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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
That's one thing that has always bothered me. They put so much faith in carbon dating yet I'm not so certain it's as exact and reliable as they would have us believe. Have they ever done tests with objects they know how old they are to see if their test are accurate? How thorough of a job did they do?


Carbon dating has gone through very thorough tests. There's few problems that caused some early datings give wrong dates - because of differences in atmospheric carbon-14 - but they can be sorted out now. But carbon dating is far from the only dating method and can't be used to date materials older than about 14 000 years. All these different methods giving same ages (and the results of archaeological, geological and paleontological studies fitting them) is a proof that they are correct. When talking about the most common of human artifacts in ancient times, luminescence method can be used to date pottery for example. When talking about the age of the solar system, the radioactive decay of uranium is used.

The occasional claimed problems in the study of radioactive decay, like the supposed variation according to seasons in few isolated cases, like in this article:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227141.400-solar-ghosts-may-haunt-earths-radioactive-atoms.html

are always either not able to be verified by other groups or are outright shown to be result of something in the test equipment itself.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:17 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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That makes Mara's theory seem even more likely. If the earth was created at an advanced age, the readouts would suggest the earth would be 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 years old (or however much they're saying these days), but the helium that OMB mentioned would still be plentiful.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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The problem with that is that if Earth would have been created old - by a god or if we would be living in a computer simulation, as is occasionally claimed even respectable scientists (also of religious persuasion, by the way, like Paul Davies) - whoever was behind it should have been able to create a perfect illusion.

By the way, if somebody wants to try to read books which attempt to reconcile science and religion, try Paul Davies' books. A classical attempt is by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin(1881-1955), but of course science has moved far forward from his lifetime. But he's one you could try. Although I would say that it is better to keep science and religion separate.

If somebody feels interested, here's a traditional view of that helium thing:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/helium/zircons.html

Age of Earth according to current knowledge is about 4 567 000 000 years.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:43 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Whaddya mean by a perfect illusion? Just confused is all. Confused
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:45 pm Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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Well, let's say if the universe was created relatively recently, perfect illusion means that it looks like it would be 13 700 000 000 years old, which is the accepted age for it, even when it wouldn't be.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:46 pm Reply with quote  
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  Jedi Joe
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I love Francis S. Collins' book called "The Language of God".

Although he believes in evolution and a few other things I don't believe, it is a very good read, and perfectly links science and God.
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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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Who cares..... that is all.

No seriously, this is a pointless debate. The bible is not a science book. It is scientifically sound in every way, and other parts such as miracles cannot be disproved. However, the bible is basically life's instruction manual for Christians, which is why it doesn't talk about dinosaurs or fossil records, etc. That was never the point.

And I disagree with your Rouge77 on keeping religion and science separate. A lot of the greatest scientists believed in God, or at least a higher intelligence. Science is simply a way to discover all the things God made, and just how incredible he designed the world. If anything, science proves there is a higher intelligence. When you see just how insanely complex nature is, you would have to have incredible faith to believe it all just happened by chance.

And if anyone believes the universe and world simply popped into existence, then you have more faith then I could ever imagine having.


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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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Things pop in to existence, but from what? That's the extremely interesting question. Laws of physics allow it easily, but would that mean that they and some kind of perfect void existed before the current universe? Remnants of a universe which existed and died before our own?

No faith is needed in accepting the creation of something out of nothing as long as it follows the laws of nature. Where we face problems is when we go beyond the beginning point of everything, whether we are talking about a sole universe, a cyclical universe or a multiverse. Because before that there couldn't have been anything. Yet from nothing came everything.

And this baffles us, as we are deeply tied to the western linear concept of time and events always having causes behind them. Time must begin somewhere, but it must have a reason to exist, we think.

Personally I hope that the multiverse theory is correct. Not that because it takes away the basic problem from where everything came at some point in the past (question which troubles also all religions: what did god or gods do before the creation of the universe, how did they came into being if they did?) but because it seems to promise endless existence of infinite number of universes in the future.

In a way multiverse is close to Hoyle's discredited view of our universe as one that has existed forever and will exist forever. But in a multiverse, it's just this infinite variety of universes that appears to have existed forever. But still, even then, we are left with the question what came before. And if we give a religious answer to that question, then we will end up ask asking questions about the nature of god or gods and their existence.

What comes to great scientists and religion, it's not the religiously influenced part of their thinking that has survived. In Newton's universe it was god who stopped the universe from collapsing, as Newton understood it would have to without something keeping it together. God was the only answer that Newton, a man who had his very own view of religion and who was also an alchemist, could give. Einstein had to use cosmological constant to achieve the same. Of course, universe is instead expanding.

Protestant Kepler was a religious man (and an astrologer and believed that music had some mysterious connection to the universe, a cosmic harmony), Catholic Galilei made nuns out of all his daughters. But it's not their religious thinking that has importance today even when his atom theory and it's connection to the Eucharist was one of the reasons that brought him before the Inquisition in the case of Galilei, and not just his copernicanism and pope's hurt feelings because of his book Dialogue Concerning the Theory of Two Chief World Systems(1632), where Galilei put pope Urban VIII's words in to the mouth of a foolish character he called Simplicissimus.

Same with Einstein and his claim that his god was the god of Baruch Spinoza(1632-1677) - who was himself claimed to be an atheist by his contemporaries, even when he had included god in his work. But that god of Spinoza and Einstein's was basically a supreme law of nature, keeping everything running and caring nothing about human existence, as Einstein explained when it came to god and the question of human suffering.

Their religious views can be interesting, but in their work that has survived it plays no role, because it's separate from religion and survives without any religious connections. And in the same way religion that doesn't tie itself into scientific certainties of it's day won't get tied to things that can be seen soon outdated. Just think how the plate tectonics weren't accepted in geology until 40 years ago and how wrong it would have been to tie religion into the previously existing geological view of Earth.


Last edited by Rouge77 on Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:36 am Reply with quote  
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  Jedi Joe
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Autobon wrote:
Who cares..... that is all.

No seriously, this is a pointless debate. The bible is not a science book. It is scientifically sound in every way, and other parts such as miracles cannot be disproved. However, the bible is basically life's instruction manual for Christians, which is why it doesn't talk about dinosaurs or fossil records, etc. That was never the point.


Totally agree, Autobon.
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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:12 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Rouge77 wrote:

Carbon dating has gone through very thorough tests. There's few problems that caused some early datings give wrong dates - because of differences in atmospheric carbon-14 - but they can be sorted out now. But carbon dating is far from the only dating method and can't be used to date materials older than about 14 000 years.


One minor correction. C-14 dating can be used to date stuff back as far as 75,000 years but its accuracy drops after about 40,000 years. So after 40,000 years it is going to be less accurate because there is a better chance for error but that doesn't mean that it would be producing outlandish dates that are completely impossible 90% of the time or something (using a large sample size would probably be sufficient to counteract any of this increased chance for error to get a reasonably accurate date). But yes C-14 is a very reliable dating method, faults are more likely to be the result of improper use of the method by individuals or a contaminated sample.
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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:23 pm Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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I stand corrected. Thanks! Smile


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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Rouge77 wrote:
Well, let's say if the universe was created relatively recently, perfect illusion means that it looks like it would be 13 700 000 000 years old, which is the accepted age for it, even when it wouldn't be.

There you go, you said it yourself, people think the earth is a gazillion years old. So if God is trying to make earth a succesful faith training ground, he seems to have done his job. Wink
Now about the 'perfect illusion' (don't I bug you? Razz )to my knowledge, after creation, God only interferes in earth's management to perform miracles, other than that He let's the world be. Meaning He wouldn't interfere with the helium. Just a thought, you guys may have opinions.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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Current evidence shows the age to be 4,56 billion years old and the universe to be 13,7 billion years old. Of course, when you have an omnipotent god, there's no limits to what such a being could do. No limits whatsoever, which I don't think that all supporters of creationism or intelligent design completely understand, when they think that bishop Ussher's calculations hit close to the mark. They still see god in human terms.

Not only could we think that an omnipotent god could create a universe that looks different than it's true age, we could also think that such a god could create a universe which wouldn't just look but would be 13,7 billion years old even if god would have a created it let's say a minute ago.

But all we have is the scientific evidence for the age of what we see and can study. Science can only study what is natural, not what is supernatural even if huge amounts of people have thought that they can prove the existence of a supernatural god, unbound by the laws of nature, through natural laws, experiments or just plain logic. They have still been thinking of a god that would be just a very poweful, human kind being, understandable by humanity, instead of a truly supernatural being, which couldn't be comprehended by human intelligence.

So, I think that people can very well believe what they want when it comes to religion, but that mixing science and faith to produce religiously influenced science doesn't work, as they operate on a different basis, and either or both would suffer,


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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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Autobon wrote:
And if anyone believes the universe and world simply popped into existence, then you have more faith then I could ever imagine having.


I worded that completely wrong. I meant to say if you think it just so happened to perfectly form, in all of its complexity, then you have more faith then me. The chances are so slim you might as well call it impossible. And where did all that matter come from in the first place.


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 PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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The universe has been called "the ultimate free lunch" - the combined energy of a closed universe is zero, the energy of combined matter and the energy of gravitation cancelling each other - and the beginning of the universe - or the first universe in a multiverse - can have happened simply coming into existence out of nothing as long as the laws of physics already existed. There's a very, very small chance for certain quantum effects to happen and given enough time - although there wouldn't have been no time at all before the very first universe - everything will happen.

At this point I must ask you to turn towards more enlightened forumers, your local library or the source of all wisdom, Wikipedia (and most of what they write there is even true! Wink )


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