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Quote# 14349

Carbon-14 dating of fossils is based on the amount of C-14 found in that fossil, the more C-14 found in a fossil, the younger it is supposed to be; if very little C-14 is found, then it is supposed to be very old. It's as simple as that. The problem is, however, it is ASSUMED by Carbon-14 daters that the C-12/C-14 ratio in the atmosphere reached a steady state millions of years ago; in other words they ASSUME the amount of C-14 being produced in the atmosphere has been the same as the amount of C-14 decaying or leaving the atmosphere for millions of years, therefore the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere is ASSUMED to have been a constant amount for millions of years.

Unfortunately, for evolutionary-minded people, there is not one shred of EVIDENCE to support that ASSUMPTION; the only way to prove that the C-12/C-14 ratio has been the same for millions of years as it is today is to test something living today that is known to be millions of years old [such as a tree with a million tree rings], but we know there's nothing living today even remotely approaching such ages.

Evolutionary scientists have calculated that it would take 30, 000 years from the beginning of the earth to reach a steady state or constant amount of C-14 in the atmosphere. Measurements taken recently by nuclear chemists Fairhall and Young suggest that the amount of C-14 being produced in the atmosphere is as much as 50 per cent out of balance. By these measurements we would have to conclude according to evolutionists' very own calculations that the earth is much less than 30, 000 years old since the C-14 in the atmosphere has not yet built up to that steady state.

Perhaps, these are just a few of the reasons that the late Stephen Jay Gould, for many years America's foremost evolutionist, always refused to debate any creation scientists.

Kevin, Myspace 28 Comments [8/30/2006 12:00:00 AM]
Fundie Index: 4
Submitted By: Winston Jen
WTF?! || meh

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Mister Spak

Do you know what ASSUMEing does? It makes an ass out of you, but not me because I don't make those assumptions.

8/30/2006 12:30:02 PM


I'm pretty sure Dr. Gould didn't debate creationists because he realized that it is actually impossible for a person arguing from a position of logic and empirical evidence to \"debate\" a person arguing from a position of faith.

Logic bases its conclusions on observed evidence. Faith bases its evidence on dogmatic conclusions.

It is not actually possible for these two approaches to debate each other.

For an example of what I mean, see the \"Defensor\" thread in the boards...

8/30/2006 12:38:25 PM


Fundies ASSUME that the bible is true and they ASSUME that it was written by men inspired by a god that they ASSUME is the being that created the universe, and they ASSUME everyone is out to get them and they ASSUME that illness is caused by demons and they ASSUME that nobody else knows anything but their assumption is based on not one shred of evidence.

I for one don't like to debate many creationists because their premise is so absurd, so ridiculous that it hurts my head. It's hard to have a battle of the wits with an unarmed person.

8/30/2006 12:39:06 PM

Wolf O'Donnell (SWHQ)

No, it's freaking not. Nothing is assumed without evidence backing something up.

8/30/2006 1:21:03 PM


Perhaps, one of reasons that the late Stephen Jay Gould, for many years America's foremost evolutionist, always refused to debate any creation scientists is that there are no creation scientists.
There are no working scientists, recognized as experts in their fields, who have written any thesis in their field of expertise supporting the creationist position.

8/30/2006 1:23:08 PM


Perhaps the reasion why the C14 cycle is out of wack now is from our atempted burning of nearly every fossil fuel reserve.

8/30/2006 1:27:13 PM


Kevin - you're a truly ignorant sack of shit.

Gould was busy writing \"The Structure of Evolutionary Theory\". Come back when you understand it. Why on Earth would he waste his time arguing with motherfucking charlatans and whitefella witch doctors or heaven forbid, deluded idiots like you! You have no case to plead - stop wasting everyone's time.

They never \"assumed\" that you idiot. C14 is formed by sunlight hitting nitrogen (N14) in the atmosphere and changing a proton into a neutron, turning it into C14 which bonds with oxygen to form carbon dioxide which is absorbed into living things. It is known to have a half life of 5730 years. About 1 in every trillion carbon atoms in the atmosphere is C14 not C12. But that means in a living thing, each gram of carbon has about 8 billion C14 atoms. Given the amount of sunlight hitting the atmosphere and the 80% nitrogen in the atmosphere is relatively constant and has been for hundreds of millions of years, the amount of C14 being produced p/a is constant. The C14/C12 ratio is solely affected by the amount of greenhouse gases in the climate (C12 production - carbon from fossil fuels has no C14 left) which have increased by well over 70% since the Industrial Age began - it used to be 220ppm and now it's way over 370ppm and climbing incredibly quickly - that is why there's a \"50%\" \"change\". So yes it does change - and it's plumetting - and it's due to pollution and global warming, not a young Earth - and it's going down, not up which a young Earth would dictate - not to mention there is no evidence anywhere for a Young Earth. Furthermore claims that it would stabilise after 30,000 years are crap. That'd only get it up to 91% - 50,000 years maybe, and coincidentally that's nearing the absolute limit for carbon dating.

And fuckhead, air is trapped when ice forms every winter and in areas with permanent ice like Greenland, they've taken strataed core samples and know the C14/C12 ratio every year going back over 40,000 thousand years.

Shut up and give up!

(got it in 1 mr paper clip - http://www.canadianarchaeology.ca/radiocarbon/card/suess.htm)

8/30/2006 1:35:28 PM

David D.G.

Well, at least he is trying to work with science instead of just being wildly antiscience. However, it seems to be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for fundies to grasp science properly; they only see what seems to possibly support their preconceived notions and ignore every nuance and piece of evidence to the contrary.

Mad props to Julian for doing such a thorough job of refuting Kevin's claims. It would be interesting to see what twists he would take to avoid accepting this information.

~David D.G.

8/30/2006 1:45:39 PM


The thing is, C-14 datation methods are not used for time spans larger than some 10,000 years. For larger time spans, other methods are used.

8/30/2006 2:02:20 PM


When science benefits Creationists, they use it; when science doesn't benefit Creationists, they debunk it.

And then they wonder why we don't take them seriously.

8/30/2006 2:04:09 PM


The reason many scientists refuse to debate with creationists is because of the impression it leaves on the public:

1) It validates creationism to begin with and suggests evolution and creationism are equally opposed.

2) Many creationist falsehoods can be spouted off in just a few minutes, and each falsehood takes many more minutes, each, to correct. This gives creationists who are merely trying to put on a show rather than honestly debate an inherent advantage over scientists.

8/30/2006 3:20:37 PM


Incorrect on so many levels. First off, it doesn't matter whether the C-12/C-14 ratio reached steady-state millions of years ago or not, as C-14 isn't used for anything older than 50,000 years. As for current levels of production, it's because the levels of carbon in the atmosphere have changed. (You will note that C-14 production is not dependent on C-12 levels. C-14 is present in approximately constant amounts due to the level of N-14 present; the ratio with C-12 is determined by the amount of other carbon sources.)

Perhaps, these are just a few of the reasons that the late Stephen Jay Gould, for many years America's foremost evolutionist, always refused to debate any creation scientists.

My guess is he could smell a sham \"debate\" a mile away. For one, a structured debate lends itself far too easily to the \"spray-'n'-pray\" technique of just rattling off a few hundred bullet points knowing your opponent won't have time to refute most of them.

8/30/2006 4:02:03 PM


He isn't even capable of coming up with this bullshit on his own, it is a Copy and paste. When confronted about it he says:

\"I copied and pasted those topics, because it would be better for you evolutionists to debate actual scientists that have been studying these topics for years.\"

8/30/2006 4:56:10 PM


C14 radiocarbon dating is of limited use in dating fossils, as the material being dated has to carbonaceous and younger than about 50,000 years old. Fossils are dated by other types of radiometric techniques, eg. potassium/argon or argon/argon.

The reason why Stephen Jay Gould always refused to debate any creation 'scientists' is because they are so full of shit.

8/30/2006 5:20:53 PM


Quite a valiant attempt at rational thought, but overwhelmed at the final hurdle by residual ignorance, it seems. Tragic.

8/30/2006 6:00:22 PM

Mister Spak


C 14 is caused by cosmic rays hitting nitrogen atoms, not sunlight.

Kevins's claim about evolutionists who ASSUME come from this little problem:

The earths magnetic field fluctuates, causing the cosmic ray flux in the atmosphere, and therefore the C14
concentration, to vary over thousands of years.

Its not enough to measure C14 content and compare it to the current atmosphere, you have to correct for different atmoshperic C14 content in the past 40,000 years or so.

A correction factor for the past 5000 years can be obtained by carbon dating
wood from a particular tree ring, whose
age can be determined by just counting tree rings. A correction factor for older times can be found if a carbon datable object is found under fine undisturbed lake sediment. The sediment shows annual layers, all you have to do is count the layers and you know how long that object has been on the lake bottom.

Kevin seems to have understood C14 dating is affected the (known to be) varying C14 concentration in the atmosphere, then makes the ASSUMPTION that the simplistic explanation of the C14 dating method found in third grade science books is how C14 dating is actually done in the lab, and \"realises\" the evolutionary-minded people have no evidence to back up their opinions.

8/30/2006 7:34:30 PM


*admires Julien's hugs brain*

*kicks Kevin in the ass really hard*

8/30/2006 8:13:19 PM


*admires Julien's huge brain*

*kicks Kevin in the ass really hard*

8/30/2006 8:13:38 PM

Baby Jesus Loves Bacteria

To be fair to Kevin, I wonder his is really a \"FSTDT\" kind of post.

Julian is absolutely correct that it is reasonably straightforward to model the expected amt. of C-14 over time. The mechanism by which C-14 is generated makes it a wonderful clock precisely because it is reasonable to assume any pre-industrial living things that die would have the same C-14 to C-12 ratio upon death.

Although I agree that Kevin is wrong, he is not \"absolutely and stupidly wrong\". The text is reasonably well written (relative to many FSTDT posts) and there is actually a reasonable internal logic. Admittedly, a little reading and thought might convince a reasonable person that there are good, externally corroborated reasons to believe the models for C-14 abundance. I know I am damning Kevin with faint praise, but I would say overall that he is not \"JohnR7esque wrong\".

That said, the Stephen Jay Gould does move in an absolutely and stupidly wrong direction. That is really the only part that I might put in the FSTDT category.

8/30/2006 9:13:55 PM

Napoleon the Clown


8/30/2006 9:50:05 PM


It's funny, everytime a fundie starts spewing science to prove their point, I wonder what they got wrong this time...

8/30/2006 11:13:39 PM


Eeeeps. People were paying attention to my rant. OK, I should probably tidy it up a little.

Correction 1. What Mr Spak said - it is cosmic rays (actual particle radiation [mainly protons]) from the sun, not actual sunlight (electromagentic radiation [photons]) per se.

Correction 2. It's 97% stability, not 91% - however, 50,000 years gets it up to 99.8% so it all depends on how you define stability.

Correction 3. The preindustrial levels of CO2 were 280ppm, but currently have risen over 381ppm (as of March 2006) - 280ppm was actually the top of a carbon cycle and about the highest CO2 reading this planet has had in the last 650,000 years (derived from Antarctic ice cores). [Until we started wholesale deforestation and burning of fossil fuels]


Of course basic principle remains - Young Earth implies C14/C12 ratios are rising. They're not, they're falling.

8/31/2006 4:10:35 AM

Nezu Chiza

A study trying to use the arguements about C-12/C-14 to support Young Earth Creationism is at http://www.grisda.org/origins/06030.htm.

I'm amused by the part near the end where they say that all the results help support their theories, yet also say that it's reasonable to accept their findings that the Earth would also have needed twice the current landmass, larger than currently existent creatures in increased numbers, AND 130-1000x the amount of carbon that was believed to exist in those times.

Amazing what you can rationalize when you throw any contrary evidence out :P

8/31/2006 11:25:43 AM

Mister Spak

\"yet also say that it's reasonable to accept their findings that the Earth would also have needed twice the current landmass, larger than currently existent creatures in increased numbers, AND 130-1000x the amount of carbon that was believed to exist in those times.\"

They base this on the flood. Before the flood, there were no oceans therefore there was more land.
More land means more plants and animals
including giant dinosaurs so there is more carbon (fundies can't see the mass of plankton in the ocean with their own eyes so to them it doesn't exist).

Their wholly babble requires that these conditions have existed, therefore they did.

8/31/2006 12:25:33 PM


Someone already beat me to it.

Idiot, fossils aren't dated by carbon dating.

8/31/2006 5:12:40 PM
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