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The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:17 am 
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A few words of wisdom, if I may.

Back around 1989, in a local shopping mall there was a creationist fossil store. The proprietor organized some amateur-night debates in which anybody was invited to step up and try to make his case. I used whatever limited connections I had to get the word out.

One night, a young creationist got up before the crowd and announced that he had something that would just literally blow the evolutionists away: the speed of light has been slowing down. Immediately, half the audience started howling in laughter and explaining to that poor idiot the facts about Setterfied's false claims that they had been fully aware of and which had been soundly refuted for more than a decade.

crazynutsx, please try to learn something about what you post. If you have a scale that only measures up to 100 pounds, what reading should you expect when you place a 100 ton object upon it? Why should you be surprised to find that it only reports 100 pounds? Does it mean that the entire system of measurements is all fouled up? Or does it mean that you don't know what the fuck you're doing?

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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:54 am 
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DWise1 wrote:
One night, a young creationist got up before the crowd and announced that he had something that would just literally blow the evolutionists away: the speed of light has been slowing down. Immediately, half the audience started howling in laughter and explaining to that poor idiot the facts about Setterfied's false claims that they had been fully aware of and which had been soundly refuted for more than a decade.


Im not sure which direction its going (getting faster or slower) But i would say there is good case to say the speed of light is not a constant

If you are traveling at 60mph in your car down the road and you flick your headlights on, wouldnt the light from the headlights be doing the speed of light plus 60?

DWise1 wrote:
crazynutsx, please try to learn something about what you post. If you have a scale that only measures up to 100 pounds, what reading should you expect when you place a 100 ton object upon it? Why should you be surprised to find that it only reports 100 pounds? Does it mean that the entire system of measurements is all fouled up? Or does it mean that you don't know what the fuck you're doing?


Are you mentioning the fact that im refering to carbon dating and this only goes back a few thousand years or soo, the title of the article clearly states (The problem with Carbon 14 dating and other dating methods)


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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:51 pm 
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Crazynutsx wrote:
If you are traveling at 60mph in your car down the road and you flick your headlights on, wouldnt the light from the headlights be doing the speed of light plus 60?


No, that's not what happens. It's simple special relativity and is actually one of the classic Gedankenexperimenten to illustrate it; Marilyn Monroe presented it, completely with toy car and flashlights, in the play, Relativity. One of the two postulates of special relativity presented in the first paper is:
Quote:
- The Principle of Invariant Light Speed – "... light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity [speed] c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body." (from the preface). That is, light in vacuum propagates with the speed c (a fixed constant, independent of direction) in at least one system of inertial coordinates (the "stationary system"), regardless of the state of motion of the light source.

Key wording to remember: "in empty space", AKA "in vacuum". We'll get back to that when we discuss refraction.

What does happen is that the additional energy from the car transforms into a Doppler frequency shift, as described by Doppler in 1842 in Über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels (On the coloured light of the binary stars and some other stars of the heavens -- please don't get pissy, as you have before, that I assumed you couldn't read the German title. When the waves being generated propagate much faster than the moving platform that generates them, then the wavelength in the direction of motion shortens, raising the frequency, while the wavelength away from the direction of motion lengthens, lowering the frequency. It is easily observed with sound; even from a moving platform, the speed that the sound travels at remains the same in all directions while it's the pitch (ie, frequency) of the perceived sound that is affected by the source's motion.

The Doppler effect is used in Doppler radar, in which the frequency of the return signal is compared to the frequency of the transmitted signal in order to calculate the speed at which the target is moving towards or away from the radar site. It is also used extensively in astronomy in measuring the speeds at which objects are moving towards (ie, "blue shifting") or moving away from us (ie, "red shifting"). But how can we tell that starlight is being Doppler shifted? What are we able to compare it to? Easy, the emission and absorption lines in the light.

I'm sure you're familiar with the standard graphical depiction of an atom in which electrons peacefully and in an orderly manner orbit the nucleus, like planets around a star. Well, that's an oversimplification. Electrons move about the nucleaus in shells and can jump suddenly from one energy level in the shell to another. And it's not a gradual change in energy level either, but rather in highly distinct quanta, such that it takes a very precise amount, or quantum, of energy introduced into the atom to cause the electron to jump to a higher level. And when the electron then drops to a lower energy level, it emits that quantum of energy. This is what makes florescent and neon lights illuminate as the gas atoms reemit energy being pumped into them.

Each quantum has its own characteristic frequency and each element has its own characteristic frequency, such that when you observe the spectrum of the light being emitted by the atoms, you can identify which elements they are. And if those characteristic lines are then shifted by the Doppler effect, then you can determine the speed and direction (towards or away) of the object emitting the light. As well as what elements are present in that object as evidenced by the emission lines. And when the light travels through an interstellar/intergalactic dust cloud, the atoms in that cloud will absorb quanta of specific frequencies according with what elements they are, which will show up in the spectrum as absorption lines, and so we can see what elements are present there too.

Now, do you remember that key wording I wanted you to remember? Go back up and look at it again if you need to. "in empty space"/"in vacuum". Because the speed of light depends on the medium that it's travelling through. I think it travels the fastest in vacuum, but when it then enters air it slows down. And when it enters water, it slows down again. And when it enters glass (assuming a pool with a window, as our university's diving pool had for the coaches to observe the divers' form) it slows down again. And when exits the glass into air, it speeds up. Basically, the denser the medium, the slower the speed of light. And each time light slows down or speeds up as it passes from one medium to another, it bends. That is called refrection and it is how lenses and prisms work. The Wikipedia article on the speed of light says:
Wikipedia wrote:
The speed at which light propagates through transparent materials, such as glass or air, is less than c. The ratio between c and the speed v at which light travels in a material is called the refractive index n of the material (n = c / v). For example, for visible light the refractive index of glass is typically around 1.5, meaning that light in glass travels at c / 1.5 ˜ 200,000 km/s; the refractive index of air for visible light is about 1.0003, so the speed of light in air is about 90 km/s slower than c.


I remember reading somewhere this past year that physicists have been able to slow light travelling through a medium down to a crawl, almost but not quite stopping it. But that still doesn't affect the speed of light in a vacuum.


OK, I think that's enough background information to proceed to the basic question:

Crazynutsx wrote:
Im not sure which direction its going (getting faster or slower) But i would say there is good case to say the speed of light is not a constant


So in your considered opinion you think the claim has a good case. How could you possibly know that if you don't even know anything about the claim itself? You know because you trust who told you that? The same ones who gave you the false solar-mass-loss claim and the false C-14 claims? And you still trust them?

"c-decay" means that the claim is that the speed of light is slowing down, meaning that it is supposed to have been greater in the past.

Here is the Wikipedia write-up on the claim:
Wikipedia wrote:
c decay

The concept of c-decay was first proposed by Barry Setterfield in 1981 in an article for the Australian creationist magazine, Ex Nihilo. He selected a number of historical measurements of c starting with the original measurement by Ole Rømer in 1667, and proceeding through a series of more recent experiments, culminating in "modern" measures in the 1960s. These showed a decreasing speed over time, which Setterfield claimed was in fact an exponential decay series that implied an infinite speed in the not distant past. The claim was later expanded to cover an apparent similar decay of several other physical constants.

. . .


Criticism

Setterfield's argument is based on a curve fitting that he claimed demonstrated an exponential decay. However, the "spottyness" of the data, especially early measurements, means that no strong correlation can be made for any particular shape of curve.

Moreover, Setterfield's argument is most highly dependent on Rømer's original measurement, which is the outlier that defines the curve. His measure was copied from an issue of Sky and Telescope which he stated said the speed of light was "301,300 plus or minus 200 km/sec", about 0.5% above the current value. The article was actually an excerpt from The Astronomical Journal, which disagrees completely, and in fact states quite clearly that "The best fit occurs at zero where the light travel time is identical to the currently accepted value."

Just as worrying at a fundamental level is the apparent "cherry picking" of the data in order to fit the original curve. Many experiments measuring the speed of light, some of them famous, were left out of his analysis. When these are included the graph becomes much more "flat". Even when one considers only the quoted experiments, Setterfield left out a number of measurements when attempting to illustrate the statistical accuracy of his claim. When these three points are added back into the set, the decay disappears. More recent versions of Setterfield's paper include these figures, using adjusted mathematics to rebuild the curve. These mathematics have been the object of ridicule.


talkorigins.org's article is The Decay of c-decay by Robert P. J. Day at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c-decay.html and is more detailed than what I'm quoting here -- don't want to overwhelm you. And of course there's an entry in the Index of Creationist Claims:

Claim CE411: The speed of light was faster in the past, so objects millions of light-years away are much younger than millions of years.
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE411.html
Claim CE411 wrote:
1. The possibility that the speed of light has not been constant has received much attention from physicists, but they have found no evidence for any change. Many different measurements of the speed of light have been made in the last 180 or so years. The older measurements were not as accurate as the latest ones. Setterfield chose 120 data points from 193 measurements available (see Dolphin n.d. for the data), and the line of best fit for these points shows the speed of light decreasing. If you use the entire data set, though, the line of best fit shows the speed increasing. However, a constant speed of light is well within the experimental error of the data.

2. If Setterfield's formulation of the changes in physical parameters were true, then there should have been 417 days per year around 1 C.E., and the earth would have melted during the creation week as a result of the extremely rapid radioactive decay (Morton et al. 1983).

3. As an aside, some creationists assert that fundamental laws have not changed (Morris 1974, 18).



And now, long long ago in a galaxy far far away ... the star Sk -69 202 exploded and became supernova SN1987A.

OK, the galaxy is not so far away, but rather it's the third closest galaxy to our own, the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, which on earth is only visible from the Southern Hemisphere. SN1987A is 168,000 light-years distant; this distance has been calculated from direct parallax measurements. By examining the light, scientists are able to detect cobalt-56 and cobalt-57 in the supernova remnants and calculate their half-lives; it's a match with what we measure on earth, evidence that the speed of light 168,000 years ago was the same as it is today. No c-decay. No slowing down.

Dave Matson goes through the evidence and responds to creationist counter-claims in great detail at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-add.html#A6.

Todd Greene's article is at http://www.outersystem.us/creationism/ancientproof/SN1987A.html. Todd used to be a staunch young-earth creationist until he started to actually study the claims. Now he's an opponent of "creation science" and a good source of information.

Glenn R. Morton also used to be a staunch young-earth creationist who published many creationist articles in their leading periodical at the time, Creation Research Society Quarterly, and ghost-wrote the evolution section of one of Josh McDowell's books. With only creationist training in geology, he and other creationists went to work in the field for an oil exploration company. All of them suffered crises of faith from being confronted daily with rock-hard solid geological evidence that creationism had taught them did not exist and could not exist if Scripture were to have any meaning. Morton himself was driven to the verge of atheism by his creationist beliefs. He was able to save his faith and is now an active opponent of "creation science" and especially of creationist "Flood geology".

Morton covers much the same points (12 False Statements Made by Anti-evolutionary Apologists, False Statement #8 and #9, neither of which deal directly with c-decay, but rather with claims that supernovas don't exist and that parallax measurements are limited to 300 light-years, making measurements farther out all pure speculation). However, he also adds (my emphasis added):
Glenn R. Morton wrote:
The observation verified the theoretical prediction, but it did more than that. Fundamental physics shows that the speed of light is proportional to the rate of radioactive decay. Seeing the same half-life and energies for Co-56 and Co-57 on the star as we see here tells us that the speed of light has not changed since the light left the star. This means that the light took 169,000 years to get here.

If the universe is only a few thousand years, then everything prior to the vertical line is false.

[ ASCII graphics failed to display properly here. Go to original article to view it ]


God had to manufacture the light in such a way as to form a sequence of images for a supernova event which never happened. God must make just the precise photon energies appear at the appropriate time. God must make the amplitude of the light images decay precisely with the successive half-lives of Co-56 and then Co-57. But none of these made up events ever happened. Since only God Himself is powerful enough to create such an illusion, then God can not escape the charge of deception IF the supernova didn't happen 169,000 years ago as we see it.

Thus I feel that in order to not have God deceiving us, I must believe in an old earth.


You want the speed of light to have been immensely greater in the relatively recent past (about 4000 to 6000 years ago) in order to say that geological formations only 4000 to 6000 years old only appear to be many 100 millions and billions of years old because the decay rates were much greater 4000 to 6000 years ago. Doesn't work.

You forget that one of the by-products of radioactive decay is the release of energy, including heat, lots of heat, but also gamma radiation. If radioactive decay had been so immensely greater so recently, then so much radiation and heat would have been released in such a short period of time that the surface of the earth would have been sterilized (ie, all life destroyed) and most likely completely melted. By all appearances, that did not happen.

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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:34 pm 
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The speed of light which is 182,000 miles per second has been proved to not be a constant

Labratory tests have proven then it can be slowed down to just 38mph

An entirely new type of matter, first observed four years ago, has made this possible. When attoms get super compacted, and are at extremly low temperatures, they take on the characterists of one super attom which acts like a laser

Using this method scientists can slow down light more and more depending on theese variables

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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:38 am 
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Not sure whether you're still trying to claim c-decay or if you're just supplying info on that experiment. Just in case:

As I already said:

DWise1 wrote:
One of the two postulates of special relativity presented in the first paper is:
Wikipedia wrote:
- The Principle of Invariant Light Speed – "... light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity [speed] c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body." (from the preface). That is, light in vacuum propagates with the speed c (a fixed constant, independent of direction) in at least one system of inertial coordinates (the "stationary system"), regardless of the state of motion of the light source.

Key wording to remember: "in empty space", AKA "in vacuum". We'll get back to that when we discuss refraction.

. . .

Now, do you remember that key wording I wanted you to remember? Go back up and look at it again if you need to. "in empty space"/"in vacuum". Because the speed of light depends on the medium that it's travelling through. I think it travels the fastest in vacuum, but when it then enters air it slows down. And when it enters water, it slows down again. And when it enters glass (assuming a pool with a window, as our university's diving pool had for the coaches to observe the divers' form) it slows down again. And when exits the glass into air, it speeds up. Basically, the denser the medium, the slower the speed of light. And each time light slows down or speeds up as it passes from one medium to another, it bends. That is called refrection and it is how lenses and prisms work. The Wikipedia article on the speed of light says:
Wikipedia wrote:
The speed at which light propagates through transparent materials, such as glass or air, is less than c. The ratio between c and the speed v at which light travels in a material is called the refractive index n of the material (n = c / v). For example, for visible light the refractive index of glass is typically around 1.5, meaning that light in glass travels at c / 1.5 ˜ 200,000 km/s; the refractive index of air for visible light is about 1.0003, so the speed of light in air is about 90 km/s slower than c.


I remember reading somewhere this past year that physicists have been able to slow light travelling through a medium down to a crawl, almost but not quite stopping it. But that still doesn't affect the speed of light in a vacuum.


Light simply has different speeds depending on what medium it's travelling through. Being able to create a medium that slows light down to an extremely slow speed will have very interesting technical applications, but it does absolutely nothing to affect the speed of light in a vacuum. The speed of light in a vacuum remains constant.


BTW, it's 186,000 miles per second. Or 300,000 km per second. Or 1/3 meter per nanosecond (one billionth of a second). Since switching speeds in computer circuitry operate in the nanosecond range and electrical signals travel at light speed, computer pioneer RADM Grace Hopper would hand out "nanoseconds" to her students, pieces of wire cut to a third of a meter, about a foot, the distance that a signal will travel in one nanosecond. Before massive integrated circuitry, computers were constructed out of discrete components on circuit boards with cables of wires connecting the boards. The speed of the computer was literally limited by the length of those wires; if a signal had to travel from one end of a six-foot cabinet to the other, that was six nanoseconds wasted. The Cray S-1 supercomputer (c. 1980) was designed with that in mind. Built as a circular hollow tower, all the wires were on the inside of that tower such that no wire was longer than 2 feet. Next time you watch the movie Sneakers, towards the end the bad guy takes Robert Redford into that glass room and they sit down on seats attached to a tower. That is a Cray computer (later model than the S-1) and those seats were the power supplies.

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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:51 am 
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Crazynutsx wrote:
DWise1 wrote:
crazynutsx, please try to learn something about what you post. If you have a scale that only measures up to 100 pounds, what reading should you expect when you place a 100 ton object upon it? Why should you be surprised to find that it only reports 100 pounds? Does it mean that the entire system of measurements is all fouled up? Or does it mean that you don't know what the fuck you're doing?


Are you mentioning the fact that im refering to carbon dating and this only goes back a few thousand years or soo, the title of the article clearly states (The problem with Carbon 14 dating and other dating methods)


Finally I am home so I can see the freakin' stupid graphic! And I do mean "stupid" in both ways.

Did you ever read that freakin' stupid graphic? I can't quote it for you, because it's a freakin' stupid graphic. But if you were to bother to read it past the title, you would see the author talking over and over again about applying carbon-dating to dinosaur fossils. Over and over again. And, OBTW, scientists are just cheating when they consider using a test that would actually work. Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot? The author keeps insisting that we must use the wrong test? And if those dinosaur fossils really only date a few thousand years, then why won't carbon-dating work on them? Sheer idiocy!

What site did you steal this graphic from? What idiot wrote that thing? I'm absolutely serious: cite your sources! I've given you plenty examples of how to perform that most basic act of scholarship. Where are you getting that nonsense from? Seriously! What is your source?

Read what I wrote:
"]
DWise1 wrote:
If you have a scale that only measures up to 100 pounds, what reading should you expect when you place a 100 ton object upon it? Why should you be surprised to find that it only reports 100 pounds? Does it mean that the entire system of measurements is all fouled up? Or does it mean that you don't know what the fuck you're doing?

If you have a tool and you misuse it, you will get bad results. Which is at fault? The tool? Or you? You are, obviously. What is the solution? Find out what you need to do to use your tools correctly and use the right tool for the right job! Which the author of that nonsensical graphic falsely condemns.

Have you ever used a voltmeter? Depending on the model, it measures several ranges of voltage; only one scale is the best. Until you measure the voltage you want to measure, you don't really know what it is. So, to protect the meter's movement, you set the meter to the maximum scale. The needle doesn't move, which means that the voltage is much lower than this scale is intended for. So you switch the meter down to the next scale. The needle deflects slightly, which means that this new scale is also not the right one; the actual voltage just barely falls within the range of this scale, but it's too low to measure accurately. So you switch the meter down one more scale. You get close to mid-range deflection. This is the correct scale to use; take your measurement.

That is the procedure that technicians are taught. It is the correct procedure; it yields accurate readings and it protects the meter from damage. The author of your stolen graphic condemns the correct procedure. The author claims that when we switch to a hopefully more appropriate voltage scale that we are trying to "change facts to fit the theory." If you as a working technician follow the advice of the author of your graphic, then you will not get accurate readings and you will destroy one meter after another -- reading a high voltage with the lowest range selected will channel far more current through the movement than it can take and it will be destroyed. You follow the advice of the author of your stolen graphic and you will soon no longer have a job, terminated with cause for gross incompetence.

IOW, that idiot doesn't know what he's talking about. He's just spinning a line of BS that he knows that creationists will buy.

Here is how I understand that paleantologists operate. These dating methods are not cheap, so you don't want to waste your money on unlikely results. Part of digging up the fossil is establishing the dig site. Figure out what layer it was found in. The age of that layer would be the likely age of the fossil, so the test whose range best covers that probable age would be the best first choice.

Learn how it's done and why it's done that way. And the last people you can expect to get accurate information from are the creationists.

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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:10 am 
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Have you heard of circular reasoning when it comes to dating rocks and fossiles though

On numerous sites it says fossils date rocks

then on others rocks date fossils

Which is it ?

Can you shed any light on this


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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:58 pm 
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Crazynutsx wrote:
Have you heard of circular reasoning when it comes to dating rocks and fossiles though

On numerous sites it says fossils date rocks

then on others rocks date fossils

Which is it ?

Can you shed any light on this

Would you be able to provide an example where you see this happening?

Cross checking and cross referencing are very common methods used in science for verifying the potential accuracy of information gathered.

Jon


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Re: The problem with carbon 14 and other radiometric dating
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Crazynutsx wrote:
Have you heard of circular reasoning when it comes to dating rocks and fossiles though

On numerous sites it says fossils date rocks

then on others rocks date fossils

Which is it ?

Can you shed any light on this


Of course.

And it is not even circular reasoning.

Think.

Even if it was true, it has absolutely nothing to do with radiometric dating.

What you are doing with this post is called the Gish Gallop, simply changing the subject.


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