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stravinskian
Member since Feb 24th 2003
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Thu Mar-31-05 01:31 AM

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99. "RE: some swiped support... (1)"
In response to In response to 7


          

>Age of the Earth: A Feasibility Study
>Age of the Earth - Is it possible to determine such a thing
>with any certainty?

Yes. That's what we call "science."

>The formation of the Earth is what is
>known as a "singularity." The event cannot be repeated in a
>lab

That in no way means that the question does not fall under the purview of science! Case in point: I spend a large part of my time studying the astrophysics of black holes. Black holes were not detected experimantally until about a decade ago. The study of black hole physics, however, did not start a decade ago. It started with a paper due to Pierre Simeon de Laplace, dated 1799. Since then, literally thousands of people have devoted their lives' work to the study of these objects. These people knew that if we came to understand deeply the behavior of those aspects of the world which *are* experimentally available to us, we can apply mathematical rigor to the extension of this understanding far beyond the realm of our current experience. When black holes were finally detected in astrophysical observations, it was hardly a surprise. It barely made the papers. We already knew they existed, even though we hadn't seen them.

>and is not occurring in nature now.

Au contraire! Planet formation is most certainly occurring right now. The astronomical study of the processes of planet formation is one of the most exciting fields of modern science.

>In determining the Age
>of the Earth, scientists must make assumptions that seem
>reasonable based on observable data. Certainty and assumption
>are contrary to each other.

Absolutely. That's why scientists never pretend to hold to any logically rigorous (bivalent) sense of certainty. Certainty, at that level, is irrelevant to science. That does NOT mean that we cannot hold on to strong epistemological structures. There's a difference between saying "nothing is known up to the strictest measures of logical certainty", and saying "nothing is known." The first statement is completely obvious. The second statement is absolute bullshit (anyone here who doubts that has a strange habit of punching away at computer keys for no reason).

>Therefore, the study of the Age of
>the Earth is a "feasibility study."
>
>Age of the Earth: Young Earth vs. Old Earth
>The scientific community presents the Age of the Earth from
>two distinct camps: The "Young Earth" advocates and the "Old
>Earth" advocates.

Well, nowadays, the "Young Earth" "advocates" are generally not scientists, but rather poorly veiled preachers. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt (as scientists generally try to do), and look at their "evidence."

>There are various natural chronometers that
>seem to indicate either a Young Earth or an Old Earth. Both
>camps use such chronometers to back their position. They both
>claim their model is most feasible. How then will the dispute
>be settled?
>
>Age of the Earth: Limiting Factors
>The answer to the Age of the Earth question is found in
>"Limiting Factors." While it may be impossible to be certain
>when the Earth formed, we may determine when the Earth did not
>form. Limiting Factors are best explained with this
>illustration: A boat sinks. On board is a chest full of gold
>coins. As time passes, the wreck is forgotten. Centuries
>later, the boat is discovered, and the chest full of coins is
>recovered. How can we determine when the boat sank? We may not
>be able to pinpoint the date, but we are able to determine
>when it did not sink by looking at the dates on the coins. If
>a coin is marked with 1756, we know the boat did not sink in
>1755 or 1730 or 1610, etc. It must have sunk after the coin
>was minted. The coin is a "Limiting Factor."
>
>Age of the Earth: Factors Pointing to a Young Earth
>There are many Limiting Factors limiting the possible Age of
>the Earth. Here are a few:
>Magnetic Field. The Earth's magnetic field is essential to
>life on Earth for many reasons. One reason is that it deflects
>much of the cosmic radiation that destroys life.

Well, life as we see it today. That hardly constitutes all life. I'm perfectly happy to assume, for the time being, that all of the life that has, well, evolved on earth has been incapable of handling ionizing cosmic radiation (there is indeed much evidence to support this view). But it's a little odd that this dude, who pretends that for a full scientific understanding of the formation of the earth we need to see it forming, then pretends to understand the biology of lifeforms he has never observed. Just an aside.

>Precise
>measurements of the Earth's magnetic field have been made
>since 1829, all over the world. During that time, it has
>deteriorated exponentially -- that is, it has followed a
>predictable curve. By graphing this curve, we extrapolate that
>life would have been impossible before 20,000 BC (the field
>would be as strong as the Sun's at that point) and will cease
>to exist after 10,000 AD (there will be, for all practical
>purposes, no field left, and the Earth will be fried by cosmic
>radiation).

Here we see the dangers of utterly naive extrapolation. There are many curves which can fit any given data set. I think it was von Neumann who once said "give me three parameters, and I can fit an elephant!"

One cannot make statistical inferences in a theoretical vacuum. One cannot look at a small family of data, say "hey that looks exponential", trace out an exponential curve over the data and call your result science. Scientific statistics involves the fitting of a small number of free parameters in an otherwise fixed mathematical model. If one simply draws a curve through a data set, one is in essense fitting an indenumerably infinite set of parameters, rendering any statistical conclusions useless.

Oh and by the way, dude says we have measurements of the magnetic field dating back to 1829. In fact we have a lot more than that. For instance, ice cores give us measurements dating back millions of years. And the long-term behavior is not exponential. Of course, the "young earth" hypothesist cannot accept those data. For the earth clearly didn't even exist when they were deposited!

>Earth Rotation. The Earth's spin is slowing down. We
>experience a "leap second" every year and a half.

Holy shit!!! Is this dude serious?! The existence of leap seconds in no way indicates that the earth's rotation is slowing down! It merely exhibits an inaccuracy of our calendar. Our calendar assumes that the earth's revolution period is an integer multiple of its rotation period. This is simply not the case. The error introduced by this flawed assumption is corrected in part by our recognition of February 29 on leap years. But this correction is itself only approximate, hence the further correction enacted by these so-called leap seconds.

If this dude actually thinks the existence of leap seconds is an indication that the earth is slowing down, I shudder to think of how he might explain daylight-savings time.

>If it is
>slowing down, at one time it was going much faster.

Not necessarily (even if it were slowing down as much as he says). Again, this dude is making a completely unjustified extrapolation.

>A faster
>spin would create a stronger Coriolis Effect, and life would
>be impossible as we know it.
>Moon Drift. The moon is drifting slowly away from the Earth.
>If it is getting further away, then at one time it was much
>closer.

The Moon's orbital radius is indeed increasing these days. But again, this extrapolation is completely unjustified. Any physics graduate student can do a simple perturbation theory analysis to derive long-term oscillations of an orbital radius. If one extrapolated linearly from any small region of even a modest oscillation, he will find catastrophe, not oscillation. This is the clothing of science, stripped of its substance.

>The Inverse Square Law in physics states that if the
>moon was half the distance away, its gravitational effect on
>our tides would be quadrupled. One third the distance and it
>would be 9 times stronger. We would all drown twice a day.

I can forgive him for being unaware of a cute little detail of the earth's tides: The earth is a gravitationally bound object. By that I mean that on the largest scales it is NOT a solid rock, but is in fact well approximated as a free dust. In fact, the "solid" parts of the earth rise and fall just as far as the oceans do. The increases of ocean level which we refer to as "tides" are in fact not due directly to the gravitational pull of the moon, but instead only to the fact that the viscosity in the oceans induces a phase difference between the high points in the land's tide and the sea's tide.

So even if the tidal deformations were dramatically increased, that would not necessarily lead to an increase in the oscillation of sea levels relative to land. This oscillation is due more to the viscosity of the water than to the pull of the moon.

But again, it doesn't even matter. The moon has not been moving away monotonically. There is no reason to believe that it was ever close enough to cause significantly greater tides than we see today.

>1.2
>billion (1,200 million) years ago, the moon would have been
>touching the Earth.

And of course that is hardly a troubling claim (again, even if it were justified). One of the more compelling current hypotheses regarding the origin of our moon is that it collected from dust knocked into the atmosphere after an asteroid collision. So in a sense, many scientists already argue that the moon was touching the earth in the distant past.

>Age of the Earth: Young is Not Unreasonable

Umm, yes it is.

>There are a number of additional Limiting Factors regarding
>the Age of the Earth that scientists are discovering on a more
>and more frequent basis.

Oh, okay. Then why don't you mention some of them? Why is it that you happened to mention only these two utterly laughable arguments? Are these the best you've got?

  

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Earthquakes and the End of History. [View all] , inVerse, Tue Mar-29-05 03:05 PM
 
Subject Author Message Date ID
But the problem with comparing this type of recent activity
Mar 29th 2005
1
4.6 billion years?
Mar 29th 2005
3
      So are you one of those
Mar 29th 2005
5
      I don't know... I do know though...
Mar 29th 2005
12
           You don't know?
Mar 29th 2005
31
                RE: You don't know?
Mar 29th 2005
39
                oh I know
Mar 29th 2005
44
                     Yep
Mar 29th 2005
57
                LOL
Mar 29th 2005
82
                     what am I, funny like a clown? I'm here to freakin' amuse you?
Mar 30th 2005
89
      some swiped support... (1)
Mar 29th 2005
7
     
           Great post
Mar 31st 2005
119
           ^^^^^ powerful posting
Apr 01st 2005
161
      some swiped support... (2)
Mar 29th 2005
9
      Dude I asked you a question
Mar 29th 2005
15
           RE: Dude I asked you a question
Mar 29th 2005
18
           This sounds good
Mar 29th 2005
30
                RE: This sounds good
Mar 29th 2005
                Jen I wholly disagree with you...
Mar 29th 2005
76
                     RE: Jen I wholly disagree with you...
Mar 30th 2005
98
                          what I presuppose....
Mar 31st 2005
111
                               First thing you said I actually agree with
Mar 31st 2005
121
                               RE: what I presuppose....
Mar 31st 2005
125
                                    RE: what I presuppose....
Apr 01st 2005
146
                RE: This sounds good
Mar 29th 2005
38
                No what you smell is
Mar 29th 2005
43
                     RE: No what you smell is
Mar 29th 2005
48
                          If prayer worked
Mar 29th 2005
56
                               RE: If prayer worked
Mar 29th 2005
                                    there's no doubt it does people some real good
Apr 06th 2005
164
                                         RE: there's no doubt it does people some real good
Apr 06th 2005
165
                a basic mistake...
Mar 29th 2005
75
                     you're right
Mar 30th 2005
91
                     well put
Mar 31st 2005
100
                     RE: a basic mistake...
Mar 30th 2005
97
           I answered it (post #12)
Mar 29th 2005
22
                I BELIEVE this is unknowable
Mar 29th 2005
37
                ok... I see...
Mar 29th 2005
77
                     Oldpro? how'd you get there?
Mar 31st 2005
112
                for starters, the magnetic field thing is wrong
Mar 29th 2005
42
      some swiped support....(3)
Mar 29th 2005
10
      some swiped support... (4)
Mar 29th 2005
11
      some swiped support for the 5 billion years old figure:
Mar 29th 2005
20
           untrue.
Mar 29th 2005
23
           show me the links, then.
Mar 29th 2005
27
           "ACTUAL" SCIENTISTS (lab coats and all)
Mar 31st 2005
105
                i don't see any academic links.
Mar 31st 2005
108
                and you're going to Ignore what you just read.
Mar 31st 2005
113
                "Academic Links"
Mar 31st 2005
114
                     i'll give you a clue- they have ".ac" in the domain name
Mar 31st 2005
118
                cute
Mar 31st 2005
124
                     RE: cute
Mar 31st 2005
126
           this is getting laughable..
Mar 29th 2005
67
                McDeez... use your head?
Mar 29th 2005
84
           LOL
Mar 29th 2005
46
                Let's talk about Dragons then...
Mar 29th 2005
83
                     dear lord, the boy actually believes in dragons!
Mar 30th 2005
93
                          What I really want to see
Mar 30th 2005
94
                          OF COURSE IT WILL!!!
Mar 31st 2005
106
                               And?
Mar 31st 2005
120
                                    However...
Mar 31st 2005
128
                          Dragons
Mar 30th 2005
95
      Ok, i'll conceded that the figure of 4.6 billion
Mar 29th 2005
66
      Let's talk about Dinosour Fossils then...
Mar 29th 2005
81
      McDeez? Comments on this??
Mar 31st 2005
107
      RE: Ok, i'll conceded that the figure of 4.6 billion
Mar 31st 2005
104
           RE: Ok, i'll conceded that the figure of 4.6 billion
Mar 31st 2005
127
                RE: Ok, i'll conceded that the figure of 4.6 billion
Apr 01st 2005
149
      Lol... you said rationally debate.
Mar 29th 2005
87
Every generation has those that think it's the "last days"
Mar 29th 2005
2
"more bloodshed...
Mar 29th 2005
4
      RE: "more bloodshed...
Mar 29th 2005
6
      that's because...
Mar 29th 2005
13
           Let's start here
Mar 29th 2005
19
                RE: Let's start here
Mar 29th 2005
29
                     You missed the bigger point
Mar 29th 2005
33
                          i don't think so
Mar 29th 2005
45
                          Stay with me here
Mar 29th 2005
50
                               RE: Stay with me here
Mar 29th 2005
55
                                    And this was my core point
Mar 29th 2005
60
                                    They love to teach this
Mar 29th 2005
62
                          you've not been asked...
Mar 29th 2005
78
                               not the point
Mar 30th 2005
92
      I will contend it
Mar 29th 2005
14
           you're assuming...
Mar 29th 2005
85
                Neanderthal Man or Genghis Khan
Mar 31st 2005
101
                     RE: Neanderthal Man or Genghis Khan
Mar 31st 2005
102
                          can anyone say Black Death?
Mar 31st 2005
132
                          can anyone say Black Plague?
Mar 31st 2005
133
                               oops, the ole' double reply
Apr 01st 2005
151
                                    RE: oops, the ole' double reply
Apr 01st 2005
152
                                    RE: oops, the ole' double reply
Apr 01st 2005
153
100 years ago, there was no way to trace earthquake activity worldwide.
Mar 29th 2005
8
there were historians with pens
Mar 29th 2005
17
      there are more ppl now living in more hazardous locations
Apr 09th 2005
167
i believe it
Mar 29th 2005
16
RE: i believe it
Mar 29th 2005
21
RE: i believe it
Mar 29th 2005
36
So why are you different?
Mar 29th 2005
24
      RE: So why are you different?
Mar 29th 2005
25
      RE: So why are you different?
Mar 29th 2005
34
           yeah that's true. we ARE the first generation to eat and party.
Mar 29th 2005
35
           RE: yeah that's true. we ARE the first generation to eat and party.
Mar 29th 2005
47
           there is nothing knew under the sun
Mar 29th 2005
51
           It's called odds
Mar 29th 2005
52
                actually its even
Mar 29th 2005
59
                Say What?
Mar 29th 2005
68
                     RE: Say What?
Mar 29th 2005
71
                          Last thing on this
Mar 29th 2005
72
                               RE: Last thing on this
Mar 29th 2005
74
                be specific
Mar 29th 2005
79
                     RE: be specific
Mar 31st 2005
103
                          nice try??
Mar 31st 2005
115
                               RE: nice try??
Mar 31st 2005
117
here's another list-
Mar 29th 2005
26
RE: here's another list-
Mar 29th 2005
28
actually that was quite a slow month, lol
Mar 29th 2005
32
RE: here's another list-
Mar 29th 2005
40
fighting unwinnable arguments with christians =
Mar 29th 2005
41
      lol
Mar 29th 2005
49
      I don't hate these folks
Mar 29th 2005
54
           RE: I don't hate these folks
Mar 29th 2005
61
                RE: I don't hate these folks
Mar 29th 2005
64
      lol, my avatar seems so appropiate to this!
Mar 29th 2005
58
           RE: lol, my avatar seems so appropiate to this!
Mar 29th 2005
65
that's just the sleeping dragons in their subterranean caves waking up
Mar 29th 2005
53
well played!
Mar 29th 2005
70
when has the following not been the case tho??
Mar 29th 2005
63
RE: when has the following not been the case tho??
Mar 29th 2005
69
RE: when has the following not been the case tho??
Mar 29th 2005
73
If we only took all the Church Building Funds....LOL
Mar 29th 2005
86
Consider this Zewari
Mar 30th 2005
88
      I'll take Heff
Mar 30th 2005
90
      RE: Consider this Zewari
Mar 30th 2005
96
           question...
Mar 31st 2005
109
                RE: question...
Mar 31st 2005
110
                     then...
Mar 31st 2005
116
                          Not just the bible
Mar 31st 2005
122
                          GREAT OBSERVATION... Notice what follows...
Mar 31st 2005
130
                               Seriously
Mar 31st 2005
135
                               RE: GREAT OBSERVATION... Notice what follows...
Mar 31st 2005
137
                               sure-doppler radar shows no mystical hammers flying around thunderclouds
Mar 31st 2005
141
                                    So your pressuposition...
Apr 01st 2005
145
                                    no
Apr 01st 2005
147
                                         yes
Apr 01st 2005
154
                                              you're mistaken
Apr 01st 2005
159
                                    *Raises arms* TOUCHDOWN, 40TH STREET
Apr 01st 2005
162
                          RE: then...
Mar 31st 2005
123
                               hold on...
Mar 31st 2005
129
                                    RE: hold on...
Mar 31st 2005
131
                                    Which is more righteous?
Mar 31st 2005
134
                                    Don't misunderstand
Mar 31st 2005
140
                                    questions Strav
Mar 31st 2005
138
                                         RE: questions Strav
Mar 31st 2005
142
                                              unanswered of course
Apr 01st 2005
144
                                                   psh
Apr 01st 2005
148
                                                        but you're wrong here..
Apr 01st 2005
156
                                                        RE: but you're wrong here..
Apr 01st 2005
157
                                                        mirror neurons
Apr 01st 2005
160
                                    RE: hold on...
Mar 31st 2005
136
                                         holding
Apr 01st 2005
143
                                              RE: holding
Apr 01st 2005
150
                                                   help me out
Apr 01st 2005
155
                                                        .
Apr 01st 2005
158
                                                        You are incorrigible!
Apr 03rd 2005
163
RE: Earthquakes happen all the time the highest recorded
Mar 29th 2005
80
Yawn....
Mar 31st 2005
139
end of the world...you think you'll end in the heaven all promised
Apr 07th 2005
166

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