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Dating methods

  1. Apr 18, 2009 #1
    so i've been talking to someone about evolution. they dont believe 'macroevolution' can occur ... like speciation.

    and like if i say bring up saying to them about bone structures etc etc that were found he just brings up dating methods.

    he says that everything came to be at the same time nd that the dating methods used by scientist to date archaelogical finds are wrong...

    so any journal articles or anything on this that i can get him to read? i'm not so good at looking up journal articles lol

    throw your thoughts here too if you'd like
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2009 #2


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    A person could reasonably doubt the elaborate C-14 dating mechanisms we use for recent dating (last 20,000 years or so). But the basic principle is simple enough that a high school student could easily use it. Likewise with Th-U dating for older samples. What would a person do, deny that thorium, uranium, and carbon-14 are radioactive?

    Sure, without the nuances they might not agree to the precision modern science presents, but there should be plenty for ballparking.
  4. Apr 18, 2009 #3
    ie they say dates that are seemingly impossible by modern science.

    earth is only a couple thousand years old?
    thats one HUGE ball park figure... 4.6 billion +/- 4.599 billion
  5. Apr 19, 2009 #4


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    The person should read this: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/RESOURCES/WIENS.html [Broken]

    It's impossible to refute any claims if all they give is "it's wrong"
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Apr 19, 2009 #5


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    This is an indication that the person is taken over by belief and will simply choose not to believe anything you say that might challenge his/her belief. It is impossible to reason with such a person, so it is best to not even try.
  7. Apr 19, 2009 #6
    i get what your saying but he is quite intelligent actually nd i dont see how logically someone can refute this...

    thankks for the link i'll show him see what he thinks
  8. Apr 19, 2009 #7


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    Really? You kinda just argued against that! An intelligent person is capable of providing intelligent arguments. Someone who doesn't - who just keeps repeating "it's wrong" - typically does that because they are not capable of providing an intelligent argument.
  9. Apr 19, 2009 #8


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    That link was very informative. There was part of it that I didn't understand though:
    I don't understand the bold part - why does the origin of the argon determine the temperature at which it'll be released?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Apr 20, 2009 #9


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    Seems to me like that's because of the chemical environement. Argon that was produced from the potassum in the sample ocupies some places in the crystallic structure. It is a reasonable assumption that Ar atoms ocupying identical positions within the crystall will leave the solid at identical temperatures. On teh other hand, Ar that came from other sources will be in different chemical environments (different positions within the structure) so it will leave the solid in different temperatures.

    Probably not 100% bulletproof, but quite clever.
  11. Apr 20, 2009 #10
    For the OP, the strong point of dating is that several independent dating methods lead to the same result. The most compelling is counting annual growth or accumulation layers for instance in corals, tree rings, and lake sediment deposits. These layers can also be carbon dated and the different records can be compared. See for instance intcal04.

    So when this 15 datasets give comparable results like this here, all being well within the error margin, some robustness can't be denied.

    Despite that, if large and powerful groups can simply wipe this all away, then we are still on a very long struggle to reality.
  12. Apr 20, 2009 #11
    It is human nature to have a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias" [Broken] ie we want our beliefs to be true. I believe this derives from the way in which we construct our perception of reality in response to our environment. This is an important trait for socialization and sanity.

    The scientific method is specifically designed to overcome confirmation bias because it requires that we eliminate assumptions and test our belief by devising experiments to disprove them.

    Roy Spencer is a renowned climate scientist who believes that intelligent design is a valid theory. He deceives himself because evolution in his mind contradicts his Judeo-Christian belief. He is still however a very intelligent and competent scientist.

    Confirmation bias is most strongly evident in politics and religion. People fight wars over ideology and religion which are both manifestation of confirmation bias.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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