Re: [asa] RATE fraud (Was RATE's Radioactive Thourium Plot)

From: David Bowman <>
Date: Mon May 21 2007 - 21:54:11 EDT

Regarding Phil's comment:

> This is like YECers claiming that the speed of light has slowed
> down. If you point out that nuclear fusion in the sun is
> controlled by E=M c^2 and a higher c in the past would have burned
> up the Earth, then they claim that M was smaller in the past and
> has gone up at the same time that c went down. If you then point
> out that gravity would have been much less in the past so that the
> Earth's and Moon's orbits would not have remained circular by
> v^2 = G M /r, then they say G went down, and so on ad infinitum.
> However, I believe it is possible to show that this game cannot
> ever be self-consistent. There are so many observables in nature,
> and so few fundamental parameters, that you can't possibly change
> the parameters in a way to keep all the observables in starlight
> constant. I actually worked it out one time to prove one example
> of an irreconcilable "loop" in their argument, but not to a degree
> of rigor that I could present to anybody.
> Phil

I think the problem is much worse than simply a simultaneous
inconsistency with all the accepted formulae of ordinary physics.

As George Murphy noted, in such a case "everything is up for grabs".
I.e., all bets are off. The reason is that the formulae that one
might want to reconcile with the YECer's scenario, e.g. E = m*c^2, or
v^2 = G*M/r, or a host of others, are themselves mathematical logical
consequences of deeper physical principles whose premises are
violated by those outlandish scenarios. Take for example, E = m*c^2.
That result, along with all the rest of the lore of special
relativity, are consequences of the requirement of the Lorentz
invariance of the laws/equations of physics. But having c wildly
change in value is itself a strong violation of such invariance, and
a universe that allows it does *not* follow the rules nor has the
symmetries that make the equation E = m*c^2 hold in the first place.
Such a universe is under no obligation to obey that formula since it
manifestly doesn't follow the necessary prerequisite principles that
force that formula to hold. The same is true for those other usual
formulas of physics one might want to make such YECer scenarios abide

Rather than attempting to get such wild YEC scenarios to abide by
formulae that are only supposed to hold in universes that *don't*
have such wild behavior, it would be better to ask the proposers of
such scenarios to be explicit about the details of the new dynamical
principles that they propose, and to then rederive the corresponding
formulae implied by those modified dynamical principles, and to then
show how those new formulae boil down to the usual ones when the wild
processes subside. After that they can show how their new theories
are actually to be preferred to the current ones in light of Occam's

Dave Bowman

>-----Original Message-----
>Sent: Sun, 20 May 2007 6:44 PM
>Subject: [asa] RATE fraud (Was RATE's Radioactive Thourium Plot)
>I was going to make a brief comment on what Steve said below, though
>my area of physics expertise isn't nuclear. It's true that most of
>the damage would be done by the radiation (alpha, beta, gamma) emitted
>in the supposedly accelerated decays. But that radiation would also
>create some unstable nuclei in surrounding material & thus some
>lingering induced radioactivity. The ranges of alphas & betas in
>solid matter are relatively small so a lot would depend on the
>minerals in which the original radioactive materials would find. But
>since the initial radiaion would be intense, there might be
>significant after effects.
>But then I realized that the whole exercise is pointless. If you're
>going to change the basic physical interactions to produce such
>accelerated decay then everything is up for grabs. The RATE people
>can say that the accelerated decay rates were accompanied by some
>phenomena X which keeps the induced radioactivity from being a
>In other words, we're getting suckered into a endless maze of
>pseudoscience if we take their claims seriously as science and try to
>deal with them as we would real scientific theories. That has to be
>done to a certain extent to show how flimsy their arguments are, but
>the main thing that has to be done is to point out with absolutely
>brutal and unsparing honesty is that they're not talking about science
>at all but magic. I don't think we should even dignify it with the
>word "miracle."

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Received on Mon May 21 21:54:41 2007

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