the shoddy nature of Baumgardeners work given the lack of sample process controls. I imagine (s)he would not make (hopefully) such a statement if he had access to this information. Their proposed model does nothing to clarify the issue and gives every impression that the purpose of the RATE project was to do just the opposite, i.e., generate confusion among the lay persons reading the creationist literature and sites. Their work does not even come close to meeting the requirements of any academic standard and quality required for a peer reviewed publication.

  40. “I have to say that’s a very uncharitable comment. Sal strikes me as a decent human being.”

    You’re not that familiar with Sal. I’ll check back with you in a few years.

  41. “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

    Dembski and Behe have basically exited the business, so we know the money’s drying up, and I doubt Uncommon Descent will make it to the end of 2017, but Sal is what’s left in the Racket Phase.

  42. stcordova,

    Sal, you did not demonstrate any internal contradictions in the paper you cited. Instead, you used the findings from that paper as evidence for a larger point that you were trying to make. However, how can the evidence from this research hold any credibility in your mind, given that it was produced by evolutionists who apparently cannot be trusted to produce anything but shoddy science?

    You can’t have it both ways. Perhaps you’d like to retract your silly and baseless claim?

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