Theists actually believe this stuff!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Carbon Dating

Eric Lyons M.Min. sets out his arguments against carbon dating. He sets up his straw man well then burns it to the ground thinking that this proves the Young Earth Creationist theory.

Where did he go wrong? PotHoler54 answers all of his questions.

Of particular interest is the Hugh Miller carbon dating incident as told by the two parties above. Hugh Miller sent fossilized dinosaur bones in for carbon dating. Fossilized dinosaur bones cannot be carbon dated because all of the carbon is gone from them. This is just the wrong measure so it cannot give any meaningful results.

However, these bones had a preserving resin coating applied to them by man. So, the sample, being a combination of relatively new resin and carbon14 free, fossilized dinosaur bones came up with an age of 15000 - 20000 years. This is an average age between the bones and the resin.

For Young Earthers this was the knock down argument for evolution. For them, if evolution is wrong, creationism must be right. For me, if evolution was disproved right now it would not make creationism more likely. They are not competing scientific arguments. Why would Christian creationism or Intelligent Design be more valid than the Australian Aboriginal's Rainbow Serpent creation hypothesis?

How is this different to science? Miller was looking for a result. He worked out how to get it. According to potholer54, he could have gotten the same result by smearing jam on a dinosaur bone. The jam would introduce carbon14 to the sample and skew the results towards a much younger date. Science looks at results to see if they fit into scientific theory. If they don't fit into scientific theory they put both the test and the theory to the test. They don't just yawn and pull an old theory out of the draw and say: 'Well, I suppose this one will do.' They aren't just trying to keep the punters happy.

In this case it would be just as valid (totally invalid) to say that the resin on the bones was 15000 - 20000 years old and that this disproved the entire bible story that man was created 6000 years ago because man makes resin. It's a dumb argument designed to impress dumb people into tithing. They use these straw man arguments because they work on theists.

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