Total Posts:6|Showing Posts:1-6
Jump to topic:

Dating Method Question

ChristianPunk
Posts: 1,710
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/8/2014 12:26:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm not too keen on Ken Ham when it comes to his pseudoscience teachings, but he mentioned something that I am still struggling to find answers on. I'll leave a link to the video and see if anybody could debunk what he's saying in this series of dating methods. Separate each debunk by numbers.

Example

1.

2.

3.
Otokage
Posts: 2,360
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/9/2014 8:10:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/8/2014 12:26:08 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I'm not too keen on Ken Ham when it comes to his pseudoscience teachings, but he mentioned something that I am still struggling to find answers on. I'll leave a link to the video and see if anybody could debunk what he's saying in this series of dating methods. Separate each debunk by numbers.

Example

1.

2.

3.




1. "Dating methods are unreliable"

No. Dating methods are not unreliable. It's just that scientists have historically used these dating methods without knowing the characteristics and limitations of the method. For example, you can not use C14 dating into a sample that has a million years. C14 has a life period of +-5500 years, and this makes it good for dating young samples, not ancient ones. However he is right that SCIENTISTS (no dating methods) sometimes make fundamental errors in assuming something. For example, speaking about C14, scientists traditionaly assumed C14 atmospheric concentration was constant. Today we know atmospheric concentration has varied through time, so in order to give credibility to the method, scientist have now measured this variations beyond an error of just 1-10 years, which is incredibly accurate.

Ken also pretends to make you think scientists use just one dating method to date something. Of course this is not the case. Scientists use lots of dating methods, like the age of the fossils, the direction of the magnetic fields, the age of the trees, the age of the bubbles inside of ice, etc. If those confirm approximately the radio-dating, then we can say beyond doubt that the age of the sample is correct.

In any case, Ken is a young earth creationist. He believes the Sun was created after the Earth. This is impossible, because when you measure the rate at which the sun releases energy, the calculations give you the sun has about 5 billion years, and therefore the earth (according to the creationist logic) would have more than 5 billion. So far, I have not seen any argument on their part to say that the age of the sun is also false, and until they do, they won't be able to justify a young earth, unless they accept the Bible is wrong and the Earth was created after the Sun.

2. There's a study that demonstrates dating methods are unreliable.

I doubt that study is peer reviewed. There"s several problems with it. First of all the basalt is claimed to have 36.7 million years, while the trees 40 thousand years. As you may know, basalt is not a sedimentary rock therefore it can not "bury a tree." This means that if we find a tree inside a floor of basalt, it can only be due to 2 reasons: 1) basaltic lava solidified and then a tree growed over it. This would be a reason why the tree is significantly younger. Or 2) the tree was on a different floor, but it was wrapped by the lava, that solidified locking the tree inside. That would imply that the tree was burned, therefore carbon enriched, and therefore the C14 dating method would not be reliable for dating the tree. Moreover, if a basalt reveals an age of millions of years, it is absurd to use C14 dating technique to a biological sample into the basalt, as this sample is necessarily million years too, and the C14 is not a reliable technique to date samples that are million years old. Why did they not use the same dating technique in the tree and the basalt? Perhaps they avoided doing that on purpose.

3. Dating methods are invalid because they give different data.

Again he is wrong. It"s not that dating methods are valid or invalid, or inacurate. Dating methods are crystal clear, and very very accurate. The problem is when scientists don"t know what method to use. Scientists must limit the age of a sample before using radio-dating. It's not as simple as saying "oh look! a bone! I'm going to use the method of uranium to date it!" Of course not. Before, you must date the stratum, observe the changes in the magnetic field, find nearby wildlife fossils that have already been dated without errors, etc. Once you know that a sample is, say, from the Mesozoic, then you know it is within a intervale from X to Y million years, and that's when you select an appropriate method of radio-dating, because, again, not all methods serve to date all ages. It is ignorant to claim that because C14 and Uranium will never give the same data, both are unreliable. No. C14 is reliable for young samples, and uranium reliable for ancient samples, that"s why both methods will never ever give you the same age on the same sample.

4. Biblical statements are scientific statements.

This doesn"t need to be refuted. Fantasy books quotes are not scientific statements.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/9/2014 11:14:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/8/2014 12:26:08 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I'm not too keen on Ken Ham when it comes to his pseudoscience teachings, but he mentioned something that I am still struggling to find answers on. I'll leave a link to the video and see if anybody could debunk what he's saying in this series of dating methods. Separate each debunk by numbers.

1.)"Dating methods are unreliable"

Not 100% != 0%

Dating methods are not unreliable. But as the earth is a highly complex chemical system, and the complexity of actually performing the tests mean that it is not 100% reliable.

Dating that is performed almost ubiquotously agrees and correlates across multiple dating methods, meaning that in the majority of situations many ways of dating the same thing give the same answer.

There are many different dating methods, and ways of cross checking these methods to make sure they agree; it isn't limited to radiometric dating, but fission tracking, ice cores, and fossile beds to either date, or cross reference the dates that are obtained.

I have found that those such as Ken Ham grossly distort the number of errors, the number of methods and the broad agreeance of dates in order to further their position.

Most importantly, all forms of dating do rely on some element of assumption; but each one of these assumptions are regularly independantly validated and scientifically justified so making such assumptions is not unscientific leave alone unreasonable.

2.) There are studies that show dating is unreliable.

There are actually many studies that dating is unreliable in specific situations. Ironically, a number of these have been cited by creationists when scientists have attempted to date rock of known age and come up with different dates (as if these scientists can be trusted and all the others that generate research that show it is reliable are not). In the majority of situations, such studies have been conducted to see whether specific chemical conditions mess up dating (such as dates from pillow lava).

Creationists research generally revolves around dating very, very moden rock and being surprised when weird answers come out using a method that somewhat relies on the rock being fairly old already; and still giving relatively recent dates.

3.) Dating methods give different data.

See 1. Many dating methods require specific conditions to be met that can be tested. Some of the time in a complex chemical environment not all these conditions are met and there are occasionally spurious answers. These rarely, if ever, simply shrugged off but are investigated and in the vast majority of cases, such spurious results are quantified and explained using known physical processes.

It is ironic that Creationist research I have seen in the subject relies upon trying to date rocks that any scientists will tell you cannot be dated, rather than simply:

a.) taking a representative sample of rocks across the world that have an implied or known age.

b.) Sending these samples for radiometric testing, without telling the testing centre where it came from, what age they expect (this is pretty much how it already works to prevent bias creeping in!)

c.) Publishing the study that shows that all these rocks give horribly different answers and dates across the board.

Considering everything Ken Ham says could be proven absolutely true by performing these three simple steps, would blow dating methods out of the water, and would most likely cost less than $250,000; I suspect the only reason they haven't done this is because they know exactly what the answer is going to be, and it isn't going to agree with them.

4.) The bible makes accurate statements.

The age of the earth, the story of creations are not accurate in any way shape or form; therefore the Bible cannot be accuate.
the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2014 12:59:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
When I saw this I really thought it was going to be a question about romantic dating methodologies. Dreams shattered.
chui
Posts: 511
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2014 7:06:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
This, I feel, is an example of argument by false dichotomy. The implication is that if you can find one example of the method failing then it is always a failure. This is presenting the situation as an either-or dichotomy. All measuring methods can fail if poorly used. It does not discredit the method just a particular measurement. For instance if I use a ruler to measure my room for carpet and then having ordered the carpet find it is too small it is not the rulers fault but mine.

I could use the same technique to show that the bible is completely false by finding one example of inconsistency and then falsely claiming that the whole book must therefore be wrong. I do not do this because of a sense of morality holds me back. Presumably theists are not bound by such moral issues.

What no creationist can explain is exactly why radiometric dating should be unreliable, all they do is repeat a small number of examples of it failing. They entirely ignore the methods by which radiometric dating has been validated by comparison to alternative methods. This style of argument apparently passes for rational thought in creationist circles.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/17/2014 1:19:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Others in the thread have given the correct refutations. The main reason we know dating methods are accurate is cross-checking among different methods.

Skeptics really wanted to prove or disprove the methods, they could have a scientist collect some specimens to be dated, then send them out blind to different labs to see what dates are produced. You can find radiometric dating services on the web, for example. Scientists do this all the time, so they know the results are consistent. Creationists never do this, because they know their theory would be disproved.

Are clocks a reliable way for telling time? How about rulers for measuring length? There is no problem in finding examples of bad measurements made with clocks or rulers. Carpenters say "measure twice and cut once" acknowledging the problem. So finding a handful of erroneous measurements does not prove the methods unreliable. If one thinks so, then one must insist that the carpenters building a house not use rulers and tape measures.

I think Creationists do not understand how many different dating methods there are, more than 20. They have to explain why each method is wrong in the same way, so that cross-checking produces confirmation.