|Author:||BWE_the real_one. [ Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:56 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Formal Debate: Dendrochronology and C14?|
Dave, whether you can make the software work or not is totally irrelevant to this debate. We are debating whether dendrochronology is circular or valid science. Sorry but my bottle opener finger’s getting itchy. I have one more post after this one. I don’t think this debate worked out the way you thought it would.
In this, my next to last post, I submit Morton’s Demon, one last scientific paper with some dating information and the idea of redemption. My final post, after Dave posts his rebuttal to this post or, possibly some evidence in support of his position that dendrochronology is not only circular but not even valid science (hey, a guy can dream can’t he?), will, I hope, tie together what I think are the salient features of this debate and summarize my arguments in support of my three points.
Morton’s Demon (link here) is an analogy made by an ex-YEC, Glen Morton, a geologist. I only need an excerpt for my purposes but, to give you full advantage, feel free to use any part of it.
1. I propose the title you so enthusiastically supported, “Dendrochronology: Circularity or Valid Science?” demonstrates your infection by Morton’s Demon. I posit that, were dendrochronology not valid science, the alternative would be “is it religion” or “is it marketing” or some such thing. But I know a secret. First we need to determine if dendrochronology is valid science. And I know how to do that. You would too if you weren’t infected with the demon.
Your important-sounding headlines make you look a bit foolish upon occasion. Do you do that on purpose? The only conclusion I can draw from your title is that your untenable position needs rhetorical support because you don’t like the results you get from Google. I imagine you feel very comfortable in your diagnosis since you believe there is no contradictory data. The fact that you began your opening post with the statement “WRITTEN RECORDS ARE THE MOST ACCURATE” demonstrates quite clearly that you in no way understood a single thing I wrote in my opening post. Being so sure of your own position that you fail to note mine demonstrates that you have strong faith in your position and a hell of a blind spot. I imagine my inability to come to understand and agree with your position baffles you. After all, you see the world clearly, right? Why do you think I don’t see the same thing? Do you think I am biased? Deceived? Trying to keep my job? Do you ever wonder if I might be Satan himself, come to lure fools to hell and to test your faith sorely? Do you wonder if I just might actually be right and that Earth (may we ever find others willing to share revelry in Her name) might be much older than 10,000 years and there was no flood? No matter. Now that I raised the questions, feel free to help me make my point in both your next and your final posts.
I imagine you’ve expended massive amounts of intellectual energy figuring out how to convince me (and in fact, the world) that I am wrong. You freely admit to spending hours reading supportive books, in fact you post scans of multiple pages of them. You obviously pore through scientific literature noting only those portions which support the YEC position. When you use the quote in contradiction to the author’s intention you are committing the dishonest tactic known as “quote-mining”. If you were to quote Provine or Ayala or MacNeil or any other scientist who understands evolution and use that quote to try to cast doubt on evolution, you would be dishonestly quote-mining. If you were to use data that they collected and try to show how that data should be interpreted differently then that would be honest. But in that case you would not quote them at all. You would reference their data. You can’t honestly use a quote as evidence that contradicts an author’s conclusions unless you are pointing either inaccuracies or contradictions. I’m thinking as hard as I can right now and I can’t think of any exceptions to that. Also, if your interpretation of the data produced graphs that explicitly contradicted your conclusions and you continued to hold to your conclusions anyway, that too would be dishonest and a symptom of Morton’s demon.
For you to be able to imagine that dendrochronology must be circular and invalid science simply because AiG posts an article saying so is damning evidence for Morton’s demon Dave. Radiometric dating works and we know it does because the calibration curves agree. Dendrochronology was simply enlisted in 14C calibration because it can provide an absolute chronology. As were varves, corals, deep sea sediment cores, ice cores, speleotherms and the like. Dendrochronologists were already out there doing dendrochronology when Ferguson decided to make a master sequence with the express purpose of providing a calibration metric for 14C.
This paper shows how scientists approach controversial issues in radiometric dating.
Notice how they make a bold statement in the bolded part? What do you think they will do to support such a statement? Hand wave? Argue from authority? Put up a straw man maybe? Do you think they will honestly assess the problems they face and address them? Well, let’s find out:
Now, I’m going to hazard a guess about a brand new science. Every year when winter comes to the northern hemisphere of Earth (may we never stray from her good graces) the sunlight becomes noticeably weaker and sets off a specific chemical reaction in exposed quartz at specific latitudes. That chemical signature begins its own isotopic degradation as soon as it moves out of that latitude. Now, if plate tectonics is correct, we should find this signature with gradually older dates as we follow a plate’s assumed motion away from the narrow latitude band where the process occurs. What do you think of that?
Feel free to respond or ignore that snippet as you wish. The actual point I’m addressing with this graph and paper is that these researchers checked their information against all kinds of different calendrical phenomena. They are arguing that their calibration curve meets the high standards required to be precise enough to provide a 14C calibration curve. Dave, all the info and work they went to was to develop one calibration curve and determine its accuracy:
You said you wanted to get in depth with the curves one at a time. Well, I haven’t brought this one back up yet because you, for reasons known only to the demon, chose to focus on Ferguson instead, but I will be referring to it again in my last post so you might want to read it in light of the idea I just presented:
3. All this reflection on your dishonesty as a symptom of Morton’s demon brings me to my third point: that Creation Ã¢â‚¬Å“Science” is based on falsehood, strangely gripping its adherents in the miasma of the demon. I want to talk about redemption.
Tell me Dave, from the purely human element of Jesus’ life, ignoring for the moment the offspring-of-god business, did he offer redemption for a group of people from anything besides sin? What about Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, Geronimo of the Apache’s, Simone Bolivar or Caesar Chavez?
Oppression follows humanity around like a disease. Liberation nearly always requires sacrifice, and often it requires blood sacrifice. The people I listed all were prepared to offer blood sacrifice and many of them indeed did offer their lives as a catalyst for the redemption of their people. Why do you suppose we honor these peoples’ sacrifices?
2) Do you see Morton’s demon in anyone, creationist or scientists or some specific religion or ideology? Can you give an example and go into some detail with your answer?
3) Please read the new paper I linked to (You might want to anyway, it gives some nice information on Lake Suigetsu varve count errors) and try to explain what you think the authors set out to do and whether they achieved their goal.
- Moderator’s Introduction
- BWE’s 1st Post
- Dave’s 1st Post
- BWE’s 2nd Post
- Dave’s 2nd Post
- BWE’s 3rd Post
- Dave’s 3rd post
- BWE’s 4th Post
- Dave’s 4th Post
- BWE’s 5th Post
- Dave’s 5th Post
- BWE’s 6th Post
- Dave’s 6th Post
- BWE’s 7th Post
- Dave’s 7th post
- BWE’s 8th Post
- Dave’s 8th Post
- BWE’s Penultimate Post
- Dave’s Penultimate Post
- BWE’s Final Debate Post