George M. wrote:
> These two items together show the incoherence of this man's
> thought on these matters. Of course assumptions need to be made in
> order to use radioactive dating - but assumptions have to be made in
> any scientific work. The argument, however, is not "circular" in the
> proper sense - i.e., one doesn't assume the antiquity of the earth but
> only something about the original abundances of isotopes.
Come on, George:
One MUST assume that antiquity of the earth before one accepts or applies
computed radiometric dates. Here is why:
Cases in point.
1: I know you are aware of the Uinkaret Plateu lava flows which flowed down
into Grand Canyon. These have been dated by a Pb-Pb isochron age in the
neighborhood of 2.6 billion years and by a Rb-Sr isochron date somewhere
around 1.34 billion years. Everyone rejects these computed ages because it
is obvious that the lava cannot be that old. They must be younger than
Grand Canyon which is variously dated between 1 and 5 million years. An
assortment of reasons concerning the "original abundances of isotopes" have
been proposed to try to explain the discrepancy, but the most important
point is that the dates are rejected because it is "known" that the lava
cannot be that old. The rocks are assumed to be young therefore computed
dates which indicate vast ages are rejected.
2: Also in Grand Canyon are the Cardenas Basalts which are dated by a Rb-Sr
isochron near 1.07 billion years. Because the Cardenas Basalts are among the
oldest exposed rocks in Grand Canyon everyone assumes that the Cardenas
Basalt's are old enough for the computed dates to be accepted as valid.
In both cases it all comes down to the fact that computed dates are accepted
or rejected upon the assumption that the rocks are or are not old enough
irreguardless of assumptions about the "original abundances of isotopes".
The same applies to the planet, et. al., the antiquity of the earth must be
assumed first, before computed dates are accepted. Where circular reasoning
comes in is when we are told that these dates prove that the earth is old.
That is impossible because you cannot prove what you assume. If you assume
an ancient earth, then you may accept the computed dates as valid. If you
do not assume an ancient earth, then you may reject the computed dates (just
as in case 1 above). Just because one is able to obtain computed
radiometric dates, that does not mean that the 'dated' rock is old.
> But then there is apparently complete unawareness of the fact that
> he is making presuppositions, & the most naive ones possible, about
> the character of the biblical text. & this naiveté is accompanied by
> the hubris of telling us, as if he were a biblical scholar how Genesis
> was written
The Tablet theory (the idea that literary structural evidence in Genesis
parallels literary structures of writings from the same era (and before) as
Moses) is based on solid archaeological evidence. While such a whacked out
delusion as the JEPD (or what-ever) theory was developed from an
anthropological theory (that the concept of a Supreme God was the final
religious stage evolving from polytheistic spiritism) that was disproven and
discarded over three quarters of a century ago.
The Tablet theory points to the literary evidence which indicate that Moses
edited several manuscripts and/or oral traditions into Genesis. These
"tablets" are easily identified by their literary structure and the
authors/owners of these "tablets" are named. It is a very straight-forward,
elegant understanding of Genesis. Thus Genesis does not come down to us as
ill remember stories pieced together long afterwards, but as original
documents edited into one manuscript.
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