YEC Part 2

[Thanks to Alan Fox for asking questions about YEC and Elizabeth Liddle for her generosity in hosting this discussion]

YEC part 1 gave some theological and philosophical context to the case for YEC, and part 2 will hopefully focus solely on empirical and scientific considerations. Part 2 challenges the mainstream view that the fossil record is hundreds of millions of years old.

If empirical considerations alone suggest the fossil record is not more than a several million years old, does it matter on balance that the data don’t exactly arrive at 6,000 years old? I think not. As far as I’m concerned, if the fossil record is not anywhere near as old as the mainstream claims, the creationists will have won the essentials of their case independent of whether the universe and Earth are billions of years old. Creationists can afford to lose the issue of the age of the Earth and universe, but Darwinists cannot survive the fossils record being only a few million years old. But as I demonstrated in YEC part 1, time isn’t the friend of evolution anyway, it is an enemy since nature tends to erode complexity, not construct it.

If the age of a skyscraper built with 1 billion year old rocks does not imply the skyscraper was built 1 billion years ago, the age of the fossil record can be formally separated from the age of the universe and age of the Earth and age of rocks. The time of death of someone can be determined forensically and the process doesn’t rely on the age of the Earth or universe or rocks around deceased to make a reasonable inference. The age fossil record is about establishing the time of death of the fossil not the rocks the fossil is buried in. The age of when a strata was formed is independent of the age of the rocks that form the strata.

When I ask geologists how do permineralized or well-preserved fossils form. As a matter of principle, does the entombment happen quickly or slowly? “Quickly” is the usual reply. Why? Rapid burial with minerals and water are the necessary ingredients to effect preservation. If the creature dies and is left out in the open to scavangers and decay processes, it will not fossilize. So as a matter of principle, such fossil bearing formations didn’t take millions of years to form. Thus one can’t argue the fossil record is old because it took millions of years to bury them! In the case of wooly mammoths with undigested tropical vegetation in their stomachs, they’d have to be instantly buried in snow to effect the necessary freezing to preserve the vegetables in their stomachs — not millions of years. That’s the other thing, why are the mammoths in a tropical environment one moment and then buried in a cataclysmic blizzard the next, and then never unfrozen till discovered in Siberia? Hmm…..

So like a detective, we’ve established certain fossils are buried rapidly, not over millions of years. The question remains when it happened, or maybe when it couldn’t have happened.

The mean sea level of the US is here is around 760 meters. Erosion of a mere 10 microns per year would wipe 760 meters into the sea in 76 million years. A sheet of paper, by the way is 100 microns thick. The slowest mean erosion rate I’ve found in literature is 2.5 microns per year, and even that would wipe out the Phanerozoic in many areas.

I point to this empirical study by Princeton geologists Judson and Ritter: Judson and Ritter

Taking the average height of the United States above sea level as 2300 feet and assuming that the rates of erosion reported here are representative, we find that it would take 11 to 12 million years to move to the oceans a volume equivalent to that of the United States lying above sea level. At this rate there has been enough time since the Cretaceous to destroy such a land mass six times. Accepting this figure creates the problem of maintaining a continental mass above high elevations. A problem beyond the intent of this report

Granted, that may only be a mean value for now, but one can’t fight gravity, sediments will tend to move toward the oceans, erasing the fossil record in the process. Even if Judson and Ritter are off by a factor of 50, that would still wipe out the fossil record all the way to the beginning of the Cambrian.

But even more to the point, we have forensic clocks that may put an upper limit to the time of death of the fossil in question. There is the very embarrassing fact that the supposed carboniferous era of 300 million years ago has ubiquitious traces of C14, and this is acknowledged in peer-reviewed literature. 0.1% present day concentration of C14 will yield a presumed age of 57,000 years. That is 1 part in 1000. We have frequent detections of comparable levels, so much so many won’t even try to date with C14 beyond that presumed age because there seems to be a persistent amount in fossils!

Some claim contamination, but this explanation is not as credible as one might suppose.

First consider in-site contamination. To maintain a background persistent concentration of C14, one needs to keep adding more carbon from atmospheric sources into the fossil to maintain 0.1% concentraion. The problem with this scenario however is that the added C14 will decay away, and one needs to add even more carbon contaminants the next iteration to maintain a background C14 level of 0.1%. One ends up with something analogous to the compounding interest rate problem. Say I added a mere 0.1% contaminant every 50,000 years, over 300,000,000 years, the fossil will either gain 402 times in mass or be diluted from the original material by that factor. Maybe in-site contamination might work as an explanation for isolated cases, but not for repeated discoveries in diverse geographical locations, otherwise one would have to argue nature conspired to fool us by contaminating the entire world recently for no good reason.

Consider contamination during processing of the fossil. 1 part in 1000 might seem like very little, but consider contaminating a hard piece of fossil marble or shell or bone. Just to illustrate, take a 1 gallon (not quite 4 liters) sample of something hard. A little less than a small teaspoon (4 milliliters) of contaminant to 1 gallon would be 1 part in 1000. Do you think you can force that much contaminant into something relatively hard? 🙂 Even 1 teaspoon into 10 gallons wouldn’t exactly be easy (1 part in 10,000). So this is not as credible an explanation as would be supposed either. Are experiments and analysis actually done to determine the source of contamination? No, because the fossils C14 is primarily due to contamination, it is due to the fact the fossils are young. And few are willing to stick there neck out to point out they can’t demonstrate the source of supposed contamination.

Radioactive decay chains have be also ruled out unless of course one assumes 99% Uranium and less than 1% of fossil!

See:
Problems using Coal as a C14 free source

Lowe points out:

Many (super 14) C dating laboratories have established that coal samples exhibit a finite (super 14) C age, apparently caused by contamination of the specimens before any laboratory preparation is undertaken.

He then points out the contamination cannot be due to radioactive decay of other products:

Because coal is formed over geological time scales at depths providing excellent shielding from cosmic rays, its 14C content should be insignificant in comparison to the 14C introduced by even the most careful sample preparation techniques used in 14C dating laboratories. How is it then, that a material, which should show a14C age indistinguishable from that produced by a combination of machine background and contamination during careful sample preparation, routinely produces a finite 14C age?

One suggestion is that radium, which is present in some coals at the sub pm level, as a decay product of the uranium/thorium series, may produce 4C during an extremely rare decay event (Rose & Jones, 1984). Jull,Barker and Donahue (1987) have detected 14C from this process in uranium/ thorium ores. Blendowski, Fliessbach and Walliser (1987) however, have shown that the 14( decay mode of 226Ra is only of the order of 10-11 of the preferred a decay channel to 222Rn. Thus, the amount of 14C produced by such events derived from radium in coal must be considered as insignificant.

and finally capitulation at the ubiquity of the problem

There are many other unpublished accounts by 14C laboratories in which the use of coal as a background test material has been investigated. In many cases, the samples were found to contain 14C, and further studies were discontinued. The AMS and gas counting facilities, DSIR, in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, eg, have observed apparent ages for coal specimens ranging from 25-40 kyr, and the NSF Accelerator Facility at Tucson, Arizona has determined ages of anthracite samples ranging from 30-40 kyr (AJT Jull, pers commun, 1988).

Lowe invokes bacterial contamination, but I pointed out why such in site contamination is contradicted by the “compounding interest” problem, not to mention, bacteria in deep parts of the Earth would be feasting off C14 depleted carbon, not atmospheric carbon!

Next is the fact of biological materials with half-lives that preclude their persistence in fossils. DNA has a half life 521 years give or take, homochiral amino acids have half-lives on the order of hundreds or a few thousand years. The state of these biological materials in fossils is inconsistent with the time of death hundreds of millions of years ago.

Additionally, we have ancient fossil DNA that looks like modern DNA, breaking the biological molecular clock hypothesis. See: Pardox of Ancient Bacterium. But detractors bring up the contamination complaint yet again.

The actual forensic clocks refute old age fossils in the fossils themselves (C14, DNA, homochiral amino acids, inconsistency with biological molecular clock). The well preserved variety of fossils could not have been buried in a process taking millions of years as a matter of principle, and there should be serious doubt the fossil record would still be around after hundred million years, maybe not even 11 million years.

Finally, I keep hearing assertions about all the mounds of data that prove the fossils are old. Actually it’s mounds of publication not mounds of actual facts. The amount of words dumped out does not necessarily make claims any more credible than Kairos Focus being verbose proves Kairos Focus’ FYI/FTR are correct. It’s the physical facts that count. The tons of fossilized material themselves do not indicate an age that is as old as most presume.

336 thoughts on “YEC Part 2

  1. Of course, it is true that in situ mechanisms need to be considered also, as well as other potential sources of false reading. But it’s no good expecting Creationists to consider these possible sources of confounding data, as any proper scientist would. C14 is a crap marker for such deposits for precisely the reasons discussed – gaseous, soluble, capable of generation by several pathways.

    But if coal says 25,000 years yet igneous intrusions above and below say (for example) 300 million and 320 million respectively (better yet by isochron methods), we don’t really need to fret about whether the coal is young or not. It isn’t. We don’t date the world using C14 in coal. Anomalies are what we throw away, not what we base our entire conclusions upon. C14 is no use for dating rocks. End of story.

    Now, Sal, care to talk about other isotopes?

  2. stcordova,

    A cursory look says one will need over 50% of C02 saturated water to get the requisite amount of contaminant going.– that is to say 50% fossil, 50% water. Not too believable.

    The potential sources of additional C14 beyond atmospheric CO2 fixed by the coal plant are not mutually exclusive, but additive.

    I must admit, it’s fun to watch a Creationist defend radioisotope dating! 🙂

  3. stcordova,

    You’re a great one for quote mining this or that expert when they seem to support your contention, but an entire post about amino acid racemisation and not one single reference … ?

  4. Incidentally, how come we never hear about C14 in limestones? Coal and limestone frequently occur in alternating deposits, cyclothems. They’re a bit hard for Creationists to explain anyway, but I’d be interested to know what the C14 dating says through such a sequence …

  5. Allan Miller:
    Incidentally, how come we never hear about C14 in limestones? Coal and limestone frequently occur in alternating deposits, cyclothems. They’re a bit hard for Creationists to explain anyway, but I’d be interested to know what the C14 dating says through such a sequence …

    Creationists do claim that C14 has been found in marble, metamorphosed limestone.

    Not really dealing with the cyclothems, to be sure, but at least it relates to carbonates.

    On the other hand, they allege C14 really in all of the “ancient” carbon deposits. The total amount of carbon cycling through the crust, oceans, and atmosphere is enormous–so what are Sal and the rest saying, that virtually all of the carbon in the world was in the atmosphere within the last few thousand years? There have been antediluvian/flood geology scenarios that did claim basically that, but, if so, the atmospheric pressure must have been unbearable, and the greenhouse effect close to that of Venus (higher, probably, since far more water could enter Earth’s atmosphere), and temperatures not much lower. Most YECs gave up the claim of extremely high CO2 levels in the past because it would be unlivable, yet if nearly all of the carbon sources got C14 from the usual production method (which they are alleging), all of it would have to have been in the atmosphere at least at one point in the last 6000 or so years. And, as low as the C14 levels are supposed to be in the old sources, there must have been a terrific amount produced in the past.

    If there really is C14 throughout “ancient carbon sources” there simply has to be some way of forming it that we don’t really understand, because there is no way that the nearly the entirety of earth’s crustal (etc.) carbon was even temporarily in the atmosphere in the last 6000 or so years.

    Glen Davidson

  6. stcordova: Undecided because initial conditions not well defined, all relevant physics not yet clear such as nucleosynthesis (as shown by the work of Proton-21 labs).

    Weaseling evasive non-answer noted.

  7. stcordova:
    Objections of contamination are moot since the fossil is made of proteins!

    Ah yes. Fossils, a good source of protein!

  8. RodW: Do you accept the ice cores that have a continuous record going back ~600,000 years?

    stcordova:No I don’t accept ice core date personally, but it is not my field and I wouldn’t tell other creationists to dismiss it out of hand.

    Well, I think this helps explain why Salvador isn’t dismissing the evidence he’s being presented with out of hand. We can give him that much.

  9. I suppose I should add in reference to my 12:06 comment that I have seen some YECs claim that C14 was made at a low level in creation, which would take care of the production of C14 throughout all of the carbon sources.

    Even if we granted that ad hoc miracle (and why would God make it so, to produce more background radiation?), though, it hardly matters to the problem of there needing to be an extremely large amount of CO2 having to be in the atmosphere. The vast majority of limestone is primarily composed of exoskeletons of marine organisms, and it would have to come from the atmosphere (it couldn’t be in the water at too high levels, as that would make the water extremely acidic and the limestone would dissolve rather than be produced). How quadrillions of tons of marine exoskeletons could be produced in a couple thousand years is a question YECs should ask to begin with, but the source of the CO2 for so much production (air, or some source that fed into air roughly as fast as it was used–very fast) should be named.

    There doesn’t seem to be any aspect of YECism that isn’t untenable without there needing to be constant miraculous “correction” of the situation(s).

    Glen Davidson

  10. Thank you to all first who participated.

    Now with respect to the C14 contamination issue, there is at least resolution of some items in principle.

    Contamination during processing can be reviewed and revisited as well as accuracy and precision of the AMS methods. 1 micro gram of contamination will be significant if we are dealing with 1 milligram samples, but not gram samples in the AMS machine. But we can get samples from the fossils on the order of kilograms. The labs themselves have reported they do not believe the contamination in their experimental procedure caused the “anomalous” C14 levels to be detected in fossils. The issue can be revisited.

    The Radioactive source contamination can be revisited, it can be theoretically and experimentally refuted.

    Finally in site, in situ contamination is problematic because even if atmospheric C14 reached the fossil, it too has a half-life and would disappear in geologically insignificant time leading to the “compounding interest” problem I pointed out.

    Finally, if that were the only anomaly, then one might be inclined to still dismiss the C14 dates, but the problem is we have consilience with the other clocks that are within the fossils: DNA and amino acids.

    Creationist Michael Brown reports:

    Silurian graptolites, which are estimated to be 400-430 million years old by the usual evolutionary conventional age, has been found to contain detectable levels of amino acids that are indeed residual in nature (Florkin 1969). They
    come from the original proteins when the fossil was buried.
    http://www.creation-science-prophecy.com/amino/survive.htm

    When I talked to radio chemist Hugh Miller, they regularly collect dinosaur fossils and have the C14 dated. Never in all the time I’ve been in Creationist circles has any pulled me aside and said, “Hey Sal, we need to fudge data. Let’s lie for Jesus. Let’s contaminate the dino fossils.” No rather, I see a great confidence that honest fossil digs will report C14. And why should they not feel that way? The secular world has discovered as much and reluctantly reported it. We have consilience of 3 clocks, including a radiometric one.

    A whiney complaint was made by Adapa about my usage of the phrase “fossils buried in rock.” Ok fossil buried in sediment! If we use the strict definition of minerals, then the minerals are inorganic and hence don’t contribute to C14 contamination even if they are part of the permineralization process. Hence that would even strenghthen the case against non-fossil C14 contamination since what C14 is there becomes diluted. If we use a looser notion of mineral that includes Carbon, that still doesn’t help because once the fossil has been solidified and left undisturbed, the C14 in the “minerals” would also decay away just like the C14 in the creature, and for that matter it would have no more (likely less) a C14/C ratio than the creature.

    So Adapa’s whining over my prhaseology is irrelevant. The age of the rocks and sediments a fossil is buried or entombed or assimilated in has practically no bearing on establishing upper limits on the time of death.

    To conflate the time of death of the fossil with the sediments that buried it is illogical. Sure, this may lead to some paradoxes with things like volcanic ash, but maybe mechanical theories can be put forward to provide alternate explanation for why age of strata might conflict with time of death of a fossil.

    But additionally, some of the K/Ar dating is dubious because unlike C14 issues, K/Ar dating of rocks is sensitive to atmospheric absorption by rocks and heat of rock formation.

    But will relevant analyses and experiments be done by the mainstream? Not likely, because of forgone conclusions and institutional imperitaves. That attitude was well reflected by this University of Georgia Letter:

    http://newgeology.us/presentation48.html

    I have recently become aware of the work that you and your team have been conducting with respect to radio carbon dating of bone…Consequently, we are no longer able to provide radiocarbon services in support of your anti-scientific agenda….

    So much for open-minded inquiry. As I said, it’s not just the creationist who’ve found C14 traces in fossils, it secular fossil diggers.

    I might have been a little more circumspect with just one physical trace substance like C14 used as a clock but substantial portion of the physical substance of fossils, maybe more than 50% of the non-water content, has proteins which often are in a non-racemized state. You can’t have a much more telling clock than that!

    Even if I were a non-creationist, I don’t think I could just ignore evidence like that. If my opponents in this discussion want to dismiss it and find any argument, no matter how flimsy against these basic facts, that is their choice. But as far as I’m concerned, the time of death of the fossils has not been adequately established to be as far back as claimed by Darwinists.

  11. stcordova: Thank you to all first who participated.

    I admire you for making the attempt to justify an untenable position. 🙂

    I’m still not clear whether you are continuing to support the contention that the Earth is young, how young, and whether this is because of a particular way of reading a particular text. It would seem to be a waste of everyone’s time if we continue to refute a position you no longer hold.

    Could you clarify, please?

  12. stcordova: Now with respect to the C14 contamination issue, there is at least resolution of some items in principle.

    I’m not sure about that. Mainstream geology indicates dates for the Carboniferous era from 380 to 300 million years ago, approximately. Is it your claim that radio carbon dating proves that coal deposits were created a few thousand years ago? (Young life rather than young Earth?) It seems that at the extreme end of usefulness of the carbon dating method known as AMS (accelerated mass spectroscopy), the chance of even tiny amounts of contamination will produce false positives. Until you explain how the possibility of contamination is eliminated, claims that coal was created a few thousand years ago remains questionable (to say the least, considering evidence from other sources).

  13. stcordova: Finally, if that were the only anomaly, then one might be inclined to still dismiss the C14 dates, but the problem is we have consilience with the other clocks that are within the fossils: DNA and amino acids.

    It’s up to you, Sal, but as I said above, it would be handy to know if we no longer need to refute the idea of a young Earth.

    Regarding the presence of protein and DNA in fossils, it seems that DNA degrades over several thousands of years, even in optimum conditions and protein samples of around 700,000 years have been sequenced.

    Do you claim that DNA or protein has been found associated with fossils that are, according to other dating methods, much older? I think we may be back to contamination. PCR, for example, is a powerful tool in obtaining analysable quantities of DNA from trace samples, but the process amplifies any DNA present, including contamination.

  14. stcordova: To conflate the time of death of the fossil with the sediments that buried it is illogical.

    I’m baffled by this.

    Are you saying we do not have reason to assume a fossil is associated with the material surrounding it?

    ETA: Has this anything to do with the global flood myth?

  15. And I’m still baffled as to why this “virtuoso believing” in a young Earth or young life matters. As I am no geologist or physicist, I am no Bible scholar but I don’t think there is anything attributed to Jesus about these issues. It affects the tenets of the Christianity attributed to Jesus not one jot, as far as I can see.

  16. stcordova: I might have been a little more circumspect with just one physical trace substance like C14 used as a clock…

    Indeed. The range of usefulness of ^{14}C dating is limited by the detectability of atoms in the sample. At the extreme range, distinguishing between signal and noise prevents reliable results beyond perhaps 70,000 years with a greatly increased chance that contaminating ^{14}C will introduce significant error.

    …but [a] substantial portion of the physical substance of fossils, maybe more than 50% of the non-water content, has proteins which often are in a non-racemized state. You can’t have a much more telling clock than that!

    I think this is a bit garbled. Fossils that are millions of years old are mineralised. As someone (sorry, can’t remember who) remarked, chalk deposits are fossils, largely. What specifically are you referring to when you talk of “non-racemized protein” in association with fossils? You seem to interchange between “protein” and “amino-acid”. Racemization of an aqueous solution of an enantiomer of an amino-acid is a reliably measurable process. What do you mean when you talk of protein and racemization?

  17. stcordova:

    To conflate the time of death of the fossil with the sediments that buried it is illogical.Sure, this may lead to some paradoxes with things like volcanic ash, but maybe mechanical theories can be put forward to provide alternate explanation for why age of strata might conflict with time of death of a fossil.

    Come on Sal, this is pure rubbish. There are sedimentary rock columns thousands of meters thick all over the world, and they are full of fossils from top to bottom. I am not talking about dinosaurs here but microsfossils which are so abundant that there are entire subdisciplines of paleontology and stratigraphy dedicated to them. What mechanism could there possibly be to embed those fossils in the rock column, unless they were deposited at the same time? Did the Designer inject them with a fine needle or what?

    Don’t duck this issue!

    fG

  18. stcordova,

    maybe more than 50% of the non-water content, has proteins which often are in a non-racemized state. You can’t have a much more telling clock than that!

    Can I repeat my request (well, it was more of a hint last time) that you provide a reputable reference for these claims? Assertion is cheap, as my unicorn said only yesterday.

  19. stcordova,

    So much for open-minded inquiry. As I said, it’s not just the creationist who’ve found C14 traces in fossils, it secular fossil diggers.

    Meanwhile there are radioisotopes numbering in the teens which have been used to date igneous rocks above and below fossils. Their half-lives cover the entire range of assumed earth history, and often have cross-correlations in the same rock – U235/U238 for example, with different half lives, converge on the same date, substantially increasing confidence. They have different solubilities and chemistry, such that problems with one are avoided by another. They can achieve confidence levels of the order of 2 million years in 2 billion – +/- 0.2%. There are products of extinct radionuclides which accord entirely with an old earth given their half lives.

    And yet every single one of these independent lines of evidence is wrong because there is C14 in carbon-bearing strata? So much for open-minded enquiry.

  20. Talking about carbonates, there is another interesting aspect. Many carbonates, especially extensive platform carbonates that were deposited in very shallow marginal seas, show marked fine-scale cyclicity. A lot of work has been done on this and there is abundant evidence that at least some of this is related to the Milankovitch cycles in the movement and the orbit of the Earth.

    There are other geological indicators that correlate to some extent with the Milankovitch cycles, such as Oxygen isotopes and sea floor spreading rates.

    This provides an external and independent calibration of radiometric data over time spans of hundreds of thousands to millions of years.

    fG

  21. stcordova,

    Finally in site, in situ contamination is problematic because even if atmospheric C14 reached the fossil, it too has a half-life and would disappear in geologically insignificant time leading to the “compounding interest” problem I pointed out.

    This is quite funny. Coal can be buried a mere 6,000 years ago, but groundwater can’t get to it in a ‘geologically significant time’?

  22. Another interesting issue – neutrino detection, referenced by Sal (mistakenly) as demonstrating a difference in U238 between oceanic and continental crust, relies upon the use of ultra-low-C14 oil (by no means all oil is of course) in some detectors, otherwise scintillations triggered by C14 decay will interfere.

    Essentially, if the earth was young, oil could not be used as a scintillant. You’d think someone would have noticed. So Sal has a question to answer regarding how one can get low-C14 oil on a young (<150,000 year) earth.

  23. Alan Fox,

    And I’m still baffled as to why this “virtuoso believing” in a young Earth or young life matters. As I am no geologist or physicist, I am no Bible scholar but I don’t think there is anything attributed to Jesus about these issues. It affects the tenets of the Christianity attributed to Jesus not one jot, as far as I can see.

    The argument I’ve heard from fundamentalists is that no literal Adam and Eve means no Fall means no need for atonement means Jesus diedhad a bad weekend for our sins in vain.

    It’s no worse than a lot of theology.

  24. stcordova:

    When I talked to radio chemist Hugh Miller, they regularly collect dinosaur fossils and have the C14 dated. Never in all the time I’ve been in Creationist circles has any pulled me aside and said, “Hey Sal, we need to fudge data.Let’s lie for Jesus.Let’s contaminate the dino fossils.”No rather, I see a great confidence that honest fossil digs will report C14.

    Pure unadulterated bullshit. No one has ever obtained valid C14 fates from dinosaur fossils. If you claim differently then present the results here.

    The age of the rocks and sediments a fossil is buried or entombed or assimilated in has practically no bearing on establishing upper limits on the time of death.

    More bullshit. We know the fossils are at least the same age as the sediment because we have examples where the sediment and fossil have both been lithified and distorted by plate tectonic forces.

    Trilobite deformed by pressure

    How did the fossil get deformed like that in just 4500 years Sal? Why is it rock and not soft organic material like some mammoth specimens we find?

    Your whiny YEC bullshit was old a decade a go Sal. Quit making cowardly excuses and start dealing with the evidence.

  25. Allan Miller,

    One more thing — the curious incident of technetium. Any version of “Young Earthism” is immediately falsified by the fact that there’s practically no natural technetium on Earth. The most stable isotope has a half-life of 4.2 million years. Even if the planet were “only” 40 million years old, 0.1% of the original Tc-98 should still be present in the Earth’s crust. So either Yahweh was too busy when it was manufacturing molyblenum and ruthenium, and forgot to make some technetium as well, or 4.2 Myr is much less than the real age of the Earth.

  26. OMagain:
    Sal,
    You can demonstrate your commitment to the truth by addressing the points made on this thread as to why you are simply incorrect about many of your claims.

    What are you more interested in, the truth or keeping your fantasy in the realm of the possible? Your next couple of posts will no doubt demonstrate the latter, but we will see.

    For example, you could start by naming names about who is it that presumes that all the ‘radioactive stuff’ in the Earth was molten and mixed at the same time? If you can’t then retract and admit you were in error!

    Sal? You have to ask?

  27. JonF: You have to ask?

    No, but one day the dam will break I’m sure. And perhaps we’re seeing the first cracks. Several ex-fundies at ATBC that I know of.

  28. stcordova:
    Contamination during processing can be reviewed and revisited as well as accuracy and precision of the AMS methods.1 micro gram of contamination…

    1 microgram or much much more, as Dr. Berstche pointed out and you and Baumgarnder ignored.

    …will be significant if we are dealing with 1 milligram samples, but not gram samples in the AMS machine.

    Let’s see the numbers, accounting for the fact that much more than 1 microgram is known to happen.

    But we can get samples from the fossils on the order of kilograms.

    But you can’t put kilograms in an AMS to measure 14C. You need about 200 grams maximum.

    The labs themselves have reported they do not believe the contamination in their experimental procedure caused the “anomalous” C14 levels to be detected in fossils.

    And there are many other possible sources of contamination which you and Baumgardner ignored.

    The Radioactive source contamination can be revisited, it can be theoretically and experimentally refuted.
    Or physically and experimentally confirmed. Nobody knows. Until you have evidence you got bupkis.

    Finally in site, in situ contamination is problematic because even if atmospheric C14 reached the fossil, it too has a half-life and would disappear in geologically insignificant time leading to the “compounding interest” problem I pointed out.

    Lots of other sources of in situ and after-extraction contamination.

    Finally, if that were the only anomaly, then one might be inclined to still dismiss the C14 dates, but the problem is we have consilience with the other clocks that are within the fossils:DNA and amino acids.

    Another “Finally”?

    And you do not have consilience, you have discordance, with tens of thousands of independent measurements. See http://tinyurl.com/pwuno3l

    Creationist Michael Brown reports:

    When I talked to radio chemist Hugh Miller, they regularly collect dinosaur fossils and have the C14 dated. Never in all the time I’ve been in Creationist circles has any pulled me aside and said, “Hey Sal, we need to fudge data.Let’s lie for Jesus.Let’s contaminate the dino fossils.”No rather, I see a great confidence that honest fossil digs will report C14.And why should they not feel that way?The secular world has discovered as much and reluctantly reported it.We have consilience of 3 clocks, including a radiometric one.

    Oh, I have no doubt many of the YECs believe they are telling truth and conducting science. Evidence strongly indicates they are wrong.

    Neither you or Buamgardner has addressed the fatal flaws with your coal crap, such as have been posted here and in Dr. Bertsche’s reply to Baumgardner. See above; you got nuthin. So you don’t have a radiometric clock, and we’re still waiting for some evidence for your other two claims.

    To conflate the time of death of the fossil with the sediments that buried it is illogical.Sure, this may lead to some paradoxes with things like volcanic ash, but maybe mechanical theories can be put forward to provide alternate explanation for why age of strata might conflict with time of death of a fossil.

    And until you come up with some theories and evidence, we will go with the obvious fact that the fossils are the rock and were encased while the rock formed. Dogs buried in landslides of old rock and paleontologists can’t tell? Really?

    There are a lot of fossils in metamorphic rock, too:

    “Flowing rocks can be stretched into elongated forms. Compare this specimen and the other piece with the same number. Once, both of these trilobite fossils looked alike.” (http://tinyurl.com/qh8wrvh)

    What’s your explantion for them?

    But additionally, some of the K/Ar dating is dubious because unlike C14 issues, K/Ar dating of rocks is sensitive to atmospheric absorption by rocks and heat of rock formation.

    Gee, ignorant YECs sure do love that K-Ar dating! At least now we know you don’t know squat about the subject.

    K-Ar dating has been proved to be valid in the vast majority of cases by consilience with other dating methods, both radiometric and non-radiometric, and Dalrymple’s investigations of excess argon. Still geochronologists do realize that it is not as robust as the many other dating methods they have. That’s why it hasn’t been widely used for decades, and it’s hard to even find a lab to do it for the last decade or so as Ar-Ar has become more available and lower cost. Isochron dating is much more robust, but it’s difficult to get 1% accuracy, so it is also not used much any more in geochronology. Ar-Ar dating and U-Pb concordia-discordia dating together make up the vast majority of dates obtained in the last few decades and are extremely robust and concordant with each other and non-radiometric methods.

    Even the RATE group, made up of pretty much all the YECs who understand how radiometric dating works (but are incompetent at performing radiometric dating), admit that the amount of decay in zircons reflects actual radiometric decay in situ since zircon crystals always formed with a negligible amount of lead duce to some basic physics. Accelerated Nuclear Decay (AND) is the only possible way that a young Earth can be consistent with radiometric dating,and the problems that raises for YECs are pretty much insurmountable (e.g melting the Earth and blasting every organism i\onthe arque with many many times a lethal dose of radiation from the 14K in their own bodies).

    But will relevant analyses and experiments be done by the mainstream? Not likely, because of hundreds of thousands of valid scientific conclusions that refute the possibility and institutional reluctance to be associated with crackpots.

    FIFY.

    So much for open-minded inquiry.As I said, it’s not just the creationist who’ve found C14 traces in fossils, it secular fossil diggers.

    [citation needed] for that unsupported assertion.

    I might have been a little more circumspect with just one physical trace substance like C14 used as a clock but substantial portion of the physical substance of fossils, maybe more than 50% of the non-water content, has proteins which often are in a non-racemized state.

    [citation needed] for that unsupported assertion. You’ve been asked many times.

    You can’t have a much more telling clock than that!

    Evidence and demonstration required for this claim.

    Even if I were a non-creationist, I don’t think I could just ignore evidence like that.If my opponents in this discussion want to dismiss it and find any argument, no matter how flimsy against these basic facts, that is their choice.

    You are thi only one here who is making assertinos and refusing to support them.

    But as far as I’m concerned, the time of death of the fossils has not been adequately established to be as far back as claimed by Darwinists.

    Alas, reality is not affected by your disbelief in it.

  29. Allan Miller:
    stcordova,

    This is quite funny. Coal can be buried a mere 6,000 years ago, but groundwater can’t get to it in a ‘geologically significant time’?

    He’s still on theatmospheric CO2 diffusion kick. He obviously has nothing to say about the groundwater problem.

  30. JonF: “Flowing rocks can be stretched into elongated forms. Compare this specimen and the other piece with the same number. Once, both of these trilobite fossils looked alike.” (http://tinyurl.com/qh8wrvh)

    flattened at angle to original layers, stretched trilobite in shale:
    http://www.mnh.si.edu/earth/text/dynamicearth/6_0_0_GeoGallery/geogallery_specimen.cfm?SpecimenID=103&categoryID=4&categoryName=Rocks&browseType=group&groupID=8&groupName=Metamorphic

    (The normal and deformed images were on separate pages in their gallery, so here’s the second one.)

  31. Sal,

    Are you going to do a “YEC Part 3” in which you describe your actual (emotional, religious) reasons for being a YEC? That would be interesting.

    It’s abundantly clear that you first decided to be a YEC and then started cherry-picking the evidence in an attempt to prop up your belief. And even your cherry-picking has been unsuccessful, as this thread illustrates.

  32. There is a consilience in the fossils themselves for the time of death, the age of the rocks and sediments above and below does not date the time of death. That’s just plain dumb. When a detective discovers a murder victim buried in old sediments, does he date the age of the sediments?

  33. Coal can be buried a mere 6,000 years ago, but groundwater can’t get to it in a ‘geologically significant time’?

    That’s not the argument, the ground water has to deposit C14 at significant levels and sustain it for hundreds of millions od years. Since water at saturation is around 1 part in 1000 of C02, how are you going to sufficiently contaminate a fossil unless you include the ground water during the extraction process and unless it is continuously replaced.

    You don’t understand the argument, so maybe if I have time I’ll work out the numbers for you. Ok.

  34. stcordova:
    There is a consilience in the fossils themselves for the time of death, the age of the rocks and sediments above and below does not date the time of death.That’s just plain dumb.When a detective discovers a murder victim buried in old sediments, does he date the age of the sediments?

    If ash from a recent volcanic eruption lies undisturbed over the grave, would that indicate the minimum time for when the murder and burial occur?

    I guess if you find scallops burying their dead, your “analogy” would be legitimate. As it is, of course there are the occasional factors capable of displacing fossils from the strata where/when they died, but those are things like bioturbation (minimal movements), or recent microfossils (like pollen) manage to seep into older rocks.

    There’s no serious reason to think that fish buried other fish in older strata, nor that they somehow diffused into rocks after their deaths. Indeed, there are huge numbers of fossils that are apparently in situ, where a clam is in its little burrow, and the occasional vertebrate is found in its den. They just died in their little homes and were covered by sediments (sometimes a massive sediment influx, or volcanic ash, is what killed them).

    Once again, the creationist considers the analogy, not the reality of animal (plant, etc.) life, death, and occasional fossilization.

    Glen Davidson

  35. stcordova: When a detective discovers a murder victim buried in old sediments, does he date the age of the sediments?

    Has the victim fossilised?

  36. Meanwhile there are radioisotopes numbering in the teens which have been used to date igneous rocks above and below fossils. Their half-lives cover the entire range of assumed earth history, and often have cross-correlations in the same rock – U235/U238 for example, with different half lives, converge on the same date, substantially increasing confidence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-lead_dating

    Uranium–lead (U–Pb) dating is one of the oldest[1] and most refined of the radiometric dating schemes. It can be used to date rocks that formed from about 1 million years to over 4.5 billion years ago with routine precisions in the 0.1–1 percent range.[2]

    So you have a million year old rock over a fossil that died 25,000 years ago. You have problems envisioning a process that moves old rocks of younger creatures?

    But even that said, we have the worse problem of 70-100 times Uranium concentration in the continents rather than sea-floor, so that is prima facie evidence of movement or something seriously anomalous, not to mention potentially some other mechanism for in situ nucleosynthesis which would lead to apparent ratios of parent and daughter products.

    So what say I, I say this is evidence the question is still open, not settled.

  37. Volcanic ash is usually dated via K/Ar dating, Plasited wrote a nice critique of why it is unreliable.

    Why K-Ar is inaccurate

    Since K-Ar (potassium-argon) dating is one of the most prevalent techniques, some special commentary about it is in order. Potassium is about 2.5 percent of the earth’s crust. About 1/10,000 of potassium is K40, which decays into Ar40 with a half-life of 1.3 billion years. Actually, only about 1/8 of the potassium 40 decays to argon, and the rest decays to calcium. Thus after n half-lives, (1/2)^n of the original potassium 40 will remain. Of the 1 – (1/2)^n which has decayed, about 7/8 will have decayed into calcium, and the remaining 1/8 will have decayed into argon 40. Argon is about 3.6 x 10 ^ -6 of the earth’s crust. We can assume, then, that the magma is probably about 1/40 potassium and about 1/400,000 K40. After 570 million years, about 26 percent of this potassium will have decayed, so that there will be about 1/3 as much decay product as K40. About 1/8 of the decay product will be Argon 40, so there will be about 1/24 as much argon 40 as K40. Thus we should expect about 1/9,600,000 of a rock having an average concentration of potassium, to be argon, if the rock is really 570 million years old. This is about one ten millionth of the mass of the rock, a very tiny percentage. And yet, with a large amount of argon in the air and also filtering up from rocks below, and with excess argon in lava, with argon and potassium water soluble, and argon mobile in rock, we are still expecting this wisp of argon to tell us how old the rock is! The percentage of Ar40 is even less for younger rocks. For example, it would be about one in 100 million for rocks in the vicinity of 57 million years old.

    To get one part in 10 million of argon in a rock in a thousand years, we would only need to get one part in 10 billion entering the rock each year. This would be less than one part in a trillion entering the rock each day, on the average. This would suffice to give a rock having an average concentration of potassium, a computed potassium-argon age of over 500 million years!
    ….
    In areas where tremendous tectonic activity has taken place, highly discordant values for the ages are obtained. The difficulties associated are numerous and listed as follows:
    1. There seems to be a great deal of question regarding the branching ratio for K40 into Ar40 and Ca40. The value that has been used for Ar40/Ca40 has varied from 0.12 to 0.08. But the value is not really known. The observed value is between 0.11 and 0.126, but in order to match K-Ar ages, which average somewhat higher [lower?] than the U-Th-Pb ages, to the latter ages, the value 0.08 is arbitrarily taken. However, this doesn’t remedy the situation and the ages are still too high [low?]. The geochronologists credit this to “argon leakage”.

    2. There is far too much Ar40 in the earth for more than a small fraction of it to have been formed by radioactive decay of K40. This is true even if the earth really is 4.5 billion years old. In the atmosphere of the earth, Ar40 constitutes 99.6% of the total argon. This is around 100 times the amount that would be generated by radioactive decay over the age of 4.5 billion years. Certainly this is not produced by an influx from outer space. Thus, a large amount of Ar40 was present in the beginning. Since geochronologists assume that errors due to presence of initial Ar40 are small, their results are highly questionable.

    3. Argon diffuses from mineral to mineral with great ease. It leaks out of rocks very readily and can move from down deep in the earth, where the pressure is large, and accumulate in an abnormally large amount in the surface where rock samples for dating are found. They would all have excess argon due to this movement. This makes them appear older. Rocks from deeper in the crust would show this to a lesser degree. Also, since some rocks hold the Ar40 stronger than others, some rocks will have a large apparent age, others smaller ages, though they may actually be the same age. If you were to measure Ar40 concentration as function of depth, you would no doubt find more of it near the surface than at deeper points because it migrates more easily from deep in the earth than it does from the earth into the atmosphere. It is easy to see how the huge ages are being obtained by the K40-Ar40 radiometric clock, since surface and near-surface samples will contain argon due to this diffusion effect.

    Some geochronologists believe that a possible cause of excess argon is that argon diffuses into mineral progressively with time. Significant quantities of argon may be introduced into a mineral even at pressures as low as one bar.

    If such [excessive] ages as mentioned above are obtained for pillow lavas, how are those from deep-sea drilling out in the Atlantic where sea-floor spreading is supposed to be occurring?

    5. Potassium is found to be very mobile under leaching conditions. As much as 80% of the potassium in a small sample of an iron meteorite was removed by running distilled water over it for 4 and 1/2 hours. This could move the “ages” to tremendously high values. Ground-water and erosional water movements could produce this effect naturally.

    6. Rocks in areas having a complex geological history have many large discordances. In a single rock there may be mutually contaminating, potassium- bearing minerals.

    7. There is some difficulty in determining the decay constants for the K40-Ar40 system. Geochronologists use the branching ratio as a semi-emperical, adjustable constant which they manipulate instead of using an accurate half-life for K40.

    A number of recent lava flows (within the past few hundred years) yield potassium-argon ages in the hundreds of thousands of years range. This indicates that some excess argon is present. Where is it coming from? And how do we know that it could not be a much larger quantity in other cases? If more excess argon were present, then we could get much older ages.

    It is true that an age difference in the hundreds of thousands of years is much too small to account for the observed K-Ar ages. But excess argon is commonly invoked by geologists to explain dates that are too old, so I’m not inventing anything new. Second, there may have been a lot more more argon in the magma in the past, and with each eruption, the amount decreased. So there would have been a lot more excess argon in the past, leading to older ages.

    For rocks that are being dated, contamination with atmospheric argon is a persistent problem that is mentioned a number of times. Thus it is clear that argon enters rock easily. It is claimed that we can know if a rock has added argon by its spectrum when heated; different temperatures yield different fractions of argon. It is claimed that the argon that enters from the atmosphere or other rocks, is less tightly bound to the crystal lattice, and will leave the rock at a lower temperature. But how do we know what happens over thousands of years? It could be that this argon which is initially loosely bound (if it is so initially) gradually becomes more tightly bound by random thermal vibrations, until it becomes undetectable by the spectrum technique. The fact that rock is often under high pressure might influence this process, as well.

    The branching ratio problem

    Back to top

    (See some updates to this article.)

    We now consider in more detail one of the problems with potassium-argon dating, namely, the branching ratio problem. Here is some relevant information that was e-mailed to me.

    There are some very serious objections to using the potassium-argon decay family as a radiometric clock. This is harmful to the position of those holding to the theory of sea-floor spreading since their time scale has been calculated using K40/Ar40 dates mainly. About 11% of K40 decays by electron capture and gamma ray emission to Ar40 and the remaining 89% of the K40 decays by B-particle emission to form Ca40. The geochronologist considers the Ca40 of little practical use in radiometric dating since common calcium is such an abundant element and the radiogenic Ca40 has the same atomic mass as common calcium.
    “Juggling” is also performed by geochronologists in this K-Ar system. Here the actual observed branching ratio is not used, but rather a small ratio is arbitrarily chosen in an effort to match dates obtained method with U-Th-Pb dates.

    The branching ratio that is often used is 0.08, while the true value is probably about 0.12. This means that K-Ar dates computed with the lower branching ratio are a third too large, that is, the actual K-Ar date should be 2/3 of the computed date. Thus we have another source of error for K-Ar dating.

    I think that pretty much cast doubts on invoking K/Ar dating for volcanic ash.

  38. stcordova:
    There is a consilience in the fossils themselves for the time of death, the age of the rocks and sediments above and below does not date the time of death.That’s just plain dumb.When a detective discovers a murder victim buried in old sediments, does he date the age of the sediments?

    Lots of reasons have been supplied, and you have ignored them all. Repeating claims without discussing objections to those claims is not arguing in good faith.

  39. As far as YEC part 3, depends on what you folks want. LlaniteDave debated me on the YEC topic in 2004 at ARN. At the time I was only 25% YEC/75% OEC in my undecided state. At the end of the debate he convinced me the old age of fossils was less credible than I ever supposed, the age of the solar system was younger than supposed, and the age of the Earth younger than supposed. The age of the universe still looked very old to me at the time.

    He remembers the year long debate even 11 years later as you can tell by his jovial reaction to me raising the topic again. You can probably guess who prevailed in that exchange. 🙂

    You guys want to come after me, humiliate me, here’s your chance, but be warned.

    You guys keep demanding responses. Are you going actually receive them or are you trying to shoe me away.If you want explanations and details, I might have to post here a lot and TSZ could become YEC central.

  40. stcordova:
    Volcanic ash is usually dated via K/Ar dating, Plasited wrote a nice critique of why it is unreliable.

    Why K-Ar is inaccurate

    I think that pretty much cast doubts on invoking K/Ar dating for volcanic ash.

    Plaisted’s claims were out of date BS when he wrote them. http://www.tim-thompson.com/plaisted-review.html, http://www.tim-thompson.com/plaisted-review2.html, http://www.tim-thompson.com/plaisted-review3.html.

    But there’s a much bigger problem with your long C&P of material you obviously don’t understand. Critiques of K-Ar dating are irrelevant because of the hundreds of thousands of consilient results using more robust methods that are in turn consilient with the vast majority of K-Ar dates.
    You are ignoring the far more common and far more robust techniques. Sheesh, Ar-Ar has been around since the early 70’s and U-Pb concordia-discordia since the early 50’s.

    (One of the earliest Ar-Ar dates was performed on samples that may or may not have been from KBS Tuff so beloved of creationists, and that date was significantly wrong for several reasons we now understand; see The Great KBS Tuff Dating War. Creationists love it because there was disagreement, and ignore the fact that it was a triumph of the scientific method resolving disagreements.)

  41. There’s no need for any new posts. Simply go back through the posts that exist and address objections you’ve ignored.

  42. stcordova: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-lead_dating

    So you have a million year old rock over a fossil that died 25,000 years ago.

    How did that happen?

    You have problems envisioning a process that moves old rocks of younger creatures?

    Of course not, fossils from disturbed and disrupted sedimentary rocks aren’t dated by those rocks.

    In huge stacks of sedimentary rock lacking evidence of disturbance I do have problems envisioning a process that put older rocks over younger fossils. What are you doing, invoking magic?

    But even that said, we have the worse problem of 70-100 times Uranium concentration in the continents rather than sea-floor,

    Only you have that problem. Why do you think geochemistry is unexpected?

    so that is prima facie evidence of movement or something seriously anomalous, not to mention potentially some other mechanism for in situ nucleosynthesis which would lead to apparent ratios of parent and daughter products.

    Where did anything that ridiculous arise?

    So what say I, I say this is evidence the question is still open, not settled.

    Why don’t you learn about these matters and get them settled? Your ignorance isn’t the fault of science.

    Glen Davidson

  43. stcordova:
    You guys keep demanding responses.Are you going actually receive them or are you trying to shoe me away.If you want explanations and details, I might have to post here a lot and TSZ could become YEC central.

    That’s shoo, not shoe.

    We will evaluate your responses and evaluate them in detail with discussion and references. As we have already done for many of your claims, with no response whatsoever from you. You might deduce from the many requests for explanations and details and references that we want explanations and details and references, n’est-ce pas?

    It is, however, clear that you can’t keep up your end of the conversation on any radiometric dating methods

  44. GlenDavidson:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-lead_dating

    So you have a million year old rock over a fossil that died 25,000 years ago.

    How did that happen?

    I must point out that Sal has produced no evidence whatsoever that it did happen. The link to Wikipedia says nothing about any such claim.

    “so that is prima facie evidence of movement …”
    Only you have that problem.Why do you think geochemistry is unexpected?

    I find it very funny that Sal can’t even complete his own thoughts. Yes, the difference in uranium concentrations is due to movement over millions of years. No issues for mainstream science but yet another nail in the coffin of YEC.

  45. stcordova:But even that said, we have the worse problem of 70-100 times Uranium concentration in the continents rather than sea-floor, so that is prima facie evidence of movement…

    Yes. Yes, it is. It’s called plate tectonics. Look it up.

    … or something seriously anomalous, not to mention potentially some other mechanism for in situ nucleosynthesis which would lead to apparent ratios of parent and daughter products.

    For which there is not one scintilla of evidence and lots of evidence and analysis that it’s impossible under terrestrial conditions. Except, of course, for a claim made by a YEC particularly ignorant of the relevant science, and for which he refused to supply and documentation or references, so we can safely discount that.

    So what say I, I say this is evidence the question is still open, not settled.

  46. Sal is obviously a smart person. But I think sometimes that fools people into thinking they can understand a field of study easily and stand on a level with people who have spent a long time gaining a proper understanding of that field.

    not to mention potentially some other mechanism for in situ nucleosynthesis

    Sure, if an unknown thing nobody has ever observed changed stuff it would be then changed. But at this point you might as well say that “God could have done it” and be done with it and save yourself and everyone else some time.

  47. stcordova,

    Me: Coal can be buried a mere 6,000 years ago, but groundwater can’t get to it in a ‘geologically significant time’?

    Sal: That’s not the argument, the ground water has to deposit C14 at significant levels and sustain it for hundreds of millions od years.

    No it doesn’t. It just has to contaminate the specimen with recent atmospheric C14, by getting down to it in less than (let’s say) 10,000 years. You can contaminate a very old specimen with recent water.

    You don’t understand the argument, so maybe if I have time I’ll work out the numbers for you. Ok.

    Give it some thought yourself first, OK?

  48. Allan Miller:
    stcordova,

    No it doesn’t. It just has to contaminate the specimen with recent atmospheric C14, by getting down to it in less than (let’s say) 10,000 years. You can contaminate a very old specimen with recent water.

    And it is known to “contaminate” coal with uranium, sometimes in mineable quantities, which emits neutrons and converts 14N to 14C within the coal. I have no clue how prevalent this is, how much 14C is generated, or whether Baumgardner’s samples were so contaminated… but it’s one issue YECs musts deal with before they claim coal is young.

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