Re: Some Comments on Radiometric dating.

From: allenroy (
Date: Wed Jan 22 2003 - 15:41:18 EST

  • Next message: Glenn Morton: "RE: Some Comments on Radiometric dating."

      **My comments. The responses are what I was expecting: arrogent,
    condescending and full of logical

    Michael Roberts wrote:

    This posting must get the prize for one of the most inaccurate supposed bits
    of science ever put on the list.

    **Nice start. -- just make "unsupported, ad hominem accusations." and go
    from there.

    >Allen wrote;

    >As most every one knows, radiometric dating is done primarily on
    igneous rock.

    Many many age-deteminations are done on metamorphic and sedimentary rocks
    and always have been. I flipped through my copy of the 1967 Geol Soc of
    London "Phanerozoic Timescale" Lots of samples were on metamorphic and
    sedimentary rocks.

    **There is indeed age-determinations on metamorphic and sedimentary
    rocks, but it is not
    wrong to state that radiometirc dating is primarily done on igneous rock.

    (Incidentally this was one of the sources Woodmarappe
    misquoted from in his 1970s list of 700 or so anomalous ages. I checked 100
    of his anomalous ages and found he hadmisquoted everyone.)

    **This is a completely irrelevant "change of subject" -- a red herring.
    Stick to the subject
    at hand.

    So as Allen starts with such a howler I cant be bothered to refute him point
    by point.

    **Hmmm. Why not do more "Ad Hominim"! Actually, this statement of mine
    is the least
    offensive and most obviouse of the whole article. Michael was looking
    REAL HARD to
    find something simple to criticize so that he could make up an excuse to
    not have to
    actually stop and think about what I wrote.

    However I find his insinuations of shoddy practice by geochronologists
    offensive as they are basically charging them with dishonesty.

    **Obviously you didn't read what I said at all. My article has nothing
    to do with shoddy
    practice, nor dishonesty. In fact, I claim that creationists accept the
    great precision within
    which geochronogy is done. But precision in collection and process is
    not the problem.
    Rather, it has to do with what is done with the data that results from
    the precise

    Four of my
    teachers at university (Oxford) were leading geochronologists - including
    Stephen Moorbath so I am speaking with personal knowledge. Moorbath's
    research assistant (with aD.Phil form Oxford) who leftto be an evangelical
    misssionary dismissed creationsit attacks on geochronology as downright

    **Let's see. Now it's "appeal to authority."

    However I am forced to one of three conclusions;
    1) He is very careless and naive in his study
    2) He is invincibly ignorant
    3) He is aware he is misrepresenting radiometric age-dating.

    **More "Ad Hominim."

    I would like to know whether scientific honesty is part of the Biblically
    based paradigm of Creationary Cataclysmism

    **More "Ad Hominim."

    None of these are honouring to God. I would suggest Allen does something
    about it.

    **I'd sure like to see if you can really think, or if all you can do is
    blind-faith, knee-jerk
    reaction full of logical fallacies.

    >Michael Roberts also wrote:

    >If you want to read up on the whole nonsense on mis-dating the Grand
    >look up and look for Grand Canyon dating on
    index. I
    >If that doesn't persuade any of you then words fail me.

    Ah yes, I read this years ago.

    1. In this article, Stassin accuses Austin of "picking and choosing"
    data from Leeman's
    much larger set of data to manufacture an false isochron. Actually,
    Austin did exactly
    what Stassin says a geologist should do, only use data from cogenetic
    sources. Leeman's
    data consisted of samples from what is considered by some to be many
    non-cogenetic sources.
    Austin narrowed down the data set to two cogenetically related lava
    flows -- "stages III
    and IV" and was able to plot an isochron.

    First, Leeman didn't have cogenetic sources yet the scatter was
    attributed to "'inherited'
    reflection of the mantle source age or has no significance at all"
    [typical rationalization]. Then, Austin
    derived an isochron from congentic data and he is accused of knowing
    "he'd get a mantle
    age from whole-rock measurements." So, it's "Heads I [or my
    rationalizations] win, Tails
    you [or your criticisms] loose".

    2. Stassin accuses Austin of "'fixing' the test -- by only selecting
    rock samples which were
    known in advance to fail it?" But why are the rock sample data
    considered to be failing?
    Because they do not match what was expected -- i.e. Quatenary age. And
    that is exactly
    what Austin was trying to show.

    Stassin then says:

    "Before the Grand Canyon Dating Project began, in his 1988 Impact
    article, Austin
    admitted in print that the selected lava flows fell into two different
    stratigraphic stages.
    That is, the very information which he used to select the flows, also
    clearly indicates that
    they did not all occur at the same time. In his subsequent book ( Grand
    Monument to Catastrophe ), Austin indicated that his five data points
    came from four
    different lava flows plus an extracted "phenocryst" (large mineral which
    likely formed in
    the magma chamber and was not molten in the lava flow). We had known
    from the Impact
    articles that Austin's samples were not all cogenetic; years later we
    find out by his own
    admission that no two of them are so."

    I already showed that the points Austin chose from Leeman were from
    flows considered
    to be congenetic. But, most telling is that the five data points from
    "Grand Canyon:
    Monument to Catastrophe" were NOT from Leeman, but were samples which Austin
    himself collected and had processed. Stassin either completely misread
    the book or is
    deliberatly misleading the readers.

    What about the four different lava flows? 1. All the flows are
    considered to be
    Quaternary of a single age. 2. They have very good concordance -- 1.32;
    1.39; 1.38; and
    1.34 billion years; with an average of 1.36 b. yrs and an isochron of
    1.34 b. yrs. Included
    with this is the 1988 Impact article isochron date of 1.5 b. yrs.
    Therefore: such
    concordance and obvious bounding to a single era argues for a cogenetic
    source for all of
    the lava flows. Yet, Stassin claims that all the flows are
    non-cogenetic. What does he base
    it on? Not on the concording data, but because they are different lava
    flows. I pointed out to Stassin some time ago that In
    Hawaii it is not unusual for several lava flows to be flowing at once
    and that they are

    Later Stassin says "whole-rock samples of multiple flows yields the time
    since their
    common source was isotopically homogeneous It could also be the age of
    the flows, but it
    does not have to be. (If it is not the flows' age, that is not a
    "problem" with isochron
    dating,...)" Here we have it: "heads I (or isochron dating) wins, or
    tails I (or isochron
    dating) wins." It all depends upon how good you are at hand waving and
    story telling.

    In his conclusion Stassin says:

    "The attempt to abuse the meaning of a single contrived date -- which
    was produced only
    by a sample selection geared to dating a different event, and only for
    samples whose
    results were known by Austin in advance -- says a lot more about the
    level of competence
    or honesty in this creation "science" research program, than it says
    about the validity of
    isochron dating methods."

    As I have pointed out the date was not contrived. It was not produced by
    selection to get
    a desired result. Austin collected his own data to check up on Leeman
    and got the same
    results. This says alot about Stassin and his evolutionary religious and
    dishonest prejudices
    against Creationists.


    gordon brown wrote:
    >ASA has an article on radioactive dating at
    Geochronologists know what causes some radioactive dating measurements
    to give
    incorrect results and can take them into account.

    Ahh yes, I read Weins article years ago. Extremely elementry!
    Geochronologists do NOT
    KNOW what causes some radioactive dating measurement to give incorrect
    results, but
    they do have lots of RATIONALIZATIONS (read hand waving or
    fairy tail stories).

    This brings up another point that both Gordon and Michael did. They both
    figure that the
    major reason why I don't accept radiometric dating is because I don't
    radiometric dating because I am uneducated on the topic.

    The reasoning goes like this: I am an intelligent, well educated person.
    I have read and
    learned about radiometric dating and I find it compelling. There are
    hundreds of other
    intelligent and well educated people who also find radiometric dating

    Allen does not accept radiometric dating. Allen may be an intelligent
    person, so it may
    only be he is uneducated about radiometric dating. So I'll provide him
    with sources
    where he can get educated on the topic.

    Let me tell you, I do not reject radiometric dating because I am
    uneducated about it. I
    rejected it because I am educated about it, and the article I posted
    explains, in part, why.
    At least Gordon and Michael didn't express what Dawkings thinks about
    Creationists are unintelligent, uneducated, insane or just plain evil.
    And to him, this
    applies to everyone on the ASAnet list as well.

    Lets see some intelligent, logical discussion on the points I presented
    in my posting.


    "I have been shown that, without Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of a state of things differing in many respects from the present. But the time of their existence, and how long a period these things have been in the earth, are only to be understood by Bible history. It may be innocent to conjecture beyond Bible history, if our suppositions do not contradict the facts found in the sacred Scriptures. But when men leave the word of God in regard to the history of creation, and seek to account for God's creative works upon natural principles, they are upon a boundless ocean of uncertainty. Just how God accomplished the work of creation in six literal days, he has never revealed to mortals. His creative works are just as incomprehensible as his existence."  Ellen Gould Harmon White,  1864

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