Re: Re:

From: Darryl Maddox (
Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 23:56:47 EST

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    D. F. Siemens, Jr. <> wrote:
    >Oh, Darryl, don't you know that all geochronology is based on mistakes?

    No I was not aware of that. But it was a good reply. I have seen many YEC
    commentaries argueing agains radiometric age determinations etc but after a
    few years of studying and becoming familiar with the subject I have managed
    to see through most of the bad writting, bad logic, bad science and outright
    incorrect statements which comprise most of the articles. At least I think I
    have. I am not sure I would want to face even a sophomore level exam on the
    various methods, how they have been applied or discussed by various YEC
    authors and articles, and try to justify my objections to their conclusions.
    I guess the ultimate test would be to argue the various cases with the
    authors of the articles but since radiometric dating isn't my specialty I
    don't know if I could convince them of the correctness of my opinions of why
    their logic, methods or conclusions were incorrect or even if I would
    understand their counter-arguments to my opinions.

    I would like to say I agree with the YECs on some things. We traditional
    geologists mess up sometimes. Also, I have become aware of a many articles
    and ideas in the traditional geological literature from reading the YEC
    literature. I don't worry about whether they do much original research or
    not because there are so few of them qualified to do it and they are so busy
    with their jobs and their religious work that I can see they have very
    little time for field and lab work; but they certainly do more library
    research than I do, so I enjoy reading their material and the getting all
    the good references and then seeing for myself what I think of the questions
    they raise (at least when they are questions I know enough about to feel
    comfortable coming to a conclusion.). I rarely agree with their
    extrapolations from the data in the articles they reference, I was out of
    geology for so long and so much changed during that time, and so many new
    questions are now being considered because of the improvment in
    instrumentation and the number of people involved and the time they have had
    to do research, that I have found many of the ideas I held when I came back
    into the field 5 years ago, or even last month in one case, are no longer
    valid ideas even in the world of traditional geology.

    I am old question asker myself. I read the following when I was a senior in
    highschool (1965) and it has been part of the framework of my thought
    patterns ever since. "There is more faith in an honest doubt than in all
    the dogma you can stack in a church." or something like that. I don't care
    who asks the question or what the question is as much as I care about the
    quality of the answer and validity of the assumptions behind the data and
    the logical connection between the data and the derived anwer to the
    question. AND THAT IS WHERE I START HAVING TROUBLE. I always manage to ask
    the wrong question and then it takes years to find an answer that I am
    completly satisfied with and by then no one else cares - if they ever did to
    begin with.

    Another thing I read once that stuck with me (and which I have modified to
    suite a career in science instead of business) is that "Most people are too
    busy earning a living to ever get rich." I find that most scientists I have
    worked with are so busy earning a living they have no time or inclination to
    ask the really hard questions, and no time to find the answer if they do
    think of them. Unfortunately what is for me a really hard question is for
    most better trained geologists, a trivial question; but I don't let too many
    things get in the way of my eventually finding the answer to my questions
    and there are even a couple of people who think some of my ideas and ways of
    doing things are not so bad. Those friends and supporters I appreciate
    greatly and I thank God I have been blessed to be in a position where I have
    just enough time and just enough money to try to answer the questions I
    think of .

    But I would still like to read something about the methods that can be
    utelized to determine the rate of ancient reef accumulation, particularly
    with specific examples.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <>
    To: <>
    Cc: <>; <>; <>
    Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 1:07 PM
    Subject: Re: Re:

    > On Tue, 3 Dec 2002 09:44:29 -0600 "Darryl Maddox" <>
    > writes:
    > > I think this is the wrong question. I think the correct question is
    > > not how
    > > fast corals grow but rather how fast do coral reefs accumulate.
    > >
    > > But to attempt to answer the question - as I understand it, we know
    > > how fast
    > > corals grow because some of them at least have daily growth rings
    > > and monthly
    > > and annual growth variations of some type so that as you come up
    > > through the
    > > geologic record we see more and more days per year. But keeping in
    > > mind the
    > > daily, monthly, and annular variations in growth pattern, if I were
    > > wanting
    > > to answer the question of how fast a coral grows I would not only
    > > measure
    > > the current growth rate of live corals but also measure the change
    > > in the
    > > size of the various species of fossil corals per unit of time -
    > > daily,
    > > monthly, and annual and continue doing this for enough of
    > > individuals of
    > > various species to get specie specific averages and standard
    > > deviations and
    > > see how much variation there is between various species, genera etc.
    > > I
    > > suspect this has already been done. But even if it has been done it
    > > is
    > > irrelevant to the question of how fast a reef builds because of the
    > > previously pointed out continuous interaction between the growth
    > > process of
    > > the live corals and the destruction/accumulation process of wave
    > > action,
    > > storms, and variations in sea level. How to answer the question of
    > > how fast
    > > coral reefs have accumulated in the past I leave to others because
    > > other
    > > than guessing it might be done somehow with isotope geochemistry or
    > > some of
    > > the newer radioactive decay schemes I have no idea how to do it
    > > except in
    > > the unusual case where you might have the base of a coral on a well
    > > established time horizon and the top sticking slightly through
    > > another well
    > > established time horizon.
    > >
    > > <snip>
    > >
    > > Darryl
    > > ;-) As for growth rings, I recall an article in one of the YEC
    > publications that claimed that the bristle cone pines sometimes produced
    > two growth rings in a year. I figured that there had to be at least one
    > extra ring every other year (3 rings in 2 years) to fit the record in
    > living and dead trees. With all data subject to such manipulation and
    > misrepresentation, rational analysis is hopeless.
    > Dave

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