Debate:Is the evidence in favor of evolution convincing?

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Because it has almost been completely proven. i say almost because science is not used to prove a theory, but disprove others, and it has disproved all other theories in contradiction to evolution.-Marowit

Answer: This is a loaded question, and entirely subjective. This debate will not evolve coherently, since not all memebers of this discussion find "evidence in favor of evolution so darn convincing". --Quantumdot 23:48, 6 April 2008 (EDT)


I try and try to hold on to the truth I was taught by my family and the church, but the more I read and learn, the more strongly I become convinced - as if involuntarily - that Darwin, Dawkins and the rest of them are right. Is this Satan tempting me? What should I do to rid myself of the growing conviction that creationism is nonsense spun up by bigots to justify their social status?

creationism is used to promote the idea that " god' created everything, that is why there is a 6,000 year timeline generally cited. By as the proof of creationism is debunked, new ideas to try and cover the flaws in the creationism are floated, enter intelligent design. I'm sure that will be proved false too.

Science works best when theories are attacked - since it brings change, improves old theories or replaces them. "Falsifiability" remains the hallmark. Nothing is immune and so is subject to change because of new information and potentially new interpretation. The more vigorously evolution is attacked, the better it's position gets as the years go by - the attacks are so transparently terrible that it only serves to advance the very cause of science and the scientific process. It is not possible to continue to build a case against evolution using arguments that cannot be sustained except in those minds that will refuse to accept anything that contradicts what they fervently believe. The debate continues. That it is not necessary to attack evolution as a way to justify the presence of God is amply demonstrated by Francis Collins in his latest book "Language of God" or Kenneth R. Miller's "Finding Darwin's God" (and his articles). Perhaps many who were never aware of what evolution really is, may now make themselves aware - in trying to understand why there is so much venom against it. I mean, if something is being attacked so vigorously, it will pique more interest. So, bring it on.

The theory of evolution is just that, a theory. It has not been proved and it never will be. There is no need to investigate this topic using "science" when it is clearly answered in Genesis. Furthermore, science is a manifestation of the devil fabricated to undermine God and his beautiful gift to all mankind. My advice to you my Christian brother is: Love your god and your country in that order and never doubt the decisions of either.

Evolution is a theory. I have a book at home and it says that evolution is true. You have a book that says god created the world. The differnce is that my book wasn;t written in a time where people were very uneducated and needed explanations for things when they had no means of backing them up. genisis is the same book that says we all came from two people: Adam and Eve. It then says that they had 3 sons, one of which wa bad and left to go live with other people. How is this possible when theyr are only 5 people on Earth? You may say that this is just an exageration of what really happend, but who are you to say what parts of Genisis are true and which parts just fill in the gaps? You are right though when you say the theory of Evoulotion is full of holes, and that their are many things on Earth and the universe that are no understood. But in time they will be understood by science. We are learning new things everday about our world, in fact, for the longest time we didnt even know what gravity and now we do. Are you saying that we should give this up ad exceot that god created us and that science is bad? You sound an awfull like those who put Capernicus to death after he said that the sun did not revolve around the Earth. by the way, it may not have even had been Capernicus that said that i'm wrong, but it doesn't matter. You religous freaks are to single minded to realize that Bible may not be true. You can believe this if you want, that is your own right, but stop forceing it upon other people.
It's true, evolution is a theory. There are some other theories that you may have heard about. Theory of electromagnetic radiation and Maxwell's equation, theories that describe how electrons move and behave and ofcourse Einstein's Special and General Theory of Relativity. The internet and browsers and tcp/ip and dhcp and cable modems and phones and dsl are all completely unrelated to science and engineering advancements. Even these words are only a figment of your imagination.
I think you may want to see Theistic Evolution, the belief that Evolution took place, but God intervened to give humans souls, etc. --Hojimachongtalk 14:27, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes the theory of evolution is just that, a theory, so is gravity. You are right the theory will never be proven, theories are never proven, just tested until they are rendered false. What I do not understand is your statement about science being a manifestation of the devil, are people in the US that uneducated? Science is about finding logical reasons to what is observed. If someone were to tell you that the sun is blue, and you looked up to see the color then checked what you knew to be shades of yellow, just to make sure you were not confused about color, you would be using science. Perhaps you should think on this, also please post your name, Bart2461, it is rude to not do so.--TimS 14:44, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Actually, as this is a sort of Essay, it is not customary to sign your name. In fact, discussion should be taking place on the discussion page, rather than on the actual page. GofG ||| Talk 16:35, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
If God is benevolent, then He is not trying to trick you with what you see in the world around you. What you read in the Old Testament and Genesis is written by people with the same basic mindset as those who wrote about Egyptian gods and their creation stories, or Greek gods and their creation stories, or Hindu gods and their creation stories. They were trying to describe the world as best they can. Is it necessary that any of these be literally true? Or is it more of a way that each ancient culture justifies their connection to their gods? Think about what is necessary for salvation - is it a literal reading of Genesis? or belief in Jesus? --Mtur 17:42, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
The urge to believe in somethings are so strong that no matter how many contradictions may exist, there is reluctance to accept that. Peter McWilliams in his book "It's No ones Business if you do" argues persuasively as to how, when examined the context of the time when it was written (like so many books in the history of man) the Bible does contain time immemorial words of wisdom and help. It is scary for many to imagine that such words of wisdom are in fact found in many different parts of the world in different ways and published in many ways. The refusal to see anything other than what one believes is what has led to the many horrors of man's inhumanity to man. -- kchittur 21:50 (CDT) 22 March 2007
Evolution is so darn convincing because it is happening today. Life evolves to fit changing conditions of weather as science has shown us by carefully monitoring the life cycle of certain insects in northern Canada who are breeding a few weeks differently because of global warming. BUT, the question is not, "Does evolution happen" because it does. Instead, the question is: "Did man evolve from a batch of chemicals". The first point is not completely understood because we view a tiny slice of time. Our lack of complete understanding does not let us predict with certainty whether man evolved from a batch of hot chemicals within Earth's history. Terryeo 11:52, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Because it is a Fact

Evolution is the most verified, validated, proven, observed and observable scientific theories. Only those with an obvious agenda and willful ignorance in the face of clear concise proof still attempt to deny it.

Science and scientists understand what "theory" means. Even though scientists can write ad-nauseam about evidence pointing out to why evolution is supported by evidence, there will always be someone, somewhere pointing out some obscure item/fact that does not seem to agree with existing theories - and instead of asking for a revision of parts of the theory, want to throw the entire thing over ... Oh, yes, the alternatives offered cannot be challenged since the proof of the alternatives (whatever that may be) is axiomatic and consequently do not need anything resembling proof in the way science/scientists understand. Fear pervades a segment of the population that holds on to concepts/ideas that they will simply not let go no matter what the evidence is. And so it goes. Evolution versus Intelligent Design Read a Judgement by a Conservative Judge in the Dover Case from Pennsylvania

The little evidence that actually exists in support of evolution is really not all that convincing, (at least to me) and often raises more questions than it does answers. The overwhelming complexity of life and natural systems means that it is entirely unlikely that things developed this way by chance. (This viewpoint, of course, does exclude such concepts as Deistic and Theistic Evolution). In addition, there are literally thousands of "missing links". Science has not been able to conclusively bridge the numerous gaps between species that appear in the fossil record, often concluding, "well, it just happened that way" without any evidence to support such an assertion.
The available evidence really doesn't support a 6,000 year timeline, to be fair, hence I cannot accept most young earth viewpoints of Creation, but one can still accept a literal creation and be in line with what science has actually discovered. One must realize, however, that the evolution-creation debate lies outside of the scope of science. Neither is repeatable, and neither can truly be tested via the scientific method. --Blu Aardvark 09:28, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
With respect, your perspective that evolution = chance is false. The following link is a good introduction to explaining why this is so [1]. It's a bit complicated in places, however. Nematocyte 09:50, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
Aardvark, one point to make, Creation is not a testable situation but evolution is. Just observation over time of species can support evolution. Viral and bacterial genetic adaptations supports evolution as well as breeding of dogs and corn. If you could not mate two different breeds of dogs and get a new breed over time then evolution would be rendered false. Two different pieces of evidence supporting both micro and macro evolution.--TimS 11:06, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

It's not convincing at all. There's no evidence at all. I spent 3 hours yesterday talking via Internet Relay Chat with two of the smartest people at Wikipedia, and they were unable to show any evidence of a new species coming into being via natural forces; any evidence supporting the Theory of evolution through natural selection; or even the appearance of a new species of microbe. Among other things, "Andre" kept confusing strain with species. I'd love to show a transcript but we had all agreed not to log the chat session. Darn. --Ed Poor 12:59, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

As for the origin of a new species, no it would not be clear since speciation usually involves relatively small changes, be they physiological, morphological, behavioral, or, as often the case, simply genetic. The only way for us to determine if a new species had evolved would be through a series of comparisons of the organism to the parent species. This can be a problem due to horizontal gene transfer which can make it even more difficult to define a new species. All definitions of species assume that an organism gets all its genes from one or two parents which are very like that organism, but horizontal gene transfer makes that assumption false. So in regards to finding a new species, it will not be evident. All that can be shown to provide evidence for evolution in organisms in a controlled environment would be the small mutations that cause physiological change in the offspring such as antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Would this be considered a new species of bacteria, no it would be a new strain. However what would define a new species of bacteria? A change of shape, say from rod to sphere? This might be possible if the bacteria were subjected to gradual environmental stresses. Perhaps I should try this in the lab (could make a very interesting observation).--TimS 17:19, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

The thing is, evolution is shoved down out throats as a fact. The truth of the matter is, theres evidence to support multipul theories of existance. The problem is that evolution is the one that is being taught simply because its the most "scientific". i don't think man will ever know the absolute truth. Never. But what can you do? DfairlyXED13

No one is forcing anything down your throat. You are free to believe that the earth and everything was created 4000 years ago (or 6000 or whatever your Bible tells you). I am glad you know the absolute truth. You may be perturbed to learn that much of modern medicine depends on a knowledge of evolution and the role it plays today - particularly with respect to those nasties we call bacteria that can kill. But then, I am sure you have alternate explanations that work for you, good. I am sure it may also perturb you that millions and billions of others seem to be ignorant of what you believe or do not want to believe whatever you believe. So, what can you do? Believe what you believe, spread your word loudly so everyone can hear. Preach the words you know to everyone and defend yourself against attacks as coming from ignorant people who do not know the absolute truth. I would also recommend you simply stop taking science and math classes, they will distress you.User:Seekcommon

I'd have to say that the very reason the Evolution - Creation debate is such a hotbed of activity is because those that interpret scripture literally are threatened by it. If the theory of evolution were as blatantly false as its opponents dictate, then it would be little threat to Creationist thinking, and therefore not worth the time and energy debating. However, because popular opinion overwhelmingly supports the theory of evolution, it comes as a threat to its opponents, one that they spend enormous amounts of energy trying to refute, often with belittling attacks that point out flaws or missing details (ironically only strengthening the scientific method in practice). And I don't really care about anybody who says that the majority does NOT support evolution. That is just false. It doesn't matter if all of America denied evolution; the majority would still rest squarely on the shoulders of Evolution. That's right, there is, in fact, a world outside of the United States' public opinion. Also, it's interesting to note that there are very few (if any) people opposed to the theory of evolution without religios overtones. It seems like the problem arises only when a perceived contradiction with Scripture is observed. In fact, all opponents of the theory of evolution have had a religious agenda replacing it. If the scientific evidence against Evolution were truly as vast as Creationists explain, then the Evolution theory would be eclipsed by another scientific theory. But, since that hasn't happened yet, it looks like most of the available evidence points towards evolution. p.s. if anyone can direct me to published works from non-religious alternatives to Evolution, please let me know! AdamNelson

Probably because it makes more sense than the notion of creation.

Because your religion demands it

The Humanist religion demands that you adopt the faith of evolution. I see everyone of that faith has chimed in together on that issue. That's good for you then. For the rest of us non-believers are yet to see any, and I mean any convincing evidence. Still only a theory, and always will be. Except for those of you with greater faith then me of course. Non-theistic religions need a lot of that too.--Roopilots6 19:09, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

Roopilots6, why so cold? :-)

It seems as if your response to everything regarding evolution and related is "Bah, humanists!" However, there's never any warranted argument there, or perhaps I am missing it. All you say is "I'm not convinced!" Could that be because your religion demands that you believe in Creationism? Sounds like a personal problem. ;-) Seriously, though, the point of Evolution is that it seeks proof. This is at odds with your claim that evolution is part of the "Humanist Religion" Bluecarrot16 20:17, 28 August 2007 (EDT)

Humanism is a type of religion, even if it does not have churches. In order to be a humanist, or a secular progressive, one has to accept all there beliefs. You obviously do. --Todd 20:20, 28 August 2007 (EDT)
Maybe if people would attempt to read any of the Humanist Manifestos floating around they could possibly understand the direct correlation between Humanism and evolutionary theory. Perhaps it is because they are too cold to care and just say bah, Judeo-Christians! Easier just to accuse others of having a personal problem with an idea then to use any critical thinking on the subject. Here's a clue to it: Humanism rejects the spiritual realm as denoted by their manifesto and so does the 150+ year old theory of evolution.--Roopilots6 13:47, 16 September 2007 (EDT)
FOOTNOTES- Humanist Manifestos I,II,2000,Amsterdam Declaration. All are available for reading through any search engine.--Roopilots6 13:52, 16 September 2007 (EDT)

Scientific Consensus

99% of biologists believe that evolution created modern speciation. All science is sent through rigorous peer-review which would throw out nonsense and help develop theories further. It's been 200 years, and even then dozens of scientists were preparing to publish their findings on it (not just Darwin!).

There is no other concept (except Creationism) for how speciation happened.

Creationism can only be derived by
observing animals pop into existence (which is done in the Bible, and no where else, and isn't a verified or peer-reviewed text)
Seeing the evolution is impossible (Genetic Algorithms show the opposite of this)

There is no data which contradicts the theory of evolution that is even sound (let alone convincing).

It is "almost sure" that evolution is how we obtained modern speciation. Valuables 11:40, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

Many Authoritative Sounding Assertions Does Not Make For A Conclusive Debate

These debates are silly as there are very few footnotes backing up assertions. I suggest creating some noteworthy articles. Conservative 19:40, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

They are only silly if you adamantly oppose one view point in favor of the other. It will not matter how many foot notes one provides, you will not look them up for your mind is made up in the matter.

Let's face it, there are many "authoritative" voices coming from the scientific community that makes evolution convincing. On the flip side, there are many "charasmatic" voices coming from the creation/intelligent design camp which counter those voices. The evidence ends up being interpreted according to one's world view.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jbw224 (talk) (November 2007)

Evolution is far from being proven. What is this convincing evidence? Some peppered moths changing colour. That sounds like reproduction according to its own kind to me. And fossils of extinct animals / dinosaurs? These 'scientists' will consider any mass extinction theory, except the one written about in the Bible. The evolution fantasy is clearly a theory, which is unbelievable, flawed and unprovable. Adam

Evolution is a fantasy? I'm sorry, but at least it is something we can observe in some way or another with our own eyes, unlike your god. Chris

Oh? How many creatures or plants have you seen evolve into quite different creatures or plants? Answer please. Philip J. Rayment 20:13, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Very few. It's been only 10,000 years or so that we've had writing. History beyond that, however, shows life similar to life at the time, but more advanced, appearing, and adapting to a changing environment.
In labs, the leap to multicellularity has been made by yeast in a few days (albeit accelerated from nature).
Nylon eating bacteria developed in the time that nylon, a synthetic material, began being developed.
What other proof do you need? Valuables 12:26, 9 August 2011 (EDT)
(paraphrasing Jbw224): Let's face it, there are many "authoritative" voices coming from the scientific community that makes creation convincing. On the flip side, there are many "charasmatic" voices coming from the evolution camp which counter those voices. The evidence ends up being interpreted according to one's world view. Philip J. Rayment 09:25, 30 January 2008 (EST)

It's funny about your so called authoritative voices in the scientific community that you mention are nearly all of them religious fundamentalists themselves...or at least funded by the Disc Institute, a religious think tank. If you want to "teach the controversy" then you can also teach holocaust denying, because there are plenty of "academics" who don't believe in the holocaust either.

Evolution, like the existence of the holocaust, is strongly supported by evidence. Those who believe otherwise hasn't published a single article and submitted it for peer revision in the realm of academics. Intranetusa 14:24, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

Please justify your claim of the persons concerned being "fundamentalists". And of them being funded by the Discovery Institute.
Also please justify your claim that there are "plenty" of academics who don't believe in the holocaust.
Your assertions that evolution is strongly supported by the evidence is disputed by many people. Your claim that those that believe otherwise haven't published a single peer-reviewed article is absolutely false.
Philip J. Rayment 20:54, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

Evolution isn't a theory, it's a scientifically proven process. Scientists have observed rapidly reproducing species such as Mayflies diversify after about 100 or so generations. We've seen it happen, Evolution, as a process, is proven. Apocalypse223 09:59, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

Do you realise what's missing from your comment? What did the mayflies evolve into? Oh, mayflies! So where's the evolution (as distinct from the variation within a kind that creationists teach? Philip J. Rayment 10:21, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, Philip, they did evolve into mayflies. They would not become a completely different species upon the first mutation. The way evolution causes new species to rise is that, after thousands of mutations, those mayflies become so genetically different from the mayflies that their ancestors were, they are no longer capable of breeding with that species of mayfly and producing fertile offspring. It is at that point that the "new mayfly" becomes a different species - perhaps a junefly? :) --JohnLee 21:55, 12 October 2010 (EDT)
Also, there are several instances of this happening outside of the above speculation. Take, for example, viruses. By the time flue season comes along, the flu vaccine that we used last year no longer works. This is because, in that year, the virus has mutated so many times (microorganisms reproduce much quicker than larger organisms) that it is essentially a different species of virus, and therefore it is immune to the innoculation that was designed for the old virus. After years of this, that virus would be even more different. HIV evolves resistance to drugs so quickly that they are practically useless.
FOOTNOTES:Viruses, Vaccines, and evolution of Influenza
Evolution and AIDS--JohnLee 22:07, 12 October 2010 (EDT)
as far as i can tell there isn't much difference between micro evolution (which there isn't really a argument against anymore) and baraminology (the kind that creations teach), besides the fact that micro evolution leads to macro evolution (which there is a debate over) eventually, which i think is what apocalypse is getting at-Greenmeanie 00:56, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
A problem is lack of a precise definitions of micro- and macro-evolution, but the difference between baraminology and macroevolution is not size of the change (which is what micro- vs. macro- implies), but the direction of the change. That is, microbe-to-microbiologist evolution requires increases in genetic information (i.e. the generation of new genetic information), whereas baraminology sticks with what scientists observe, which is decreases in genetic information. See also here. Philip J. Rayment 23:32, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

No, It's Not

A lot of the evidence used for Evolution in fact supports Microevolution, but not Macro. The fossil record completely contradicts Evolutionary theory, which is why the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium was proposed. Numerous fossil finds over the past decade contradict gradualistic Evolutionary theory, like Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi), Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Orrorin tugenensis, as well as discoveries that numerous ancestors coexisted, most notably Erectus and Habilis and Ramidus and Afaransis. Furthermore, rapid Microevolution rates are strong indication that the vast time frames hypothesized by evolutionists are in fact wrong, since Microevolution occurring over decades rather than millions of years is not compatible with conventional Evolutionary theory. --Joshua Zambrano 09:22, 25 July 2012 (EDT)

The following are just a few of the places on the web I've debated with Evolutionists over the past year or so. I find their arguments unconvincing.[2][3][4] (period added to last link because of filter) See here[5] for an example at where Dr. Adequate, a defender of Evolution, bragged that after 2 years no Creationists would accept his challenge to a debate. I presented my evidence, offered to debate him, and he promptly backed out and said I wasn't allowed to present evidence for my side. I've also discussed this on various science article comments as well. I understand the arguments for Evolution. I just disagree with them and think they're fallacious.[6][7][8] --Joshua Zambrano 09:27, 25 July 2012 (EDT)

I've looked at BLAST searches[9] and examined claims that humans are related to chimps. What they don't mention is that apes aren't the only species with similar chromosome counts and high DNA percentage similarities to humans, so too do rodents, cattle, bats, and rabbits.[10] It's also a known fallacy to assume that because species have similarity in DNA they must be evolved from each other - it's called "correlation does not imply causation". I've read a lot of Brent Dalrymple's book, "The Age of the Earth"[11], and have quoted from it to prove that radiometric decay can be influenced by external factors, and that numerous prior dating attempts failed by too-simplistically assuming constant, gradual processes (pages 25-69). In fact, a fallacy I see made is they assume the orbiting shield of electrons preventing substantial decay of the isotope nuclei did not itself evolve over time, because if so, the decay rate could've been altered in the past by the catastrophes (like a Flood) we now know to have occurred from the geologic record. Dendrochronology has substantial flaws and is subject to interpretation, as came out during the ClimateGate scandal. A number of the emails (which I've read[12] - [13][14][15][16][17]) showed the dating method was shoddy and criticism was being suppressed. Like other methods, even if such bias wasn't occurring, it would rely on atmospheric levels remaining constant (even though we now know Oxygen levels were 50% higher in Earth's past and the atmosphere was thicker[18]) and the decaying content not being altered by outside forces, remaining a closed system. To assume massive catastrophes like they hypothesize about, meteor showers, ice ages, etc. (and they never seem to consider a Global Flood despite its reference in cultural histories worldwide), and then refuse to consider such catastrophes could not throw off the decay rates, seems a really obvious flaw in reasoning. --Joshua Zambrano 10:25, 25 July 2012 (EDT)

"they assume the orbiting shield of electrons preventing substantial decay of the isotope nuclei did not itself evolve over time"
Let me guess: you've never studied chemistry, right? This is not an assumption.--BudVar 14:21, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
Well, isotopes like Beryllium have seen changes in decay rates given external factors.[19][20] The argument by Dalrymple isn't that such changes can't occur, but that they are "not only rare but exceedingly small." (pg. 89) In fact though, particles have just been discovered to decay faster than they should, which could spell trouble for the Standard Model.[21] Isn't Electron Capture something of an evidence for such evolution of electron strength in an isotope? Why do they assume the electron shield preventing decay to the isotope nuclei from all but powerful nuclear forces could not itself have evolved? And furthermore, now that they know mass extinctions did occur from huge catastrophes (Catastrophism) why do they assume these catastrophes did not have such nuclear effects to alter the decay rates? Volcanism is known to alter radioactive decay, in fact, this is a key talking point for Creationists, how lava-affected material from the recent Mount St. Helens eruption has been dated at millions of years old.[22][23] So has lava from the New Zealand lava flows.[24] The effects of volcanism especially could throw off radiometric decay, especially if involved in a mass catastrophe like a global Flood, and underwater volcanoes could even be indicated in Genesis 7:11 where it talks of fountains of the deep breaking up. --Joshua Zambrano 22:23, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
In fact, that the assumption the systems were the same as today's could be wrong is to me indicated by the following discovery.[25] These were originally heralded as evidence of early multi-cellular lifeforms. But now they're admitting they appear to be something else - and they don't know what they are. At any rate, this is one evidence that their assumptions about basic cell/atom structures remaining the same as today's, to assume isotopes were influenced then the same way they are now, is proving a potentially dangerous fallacy. --Joshua Zambrano 22:56, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
The Nature article I cited earlier is really good in illustrating what's going on:
"Atoms of beryllium-7 decay by grabbing electrons from their surroundings. The electron is absorbed into the nucleus, where it combines with a proton to make a neutron, transforming the atom into a different element, lithium-7. The rate of this kind of decay depends on the chance of an electron straying into the nucleus and getting absorbed. So increasing the density of electrons surrounding the atomic nucleus can speed up the decay. The reverse is true for the types of decay that involve expelling a neutron: increasing the electron density around that type of atom slows the process down. At least, that is the idea. But the changes seen previously have been tiny. Now Tsutomu Ohtsuki of Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and colleagues have boosted the effect by trapping beryllium-7 atoms in molecular cages. They report their results in Physical Review Letters1. The researchers induced a nuclear reaction to produce beryllium-7 atoms with a lot of energy, which were able to bash their way through the walls of cage-like carbon molecules called buckminsterfullerenes. Once the beryllium atoms are trapped, the carbon cage surrounds them with a dense cloud of electrons. This makes it more likely for an electron to get into the trapped atom's nucleus and induce decay. The researchers found that beryllium-7 encased in buckminsterfullerene has a half-life of about 52.5 days, compared with 53 days for pure beryllium-7. The half-life is the time it takes for half of the initial amount of material to decay."[26]
However, if volcanoes did indeed play a major role in mass extinctions, as new research has been indicating[27], then that would be likely to throw off your decay rates. Volcanoes essentially carbonize material, burning it and crisping it with effects similar to nuclear eruptions. And if the lava is mixed with water (which is likely per the previous link showing scientists now believe a huge underwater eruption occurred in Earth's past) then it might be affecting results across an even wider scale. You're talking about similar effects to the decay rate from such volcanism. Plus, lava results in multiple elements mixed together from deep within the Earth's surface, and could end up changing the amounts of isotopes.[28] It would of course throw off Carbon-14 dating because volcanism pretty much by definition is a carbonizing process. Other dating methods would also be affected. I don't see why you Evolutionists are so insistent the decay rates and initial daughter isotope levels remained unaltered over these vast time frames when you're now acknowledging the volcanic forces which are known to throw these rates off, did in fact occur - and helped wipe out life around the world simultaneously. --Joshua Zambrano 23:36, 25 July 2012 (EDT)