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Author Topic:   Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 65 of 1053 (750448)
02-15-2015 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ThinAirDesigns
02-13-2015 8:31 AM


ThinAirDesigns, you have an interesting story. I was raised in a conservative evangelical home in the Midwest, but my parents were well-educated and not at all afraid of science or scholarship. I work in Silicon Valley and am still a conservative evangelical.
I can give lots of recommendations for you. Here are a few:
1) from a geological perspective: solidrocklectures.org. These guys are evangelical Christian geologists, and do a very good job of explaining geology to Christians at a very simple, understandable level.
2) from a historical perspective: "The Creationists" by Ronald Numbers. Ron is a historian of science who was raised SDA.
3) from a biblical perspective: "Seven Days that Divide the World" by John Lennox.
4) if you want to get into radiocarbon, realize that nearly all YEC speakers and writers on the topic give terrible disinformation. They say that radiocarbon dates depend on the ASSUMPTION of a constant decay rate and an ASSUMPTION of the original amount of radiocarbon in the sample. While this was true in Libby's day, it has NOT been true since dendrochronological calibrations became standard, roughly 20 years ago. For calibrated dates, the only "assumptions" are that trees grow one ring per year (which can be validated), and that we can count tree rings. If there were any change in the decay rate or in the initial concentration of radiocarbon, it would affect the tree rings and the unknown sample equally, and would completely cancel out. (I'm putting together a talk on radiocarbon for a Christian group next month, where I will stress this.)
Contact me privately if you want to discuss more ideas. I'm also curious whether or not you and I have crossed paths in Silicon Valley.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-13-2015 8:31 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by RAZD, posted 02-16-2015 9:00 AM kbertsche has not replied
 Message 71 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-16-2015 4:15 PM kbertsche has replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 76 of 1053 (750504)
02-16-2015 10:20 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by ThinAirDesigns
02-16-2015 4:15 PM


When it comes to #4, I only started studying radiocarbon dating a few weeks ago but it didn't take me long to figure out that many statements made about it were hogwash. I do have one question from your response.
For calibrated dates, the only "assumptions" are that trees grow one ring per year (which can be validated), and that we can count tree rings.
To me, that makes it sound like science insists that trees always and only grow one ring per year - but we know that's not true (and I'm pretty darn certain that isn't how you meant it). Might it be better to say that we have ways to differentiate the times that trees occasionally *do* stray from the one ring per year norm, and that we have several ways to double check any such instance? If I'm wrong, school me by all means.
RAZD seems to know lots more than I do about dendrochronology, but my understanding is that the tree species chosen for dendrochronology (N American bristlecone pine, European Irish oak) rarely have more than one growth ring in a season. I believe they are more likely to have missing rings due to drought or other factors than to have extra rings. But with multiple independent specimens these ambiguities can be identified and eliminated.
BTW, you might also be interested in R.E. (Erv) Taylor. Erv was raised SDA and became a world-renowned expert in radiocarbon dating. He's written a couple of standard texts on radiocarbon. I believe he also wrote a paper on his personal experiences going into radiocarbon from an SDA background, but I can't find this paper at the moment. You might also be interested in this paper by Yang which mentions Erv: Radiocarbon Dating and  American Evangelical Christians.
Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-16-2015 4:15 PM ThinAirDesigns has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Coyote, posted 02-16-2015 10:53 PM kbertsche has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 79 of 1053 (750507)
02-16-2015 10:56 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by ThinAirDesigns
02-16-2015 8:56 PM


Re: A astronomy related thought
But here is another angle: Though I never studied astronomy, I am told that through telescopes we can/have observed at least the death of stars if not the birth of stars and even have photographs us such. This means we are not seeing just 'innocent' shafts of light from distant starts, but EVENTS.
In the YE scenario, for us to witness the death of a star shown to be say a million light years away, the event would have had to have been inserted' into the far end of a relatively short shaft of light 6,000 light years out. It also means that the star never even existed. Clearly this requires a god who is inserting manufactured events in the light stream that never happens and thus is deceiving us. If you approach it rationally, you end up with either a very small universe where everything is closer than the widely accepted (by both science and religion) evidence shows, or you end up with a deceptive god.
At any rate, it's just a thought at this point. I would need to learn a lot more about astronomy before I would be willing to use it. I need to be able to have some excellent examples available and be able to answer basic questions. But I do think that it has potential to get them thinking on another level.
Yes, I think this is a worthwhile line of reasoning. I have a missionary friend who abandoned YEC after SN1987A was discovered. This supernova is ~170,000 light years away from us. My friend reasoned just as you did above; God would not have fooled us with all of the details of this supernova (its type, light curve, etc) if it never existed.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-16-2015 8:56 PM ThinAirDesigns has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 185 of 1053 (751338)
03-02-2015 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by ThinAirDesigns
03-01-2015 8:11 PM


Re: Curriculum focus
So I've been studying a lot and also learning more about the specific positions that my YEC family are holding and why. (remember, I've been gone and greatly out of touch with them for near 40 years.) I'm starting to get a handle on the sorts of things I need to focus on to both keep their attention and address their concerns and biases.
I've learned is that this younger crowd is somewhat open to the concept of an old earth and old universe — but old life is an issue for them. There are essentially willing to say that Ok, the sun and stars were here for millions, billions, whatever. The earth could have also been here, but as a lifeless blank. This is different from where everyone was when I left which was hard line It all arrived 6,000 years ago. Now, it's more like We'll give you that other stuff, but LIFE started no more than 6,000 (or so) years ago, it was created in 6 literal days and the Noahic flood definitely covered all and killed everything not on the ark around 4,000 years ago. They have also made a little 'progress' on the everything was created just as it is seen now position. As one of them told me a couple days ago I believe in adaptation, but not evolution. (hmmmmm). They did make it clear to me that every bit of life, down to the most basic forms were created all in the 6 days.
One thing they are big on is that there was definitely no death before 'the fall' of Adam and Eve. Any fossil found was placed after the fall. Combine this belief with them accepting the possibility of an old universe and a barren 'blank' earth before creation and you have a situation where it's not productive for me to focus on anything in the realm of astronomy (unless it's used to demonstrate the constants). It also won't pay to be trying to date layers below where the lowest fossil life is found.
So, my task is to create presentations that can as simply and reliably as possible show two things:
1: the evidence is clear that the layers at and above the lowest fossil bearing layers (precambrian?) could not be young.
2: the evidence shows that a Noahic flood didn't happen.
That's all.
In another later post I'll get into the sorts of things I'm thinking of focusing on and get suggestions.
Thanks
JB
Radiocarbon will get you back about 45,000 years (the lake varve sequence), which should be enough to shake the insistence on 6,000 years. You could perhaps discuss the early inhabitants of N. America, which I believe go back about 20,000 years. (Radiocarbon dating of bone is tricky, with a number of pitfalls, but Erv Taylor is one of the world experts on it.)
If you want to take them back further, you might want to discuss Ar-Ar dating and the death of the dinosaurs about 30 million years ago. Ar-Ar dating is somewhat complex and will be difficult to explain (it is based on K-Ar dating, which is simple but can give misleading results; K-Ar has been strongly attacked by YECs.). The death of the dinosaurs is an interesting story that should grab their interest. Walter Alvarez wrote a nice popular-level account of this titled "T. Rex and the Crater of Doom".

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-01-2015 8:11 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 201 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-02-2015 4:52 PM kbertsche has replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 212 of 1053 (751415)
03-03-2015 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 201 by ThinAirDesigns
03-02-2015 4:52 PM


Re: Curriculum focus
If there is one bias they have (and of course they have a lot more than one), anti-radiocarbon is it. It's almost a demon to them.
1: They don't understand how it works and lack the basic science education to currently trust how it does works (I'm working on that with them as well.).
2: They have been lied and lied and lied to about it and their ignorance (see #1) has left them vulnerable to those lies.
It might help to show them some examples of where radiocarbon has been helpful in biblical studies. For example, the radiocarbon dating of the Dead Sea scrolls (by Woelfli et al?) The scrolls had already been dated through paleography; radiocarbon didn't substantially change the paleographic dates, but it provided an independent confirmation of them.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-02-2015 4:52 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-03-2015 9:59 AM kbertsche has replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 220 of 1053 (751634)
03-04-2015 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 216 by ThinAirDesigns
03-03-2015 9:59 AM


Re: Curriculum focus
In putting together my 'clock' presentation, I like to come up with say a half a dozen solid instances (agreed upon without Rcarbon) that Rcarbon has then confirmed or sharpened. Not sure how well this can be done considering my reading of the Thera dating controversy. Perhaps there are other less contentious examples. I understand that the Thera dating issues are arguments over deltas that have no impact on YEC arguments, but I'd still like to find some less fuzzy examples to give them if possible.
Yes, Thera/Santorini and Exodus/Jericho have caused lots of dating problems. One of my mentors was caught up in the Thera/Santorini controversy, which was caused in part by dating of seeds which had been contaminated with modern carbon. I tried to date some wood from the burn layer of Jericho, but it was too contaminated to give a solid date. This article on the topic is interesting:
Bruins, H.J. and J. van der Plicht. 1996. The Exodus enigma. Nature 382: 213-214
Here are some references to the radiocarbon dating of the Dead Sea scrolls:
RADIOCARBON DATING AND THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS: A COMMENT ON REDATING
G. Bonani, S. Ivy, W. Wlfli, M. Broshi, I. Carmi, and J. Strugnell, Radiocarbon dating of fourteen Dead Sea Scrolls, Radiocarbon 34 (1992) 843—49
A.J.T. Jull, D.J. Donahue, M. Broshi, and E. Tov, Radiocarbon dating of scrolls and linen fragments from the Judean desert, Radiocarbon 37 (1995) 11—19
Rich Deem has collected a number of radiocarbon confirmations of biblical dates and events. Below are links to his commentary, followed by the scientific papers which he references:
Old Testament Dates of Edomite Kingdom Confirmed by Archeological Find
Thomas E. Levy, T.E., R. B. Adams, M. Najjar, A. Hauptmann, J.D. Anderson, B. Brandl, M.A. Robinson and T. Higham. 2004. Research Reassessing the chronology of Biblical Edom: new excavations and 14C dates from Khirbat en-Nahas (Jordan) Antiquity 78: 863-876.
Old Testament Dates of Solomon and Egyptian King Shishak Confirmed by 14C Dates from Tel Rehov
Hendrik J. Bruins, Johannes van der Plicht, and Amihai Mazar. 2003. 14C Dates from Tel Rehov: Iron-Age Chronology, Pharaohs, and Hebrew Kings. Science 300: 315-318.
Carbon-14 Dating of Copper Smelting in Edom (Jordan) Confirm Biblical Date of King Solomon's Kingdom
Levy, T. E., T. Higham, C. B. Ramsey, N. G. Smith, E. Ben-Yosef, M. Robinson, S. Mnger, K. Knabb, J. P. Schulze, M. Najjar, and L. Tauxe. 2008. High-precision radiocarbon dating and historical biblical archaeology in southern Jordan. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:1646016465.
Hezekiah's Siloam Tunnel Confirmed Through C-14 Dating:
Frumkin, A., A. Shimron, and J. Rosenbaum. 2003. Radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel, Jerusalem. Nature 425: 169-171.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-03-2015 9:59 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-04-2015 2:12 PM kbertsche has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(2)
Message 252 of 1053 (751871)
03-06-2015 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by ThinAirDesigns
03-06-2015 12:50 PM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
In my continued study of geology, I came across something really freaking cool (maybe). It was the discovery by Luis and Walter Alverez of the iridium rich clay layer at the Cretaceous—Paleogene boundary. I have a question that I'm trying to answer regarding the acceptance or debate about this 'iridium anomaly".
I see much active/historical debate about the proposed causes of this anomaly. I'm not so interested (for current purposes) in the cause so much as whether it's accepted and demonstrable that it exists as a world wide layer. If you understand the theology that I'm up against (all life killed all at once), having such an identifiable marker laid down world wide, smack in the middle of all this death is a nice arrow in the evidence quiver.
I'm wondering how broad the confirmation is of this layer. Is it a solid accepted fact of geology? I reading the Wiki page for Luis Alverez, I saw this statement: Not Found
quote:
Publication of the 1980 paper brought criticism from the geological community, and an often acrimonious scientific debate ensued.
Was/is that debate centered around cause of the layer or the existence of the layer? I don't want to put this arrow in my quiver without confirming it's validity and understanding any controversy. It would seem to me that with as many holes as we drill in the earths crust, confirmation of this layer could be pretty broad if it exists.
I have been unable to find any reference to this yet in the excellent Wiki-book on geology provided by Dr Adequate, but I'm not even close to being all the way through that reference and I can't seem to find a way to search the contents of that book electronically (without searching the entire site).
Any suggestions appreciated.
Thanks
JB
I'll make some comments on this very interesting discovery, but you should first be aware that I am very biased. Luie was one of my mentors, and when in grad school I attended talks at his home every Monday evening.
Walter describes the history of the discovery pretty well in his his book.. Walter (a geologist) was studying the K-T boundary and trying to resolve a debate within the geological community: was this dark layer at the K-T boundary laid down very quickly, or at the same slow rate as the other rock on either side of it? Walter presented the question to his Dad, Luie (a Nobel laureate physicist). Luie suggested that perhaps cosmic dust influx could be used as a "clock" to measure the deposition rate. As he ran through the possibilities, he settled on the Pt-group elements, as they are iron-soluble and are very rare in earth's crust (they were concentrated in the core as the earth cooled). The element iridium (Ir) seemed to Luie to be the best of the Pt-group elements to use as a clock. So they did the measurements, expecting to see that the Ir concentration in the dark layer at the K-T boundary was either at the same level as the neighboring rock (the same deposition rate) or at a lower level (a faster deposition rate). What they found surprised them: the level of Ir in the dark layer was ~1000 times higher than in the surrounding rock! Based on their earlier hypothesis, this would mean that the layer was laid down ~1000 times slower than the surrounding rock, which was geologically ridiculous. After double-checking the measurements, Luie and Walter tried to come up with an explanation for this unexpected excess of Ir.
They considered volcanism, but the amount of Ir was too big to account for with volcanos. The only explanation that worked to provide this much Ir was an asteroid impact, and the asteroid would have to be fairly large. As Luie and Walter worked through the results of such an impact, they found lots of potential consequences that could be experimentally checked. Besides the excess of Ir itself, such an impact should have created shocked quartz and microtectites. Plus, it should have left a large impact crater.
(They concluded that this large asteroid impact would have thrown enough dust into the atmosphere to darken the sky for a year or more, dramatically cooling the climate and causing many plants to die, which would then lead to the extinction of other species, such as the dinosaurs. This research led directly to the idea that a large exchange of nuclear weapons could similarly lead to a "nuclear winter" which might possibly kill off all of mankind.)
Throughout the 1980s, Luie and Walter found Ir anomalies at the K-T boundary worldwide (on nearly every continent, if I remember right). They found worldwide evidence of microtectites and shocked quartz. Walter eventually found the impact crater site off of the Yucatan, and found evidence of violent wave action in the Gulf of Mexico.
Much of the controversy over Luie's theory in the 1980's was due to scientific "turf wars." To the geologists, Luie (a physicist) was an outsider. The way that he thought and analyzed data was different, and his views were suspect. Some of the last critics of the theory were in the geology and anthropology groups at U.C. Berkeley, the same institution where Luie was professor of physics.
I think the worldwide evidence for the asteroid impact (excess Ir, microtectites, shocked quartz) is extremely solid, beyond any serious question. But again, I am biased; Luie mentored me during the 1980's, when he and Walter were making these discoveries. I was hearing about the progress of his theory real-time, from the inside.
You should be able to find papers by Walter or Luis Alvarez which support the worldwide nature of the Ir anomaly. For a slightly different perspective from Walter's, check Luie's autobiography. There may also be some useful information in Peter trower's biography of Luie. You might also check for authors Frank Asaro and Helen Michaels, the two chemists who did most of the measurements for Luie.
Here are a few papers:
Page not found
Page not found
Page not found
Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.
Edited by kbertsche, : Added links.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-06-2015 12:50 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 333 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-07-2015 9:49 AM kbertsche has replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 286 of 1053 (751911)
03-06-2015 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by ThinAirDesigns
03-06-2015 7:07 PM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
Then there's no reason whatsoever to expect that the flood could have placed the bazillion cubic miles of earth in the many layers above the iridium anomaly and then carved features in them (to say nothing of the fossils in those layers).
You see, this is a perfect display of the thought (not) put into transparent YEC crap: "Oh, I'll solve the problem of the water dispersing the newly placed iridium bearing layer by having everything go calm." Yeah, AND THEN WHAT??? How does the rest of the work that the flood supposedly accomplished get done?
This is why the YEC crowd is losing ground and will continue to lose ground. Y'all are satisfied with attempting to sell a selection of individual, contradictory, ad hoc explanations that anyone willing to give them a 30 second sniff test chokes on the stench.
As you well know, this is all consistent with the history of "Flood Geology". It was invented by George McCready Price, a teacher with only very basic training in science. To someone with no or little science background (like Ellen G. White) it sounds plausible. But if one thinks a bit more deeply, they realize that, as a scientific theory, flood geology does not hold water.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-06-2015 7:07 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 294 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-06-2015 8:38 PM kbertsche has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 337 of 1053 (751970)
03-07-2015 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 333 by ThinAirDesigns
03-07-2015 9:49 AM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
What a FUN story. One the most interesting aspects (to me) is the possibility that this discovery may have lead to the knowledge that kept some damn finger of the big red nuclear button. Who would have thought that the study of geology might have saved mankind (from themselves).
I will check out those links you provided. I real a lot and it's very little fiction, mostly science and biographies. Those sound very interesting.
JB
This story is also a very good way to show young people how scientific discoveries are actually made. Luie tried to use Ir as a "clock", but got unrealistic results. Rather than giving up and trying something else for a clock, he tried to understand why the Ir clock hadn't worked. In doing so, he made a huge new discovery.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 333 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-07-2015 9:49 AM ThinAirDesigns has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(2)
Message 345 of 1053 (751984)
03-07-2015 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 240 by Faith
03-06-2015 2:25 PM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
The thing is, the existence of a worldwide deposition of iridium can be explained in terms of the Flood of Noah too, as evidence of a meteor hit during the Flood, dispersing its iridium along with all the sediments the Flood deposited. I've mentioned it many times here and HERE's one of those posts.
Faith, the problem with your position is not the Bible, or Creation, or even Noah's Flood. The problem is flood geology, which is extra-biblical, pseudo-scientific nonsense.
The problem is illustrated by what you say above. Flood geology does not help with the source of Ir. You still need an asteroid/meteor to provide the Ir. If you've got a large asteroid, which would have thrown lots of particles into the upper atmosphere, you've already got a good mechanism for spreading and dispersing the Ir worldwide. You don't need a worldwide flood to spread the Ir.
In fact, postulating a worldwide flood to spread the Ir creates more problems. According to flood geology, very thick layers of rock were laid down by a worldwide flood. If the flood laid down many meters or kilometers of material, why is the Ir excess concentrated into a single layer only a few centimeters thick? Floods can sort material by particle size or by density. But they can't sort material by chemical composition (or by isotopic concentration)! The Ir should have been spread throughout most, if not all, of the flood sediments, not concentrated into a thin layer.
This is the problem with flood geology. It may sound superficially plausible to a non-scientist, but as you drill down you will find that it does not and can not account for scientific details. Flood geology is not much more than a hand-waving plausibility argument.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 240 by Faith, posted 03-06-2015 2:25 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 348 by edge, posted 03-07-2015 12:56 PM kbertsche has not replied
 Message 349 by NoNukes, posted 03-07-2015 1:15 PM kbertsche has replied
 Message 351 by Faith, posted 03-07-2015 1:43 PM kbertsche has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 350 of 1053 (751991)
03-07-2015 1:21 PM
Reply to: Message 349 by NoNukes
03-07-2015 1:15 PM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
Iridium is fairly unique with respect to density.
But the asteroid impact hypothesis does not postulate an asteroid made of pure Ir. The asteroid would have been largely iron, with a small amount of Ir dissolved in the iron. Some of the particles thrown into the atmosphere would have been iron from the asteroid; other particles would have been composites of asteroid iron and earth crustal material.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 349 by NoNukes, posted 03-07-2015 1:15 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 352 by Faith, posted 03-07-2015 1:46 PM kbertsche has replied
 Message 353 by NoNukes, posted 03-07-2015 2:10 PM kbertsche has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 355 of 1053 (751996)
03-07-2015 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 352 by Faith
03-07-2015 1:46 PM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
But then I'd like to know exactly what the "iridium layer" is composed of. Not pure iridium but some iron, and what about the "clay" it's part of?
According to one paper, the sediments at the K-T boundary layer (the "Ir layer") vary in iron content, and can be up to about 15% iron in some places. The iridium concentration in the K-T boundary layer is typically about 1-100 ppb (parts per billion). This is much higher than the normal concentration of Ir in earth's crust, which is typically less than 0.1 ppb. While the Ir concentration in the K-T boundary layer is much higher than normal, Ir is still only a trace element in the sediment.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 352 by Faith, posted 03-07-2015 1:46 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 357 by Faith, posted 03-07-2015 2:43 PM kbertsche has not replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 413 of 1053 (752079)
03-08-2015 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 376 by Faith
03-08-2015 12:44 AM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
Anyone can think up debunkery. My job is to think up ways to make it work. I don't see a problem with sedimentation rates and I don't see the Niagara Falls problem. Suspended versus floating, OK thanks for the correction.
The job of a scientist is not just to dream up a new theory and then "think up ways to make it work". A good scientist always tries to debunk his own theories first, before presenting them publicly. His theory not only has to WORK, it has to work BETTER than all other theories that have been proposed or that he can think up.
Luie's asteroid theory is a good example. Luie and Walter really wanted to make volcanos work as the source of iridium. This theory sounded plausible. But as they drilled down to the details, they concluded that volcanos could not reasonably account for the amount of iridium that was seen. This would have required an extremely massive amount of volcanism, which would have left other evidence, which was missing. Luie was forced to the asteroid theory by the data. Luie realized that the asteroid theory would sound outlandish, and he tried his best to debunk it himself, but couldn't. No other theory accounted as well for the experimental data.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 376 by Faith, posted 03-08-2015 12:44 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 415 by Faith, posted 03-08-2015 12:42 PM kbertsche has replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 423 of 1053 (752093)
03-08-2015 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 415 by Faith
03-08-2015 12:42 PM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
But creationists have a different task whether you approve of it or not. Our job IS to reconcile scientific fact with the Bible. You may be content to let science destroy the Bible, some of us aren't. I'm no scientist but I'm not willing to let unbelievers trash God's word. That doesn't mean we should ever tolerate misrepresentations of actual facts, it just means we have to discover how the actual facts work into the Biblical framework we are given. This is the position that science has put us in. If we aren't doing science according to Hoyle, who cares?
As you know, I am both a scientist and a (old earth) creationist. I believe that God is the author of both nature and Scripture and that He reveals truth through both means (Ps. 19). Since God is the author of both, nature and Scripture must completely agree. I see no need to fear or oppose truth in either realm.
When I see a disagreement between science and any particular interpretation of Scripture, at least one of the interpretations (of nature or Scripture) must be wrong, so I allow myself to question BOTH interpretations. Sometimes I allow science to change my interpretation of the Bible (but not to "destroy the Bible"). Sometimes I allow Scripture to change my interpretation of nature.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 415 by Faith, posted 03-08-2015 12:42 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 426 by Faith, posted 03-08-2015 1:44 PM kbertsche has replied

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 432 of 1053 (752110)
03-08-2015 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 426 by Faith
03-08-2015 1:44 PM


Re: Iridium boundary layer
I have yet to see any reinterpretation of the Bible to accommodate science that is not just a trashing of the Bible. I cannot find the Old Earth in the Bible except by completely violating it.
Do you avoid persecution by taking the stance you do?
No, I don't avoid persecution, but I am persecuted for different reasons than you are.
The "militant YECs" strongly disagree with me and accuse me of compromising Scripture. The "militant atheists" strongly disagree with my views on God, Jesus, Scripture, God's creation, etc. They oppose Christians of all varieties, of course. At least they oppose me for the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith, not for secondary issues such as the timing or mechanism of creation.
I get very little, if any, persecution from scientific colleagues who know me, even though most of them are atheists or agnostics. They are more puzzled by my views than antagonistic to them. They respect me as a scientist but can't understand how I can be so firmly convinced of God's existence and can commit my life to Him.
Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." — Albert Einstein
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. — Erwin Schroedinger

This message is a reply to:
 Message 426 by Faith, posted 03-08-2015 1:44 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 437 by Faith, posted 03-08-2015 8:00 PM kbertsche has not replied

  
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