Conversation with anti-YECs and/or ex-YECs

Creationist bloggers can be infuriating. If one has infuriated you by persisting in nonsense even when corrected, or refusing to reply to your criiticsm, you may feel driven to recording the fact. If so, you may register your disapproval here and hope a response is forthcoming.

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Conversation with anti-YECs and/or ex-YECs

Postby a_haworthroberts » Mon May 05, 2014 5:59 pm

Quite interesting so far: ... 286128890/
Like me, Steven Poole is a bit mystified by facebook (as a post of mine vanished from the main page but he has still been able to respond to it on the second link) ...

PS I gather another BCSE member wishes to join the Steven Poole group - I received an email which seemed to suggest I'm an administrator of the site at Facebook (I am NOT). I've flagged the email in this thread (when I joined I clicked on something to request to join and Steven then approved it and then my attempted post, made a second time, became visible).
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Conversations with ex-YECs about YECs

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:40 pm

If the YEC blogger Tim Gilleand chooses to censor me (99% certain) and if the YEC blogger John Hartnett chooses to do the same (anybody's guess as it appears to depend on whether he can offer a suitable response), my latest comment challenging their championing of 'scepticism' and thus having a go at National Geographic can be read HERE:

These bloggers are both anti-science. Anti 'historical science' - because all rational interpretations of the available evidence do not confirm their cherished beliefs about the age of the universe. (As far as I can tell Hartnett actually understands physics pretty well - definitely much better than I do.) Unlike Gilleand.
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PS OEC being (politely and long-windedly) attacked by a YEC

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:28 am ... g-methods/ (OEC facing up to scientific reality; I had to search for this as CMI failed by supply a direct link under their article) (YEC attacking OEC; I have flagged this to 'Reasonable Faith Adelaide')

Quoting the OEC Christians at ReasonableFaithAdelaide:
"Young Earth Creationists claim that radioactive dating makes the following assumptions:
1. The decay rate has been constant throughout time.
2. The isotope abundances in the specimen have not been altered during its history by the addition or removal of either parent or daughter elements.
3. When the rock was formed it contained a known amount of the daughter material.
The first item is indeed an assumption. However, there is no evidence to the contrary and the decay rates conform with atomic theory.
The second item is not an assumption. Methods do exist for detecting loss or removal of the parent or daughter elements and also for estimating when these events occurred.
The third item is also not an assumption. For Uranium/lead dating, molten Zircon rejects Lead. This can be tested in the laboratory in the here and now. Hence, the initial composition of the Zircon crystal is known.
Justin [Payne] claims the Young Earth Creationists (YECs) highlight the minor instance where dating methods do not work and do not properly acknowledge the majority of cases where they do. Geochronologists are aware of the assumptions in the method and of possible causes of erroneous readings."

I note that (a) the Mason response is exceedingly long-winded and (b) only belatedly seeks to address the specific points by Payne as summarised by Rogers on how YECs over-claim about the number of 'assumptions' involved when undertaking radiometric dating via two uranium-lead decay processes (dating zircons which contain tiny amounts of uranium but which 'reject' lead). On (b) the section headed 'Assumptions: Initial composition and closed system' by Mason suggests (verbosely and rather technically) that potassium-argon dating involves assumptions and uncertainties .... Yes, really! Never mind that the material from ReasonableFaithAdelaide was discussing two uranium-lead dating methods ... To quote from the first link above (which I think Mason does not want CMI supporters to read): "Zircon crystals are small crystals that form within rocks, such as granite. In its molten state, Zircon rejects lead. Thus, when Zircon crystals are formed, they will not contain any lead. Thus the age of a Zircon crystal can be dated from the Uranium/Lead ratio".

So does Mason even address this specific point? No! He TOTALLY fails - after mentioning them just once - to discuss the known properties of zircon crystals with respect to ReasonableFaithAdelaide's point 3 (quoted above) where they discussed a dating 'assumption' that is not really an assumption at all.

Mason does discuss zircons - but ONLY when speculating (wildly), when discussing the perfectly reasonable 'constant half-life' assumption, that radioactive decay rates - 'must' if YEC-ism can possibly be true - have been 'very much different' (my paraphrase of his position) in the recent past. (Because of Noah's Flood - of course.) He then discusses the supposed refutation of uranium-lead dating methods offered by the non-peer reviewed YEC 'RATE Project'. At this point I gave up trying to read every paragraph, due to the article's excessive length and inclusion of what look like irrelevancies (though I did not watch the actual ReasonableFaithAdelaide lecture), and merely skimmed the text.

However, I have read Mason's 'Conclusion'. Where he again completely FAILS to deal with the zircon issue removing the need for 'assumptions' on the point that when a "rock was formed it contained a known amount of the daughter material" (ie no lead measured today could have been there at the outset and therefore all of it is very likely to have been formed during radioactive decay at a constant and measured rate).

I quote Mason: "Some evidence (derived from radioactive decay), when interpreted using assumptions known to be invalid (or, at least, highly suspect), an interpretative framework (uniformitarianism) known to give erroneous answers in commonplace situations and a presupposition (naturalism) known to preclude correct explanations, can be misinterpreted as indicating that the earth is ca. 4.54 billion years old. However, to interpret the bulk of the evidence under the first hypothesis requires numerous unknown processes, several of which contradict known laws of physics and chemistry, as well as many disjointed, “unsubstantiated just-so stories”." NOT convincing if you believe in science.

I'm also flagging this at that ex-YECs Facebook page.
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ReasonableFaithAdelaide on Mason article

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:57 pm

They have sent me an email which includes the following:

"Jim Mason did not address the main points that Justin raised. The main points that were not covered were:

· It can be experimentally confirmed that molten Zircon rejects lead and so the initial conditions are known.

· The dating can be derived from 3 methods:

o U238 decay

o U235 decay

o The lead isotope ratio

· These 3 methods can be checked against each other, especially using the Concordia line/diagram. Jim Mason made no reference to the Concordia line and I could not find any reference to the Concordia line on any articles on the CMI website, even though it is well known (eg see

Jim raised the issue of Helium concentrations in Zircon. This is interesting, but it was not discussed at the meeting and I do not know how Justin would respond. In general, Jim filled his article with a lot of additional waffle that was not particularly relevant to the topic.

A summary of Justin’s argument is given at ... g-methods/, which also contains links to the slides and the You Tube recording.

RFA does not have a formal position on Young Earth Creationism. The committee is a house divided. There are YECs, OECs, those who are unsure and those who don’t care, but we do treat each other with good grace. We had a number of sessions last year on arguments for or against the YEC position. The YECs had more than a fair go."

I have been informed by ReasonableFaithAdelaide that the summary of a talk* given at a meeting - which the message quoted above alludes to - does not necessarily represent the views of OECs at RFA, and that while the summary was written by someone at the RFA (Kevin Rogers) it summarised a talk by a scientist from outside ie not part of RFA who they invited along as a guest speaker.
* ... g-methods/

PS When I have a moment I intend to have a look at THIS by Tas Walker (from 2007): ... dating.pdf

PPS Just seen this propaganda from 2014: ... rspective/ (the author is one Richard E Walker)
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