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Author Topic:   Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 9 of 1053 (750331)
02-13-2015 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Tempe 12ft Chicken
02-13-2015 9:57 AM


Re: Age Correlations
Dr Adequate created a great thread that worked to give people the basics in geology, which will help see how the Flood simply would not leave the evidence in the way we currently see it.
Please refer instead to the Wikibook I made out of the thread, Historical Geology. The links are better, and there are a few mistakes in the original thread that are fixed in the book.
Apart from that, yes, this is really the best resource for people who are undecided, even though I say so myself. Because I systematically ask and answer the question "how do we know?" An ordinary geology textbook will present the facts of geology, I present the reasoning and proof that shows that the facts are facts. Some geology textbooks will do that occasionally, I do it systematically.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 98 of 1053 (750695)
02-20-2015 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by ThinAirDesigns
02-20-2015 7:00 PM


I don't see any utilized ratio, only the %C14 is input to the formula.
Perhaps "ratio" is not quite the right word, but the percentage of carbon-14 is a percentage of the carbon in the sample, not of the total sample. So you do need to know how much carbon-12 there is.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 99 of 1053 (750696)
02-20-2015 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by ThinAirDesigns
02-20-2015 12:24 PM


Re: Age Correlations
I've been working my way through this amazing resource. I'm not going to pretend that I follow it all to a T first pass, but I'm working on it.
Well, if there are bits of it that give you trouble, this is in fact my fault. I would welcome any questions, criticisms, or indications of the rough patches.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 100 of 1053 (750697)
02-20-2015 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by ThinAirDesigns
02-20-2015 5:13 PM


Ok, I'm normally pretty capable when it comes to research, but I simply can't seem to find out what calendar year the "0" year in the INTCAL13 calibration data ties to. 2013 seems doubtful for several reasons.
I presume that you're looking at dates with the initials BP after them. BP stands for "before present". So year 0 is, in fact, now, and then larger number are years further into the past.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 137 of 1053 (750794)
02-22-2015 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by ThinAirDesigns
02-22-2015 10:04 AM


Re: Uniformitarianism
Now, I know enough to know that the science community doesn't assume things have always been the way they are ...
Well, "assumption" is not really the right word. "Inductive inference" would be better. But they are going from what they have observed, the constancy of the speed of light, the gravitational constant, etc, whenever they look, to concluding the existence of universal laws that extend beyond the evidence. Their reason for doing so cannot, then, be observational, it must be that they have a principle, a preference, for doing so, which we might call the Axiom of Uniformitarianism, or the Principle of Actualism, or perhaps the Expectation of Boringness.
And they do. Indeed, this principle is the most fundamental principle of science, arguably the only principle of science: that what in our experience appears to be universal must be taken as universal unless and until we find evidence that it isn't.
To defend the principle, it is only necessary to see how it plays out. First, we need it for prediction --- for example, when we predict a solar eclipse, we "assume" that gravity, conservation of angular momentum, etc, will work in the future like they do now.
Second, consequently, we need it for all engineering. If we want (for example) to launch a satellite on a rocket, then in designing the rocket we "assume" that the laws of motion and gravity will still be the same, that the laws of thermodynamics will be the same, etc, when we press the button.
Third, similarly, we need it to get through our daily life. Imagine I'm hungry, and I have a sandwich. I am about to eat it, when suddenly it comes into my head to doubt uniformitarianism. "Hmm", I think to myself, "bread never has exploded when bitten into, but is that a basis for "assuming" that it won't?" And by iterating this reasoning for other foods I starve to death out of fear of having my head blown off.
Fourthly, we need uniformitarianism to interpret the present. Suppose someone points to an obviously empty field, and asks if there's a elephant in it. In saying "no", you "assume" that the elephant is like other elephants, and not invisible, that the laws of optics are the same in that field as they always has been, that God is not doing a miracle to hide the elephant from your eyes, etc. It is true that someone else could make the opposite assumptions, and believe in the elephant. But you would be following the scientific method, and they would not.
Fifthly, then, we come to its application to the past. Consider the question of whether I was eaten by a tiger yesterday. In saying "no", you "assume" that I am an ordinary man, the tiger (if there was a tiger) was an ordinary tiger, that yesterday was an ordinary day, and that God who of his good pleasure raised Lazarus from the grave did not see fit to raise me from the tiger. Again, as with the example of the elephant, someone could make different assumptions and believe that I was eaten by a tiger yesterday. But once more they would have stepped outside the scientific method.
You see, it is always possible for someone, by picking the right (i.e. wrong) assumptions to believe anything: of the future, that tomorrow it will rain beer and donuts; of the present, that there is a elephant, or a dragon, in an visibly empty field; of the past, that yesterday I was eaten by a tiger, or grew wings and flew to the moon.
I can think of a few criticisms of people who would do so. First is that by adopting this method, they do in fact give themselves license to believe anything at all. Now, if you need to give yourself that license in order to believe something in particular, that's a sign of desperation.
Second, we might charge them with hypocrisy. For, as we have observed, people do use uniformitarianism for all practical ends. Someone who denounces uniformitarianism when it interferes with his pet special belief will nonetheless leave a tall building by taking the elevator and walking out the door, rather than jumping off the roof. Then he'll happily drive home in a car engineered by uniformitarian principles, he'll decide whether each intersection is clear by assuming that no car is invisible, he'll eat a sandwich without fear of it blowing his head off, and if someone's peed on the rug when he gets home he'll blame the dog and not the invisible dragon.
Third, yes, in the last analysis they can selectively abandon uniformitarianism. It's a free country, we can't stop 'em. But we can observe that it is the central principle of science, of the whole of science, the single unifying principle that makes science science, and that if we adhere to it and they don't, they we're doing science, and they're giving themselves license to daydream according to their whims and prejudices. So "creation science" that ignores, indeed denounces, the principle of uniformitarianism is no more science than "Dr-A-really-was-eaten-by-a-tiger-yesterday science" would be science. They can believe what they like, but we can point out that their belief is a baseless fantasy made possible by ignoring the most basic principle of science.
Well, I've gone on a bit. I hope this clarifies things.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-22-2015 10:04 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 159 of 1053 (750950)
02-24-2015 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by ThinAirDesigns
02-24-2015 11:21 AM


Re: C14 generation/decay - separating the wheat from the chaff
The logical conclusion of his statement "C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying." is that concentrations of 14 were rising in the atmosphere, and while that could have been true during the single day (or perhaps even year) he wrote that, big picture truth is that he wrote it during the most dramatic decline in 14 concentrations in recorded history.
I think you're right. Given the graph that you've presented.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 175 of 1053 (751273)
03-01-2015 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by ThinAirDesigns
03-01-2015 6:39 PM


Re: Layers visible in salt mines
What you'll have there is bands of normal lacustrine or marine sediment, usually mud though of course I can't tell from the photograph. Such layers are associated with seasonal changes, effectively being varves, or larger-scale alternations are associated with transgressions and regressions, as described for example in this paper. Look particularly at the table at the bottom left of page 414. You see how perfectly this fits what we know about the evaporation of seawater, with carbonates and gypsum/anhydrite coming between the ordinary clastic sedimentary rocks (conglomerate, shale, mudrock) and the actual halite?
I should like to hear how these sequences are to be explained by some sort of volcano.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 177 of 1053 (751276)
03-02-2015 12:13 AM
Reply to: Message 176 by edge
03-01-2015 11:08 PM


Re: Layers visible in salt mines
I think the changes you are discussing are at a larger scale in the Zechstein Salt.
Definitely, yes, both in time and in space. I found a table here giving some thicknesses: the Red Salt Clay they put at 30ft; the Gray Salt Clay at 13-33ft.
The zonation that you refer to is excellent evidence for evaporative origin of the salt deposits that no one here has discussed previously.
I notice now that although I explain the order of evaporation in my article on saline giants, I then completely fail to adduce it as evidence at the end of the article ---perhaps because it never crossed my mind that anyone would deny that they were in fact evaporites. I should do something about that.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 186 of 1053 (751341)
03-02-2015 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 184 by ThinAirDesigns
03-02-2015 11:32 AM


Lava
(Ignorance alert!!) For instance, I would think one could tell by looking at the cooled lava around a volcano and determine to a great degree of certainty if it was an underwater eruption or not. In fact I would think there would be several ways to tell.
You can, I mention it in the book. Underwater, basalt forms "pillow basalt". There are some good videos on YouTube of this happening. Subaerially, you get aa or pahoehoe.
I know that how things cool (slow or fast) changes how they look under a microscope.
Not so good a test. If basalt formed underground, then it would be coarse-grained and so wouldn't technically be basalt at all, but gabbro. In water and in air, it'll be basalt. I don't know if the difference in cooling rates is so different as to make underwater basalt consistently more fine-grained, so that we could use that as a test --- if anyone knows that that's the case, please set me right. But as I said above, to detect whether it was subaerial or underwater we can look at its macroscopic structure. So long as the top surface of the basalt hasn't been eroded, the difference will be visible to the naked eye.
(If the upper surface of the basalt has been eroded so far as to remove the distinctive surface features, then I guess we've got a great old-Earth argument right there, however the basalt was deposited!)
Also lava can flow for miles with little fall in the open air, where with rapid water cooling it would not be able to do that.
If this is true (I'd have to look it up) it would nonetheless be the case that sea-floor spreading could and indeed should spread a layer of underwater-formed basalt literally all the way across the floor of an ocean. So mere area covered can't be a criterion.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 188 of 1053 (751345)
03-02-2015 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 176 by edge
03-01-2015 11:08 PM


Re: Layers visible in salt mines
As you can see these beds are almost pure salt and the muds or clays are simply contamination.
To make it clear, I didn't mean to imply that the bands in the photo would be pure mud. Some of them just might be, but they are much more likely muddy salt, or possibly salty mud.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 189 of 1053 (751349)
03-02-2015 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 184 by ThinAirDesigns
03-02-2015 11:32 AM


Re: Layers visible in salt mines
I know that how things cool (slow or fast) changes how they look under a microscope. Also lava can flow for miles with little fall in the open air, where with rapid water cooling it would not be able to do that.
Afterthought: this can't even be the case even with underwater volcanism without sea-floor spreading. Otherwise incipient volcanic islands would basically be shaped like hollow pillars, wouldn't they?

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 199 of 1053 (751371)
03-02-2015 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 197 by Percy
03-02-2015 12:53 PM


Re: Curriculum focus
I missed you saying this earlier. Since they obviously could have not come by their current beliefs through an examination of the evidence, are you sure your investment of time is justified?
But of course if they're arguing at all, rather than saying, "well that's all very well but THE BIBLE, hah!" then they think they're going by the evidence. It's just that the "evidence" has been misinterpreted by one creationist, and his misunderstanding has been misinterpreted by another, and then his misinterpretation has been simplified by a third, until it isn't even evidence. (And then there's the simpler case where someone has just made something up.) And it is sometimes possible to trace the falsehood back to the first creationist who made the mistake, though it's often very difficult because they don't give references.
And in fact you can see the same thing going on among ourselves, only the other way round. I say I have a vague idea that such-and-such a thing is the case, another person questions me, I clarify my claims and find a peer-reviewed paper, and we finally get back to a statement made by someone who actually looked at the rocks and drilled through them and took core samples.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 200 of 1053 (751374)
03-02-2015 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by ThinAirDesigns
03-02-2015 12:17 PM


Oh, that topic comes up quite often and in fact is literally one of the BIG reasons that I have any credibility at all with them. I know that sounds opposite of what you would expect, but these kids have been told day in and day out how evil and selfish and hurtful and dangerous non-believers are. Along comes me who to them seems unusually kind and thoughtful and understanding and thus the entire model they were raised with seems in doubt to them.
And so, following on from my previous post addressed to Percy, this is something in itself that you could ask them to think about.
(1) A very very good person, for example, their pastor, could tell them that some idea is true. Where did he get that idea? Well, maybe from another very good person. Who got it from another reasonable person. Who got it from a person who was a downright liar. It is in the nature of good people to be credulous. I am myself --- in personal matters. In scientific questions, I want to see the primary source.
(2) A fairly conscientious person, for example, their pastor, could tell them that some idea is true. Where did he get that idea? Well, maybe from another less intellectually conscientious person. Who got it from another still less conscientious person. Who got it from a person who was not at all a conscientious person, who made an honest mistake. In scientific questions, I want to see the primary source.
And this happens a lot. For example. I read a bunch of creationists saying that unmineralized non-avian dinosaurs had been found by scientists. Well, where, when, isn't that the discovery of the century? But most of them didn't say where, but I used google and found a creationist that said it was in Alaska. Well, that gets me closer to the discovery of the century, so I used google and found a creationist that could say where in Alaska --- but without referring me to the original paper. But I still wanted to see the original paper, so I used google again and found a creationist that could refer me to the original paper. Which was a paper that said that scientists had found a dinosaur that was not permineralized. So some creationist had read this, and innocently, ignorantly, concluded that it was not mineralized. And ignorantly, he had passed this up the chain that I'd followed down. And so this fantastic creationist "discovery" permeated up through the layers of ignorance until everyone spreading the idea could say that an unmineralized dinosaur had been found, and none of them could say where, or when, or how this was proved.
So, there are a lot of good people there. They were all honest. Every single one of them was honest. The person at the bottom of the chain, who didn't know what "permineralized" means, may be personally a saint. He may be a much better person than you or me. He may spend all his leisure time volunteering in his local soup kitchen, and he may give all his superfluous money to the poor --- but he couldn't tell the difference between "mineralized" and "permineralized". And the people who passed his information up the chain may be even better people than him.
Well, I've gone on a bit. But I hope you see my point.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 224 of 1053 (751657)
03-04-2015 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 223 by Pollux
03-04-2015 4:44 PM


Re: Permineralization
According to my reading of Wikipedia, mineralization is when an organism lays down minerals in its living body, e.g. building a shell. Permineralization is the replacement of tissues with minerals during fossilization.
No, not quite. Permineralization is when minerals fill in the gaps, the spaces, the voids within remains. (As WP says: "Permineralization is a process of fossilization in which mineral deposits form internal casts of organisms".) Since this includes the inside of cells, that's quite a good way of preserving the form of an organism.
Replacement is when the minerals replace the remains themselves.
If both of these processes happen the resulting fossil is said to have been petrified.
So if someone says a fossil hasn't been permineralized, that doesn't mean that all the remains we have left of it haven't been turned into rock. A fossil can show no permineralization but a lot of replacement, or vice versa.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 481 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 276 of 1053 (751899)
03-06-2015 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by Faith
03-06-2015 5:42 PM


Re: The Topic
This stuff is all speculative because it is about the past.
I thought we'd done this.
Using scientific methods is to a certain extent "speculative" whether we use it about the past, present, or future. But it's all we've got. Using science to find out things about the past that you personally don't like isn't any different.

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Replies to this message:
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