a_haworthroberts wrote:Recent Russ Humphreys hollow Young Earth claims?
(1) Response to Gary Loechelt in Journal of Creation 24(3) concerning
helium 4 diffusion at Fenton Hill, New Mexico - see the pdf for pages
As well as saying nothing about increased pressure at depth affecting
diffusion rates, the author seeks to argue that temperatures at depth
in the comparatively recent past were higher than suggested in past
science papers (thus meaning faster diffusion should have happened).
"Instead, the authors (and Loechelt) appear to believe that the
temperature at 3 km depth was
around 87C for almost the entire age of the basement rock, an alleged
1.5 Ga"..."Clear observational data trump theoretical models any day of
the week. Sasada's observation-based graph (my figure 4) provides an
accurate overall picture of past temperatures in the borehole".
But Humphreys seeks to argue that - after the last eruption of the
nearby Valles Caldera 'supervolcano' around the claimed 1.1 million
years' ago - the temperature never fell below 170C. Even though
Sasada's graph suggested that it fell lower than that (to an
undetermined temperature). Humphreys writes: "Temperatures rose to a
broad maximum, say about 250C, about 0.9 million years ago, declining
slowly to a minimum of about 170C twenty thousand years ago, then
rising rapidly to today's 197C". And then offers a 'best uniformitarian
"The broad maximum of 250C, lasting for hundreds of millennia, would
wipe out most of the helium that might have accumulated in the previous
1.5 Ga" and "The whole estimated temperature history would leave less
than 0.002% of the helium. That is far lower than the observed 17%
Humphreys concludes (as previously):
"Model 1 shows that if the volcano erupted the alleged one million
years ago, essentially no helium would remain" and "The helium data
still strongly support the biblical timescale of 6,000 years".
(2) New paper in Journal of Creation 25(2): the article 'Argon
diffusion data support RATE's 6,000-year helium age of the Earth' is
unlikely to be made available on the internet until August 2012, but I
have a copy of the magazine and attach a photo of the article's
Abstract. Note that this paper - published August 2011 - contains a NEW
YEC claim to have discovered a 6,000 year old Earth as a result of
argon diffusion rates (the paper has since been referred to on the CMI
and ICR websites).
On the basis of a 1986 paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research
'Constraints on age of heating at the Fenton Hill site, Valles Caldera,
New Mexico', and some rather daunting equations, Humphreys argues that
a feldspar sample from a depth of 4.56 km is approximately 5,100 years'
old - and this corresponds with the true age of the EARTH.
Yet the Abstract of the 1986 paper clearly states: "The maximum
estimates of peak heating duration during this recent thermal event are
between 3 and 60 ka" and "Model studies indicate the age of the shallow
thermal disturbance to be about 10 ka. With reasonable constraints on
the source of the deep thermal disturbance, it must lie within a few
kilometers of the site, and its maximum age is estimated to be less
than about 40 ka. Thus heating at the Fenton Hill site appears to be
much younger than the main caldera event at about 1 Ma and is probably
related to a magmatic and/or hydrothermal event very close to Fenton
Hill during the last few tens of thousands of years".
Humphreys writes: "Since their assumed 'transient' heating episode
lasts until the present, the 'heating durations' above are really age
estimates". WHY? Is he suggested that the moment when the feldspar
crystallised (and wasn't molten) represents the moment Earth was
created? On what basis?
Whilst it is mentioned early on, this paper also appears largely to
IGNORE (when it comes to argon instead of helium diffusion) the Sasada
DATA that the 2010 response to Loechelt appeared to value - see the
quotation above. Humphreys takes the temperature as being a constant
313C or so during the diffusion history of the sample.
Humphreys is claiming TOO MUCH argon for a billion year old Earth, and
says that if you assume both (greatly) accelerated nuclear decay in the
past and also an 'accelerated cooling mechanism' you can assign an age
of around 5,100 years - which supports 'the biblical youth of the
world'. The statement "the observed high argon retentions conflict
severely with the uniformitarian-assumed long ages" is not fully
justified or explained, although a couple of footnotes earlier in the
same paragraph refer both to a 2005 RATE paper 'Young helium diffusion
age of zircons supports accelerated nuclear decay' and the 'best
uniformitarian estimate' at the end of the 2010 response to Gary
Finally, I quote from 'Radiometric Dating: a Christian Perspective' by
non-YEC Roger Wiens:
"Whenever rock is melted to become magma or lava, the argon tends to
escape. Once the molten material hardens, it begins to trap the new
argon produced since the hardening took place. In this way the
potassium-argon clock is clearly reset when an igneous rock is formed";
"However, in reality there is often a small amount of argon remaining
in a rock when it hardens. This is usually trapped in the form of very
tiny air bubbles in the rock. One percent of the air we breathe is
argon. Any extra argon from air bubbles may need to be taken into
account if it is significant relative to the amount of radiogenic argon
(that is, argon produced by radioactive decays). This would most likely
be the case in either young rocks that have not had time to produce
much radiogenic argon, or in rocks that are low in the parent
potassium. One must have a way to determine how much air-argon is in
the rock. This is rather easily done because air-argon has a couple of
other isotopes, the most abundant of which is argon-36. The ratio of
argon-40 to argon-36 in air is well known, at 295. Thus, if one
measures argon-36 as well as argon-40, one can calculate and subtract
off the air-argon-40 to get an accurate age";
"Although potassium-argon is one of the simplest dating methods, there
are still some cases where it does not agree with other methods. When
this does happen, it is usually because the gas within bubbles in the
rock is from deep underground rather than from the air. This gas can
have a higher concentration of argon-40 escaping from the melting of
older rocks. This is called parentless argon-40 because its parent
potassium is not in the rock being dated, and is also not from the air.
In these slightly unusual cases, the date given by the normal potassium-
argon method is too old. However, scientists in the mid-1960s came up
with a way around this problem, the argon-argon method".
Now we have this evasiveness from Humphreys about how he is prepared to declare in a YEC journal that 'Argon diffusion data support RATE’s 6,000-year helium age of the Earth' but unwilling to submit his article - which is referring for the first time to ARGON rather than HELIUM - to a peer-reviewed science journal such as Nature!
The obvious response is, why not try another journal? If he thinks he is being given a hard time at Nature, then try Advances in Geophysics, or Annals of Geophysics, or Applied Geophysics, or Geophysics, or Geophysical Journal International, or Geophysical Journal, or Geophysical Research Letters, or Journal of Geophysical Research, or Pure and Applied Geophysics ... To use as his excuse that he has had a few negative experiences with one, particularly hard to get into, journal, when there are so many alternative venues to choose from, is pathetic. In fact, as his study is clearly in the realm of geophysics, a specifically geophysics-oriented journal would seem the obvious place to try. And he would find himself spoiled for choice.
Peter Henderson wrote:The obvious response is, why not try another journal? If he thinks he is being given a hard time at Nature, then try Advances in Geophysics, or Annals of Geophysics, or Applied Geophysics, or Geophysics, or Geophysical Journal International, or Geophysical Journal, or Geophysical Research Letters, or Journal of Geophysical Research, or Pure and Applied Geophysics ... To use as his excuse that he has had a few negative experiences with one, particularly hard to get into, journal, when there are so many alternative venues to choose from, is pathetic. In fact, as his study is clearly in the realm of geophysics, a specifically geophysics-oriented journal would seem the obvious place to try. And he would find himself spoiled for choice.
Or why not present his work to a recognised professional science body, such as the GSA or the Geological Society ?
Every scientist that has come up with a new hypothesis has had to do this.
I keep thinking of Gene Shoemaker and his work on lunar cratering. At the start of the sixties a majority of geologists thought lunar craters were volcanic in origin. Because of Shoemaker's work, all geologists realised they were as a result of impacts, by the end of the decade.
Why doesn't Humphreys do what Shoemaker did ?
The YECers don't ever submit their crap to peer reviewed journals in the first place; they don't have a problem of rejection. It's deliberate that they don't submit. Heck the Institute for Creation Research pulled out of ASA because its crap was pulled to pieces. The YECers claim they have their own peer reviewed publications but the reviewers are required to be YECers so the review process is closed to anyone that disagrees with the YECers' religious position
The entire game about being unable to get into peer reviewed journals is just bullshit. They don't want to be peer reviewed. It's bad for business.
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