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  • Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345
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    Ethics & Debate Center - Thread: Are dinosaurs in the bible?

    1. #41
      MarkFL's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      This is a serious question because I genuinely don't know the answer.

      We know that isotopes decay at a steady pace, and we can measure the proportions of the isotopes present today. But how does that help us with aging unless we also know the starting levels of the different isotopes?

      For example, if some mythical element 23C decays into 21C with a half-life of one year, and we can see that in a given sample there 90% 21C and 10% 23C we know that a year ago there would have been 80% 21C and 20% 23C, two years ago there would have been 60% 21C and 40% 23C, three years ago it would have been 20% 21C and 80% 23C. But how do we know whether the sample is one, two or three years old unless we know how much 23C there was to begin with?

      I realise radioactive decay isn't always as convenient as an isotope of a given element decaying into another isotope of the same element, and with so much radioactive decay going on there may be factors that help corroborate an indication of age. But if someone could explain how that works (or give useful links to read) I'd appreciate it.
      Here's a good place to start:

      Radiometric Dating

      This article only assumes you know some Pre-Calculus math.
      Living in the pools, They soon forget about the sea...— Rush, "Natural Science" (1980)

      “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” — Søren Kierkegaard

    2. #42
      Alithis is offline Expert Member
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      measurement of age and date ... what ever method .

      If we do not have an object which can be proven beyond doubt to be a certain age from which to calibrate ANY form of measurement ..

      then no form of measurement is certain

    3. #43
      MarkFL's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alithis View Post
      measurement of age and date ... what ever method .

      If we do not have an object which can be proven beyond doubt to be a certain age from which to calibrate ANY form of measurement ..

      then no form of measurement is certain
      One of the first things you learn in a freshman physics course is about the uncertainty and error in ALL measurements. Does this mean taking measurements and employing statistical methods on those measurements is is useless?
      Living in the pools, They soon forget about the sea...— Rush, "Natural Science" (1980)

      “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” — Søren Kierkegaard

    4. #44
      Alithis is offline Expert Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by MarkFL View Post
      One of the first things you learn in a freshman physics course is about the uncertainty and error in ALL measurements. Does this mean taking measurements and employing statistical methods on those measurements is is useless?
      it means the only certain thing is that you cant put faith in the uncertainty of mankind.. and when he inevitably fails you.. you can call on the name of the lord Jesus .. and be saved

    5. #45
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alithis View Post
      it means the only certain thing is that you cant put faith in the uncertainty of mankind.. and when he inevitably fails you.. you can call on the name of the lord Jesus .. and be saved
      There are many gods upon which I could call, but to what end? Why would I appeal to a notion for which there is not one shred of compelling evidence? I have compelling reason to believe in the validity of the scientific method and the truths to which it points, but I have no such reason to appeal to the supernatural to explain anything.
      Living in the pools, They soon forget about the sea...— Rush, "Natural Science" (1980)

      “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” — Søren Kierkegaard

    6. #46
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      Quote Originally Posted by MarkFL View Post
      Here's a good place to start:

      Radiometric Dating

      This article only assumes you know some Pre-Calculus math.
      Thanks for the link. Mathematics aren't a problem as long as it isn't hugely advanced - I used to work with a bunch of quantitative analysts who managed to explain a good chunk of what they were doing to me before my head started to hurt.

      I read the article and it didn't cover issues of contamination, addition of extra parent or daughter isotopes from external sources, or how to tell how much of the parent isotope existed in the first place. From the article:

      The basic equation of radiometric dating requires that neither the parent nuclide nor the daughter product can enter or leave the material after its formation. The possible confounding effects of contamination of parent and daughter isotopes have to be considered, as do the effects of any loss or gain of such isotopes since the sample was created. It is therefore essential to have as much information as possible about the material being dated and to check for possible signs of alteration

      and

      Accurate radiometric dating generally requires that the parent has a long enough half-life that it will be present in significant amounts at the time of measurement (except as described below under "Dating with short-lived extinct radionuclides"), the half-life of the parent is accurately known, and enough of the daughter product is produced to be accurately measured and distinguished from the initial amount of the daughter present in the material. (boldface mine)

      It doesn't seem to explain how the initial concentrations of the daughter product is known, and when the formula for calculating the age requires it. It goes on to say

      The above equation makes use of information on the composition of parent and daughter isotopes at the time the material being tested cooled below its closure temperature. This is well-established for most isotopic systems. However, construction of an isochron does not require information on the original compositions, using merely the present ratios of the parent and daughter isotopes to a standard isotope. Plotting an isochron is used to solve the age equation graphically and calculate the age of the sample and the original composition. (boldface mine)

      which essentially presents an equation that requires the initial concentration of the daughter isotope, then talks of a way to overcome the requirement to provide that variable but in a way that seems vague. I'd have thought a bit more detail on that section would have been of particular interest, given it's essentially saying that a parameter one might think would be critical actually isn't needed at all.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    7. #47
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      Quote Originally Posted by MarkFL View Post
      One of the first things you learn in a freshman physics course is about the uncertainty and error in ALL measurements. Does this mean taking measurements and employing statistical methods on those measurements is is useless?
      I guess the difference is that if you're saying the length of something is 1500mm +/- 1mm then you're working within known parameters, namely that your measurement is between 1499 and 1501mm. If you've got something totally unknown and totally uncalibrated (and with no way of calibrating it) you're effectively saying it's 1500mm +/-, oh, something we hope isn't too big. If the inaccuracy turns out to be 1mm then you've got a meaningful measurement. If it turns out to be 50000mm then your measurement of 1500mm is meaningless.

      If the uncertainty can be known with reasonable accuracy (due to known limitations of the measuring equipment) you've at least got something that allows an objective decision whether the value is useful or not. If the uncertainty is itself uncertain then there's no way of knowing whether the measurement is of any value at all.

      To take an example that I realise is a bit silly but makes the point, if you were using a ruler to measure the length of something, regarded your measurement as accurate because you had measured very carefully, and only years later realised that someone had given you a ruler with a logarithmic-like scale on it, every single measurement you had taken with that ruler would be more or less useless. All you'd be able to say with any certainty was that one item was longer than another, and usually you don't need a ruler to do that.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    8. #48
      davedajobauk is offline Apprentice Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alithis
      "there is much evidence throughout recent history .(last 1000 years )that man coexisted with dinosaurs"

      I agree.... Humanoid (Hominim) footprints, have been found in fossilized volcanic ash, alongside Dinosaur footprints
      predating the end of the dinosaurs

      And yes, it is possible, to acquire an approximate date, for when fossils 'formed' (were created)
      as-easily as learning WHEN, the layer in-which the fossils were discovered-in, was laid down and/or, was subsequently 'covered' by the next-layer



      I put the following-question 'out-there'

      HOW HARD IS IT, to create a fossil.... HOW is a fossil formed ?


      The answer to that question, reveals a highly plausible answer
      ~as to why human fossils have not (yet) been found amongst dinosaur fossils

      ~If a corpse or carcase remained UNCOVERED, then it wouldn't remain intact for very long
      ~It is precisely because, the past remains were QUICKLY covered
      by sand, dust and rocks, that we are able to find them, today

      There is considerable EVIDENCE of multiple ANCIENT Global and Regional inundations (floods)
      and more-recently TSUNAMIs (?)
      What ? is, or may be considered a Flood Plain (?)

      dave
      Last edited by davedajobauk; 06-08-2018 at 09:42 PM.
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