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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    18 Jul '08 11:39
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDlvANXjTYU&NR=1
    The title: CARL SAGAN AGREES! EVOLUTION FALSE.
    Which is all very well and good but nowhere in the video is mention of the esteemed doctor. The argument is about po 218 radioactive halo's in rocks, that supposedly proves the earth had to be formed instantly ala genesis because of the short half-life of this isotope of polonium.
    Work done by this Dr. Robert Gentry, supposedly at Oak Ridge lab and printed in a lot of science rags. Anyone hear of this dude before and the validity of his claims? The idea is it took millions of years for granite to cool and allow the formation of these radioactive halo's he got from mica deposits in granite and if so the short half-life Po218 could not have caused these halo's. Anyone know of the scientific refutation of this?
  2. 18 Jul '08 12:13
    They (the creationists) are desperate. They begin to realize that their middle age ideas is coming to an end.
  3. 18 Jul '08 12:29
    If you do a Google on him, you get a few hits.

    TalkOrigins has a page on his halos theory (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/po-halos/gentry.html). The page goes into some depth and requires knowledge of geology, minerology and radiation physics far beyond my own so I cannot form a reasoned opinion on the stregths and weaknesses discussed. Here is TalkOrigins' summary:

    Gentry's polonium halo hypothesis for a young Earth fails, or is inconclusive for, all tests. Gentry's entire thesis is built on a compounded set of assumptions. He is unable to demonstrate that concentric haloes in mica are caused uniquely by alpha particles resulting from the decay of polonium isotopes. His samples are not from "primordial" pieces of the Earth's original crust, but from rocks which have been extensively reworked. Finally, his hypothesis cannot accommodate the many alternative lines of evidence that demonstrate a great age for the Earth. Gentry rationalizes any evidence which contradicts his hypothesis by proposing three "singularities" - one time divine interventions - over the past 6000 years. Of course, supernatural events and processes fall outside the realm of scientific investigations to address. As with the idea of variable radioactive decay rates, once Gentry moves beyond the realm of physical laws, his arguments fail to have any scientific usefulness. If divine action is necessary to fit the halo hypothesis into some consistent model of Earth history, why waste all that time trying to argue about the origins of the haloes based on current scientific theory? This is where most Creationist arguments break down when they try to adopt the language and trappings of science. Trying to prove a religious premise is itself an act of faith, not science.

    As well as his polonium halos theory, he also has a theory published in the MPLA (presumably a proper peer-reviewed journal) suggesting a cosmological model which allows for a young universe. There is a page on TalkOrigins (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/nri.html) on the weaknesses of this theory but again it is all pretty in-depth and demands a knowledge of physics far beyond my own. Again, here is TalkOrigins' conclusion at the end of the above link:

    While Dr. Gentry's model apparently escaped criticism by whatever review went on before being published in MPLA, upon further examination it is seriously lacking. Despite claims to be a static solution to the Einstein Field Equations, the NRI, in fact, is not. Even while assuming the simple Hubble Relation as an initial condition it fails to match the observed linearity in variation of redshift with distance. While its elements may persist for a short time in the configurations that Dr. Gentry describes, the matter inside the hydrogen shell and the insufficiently massive hydrogen shell will significantly diverge from their initial positions in less than a Hubble time. Lastly, the NRI completely fails to account for the observed light element abundance. This all makes Dr. Gentry's preprint claim to have found the "Genuine Cosmic Rosetta Stone" in his NRI seriously questionable.

    Obviously there are lots of creationist sites that talk about his theories as well.

    Thanks for the topic. This guy is clearly a fairly well renowned scientist and is attempting to find serious evidence for his religious views. It looks like his theories get further than most but that the peer review process and scientific method are still able to find significant flaws in his creationist inspired work. I take this as further confirmation of the validity of the scientific method.

    --- Penguin.
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    18 Jul '08 12:39 / 1 edit
    Yeah, in the time of my first post any your post I found and read a good refutation, interesting stuff on its own BTW, I read the same link.
    Among other things, he says that the earth, being only 6000 years old, meant that early rocks decayed faster than today's rocks, an assumption totally disproved, which would have fundamental constants change over that time frame when in fact it is totally the opposite, no changes found in the last 13 BILLION years much less the much younger 4 or 5 bil of the earth.

    The gist of that is, if that had occurred, the earth would not have had time to cool down and would still be molten today. Too bad for old Gentry, eh.
  5. 18 Jul '08 15:31 / 1 edit
    If I remember correctly, creationists don’t only believe that the Earth is 6000 years old but they also believe that the whole universe is 6000 years old?

    The speed of light has been scientifically measured precisely. It has been calculated that, given the speed of light, light from other galaxies takes millions of years to reach us. For example, light from the nearest large galaxy; the Andromeda Galaxy, takes 2.5 million years to reach Earth so that we are seeing that galaxy not how it is now but as it was 2.5 million years ago. But if the universe is only 6000 years old then light from these galaxies shouldn’t have had time to reach us yet and therefore we shouldn’t be able to see those galaxies!

    I am just curious to how a creationists would explain this evidence that contradicts their belief that the whole universe is only 6000 years old?
  6. 18 Jul '08 19:54
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    If I remember correctly, creationists don’t only believe that the Earth is 6000 years old but they also believe that the whole universe is 6000 years old?

    The speed of light has been scientifically measured precisely. It has been calculated that, given the speed of light, light from other galaxies takes millions of years to reach us. For example, ...[text shortened]... lain this evidence that contradicts their belief that the whole universe is only 6000 years old?
    There actually are various forms of creationist.

    The ones who think that the earth and universe are only around 6000 years old are the "YEC's" or the Young Earth Creationists and they require the most skillfull ability to deny facts.

    The accepted catholic view is that science is right, but god directed the process of evolution, etc.. It doesn't actually deny what science tells us, it just inserts god for all unknowns and suggests that god is just there making things happen.

    There are various views in between.

    I have heard some claim that the universe is billions of years old, but the earth is only 6000. This allows them to allow for the light that came from other stars millions of years ago to exist, but would force them to ignore all terrestrial evidence of the age of the earth.
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    18 Jul '08 20:25
    Here is one argument I proffered to one young earther:
    The moon (and other bodies in the solar system) went through tremendous barrages of asteroids, comets, protoplanets, etc. I said if the earth is 6000 years old, why isn't the moon red hot from all those obvious craters there. It would seem to me 6000 years would not be near enough time to throw off the heat of thousands of impacts that had to have happened 'early' in Earth's history. So why isn't it red hot still?
    Totally over their heads. No answer.
  8. 19 Jul '08 22:17
    One reply I heatd drom a creationist was that God created the universe with "the appearance of age". I believe the universe is 13.5 byo, or so, but it IS an interesting argument. Since I do believe God is omnipotent, I can't argue that he COULDN'T do that. I can only wonder why...
  9. 19 Jul '08 22:53
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    One reply I heatd drom a creationist was that God created the universe with "the appearance of age". I believe the universe is 13.5 byo, or so, but it IS an interesting argument. Since I do believe God is omnipotent, I can't argue that he COULDN'T do that. I can only wonder why...
    The response I've heard from theistic scientists (i.e. not the oxymoronic "creation scientist" is that they can't believe that god would be a deceptive god.

    It's true that it's possible an omnipotent god could have created the earth five minutes ago with everything in tact to make it look like the earth has been here for that long.

    Either way, we have no way to verify that at all and so we might as well go on believing that's not true since we can only go on what evidence is there.
  10. Standard member KellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    20 Jul '08 00:11
    Originally posted by Penguin
    If you do a Google on him, you get a few hits.

    TalkOrigins has a page on his halos theory (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/po-halos/gentry.html). The page goes into some depth and requires knowledge of geology, minerology and radiation physics far beyond my own so I cannot form a reasoned opinion on the stregths and weaknesses discussed. Here is TalkOrig ...[text shortened]... s as further confirmation of the validity of the scientific method.

    --- Penguin.
    "A slightly biased attempt to discredit evolutio... "

    We know there is never any biased attempts at discrediting anything
    that may discredit evolution.
    kelly
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    20 Jul '08 03:09
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    "A slightly biased attempt to discredit evolutio... "

    We know there is never any biased attempts at discrediting anything
    that may discredit evolution.
    kelly
    If you have any intellectual honesty, you know there is ALWAYS an agenda when creationists start talking in the language of science. They are not after a real scientific debate. What they are after is to destroy the science behind evolution, pure and simple. I've said it before and I'll say it again:
    Suppose for some unfathomable reason, creationists were proven right in their quest to destroy evolution as a science. My prediction: They would drop the issue like a hot potato and merely go back to bible thumping and there would be no further science.
  12. Standard member KellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    20 Jul '08 07:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    If you have any intellectual honesty, you know there is ALWAYS an agenda when creationists start talking in the language of science. They are not after a real scientific debate. What they are after is to destroy the science behind evolution, pure and simple. I've said it before and I'll say it again:
    Suppose for some unfathomable reason, creationists were ...[text shortened]... like a hot potato and merely go back to bible thumping and there would be no further science.
    If you had any you'd know everyone has agendas, a points of view
    they wish to defend, assumptions they want to confirm, and so on.
    You act like only those who believe in creation have that going for
    them.
    Kelly
  13. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    20 Jul '08 13:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    If you had any you'd know everyone has agendas, a points of view
    they wish to defend, assumptions they want to confirm, and so on.
    You act like only those who believe in creation have that going for
    them.
    Kelly
    I freely admit agenda's in science. If you look at Edison for instance, he was hell-bent on DC generators while Tesla, his underling, knew, as we well know now, that AC was the way to go because of transmission line loss you have to use ultra high voltages and you have to be able to crank that down to ordinary household voltages, 100 to 200 volts and ATT it was impossible with DC, yet Edison fiercely defended his position to the extent of firing Tesla, a world class genius. Of course there is agenda in science, no argument there. The point I am making is the creationists would cease and desist all pretense at science if they ever won their argument.
    In the case of Edison V Tesla, science went on as usual. There would be no further studies that might disprove creationism by creationist universities once they win their case. That's my prediction. Of course I don't think it will ever come to that because they have no case and therefore they will crank away at the same tired theme 100 years from now, since they have already been at it for the last 100 years, it is an easy prediction to say they will be at it still in another 100 years.

    BTW on the DC V AC front, here is an article about it, it seems there was a DC generator in the NYC still cranking out DC until 2007!
    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/off-goes-the-power-current-started-by-thomas-edison/
  14. 20 Jul '08 13:15
    We all know that KellyJay doesn't know much about science. Now he is here, at the Science Forum, trolling. Why taking him seriously in the first place?
  15. 20 Jul '08 14:14
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    They (the creationists) are desperate. They begin to realize that their middle age ideas is coming to an end.
    Maybe the Creationist Christians should've listened in high school science when they had the chance. It's almost sad ... for all that I hate their ideas and their ignorance and their dogma, they're now broken and have nowhere else to go.