Scientists recently unveiled an exciting new find, a fossil whale skull found in Virginia, and the Worldnetdaily has an article about it that is so embarrassingly ignorant that they don’t even have a byline for it. Apparently, no one wanted their name attached to it. I can’t blame them.
When scientists at a Maryland museum announced the discovery of the fossil of a whale skull on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia, they calculated the age to be approximately 15 million years old.
The age, according to a Washington Post report Monday, was determined by the geologic formation in which it was found, the Calvert Formation.
Scientists call this the relative method of dating, which assumes the fossils in a particular sedimentary layer are within the same geological epoch.
No, actually. The data of the Calvert formation is determined by absolute dating, not just relative dating. Relative dating merely notes that if the strata are undisturbed, lower layers (and the fossils found within them) are older than higher ones. But the Calvert formation is very well studied and undoubtedly has been dated radiometrically as well, which is an absolute number rather than a relative one.
But how do scientists know the age of the formation? Most believe various methods of radiometric dating, based on the rate of nuclear decay of radioactive elements, provide a reliable estimate.
Georgia Purdom, however, a researcher with Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis who earned a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Ohio State University, contends research by creation scientists has shown that the decay rate is variable, making radiometric dating an unreliable method.
“All radiometric dating methods are based on unverifiable assumptions about the past,” said Purdom, whose scientific research focuses on the roles of natural selection and mutation in microbial populations.
Really? Please show the data. How was the experiment done? Under what conditions do the decay rates vary? How were those conditions applied? How much did the rates vary? Inquiring minds want to know.
The Post said scientists who have been studying the Calvert Formation for more than 100 years have dated the various layers of rock, dirt and sediment, making it possible to determine the age of a fossil in relation to where it is discovered.
Purdom, a speaker this week at the International Conference on Creationism in Pittsburgh, which began Monday, told WND the consensus among her colleagues there is that the Earth is 6,000 years old, based on the Genesis account in the Bible and scientific experimentation she says is “consistent with the Earth being less than 4.5 billion years old.”
Again, wouldn’t you just love to see these alleged experiments? None are detailed. There’s a reason for that, of course.
Purdom argues that any dating method is based on assumptions about the past. Hers, she acknowledges, is based on her reading of Genesis and her belief that the Bible is “the infallible word of God.”
Then we need take you no more seriously than we would someone who bases their analysis of the evidence on Alice in Wonderland.
“Evidence is always interpreted in light of your worldview,” she said, whatever one’s beliefs about God or convictions about how the Bible should be interpreted.
“When you’re starting with nothing, and your own ideas about the past, you can come up with whatever you want,” she said.
Sure, because obviously those are the only two choices, the Bible or “nothing.” How did someone who makes such stupid arguments get a PhD?