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Young-Earth Creationist Helium Diffusion "Dates": Fallacies Based on Bad Assumptions and Questionable Data
Updated July 25, 2006: Young-Earth creationists consider the helium diffusion studies of D. Russell Humphreys and others to be one of their greatest achievements in arguing for a 6,000 year old Earth. A geologist shows that these studies are extensively flawed and include: serious miscalculations in their data, sampling the wrong rock type, failing to eliminate possible contamination, using equations that are based on invalid assumptions and relying on questionable data. Appendices C and D have been added in response to Dr. Humphreys' most recent statements in his January 2006 "Trueorigins" essay.
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This article covers the evidence which leads cosmologists to believe the Big Bang happened, deals with common objections to the theory, and discusses alternative models and questions that still remain to be answered.
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Added January 10, 2006: A classic and often-referenced 1984 paper by G. Brent Dalrymple. The paper contains short but accurate expositions of radiometric dating methods and discussions of creationist criticisms and attempts to date the Earth as young. It includes material difficult to find elsewhere, such as the discussion of mixing isochrons and the effect of neutron-capture reactions. Dr. Dalrymple is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a winner of the National Medal of Science, a former president of the American Geophysical Union, and the author of The Age of the Earth
Antievolutionists Say the Darndest Things
Antievolutionists often express outrage over alleged incivility from those who oppose their efforts to evade the establishment clause of the First Amendment. But they have no difficulty in dishing out the abuse themselves. Here is a sample from the Invidious Comparisons thread that documents egregious behavior on the part of the religious antievolution advocates.
Darwinian evolution with its blind watchmaker thesis makes me think of a great battleship on the ocean of reality. Its sides are heavily armored with philosophical barriers to criticism, and its decks are stacked with big rhetorical guns ready to intimidate any would-be attackers. In appearance, it is as impregnable as the Soviet Union seemed to be only a few years ago.