In summary, radiometric dating is based on well tested, scientific results, not assumptions. We know that there was no lead in zircons to begin with, because zircons strongly repel lead when they are forming. Finally, we know the rate at which uranium decays into lead because we have repeatedly measured it, and it has always been the same. You understate the case for radiometric dating.
Isochron methods, using a non-radiogenic isotopes to tell us the amount of daughter present to start with, avoids assumptions about initial amounts.
Assumptions of Radioactive Dating
And the constancy of decay rates is not merely an observation made over the past century or so but confirmed by observations on distant supernovas that we are observing them at times ling past. Moreover, these rates are consequences of such fundamental physical laws that we know they cannot have changed. For if those laws had been different, the whole of physical science would have been different, and we would not have had rocks of recognisable chemistry being laid down in the first place. Thank you for your comment.
Assumptions vs. inductive logic: is radiometric dating based on assumptions? | The Logic of Science
In the future I may write a more detailed post about the physics and math behind it, but in my many discussions with creationists, I have generally found that it is best to just stick to some basic points that are easy to grasp and avoid overloading them with too many facts. And yet I was responding the arguments that creationists actually make, and that you will find spelt out in any creationist text.
It is always a difficult judgement call; to what extent should we simply ignore the details of creationist arguments, and to what extent should we explicitly rebut them. The former risks giving a free pass to fallacies, while the latter risks spreading the creationist meme. Could these rates be affected by forces such as temperature, magnetic fields, or quantum vacuum fluctuations? There is a considerable amount of literature on the topic of external factors affecting decay rates, and occasionally someone reports an anomalous result, but the overwhelming consensus is that they are not affected by things like temperature many of the anomalies are likely the result of user error.
Regarding changing radioactive decay rates; some rates do depend, in known and well understood ways, on the charge of the decaying atom, but the effects are minor except under conditions such as those inside stars. Geology, radiology, astronomy and biology all point to pretty consistent date ranges, and none of them can support anything remotely close to a literalist interpretation of the Bible.
It is very strange to encounter someone still proselytizing it. There is no sense in which you can go from a series of observations to a general law. Your example of gravity is quite revealing. G is a measured quantity. And despite the powers of induction, we now know there is no force of gravity. It is merely a form of probabilistic argument. All scientific theories and laws are arrived at by inductive logic.
That is inherent in their nature. For example, cell theory states that all living things are made of cells. To actually prove that, we would need to test all living things, which is impossible, but every living thing that we have tested has been made of cells. Therefore, we went form all of those observations to the general conclusion that all living things are made of cells. That is by definition inductive logic. Let me ask you this.
- Human Activities Affecting Carbon 14 Global Levels.
- Carbon 14 Dating: What assumptions should we take?.
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If we take two objects, for which we know the masses and the distance between them, if we plug G into the equation, will it work? Everyone on the entire planet agrees that it will, but we agree because of inductive logic. We have not measured G between those two objects, but we know that G will work because G has always worked.
I assume he is referring to the Higgs-Boson particle. I was curious, what is the Higgs-Boson particle made out of? The neutrons you mention above, when referring to Uranium-lead dating — what are they made out of? Now, what are quarks made of? Quarks along with leptons are the smallest units of matter that we have confirmed to date. Hume identified the problem of induction and various philosophers have grappled with it. Induction is not just a fallacy, it is a myth. See in particular Popper. That is not induction by any stretch of the imagination! The answer to your question about gravity is NO!
A theory called General Relativity was conjectured years ago. It works for planets and GPS and in it there is no force of gravity. Regarding cell theory, I began with the theory because the theory already exists, but lets back the clock up to before cell theory was proposed. Why did we propose it? Well, every time we had ever examined a living thing, it had been made of cells. So, we went from those observations to the general conclusion that all living things are made of cells. Similarly, every time we have examined a piece of matter, it has been made of atoms.
Therefore, we proposed atomic theory which states that all matter is made of atoms. We have also gone from countless observations in the fossil record, zoology, biogeography, etc. You should re-read your philosophy of science books. All theories are based on inductive logic.
Thus, it is always possible that somewhere in the universe there is a living thing that is not made of cells, but until we find such a thing, there is no reason not to accept cell theory.
Thus, inductive logic tells us what is probably true, not what is definitely true. Regarding gravity, you are misunderstanding relativity. Gravity absolutely is a real thing, but under certain conditions such as when dealing with objects moving near the speed of light or objects with an extraordinarily large mass we have to modify Newtonian physics to include relativity.
You are simply incorrect that gravity is not included in relativity. Many of the calculations involved use the gravitational constant. Germ theory eclipsed Miasma theory after significant effort to discover germs was ultimately successful. Note that the theory existed before any germs were discovered. Famously Higgs theory existed for 50 years before any evidence was found. Also quantum entanglement was discovered 50 years before any experiments became possible.
What is the Bomb Effect?
Atomic theory was proposed by the ancient Greeks. Boltzmann committed suicide in in part because the scientific establishment refused to accept the existence of atoms. There was no direct evidence so the Inductivists refused to accept the explanatory power of atomic theory. So atomic theory existed as a theory first. Do you think he was unaware of Anaximander, Empedocles and Lucretius? How about Maupertius, Leclerc and Lamarck? Surely he was aware of the evolutionary theory of his own grandfather! Anyway, I find it amusing to note that Lamarckism is essentially an inductive theory.
Darwinism is not inductive. So your characterization of science is logically impossible, historically inaccurate and rather naive. Yet you tell me to reread some books. So, for example, germ theory was proposed as a hypothesis before bacteria, viruses, etc. Similarly, there were many hypotheses about evolution prior to Darwin, but only Darwin and Wallace were able to produce a theory, because only they had the supporting evidence.
Regarding the link you posted, that proof relies on a very bizarre and specific definition of inductive logic, and its not the definition that most people myself included use. So all it proves is that inductive logic, as they uniquely define it, is impossible. The rate of decay has always been constant.