Thursday, November 16, 2006

Scientific Dating Methods are terribly unscientific

Professor Lessor of Fundus Institute commented, "we use the finest dating methods. And we know that we are right that these bones are MILLIONS of years old. Carbon dating has been shown to be correct sometimes, to some degree, over periods of hundreds of years _ usually only being hundreds of years out. And we have other dating methods now that are almost as accurate; particularly when we recalibrate our machines when we know what date is required".
Mr Form at Hard Drive said, "I was watching a program on TV the other day that carbon dated a skull found in Australia to be 2,500 years old. But the scientists didn't like that date so they went around trying all these other dating methods and finally found one that said it was about 60,000 to 70,000 years old and so they took those dates. When asked why they didn't use the carbon dating method that is so 'accurate' they said it was because the lime in the soil must have confused it".
Dr G Etpade of Theoretic Institute stated, "we are at a new age now where we no longer have the problems of science in the past that almost always had theories that have been proven wrong in spite of them proving them right at the time. All our theories are correct because we have proven them right on TV. We also have a new advantage to use to convince people we're right called 'dating methods'. This is a cleaver idea where you use some instrument to obtain the date you want. We decide it's MILLIONS of years old then it becomes MILLIONS of years old".
Sarah Gill (LDS) questions, "Those against evolution claim that a rock formed by a volcano only a short time before was carbon dated to be MILLIONS of years old. Also that a rock only a few years old, brought back from the moon, was similarly dated. On both occasions the truth had been kept from those doing the dating. Why should anyone believe all this, unproven, MILLIONS of years stuff"?
Dr Thinkitt of the Local Logicians Club said, "All accepted fact must be based on proven facts (premises). Therefore talk of MILLIONS of years is illogical as no one can PROVE what happened in a time of which we have no way to prove it absolutely correct. If someone makes a claim about ancient Egypt from known facts about Egypt it could be logical. But we have no written record of MILLIONS of years ago and we can't go back to prove or disprove the claim or the premises upon which it is based: Regardless of what instruments are used. No logician could accept someone saying they KNOW about MILLIONS of years ago as anything but the ravings of a fool".
Miss Daytmee of Hobart says, "yes, well, my dating method is to play hard to get".

20 comments:

Rob Osborn said...

Scientific dating methods are as funny as time travel. And if them dates really are correct, let's use Dr. Watsons time machine to go back to that precise date in history.

Precise, precise, what the heck is that? That word is the round-about way of saying "give or take a few million years". I have always found it quite strange that we can precisely date something to within a few million years, that oxymoron statement has always given me chuckles.

On the more serious side, I do not agree at all with how science goes around pushing their godless political views. I say "political" because that is exactly what it is. Every good scientist knows that our dating methods are about as crude as the first caveman's lathes (did they really have lathes?...yes you idiot, how do you think they made the lathe in the first place, geeeez).

I find it also very interesting that all fossils including dinosaurs that have been carbon dated have actually been found to contain carbon, so much for the millions of years, but them scientists are real tricky and wishy-washy, they just blamed it all on contamination. Kind of reminds me of playing dungeons and dragons with the little 9 year old neighbor brain wiz- always changing the rules and executing special divine powers to combat anything at anytime- a true no win situation.


The day scientists finally figure out the dating game,will be the day that a lady in London gives birth to a monkey and a man in New York finally decides life as a whale was much more pleasing and grows gills and flops off the beach into the ocean......never gonna happen!

Doug Towers said...

I found your comments interesting, Rob. I had come to think of theory science as the worlds largest religion. But then working out where politics and religion divide is a subject of its own, with no definite answer that I know of. So we're both right, I feel.

Jared* said...

If by 'unscientific' or 'political' you mean that they take into account that the world is a complicated place and that confounding factors exist and must be taken into account, and that many different lines of evidence should be brought together to try to get the best consistent picture, then I suppose you have a point.

I find it also very interesting that all fossils including dinosaurs that have been carbon dated have actually been found to contain carbon, so much for the millions of years...

I question whether Rob is really in a position to make such a sweeping statement. Carbon dating is only good for dates up to around 50,000 years ago--three orders of magnitude younger than dinosaurs. And it is unclear to me on what basis he thinks that a dinosaur bone should not contain any carbon.

lief said...

I went to one of Professor Lessor's lectures where he brought one of his "carbon dating machines" for a demonstration. A student told him to date a rock he found in the hills but it was really a piece of styro-foam from one of those fake flower things. The guy said it was like a million years old. What a crock!

Capt. Obsidian said...

lief said...
I went to one of Professor Lessor's lectures where he brought one of his "carbon dating machines" for a demonstration. A student told him to date a rock he found in the hills but it was really a piece of styro-foam from one of those fake flower things. The guy said it was like a million years old. What a crock!


What a crock, indeed:

1) Anyone who knows about carbon dating knows that it is only good for organic matter up to about 50-60000 years old (as Jared* pointed out above) and would never claim a result to be "like a million years old."

2) Samples to be carbon dated require meticulous preparation to avoid contamination.

3)Carbon dating is expensive (roughly $500-600 per sample).

4) Carbon-dating equipment is not portable.

5) You can't carbon date a rock; carbon dating requires organic matter (carbon).

6) I would not trust the opinion of anyone who cannot tell the difference between a rock and styrofoam.

Rob Osborn said:
...the day that a lady in London gives birth to a monkey and a man in New York finally decides life as a whale was much more pleasing and grows gills and flops off the beach into the ocean......never gonna happen!


You're right, a lady will not give birth to a monkey, nor will a man suddenly grow gills. You and I both know that evolution makes no such claims, but if you keep repeating it enough, people might believe in its truthiness.

Nice post, Doug.

Nick said...

This post was satire, right? Very nicely written- I couldn't have made fun of anti-science wackos better myself...

Doug Towers said...

Some interesting comments.
I remember watching a documentary about a sword that was found. The conclusion of the archaeologists was that it was a Roman sword. So they went to have it carbon dated. The date that came back was in the 1300s. They were looking for a much earlier date. They informed the people doing the dating of the date they were expecting. The people doing the dating said that the dates were wrong because different areas have different breakdown rates. So they went to the area it was found and cut through a tree to find the rings. They took a part from a ring assuming a period of 100 years (I think was the time they said from memory) for each ring. Then recalabrating the machine to this concept they came up with 670 AD. Which the archaeologists were content with.
This whole thing seems a bit suspect to me. How do they normally recalibrate their machines? Why didn't they automatically present this problem when the sword was brought to them - after all they are the experts? Perhaps this conclusion was correct and the method scientific. Perhaps! But to actually have belief in this from that demonstration seems a religion not a science.

jeff g said...

First of all, I do not see how the method which the entire scientific community accepts could be anything less than scientific. Call it false if you want, or misleading, but not unscientific.

Second, and more to the point, scientist rely upon literally dozens of dating techniques, some of which are isotope dating and other not. All of these techniques agree with each other for the most part. When some 1 test gives a wrong date this is no big deal. This is not enough to cast doubt on the fossils which have been independently dated by 6 or more techniques which all agree with each other.

Honestly, do you guys really think that all the relevant scientists are just a bunch of bungling idiots or what?

lief said...

More to the point, the scriptures clearly state that so-called "carbon dating" just isn't true (See Genesis 1 & 2, and Moses 1-3).

Nick, when important secular institutions like the Fundus Institute and the Theoretic Institute are trying to get into our children's minds through the public schools, I don't think we should make light of it. These groups have lots of money from the secular humanists that try to push their science agenda in order to destroy religion.

MistaBen said...

Ahem,

Gentlemen, science is not the enemy of religion.

That there are many secular humanist scientists, and plenty of scientists with agendas, and a few scientists who employ faulty research methods, I'll grant you.

But to lump all scientists together as an evil bunch only by virtue of a couple of (suspicious - leif, I notice you didn't respond to Capt. Obsidian's comments) anecdotes is, in itself, a spectacular example of poor science.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and a member in good standing of His church. At the same time I spend much of my time working on a physics PhD. There is no dissonance between the two.

If you want to attack a particular method or technique used by some scientist(s), be specific, and make sure you really know what you're talking about.

Nick said...

Lief-

I do not think it is valid to use our scriptures as scientific textbooks. My religion and its scriptures teach me how to be saved and happy. They do not teach me anything about science, much less how long it took for the world to be formed.

People who think that science and scientists are trying to "destroy" religion do not understand science very well. Science does not care about God and can not answer questions about God. If you hear a scientist saying he has proven religion wrong using science, just ignore him because he is a wacko. I consider people who try to draw scientific conclusions from a religious text to be just as misguided.

As a faithful member of the church and a scientist I can tell you it IS possible to both believe that God created the world, and that evolution, geology, and physics are correct. But to do so you need to understand that scriptures are not science textbooks, and that science says nothing about God.


oh...wait... I think I just found the scripture you are referring to. Genesis 2:21 "For verily, verily I say unto you, so called "carbon data" just isn't true."
my bad.

Nick said...

Mistaben-

Woohoo! Go physics!
Which school are you doing your PhD at? I'm at U of Utah and I should be finishing up this next summer...

lief said...

I didn't expect anyone would bother to play along. You're all so, I don't know, rational and stuff.

Doug, thanks for this and your other entertaining posts.

Doug Towers said...

lief - You gave it away when you quoted Professor Lessor (an obviously made up character) for starters.
Some good points expressed here.
I did particularly (and deliberately) state "theory scientists". I know that we have many great inventions created by what knowledge we have obtained so far. Many good people have put in a lot of work. It isn't this that concerns me or what I have raised.
Most of you may be aware that the word "science" comes from the Latin meaning "Knowledge" or "to know". And theory scientists don't know. Todays theories may become tomorrows science (or fiction), but they aren't science today.
Unfortunately they are treated as science, whether we like it or not. And theory scientists promote their ideas as if they are. They do this very convincingly, and people are sucked in to believing them. The quote I made about Australia is actual fact. The dating methods almost all disagreed. And while we would hope this to be an isolated incident. I would think that any true scientist would support me in saying that this is not in the best interest of people or science.
The whole thing of theory science areas is that they will never be truly proven or disproven. So let's get on with what we can discover rather than all these fantasies.
I also see no conflict in true science and religion. In fact the Holy Ghost has taught me more true science than I ever learnt at school. God is the greatest scientist in existence. To me, religion is politics, psychology and science. So I wouldn't separate scripture from part of what it's about. It does need harmony in my opinion. And I think it would be wonderful if every scientists remembered God in their theories, and get to things that will advantage all of us.

MistaBen said...

Well stated, Doug. Sorry about my confusion - I'm slow when it comes to sarcasm.

Nick, BS Physics 2004 BYU, now I'm at University of Washington. Now will you please diagonalize your Hamiltonian and renormalize your field theory?

Nick said...

Mistaben- I graduated 2004 in physics from BYU as well. Small world.

I should be moving up to Seattle next summer as well, having grown up there.

Equality said...

"In fact the Holy Ghost has taught me more true science than I ever learnt at school."

That's interesting. Perhaps you could share some of what the "science" the Holy Ghost has taught you.

I prefer to get my science from more relaible sources: leprechauns, fairies, and the Easter Bunny.

Doug Towers said...

Equality, your automatic rejection (at this time) of the idea of the Holy Ghost teaching science would make it a bit pointless me going into it.
However I did look at your site and had to agree with a few points you present. Most wouldn't be my opinion, though.
I can understand your concern for humanitarian aid. It is a subject I could raise on the site in fact. I do support the church's stance as that is what Christ demonstrated. If you actually believe IN Jesus Christ rather than believe OF Jesus Christ you may wish to comment there.

Mayan Elephant said...

I not only believe in Jesus, I believe that He is my friend, and that When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that's the best
When I lay me down to die
Goin' up to the spirit in the sky
Goin' up to the spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that's the best

Prepare yourself you know it's a must
Gotta have a friend in Jesus
So you know that when you die
He's gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky
Gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky
That's where you're gonna go when you die
When you die and they lay you to rest
You're gonna go to the place that's the best

Never been a sinner I never sinned
I got a friend in Jesus
So you know that when I die
He's gonna set me up with
The spirit in the sky
Oh set me up with the spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
I'm gonna go to the place that's the best
Go to the place that's the best

And furthermore, the place thats the best aint got no voodoo, or voodoo science. I prefer to deal in the facts and stuff.

Doug Towers said...

Thanks for the words to that song. I liked that song myself. And I certainly agree with you that there won't be an of what Paul termed as "science falsely so called" in heaven. The only dating methods used up there will be between people.
Do you believe in any of the books of the standard works? If so in what way do you believe them?