I wonder if Mr. Helm would favor some of us …

Comment on Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species by Ervin Taylor.

I wonder if Mr. Helm would favor some of us if he would be specific with what is the “recent advances in carbon 14 dating of fossils” that “tends to support creationism.” I know a little bit about 14C dating and can’t think of anything that would support such a statement.

Ervin Taylor Also Commented

Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
It appears to me that you can not admit that well-understood scientific data simply disconfirms your views because, in my opinion, your views and those who agree with you are not based on scientific evidence, but on religiously-based convictions. This is one of the problems with which the founders of modern science in the 16th Century were confronted. They got around it very skillfully by arguing that anything having to do with religion should be consigned to the supernatural and they were not addressing the nature of the supernatural. They were addressing the nature of the natural world. Period. You, on the other hand, are mixing the two to the detriment of both.

The reason that no competent scientist will date the “soft tissue” of dinosaur bones is probably because the techniques used to extract that material seriously contaminate the extract from a 14C perspective. I am checking on that with several biochemists, but I suspect that this is true.

You will never believe that I would love to be able to say that dinosaurs are less than 10,000 years old and have scientific evidence that can stand being critically examined to that effect. Just think how famous I would become! However, that is not what the current scientific evidence says. All of the evidence presented by you and those who agree with you have been dealt with so many times by so many competent scientists that a reasonable individual would almost certainly say something like: Well, anyone who continues to dispute the scientific evidence on this point apparently just can’t bring themselves to admit the truth of the matter for some religious reason.

Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
I have checked with the director of the lab which was supposed to have dated a “soft tissue” extract and he wrote back almost immediately that what they had been given was a whole bone, not a “soft tissue” extract and the bone was badly degraded from the point of view of any organic carbon. The date they obtained was obviously contamination and they reported that fact to the submitter. Apparently, another example, in a long string of examples of YEC/YLC creationists, who can’t keep his facts straight. Ordinarily, I would suggest that the submitter lied, or does not know the difference between a lie and the truth, or does not know the difference between a whole bone and a “soft tissue” extract but that’s not nice, so I won’t say it.

As for understanding the relevance of animal breeding, yes I certainly understand that and it still has nothing to do with the situation with regard to natural selection in a natural environment. I wonder if you understand that. It was clear to Alfred Russell Wallace, who, with Darwin, first came up with the idea of natural selection, that you could not use animal breeding experiments to simulate natural evolution.

Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
I asked Dr. Pitman: “With regard to the 14C issue, Dr. Pitman stated that there were “from significant amounts of 14C being present in dinosaur soft tissues . . .” That’s news to me. If he would do me the favor of citing a published article to that effect, I would be most appreciative.” Is the significant amounts of 14C you referenced based only on the 14C date report? If so, how do you know that it was “significant amounts of 14C”? If not, could you please give me a reference? Thank you.

Recent Comments by Ervin Taylor

Newly Discovered Human Footprints Undermine Evolutionary Assumptions
Perhaps Dr. Pitman would enlighten his readers what on earth “the neo-Darwinian story of origins” might be. Darwin did not address origins. Oh well, such a small mistake like that worth mentioning.

And I noticed that Sean got 9 up thumbs and I didn’t get any. O’ dear..

Newly Discovered Human Footprints Undermine Evolutionary Assumptions
Here we go again. If the footprints upon close examination, are determined not to be from a hominim/hominid, I wonder if Educate Truth (sic) will announce that determination. Or if the date of the surface is determined to be much younger, will there be a notice placed on fundamentalist web-sites. If you believe the answer to these questions are yes, I have a big bridge that I would like to sell you for pennies on the dollar.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
For anyone interested, the 14C book is:

R E Taylor and Ofer Ben-Yosef. 2014. Radiocarbon Dating: An Archaeological Perspective. 2nd edition. Left Coast Press. You can obtain a copy through a number of online book sources including Amazon.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
Dr. Pitman will be glad to learn that after much consultation with colleagues who are actually quite amused about the “radiocarbon dating of dinosaur bone” fantasy (I explained to them some of the non-scientific sociological and historical issues), I’m current working on a piece of dinosaur bone just so I can personally say that a given experiment was done and here are the results. (By the way, we lump the “dating” of dinosaur bone and wood from “Noah’s Ark” in the same category–strange.)

I realize that most scientists will think these exercises is a more than a little odd but when you are dealing with certain types of young earth/young life fundamentalist critics, one often have to go the “extra” mile that would not be necessary with reasonable individuals. And, when you get to be my age, you can do some experiments which, in ones younger years, would be rightly considered a little silly.

(By the way, Dr. Pitman might perhaps wish to purchase the 2nd edition (2014) of my Radiocarbon Dating: An Archaeological Perspective volume which I am pleased to say was coauthored with a distinguished Old World archaeologist. Dr. Pitman might learn some something about the nature of contemporary 14C dating.)

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
I was expecting that Dr. Pitman would be coming up with some fresh and updated responses to the Avondale publication. However, he presents nothing new. He seems to think that repeating old arguments, over and over again, most of which — especially his criticisms of radiocarbon dating and other evidence of great age of the living biosphere of our planet—have been answered so many times, will somehow magically do the trick. As Dr. Hare said about what Dr. Pitman and his fellow-travelers are doing, “they hope by throwing up at lot of sand that it will cloud the picture enough so that the real issues can be ignored.” It’s really interesting to watch Dr. Pitman making such a determined last stand in the light of so much evidence that his views cannot be sustained. I guess perhaps we should just feel sorry for him..

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