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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  09:12:45  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
…there appears to be an annual variation in the decay rates of these elements.


Oh dear, oh dear. Nuclear decay rates aren't constant after all! Jenkins et al must be suppressed by the scientific orthodoxy before Answers in Genesis learns of this horrific discovery! Won't anyone think of the children?!

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  09:39:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed.

I do wonder what are the consequences in term of radio-dating.


Ok; I can access to the whole article through my university.
As I don't know if you guys can; I will read and try to understand it enough to report back...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  09:52:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

…there appears to be an annual variation in the decay rates of these elements.


Oh dear, oh dear. Nuclear decay rates aren't constant after all! Jenkins et al must be suppressed by the scientific orthodoxy before Answers in Genesis learns of this horrific discovery! Won't anyone think of the children?!
Ain't science a bitch? The creationists are winding up their wind machine, no doubt.

I wonder who will be first to misinterpret the study?


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  10:13:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
arXiv is a public-access collection of papers, Simon. The original article is available in full to everyone.

The data suggest that the rates of decay of a few elements vary by +/- 0.15%. The math is eluding me, but it looks like the rate of decay slows the further we are from the Sun (it could be the other way 'round, though).

Since, as I understand it, long-timespan dating is done with a measure of the ratio of two different radioactive isotopes, then if all such isotopes experience the same +/- 0.15% drift, then none of those ratios (and thus none of the dates) should be effected at all, because the difference in decay rates will still be constant.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  11:16:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

arXiv is a public-access collection of papers, Simon. The original article is available in full to everyone.

The data suggest that the rates of decay of a few elements vary by +/- 0.15%. The math is eluding me, but it looks like the rate of decay slows the further we are from the Sun (it could be the other way 'round, though).

Since, as I understand it, long-timespan dating is done with a measure of the ratio of two different radioactive isotopes, then if all such isotopes experience the same +/- 0.15% drift, then none of those ratios (and thus none of the dates) should be effected at all, because the difference in decay rates will still be constant.

Actually, IIRC, its a parent/daughter relationship (ratio) based on the decay of a single element. It is not a ratio between two different radioactively decaying elements. Two different elements may be used, independently, to see if they give the same result.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
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leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  11:35:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure what difference it will make if the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, or 64.9 million years ago. What the creationists need is a rapidly decreasing decay rate, not a small cyclical one.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  11:50:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well if the math eludes Dave, it certainly eludes me. However, I wonder about this:
The preceding considerations, along with the correlations evident in Fig. 4, suggest that the time-dependence
of the 32Si/36Cl ratio and the 226Ra decay rate are being modulated by an annually varying flux or field originating from the Sun, although they do not specify what this flux or field might be.
It sounds to me like the "annually varying flux" means that over time, the decay is likely to go up a little, and then down a little, and back up a little, and so on. So ultimately, even if such variation is figured into previous measurements, it doesn't seem like the number is going to change much at all.

Am I correct on this?
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  12:09:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That'd seem to be correct.
Also, the distance from the sun changes during the year, but is constant from one year to the other.


arXiv is a public-access collection of papers, Simon. The original article is available in full to everyone.


Ok; I didn't know that.
As I am accessing this through the university, it happens that some site we have a subscription to automatically recognize us (through the IP; I guess) and grant us access.
I was not sure if it was the case there.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2008 :  12:18:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If we take 32Si as an example, with its 172-year half-life, then with a constant decay rate, after one year goes by there ought to be 99.5978183784384% of an original sample left. This is a decay of about 0.033577% of the sample each and every month.

However, if June's rate is 0.15% slower, and December's rate is 0.15% higher (and we calculate the rest with a simple sine function, day-by-day), then after a year there should be only 99.5978179268941% of the sample left, a decay rate that is about 453 billionths of one percent higher than if the decay rate were constant. It would take 2,205,715 years for the decay rate to register a 1% error against what we would expect if the rate were constant.

If all my math was correct.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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