Originally posted by twhitehead
Actually, no, that is very unlikely to happen to anyone in this forum, neither is understanding the math, physics, chemistry etc involved.
[b]What creationists are disputing,(or should be, if they are serious debaters) is the way the result is interpreted.
And that interpretation is what 'carbon dating' really is. Measuring the C14 is not dating. ...[text shortened]... nt means of those quantities etc.
By your definition, Carbon dating is decidedly not factual.[/b]
It seems to me that we often talk past each other, twhitehead! I thought my post was pretty clear. But let's try again - Carbon dating is actually a very good example.
Typically, an Evolutionist/Creationist debate on RHP goes as follows:
E: This artifact has been dated at 150 000 years, thus proving whatever.
C: Rubbish, it can't be older than 6 000 yrs.
E: You are an igorant fool
C: And you are a pompous liar!
Not very productive, is it?
Let's look at the FACTS: by my definition, items that can be independently verified and are accepted as true by both sides.
FACT: A certain specimen is chemically analised and shown to contain x % C14. Nobody can dispute that. It can be repeated over and over again, by several laboratories (and most carbon dated tests are done in this way).
Now comes the rub! Any conclusions drawn and interpretation depends on certain ASSUMPTIONS. These are (in this example):
1 The original composition
of the sample in yr 0 was 0% C14 (or whatever)
2 The rate of decay
has remained unchanged during the life of the sample (in this case 150 000 yrs)
In order to attack the finding of 150k yrs, the Creationist must postulate alternative ASSUMPTIONS (Opinions). Either:
1 The original composition of the sample was similar to that of today, or
2 That the rate of decay has accelerated drastically during the past few thousand years.
If THAT is the argument of the Creationist, then one can have a meaningful debate about whose assumptions (or, as I proposed, opin ions) are the more likely to be correct.
Here is another example. In an earlier post on ID, I mentioned the following from Francis Collins' book: The Language of God
He refers to Ancient Repetitive Elements (AREs), which are "jumping genes" that are capable of copying and inserting themselves in various other locations in the genome, usually without any functional consequences. (p 136) It was found that the human and mouse genome have several AREs in exactly the same position.
This is a FACT. It can be verified by anybody knowledgable in the science.
Now we must draw conclusions from this. There are two possibilities for this phenomenon to occur:
1 It could show that both mice and humans have a common ancestor, which used the AREs in a particular way, or
2 God created both mice and humans with the currently observed genome, that incorporates these AREs.
FC dismisses the second option. In his OPINION this would indicate that God was devious, putting red herrings into the evidence to confuse us. Therefore, he supports Option 1 which points to directed evolution.
I challenged RJHinds with this situation. I asked him which explanation for the AREs he supports.
His answer? "FC is deluded". Quote unquote.
End of argument. Nothing remains to be said. RJH is clearly unwilling or unable to comprehend such a simple problem.
If he were intellectually honest, he would have said: "I accept option 2 - God created us and mice as we are today. If the genome indicates any problems, then so be it: God is great and mysterious. Why should he not build the genome in any way he wants to?" That would be a tenable position, (opinion) which one could discuss further and maybe investigate where such an opinion would lead us.
Do you now finally see what I mean by OPINION and FACT? I really cannot explain it any better!