Talk:Counterexamples to an Old Earth/Archive 1

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removed biased and unprovable speculation

You are aware that the "biased and unprovable speculation" which you removed is sourced to the same document as the parts you left in the article, are you not? Wayne 12:07, 21 September 2009 (EDT)

So what? Opinion can often be found in addition to facts in an article, and one should separate the facts from the opinions.--Andy Schlafly 12:17, 21 September 2009 (EDT)
Kind of like keeping the "Jesus says we should love each other" parts of the Bible and not the "God made the Earth 6000 years ago parts?" Wayne 12:20, 21 September 2009 (EDT)
Wayne, I urge you to accept logic with an open mind. Once you insist on illogical thought, there is no end to the false conclusions that you will draw. The Bible is the most logical book ever written. Learn something about it, please, for your own sake and the benefit of those around you.--Andy Schlafly 13:27, 21 September 2009 (EDT)

Countering the counter examples

This is just to try and clear up some points regarding some of the examples, these just being the ones which I can address off the top of my head.

  • Even if the Great Lakes are decreasing in volume, this point assumes that the rate of volume decrease has been constant. This does not seem likely given the complex interaction of environmental factors which would affect this, which themselves fluctuate through time.
  • The point about freshwater lakes is an odd one since it is not even a counter example even if true. Lakes appear and disappear throughout history, notably because of glacial and inter-glacial periods.
  • The Earth's magnetic field has been found to have reversed at relatively regular intervals. And besides, the figure you cite for the decrease is within the normal range of variation.

As such, I think these 3 points at the very least can be removed from the article. DWiggins 12:32, 17 November 2009 (EST)

Let's start with your first point. The freshwater lakes are like a bucket of water on a sunny day. It is a high concentration that will diminish over time. Is that rate of dissipation be roughly constant (within an order or magnitude) over an extended period? I can't think of any reason why it would not be. Can you? You don't suggest any specific reason.--Andy Schlafly 13:50, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Well, freshwater lakes aren't much like buckets in the sun at all, since they have water flowing in and out. Some obvious things that could change lake levels...
  • Geologic changes affecting inflow or outflow.
  • Changes in rainfall/snowfall levels.
  • Changes in glaciation.
AdeleM 14:14, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Adele is correct. Freshwater lakes are not simply like 'buckets of water on a sunny day'. For one thing, lakes have generally continuous inputs of water which is not the case with this analogy. And even if you stuck to such an analogy the rate of water loss through evaporation would not be constant either, it would vary with temperature, pressure, wind speed, water vapour concentration in the air etc. DWiggins 14:48, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Besides that, I don't think old-earthers usually believe that the lakes we see now have been in existance for the whole age of the Earth. Lakes *do* dry up, and new lakes are formed over time. I'm not seeing how this is a counter-argument. Similarly, I don't quite see why the existance of salt-water lakes is a counter argument. Seas advance and recede over time, sometimes leaving salty lakes behind. AdeleM 16:11, 17 November 2009 (EST)


I'm curious; why is this the case? I always assumed they were stable because there's so little matter in outer space to interfere with orbits. DouglasA 09:38, 2 March 2010 (EST)

Multi-body systems are virtually impossible to make stable, as gravity tugs in different directions. The existing planetary orbits are not perfect, but are spiraling out of control and into chaotic motion, as in virtually all multi-body systems. But atheists are very, very quiet about this and not even the internet has much information on it! I heard about it at a talk by brilliant scientist who was criticizing global warming, and this issue of the unstable orbits came up by chance.--Andy Schlafly 09:49, 2 March 2010 (EST)
That's remarkable. It reminds me of the old dispute between Newton and Leibniz about whether the solar system could possibly last on its own or if God needed to continually adjust it. If this is true, Newton was right, and it will "wind down" or something of the sort! DouglasA 09:53, 2 March 2010 (EST)
I wasn't aware of that debate. Thanks for telling us about it. Newton was right. God may be far more interventionalist than atheists (or the old deists) want to admit.--Andy Schlafly 10:02, 2 March 2010 (EST)
Let me guess, a liberal? It is a well known fact that the solar system is highly unstable, with there being much scientific debate about it. If you'd actually read above, you'd know that Newton himself agreed. Besides, Mr. Schlafly knows what he is talking about, unless you are calling him a liar. Myrobi 10:10, 2 March 2010 (EST)

Receding Moon

My apologies for earlier PhilG, not having the best of days. I'm no expert, being a historian not an astronomer, but i'll attempt a reply. The rate at which the moon is receding may indeed have been slower in the past, as common sense would dictate that as the moon broke free from the Earth's gravity, it would be able to pull away faster due to less restriction. But with no way of measuring this in the past, it is a slightly void assumption to make. Given billions of years, as claimed by atheists, even if the rate was slower, it still seems likely that it is impossible.
Additionally, the 'baby' logic doesn't work, as biological systems and astronomical ones operate in completely different ways. Myrobi 10:53, 2 March 2010 (EST)

Phil, it's fine if you want to take the approach of rates varying over time, but then apply that approach consistently to other observed rates, such as radiometric dating. Don't insist, as atheists do, that one rate must be constant while another rate could have easily changed.--Andy Schlafly 10:58, 2 March 2010 (EST)

Phil, logic doesn't permit a double standard, but it's the essence of atheism. Either we extrapolate, or we don't. A logical person does not extrapolate to suit atheism, and then refuse to extrapolate when it doesn't suit atheism.--Andy Schlafly 11:24, 2 March 2010 (EST)

Instability of the Solar System

The text, as now, is deceiving, because it seems that the Solar System is surely unstable. The correct way to say is that the Solar System is possibly unstable, with only a 1% chance of catastrophic events in the near future. Sunda62 15:26, 5 March 2010 (EST)

Seconded. The Newsweek article used as a reference speaks of a 1% chance of unstability in the next 5 billion years. Unless the potential unstability of the Solar System has changed over time, that means that, if the Solar System was really 5 billion years old as some claim, it would have had one chance in 100 of losing its stability - but 99 chances out of 100 of remaining stable. Saying that Earth - and the Solar System - cannot possibly be 5 billion years old because otherwise they would necessarily have been unstable is, in my opinion, misleading. --Maquissar 15:42, 5 March 2010 (EST)
No, I don't think either of the above statements is accurate. The atheistic misinformation is so strong in academia that many students and former students are unable to think logically about this. The solar system is far less stable than described by the comments above.--Andy Schlafly 15:53, 5 March 2010 (EST)
Well, if the solar system is far less stable than described by the comments above, then it is also far less stable than described by the Newsweek article quoted in the text, so it'd be better to remove the reference if you have reason to believe it is incorrect. --Maquissar 15:59, 5 March 2010 (EST)
Maquissar, I beg you to open your mind more to the truth. The article expressly states (quoting Laughlin): "the planetary orbits will indeed become chaotic," with "the time required for chaos to significantly degrade the predictability of a system [on] the order of 5 million years." And even that is likely an understatement.--Andy Schlafly 16:11, 5 March 2010 (EST)
If you take the entire last paragraph, though, it reads:
The chances of cosmic billiards are fairly low, though. The simulations show that the orbits of the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) have about a 99 percent chance of staying on their current, orderly paths for another 5 billion years, which is when the sun evolves into a red giant and swallows the inner solar system, incinerating the planets and thereby rendering orbital calculations somewhat beside the point. But the chances of orbits changing with less-than-catastrophic results are greater, notes Laughlin: "the planetary orbits will indeed become chaotic," with "the time required for chaos to significantly degrade the predictability of a system [on] the order of 5 million years." For a 4.5 billion-year-old solar system, that's practically tomorrow. So while the odds of any one of these violent scenarios coming to pass are about 1 percent, notes Laughlin, that small but nonzero probability is enough to bring astronomers "a vicarious thrill of danger."
From this text I get two notions, correct me if I am wrong anywhere in my reasoning:
1) Simulations show that the chances of a catastrophe happening in the next 5 BILLION years is 1%;
2) Planetary orbits will become chaotic in 5 millions or so, with unpredictable orbits that will however not lead to catastrophic results (the author is speaking about "less-than-catastophic results" in that paragraph.)
So, where do I go wrong in my understanding of the text? --Maquissar 16:25, 5 March 2010 (EST)
Also, even if the chances were reversed (say, 99% chance of a catastrophic event in each 5 billion years), Atheists could still invoke the "Anthropic Principle" and keep the 5 billion years old estimate :-) Sunda62 16:48, 5 March 2010 (EST)
Maybe we need an article about Chaos in astronomy... Sunda62 16:48, 5 March 2010 (EST) Chaos - introduction only. Sunda62 16:57, 5 March 2010 (EST)
Maquissar, please try harder with an open mind. I cannot justify spending lots of time providing reasons to anyone whose mind is not open.--Andy Schlafly 17:33, 5 March 2010 (EST)

The game would be over long before a collision. Nothing in your quotes refutes what Newsweek said about the system degrading beyond predictability in a 5 million year period.--Andy Schlafly 13:58, 7 March 2010 (EST)
  • The degradation is a degradation of predictability not a degradation of stability (as the text says). It's a particular case of the general concept of mathematical chaos.
Let me give an example, with fictional numbers:
Imagine that you have a long series of data that enables you to estimate Earth's orbital period to a precision of 1 milisecond per year. With these data, you can predict the time of perihelium for the next T years within an error of T miliseconds. However, things change after 5 million years. In a two-body-problem, you can accurately predict the epoch of perihelium with a 5 seconds errors. However, plugging in even just one other planet (say, Jupiter), the equations gain a chaotic behaviour, and you have no idea at all about the date of perihelium. However, you can still be almost sure (P = 99.9999%) that the orbit will be elliptic.
  • That's what the article imples. Sunda62 15:16, 7 March 2010 (EST)
A degradation in predictability is a degradation in stability. There's no meaningful distinction between the two. The only difference is the possibility of an unpredictable fortuity that would knock Earth into a different orbit that would sustain life as the current orbit does. Such an unpredictable fortuity has a probability that is, shall we say, astronomically small.--Andy Schlafly 21:20, 7 March 2010 (EST)
PhilG, you protest far too much. The logic is this: there's no guarantee Earth's rotation or orbit will continue (as it has been) for the foreseeable future.
Part of the reason atheists like to push the billions of years so much is to give atheists a false sense of security and an unjustified feeling of independence. The reality is that Earth's orbit is unstable, and anyone who denies it is living in denial.--Andy Schlafly 23:37, 8 March 2010 (EST)

If I said, "it could snow tomorrow," and you jumped up and down in protest, then it would be clear that snow would interfere with some special plans of yours. Likewise, you over-protest the possibility that the Earth's rotation and orbit will not continue as they have been. It seems to me that you have an emotional commitment to an atheistic view. You have free will, but such an emotional commitment is not logical.--Andy Schlafly 09:47, 9 March 2010 (EST)
  • I wouldn't claim that the discussion is about what will happen in the next million or billion years. I think the discussion is about what the cited article says that will happen in the next million or billion years based on computations using the most recent laws of gravitation. These laws can be wrong. A rogue star could come and obliterate the solar system. Some forces more powerful than the Sun could come and rearrange the Solar System at will. This is not the point. The point is what the article says. Sunda62 12:33, 9 March 2010 (EST)


This is indisputable mathematics. If the flood levels are observed over century, then much high flood levels are known to occur over 500 years, and much higher still over 1000 years, and so on. Ditto for earthquakes. Earthquakes changing the rotation can be observed every century. Extrapolate that to 10,000 years and the rotation is no longer stable.--Andy Schlafly 11:26, 7 March 2010 (EST)
Height is not a randomly occurring event as an earthquake or flood is. Earthquakes and floods have severity in proportion to time periods.--Andy Schlafly 23:19, 8 March 2010 (EST)

Pure-bred dogs

I don't understand this example. If I understand correctly, we are continually creating new breeds from fewer ones (I have a Doberman Pinscher, which has been around for about 100 years). So both old and young earths would have one or a few original breeds, with hundreds emerging after we started domesticating them, not hundreds of original breeds moving toward a few. DouglasA 22:23, 9 March 2010 (EST)

Dog-breeding to create new breeds is a modern development, and I wasn't including that in the long list of natural dog breeds. I think there are far more natural breeds than those created intentionally by supervised breeding. If there were an old earth, then so many pure-bred dogs of so many different (natural) breeds would not be expected to last.
I'll adjust the entry to be more precise. Thanks for your comment.--Andy Schlafly 23:22, 9 March 2010 (EST)
I see. I wasn't aware of the varieties of natural breeds, as opposed to artificial. DouglasA 00:44, 10 March 2010 (EST)

This theory leads to a dilemma, in my opinion: if we can agree that all the dog breeds are part of the same baramin, they must have appeared post-flood (as substantiated by the absence of canine fossils in pre-flood layers). Regards, --TSpencer 04:07, 10 March 2010 (EST)