March 6, 2010

So-Called Science Is At It Again

This is a very interesting article about laying to rest any debate over the reason for the extinction of dinosaurs.  A group of scientists have closed the case and the verdict is in: dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteor that hit the earth millions of years ago.

Combining all available data from different science disciplines led us to conclude that a large asteroid impact 65 million years ago in modern day Mexico was the major cause of the mass extinctions.

Are we happy?  Well, I'm not.  First, notice the language of the above quote from the article.  "Combining all available data"...  In other words, there is still data that is not available.  The data that is available is a known known.  The data that is unavailable is an unknown unknown.  Therefore, to draw an emphatic conclusion is a blatant disregard to any existing data that may have not been uncovered yet.

Not only this, as I addressed in my blog post , what observations/testing was done millions of years ago to give us documented evidence that we can compare to?  To take a bone and tell me it is 65 million years old, based on faulty radiometric dating methods, isn't very scientific.

So, what about these dating methods?  Here's a little bit that "science" doesn't want you to know.  There are 3 major assumptions that are being made in order for these dating methods to seem valid.  Every rock has elements within the rock.  Based on the elements present determines which dating method is used.  (Potassium-Argon, Uranium Lead, etc.).  The dating method basically makes a mathematical calculation based on the amount of each element in the rock.  Now, before we go on, it would behoove us to not assume any level of intelligence and explain a few things.  This will get a little technical, but hopefully it is understandable.  Thank you college Chemistry for the following explanations.

Elements contain Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons.  For example, if you look at Carbon on the Periodic Table, it is Atomic Number 6.  Atomic Numbers designate how many Protons are in the nucleus of the atom.  It would be easy if Carbon was just Carbon, but there are actually varying occurrences of Carbon.  For lack of a better term, under "normal" circumstances, an element's number of Protons is equal to the number of its Neutrons.  The number of Protons never changes otherwise the element would change.  However, if an element gains Neutrons, it's Atomic Mass can change.  The Atomic Mass number or nucleon number is the total number of Protons and Neutrons.  So, the Atomic Number never changes (# of Protons) but the Atomic Mass (# of Protons + Neutrons) can.  When an element gains Neutrons, the element is no longer known by its title, but rather it's Isotope title and number.  An Isotope is a base element that has gained more neutrons.  For example, Carbon may be Carbon-12 (C-12), Carbon-13 (C-13), or Carbon-14 (C-14).  (Simply subtract the Atomic Number from the Isotope number to find the number of Neutrons). 

Now, there are Isotopes that are stable (C-12, C-13); and there are Isotopes that are unstable (radioactive) (C-14).  When an Isotope is radioactive, it desperately wants to become stable (non-radioactive).  However, it just can't shed Neutrons by jumping on the treadmill.  Isotopes must undergo a process known as Radioactive Decay.  Through this decay, the element works its way down to stable element.  However, sometimes, the Radioactive Decay not only sheds Neutrons, but also sheds Protons (see for further insight into Radioactive Decay, including types of radiation that occurs).  Uranium-238 (U-238), through this decay process, transforming into many other elements and eventually ends up as Lead-206 (Pb-206), which is finally a stable element.  Lead's Atomic Number is 82, so PB-206 contains 82 Protons and 124 Neutrons.  Uranimum, in this case, is known as the Parent Element and all those it decays into are known as Daughter Elements.  The time it takes for half identical Parent radioisotopes to decay into their Daughter Elements is known as a Half-Life. 

Many of these Half-Lives are said to be hundreds of millions of years--which brings us to our first major assumption.  Since no one has every lived for hundreds of millions of years to test and observe such decay, it is impossible to say, with any level of certainty, that the actual Half Life is xxx million years.  So, assumption #1 is that they know the time of these Half Lives.

Assumption #2 is that they know the original ratio of Parent to Daughter elements.  For radiometric dating to work, you have to know where you started from to where you are now and then measure that span by factoring in "known" Half Lives and thereby deriving an age.  If you don't know where you started from, then you must assume.  Therefore, the radiometric dating methods do not being with viable, provable observation.

Assumption #3 is that they know, for certain, that radio active decay rates have remained constant.  Again, without being around to observe such decay rates, we can only assume they have remained constant. 

Unless these assumptions are made, radiometric dating is nothing more than faulty at best.  If we make these assumptions, then we are leaving the world of the testable and the observable and therefore, we leave the world of science.

With this, I can't accept the notion that the death of the dinosaurs was caused by something we can't prove.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are this blog's property. Any comment deemed to be in poor taste will be removed.