Home » Genetics, Geology » Cocktail! Galaxies evolve in 700 million years, Horseshoe Crabs stay the same after 450 million years

Cocktail! Galaxies evolve in 700 million years, Horseshoe Crabs stay the same after 450 million years

A galaxy is speculated to form in only 700 million years. By way of contrast, in a comparable stretch of time (450 million years) the Living Fossil horse shoe crab has remained unchanged. In fact the Earth supposedly took only 20 million years to form out of a nebula, and that horse shoe crab remained immutable for 450 million years (22 times longer)! In the same time frame that the horseshoe crab remained the same, fish evolve into birds. Isn’t evolution (or lack thereof in the horseshoe crab) amazing?

One test I suggest is whenever we have a living fossil plus a supposed real fossil of the same species (like a horseshoe crab), to the extent we can do a sequence divergence test (proteins or DNA), let’s do it. Will the molecular clock freeze or tick?

It is hard to tell how old the universe is, but even supposing the universe is old, it does not mean the fossil record is old, or even if the whole fossil record is old, that a given fossil is as old as the paleontologists say it is. Isn’t skepticism to be valued?

Some will say the DNA and proteins aren’t testable since the fossil is too old by now. Well, that’s the same line that said there wouldn’t be any carbon-14 in the 300 million-year-old carboniferous layers or in 70 million year old dino tissue. And we have supposedly found DNA in dinos and carbon-14 to boot. Perhaps we can extract only biotic material someday (DNA or specific proteins) and then do carbon-14 testing. That way we’ll erase the contamination complaint.

The journal Nature reported that we’ve been able to sequence 700,000-year-old horse DNA. If a fossil that is dated tens of million of years is actually younger (say tens of thousands of years), at least in principle, we should be able to get a DNA sequence if we find DNA. If that molecular clock is shown to break for living fossils, that’s bad news for evolutionism. But maybe, like the question of carbon-14 in fossils, these are questions that are taboo to ask.

Calling Mark Armitage and Kevin Anderson or anyone willing to do such research. :-)

One does not need to be a YEC to question paleontological ages. Richard Milton is not a creationist and is an agnostic, and he too is suspicious of the establishment narrative. If the paleontological narrative if false, then Darwinism is false.

NOTES
“Cocktail” designates a speculative idea

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79 Responses to Cocktail! Galaxies evolve in 700 million years, Horseshoe Crabs stay the same after 450 million years

  1. I didn’t know how pervasive the pattern of overall stasis in the fossil truly was until I watched this video

    Living Fossils – Dr. Carl Werner, part 1 of 2 | Origins – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6LmWznY4Ys

    Living Fossils – Dr. Carl Werner, part 2 of 2 | Origins
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noljXQOW9qA

    Dr Carl Werner also has another excellent video called “The Grand Experiment Vol 1″
    http://www.thegrandexperiment.com/

    I was very surprised to learn how much disinformation about the fossil record is in our museums.

    Whale Evolution vs. The Actual Evidence – video – fraudulent fossils revealed
    http://vimeo.com/30921402

    Fish & Dinosaur Evolution vs. The Actual Evidence – video and notes
    http://vimeo.com/30932397

    The Unknown Origin of Pterosaurs – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP6htc371fM

    Bird Evolution vs. The Actual Evidence – video and notes
    http://vimeo.com/30926629

    Bat Evolution? – No Transitional Fossils! – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6003501/

  2. 2
    CentralScrutinizer

    One does not need to be a YEC to question paleontological ages.

    Fer sher. Question everything. Especially the consensus narrative.

    “Cocktail” designates a speculative idea

    Darn.

  3. Perhaps we can extract only biotic material someday (DNA or specific proteins) and then do carbon-14 testing. That way we’ll erase the contamination complaint.

    I think the contamination argument against young C14 ages for dinos, has sufficiently been undermined by the dating of sample material adjacent to the bone/fossil in the strata. The adjacent material dates far older than the bone/fossil.

    Why would the bone/fossil just-so-happen to contain more C14 than adjacent environment of the strata?

  4. I think the contamination argument against young C14 ages for dinos, has sufficiently been undermined by the dating of sample material adjacent to the bone/fossil in the strata. The adjacent material dates far older than the bone/fossil.

    Why would the bone/fossil just-so-happen to contain more C14 than adjacent environment of the strata?

    Great point!

    And this puts the Darwinists in the strange position of hoping C-14 radiometric dating is flawed. The irony is rich. :-)

  5. “The irony is rich.”

    The carbony is richer.

    ba da dam :P

  6. Lol. You don’t need to waste your time trying to extract DNA from fossils that are tens of millions of years old to know horshoe crabs aren’t living fossils, and that their molecular clocks tick just fine.

    Find one of their proteins, BLAST it, look at the distance tree. You can’t stop evolution, and indeed you’ll find horsehoe crabs sti on a nice long branch, away from the true crabs and with other arachnids. There clocks have been ticking away.

  7. Lol. You don’t need to waste your time trying to extract DNA from fossils that are tens of millions of years old to know horshoe crabs aren’t living fossils, and that their molecular clocks tick just fine.

    Lol yourself WD400… you don’t even comprehend the argument being made. You’re criticizing an argument I’m not making.

    The argument wasn’t establishing the horseshoe crab is a living fossil, but whether the supposed 450-million-year-old fossil fossil has roughly the same sequence as the current horseshoe. If it does, it suggests either the molecular clock is broken or that the supposed 450-million-year-old fossil isn’t 450 million years old, because in principle, the clock ought to tick for the same species from ancestor to descendant, or do you not comprehend that either?

    And if not this crab, we can do it for another species. Comprende?

    On the contrary, you’re wasting my time by criticizing arguments I didn’t make, and me having to take time to point out your misrepresentations.

  8. Why would the bone/fossil just-so-happen to contain more C14 than adjacent environment of the strata?

    It really helps when one wants to be a skeptic about something to actually understand the bit of science you want to be skeptical about. In this case it appears patently obvious that the author of this statement has no idea of how C14 dating is conducted and why (and at what point) contamination is incorporated into the sample. Also since no citation has been provided on the dating of the strata which likely was not via C14 dating method).

    If you want a great example of how not to conduct C14 dating see the RATE project. An epoch example of total failure and slip-shod ‘science’ if there ever was one!

  9. Find one of their proteins, BLAST it, look at the distance tree. You can’t stop evolution, and indeed you’ll find horsehoe crabs sti on a nice long branch, away from the true crabs and with other arachnids. There clocks have been ticking away.

    Your circular reasoning is noted. Do you have a legitimate point to make. Sequence divergences are in evidence, but they do not establish the truth of molecular clocks because the cause of the sequence divergence is assumed to be because of the clock. Your circular reasoning is thus:

    1. molecular clocks cause ALL sequence divergence
    2. we find sequence divergence, and since molecular clocks cause ALL sequence divergence, the molecular clock hypothesis is true

    On the contrary, there is growing evidence the clock hypothesis isn’t the explanation for ALL the sequence divergences

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ton-hoyle/

  10. Also since no citation has been provided on the dating of the strata which likely was not via C14 dating method).

    Dating strata? You have fossils with C14. The strata could in principle be old, but a young fossil stuck in them. C14 in the fossil says the fossil is young. You can bury a living dog today in 400 million year old strata, it doesn’t mean the dog died 400 years ago. Seems to make sense to actually test the dog tissue rather than the rocks it’s buried in.

    C14 in fossils is ubiquitious. You can check for yourself. Heck, pretty much the entire carboniferous era of around 300 million years ago.

  11. In this case it appears patently obvious that the author of this statement has no idea of how C14 dating is conducted and why (and at what point) contamination is incorporated into the sample.

    You’re1 the one with no idea. :-)

    I suggested one could in principle separate the biotic material and see if the bio-polymers have C14. Whether practical is another story, but in principle it can be done. And what if C14 is discovered in the bio polymers that can’t be explained by it get radioactive otherwise?

    But its clear there is an institutional imperative not to be properly skeptical of such basic questions. Too much institutional, metaphysical, financial, and reputational interests in play. Enjoy your self-imposed willful blindness to compelling empirical possibilities.

  12. OK, i’ll admit to having very little idea of what you trying to say. Or indeed what “living fossils” have to do with it. Do you really think people should be trying to extract and sequence DNA from fossils that are tens of millions of years old?

    In any case, I don’t think you realise how diverse modern horseshoe crabs are. The common ancestor of modern horseshoe crabs lived ~ a hundred million years ago and they’ve diversged a lot since then (that molecular clock thing).

  13. C14 in fossils is ubiquitious.

    in ignorant hands C14 contamination ends up everywhere. It appears you also don’t understand the C14 dating process but why let that get in the way of your musings.

    you could prove me wrong by outlining the entire process of C14 dating from the collection of the sample to the final analysis….bullet points will be sufficient.

  14. Frankin,
    I did not suggest that this was the only source of possible contamination. But it is perhaps the most contentious. Unless, you think laboratories are the primary cause of contamination – in which case, when are dates correct? When they align with the paradigm? lol

    Is it your position that C-14 dating should not include any procedures to mitigate errors from background C-14 levels?

    What concern, with isochron ‘dating’ of igneous rock, is being addressed when multiple samples are taken from different place in the rock????

    I understand that dating sedimentary strata is theoretically pointless, but you can still test it for existing C-14 background levels. If none exist or there is less than the bone/fossil, then you need to explain, in the simplest way, why the bone/fossils have high C-14 levels in comparison.

    An application of common sense, rather than the talk-origins stylized trite would be more helpful.

  15. Unless, you think laboratories are the primary cause of contamination – in which case, when are dates correct? When they align with the paradigm?

    laboratories have been notable sources of C14 contamination which can last for many years but the largest source of C14 contamination is from the technicians processing the samples. That you even ask the question ‘when are the dates correct’ further demonstrates that you have no idea of how C14 dating methodology is conducted.

    Have you looked at the RATE project? Do you know where the fatal errors are found in that project?

    Is it your position that C-14 dating should not include any procedures to mitigate errors from background C-14 levels?

    What ever gave you that idea?

    An application of common sense, rather than the talk-origins stylized trite would be more helpful.

    Actually, understanding the methodology and the chemistry is much more fruitful that some alleged ‘common sense’ you think trumps understanding the processes used in any chemical/dating analysis.

  16. Franklin,

    I understand the process well enough – especially the chemistry. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientists to know that background contamination is serious concern and contentious point (esp. when “ages” conflict with paradigm).

    So, whether or not I know the statistics on whether contamination is more or less likely to occur in the lab versus field is irrelevant to the logic of accounting for background contamination – which was my point and where you launched in with your argument and criticism.

    Since you now seem to acknowledge that C14 background levels at the site should be accounted for, then I think you should agree that one would want to analyze that environment in the strata for C14. And no, unlike your prior claim, you wouldn’t use a method of dating the strata (especially one other than carbon 14) since carbon 14 is the isotope you need to screen the background for! The point isn’t to “date” the strata, but to determine the background C-14 levels to compare with the bone/fossil specimen. Hopefully, that makes sense for you now.

  17. If you want a great example of how not to conduct C14 dating see the RATE project. An epoch example of total failure and slip-shod ‘science’ if there ever was one!

    Howso? Be specific.

  18. The Geophysical Conference in Singapore feature physicists who found C14 in dino bones. They invited others to duplicate the research and maybe do it right.

    Curious, no one seems interested in figuring out the cause of “contamination”. Where is the interest in the scientific method here. No one wants to fix the problem. They just say it exists and don’t want to figure out what the problem is.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....are-false/

    And there is still the problem of the biological material itself. Its existence violates all known chemical kinetics. Maybe there isn’t a problem at all, and the dates are accurate.

    Franklin symbolizes the rich irony in play. Darwinists are now hoping there is a flaw in the C-14 radiometric dating. THEY are the ones insisting the radiometric dating procedures are is flawed, not the creationists. Ah, the rich irony.

    So Darwinists will say experimental error without actually identifying the error! They are given the chance and prodding to do it right, but no takers, not even when bribed to do the right thing:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ck-horner/

    Evolutionary Paleontology is an interpretive framework that ignores pointed questions about its inferences.

  19. Howso? Be specific.

    For someone who claims to understand the chemistry and procedures/methodology used for C14 dating I would think that the errors would be stand out and be obvious to someone with that knowledge.

    Do you really need me to tell you where they made the fatal errors?

    Do you think their results are reliable/credible?

  20. Franklin symbolizes the rich irony in play. Darwinists are now hoping there is a flaw in the C-14 radiometric dating. THEY are the ones insisting the radiometric dating procedures are is flawed, not the creationists. Ah, the rich irony.

    That’s pretty funny, sal,but it is contrary to what we find in the real world.

  21. Of related note:

    “Tracks of birds were found in the Dinosaur Cove in southern Victoria that date to 105 million years ago. The evidence indicates that true flying birds existed at the same time as dinosaurs during the Early Cretaceous. The evidence is a bird’s landing tracks. The tracks have a backward pointing toe that is the same as modern birds. …The birds were estimated to be the size of a small heron by the scientists.” (True flying bird tracks from dinosaur times discovered in Australia, October 28, 2013)
    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....-australia

  22. Thats funny and true.
    Its so absurd to have the crab just perfectly fitting its niche with a nary a whisker difference in 450 mill years and yet evolution went to town to make me.
    Its very unlikely and unreasonable to see evolution hit the brakes.
    If evolution was not trur one would predict creatures in fossils indicating unchanged types. The crab was indeed only killed 4500 years ago in the flood and just showing a greater diversity existed then. So they remain with us in obscure areas.
    Evolutionism stresses a hunch that change is what biology is about but the crab ruins this hunch.
    anyways hunches are not science.

  23. Do you really need me to tell you where they made the fatal errors?

    Widely acknowledge that there is a C-14 in the carboniferous era (300 million years ago).

    Even Darwin loving Wikipedia acknowledges it is not a laboratory anomaly. Even Darwin worshiping TalkOrigins! They left the problem unanswered — they make passing appeals to Uranium irradiating the Carbon, but that fails because one needs a mix of 99% Uranium and 1% carbon! Oh well.

    Do you think their results are reliable/credible?

    For the Carboniferous (300 million years ago) yes, TalkOrgins says so. So why not for the Dinos. Further, chemical kinetics says the biological material is in too good a shape to bee 70 million years old in the case of dinos.

    Now, what would happen if we take a fossil like a horseshoe crab and find it doesn’t have much sequence divergence from existing (extant) horseshoe crabs. That would suggest the following possibilities:

    1. the fossil is young
    2. molecular clocks for evolution don’t work
    3. both 1 and 2

    Theory predicts if neutral evolution is mostly true over eons, then we should expect substantial sequence divergence from an ancestor to the descendant after 450 million years. Any takers?

    Do you think their results are reliable/credible?

    There is in principle a way to find out if in doubt. So why isn’t the research being done? :-)

    For the sake of argument assume the fossil record on the whole is old, it doesn’t mean a specific fossil is old as well. Heck, they thought lots of creatures were extinct for millions of years only to find them alive! So much for the discipline of paleontology. You should be the one questioning the reliability of paleontological inferences if you’re going to question laboratories.

  24. they make passing appeals to Uranium irradiating the Carbon, but that fails because one needs a mix of 99% Uranium and 1% carbon! Oh well.

    Hey Sal, I’d like to see a reference for your assertion, i.e., uranium:carbon ratio.

    While your looking for that you can also put your physics background on display here by answering these questions:

    Can alpha particles generate neutrons?
    Can neutrons interact with C13 to produce C14?
    Does Uranium decay produce alpha particles?
    How many radiodaughters (all producers of alpha particles) are found in the Uranium-Thorium series?
    Is coal known to contain uranium?
    Is coal known to contain C13?
    Is the denovo production of C14 in coal an impossibility?

    There is in principle a way to find out if in doubt. So why isn’t the research being done?

    already been done as you are aware. How (and why) do you think the errors were so obvious and easily spotted?

    I will also note for the record (as KF is fond of stating) that you have failed to address any of the questions posed. Care to try again?

  25. my apologies, sal, I forgot a few question pertinent to this topic:

    Does the burning of coal release radiation? If yes, what is the source of the radiation?

    Does coal ash contain radiation? If yes, what is the source of the radiation?

    thanks!

  26. For someone who claims to understand the chemistry and procedures/methodology used for C14 dating I would think that the errors would be stand out and be obvious to someone with that knowledge.

    That’s your mistake then. I’m not a mind reader. And I never brought up the RATE research, you did. Apaprently, your first mistake was to assume I was referencing RATE research – well, I wasn’t.

    However, I am a bit familiar with their research. They’ve had several experiments done with many samples tested from these various experiments. And the C-14 dates they did were done by independent secularized labs.

    You either can point out the errors you are thinking, or you can’t. Simple as that. Playing games like “well, if you don’t know..then.. nevermind” is a disingenuous argument – not the kind of argument I’d expect from someone with a genuine case.

    So, what’s so hard about providing specifics?

    Do you really need me to tell you where they made the fatal errors?

    Yes. You made the claim. I wasn’t referencing RATE in the original post. And I’m not a mind reader.

    Do you think their results are reliable/credible?

    Well, considering from an arrays of experiments I’ve read about, they use more than one independent secular lab using a thrid party in between. So. Yes. I think the ‘ages’ are what the method would accurately provide, and not contaminated by the lab considering separate labs come with similar results.

    So, why not? hmmm.. let me guess.. because the values indicated too young of ages for you, therefore they must be contaminated somehow? :)

  27. Franklin

    Can alpha particles generate neutrons?
    Can neutrons interact with C13 to produce C14?
    Does Uranium decay produce alpha particles?
    How many radiodaughters (all producers of alpha particles) are found in the Uranium-Thorium series?
    Is coal known to contain uranium?
    Is coal known to contain C13?
    Is the denovo production of C14 in coal an impossibility?

    On the last question, I’d say no (it’s not impossible). Surprised to hear that from me..a YEC? ;)

    …now you, answer this question…

    For the levels of C-14 in coal to be what they are. How much radioactive material must there have been at the time of the dinosaur such that it would still leave measurable C-14 levels? And could life survive in such an environment? And is there evidence that that amount of uranium has actually decayed in the coal seams?

    Of course, the problem restated. Life may have had to have survive somehow with lethal levels of radioactive material decaying in the environment.

    Thanks!

  28. Sean Pitman wrote on the de novo production argument:

    “The theory of the de novo production of carbon 14 by surrounding radiation is presented as one source of possible carbon 14 formation/contamination. However, to explain the current rather high levels of 14C in coal, oil, and other ancient carboniferous fossils, the amount of surrounding radioactivity must have been much greater in the past. For example, lets say we have a 10 million year old specimen with enough 14C in it to give it an apparent age of 40,000 years. In order for this level of 14C to be the result of surrounding radioactivity the initial level of radioactivity 10 million years ago had to be far above lethal levels (high enough to glow like a light bulb).16 Also, such sources of surrounding radiation had to be very widely present throughout the entire geologic column since all samples of coal, oil, and other organic fossils show approximately the same rather high levels of carbon 14. This level of contamination would be hard enough to believe with oil and gas, but would be extremely incredible with coal since many coal seams are hundreds of feet thick and very pure without evident radiogenic contamination significant enough to explain the high carbon 14 levels generally found in coal fields all over the globe. Clearly there is a problem here. “http://www.detectingdesign.com.....tamination

    Reference 16.
    Giem PAL. 1997b. Carbon-14 dating methods and experimental implications. Origins 24:50-64.

  29. Bonus material – author Paul Giem:

    “NUCLEAR SYNTHESIS OF CARBON-14 IN SITU IS NOT AN ADEQUATE EXPLANATION

    The next explanation that might be made is that these carbon-14 atoms are created by nuclear reactions while the sample is in the ground. This is highly improbable. Zito et al. (1980) calculated that groundwater in granite could possibly have carbon with a carbon-14 concentration of 0.00266 pmc. Florkowski et al. (1988) corroborated their calculations. If one reworks the calculations using oil, one comes up with 2.7×10-8 pmc (Giem 1997a, p 186-187). This is well below the range capable of explaining the above experiments.
    One can hypothesize that neutrons were once much more plentiful than they are now, and that is why there is so much carbon-14 in our experimental samples. But the number of neutrons required must be over a million times more than those found today, for at least 6,000 years; and every 5,730 years that we put the neutron shower back doubles the number of neutrons required. Every time we halve the duration of the neutron shower we roughly double its required intensity. Eventually the problem becomes insurmountable. In addition, since nitrogen-14 captures neutrons 110,000 times more easily than does carbon-13, a sample with 0.000 0091% nitrogen should have twice the carbon-14 content of a sample without any nitrogen. If neutron capture is a significant source of carbon-14 in a given sample, radiocarbon dates should vary wildly with the nitrogen content of the sample. I know of no such data. Perhaps this effect should be looked for by anyone seriously proposing that significant quantities of carbon-14 were produced by nuclear synthesis in situ.”

    http://www.grisda.org/origins/51006.htm

  30. That’s your mistake then. I’m not a mind reader. And I never brought up the RATE research, you did. Apaprently, your first mistake was to assume I was referencing RATE research – well, I wasn’t.

    thus the need to provide citations for ones claims. That way everyone will understand what data a individual is referencing.

    <blockquote.So, what’s so hard about providing specifics?

    there is nothing difficult, or hard, about providing specifics. However, if you aren’t familiar with the RATE study and its methodologies (e.g., why did they choose 0.077 pmc as background and is that a correct and proper estimation of the background) than it would be a waste of both of our times in my trying to discuss the specifics which you aren’t familiar with.

    Our time would be better spent if you provided the citation for the data you were referencing and we can then discuss something you are familiar with.

    Well, considering from an arrays of experiments I’ve read about, they use more than one independent secular lab using a thrid party in between. So. Yes. I think the ‘ages’ are what the method would accurately provide, and not contaminated by the lab considering separate labs come with similar results.

    not being familiar with the methods used in the C14 analysis and data compilation/analysis you aren’t in a position to make this claim.

    For example in a generic C14 analytical situation what do you feel is the most important issue that needs to be addressed and how should this issue be addressed to provide reliable dates from the procedure?

    On the last question, I’d say no (it’s not impossible). Surprised to hear that from me..a YEC?

    No, it only makes me wonder why the refusal to answer well understood and documented questions.

    How much radioactive material must there have been at the time of the dinosaur such that it would still leave measurable C-14 levels?

    Really? This is the question you ask? first let’s start with how much C14 is claimed to exist in the coal samples and how was that data generated. Once we have that starting point we can discuss the Uranium-Thorium decay series in depth and perhaps arrive at an answer to your question.

    However, to explain the current rather high levels of 14C in coal, oil, and other ancient carboniferous fossils, the amount of surrounding radioactivity must have been much greater in the past.</blockquote.

    This is from your P. Giem reference. What level of C14 pmc is he referring too? He fails to mention that data point which is an important omission. The next question you should ask once you've found the answer to the previous question is: what is the accepted cutoff of pmc for reliable dating and why is the bar set at that level?

    These are critical points in the presentation of this material and for very good reason. however, I assume from your reply that you are not familiar enough with this data to pin down the answers to these questions. give it a shot and report back with your findings or provide the citation for the data set you were referencing. Either way I wish to discuss the specifics of the study and if you aren't conversant with the methods used in this study it would be a wasted effort for me I'm afraid.

    I do want to discuss this with you but it appears we are at two different levels of familiarity with these studies.

  31. screwed up blockquote tags…

    However, to explain the current rather high levels of 14C in coal, oil, and other ancient carboniferous fossils, the amount of surrounding radioactivity must have been much greater in the past.

    This is from your P. Giem reference. What level of C14 pmc is he referring too? He fails to mention that data point which is an important omission. The next question you should ask once you’ve found the answer to the previous question is: what is the accepted cutoff of pmc for reliable dating and why is the bar set at that level? What pmc value indicates a 50,000 yr age? How does that compare to the cutoff value for reliable C14 dating?

    These are critical points in the presentation of this material and for very good reason. however, I assume from your reply that you are not familiar enough with this data to pin down the answers to these questions. give it a shot and report back with your findings or provide the citation for the data set you were referencing. Either way I wish to discuss the specifics of the study and if you aren’t conversant with the methods used in this study it would be a wasted effort for me I’m afraid.

    I do want to discuss this with you but it appears we are at two different levels of familiarity with these studies.

  32. thus the need to provide citations for ones claims. That way everyone will understand what data a individual is referencing.

    You seek citations on my one general claim, yet won’t cite the specific faults of the RATE project, a topic you brought up. Not a very consistent standard is it?

    This is from your P. Giem reference. What level of C14 pmc is he referring too? He fails to mention that data point which is an important omission.

    That wasn’t the Giem reference (that was Pitman). If you take it in context. You’ll find that your claim of it being an omission is also a mistake.

    In the above that you quote, he (Sean) presents a generic scenario for a data “For example, lets say we have a 10 million year old specimen with enough 14C in it to give it an apparent age of 40,000 years.”
    You should be able to calculate some pcm value with that. But it doesn’t matter. Dinosaur fossils are dated much younger than that.

    Before you protest that Sean’s is merely a hypothetical data point, bear in mind that there are many examples that fit this case… so, just pick one. A starter list here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbdH3l1UjPQ

    Also, keep in mind, these dinosair fossils date younger than Pitman’s hypothetical case. So, Pitman’s scenario is generous.

    On cut-offs, C14 ages are apparently accepted that are within those ranges found in the list. e.g.
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....years-old/

    I do want to discuss this with you but it appears we are at two different levels of familiarity with these studies.

    Clearly. But I’d suggest it isn’t a technical familiarity that makes the biggest difference.

  33. Clearly. But I’d suggest it isn’t a technical familiarity that makes the biggest difference.

    Well we will have to agree to disagree here. The technical aspects of analytical chemistry matter a great deal to the robustness of any data set.

    On cut-offs, C14 ages are apparently accepted that are within those ranges found in the list. e.g.

    the link goes to a article about rock art dating to 28,000 yrs and they know the area was inhabited for 45,000 yrs and expect to find older artwork. My comment would be what relevance do you think this brings to the discussion. It’s purpose is lost on me.

    You also haven’t stated what you understand to be the accepted pmc cutoff value for C14 dating reliability.

    do you understand what the limit of detection is?

    do you understand what the limit of quantification is?

    Do you know the difference between the two and how that influences the signal:noise ratio and data analysis?

    Before you protest that Sean’s is merely a hypothetical data point, bear in mind that there are many examples that fit this case… so, just pick one. A starter list her

    I ask for primary literature references and you give me youtube. Good grief.

    That wasn’t the Giem reference (that was Pitman). If you take it in context. You’ll find that your claim of it being an omission is also a mistake

    Oh I see now. You didn’t bother going to Pitman’s article and cite that instead you cited Giem citing Pitman. Better to cite the original source instead of secondary sources.

    You seek citations on my one general claim, yet won’t cite the specific faults of the RATE project, a topic you brought up. Not a very consistent standard is it?

    I explained to you why it would be a waste of time for me to try and discuss the specifics of the RATE project with you since you told me that you weren’t all that familiar with the research and data. I asked you some key question that had you taken them seriously and tried to answer them would move the discussion forward in leaps and bounds. I don’t think you can answer those questions so any discussion, on my part, concerning the specific errors of the project would be a waste of my and your time. With no knowledge of the answers to those questions there is no basis for you to understand anything I would have to say about the specifics.

    If you take it in context. You’ll find that your claim of it being an omission is also a mistake

    No, it is not a mistake.

  34. jguy, I’d like to discuss this with you but we need to start on some common ground. How about we start with what your understanding is of the cutoff value of pmc for a reliable C14 date?

  35. So, why not? hmmm.. let me guess.. because the values indicated too young of ages for you, therefore they must be contaminated somehow?

    I do a fair amount of analytical chemistry of a number of different analytes. I appreciate quality data and I also understand what it takes to generate that type of data.

    Fro some of your other question: I’m sure you realize that coal contains uranium in the ppm range….hardly a trivial amount. Also in understanding the chemistry involved you know that uranium is quite soluble in water and any groundwater intrusion into a coal bed brings uranium as well. So knowing that you understand all this I don’t where you are coming from with your question relating to presence of radioactive compounds in coal and the production of C14 and why you think radiation levels in the past were necessarily higher and at toxic levels.

  36. the link goes to a article about rock art dating to 28,000 yrs and they know the area was inhabited for 45,000 yrs and expect to find older artwork. My comment would be what relevance do you think this brings to the discussion. It’s purpose is lost on me.

    You also haven’t stated what you understand to be the accepted pmc cutoff value for C14 dating reliability.

    do you understand what the limit of detection is?

    do you understand what the limit of quantification is?

    Do you know the difference between the two and how that influences the signal:noise ratio and data analysis?

    What I understand is irrelevant to the fact that I can demonstrate that C14 dating objects to this age range is acceptable – the point of linking to the dating of the cave paintings.

    That said. What is your thrust in arguing about cut-off levels? The values in Pitman’s hypothetical scenario is generous by assuming an age of 40kyo. Meanwhile, we have dinosaur fossils dated in the 20k-30k range. So, if the painting can be accepted at 28kyo by C14 dating, then the dinosaur fossils can be. Simple as that – there’s no need to talk signal to noise ratios etc… in a seeming attempt to discredit the principle of accepting/using dates that resolve within that age range.

    Oh I see now. You didn’t bother going to Pitman’s article and cite that instead you cited Giem citing Pitman. Better to cite the original source instead of secondary sources.

    Wrong. I cited both. And I started with quoting Pitman (who referenced Giem – not the other way around as you said). Pitman was cited to keep it simple for me commenting in a blog – this isn’t meant to be an in depth science project.

    No, it is not a mistake.

    You wrote: “This is from your P. Giem reference. What level of C14 pmc is he referring too? He fails to mention that data point which is an important omission. ”

    It wasn’t Giem, it was Pitman. And he (Pitman) only provided an imagined scenario of some sample dated to 40kyo by C14. There is no actual data point. And that should be sufficient for his point.

    I ask for primary literature references and you give me youtube. Good grief.

    Huh? I didn’t provide you that upon a request of yours. It was just to show examples of dinosaur fossils dated in the range mentioned in the prior brief context. I’m simply assuming the study found those levels of C14 (as indicated by the “age”). I’m not here to discuss with you about the veracity of that particular study. If you want to argue that they are wrong, that’s nice. I have no reason to think you are right and they are all wrong. Personally, like I said before, the technicals are arguably not the biggest difference between our takes here.

    I’m sure you realize that coal contains uranium in the ppm range….hardly a trivial amount. Also in understanding the chemistry involved you know that uranium is quite soluble in water and any groundwater intrusion into a coal bed brings uranium as well. So knowing that you understand all this I don’t where you are coming from with your question relating to presence of radioactive compounds in coal and the production of C14 and why you think radiation levels in the past were necessarily higher and at toxic levels.

    Giem addresses these points. Feel free to refute him, it’s not my study. I have no reason to believe you over Giem. But it doesn’t matter. Common sense tells me that if one lab can date an item in the range [20kyo to 30kyo] and be accepted, then a dinosaur bone/fossil that dates to the same age range by the same methods should be accepted – refuting one versus the other is selective pleading. De novo C14 production is possible, but there’s a reason that isn’t the primary rebuttal by the skeptics – at least as far as I’ve read regarding their rebuttals.

  37. Franklin.

    By the way. I apologize in advance, if you find anywhere above, that I misrepresented your position. I think it’s possible with how convoluted the discussion seems to have went in some narrows lines of thought in the topic. For example, I wrote, “in a seeming attempt to discredit the principle of accepting/using dates that resolve within that age range.” … But that may not be true if your intention was not to discredit C14 “ages” of the values mentioned (e.g. range: 20kyo to 40kyo).

  38. That said. What is your thrust in arguing about cut-off levels?

    The thrust is that there are established methodologies for any analytical procedure and these include detection and quantification levels. If you don’t know what the cutoff pmc is for C14 dating then how can you evaluate the veracity of the data and the methods used to generate that data.

    In your view it appears that you just accept all data with no distinction of the quality, or lack there of, of the data set. Slip shod lab and data analytical procedures generate erroneous data and you need the technical knowledge of a method to evaluate which data is acceptable and which is not. In short dating, via C14, to 40,000 is acceptable if the methods used are rigorous and make no fatal deviations from accepted procedures. I haven’t read the primary paper on the rock art but on the surface it is reasonable. Not so with the RATE data because of the fatal errors they made in their study. We can’t discuss the specifics because if you don’t know what the pmc cutoff value for C14 dating is then if I use that point in an argument you have no reference from which to accept the criticism or reject it….it would waste both of our times if we can’t discuss things from a common ground….in this case the analytical method used to generate C14 data.

    For example would you think it correct to compare a C14 value from something like, say graphite, and compare it directly to values generated from a biological sample even when the samples are collect in close proximity to each other?

  39. The thrust is that there are established methodologies for any analytical procedure and these include detection and quantification levels. If you don’t know what the cutoff pmc is for C14 dating then how can you evaluate the veracity of the data and the methods used to generate that data.

    If you don’t mind. Give me a reference on pmc cutoffs as you are asking about, so that I can later familiarize myself with your concern. So far, it comes off to me that by that you would somehow argue that there is a limit to how old something can be dated. But I must be misunderstanding you on this, because you seem to accept that carbon dating can be relied on to determine the age of a cave painting, for example.

    In your view it appears that you just accept all data with no distinction of the quality, or lack there of, of the data set. Slip shod lab and data analytical procedures generate erroneous data and you need the technical knowledge of a method to evaluate which data is acceptable and which is not.

    You’re right. I don’t do a lot to distinguish the lab work. Be it cave paintings, bones/fossils or certain archaeological artifacts. I presume these labs are profession, and do what is some standard practice/method to mitigate contamination and any of it’s possible effects. And then finally come to some measure of C12/C14 levels to resolve to some ‘age’.

    On the RATE teams work. They have apparently done a lot of carbon dating experiments. So, which specific experiment you might be referring to is one question. But more importantly, from what I have gathered, they (RATE) tend to collect many samples and use more than one unaffiliated specialty lab to test samples from the subject/source. They don’t do the carbon dating themselves.

    So. If I read that the results of two separate specialized labs has determined some ‘ages’. And these two separate labs come to approx. the same values. It is what it is.

    How then is the RATE team ‘slip shod’ for the final results determined by those unaffiliated specialty labs?

    Naturally, I won’t question that any more than a cave painting results.

    For example would you think it correct to compare a C14 value from something like, say graphite, and compare it directly to values generated from a biological sample even when the samples are collect in close proximity to each other?

    Since C14 doesn’t ‘care’ about it’s host, if the material are in the same strata claimed to be millions of years old, then their C14 content should be identical – the ‘age’ should max out by the method.

  40. Hi franklin,

    I hear you think that most of your discussants don’t know much about carbon-14 dating. So perhaps, since they reference my work, I don’t know much either. So why don’t you explain to me (1) what creationist results have been found, (2) why they think the results are important, and (3) why they are really off base. Be sure to cite literature to back up your assertions, and provide baseline data and calculations to reasonably show that the processes you use to discredit such data are quantitatively able to do the work you expect from them. Perhaps I can learn something from you.

    I promise that I will be able to follow some difficult arguments. I made predictions
    http://www.grisda.org/origins/24050.htm
    and put my own money behind them, that have been rechecked and published in Radiocarbon.
    https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/3674/pdf
    (Read the acknowledgments.) So I am not completely unfamiliar with the concepts involved.

    How about it?

    Or, if you prefer, I can take the lead and you can criticize. Except if I do it, I probably won’t do as well as you can on why they are really off base.

  41. I don’t have much time to respond but I am delighted to see your interest in participating in this thread.

    I hear you think that most of your discussants don’t know much about carbon-14 dating

    since there were only two discussants and both declined to answer some simple questions I would conclude that is an accurate assessment.

    So why don’t you explain to me

    instead of jumping in midstream in a conversation and demanding answers why don’t you clear the table of all previous questions I posed to the other discussants that you refer too….we can move on from there as your and my time permit.

  42. Oh, one more thing Paul, could you identify the laboratory(s) that conducted the C14 analysis for the RATE project. In my clumsy and inept searches I haven’t been able to find a citation for which lab(s) analyzed the samples. I’m sure it is a mistake on my part (and perhaps the RATE manuscripts for not providing that detail) but your help in this matter clearing this matter up would be appreciated.

    thanks!

  43. Franklin,

    I’m not “demanding answers”. I’m inviting you to put your understanding in context, the most favorable one you can.

    If you choose not to, it’s okay. I can put my understanding in context. In that case I may answer some of your questions specifically in the course of my exposition, and more as you point them out. But if I lead in the conversation, I see no reason to organize it around your questions, and certainly no reason to commit myself to exhaustively picking them out of your comments here (and setting myself up for criticism if I miss seeing one) and answering all of them before giving the context.

    Now, if you want to make a nice summarized list of your questions, you may use that as your presentation. I’ll then try to answer them in context.

    Which will it be? Your choice.

    BTW, I work for a living, so I cannot promise instant answers. But if you don’t mind response times of hours to days, we should do fine.

    PS. I know which laboratory they used, but they had an agreement with the laboratory not to disclose it, for rational concerns on the laboratory’s part (funding drying up and all that). You can figure out from the data given if you know the field well (I knew instantly which one it was), and it turns out to be one of the two labs I recommended to them when they were planning the experiments because of the lab’s low background. So yes, I can identify the lab, but until the lab itself decides to make it public, I won’t identify it. The coy way you asked the question leads me to suspect that you know the answer, and to strongly suspect that you know why it wasn’t put in the RATE book.

    The proper response to their data is not to punish the lab that cooperated with them, but to reanalyze the specimens, or similar specimens, and see whether you come up with the same answer. That’s how science without power politics should do things.

  44. Paul, Franklin

    If I may… since Franklin is not interested in providing a succinct recap. I’ll steal the chance to try to do so and inject my point of view. Questions of Franklins will be in bold. Sal’s view will not be represented in this comment. So, read above if you would for his comments and open Franklin questions, if any.

    The topic at first was different. RATE was actually brought up by Franklin. From #8 above:

    If you want a great example of how not to conduct C14 dating see the RATE project. An epoch example of total failure and slip-shod ‘science’ if there ever was one!

    The original point did not relate to RATE. Franklin merely made a claim based on the assumption that RATE was being discussed. But going off topic, I asked Franklin for what specific RATE errors he was referring to, but he actually declined to answer my question (thus far anyway). For example, after being asked, his response was #19:

    For someone who claims to understand the chemistry and procedures/methodology used for C14 dating I would think that the errors would be stand out and be obvious to someone with that knowledge.

    Do you really need me to tell you where they made the fatal errors?

    Do you think their results are reliable/credible?

    Pressed further, his response was a question:

    there is nothing difficult, or hard, about providing specifics. However, if you aren’t familiar with the RATE study and its methodologies (e.g., why did they choose 0.077 pmc as background and is that a correct and proper estimation of the background) than it would be a waste of both of our times in my trying to discuss the specifics which you aren’t familiar with.

    Our time would be better spent if you provided the citation for the data you were referencing and we can then discuss something you are familiar with.

    Ok, so he didn’t answer the specific error he had in mind, or a general one yet. But perhaps, that provides one unanswered question of Franklin’s that he might like to know. i.e.

    “why did they choose 0.077 pmc as background and is that a correct and proper estimation of the background[?]“
    ___________

    The original topic (or point) I initiated was a comment responding to something Sal wrote in the above article:

    Perhaps we can extract only biotic material someday (DNA or specific proteins) and then do carbon-14 testing. That way we’ll erase the contamination complaint.

    I think the contamination argument against young C14 ages for dinos, has sufficiently been undermined by the dating of sample material adjacent to the bone/fossil in the strata. The adjacent material dates far older than the bone/fossil.

    Why would the bone/fossil just-so-happen to contain more C14 than adjacent environment of the strata?

    Points then presented were:
    1. C14 has been found in dinosaur bones.
    2. My thought that C14 contamination had already been discounted/resolved by testing adjacent material (outside of the bone/fossil) in the strata for C14 background levels, to compare to the bone/fossil C14 levels. This was from recalling reading this, but I didn’t have the source in memory – this is why I lead the comment with “I think”. If pressed, I could find it, but I’m pretty sure that would take a good while. Your comments on this point would be appreciated.

    Franklin asks questions in #24 above, to invoke the notion that C14 could be accounted for by denovo production of C14. I then recalled Pitman’s comment/cite about this (which was ultimately your work). And my response was that it was not impossible, but doubted. Then quoting Pitman, and referencing Giem (you of course) at 28 & 29 above.

    So, I’m not sure which specific questions Franklin has left to be answered before he engages further. It may not be helpful for you to answer questions that are personally addressed to me. So, it seems to keep it simple and still on target, that the questions in #31, #38 and a new one at #42 are out-standing.

    But keeping in mind the main topics that the discussion or argument is on, are whether de novo production of C14 can account for the detected levels of C14 in fossil/bone…. And is testing adjacent material in the strata for C14 valid, and ifso does it lead to the discovery that fossil/bone is higher levels of C14 than the material adjacent to bone/fossil material in the strata.

    Personally, it all seems a bit fragmented in topic matter.

  45. ..or of course…..you two guys may just work out your own discussion & questions more organically. To prevent from being scattered. That may be better. Topic was (1)Supposed RATE errors and “slip shod” work, (2)C14 de novo production and (3)whether & how strata C14 background levels compare to fossil/bones C14 levels in the same.

  46. I know which laboratory they used, but they had an agreement with the laboratory not to disclose it, for rational concerns on the laboratory’s part (funding drying up and all that). You can figure out from the data given if you know the field well (I knew instantly which one it was), and it turns out to be one of the two labs I recommended to them when they were planning the experiments because of the lab’s low background. So yes, I can identify the lab, but until the lab itself decides to make it public, I won’t identify

    That is the lamest excuse for intellectual dishonesty I ahve ever heard….but given the source i’m not surprised. No analytical lab is responsible for what the client(s) do with the data they generate much like the paper you previously cited (https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/3674/pdf) where the authors provide a key component of the methods, i.e., who analyzed the samples.

    It isn’t up to you or to the lab to make their identity ‘public’ it is up to the author of the manuscript to do so. Your excuse is hooey.

    Any analytical/quantitative chemistry procedure MUST include numerous controls, sample blanks, reference materials of known concnetration, as well as spikes to monitor where error creeps into the analysis.

    In Baumgardener paper (as pointed out by Kirk Bertsche) this isn’t done. Bertsche notes (as anyone else can as well) that Baumgardner includes this reference:

    Van der Borg, K., C. Alderliesten, A. F. M. de Jong, A. van den Brink, A.
    P. de Haas, H. J. H. Kersemaekers, and J. E. M. J. Raaymakers, Precision
    and mass fractionation in 14C analysis with AMS, Nuclear Instruments and
    Methods in Physics Research B, 123, 97–101, 1997.

    where ( as reported in Baumgardner’s Table 1) that unprocessed graphite was determined to have 0.04 +/- 0.04 pMC but when that same sample is chemically processed as all biological samples are the analysis determines a pMC of 0.18 which indicates that sample processing contributes an addition of C14 on the order of 0.14 pMC.

    Additionally, Baumgardner includes this reference as well:

    Arnold, M., E. Bard, P. Maurice, and J. C. Duplessy, 14C dating with the Gifsur-
    Yvette Tandetron accelerator: status report, Nuclear Instruments and
    Methods in Physics Research B, 29, 120–123, 1987.

    where the analysis of a graphite sample (mechanically cleaned) results in a pMC value of 0.089 +/- 0.11 but once again when this sample is processed chemically as all biological samples are for analysis the result the provides a pMC value of 0.34 +/- 0.07.

    Clearly, as it is well acknowledged and recognized, chemical processing samples for AMS C14 analysis adds C14 contamination to the sample and must be taken into account in any interpretation of the data.

    The graphite values post-chemical processing provide C14 pMC values that include pretty much all of Baumgradner’s biological samples that they sent for analysis. Thus, it is not much of a leap to conclude (correctly) that the values Baumgardner is reporting for the biological samples are representing the coontribution of C14 from the chemical processing during sample prep.

    Why no chemical processing controls were not included is quite obvious as Baumgardner ignores the results of two of the references he cited because to acknowledge the data would be 9and is) fatal for his conclusions.

    if there were chemical processing controls conducted during the analysis is unknown based on the content of the manuscript and if they were, and not reported, than that is just intellectual dishonesty.

    So, Paul, my question(s) for you, since you are familiar with the research, why was this data overlooked and where is the chemical processing control data for these data sets?

    If I ever presented this type of incomplete (lacking proper controls) data set to my supervisors/peers they would hand it back and tell me to go back to the lab and do it right. There is no excuse for this slip shod analysis and presentation of the data.

  47. where the analysis of a graphite sample (mechanically cleaned) results in a pMC value of 0.089 +/- 0.11 but once again when this sample is processed chemically as all biological samples are for analysis the result the provides a pMC value of 0.34 +/- 0.07.

    edit should read: where the analysis of a graphite sample (mechanically cleaned) results in a pMC value of 0.089 +/- 0.11 but once again when this sample is processed chemically as all biological samples are for analysis the result the provides a pMC value of 0.34 +/- 0.07 which is a C14 contribution of 0.25 pMC.

    given that the mean pMC value for all of Baumgardner’s biological samples is 0.29 pMC this falls well within what is recognized as contamination from the sample processing procedure.

  48. Franklin (#46),

    Sorry you don’t like the reason I gave. I can’t give another because it wouldn’t be true. And, as you note, the responsibility to release the data is not mine anyway. Assuming it exists, it is Baumgardner et al.‘s. Complain to him, not to me.

    I agree with you about the desirability of control samples. If we are working in an applied setting, controls are often dispensed with. When I send a serum potassium or lipase to a laboratory, I never bother to send them controls. I assume that they have already done that work. But with groundbreaking research, particularly in a contentious area, it is best to explicitly have such controls (similar to a policeman who, upon giving your speed on the radar gun, has to tell the court when it was last and next checked and what the calibrated readings were). I draw blood alcohol levels all the time, get results, and use them as treatment guides. But if someone is charged with driving under the influence (DUI), the blood sample has to be drawn without alcohol of any kind, even 2-propanol, on the sterilizing pad, witnessed as to who was drawing it, who had custody of it from then on, and when it got to the lab, and all the internal controls that were in the lab, or else the DUI charge will be overturned.

    When we were discussing the research, I argued for controls, some of which should be treated like Van der Borg et al. treated them, for the reason that I foresaw that the data was likely to be controversial. However, AFAICT after talking to the laboratory who reportedly stated the procedure was routine and didn’t need specific controls, Baumgardner et al. opted to go without them. This was IMO unwise, and now leaves them in the position of not having internal controls, and not being able to specifically cite the external controls (which are lying on the surface ready to be found!).

    I was well aware of the data you cite at the time, as in my article

    Carbon-14 Content of Fossil Carbon
    ( http://www.grisda.org/origins/51006.htm )

    I cited the articles and the data under the heading,
    “CONTAMINATION DURING SAMPLE PROCESSING EXPLAINS SOME, BUT PROBABLY NOT ALL, THE RESULTS”
    (You might be surprised if you read that section.)

    Your analysis sounds good superficially, but there are two flaws with it. The first is that it assumes that all labs are created equal. It is arguable that the lab of Van der Borg et al. is better than that of Arnold et al. There is an article by Byrd et al. (Bird, M. I., L. K. Ayliffe, L. K. Fifield, C. S. M. Turney, R. G. Cresswell, T. T. Barrows, and B. David, Radiocarbon dating of “old” charcoal using a wet oxidation, stepped-combustion procedure, Radiocarbon, 41(2), 127–140, 1999.) that notes that their lab can recycle (burn and reduce) Precambrian graphite and obtain ages of 0.02-0.08 pMC, with a mean of 0.04 pMC. So Van der Borg et al.’s value, let alone Arnold et al.’s data, do not necessarily apply. The lab they used did have a published background of 0.077 pMC for recycled values. So your attempt to use 0.25 pMC for the additional background is not really valid.

    The second flaw is that you have not read the Baumgardner et al. article carefully enough. They gave their mean as 0.247 pMC (and I double-checked their calculations–where you got your 0.29 pMC is beyond me), but noted in both the text and the figure that, in the figure’s wording, “The reported values shown in the last column are the measured values minus the laboratory’s standard background of 0.077±0.005.” So the actual mean is 0.324 pMC when you add the background back in.

    This brings up a point. Should I accuse you of doing “slipshod” work for which there is “no excuse” because you didn’t report this accurately? (You also misreported the Arnold et al. data as 0.089 +/- 0.11 and 0.34 +/- 0.07, rather than 0.089 +/- 0.017 and 0.34 +/- 0.11 pMC) Or should i rather attribute it to “intellectual dishonesty”? (After all, the error was in your favor!)

    No, I should probably give you a pass. Maybe you just didn’t understand the subject quite well enough, or took someone else’s word for it, or were tired when you wrote it. And at least in my tradition, you should do unto others what you would want them to do to you if the places were reversed. It’s not a bad idea to live by.

    Finally, the cure for this, of course, is not to tear someone else down. It is to recognize the limits of the data, and then to redo the experiment with the proper controls, and see what happens. I would be happy to give someone who wishes to do so, some guidance as to where the best labs are (you couldn’t go wrong with ANU) You might as well. If nobody else does it, eventually I will do it. It will get done.

    Now, did you wish to discuss the de novo production of carbon-14 and the problem of carbon-14 diffusion in dinosaur bones, or shall I?

  49. Sorry you don’t like the reason I gave. I can’t give another because it wouldn’t be true. And, as you note, the responsibility to release the data is not mine anyway. Assuming it exists, it is Baumgardner et al.‘s. Complain to him, not to me.

    Interesting. Baumgardner isn’t here defending his shoddy work but you are the one who stepped up to the plate to mount the defense. It seems that you are saying there is some question if an outside lab even analyzed these samples? That raises some troubling concerns.

    I agree with you about the desirability of control samples.

    Paul, you know as well as I do that with this type of analytical chemistry controls must be included in every single run otherwise your data is worthless. They (proper controls) are not a desirability they are an absolute necessity. In many cases controls samples may exceed the unknowns being analyzed simply because of the importance of characterizing the noise associated with the entire process.

    When we were discussing the research, I argued for controls, some of which should be treated like Van der Borg et al. treated them, for the reason that I foresaw that the data was likely to be controversial.

    That there was any discussion of the need for controls speaks loudly to the problems with this venture. Anyone who spoke against the need for controls should have been shown the door.

    However, AFAICT after talking to the laboratory who reportedly stated the procedure was routine and didn’t need specific controls, Baumgardner et al. opted to go without them. This was IMO unwise, and now leaves them in the position of not having internal controls, and not being able to specifically cite the external controls (which are lying on the surface ready to be found!).

    All this does is raise more questions of competency in experimental design and basic analytical chemistry procedures.

    Your analysis sounds good superficially, but there are two flaws with it. The first is that it assumes that all labs are created equal.

    Not an assumption I made so your off base on that point. Different labs use different methods, personnel, equipment, level of expertise of their technicians, ect. Of course all labs are not created equally.

    The lab they used did have a published background of 0.077 pMC for recycled values. So your attempt to use 0.25 pMC for the additional background is not really valid.

    then prove me wrong and post what the recycled values were at the time of sample analysis. You’ve admitted that that data is non-existence so you have no leg to stand on that the sample processing did not contribute less that 0.25 pMC or more than 0.25 pMC, or 0.25 pMC. I doubt the lab in question routinely runs batches of samples without using the proper controls to charaterize the noise in the procedure. Do you have a citation for the claims of the lab for their 0.077 value? I’m not inclined to take your word for it since, while it may exist, may represent a single instance rather than the norm for that lab.

    The second flaw is that you have not read the Baumgardner et al. article carefully enough.

    Since we haven’t arrived at a first flaw yet let’s not jump the gun and assume we are on #2.

    They gave their mean as 0.247 pMC (and I double-checked their calculations–where you got your 0.29 pMC is beyond me), but noted in both the text and the figure that, in the figure’s wording, “The reported values shown in the last column are the measured values minus the laboratory’s standard background of 0.077±0.005.” So the actual mean is 0.324 pMC when you add the background back in.

    Do you really think Baumgarder can justify 3 significant figures?
    We have no idea of what value should have been subtracted for that sample run. We don’t even know if the lab subtracted those values or did Baumgardner do it on their own. The manuscript is completely vague and unclear in this issue and there is no means for verification in place.

    <blockquote.This brings up a point. Should I accuse you of doing “slipshod” work for which there is “no excuse” because you didn’t report this accurately? (You also misreported the Arnold et al. data as 0.089 +/- 0.11 and 0.34 +/- 0.07, rather than 0.089 +/- 0.017 and 0.34 +/- 0.11 pMC) Or should i rather attribute it to “intellectual dishonesty”? (After all, the error was in your favor!)

    You are certainly free to do so but these blog post hardly meet the rigor of writing a book chapter or a manuscript for publication. The errors I made do nothing to change the fatal error in the analytical procedures used in this study and the conclusions drawn from the incomplete (inadequate) data set.

    No, I should probably give you a pass. Maybe you just didn’t understand the subject quite well enough, or took someone else’s word for it, or were tired when you wrote it. And at least in my tradition, you should do unto others what you would want them to do to you if the places were reversed. It’s not a bad idea to live by.

    works great for blogs and emails but fails when it comes to manuscripts and bookchapters. If this was a solicitation for my comments prior to publication another completely different story. Once placed into print and the results loudly trumpeted then not so much when they are clearly in error.

    <blockquote.Finally, the cure for this, of course, is not to tear someone else down. It is to recognize the limits of the data, and then to redo the experiment with the proper controls, and see what happens. I would be happy to give someone who wishes to do so, some guidance as to where the best labs are (you couldn’t go wrong with ANU) You might as well. If nobody else does it, eventually I will do it. It will get done.

    The question is why was there no controls in the first place. It speaks loudly as to the qualifications of the people designing and conducting these experiments. They produce crap once what’s to stop them from doing it again since they seem unaware of their own shortcomings. These people are trying to pass themselves off as experts in the field and when they make serious errors they earn the criticisms that are rightly heaped upon them and it is obvious that they aren’t to be trusted.

    Now, did you wish to discuss the de novo production of carbon-14 and the problem of carbon-14 diffusion in dinosaur bones, or shall I?

    Since this is a dead issue and we both agree to the fatal nature of the analytical chemistry with this report have at it. Not sure it is much of an issue given the propensity of carbonate infiltration and chemical exchange with the bone matrix. One reason why collagen extracted from the same bone give lower values since the protein is not prone to carbonate contamination.. But sure go for it!

    Have you suggested to Baumgardner that they retract their manuscript(s) until they can do the experiment correctly?

    Jguy, I hope you have followed these exchanges and now realize why I asked you the questions that I did, i.e., C14 and the RATE data. Paul has agreed that the methods used were deplorable and out of the mainstream of how these types of analytical procedures must be conducted for them to have any validity. The results presented lack any credibility.

  50. Franklin

    Jguy, I hope you have followed these exchanges and now realize why I asked you the questions that I did, i.e., C14 and the RATE data. Paul has agreed that the methods used were deplorable and out of the mainstream of how these types of analytical procedures must be conducted for them to have any validity. The results presented lack any credibility.

    Yeah. You guys seem to agree on some point of contention that was beyond my concern or awareness. On which part of RATE this regards, I’m not sure. I don’t see this as leading to a necessary rejecting the claims of finding C14 levels though – just more clarification at the time. Would be nice if Baumgardner chimed in on this. BTW: Is this what you guys are talking about?
    http://static.icr.org/i/pdf/te.....erials.pdf

    I’m moreso waiting for a discussion on the de novo production of C14. Especially regarding – if it were to happen – what would be the implications for surface radioactivity levels.

    From reading the exchange between you two, you seem to at least be interested in attributing detected C14 levels largely (if not all) to lab errors. Should I read that to imply, that if those levels are correct, then it means the radioactivity levels at the time of deposit might have then been too high for life to survive?

  51. I don’t see this as leading to a necessary rejecting the claims of finding C14 levels though – just more clarification at the time.

    Of course that is exactly what it means, i.e., rejection of C14 levels beyond that contirbuted to the sample processing.

    Should I read that to imply, that if those levels are correct, then it means the radioactivity levels at the time of deposit might have then been too high for life to survive?

    No. Where (and how) did you ever arrive at such an erroneous conclusion?

  52. Franklin,

    Just a few points, and then we will probably have to agree to disagree on the rest of this.

    First, this is obviously a subject where you have a dog in this hunt, on which a lot is riding. Thus, I don’t expect to be able to convince you. Even after I have stated that I know the lab and the background, you have made no effort to find a lab with that background. Rather, you insinuated that the experiments themselves were never done, but rather dry-labbed:

    It seems that you are saying there is some question if an outside lab even analyzed these samples? That raises some troubling concerns.

    No, that’s not what I’m saying, and it’s not what I mean. I have personal knowledge that that’s going way overboard; from your perspecive, you won’t believe anything until there is no way not to, because the data just can’t be right; “science” just can’t be that far off.

    You just want the data to go away:

    Have you suggested to Baumgardner that they retract their manuscript(s) until they can do the experiment correctly?

    Sorry, the data is what it is, warts and all.

    You write,

    Paul, you know as well as I do that with this type of analytical chemistry controls must be included in every single run otherwise your data is worthless. They (proper controls) are not a desirability they are an absolute necessity. In many cases controls samples may exceed the unknowns being analyzed simply because of the importance of characterizing the noise associated with the entire process.

    You obviously have never run a clinical lab. Once a process reaches industrial production and has been proven to be stable, it is common to run one set of controls at the beginning of the run and one at the end. As long as the results are reasonable, I have dealt with licensed labs that ran controls once a day, because I saw them. You may argue that this is not ideal. It depends on what you call ideal. There is a cost associated with running controls, and if your controls are as many as your samples, you have just doubled the cost.

    Contact a nearby clinical lab and see how often they do controls. (Maybe you’ll never believe in laboratory results again! :) )

    You write,

    That there was any discussion of the need for controls speaks loudly to the problems with this venture. Anyone who spoke against the need for controls should have been shown the door.

    That’s a little hard to do when the lab that is going to do the experiments is the one making the suggestion that there was no need for internal controls.

    Do you have a citation for the claims of the lab for their 0.077 value?

    Yes. But flat out stating it would be officially stating which lab it was.

    Your analysis sounds good superficially, but there are two flaws with it. The first is that it assumes that all labs are created equal.

    Not an assumption I made so your off base on that point. Different labs use different methods, personnel, equipment, level of expertise of their technicians, ect. Of course all labs are not created equally.

    Then why did you use Arnold et al‘s data (0.25 pMC) instead of, say, Van der Borg et al‘s data (0.14 pMC) (the more usual value), the stated value of the lab (0.077 pMC), or Byrd et al‘s data (0.04 pMC)? Because it made your case look better?

    Do you really think Baumgarder can justify 3 significant figures?

    I’d have to do the calculations, but I doubt it. But now we are getting just silly. I left the third figure in just to keep you from accusing me of rounding it off inaccurately in my favor. People can always round it off on their own.

    We don’t even know if the lab subtracted those values or did Baumgardner do it on their own. The manuscript is completely vague and unclear in this issue and there is no means for verification in place.

    The manuscript is unequivocal. The lab subtracted “those values” (more precisely, that value) before giving the data to Baumgardner et al. That you could not see it in the manuscript suggests that you did not read carefully the manuscript you are criticizing.

    Paul has agreed that the methods used were deplorable and out of the mainstream of how these types of analytical procedures must be conducted for them to have any validity.

    And again

    we both agree to the fatal nature of the analytical chemistry with this report

    No we don’t, and here’s why. I will agree with you that the data are not ideal, and that in this atmosphere it would have been better to have had internal controls. As a matter of fact, I made some suggestions in that regard.

    However, experts familiar with the data do not find them fatally flawed. Two of them wrote to Kathleen Hunt (see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html –note the creationist website ;) )

    In her words,

    So, the physicists want to find fossil fuels that have very little 14C. In the course of this work, they’ve discovered that fossil fuels vary widely in 14C content. Some have no detectable 14C; some have quite a lot of 14C.

    They attribute this to carbon-14 being made underground by neutrons. We’ll get to that in my next comment. If the data were worthless, they would probably not be trying to account for the existence of carbon-14 in fossil material.

    You appear to be arguing that nobody should read the book chapter or the paper, since they are fatally flawed. I am arguing that the data should be approached cautiously, but should be looked at. Readers may decide which approach is more appropriate.

    You and I will have differing viewpoints. At present, they are probably irreconcilable. What should help to resolve this is more data.

    I will close this comment by pointing out that science is reproducible. If you don’t like their data, show that it is not reproducible. I’ll argue on your side then regarding this issue.

  53. franklin:

    The question is why was there no controls in the first place. It speaks loudly as to the qualifications of the people designing and conducting these experiments. They produce crap once what’s to stop them from doing it again since they seem unaware of their own shortcomings. These people are trying to pass themselves off as experts in the field and when they make serious errors they earn the criticisms that are rightly heaped upon them and it is obvious that they aren’t to be trusted.

    It sure would be nice if someone with the proper qualifications and understanding would run proper and valid experiments to get to the bottom of this issue. Frankly, franklin, you might be the only one with enough awareness about your own shortcomings to be trusted with such a task. I hope you will consider taking it upon yourself to rerun these tests in a way that is completely above board to the point that the results cannot be questioned. Otherwise, I can see no clear way to put this issue to rest.

  54. We will now move to another set of (related) topics, namely,

    the de novo production of carbon-14 and the problem of carbon-14 diffusion in dinosaur bones

    We will start with a brief history. Carbon-14 has been used to date civilization and pre-historic human remains. It attracted creationist attention early on, although most of the focus was on the fact that carbon-14 production and decay were not in equilibrium. Later on, the apparent presence of carbon-14 in coal was noted by R. H. Brown, among others. Andrew Snelling dated several pieces of carbonaceous material in old geological settings that had significant amounts of carbon-14 in them.

    At about this time, I wrote an article detailing several different creationist models for explaining carbon-14 data while keeping a short timeframe for life on earth. See
    http://www.grisda.org/origins/24050.htm .
    These models were testable at certain points, and I recommended testing them. One of the predictions of one set of models was that there should be a small but at least theoretically measurable amount of carbon-14 in fossil material that would not have been expected to have it by standard theory. That is to say, the difference was testable.

    I then set about to review the literature, a fairly close to exhaustive review (and AFAIK the best one out there), at
    http://www.grisda.org/origins/51006.htm .
    I took my results to the ICR, and persuaded them that they should do a formal systematic test of radiocarbon in coal. Their response was, paraphrased, “We don’t need that data. We already have enough data. That would be like shooting fish in a barrel.” My response was, “True, but there are a lot of people who don’t believe there are any fish in that barrel.” In the end they raised money for the project and did it. One problem with their data has been detailed above. Its seriousness depends on 1. whether one is willing to believe their results, 2. whether one is willing to believe their statements about the lab background, and 3. the level of evidence one is willing to insist on (which can be related to 1.)

    The willingness to believe results is not a trivial point. I remember going to a lab once to double-check (actually triple-check) a reported negative pregnancy test in a lady who seemed to have classical symptoms of pregnancy. I found out that someone had entered it into the computer in error. Similarly, the lab routinely double-checks wildly abnormal potassiums, so if one wants a STAT result and suspect the potassium will be high, one is well advised to tell the lab to report the first value as a preliminary, so as to get a jump on treating the patient properly, rather than waiting for the final report.

    However, this willingness to believe results can be abused. If one starts out by absolutely insisting that one’s side is right, one can always find a flaw in the data. One is tempted to label those with contrary data liars, so as not to have to deal with the data. One can then disbelieve their data, and wind up cherry-picking data to support one’s theory, in several different ways, until one completely lines one’s cocoon with cherry-picked data. This goes for all sides.

    In any case, Baumgardner et al.did their study, and the latest report was published in the RATE book.
    http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/techn.....-Earth.pdf

    Kathleen Hunt made her inquiry to experts about the time that the research was actually being done. Heretofore, the usual explanation for most of the data was contamination during sample processing. Depending on the lab, proven contamination may range from 0.04 pMC or less, to 0.25 pMC. But by this time some researchers were coming face to face with data that was not easily explained by laboratory contamination. Furthermore, they were having to bet either with the data and against theory, or with theory and against data. Physicists get very cautious at that point. They were having to fill the Borexino detector with some 80 tons (5+ meters in diameter) of scintillant, and if it contained as much carbon-14 as the data indicated, the experiment would be useless. They finally opted to go with methane distilled from natural gas, naturally low in carbon-13, and to an even greater extent, carbon-14. That is why they answered Kathleen Hunt the way they did.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html

    Several studies of natural gas have been published in Creation Research Society Quarterly, but the most fascinating data that has arrived are those of the Paleo Group on carbon-14 in dinosaur bones, which are hopefully well-known to the discussants here. Those bones have between 0.7 and 7 pMC, which is beyond even the worst reported contamination for a reputable lab. Therefore even if one tried to critique the Baumgardner et al. data, the critique would fail with the Paleo Group data.

    An attempt was made to estimate how much carbon would likely be able to contaminate the results, and it was noted that the carbon content of the matrix outside of the bones was about 1/5th of that of the bones themselves (as far as I know, the carbon-14 content of the matrix was. Thus, it could be argued, the carbon should be diffusing out, not in.

    I think this is a first approximation, but not adequate to completely rule out carbon-14 diffusion into the bones. As long as there is any carbon-14 outside, it can at least theoretically diffuse in. Diffusion can be (and usually is) a two-way street. A stronger case could have been made if the determination could have been made that the matrix had the same, or even better, less of a concentration of carbon-14. An even stronger case could be made if actual diffusion rates had been measured, although the latter would be extremely technically difficult, and the results open to challenge. That may answer one of your questions.

    The second question, nuclear synthesis of carbon-14 underground, is related to the question of what to do with all this radiocarbon. One could attribute it to residual activity, but this necessitates a short age. For at 250,000 radiocarbon years, there should be less than one atom of carbon-14 per gram of carbon, and at 1 million years, if we start out with the entire earth’s mass (5.972 x 10^27 g–Wikipedia) being nothing but carbon-14, allow that 14.0 g of carbon-14 contains 6.02 x 10^23 atoms of carbon 14, we have
    (5.972 x 10^27g) x (6.02 x 10^23 atoms) / 14.0 g
    =2.57 x 10^50 atoms.
    Taking the log2 of that, we have 167.5, which is the number of half-lives necessary to reduce this to 1 atom. 1 million years contains
    1 x 10^6 years / (5730 years / half life) = 174.5 half lives, which means we have 7 half-lives (for a factor of around 128) to reduce that last atom to nitrogen-14. Residual activity means short age. Period.

    So how else can we explain this carbon-14? For a long time, it was thought that contamination during sample processing accounted for all the carbon-14. But as Harry Gove, PhD and company are realizing, this is not an adequate explanation. So there are three others; machine error, contamination underground, and nuclear synthesis underground. These are discussed in my second paper. Machine error and contamination underground are discounted by most experts, leading to the only known option, nuclear synthesis underground.

    There are quantitative problems with the nuclear synthesis that are detailed in both my second paper (and my book Scientific Theology before that), and in Baumgardner et al. Briefly, calculations have already been done, and the numbers of neutrons are orders of magnitude too low to account for the prevalence of carbon-14. In addition, unless the concentration of neutrons is much higher over the past 6000 years or so than in previous epochs (a, shall we say, non-uniformitarian assumption), such neutrons should have had an effect on such isotopes as cadmium 113. samarium-149, and gadolinium-157. The people who propose this have (so far) not worked out the numbers to see how many neutrons it would take to produce carbon-14 in situ. That should mostly answer the second question, although for franklin’s sake we can always go through the excruciating details if he wants.

  55. Frankin

    I don’t see this as leading to a necessary rejecting the claims of finding C14 levels though – just more clarification at the time.

    Of course that is exactly what it means, i.e., rejection of C14 levels beyond that contirbuted to the sample processing.

    Not by me personally. That is, I would not reject the claims on the basis of a blog discussion. I’d at least be tentative as with any science, especially since the RATE team did the work, and if compelled, seek clarification from them (e.g. Baumgardner).

    My skepticism of having any need to reject the claim, by this discussion alone, seems would be justified even more-so, since I may have misunderstood how and to what degree to which you and Paul agreed. At best, going by his comments/posts, you two mainly converge to agreeing on an ideal nature of the data and ideal scenario on how controls are implemented.

    Should I read that to imply, that if those levels are correct, then it means the radioactivity levels at the time of deposit might have then been too high for life to survive?

    No. Where (and how) did you ever arrive at such an erroneous conclusion?

    It wasn’t a conclusion – just a question. I understood that it didn’t necessarily follow. It was simply that focus was largely steered toward explaining C14 levels (at least in part) by lab contamination. But my feeling was that if one would accept that there was any C14 not due to lab contamination, then it would have to be explained anyway. Especially, if the levels reported from the lab were anywhere near close, since then there would reason to think radioactivity levels when the dinosaur was alive would have been too high to survive. But in retrospect, since you did invoke the de novo production of C14 argument, I have to think you do accept that there is C14 detected in material supposedly tens (or even hundreds) of millions of years old. Perhaps, you felt it didn’t imply radioactivity would be too high to kill life around it.

  56. Not by me personally. That is, I would not reject the claims on the basis of a blog discussion. I’d at least be tentative as with any science, especially since the RATE team did the work, and if compelled, seek clarification from them (e.g. Baumgardner).

    If a demonstration that the data that the RATE project presented is representative of the expected noise in this type of quantitative analytical chemistry doesn’t change your mind what would?

    At best, going by his comments/posts, you two mainly converge to agreeing on an ideal nature of the data and ideal scenario on how controls are implemented.

    Not ideal but rather a necessity in order for the data to have any interpretability and credibility. paul agrees that the someone needs to go and do the experiment correctly which indicates he understands it was not done correctly and that the data cannot be trusted.

    <blockquote.I have to think you do accept that there is C14 detected in material supposedly tens (or even hundreds) of millions of years old. Perhaps, you felt it didn’t imply radioactivity would be too high to kill life around it.

    There are well documented means by which old deposits can be come contaminated via bioturbation, groundwater intrusioon, uranium decay, and adsoprtion of atmospheric CO2 to mention a few.

    Nothing of what I said or anything about C14 indicates any level of radiation that would be lethal. You need to brush up on how C14 is created and then perhaps you will understand why your question is ridiculous.

  57. First, this is obviously a subject where you have a dog in this hunt, on which a lot is riding.

    Nope. You’re not very good at this detection thing so I suggest you just stick to discussing the data.

    <blockquote.Even after I have stated that I know the lab and the background, you have made no effort to find a lab with that background. Rather, you insinuated that the experiments themselves were never done, but rather dry-labbed:

    Sorry, Paul, it is not my job to go searching out information that should have been included in the publication. It is enough for me to point out the defect in the presentation of the study.

    It was you who suggested that the data on the lab’s identity might not exist. If you don’t believe me go read your opening paragraph on your post #48. I quoted it once for you to reference perhaps reading your own words in your own post might get you to realize that you made the assumption that it might not exist. What else am I to conclude?

    <blockquote.You just want the data to go away:

    The data will go away and be ignored like every other bad piece of science. Except the ICR will keep pounding away at it in order to confuse and misrepresent the science to people like jguy that don’t have the background to vet the claims being made. That is dishoinesty and even tghe ASA has come out and stated that their fellow christians are way off base with the misrepresentations they are making.

    Sorry, the data is what it is, warts and all.

    Yes it is. All you can say, given the lack of any characterization of the background, would have to be based on what is found in the literature. That literature states, using Baumgardner’s references that the background contamination levels can range between 0.077 (unverified) to 0.8 pMC. All of the data presented fall within this range. The only charitable conclusion that can be reached is that the study provides data representative of the noise found in AMS C14 analysis. a also cites a study comparing decay counts with AMS methods and found that the sample prep methods added 0.4 pMC to the samples. Again within the ranges found in the literature.

    You obviously have never run a clinical lab.

    We aren’t talking about a clinical lab. We are discussing a quantitative analytical lab. Big difference as I’m sure you are aware.

    There is a cost associated with running controls, and if your controls are as many as your samples, you have just doubled the cost.

    So? If it takes that type of characterization to produce quality research data then that is what is necessary. You don’t get to cut crucial corners because you don’t want to spend the money. You need to budget for the needs of the analytical work.

    That’s a little hard to do when the lab that is going to do the experiments is the one making the suggestion that there was no need for internal controls.

    Sorry, Paul, I just don’t believe this is the case given my experience with quantitative chemical labs. Give me a citation for your assertion so I can put the claim in context.

    However, experts familiar with the data do not find them fatally flawed

    Well yes they do. But it appears that your confusing the point of the C14 datas existence and the conclusions derived from that data. That is where Baumgardner jumps the shark and if you asked the experts cited in the talkorigins article I am confident that they will agree with the other experts from the field that condemn those conclusions and handling of the data.

    You appear to be arguing that nobody should read the book chapter or the paper, since they are fatally flawed.

    yes. There are much higher quality publications that should be looked at rather than the wasting time on junk science.

    I will close this comment by pointing out that science is reproducible. If you don’t like their data, show that it is not reproducible. I’ll argue on your side then regarding this issue.

    The data do show the repeatable nature of contamination from sample processing and how it is always present at some level. Thus the need for adequate controls.

  58. It sure would be nice if someone with the proper qualifications and understanding would run proper and valid experiments to get to the bottom of this issue.

    They already have done this. Where do you think the published literature on the issue comes from? From my readings there isn’t any sort of issue outside of the generation of a very poor study and erroneous conclusions derived from inadequate data collection.

    It would be nice if someone funded me with the substantial $$ to redo every piece of junk science produced but until they do it isn’t in my job description to correct others errors. If they demonstrate themselves not to be competent at basic research they will get weeded out.

  59. Franklin.

    If a demonstration that the data that the RATE project presented is representative of the expected noise in this type of quantitative analytical chemistry doesn’t change your mind what would?

    Actually, that would change my mind on any certainty of scientists having detected those C14 that was native to the sample tested. But you’re assuming something has been demonstrated here – it hasn’t. Even the pdf I linked (which has a table Giem assembled) shows values from labs where the error (full range) is less than the noise you claim. So, I suppose there will be some disagreement with you and Paul on that.

    Not ideal but rather a necessity in order for the data to have any interpretability and credibility.

    Paul addressed this in his later comments. Fiscal and practical use of interpolating controls – fi I understood correctly – makes sense to me (sure, it’s not ideal, but it can apparently work).

    There are well documented means by which old deposits can be come contaminated via bioturbation, groundwater intrusioon, uranium decay, and adsoprtion of atmospheric CO2 to mention a few.

    Nothing of what I said or anything about C14 indicates any level of radiation that would be lethal. You need to brush up on how C14 is created and then perhaps you will understand why your question is ridiculous.

    I didn’t say it would be based on anything you said.

    And I’m not sure what question you find ridiculous. You didn’t quote one. Assuming the question was whether or not radioactive levels, to account for C14 production, would be too high for life, is not a ridiculous question (unless you assume the endpoint). It’s an obvious question. Knowing how de novo C14 would be produced via nuclear synthesis would not make a difference. What can be asked is, to account for the C14 levels found, via nuclear synthesis, when you calculate backwards…and have a final answer on what is required, would that necessary level of radioactivity at the start be lethal for life in that environment – simple question, there’s no need to berate it as ridiculous – unless that is meant to be a method of debate. And if it is found to be (not just assumed not to be), then you can not account for C14 via nuclear synthesis – at least not by any significant measure.

  60. <blockquote.Paul addressed this in his later comments. Fiscal and practical use of interpolating controls – fi I understood correctly – makes sense to me (sure, it’s not ideal, but it can apparently work).

    That’s sloppy science. If you are going to attempt to do an experiment, with the analytical lab running no controls, the only honest thing you can do is calculate the range of ages based on the labs historic lowest and highest analyzed control samples. Of course when you do this the data often looks a mess with little interpretive value but at least you are more accurately portraying where the actual data might lie.

  61. Franklin:

    That’s sloppy science. If you are going to attempt to do an experiment, with the analytical lab running no controls, the only honest thing you can do is calculate the range of ages based on the labs historic lowest and highest analyzed control samples. Of course when you do this the data often looks a mess with little interpretive value but at least you are more accurately portraying where the actual data might lie.

    Historic highs and lows? Frankin, it shouldn’t take a scientist to see how sloppy your suggestion compares to what Paul (@ 52) described actually occurs – which is also what I was referring to:

    You obviously have never run a clinical lab. Once a process reaches industrial production and has been proven to be stable, it is common to run one set of controls at the beginning of the run and one at the end. As long as the results are reasonable, I have dealt with licensed labs that ran controls once a day, because I saw them. You may argue that this is not ideal. It depends on what you call ideal. There is a cost associated with running controls, and if your controls are as many as your samples, you have just doubled the cost.

    Contact a nearby clinical lab and see how often they do controls. (Maybe you’ll never believe in laboratory results again! :) )

  62. Historic highs and lows? Frankin, it shouldn’t take a scientist to see how sloppy your suggestion compares to what Paul (@ 52) described actually occurs – which is also what I was referring to:

    jguy, The difference, and important distinction, is that the analytes that Paul is making reference too are present in high concentrations….there’s lots of stuff to detect and missing a few doesn’t typically, alter the ramifications of the results. These well established wet chemistry methods have few interferences and for the most part little to no sources of outside contaminations…excepting quantitative analysis for blood alcohol (and other such) endpoints. In other words, these are easy and routine analysis, granted.

    Not so with trace analysis where your endpoint is, allegedly, nearly equal to the noise of the analytical method. It is like comparing apples to burros it is that far apart. Paul knows that as well.

  63. franklin:

    They already have done this. Where do you think the published literature on the issue comes from? From my readings there isn’t any sort of issue outside of the generation of a very poor study and erroneous conclusions derived from inadequate data collection.

    But how aware of their own shortcomings were these testers? Frankly, franklin, I’m not sure I could accept the results of any test you didn’t personally conduct. After all, how many blogs have these other researches posted to? And if they haven’t asserted on a blog just how qualified they are, how could I take them seriously?

    It would be nice if someone funded me with the substantial $$ to redo every piece of junk science produced but until they do it isn’t in my job description to correct others errors.

    Among my many reasons for wishing to be independently wealthy, funding you to research this very issue surely ranks right up there. But alas…

  64. Franklin.

    I may have made a mistake in thinking Paul had observing labs (non clinical) having handled controls in that fashion. My reading comprehension skills are about as good as your blockquoting this week. :D

    Well, if anything like what Paul said happens in any of the AMS labs, then it will at least be better than using historic highs/lows. BTW: When you say historic highs/lows, I’m reading this to mean the entire high/low of the life cycle of the specific process i.e.{specific lab, machine, etc..}… not over the duration of specific set/group of tests or a short period (day to week) of testing.

    Correct me if wrong, but aren’t the controls here more-so finding noise detected by the machine, and not so-much from the sample cleaning? For example, there seems no way to do a control on something that has to be repeated with different materials. Unless, let’s say in the use of alcohol or acids, you use a different batch of the material for test to test. Seems to me that steps are going to be pretty consistent, especailly if you have observed stable control values.

    Ifso, then let’s say machine noise detects 0.01 to 0.04 pMC (just assume for the sake of the question) with some control. And let’s assume that it tested to this same value in the morning, and the afternoon..even all week… I agree, it might not be ideal. But why couldn’t that set of values be considered to have at least some credibility?

  65. correction: “Unless, let’s say in the use of alcohol or acids, you use a different the same batch of the material for from test to test.”

  66. I may have made a mistake in thinking Paul had observing labs (non clinical) having handled controls in that fashion.

    it is very atypical for a quant lab to not run controls when analyzing samples.

    Well, if anything like what Paul said happens in any of the AMS labs, then it will at least be better than using historic highs/lows

    If you are not going to run controls which historic value do you use to control for lab errors? Do you use the best value the lab ever obtained? That would not be prudent since it may not be representative of what is generated on a daily, weekly, yearly basis. Would you use the highest value ever generated by the lab in question? Again this also may be an atypical run for the lab and thus not be representative of the true lab contribution to the sample C14 content.

    If you use the mean of the labs value you lose the variance present at both tails of the data. no, the only way to present the data in the absence of controls is to report the potential range of values that the lab has generated in its history using the same methodology.

    Correct me if wrong, but aren’t the controls here more-so finding noise detected by the machine, and not so-much from the sample cleaning?

    That would be very wrong. The issue here is that to isolate the carbon in a sample it is treated, via acid hydrolysis or coombustion, to convert all the carbon into carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is then captured and condensed into a graphite target. it is during this chemical processing that C14 is introduced and thus the need for the inclusion of proper controls to monitor this multi-step chemical manipulation of the sample.

    this is why I mentioned previously that it is not correct to just take a vale from a graohite sample and use it as a representation of the background and/or contamination value. You must process the graphite identical to the other samples, i.e., combustion and recondensation.

    Of course you also need to run instrument controls, reagent controls, spike recoveries, ect. to most accurately estimate. what the ‘true’ value is.

    Ifso, then let’s say machine noise detects 0.01 to 0.04 pMC (just assume for the sake of the question) with some control. And let’s assume that it tested to this same value in the morning, and the afternoon..even all week… I agree, it might not be ideal. But why couldn’t that set of values be considered to have at least some credibility?

    Are you going to use 0.01 or 0.04 in your data anaysis with no internal controls? wouldn’t you have to use both to attempt to capture the true value and how is this any different than using a lab’s historic high and low values in the data analysis. What if every other week the controls show a value of 0.1 to 0.4 (an order of magnitude difference) then how would you justified on using the lower values rather than the higher values that the lab has demonstrated they produce?

  67. Franklin,

    Ifso, then let’s say machine noise detects 0.01 to 0.04 pMC (just assume for the sake of the question) with some control. And let’s assume that it tested to this same value in the morning, and the afternoon..even all week… I agree, it might not be ideal. But why couldn’t that set of values be considered to have at least some credibility?

    Are you going to use 0.01 or 0.04 in your data anaysis with no internal controls? wouldn’t you have to use both to attempt to capture the true value and how is this any different than using a lab’s historic high and low values in the data analysis. What if every other week the controls show a value of 0.1 to 0.4 (an order of magnitude difference) then how would you justified on using the lower values rather than the higher values that the lab has demonstrated they produce?

    Yeah, I was proposing both. In my view, the max would be preferred in these contentious cases. But low values should be noted, imo.

    The difference to using historic values, is I was also proposing that controls (high and low) were taken over a short period of time (a day to a week) rather than over years of operation. One could call that technically historic, but one could call a control done five minutes ago historic – that’s why I assume you mean long/year(s) history of the lab’s control values.

  68. Wow, galaxies evolve in 700 million years?

    Oh and by the way, what frame of reference is this time relative to? For example, how much time has passed from the Beginning relative to an early photon?

    And don’t forget that space-time in the inflationary model originally expanded profoundly faster than the speed of light.

    - Q

  69. Franklin,

    A few corrections are in order.

    In #57 you write,

    It was you who suggested that the data on the lab’s identity might not exist. If you don’t believe me go read your opening paragraph on your post #48. I quoted it once for you to reference perhaps reading your own words in your own post might get you to realize that you made the assumption that it might not exist. What else am I to conclude?

    You are obviously not reading for comprehension. I have several times stated that I know of the lab and its historic background which has been published. The lab was chosen specifically because of its low background. Why you think that I am saying that the lab “might not exist” is beyond me unless you are blinded by partisanship.

    My original comment was,

    Sorry you don’t like the reason I gave. I can’t give another because it wouldn’t be true. And, as you note, the responsibility to release the data is not mine anyway. Assuming it exists, it is Baumgardner et al.‘s. Complain to him, not to me.

    I think you are keying off of the “assuming it exists”. The antecedent for “it” is “responsibility to release the data”, not “data”. If you were a more sympathetic reader, that might have been more obvious, especially when you had tried your impression once in #49

    It seems that you are saying there is some question if an outside lab even analyzed these samples? That raises some troubling concerns.

    and I had denied it in #52

    No, that’s not what I’m saying, and it’s not what I mean. I have personal knowledge that that’s going way overboard; from your perspecive, you won’t believe anything until there is no way not to, because the data just can’t be right; “science” just can’t be that far off.

    At that point, at least, you should have wondered if your interpretation was correct.

    You have continually misinterpreted my comments similarly. In #57 you write

    All you can say, given the lack of any characterization of the background, would have to be based on what is found in the literature. That literature states, using Baumgardner’s references that the background contamination levels can range between 0.077 (unverified) to 0.8 pMC.

    There is not a “lack of any characterization of the background”. There is a lack of characterization that you will accept, but it has been stated repeatedly that the background was 0.077 pMC according to the laboratory. If you were well-read in this area, you would know that this has been reported. Just because you do not wish to believe that this is the background, doesn’t make a “lack of any characterization of the background”.

    This is similar to your claim in #49 that I admitted that the data “lack any credibility” or “any validity”, and that

    … this is a dead issue and we both agree to the fatal nature of the analytical chemistry with this report have at it.

    We don’t “both agree” and you should know it. Because I believe that the experiment could have been improved, does not mean that I consider the data worthless.

    I am interested in your statement that I have misinterpreted you. I mentioned (#52)that (IMO) “this is obviously a subject where you have a dog in this hunt, on which a lot is riding.” You denied this in #57.

    Nope. You’re not very good at this detection thing so I suggest you just stick to discussing the data.

    The straightforward interpretation of your comment was that you didn’t really care whether there was carbon-14 in fossil carbon, and if so you really didn’t care whether it was residual, and therefore, it didn’t matter to you whether the Phanerozoic was hundreds of millions of years old, or whether it was less than 100,000 years old.

    I went back and looked at some of your old comments:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-details/
    you defended Nick Matzke

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-religion/
    you criticized religious communities for contributing to measles outbreaks, and mentioned “science denialism” in a context that most easily implied that religious communities were involved in it.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ess-stand/
    You criticized Mung for asking for a text in macro-evolutionary biology, saying that the request had already been answered by 2 citations, but never gave them or the references.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....tion-poof/
    you argued for functionality (but apparently conceded not enzymatic activity) for protein/polypeptide chains of less than 100 amino acids.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....y-failing/
    You defend Nick Matzke and trash ID-friendly journals. I presented a proposal to you at the end and you never responded.

    Somehow that doesn’t seem to me to fit the profile of someone who has no belief in, or interest in, the question of the age of life on earth.

    Now, it is possible that you believe so strongly that an old-age position is correct, that you think there is no “hunt” and therefore believe yourself to be above the fray. Somehow, I think that those who believe there is a “hunt” will not see your position in that way. But whatever.

    This exchange (#52, #57) needs clarification

    However, experts familiar with the data do not find them fatally flawed

    Well yes they do. But it appears that your confusing the point of the C14 datas existence and the conclusions derived from that data. That is where Baumgardner jumps the shark and if you asked the experts cited in the talkorigins article I am confident that they will agree with the other experts from the field that condemn those conclusions and handling of the data.

    Perhaps you can cite where these “experts familiar with the data” find them “fatally flawed”. I cited the Kathleen Hunt article in TalkOrigins to say they did not. It only seems fair that you have at least one reference to say they do.

    There is this exchange with Phinehas (#53 and #58):

    It sure would be nice if someone with the proper qualifications and understanding would run proper and valid experiments to get to the bottom of this issue.

    They already have done this. Where do you think the published literature on the issue comes from? From my readings there isn’t any sort of issue outside of the generation of a very poor study and erroneous conclusions derived from inadequate data collection.

    I’d really like to know where in the published literature Baumgardner et al.’s data are cited (or mentioned) specifically, let alone where their interpretation is challenged. Now if you mean the blogosphere, I’d still like to have links. Since you’ve read them, you must know them, or have known them at one time.

    Part of our disagreement is that you want a citation in the literature (#57, citing #52)

    That’s a little hard to do when the lab that is going to do the experiments is the one making the suggestion that there was no need for internal controls.

    Sorry, Paul, I just don’t believe this is the case given my experience with quantitative chemical labs. Give me a citation for your assertion so I can put the claim in context.

    for something that was a personal communication to me. Not everything that is true is in the peer-reviewed literature.

    Look, I have already stated that I know the lab, the background (at least, historically), and you do not wish to accept the idea that I know. That’s fine. Keep disbelieving me. Say that I lied (or am delusional), as I stated that I know something you are sure is untrue. And you are not about to test to see if I just might be right. Just do one other thing. Explain the Paleo Group data using your premises.

    I notice that you have made no comment about the specifics of nuclear synthesis of carbon-14 underground.

  70. Dr. Giem,

    Thank you for your comments. I highlighted some of your comments and introduced you to the UD community here.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....paul-giem/

    Thank you for all your work. I’ve enjoyed reading some of your publications.

    One of the admins, DaveScot, may have given you trouble here at UD in the past. My apologies. DaveScot has been long evicted and banned from UD.

    Sal

  71. You are obviously not reading for comprehension. I have several times stated that I know of the lab and its historic background which has been published. The lab was chosen specifically because of its low background. Why you think that I am saying that the lab “might not exist” is beyond me unless you are blinded by partisanship.

    thanks for your condescending remarks! I really don’t care if you state that you know of the lab that piece of data is obviously missing from the manuscript in question. As you know any reputable journal would never allow such an omission to pass review but then again Baumgardner (and you by proxy) aren’t really advocating any credible reporting of the experiment as practicing scientists feel obligated to do in their writings. You state that the lab has low backgrounds and that is something that no one reading the manuscript can verify outside of trusting you or the author of the paper. I was surprised at your poorly worded sentence indicating that “assuming it exists” brings into question its actual existence. Don’t blame me for your poor sentence structure.

    I think you are keying off of the “assuming it exists”. The antecedent for “it” is “responsibility to release the data”, not “data”. If you were a more sympathetic reader, that might have been more obvious, especially when you had tried your impression once in #49

    So now it appears that you think a scientist has no obligation (or responsibility) to give a complete enough account of their experimental methodology so that others can replicate their analysis….this includes using the same lab for verification. What is there to be sympathetic about missing details in the methodology. I’ve reviewed more than a few manuscripts for publication and I would never allow an omission like this pass review. Evidently, it appears that I have higher standards for scientific writing than you or Baumgardner.

    There is not a “lack of any characterization of the background”. There is a lack of characterization that you will accept, but it has been stated repeatedly that the background was 0.077 pMC according to the laboratory. If you were well-read in this area, you would know that this has been reported. Just because you do not wish to believe that this is the background, doesn’t make a “lack of any characterization of the background”.

    Sorry that is exactly the situation in this case. Show me the data and if it is as you say I am more than willing to believe it as has been alleged by you and Baumgardner. Once again you are wrong with your assertions.

    We don’t “both agree” and you should know it. Because I believe that the experiment could have been improved, does not mean that I consider the data worthless.

    the data is only valid in that it serves to support the other literature cited in Baumgardner’s manuscript that the data are representative and support the notion and magnitude of the background values that are expected to be added via chemical processing for this analytical procedure.

    The straightforward interpretation of your comment was that you didn’t really care whether there was carbon-14 in fossil carbon, and if so you really didn’t care whether it was residual, and therefore, it didn’t matter to you whether the Phanerozoic was hundreds of millions of years old, or whether it was less than 100,000 years old.

    Care? That is a strange word to use. The data is what the data is and to date there is nothing to overturn the conclusion from the majority of the published literature that the values Baumgardner reports are representative of the noise in this procedure. It will take some careful and exacting science to document otherwise and that is certainly not the case with this reported data set. You even acknowledge it was done poorly and someone (perhaps yourself) will need to go back and do the experiment ‘right’.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..e-details/
    you defended Nick Matzke

    so?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..-religion/
    you criticized religious communities for contributing to measles outbreaks, and mentioned “science denialism” in a context that most easily implied that religious communities were involved in it.

    Absolutely! That is easily verified and if you were well read on the subject you would know that is true.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..ess-stand/
    You criticized Mung for asking for a text in macro-evolutionary biology, saying that the request had already been answered by 2 citations, but never gave them or the references.

    So? Mung is lazy and in his drive-by postings at TSZ where he ignores where people respond to him and then goes on to ignore those responses and continues to make the claims that no one respond to him. I’m not inclined to provide him with anything he can’t find by reading the threads he participates in and where people supply him with the information he requested.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..y-failing/
    You defend Nick Matzke and trash ID-friendly journals. I presented a proposal to you at the end and you never responded.

    Sorry to disappoint you,Paul, but I don’t have the time to follow every thread to its end. I’d be willing to accept your proposal if you are offering some funding to compensate me for my time. If not why don’t you take your own advice and do the project yourself? Otherwise, I’ll stick to focusing on my own research and writing.

    If you don’t see a problem with a 20-30 editor board (what other journal has such a structure?) of a journal self-publishing their own articles then we will just agree to disagree. By the way what is the life span of an ID journal? How many issues and years do they persist over? The ID-friendly journal’s track record speak all too loudly for themselves.

    Perhaps you can cite where these “experts familiar with the data” find them “fatally flawed”. I cited the Kathleen Hunt article in TalkOrigins to say they did not. It only seems fair that you have at least one reference to say they do.

    sure, fair enough: How about Dr. Bertsche who received a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989 under the direction of Prof. Richard A. Muller, the inventor of radiocarbon AMS. Dr. Bertsche’s thesis involved the design and testing of a small cyclotron for radiocarbon AMS. He subsequently received a postdoctoral appointment in the AMS laboratory of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he was involved with accelerator design and operation and also with sample preparation and analysis. In 2005, he received an MA in Exegetical Theology from Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon. He is the author of 25 publications and 13 patents, primarily dealing with particle accelerator and electron microscope design.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/rate-critique.html

    The ASA does not take a position on issues when there is honest disagreement among Christians provided there is adherence to our statement of faith and to integrity in science. Accordingly, the ASA neither endorses nor opposes young-earth creationism which recognizes the possibility of a recent creation with appearance of age or which acknowledges the unresolved discrepancy between scientific data and a young-earth position. However, claims that scientific data affirm a young earth do not meet the criterion of integrity in science. Any portrayal of the RATE project as confirming scientific support for a young earth, contradicts the RATE project’s own admission of unresolved problems. The ASA can and does oppose such deception.

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/educat.....ate-ri.htm

    and

    hese and many other considerations are inconsistent with the RATE hypothesis of “intrinsic radiocarbon” but are consistent with contamination and background. “Intrinsic radiocarbon” is essentially a “radiocarbon-of-the-gaps” theory. As contamination becomes better understood, the opportunities to invoke “intrinsic radiocarbon” will diminish. Most radiocarbon measurements of old materials, including many of shells and coal, can be accounted for by known contamination mechanisms, leaving absolutely no evidence for intrinsic radiocarbon. The evidence falsifies the RATE claim that “all carbon in the earth contains a detectable and reproducible … level of 14C”

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/educat.....bon-kb.htm

    I notice that you have made no comment about the specifics of nuclear synthesis of carbon-14 underground.

    Well, yes I did make a brief comment. So once again you are wrong in your assertions about me….good job, Paul!

  72. correcting blockquote screwup

    The ASA does not take a position on issues when there is honest disagreement among Christians provided there is adherence to our statement of faith and to integrity in science. Accordingly, the ASA neither endorses nor opposes young-earth creationism which recognizes the possibility of a recent creation with appearance of age or which acknowledges the unresolved discrepancy between scientific data and a young-earth position. However, claims that scientific data affirm a young earth do not meet the criterion of integrity in science. Any portrayal of the RATE project as confirming scientific support for a young earth, contradicts the RATE project’s own admission of unresolved problems. The ASA can and does oppose such deception.

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/educat…..ate-ri.htm

    and

    These and many other considerations are inconsistent with the RATE hypothesis of “intrinsic radiocarbon” but are consistent with contamination and background. “Intrinsic radiocarbon” is essentially a “radiocarbon-of-the-gaps” theory. As contamination becomes better understood, the opportunities to invoke “intrinsic radiocarbon” will diminish. Most radiocarbon measurements of old materials, including many of shells and coal, can be accounted for by known contamination mechanisms, leaving absolutely no evidence for intrinsic radiocarbon. The evidence falsifies the RATE claim that “all carbon in the earth contains a detectable and reproducible … level of 14C”

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/educat…..bon-kb.htm

    I notice that you have made no comment about the specifics of nuclear synthesis of carbon-14 underground.

    Well, yes I did make a brief comment on a side issue in your post but you never responded.

    I also thought we had an agreement that there is no time limit for our responses that is unless you think you have the market on ‘busy’ cornered?

  73. Scordova,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    As for DaveScot, I’m sorry to hear he was banned. He never was that much trouble to me, and I appreciated his unusual take on things.

  74. Franklin,

    I think we understand each other a little better.

    When I noted several remarks made by you I did not intend to imply that you were wrong on all, or even any, of them. I certainly was not demanding a defense of them. It is just that when I see comments of this kind, all weighing in on one side of a series of debates, it is not unreasonable to believe that they are being made by someone whose position is opposed to the underlying philosophy which gets consistently attacked.

    I thank you for your reference. Dr. Bertsche has quite reasonable credentials. I note that he did not publish this in the peer-reviewed literature, but that does not bother me too much. I note that he also implicitly implies that the Baumgardner et al. data are real in one sense. First, generally,

    While this conclusion explains the higher values for the biological samples in general, it does not account for all the details. Some biological samples do have radiocarbon levels not explainable by sample chemistry. These samples are mostly coals and biological carbonates, both of which are prone to in situ contamination.

    And with regard to Baumgardner et al.’s data themselves,

    Unlike the literature values, Baumgardner’s coal samples do show significant radiocarbon above background, inviting explanation.

    Also, I think we can lay to rest the idea that the laboratory is mythical;

    The expert who prepared and measured the RATE samples suspects that the coal samples had been contaminated before reaching his laboratory, probably in situ.

    If we trust Dr. Bertsche, there is a laboratory, and an expert who did the work, whose identity is somewhat of an open secret, and the coal samples were significantly higher than that laboratory’s standard processing background. (Of course, maybe he is lying too! ;) )

    Furthermore,

    At least one laboratory reports sample chemistry contamination as low as 0.08 pMC (excluding chemical pretreatment, which can be a significant contribution), but this value does “not necessarily apply to other laboratories” [15].

    That sounds quite close to 0.077 pMC reported from the lab used by Baumgardner et al.

    Finally, on your last comment (revised),

    I notice that you have made no comment about the specifics of nuclear synthesis of carbon-14 underground.

    Well, yes I did make a brief comment on a side issue in your post but you never responded.
    I also thought we had an agreement that there is no time limit for our responses that is unless you think you have the market on ‘busy’ cornered?

    I guess I missed the comment you made. I just read your more recent comments carefully, and still missed it. Could you repeat it please?
    And you are absolutely right, there is no time limit (except if the moderators impose one, in which case not commenting will be understood). I viewed my comment more as a reminder than a condemnation.

  75. I thank you for your reference. Dr. Bertsche has quite reasonable credentials.

    Now that’s an understatement no matter how you look at it!

    When I noted several remarks made by you I did not intend to imply that you were wrong on all, or even any, of them. I certainly was not demanding a defense of them. It is just that when I see comments of this kind, all weighing in on one side of a series of debates, it is not unreasonable to believe that they are being made by someone whose position is opposed to the underlying philosophy which gets consistently attacked.

    sure, I understand. when you can’t defend the indefensible you need to look for a way, any way no matter how trivial, to discredit your opponent.

    I note that he also implicitly implies that the Baumgardner et al. data are real in one sense.

    let’s not forget he also notes this:

    Most radiocarbon measurements of old materials, including many of shells and coal, can be accounted for by known contamination mechanisms, leaving absolutely no evidence for intrinsic radiocarbon. The evidence falsifies the RATE claim that “all carbon in the earth contains a detectable and reproducible … level of 14C”

    Could you repeat it please?

    yes, I see looking up thread that my comment did not post but here is a brief synopsis as I am out the door in a moment or two.

    You stated thaL

    As long as there is any carbon-14 outside, it can at least theoretically diffuse in. Diffusion can be (and usually is) a two-way street. A stronger case could have been made if the determination could have been made that the matrix had the same, or even better, less of a concentration of carbon-14

    my questions are: Does this diffusion of C14 also apply to C13 and C12 as well? If I place a sample of diamond and graphite each into a container of water what rate of diffusion of carbon atoms should we expect to see from the area of high concentration (diamond and graphite) to low concentration (water)?

  76. Franklin (#75)

    Now that’s an understatement no matter how you look at it!

    I have been known to understate on occasion.

    sure, I understand. when you can’t defend the indefensible you need to look for a way, any way no matter how trivial, to discredit your opponent.

    Actually, I was trying to make a point that you weren’t granting, and possibly couldn’t see. You have an underlying belief that impinges on the way you evaluate data. If it is correct, it assists in assessing the data; if not, it doesn’t.

    let’s not forget he also notes this:

    Most radiocarbon measurements of old materials, including many of shells and coal, can be accounted for by known contamination mechanisms, leaving absolutely no evidence for intrinsic radiocarbon. The evidence falsifies the RATE claim that “all carbon in the earth contains a detectable and reproducible … level of 14C”

    This is one place where I tend to understate, rather than giving sweeping generalizations. I think there are some carbon sources, including some phanerozoic sources, that do not have “detectable and reproducible” levels of carbon-14. It is not essential to the argument that these cannot exist. I can give you examples if you wish.

    yes, I see looking up thread that my comment did not post but here is a brief synopsis as I am out the door in a moment or two.

    You stated thaL

    As long as there is any carbon-14 outside, it can at least theoretically diffuse in. Diffusion can be (and usually is) a two-way street. A stronger case could have been made if the determination could have been made that the matrix had the same, or even better, less of a concentration of carbon-14

    my questions are: Does this diffusion of C14 also apply to C13 and C12 as well? If I place a sample of diamond and graphite each into a container of water what rate of diffusion of carbon atoms should we expect to see from the area of high concentration (diamond and graphite) to low concentration (water)?

    Well, now I know why I couldn’t find your comment.

    Theoretically, you should see an extremely small amount of diffusion into the water. In practice, it will probably be too small to measure, and probably for diamond it would be measured in units of atoms per thousand years per square centimeter.

  77. Actually, I was trying to make a point that you weren’t granting, and possibly couldn’t see. You have an underlying belief that impinges on the way you evaluate data. If it is correct, it assists in assessing the data; if not, it doesn’t.

    My beliefs in anything do not have any influence on identifying basic problems in a analytical chemistry data set. There are standards that need to be met and if they aren’t the generated data is little to no value. Perhaps you might want to consider stepping up to a mirror and posing the same question to yourself. Analytical chemists come in many flavor of beliefs and they still manage to generate quality data but then again they take care in their experimental design and try to control for all variables, i.e., proper controls.

    heoretically, you should see an extremely small amount of diffusion into the water. In practice, it will probably be too small to measure, and probably for diamond it would be measured in units of atoms per thousand years per square centimeter.

    I would agree but would point out then that your usage and reference to carbon diffusion appears to be in error. I would imagine it would be better to refer to groundwater intrusions and the associated humic, fulvic, and carbonate content where you are speaking about C14 (and C13 and C12 as well) diffusion from a matrix into the item of interest. Also some mention of how carbonate (modern C14) interact with bioapatite to contaminate a sample as well as adsorption of atmospheric C14 containing compounds.

  78. That sounds quite close to 0.077 pMC reported from the lab used by Baumgardner et al.

    Paul, you cite this figure of 0.077 am I to assume this represents a single measurement by the analytical lab (since there is no indication of SE or SD for this measurement)? Also if there were replicates for this background value what was the sample size (n) used to calculate this value?

    thanks!

  79. Franklin,

    In #77, you state,

    I would agree [with an extremely low rate of diffusion of carbon from diamond and graphite into water] but would point out then that your usage and reference to carbon diffusion appears to be in error. I would imagine it would be better to refer to groundwater intrusions and the associated humic, fulvic, and carbonate content where you are speaking about C14 (and C13 and C12 as well) diffusion from a matrix into the item of interest. Also some mention of how carbonate (modern C14) interact with bioapatite to contaminate a sample as well as adsorption of atmospheric C14 containing compounds.

    I am assuming that you are referring to my #54, where I stated,

    An attempt was made to estimate how much carbon would likely be able to contaminate the results, and it was noted that the carbon content of the matrix outside of the bones was about 1/5th of that of the bones themselves (as far as I know, the carbon-14 content of the matrix was. Thus, it could be argued, the carbon should be diffusing out, not in.

    I think this is a first approximation, but not adequate to completely rule out carbon-14 diffusion into the bones. As long as there is any carbon-14 outside, it can at least theoretically diffuse in. Diffusion can be (and usually is) a two-way street. A stronger case could have been made if the determination could have been made that the matrix had the same, or even better, less of a concentration of carbon-14. An even stronger case could be made if actual diffusion rates had been measured, although the latter would be extremely technically difficult, and the results open to challenge.

    I missed where I said that carbon-14 was diffusing in, out, or bidirectional as the elemental form. Perhaps you can show me, and I will be willing to admit the mistake. Most of the time when carbon diffuses, it is as carbon dioxide, carbonate/bicarbonate, or some organic form.
    You (

    There are standards that need to be met and if they aren’t the generated data is little to no value.

    ) seem nore skeptical of the data than than Bertsche (

    Unlike the literature values, Baumgardner’s coal samples do show significant radiocarbon above background, inviting explanation.

    )

    You are certainly free to be skeptical. However, others who have no particular bias toward Baumgardner (and may have more background information) do not necessarily share your opinion. You might be just a little more cautious (and understated ;) ) about your opinion.

    I have not actually asked the lab how close to the Baumgardner et al. samples their controls were measured, so I don’t know whether they used daily controls, weekly controls, or historical controls. I suppose I could ask. All I know is that the lab expressed confidence in their results, and that Bertsche believed them.

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