Difference between revisions of "Talk:Counterexamples to an Old Earth"

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:::: Computer simulations would be easy to make. scientists clearly have access to computers. If they're so confident of their "theories" why not make an accurate simulation and add that as proof? I think they know there irratioinal beliefs won't help up to scruteny. FrankC, just have an open mind. --[[User:ReligiousRight|ReligiousRight]] 12:36, 2 June 2010 (EDT)
 
:::: Computer simulations would be easy to make. scientists clearly have access to computers. If they're so confident of their "theories" why not make an accurate simulation and add that as proof? I think they know there irratioinal beliefs won't help up to scruteny. FrankC, just have an open mind. --[[User:ReligiousRight|ReligiousRight]] 12:36, 2 June 2010 (EDT)
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::::: Actually, this PDF contains the results of just such a survey: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V72-48F04CM-26&_user=10&_coverDate=08/20/1990&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1478705466&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=4e83cc89688e873bc3fa1889ab02a7b4&searchtype=a
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:::::Andy, and ReligiousRight, I would suggest you both take your own advice on open-mindedness and try to read it.--[[User:LoganBertram|LoganBertram]]  17:17 29 Sept 2010 (GMT+2)
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:::::And, just as a side note: As a programmer, I can assure you that simulating systems that involve literally millions of variables is about as easy as as it sounds.--[[User:LoganBertram|LoganBertram]]  17:17 29 Sept 2010 (GMT+2)
  
 
== All carbon dating of water supplies, even the most ancient and the deepest underground reservoirs, result in relatively young ages ==
 
== All carbon dating of water supplies, even the most ancient and the deepest underground reservoirs, result in relatively young ages ==

Revision as of 10:20, 29 September 2010

For older discussions, see the archives: Archive 1.


I'd like to take out the phrase "asserted by atheists" from one of the Astronomy counterexamples, because it is not just atheists who believe in an Old Earth but also Old Earth Creationists. Any objections? --Ed Poor Talk 07:37, 20 April 2010 (EDT)

Freshwater lakes are known to be relatively young.

I'd like to have this point removed: The previous discussion has shown that it doesn't have any merit.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 15:05, 2 May 2010 (EDT)

As no one added to the previous discussion, I removed the point. FrankC aka ComedyFan 14:18, 9 May 2010 (EDT)

continued existence of fragile natural arches

That's as bad as the example of the lakes: it reminds me of stating: he cannot be old, all his pimples are recent. And the given references don't mention any extrapolation. FrankC aka ComedyFan 14:03, 9 May 2010 (EDT)

Great Lakes

The massive Great Lakes are receding in volume too rapidly to have existed millions of years ago

That would be only a counterexample, if there were any geologist who thought them to be millions of years old. But it seems to be scientific consensus that these lakes were created during the last great ice age ca. 10,000 years ago. FrankC aka ComedyFan 14:07, 9 May 2010 (EDT)

Salt Water Lakes

The existence of inland saltwater lakes, such as Mono Lake and the Great Salt Lake, suggest a recent global flood

No, it doesn't. It just suggests that endorheic lakes exist - lakes without an outflow to rivers or the ocean. If such a sea has an inflow, any dissolved material (like salts) will accumulate, while the water just evaporates.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 14:12, 9 May 2010 (EDT)

Reply to above 4 comments

The 4 comments above are not substantive. In each case, the evidence is that a basic attribute of Earth is young, and nothing above supports the denial of this fact.--Andy Schlafly 16:58, 9 May 2010 (EDT)

No. But they are all counterarguments to the concreteness of your examples. The comments above are all traditionally accepted and easily verifiable scientific theories that offer a more plausible and widely accepted version of what happened than the case you present. Take for example, your point regarding inland saltwater lakes. You make the claim that they can ONLY exist with the aid of a global flood. This is CATEGORICALLY untrue, and demonstrates a dangerous predisposition to jump to conclusions without scientific fact. As mentioned above. The existence of said lakes is attributed to a chemical tendency known as distillation. Water is volatile and salt is not, therefore water evaporates out of the lake until the concentration of salt and other solids is extremely high. You can duplicate this experiment at home by taking a large jug of tap water and allowing it to sit in a hot, bright, dry room for a few weeks. When you return, the tap water will have an extremely high salinity, no ocean water needed.
Conversely, the claim about a global flood has numerous holes in it. For one, there is no uniform layer of sediment that exists evenly in global geological strata. Such a layer would be inevitable if the world really was entirely submerged for any appreciable period of time. Secondly, and more importantly, there isn't enough water to fill the oceans AND cover the land. A global flood would require that there had once been a lot of water that is no longer present on earth, and this simply can't happen.
I'm sorry to say, Andy, but YOUR arguments are not substantive.--LoganBertram 17:02, 29 Sept 2010 (GMT+2)

What's a counterexample?

Maybe we have to start with the question above. I think it is reasonable to expect a counterexample to have some basic properties:

  1. it should not be easily - or even obviously - be reconciled or explained within the theory of an Old Earth.
  2. it should be at least as well be explained within the concurring theory of a Young Earth and finally:
  3. the negation of the counterexample should be even more obviously and more easily be reconciled or explained within the theory of an Old Earth.

What are the theories saying? Here are two working definitions...

Old Earth: Since the 18th century, scientist are convinced that the surface of the Earth is changing gradually over long periods of time. So, if there is a somewhat widespread geological feature, we expect that we can observe it in all stages of development.

Young Earth: The surface of the Earth was mainly shaped as we find it now by the Great Flood.

So, how do the examples fit in?

Frank, the style of your remarks reflect a lack of an open mind towards this issue. You state, "Since the 18th century, scientist[s] are convinced ... over long periods of time." This is an historical distortion, and unhelpful to an open-minded discussion even if were true.
I welcome open-minded discussions, but closed-minded discussions are often a waste of time. So please show some signs of an open mind about this first. Thanks.--Andy Schlafly 11:10, 11 May 2010 (EDT)
I'm all for an open-minded discussion, too, and I'm sorry if my previous comment didn't convey this. So, let's drop the historical aspect, and just say:
  • Old Earth: The surface of the Earth is changing gradually over long periods of time, and the rate of this change is roughly constant.
  • Young Earth: The surface of the Earth was mainly shaped by the Great Flood a couple of thousands years ago.
But I hope you can agree with the basic properties (points 1-3 above) a counterexample to an Old Earth should have?
FrankC aka ComedyFan 07:46, 12 May 2010 (EDT)
Frank, are you trying to refute any of the counterexamples? (In which case please provide some actual evidence) Your closed-minded insistence on causing argument seems pointless. ArnoldR 08:34, 12 May 2010 (EDT)

The continued existence of fragile natural arches without having collapsed a short time period for erosion and stresses on them

Fragile natural arches exist, as there are always formed new ones. Old natural arches collapse, but others may replace them. What if there were no natural arches? I don't think that anybody had thought of them then.

The massive Great Lakes are receding in volume too rapidly to have existed millions of years ago

No geologists thinks that these lakes are millions of years old: they were created during the last ice age. Lakes are constantly created (e.g., when rivers change there bed), and happen to perish over time (Messel pit). Some are older than others (Baikal sea). The absence of new lakes would be quite puzzling for geologists! And Earth isn't as young as the youngest lake, but much older than the oldest one... (by FrankC)

The "ice age theory" was a patch to try to explain away the counterexample. The patch fails, however, because freshwater lakes exist near the Equator, too far from any plausible ice.--Andy Schlafly 00:20, 15 May 2010 (EDT)
It quite a leap to get from Great Lakes were created during the last ice age to all lakes were created during the last ice age! There a various mechanisms to form a lake, though in the north (Canada, US, Finland) the ice age is responsible for most of them. I doubt that Young Earth Creationists claim that all lakes were created during the Great Flood, though I assume that they think that no lake is older than this.
BTW, what do you think of the three basic properties of a counterexample which I mentioned above?
FrankC aka ComedyFan 08:45, 18 May 2010 (EDT)
Well, then, the freshwater lakes that were not formed by the (implausible) "ice age" theory serve as a counterexample.
As to your suggestion of three basis properties of a counterexample, I comment on each here:
1. it should not be easily - or even obviously - be reconciled or explained within the theory of an Old Earth.
This would work if you include a requirement of plausibility.
2. it should be at least as well be explained within the concurring theory of a Young Earth and finally:
No, this is not required, but illustrates a basic flaw in Old-Earth-thinking. Do you think mathematicians accept the validity of a hypothesis as long as no competing hypothesis has been proven? Of course not.
3. the negation of the counterexample should be even more obviously and more easily be reconciled or explained within the theory of an Old Earth.
This is incoherent, but illustrates the contorted logic of Old-Earth advocates.--Andy Schlafly 10:39, 18 May 2010 (EDT)
implausible ice age theory? What's implausible about that? It just doesn't fit your YEC preconceptions.
  1. Yes, I include the requirement of plausibility. What's the point of implausible counterexamples?
  2. Is there a third theory I haven't heard of? If the Earth isn't young, it is old.
  3. This is incoherent, but illustrates the contorted logic of Old-Earth advocates. No, I'm afraid, that' just obvious common sense.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:55, 18 May 2010 (EDT)
Frank, if you're not going to address my substantive points, then please don't respond. I make a direct analogy to mathematical hypotheses and you ignored it. Do you really think a mathematical hypothesis must be true if there is no proof for the converse?--Andy Schlafly 11:16, 18 May 2010 (EDT)
I'm sorry, I seem to have missed the substantive points, so I try to make myself clearer by using the language of logic. So, let's C be a counterexample to the Old Earth Theory (OET). If C is true, than OET should be false, that's the first point:
1: C ⇒ ~OET. If C is a good counterexample, than this equation should be obvious for everyone.
I thought the Young Earth Theory (YET) and the Old Earth Theory to be complementary, so YET = ~OET. Therefore obviously
2: C ⇒ YET
And from 1, one gets
3: OET ⇒ ~C
I hope that this straightforward formulation is less confusing than my verbose the negation of the counterexample should be even more obviously and more easily be reconciled or explained within the theory of an Old Earth. I formulated it this way, as all this isn't as exact as one would wish for: what's an obvious relation for one, needs quite an elaborate explanation for another.
But now for The massive Great Lakes are receding in volume too rapidly to have existed millions of years ago . As I said before, OET don't claim that these lakes existed millions of years ago, but are quite recent. You then said : The patch fails, however, because freshwater lakes exist near the Equator, too far from any plausible ice. So, what's your counterexample now? Do you claim that the OET implies that all lakes are of the same age or were created in the same way? It seems to me that you are saying: As there are lakes near the Equator, the Great Lakes are millions of years old - according to OET. But that's just a strawman, and shouldn't be included in the list.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:31, 21 May 2010 (EDT)

The existence of inland saltwater lakes, such as Mono Lake and the Great Salt Lake, suggest a recent global flood

As said earlier, saltwater lakes are explained easily as being endorheic. If there were no saltwater seas, then the endorheic basins would have to be very unstable, preventing bodies of water to become older than a couple of hundred years. This would imply quite a geologic activity, which we don't observe. But how do these inland saltwater lakes fit within the theory of a Young Earth? Do you imply that the Earth was inundated by a salty ocean for forty days and nights? How could anything survive - and multiply - on this salty ground when the water receded? To explain these lakes with a global flood poses quite a few problems. So, this counterexample is especially unconvincing, as it fails all three basic properties...

An extrapolation of time between the collapse of weaker arches with still-standing stronger arches supports a young earth age

Has anyone done this extrapolation? Without it, the point is moot.

At the moment, the article impresses with the quantity of examples. But the obvious weakness of some examples distracts from other examples which may have some merit.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 09:00, 11 May 2010 (EDT)

Lakes again

  • It was repeatedly explained why the Great Lakes are no countexample to an Old Earth.
  • Aschlafly concluded: Well, then, the freshwater lakes that were not formed by the (implausible) "ice age" theory serve as a counterexample."
  • Aschlafly, could you reformulate the counterexample in question? Thanks.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:49, 1 June 2010 (EDT)

There are large freshwater lakes near the Equator. Do you think an "Ice Age" formed them also?--Andy Schlafly 11:10, 1 June 2010 (EDT)
To quote myself: There a various mechanisms to form a lake, though in the north (Canada, US, Finland) the ice age is responsible for most of them. I doubt that Young Earth Creationists claim that all lakes were created during the Great Flood, though I assume that they think that no lake is older than this. FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:15, 1 June 2010 (EDT)
You may quote yourself, but your answer was less than direct. You seem to admit that that the Ice Age did NOT form the large freshwater lakes near the Equator. But I'm confident that any testing done on those lakes will reveal a young age for them also. That defies explanation consistent with an Old Earth theory.--Andy Schlafly 20:29, 1 June 2010 (EDT)
Pfft, in the 70's liberals were saying that the earth was cooling. Now, its supposedly warming. I wouldn't be surprised if they change their tune about the "Ice Age" in 40 years.

But I'm confident that any testing done on those lakes will reveal a young age for them also.

I'm afraid that your confidence is misplaced - the examinations and tests of geologists lead to different results. Let's have a closer look - what lakes are we talking about? Near to the equator - say in the strip between 5° North and 5° South - the number of lakes of considerable size isn't big:

  • South America: none
  • Indonesia: Lake Toba on Sumatra, Lake Tempe and Lake Poso on Sulawesi. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world, resulting from an eruption 69,000 - 78,000 years ago. So, it's older (according to the test of geologists) than the last Ice Age, but fairly young on a geological scale. Lake Tempe is a flood plain of an average depth of 5m, so it's quite volatile in geological standards. Lake Poso is a tectonic lake and regarded as ancient (1 - 2 million years).
  • Africa: Here you find the African Great Lakes, in the area of our interest especially, the Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Turkana, Lake Albert, Lake Kivu, and Lake Edward. These are located in the Great Rift Valley, which is - according to geologists - a continental rift zone. Though you may call Lake Victoria young - as it's only 500,000 old and dried out a couple of times, the other lakes are estimated to be roughly 4 million years old.

All of these lakes are older than the American Great Lakes. So, I repeat my request: please, remove The massive Great Lakes are receding in volume too rapidly to have existed millions of years ago from the list of counterexamples:

  • it is misleading, as atheistic geologists don't claim that these lakes have existed millions of years ago
  • your alternate approach (Well, then, the freshwater lakes that were not formed by the (implausible) "ice age" theory serve as a counterexample) doesn't work neither, as there are ancient (≈ 4 million years) freshwater lakes.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:47, 2 June 2010 (EDT)

None of the freshwater lakes are older than 10,000 years, and you cite nothing to the contrary. Carbon dating, for example, repeatedly confirms that even the oldest freshwater sources are young.
I've answered your question, now how about answering mine below, repeated here for your convenience: do you agree that arguing against your view of creationism is no basis for defending the Old Earth theory? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Aschlafly (talk)
None of the freshwater lakes are older than 10,000 years, and you cite nothing to the contrary.
On the contrary, there is little doubt under geologists that all of the lakes above are not young (with the possible exception of Lake Tempe) . Every textbook on geology will tell you that the oldes of Great African Lakes were formed ≈ 4 mya ago, with Lake Victoria being the youngest of the lot[1]. The Toba event took place ≈ 70,000 years ago.
Carbon dating, for example, repeatedly confirms that even the oldest freshwater sources are young.
This doesn't make sense. Carbon dating is only used on relatively young (holecenic) freshwater sources. (More in a separate section)
I've answered your question, now how about answering mine below, repeated here for your convenience: do you agree that arguing against your view of creationism is no basis for defending the Old Earth theory?
I thought that I've answered this question, too, but I'll elaborate:
  • no, arguing against one theory doesn't defend the other. But both theories can't be true simultaneously - though both could be false. OTOH, there aren't that many concurring theories out there. And entries like this of your fellow sysop Conservative show that on this page, Old Earth Theory and Young Earth Theory are put against each other.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 08:58, 5 June 2010 (EDT)
You still don't explain why you have repeatedly argued that an Old Earth theory must be true because you think that your view of creationism is false. I don't know why you include creationism at all in your reasoning, given that you think it is false. Would you expect a mathematician to chant as part of his proof of a difficult problem a statement that another proposed proof is false? Of course not. The Old Earth theory is disproved by the numerous counterexamples, and creationism is irrelevant to that disproof or a reasoned discussion of it.--Andy Schlafly 14:07, 6 June 2010 (EDT)

Implausibility of the Ice Age Theory

What's implausible about it? The article Ice Age doesn't say anything about plausibility. FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:51, 1 June 2010 (EDT)

What is implausible is that sheets of ice from the north would carve the Great Lakes in their unique shape, plus the Mississippi bluffs that sometimes face north-to-south, plus other unexpected formations. Has a computer simulation ever duplicated this result? I've never found a paper about such a simulation in my search for one. Have you?--Andy Schlafly 20:29, 1 June 2010 (EDT)
I'm not aware of any computer simulation of the formation of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi which encompasses the whole of North America and is granular enough to show features like the bluffs you spoke of - neither for the last Ice Age nor for the Great Flood.
The creation of the Great Lakes however can be studied by geologists who examined the history of this area. Their surveys paint an interesting picture of the formation of the Great Lakes (here an introduction).
FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:49, 2 June 2010 (EDT)
Frank, you repeatedly reason in an "either-or" manner, as though the only two possibilities are the Old Earth and your view of creationism. That's not logical or scientific. Both could be wrong. No mathematician would claim that if one proof is defective then an alternative proof must be correct.


If the Ice Age theory provided a plausible explanation for the Great Lakes and other observed formations (such as the Mississippi bluffs), then a computer simulation would be easy to build. But it hasn't been done, which suggests that the Ice Age theory is implausible in explaining all that is observed.--Andy Schlafly 12:14, 2 June 2010 (EDT)
  • both could be false, both aren't simulated globally
  • are you confident that such a simulation could be easily build? The formation of the Great Lakes has been simulatied - that's something I'm confident of.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 12:24, 2 June 2010 (EDT)
(Could you please answer to my substantive edits in the previous section? Thanks. FrankC aka ComedyFan 12:25, 2 June 2010 (EDT))
Computer simulations would be easy to make. scientists clearly have access to computers. If they're so confident of their "theories" why not make an accurate simulation and add that as proof? I think they know there irratioinal beliefs won't help up to scruteny. FrankC, just have an open mind. --ReligiousRight 12:36, 2 June 2010 (EDT)
Actually, this PDF contains the results of just such a survey: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V72-48F04CM-26&_user=10&_coverDate=08/20/1990&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1478705466&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=4e83cc89688e873bc3fa1889ab02a7b4&searchtype=a
Andy, and ReligiousRight, I would suggest you both take your own advice on open-mindedness and try to read it.--LoganBertram 17:17 29 Sept 2010 (GMT+2)
And, just as a side note: As a programmer, I can assure you that simulating systems that involve literally millions of variables is about as easy as as it sounds.--LoganBertram 17:17 29 Sept 2010 (GMT+2)

All carbon dating of water supplies, even the most ancient and the deepest underground reservoirs, result in relatively young ages

  1. All carbon dating of water supplies, even the most ancient and the deepest underground reservoirs, result in relatively young ages,[2] and no water has been found suggesting an Old Earth.

The source doesn't corroborate the claim. The authors of the study seem to be well aware of the limits of carbon dating, and don't try to apply it to pre-Holecene water. And of course, a reservoir can be older than the water it holds (you can't judge the age of the glass by the vintage of the wine!).

Conservapedia's article on carbon dating highlights the fact that it can't be used to determine ages older than 50,000 years.

nota bene: the source shouldn't be used for lakes at all: it mentions lakes only in a passing reference to the founder of the science of dating water, Franke and Deevey.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 09:08, 5 June 2010 (EDT)

  1. John Reader, Africa, National Geographic 9/2001
  2. http://www.betalabservices.com/PDF/Geyh.pdf

Answer to Aschlafy

You asked: You still don't explain why you have repeatedly argued that an Old Earth theory must be true because you think that your view of creationism is false. I don't know why you include creationism at all in your reasoning, given that you think it is false. Would you expect a mathematician to chant as part of his proof of a difficult problem a statement that another proposed proof is false?

I don't think that the reason for the Old Earth theory to be true is that Young Earth creationism is false. But even if I followed the insinuated reasoning above, that shouldn't influence the topic of our discussion: counterexamples to an Old Earth. On this talkpage, I want to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these counterexamples.

Just for an analogy. Often, you hear criticism of the infallibility of the Bible phrased as questions like Whom did Cain marry? What's the value of π according to 1 Kings 7:23?. These questions can be phrased as counterexamples to Biblical inerrancy:

  • Cain dwelt in the land of Nod. There were no other people. So he couldn't get a wife.
  • The circumference and the diameter of a bronze vessel are given as 30 units and 10 units. Therefore, the Bible claims that π equals 3.

Are these valid counterexamples? Would someone using these examples in a discussion impress his dialog partners? No , of course not! The first one makes a claim (there were no other people - Adam and Eve had other children!) not made in the Bible - therefore erecting a straw-man, the second one talks about the features of a special object: maybe there was a brim? And 3' is an approximation for π.... a These so-called counterexamples are easily explained within the Biblical framework, and anyone using them shows just his ignorance in these matters. Therefore, repeating them and ignoring the given explanation is just a Mantric exercise for those who chose not to face reality: I hope that we can agree that these counterexamples are weak, and their weakness can be seen be everyone - believing in Biblical inerrancy or not.

I'm afraid that the same must be said about some of the counterexamples to an Old Earth: the most impressive about them is their number. But the individual examples tend to be quite weak. What happens to a pupil using them in a discussion with his fellow students - or his teacher? He will be faced with further questions and explanations. For instance, look at:

  • The massive Great Lakes are receding in volume too rapidly to have existed millions of years ago

Here, the straw-man are the millions of years: no geologist is claiming that the Great Lakes are that old. What do you expect the pupil to answer to this? Should he chose to ignore the explanation and go on to the next point in the list? After a couple of easily refuted points, his public will get weary and start to think that there isn't a good counterexample against an Old Age of the Earth.

To prevent this, you should perhaps elaborate the examples, and give refutations for the explanations of geologists.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:39, 8 June 2010 (EDT)

What if we assume that geologists really do think that the Great Lakes were made by icebergs 10,000 years ago instead of 10,000,000? There is still no proof of this, not even a computer model (which I assure you could be easily done). Your argument is much ado about nothing. NateSmall 14:59, 8 June 2010 (EDT)

Observations on some deceitful points in this article

Hi. I'm new here after finding this site from a google search on abortion. I also came across this, um, peculiar article. I looked at some of the facts presented and it looks deliberately misleading:

  • For example, because freshwater lakes appear to be "young" (subjective term but we'll go with it) has no indication on the age of the earth.
  • The earth's magnetic field is indeed declining, but when I go to that NASA site, in the same, exact paragraph, it says:


There have been about 170 of these reversals during the last 76 million years according to geological evidence. The time between reversals seems to be growing longer, and is currently about 300,000 years or so. The last one of these happened about 770,000 years ago (0.77 on the graph). We are currently living during a period that has been called the Brunhes Magnetic Chron when the South Magnetic Pole is in the Northern Hemisphere. During the previous Matumaya Magnetic Chron, the North Magnetic Pole was in the Northern Hemisphere! Note that, from the polarity figure, at a time 0.94 million years ago (940,000 years ago) the magnetic field reverse itself by going nearly to 'zero' but then after a few thousand years it recovered and began to increase in strength. During the next 150,000 years it rose to a maximum strength and then began to decline. Notice, also, how fast the magnetic field recovers after it reaches 'zero', in some cases much less than 10,000 years.

.. but then the article has:

Presently, Earth's magnetic field is weakening in strength by 5% every 100 years. ... Not comparable to an old earth

Kind of deceptive and misleading, if not blatantly lying, no?

Thanks for your feedback, DouglasM 15:45, 8 June 2010 (EDT)

Another observation

Religulous Right undid an edit of mine, so I'll explain why I removed it. First off, it's highly speculative and opinionated to an individual:

  • Are SAT scores going down everywhere? Is this a pattern? I should think that such a remarkable conclusion should have a reference.
  • Personal letters and style of writing does not necessarily reflect intelligence. I'd see this as more of a "times change" event. Not to invoke a response here, but language evolves: compare old english to the english of the 1700s to today: all 3 are very different. Because language and social cues change throughout human history doesn't compare to overall intelligence and thus certainly not to the age of the earth. Thanks DouglasM 19:21, 8 June 2010 (EDT)
I realize you're new here. However, you can't just walk into somebody's living room and strart deleting their work because you don't approve of it. Either you make your case here or contribute to the project with material before you start deleting stuff. If all new useres starting deleting everything they didn't like we would end up with no material. Also, if you didn't notice, there were four footnotes in the section you deleted. --ReligiousRight 19:47, 8 June 2010 (EDT)
I made my case above, did you not read it? DouglasM 19:50, 8 June 2010 (EDT)


Hopefully I can address a few of your concerns here, Douglas.
  • Are SAT scores going down everywhere? Is this a pattern? I should think that such a remarkable conclusion should have a reference. The only data I could find on this statement is here, which does show a slow and steady decline within the past five years of critical reading skills, while mathematics has stayed steady the past three years. The average high school student's SAT score, given the data, has dropped, though I concede that there is perhaps not enough data to make a definitive statement on the matter.
  • Personal letters and style of writing does not necessarily reflect intelligence. I'd see this as more of a "times change" event. Not to invoke a response here, but language evolves: compare old english to the english of the 1700s to today: all 3 are very different. Because language and social cues change throughout human history doesn't compare to overall intelligence and thus certainly not to the age of the earth. Style of writing does not necessarily reflect intelligence, but linguistics and grammar do. The spoken word has become—for lack of a better word (heh)—lazy due to either lost interest in proper spoken word or lack of mental ability to comprehend and utilize it. I believe that one's speech capabilities are intertwined with how intelligent he is.
In the future, please wait for someone to address your points before making changes to a sensitive article. -- Jeff W. LauttamusDiscussion 20:05, 8 June 2010 (EDT)
Yes. However, I'm saying make your case BEFORE you start deleting points that could possibly be great insights. We don't want to be engaging in Liberal censorship. --ReligiousRight 19:59, 8 June 2010 (EDT)

Thanks for the aid, RR, but this user has been politely removed from the site. He may return in three days. Until then, RR, may I suggest you do something more productive than bicker with liberals on talk pages? I understand they are infuriating, but trust me, us admins have got it under control. Nothing gets by us. JacobBShout out! 20:03, 8 June 2010 (EDT) I didn't realize he was a liberal. I thought he just may have been a deluded conservative. Even they make me very angry! But you're right. I'll do something more productive. --ReligiousRight 20:09, 8 June 2010 (EDT)

Administrators, RR, will offer instruction to other users, not other editors. Is that clear? I am disturbed by the continual similarities in your observations and those of past users we eventually found not to be of good intentions. Jacob's suggestion for you if far more polite than any I would offer at this moment, as I would have blocked you both for two days. While your contributions are appreciated the same as anyone else editing here, refrain from emulating other editors style, especially administrators, and completely refrain from bombast and unsupported statements, RR. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 04:38, 9 June 2010 (EDT)

Sources

The sources for some of the counterexamples highlight their weaknesses:

FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:38, 15 June 2010 (EDT)

The reinsertion of the link I took out is somewhat surprising. Could someone define what is to be understood by an authoritative work? FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:19, 15 June 2010 (EDT)

Frank, your comments are nit-picky stuff. This is a site for the open-minded, earnest search for the truth. A galaxy spinning in a direction opposite to its tail confounds old earth theories, and that problem is not to be dismissed because a reporter didn't fully address it.--Andy Schlafly 13:22, 15 June 2010 (EDT)

Newsweek

I couldn't find the article in newsweek - some censorship on their part? I reread the somewhat bizarre discussion in the archived talk page of this article, and googling for the quote 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.", I came up with this article on Nature. But the conclusion of this article is somewhat the opposite of the statement made here, as it's abstract states:

Simulations show that orbital chaos can lead to collisions between Earth and the inner planets. But Einstein's tweaks to Newton's theory of gravity render these ruinous outcomes unlikely in the next few billion years.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:54, 15 June 2010 (EDT)

Our citations to articles are for the factual information provided, and sometimes for well-reasoned arguments, but rarely for reporters' conclusions, which of course can be mistaken or biased.--Andy Schlafly 11:27, 15 June 2010 (EDT)
The quote above wasn't from some reporter, but made by Gregory Laughlin (Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California), while your counterexample seems to be based on conclusion of the reporter of Newsweek. The factual information can be found here: Existence of collisional trajectories of Mercury, Mars and Venus with the Earth and can be summarized as: yes such collisional trajectories exist, but they are even more improbable than thought earlier. FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:34, 15 June 2010 (EDT)
The basic counterexample that planetary orbits are unstable and chaotic is not refuted by anything factual.--Andy Schlafly 13:12, 15 June 2010 (EDT)
You give excellent advice: Our citations to articles are for the factual information provided, and sometimes for well-reasoned arguments, but rarely for reporters' conclusions, which of course can be mistaken or biased. As I stated above, I couldn't find the piece in Newsweek anymore. You are aware that reporters of popular magazines tend to prefer a sensational headline over a more level-headed one, i.e. doom incoming! over scientists say incoming doom unlikely.
Fortunately, the very articles the Newsweek's journalist wrote about are still available, and I linked to them in Counterexamples to an Old Earth. Here, you find the factual information, summarized by Gregory Laughlin:
Their [i.e. J. Laskar's & M. Gastineau's] work shows that the orbits of the terrestrial planets -- Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars -- have a roughly 99% chance of maintaining their current, well-ordered clockwork for the roughly 5 billion years that remain before the Sun evolves into a red giant and engulfs the inner Solar System'
Getting from this to The planetary orbits in the solar system - including Earth's - are unstable and unsustainable over the very long time periods asserted by atheists or The basic counterexample that planetary orbits are unstable and chaotic is not refuted by anything factual is quite surprising.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 09:50, 22 June 2010 (EDT)

Receding Moon

The moon is receding from the Earth at a rate suggesting it would have been too close a billion years ago

What's too close? According to NASA, the current rate is 3.8 cm/year[1]. If we assume that this rate is constant, than it gained over the last billion years:

1,000,000,000 year × 3.8cm/year = 3,800,000,000cm = 38,000,000m = 38,000km

That roughly 10% of the current mean orbital radius of the Moon of 378,000km!

But the Roche limit of the system Earth-Moon is 18,000km - even 5 billion years ago the moon would not have been within this critical region.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:25, 23 June 2010 (EDT)

10% off the mean is a huge difference, which would have many dire effects. Note that it is bigger than 10% with respect to the closest distance. Have you looked into that? Also, Old Earth believers claim the age is far older than 1 billion years.--Andy Schlafly 12:08, 23 June 2010 (EDT)

Pattern

  • The moon is receding from the Earth at a rate suggesting it would have been too close a billion years ago : that is wrong, a billion years ago, there was no problem with the Moon's orbit, even at the current rate of receding.
  • The massive Great Lakes are receding in volume too rapidly to have existed millions of years ago : that is deceptive, as geologists don't claim that the Great Lakes existed millions of years ago.
  • The planetary orbits in the solar system - including Earth's - are unstable and unsustainable over the very long time periods asserted by atheists That is misleading, as they probability that the solar system maintains stable is 99%.

What is to be achieved by massing up a great number of flawed statements? FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:31, 23 June 2010 (EDT)

I've addressed your first point in the section above. Your second point does not rebut the truth of the statement. The Great Lakes are very young, and people misled by Old Earth teachings are not typically taught that, or even aware of it. Your third point about probabilities is purely speculative. The solar system is unstable, and that is undeniable.--Andy Schlafly 12:12, 23 June 2010 (EDT)
The Great Lakes are very young, and people misled by Old Earth teachings are not typically taught that, or even aware of it. Science isn't about the public misconceptions of a theory, but the theory itself.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 13:33, 26 June 2010 (EDT)

Links

  1. Measuring the Moon's Distance Apollo Laser Ranging Experiments Yield Results by Fred Espenak, GSFC Planetary Systems Laboratory (LPI Bulletin, No. 72, August, 1994.)

Strontium Isotopes

The concentration of strontium isotopes in seawater is fluctuating - and the concentration at various times is well known (and tabled). Long-term erosion is not the only cause of changing concentrations (e.g, have a look here), so the assumption of a monotonous process is overly simplistic.

For short: not a good example, neither.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 12:49, 26 June 2010 (EDT)

I added a fact tag, as there doesn't seem to be a source to back up the claim made in this counterexample. FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:08, 28 June 2010 (EDT)

Speculations

Dear Andy, above, you write Your third point about probabilities is purely speculative. No, it is not - as the quoted article states, the probabilities are calculated using the best current models and the best simulations. So, purely speculative doesn't fit this point at all!

OTOH, I have to read: The moon is receding from the Earth at a rate that would have placed it too close to the Earth merely a billion years ago, causing tidal catastrophes and other problems, and colliding with the Earth before that. Colliding with the Earth before that? Have you done any calculation? Made a simple simulation? I doubt it! In fact, a simple back-of-an-envelope calculation would have shown that the Moon was far from colliding - even making the assumption of a constant rate of recession!

I'm prone to erase this speculative (or better. factually incorrect) statement, but I don't want to be accused of censorship. Therefore, I just added a {{fact}}-tag, giving you the possibility to back up this sentence with facts.

I'll do the same for the for the entry An extrapolation of time between the collapse of weaker arches with still-standing stronger arches supports a young earth age., as I couldn't find such an extrapolation anywhere, especially not in the given source. FrankC aka ComedyFan 13:16, 26 June 2010 (EDT)

Frank, your comments are longwinded, but did you respond to the defect in your comparison of the distance that Moon recedes to its mean distance from the Earth? Obviously the relevant comparison is to the closest distance of the Moon to the Earth. Please respond to that relevant issue.--Andy Schlafly 18:35, 26 June 2010 (EDT)
  • Assuming a constant rate of recession, I get the following values:
Recession of the Moon over one billion years (assuming a constant rate) 38,000km
Current mean orbital radius: 378,000km
Current perigee: 363,000km
So, a billion years ago, the Moon would have been 10.05% (mean orbital radius) or 10.47% (closest distance) nearer to the Earth than it is now. Yes, there are consequence of such a closer distance (e.g., more and greater tidal movements), but I doubt that simple multicellular ocean-based life-forms would bother, so this isn't that relevant, is it?
  • Now, could you address the following problems:
  1. What calculation or simulation accounts for the idea that the Moon would collide with the Earth if its orbit was lowered by 38,000km - or 190,000km (five billion years) - or even 300,000km?
  2. Where is the extrapolation of the time between the collapse of weaker arches with still-standing stronger arches?
  • JacobB deleted the {{fact}} tags I added to the two statements above without any further comment (or indeed coming up with sources/calculations/simulations). As he obviously doesn't like when comments of a sysop are reversed, I refrain from doing so. But I do think that these was the perfect place to insert such tags, as
  1. The statements aren't obvious, as they involve estimations and calculations
  2. I did research, and couldn't find any source to back up the claims
  3. In fact, according to my own estimations, these statements are wrong
  4. I stated the reasons for inserting the tags above
So, please, back up the statements, or reinsert the tags (hoping that someone else comes up with an explanation), or just delete the statements.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:54, 28 June 2010 (EDT)

Solar Fusion

The primary reaction in the Sun is the fusing of hydrogen to make helium, but the ratio of these remains too high for the Sun to have been burning for millions of years.

Could someone add some numbers to this? For me, it sounds just wrong, and I couldn't find any source for it. It's something different from the Faint young Sun problem, I suppose. FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:02, 28 June 2010 (EDT)

Geothermal Activity

The interior of the earth is heated by decay of radioactive isotopes, which could not possibly still be persisting in sufficient quantities after 5 billion, or even half a billion, years.

Why not? FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:12, 28 June 2010 (EDT)

Questionable Probabilities

If each of the 25 counterexamples provided here (as of June 28, 2010) has merely a 10% chance of being valid, which is certainly an underestimate, then the probability that the Earth is billions of years old is only 7%. From another perspective, these counterexamples demonstrate that the Earth must be young with 93% probability.

This seems to be modeled after Counterexamples to Evolution:

Moreover, if there is merely a 5% chance that each of these counterexamples is correct (and the odds are far higher than that), then the odds that these counterexamples are all incorrect and that evolution is true is infinitesimally small (only a 6% chance that evolution is true with 54 possible counterexamples).

There are quite a few problems with these statements:

  • Why 10% in the first case, but only 5% in the second? Is it that otherwise these counterexamples demonstrate that the Earth must be young with probability of 72% - and that value isn't convincing enough?
  • Where do these probabilities come from? Is there a source which utters statements of which one in ten (or one in twenty) is correct?
  • To assume that all these counterexamples are independent is very problematic!
  • Generally, these counterexamples don't make predictions about unknowns, so, the validity of a statement like The moon is receding from the Earth at a rate that would have placed it too close to the Earth merely a billion years ago, causing tidal catastrophes and other problems, and colliding with the Earth before that can be calculated at this very moment: The probability that this counterexample is correct is zero as the statement is wrong.

I won't delete these "calculations", but I'll add {{fact}} tags to give the authors (or others) the opportunity to state their lines of reasoning: So, why are these probabilities reasonable estimates, and why are the odds far higher than that resp. why are these underestimates?

FrankC aka ComedyFan 11:03, 29 June 2010 (EDT)

The calculation concerning the overall effect of counterexamples on the likely validity of the theory is helpful. It does not claim to be precise, and is almost certainly an underestimate of the probabilistic effect. A number of 50% could be used for the probability of each counterexample, rather than merely 10% or 5%. Regardless, the point is clear and educational.--Andy Schlafly 14:04, 29 June 2010 (EDT)
  • The calculation concerning the overall effect of counterexamples on the likely validity of the theory is helpful. Helpful for what?
  • It does not claim to be precise, and is almost certainly an underestimate of the probabilistic effect. Stating probabilities like 6% or 93% is a claim to be precise. Getting such precise numbers by putting together some very rough estimates (50% could be used for the probability of each counterexample, rather than merely 10% or 5%) isn't good statistical practice.
  • Regardless, the point is clear and educational. What's the educational purpose of this point: add percentages to your statements because that sounds scientific ?
  • Above, I answered to your question on perigee vs. mean radius. Could you please address my problems:
  1. What calculation or simulation accounts for the idea that the Moon would collide with the Earth if its orbit was lowered by 38,000km - or 190,000km (five billion years) - or even 300,000km?
  2. Where is the extrapolation of the time between the collapse of weaker arches with still-standing stronger arches?
Thanks, FrankC aka ComedyFan 10:53, 30 June 2010 (EDT)
Frank, this site isn't "wikianswers" for endless questions. The effect of multiple counterexamples on the likelihood of truth of the original proposition is important to accept with an open mind. If you have a better way of stating it, let's see it. But we're not going to censor the point itself.--Andy Schlafly 10:55, 1 July 2010 (EDT)
Frank, this site isn't "wikianswers" for endless questions. No, it's a Trustworthy Encyclopedia. That's why I'm not posing random questions, but I'm questioning dubious and unsourced statements. I'm not doing so frivolously, but only after checking into the statements myself. As you made these statements, you should either be able to give the necessary calculations/estimations/simulations to affirm them, or you should delete these questionable counterexamples. To paraphrase one of your comments: Please respond to these relevant issues - as you expect us to answer your questions...
The effect of multiple counterexamples on the likelihood of truth of the original proposition is important to accept with an open mind. I'm sorry but I'm getting the idea that this is a scatter-shot approach where most of the projectiles are expect to miss...
If you have a better way of stating it, let's see it. No, I've no better way of stating it, as I don't think it can be stated correctly. May I add that deleting a wrong point from an ecyclopedia isn't censorship, but just due editorial process?
FrankC aka ComedyFan 12:29, 1 July 2010 (EDT)
No, Frank, you're challenging a mathematical truth here. We welcome suggestions on explaining truths better. Censorship is not welcome here.--Andy Schlafly 16:36, 1 July 2010 (EDT)
  • I don't doubt the mathematical truth that 1-0.925 ~ 0.93, but I doubt that this model is applicable. That's a difference.
  • Above, you asked me a question. I answered it - obviously satisfactorily, as there was no follow-up question of you. Now, I asked you two questions. Could you please try to answer them?
  1. What calculation or simulation accounts for the idea that the Moon would collide with the Earth if its orbit was lowered by 38,000km - or 190,000km (five billion years) - or even 300,000km?
  2. Where is the extrapolation of the time between the collapse of weaker arches with still-standing stronger arches?
  • The counterexamples concerned by these questions aren't self-evident, and the first statement seems to be plainly wrong to me. If you fail to address these problems, if any query for additional information (i.e., the {{fact]]-tags) is removed, you give the impression that the only reason for these examples to be included in the list is that you just like them. Is this sufficient for an encyclopedia?
FrankC aka ComedyFan 08:59, 3 July 2010 (EDT)