Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 8 – #19 the first half, geology, misapprehensions about evolution, carbon dating and more quote-mining

one of my favorite movies

one of my favorite movies

We’re on the home stretch now, though the section numbered 19 is probably the longest one.  It’s also probably the best for someone like me who wishes to show how creationists are just so silly.  The pdf of the text of the last part (sections 19-23) of our TrueChristiantm’s post is here: truechristian post 19-23.  

The geologic column ( I’m guessing, he uses “coulomb” repeatedly) would be very thick *if* people were ignorant enough to assume that every geological formation were formed everywhere.  This goes back to our Christian’s ignorance of what the geologic column is.  In some places we have a sandstone formation and in others we have a shale; both formed at the same time and both are represented as having been formed at that time on the GC.  It was indeed initially formed in the early 1800s and alas for our Christian, no radioactive dating was needed for it at that time; it was a relative scale.  

Our Christian claims that the evolution of the horse is “backward in South America”.  I have yet to find evidence for this claim. Like miracles, a lot of creationist “evidence” is to be found in “deepest, darkest X”.  Also, to claim that evolution has a “backwards” or “forewards” demonstrates an ignorance of what evolutionary theory claims.  Evolution says that populations will show a change of attributes due to environmental pressures that select for those attributes that are more favorable for survival. So, if we had our “horse A” and it was adapted for a forested land, then there was a drought, it would evolve to fit that better. And if the drought lifted, and went back to forest, the “horse A” would keep evolving. (Addition: video that shows how a creationist has come to accept evolution from first not.  The creationist? Kent Hovind, he just calls it “variation” but he accepts every point of how species form. Ah, recordable media, nothing better for showing hypocrisy 🙂 )    

Carbon dating is not used to identify most fossils since most fossils are not organic e.g. they do not have carbon in them. They are formed by mineral replacement. We do have some things like carbon films (very thin layers of what was the soft bits), amber preservation, etc that can give us carbon and celluar material to worth with.  No matter how big say a tyrannosaurus is, squished down the flesh makes not much.  All of the water and gases are pushed out. Carbon dating can be used for some of these things but not all since C14 has an upper limit to around 60,000 years.  Why? Because radioactive decay has proceeded so far that our current instruments can’t yet differentiate between what’s in the relic and what may have been introduced by error. Might we push that date back? Maybe, if the instruments are refined.  The wiki entry (the link above) has a good bit about it, including all of its limitations. Scientists do know about these and that’s why dating isn’t done in a vacuum, but with other methods to make sure that the right date is determined.

Carbon dating has been claimed to have given very bad results, like our Christian using the usual 27,000 year old snails, etc. That “fact” is yet another example of how creationists run to science for information but then misrepresent it by leaving the parts that show that the creationists are wrong out.  The report that they have stolen from says that snails living in aquifers that have a lot of non-radioactive carbon in them take up that carbon rather than that from the atmosphere, so they have less radioactive carbon in them than a piece of grass would.  Unfortunately for the creationists, scientists already know this and look for it as a possible problem. Same for his breathless claim of the seal that was supposedly 1300 years old and same for the dates for the mammoth that he mentions with the uncalibrated dates (RCY).  Yes, all of the problems are known and are accounted for.

The Christian also mentions “our atmosphere’s radioactive carbon has not even reached equilibrium yet”.  He has no idea what that is, but it’s one of his hero’s, Kent Hovind, claims. That one is wrong too, and of course dependent on ignorance. It is based on “scientific creationism” which isn’t so scientific at all. Amazing the results you can get if you just make up numbers!  The link above also goes into a nice discussion on how carbon dating works with tree rings, etc.   

Next, we have a rather random claim that “There is not always coarse to fine layering in water. Two densities can make many layers.”  We have no evidence of this of course and plenty of evidence contrary to this in Potholer54’s videos.     

On to more about geology.  The bits about geology and paleontology are scattered around the post but it’s easier to address them all for comprehension. Much of this will be correcting the quote-mining.  I will address the absolutely stunning (as in WTF?) “logic” claims that are intermixed with the geology in the second part of #19. 

Our Christian claims that there is no “soil” built up on sedimentary layers.  Right here is time for a facepalm, because soil *is* the sedimentary layers. No, dear Christian, it didn’t “disappear”, it’s right there. If the soil has lots of organics in it, we get coals (there are a lot of different types, all dependent on compression and heat over time). Otherwise, we have all sorts of sedimentary rocks with various amounts of organics in them, some with a lot, some with very little.  

He then does a lot of quoting.  We’ve seen him get caught  before in the typical creationist trick of quote-mining, the intentional out of context quoting that creationists use to make believe scientists agree with them.  He keeps on doing it.

Derek Ager – “Dereck V.Agner said that he could “think of no examples of radioactive decay being used to date fossils.” The quote mine project has this one at Quote #5.2 The quote from O’Rourke is the same quote-mined one as before at #5.2.  The quote from Rastall (our Christian gets the name wrong as Rustle) is #5.4.  The other quote from O’Rourke is a mash of different paragraphs missing one in the middle (at the bottom of the page here). Niles Eldredge is quote mined and is on another page about quote mining here at about the center of the page (search the page for “poses” to find it).  

This type of intentional lying may have worked once upon a time when people didn’t have such easy access to information.  But it fails so sadly now.  One would think that our TrueChristiantm wasn’t familiar with his religion’s words saying that its god hates lies and liars.

Next up, the second part of #19, where we have limestones, “Precambrian rabbits”, and excuses for circular reasoning.  Stay tuned!

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6 responses to “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 8 – #19 the first half, geology, misapprehensions about evolution, carbon dating and more quote-mining

  1. “The Quote Mine Project…Or, Lies, Damned Lies and Quote Mines”

    Brilliant site!

    I love his claim there was no soil. That one is priceless.

    Club, as you’re nearing the end of this I think you should start challenging Christian to post your responses in their entirety. Should he refuse (which of course he will) you have clear grounds to call him out for the gutless freak he is. Should this turn of events transpire I have no doubt you will present the chastisement in such a (poetic) way that it will be burnt into his cerebral network for the rest of his natural life…. plus it’d be a brilliant conclusion to this chapter! 😉

  2. Pingback: Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 10 – and I’m done …. for now | Club Schadenfreude

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