Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ark Doubters have their say

In truth, if it's not the ark that was just found, they're not Ark Doubters, they're fraud finders. Who is right? Probably the doubters:
National Geographic - "As a creationist, (Biologist Todd) Wood (director of the Center for Origins Research at Bryan College in Tennessee) believes God created Earth and its various life-forms out of nothing roughly 6,000 years ago.

'If you accept a young chronology for the Earth ... then radiocarbon dating has to be reinterpreted,' because the method often yields dates much older than 6,000 years, Wood said.

Radiocarbon dating estimates the ages of organic objects by measuring the radioisotope carbon 14, which is known to decay at a set rate over time. The method is generally thought to reach its limit with objects about 60,000 years old. Earth is generally thought to be about four and a half billion years old.

Across the board, radiocarbon dates need to be recalibrated, Wood believes, to reflect shorter time frames.

Given this perceived overestimation in radiocarbon daiting (sic), the wood the Noah's Ark Ministries International team found should have a 'traditional' radiocarbon date of several tens of thousands of years if the wood is truly 4,800 years old, Wood said.

'I'm really, really skeptical that this could possibly be Noah's Ark,' he added. The wood date is 'way, way, way too young.'

Wood thinks Noah's ark will never be found, because 'it would have been prime timber after the flood,' he said.

'If you just got off the ark, and there's no trees, what are you going to build your house out of? You've got a huge boat made of wood, so let's use that," he said. "So I think it got torn apart and scavenged for building material basically.' "
Wood has a point. Actually, more than one. In case you didn't understand his point well, let me rephrase. Wood believes that Radio Carbon dating is inaccurate and increasingly so as you go farther into the past.


Our cosmology, on which we base radio carbon dating, is all wrong. Without going to deeply into it, it is clear that if radio carbon dating shows that an object is a billion years old, but the Earth by other means can be demonstrated to be 6000 years old, then something happens several thousand years ago with carbon 14 absorption or decay that we haven't accounted for.

Another way of putting it? Carbon 14 dating is the product of a circular argument. "These rocks are 14 billion years old" says the geologist. The Carbon Dating assumption is then that the rock is 14 billion years old. It is also based on a constant rate of decay being assumed, and we haven't been observing radioactive decay long enough, to say with a certainty, that it is constant. We can't even say that Carbon 14 was present in the atmosphere in the same amounts that it is now, way back when. That's the rough form of the criticism of Carbon dating.

In short a group of amateur hoaxers may have offended the science of the group their pandering to, which are creationists and Biblical literalists.

I tend to agree that the Ark would have been building material, and not. That's a lot of wood, high up on a mountain and it was put together to withstand rough seas. Labor is in short supply, and there would be a lot of log jams as the flood waters receded. Wood is correct though, if he was saying the Ark was the only source of "processed" timber available.

In the end all the brainy explanations aren't why I think the doubters are right. It's just that the odds are in their favor. Every time one of these claims comes up, you could just say "It's a fraud" and you stand a "99.9%" chance, of being right.

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