@Sean Pitman: Mea Culpa. I see that you indeed …

Comment on IT’S THE CULTURE, STUPID by pauluc.

@Sean Pitman:
Mea Culpa. I see that you indeed have previously dispatched the experts if not the arguments of the experts and seem now to accept the word of another MD and unnamed bloggers possibly Ivanov and Kouznetsov and their accolytes who do not recognize any of the limitations of a technique that users and developers such as Taylor and Gove would recognize.

There is a good discussion on the background of old carbon in the context of the Borexino project by Gove and colleagues.


The goal of the old carbon project is to measure the ratio of 14C to 12C in methane at levels below 10−18 by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). This research is chiefly motivated by the need for very low background raw materials (methane, petroleum) to manufacture scintillator fluids for large volume neutrino detectors, particularly for solar neutrinos. The 14C activity in such material, introduced by the radioactivity of the reservoir rocks, cosmic rays or later handling, limits the low-energy sensitivity of the neutrino detector. This paper reviews the scintillator requirements for low-energy neutrino observation in terms of the 14C/12C ratio, as well as earlier AMS and decay counting measurements of this ratio at the 10−18 level. Recent experiments to determine the limitations of the heavy element line on the IsoTrace spectrometer for these ratio measurements are reported; analysis of the data obtained to date indicate a maximum interference limit of 14C/12C ≈ 10−19. This progress report will also mention some methods for reducing this interference further.

An article in Physics Letters B from 1998 by Almonti et al says of the varying C14 in petroleum that gives detectable and variable ages for some petroleum and coal;

Production of 14C deep underground can occur through nuclear reactions involving neutrons and α particles emitted by the surrounding natural radioactivity. The neutron flux deep underground originates chiefly from (α,n) reactions [15]on Al, Mg, Na and other elements in the surrounding rock. The uranium and thorium decay chains supply most of these α decays (neutrons are also emitted in spontaneous fission of uranium). Consequently, it is the abundance of uranium and thorium in the rock containing the petroleum that governs the abundance of 14C therein.

I see no reason to believe that any carbon found in fossils will not be subject to the same local production of C14 from the same particle radiation from Uranium-thorium decay and appear as less than 50000 year whatever its real age. That many fossils contain residual degraded organics identifiable by synchotron SRS-XRF or mass spec is now clear
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=20457935 ,
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org./content/278/1722/3209 ,
And Schweitzer has suggested mechanism for the maintenance of protein and degrade DNA with more than single bases from appropriate specimens. Both her Bone paper from 2013 and her previous paper from Proc R Soc B of 2007 (see table 1) suggest that there is a time frame for degradation that shows no collagen reactivity in any samples from cretaceous but reactivity in samples up to 300ka

This does not at all provide support for a scientific model that all these animals are 4000 years old.

pauluc Also Commented


Sean Pitman: droll claim that it’s impossible to rationally think for one’s self or reasonably judge if anything is right or wrong unless some mainstream journal publishes the argument and a majority of Darwinian fundamentalists are converted.

Indeed it is a droll claim since it is a figment of your imagination and not at all what I have said.

I simply respect the process of scientific investigation and accept what is in the peer reviewed literature in good faith. Accept that it has according to that review past the barest criteria for novelty, logic, and experimental process, statistical analysis as well as ethics. I always accept that it could have been done fraudulently but there is an element of trust involved in any human enterprise. If you bothered to read Kuhn or Oreskes you would know that science is a human process done by humans and political or religious motivation can distort science particularly when it is done in the popular press. Or worse still the blogosphere. Case in point your citation with aprobation the http://www.dinosaurc14ages.com/carbondating.htm a site which as far as I can see is silent on the identity of its protagonists who as far as I can see have no clue on C14 dating limitations. I am sure you are familiar with the issues of C14 dating after many half lives and know that there are sources of C14 from Uranium-thorium decay which affects the ability to use C14 for coal dating. You claim of knowledge on this point is suspect. Just look at wiki and talk origins on C14 dating. When you unthinkingly parrot the claims of dinosourc14ages and cast aspersions on Mary Schweitzer because she does understand something about C14 dating beyond 80000 years I have to critically appraise your claim of great knowledge attained over 20 years of intense study.


Sean Pitman: Yet, you seem so reluctant to present any real evidence beyond your usual arguments from authority or repeated suggestions that I “read the literature!” I’ve read it – in some detail over a fairly long period of time. What, specifically, in your own words, have you found that clearly counters anything I’ve said on the topic?

This is a blog where we simply have a fireside chat as it were. You have never actually said anything scientifically on this topic until it is published in the place it counts the peer reviewed literature. If you do not understand that you do not know science whatever your claims of superior knowledge.


Sean Pitman: I dare say I’ve read a bit more about the science and debates surrounding the topic of origins than you have – from authors arguing from both sides of the issue.

And for all that while claiming to have a statistical analysis of sequence space that decimates the theory of evolution I still cannot find any scopus entry from Sean D Pitman more recent than a paper on granular acute lymphoblastic leukaemia from 7 years ago. I know you are not at all modest but that would I think be pretty close to fulfilling the criteria for blowing smoke.

Recent Comments by pauluc

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Bob Helm: With that said, I find your views to be spiritually dangerous and often scientifically weak. I detect a lot of smoke in your posts, but very little light. I hope you will continue to ponder these issues and try to have an open mind.

You are most welcome to your opinion and I know you would like nothing better than that anyone who takes Christianity and the Bible seriously but not literally to just go away. It is much better not to know of any possible problems with one current views. It very hard to get to the science when we cannot even agree on what is science. What passes as science on this site is so completely dismissive of its methodological basis and history and is entrained in a specific supernatural world view that allows arbitrary acceptance of any observation as miraculous. I think Roger’s paper may well be relevant to Adventist that believe that Christianity has and must respond to a careful study of physical reality by reconsidering its interpretations of the word of the Lord, but as Sean has indicated you are exception to that characterization. I still do not really understand why you should be interested at all in any science. It seems a bit messy to worry about facts. It really seems an unnecessary bother to argue whether the precambrian/cambrian boundary or the upper cenzoic (is that really what you meant?) as the evidence of a divine intervention.

Dont worry I do have an open mind which is why I still peruse this site to see how more knowledgable fundamentalist Adventists think. I wont worry you further.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: So, you do see the need for a police force and a military to maintain civil society, but somehow Christians should not provide what is an otherwise necessary part of that civil society? I’m with Abraham Lincoln on this one when he noted the inconsistency of such a position – like Orthodox Jews paying others to turn their lights on for them on Sabbath

On that logic you should not have any issue with working on Sabbath in any profession serving 24/7. Be that computer support, utilities firefighters. Those giving up those jobs because of inability to have sabbath observance were all deluded. They as Christians should be prepared to “provide what is otherwise a necessary part of civil society”

You cant have it both ways. You cant because of a moral postion claim that Adventists should have exception from working on Sabbath and at the same time deny me the right to consider immoral some occupations that may be very utilitarian in a world full of selfishness and the human acts of evil that comes from that.

Lets for a moment step back from lala land. Where are we and where did we come from on this thread?

1] You posted a rehash of all your usual arguments in response to an article about the more mainstream Adventist positions that may impact the way Adventism reacts to conventional science. All very straight forward.
2] The contention was that Adventism has accepted process for the orgin and evolution of the inanimate world. The birth and death of galaxys and stars and planets in black holes supernova and impacts of spiralling planets. This is where it gets really strange.
3] You contend that Adventism has always accepted the conclusions of that process but then expand on your view of the process which involves a little bit of order and natural law but large amounts of magic. God waited a few billions years until the interstellar material generated by the big band condensed into planets onto which God created life mature and complete. This included Heaven the place of his throne-room which he populated with physical being angels which it is implied have both mass and composition and metabolism.
4] When it was suggested that the same processes and natural law resulted in life on this planet this was claimed inconceivable and would never be done by any process involving life and death. Instead the life we see now is in reality designed to live for ever and has be chemically changed because it is deprived of a particular form of nutrient from a tree that existed on the Earth some 6000 years ago.
5] The inconguity of practicing medicine by the principles of process of natural law and the technology resulting from both the processes of the innanimate and the animate world rather than accepting the much more important process of divine intervention seems to be completely obsure.
6] When someone says that the process of life and death that gave us the physical substance of our universe is also the basis of the creation of life here he must be animal hating sadistic psychopath who cannot belieive in a God of love and grace and is lying when he says that non-violence characterizes the children of the heavenly father for one must always recognize that peace and freedom are only obtained over the bodies of 1/3 of the angels of heaven and the eternal physical and violent struggle against those who would practice violence.

I really cannot understand you Sean. Your ways are way beyond me. I am just sorry that Bob seems to be drawn into your twighlight zone.


Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: sorry but your curious amalgam of magic and biology is not really comprehensible to me as a biologist or as a Christian . it. is neither logical or biologically feasible

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: However, according to the Bible and Ellen White, before the Fall God specifically directed nature so that all sentient life was protected in a manner that there was no suffering or death. By eating from the “Tree of Life” God provided constant renewal and regeneration that worked against what would otherwise be inevitable entropic changes, decay, and death. It was by deliberately stepping away from the true Source of eternal life that mankind stepped away from God and into the full workings of mindless natural law alone – which does in fact inevitably lead to suffering and death.

And this interpretation is precisely why you need a theodicy. Where is the justice in killing all for the sake of the sins of one woman+man? It makes no sense logically. If they were conditionally immortal because of eating of the tree of life then did all the animals in all the world congregate around this tree like beasts around a water hole on the serengeti. how exactly do you as you are wont to do translate the account into a literal reality. And which beast had to come and eat. Or was it symbolic? Oh now that’s a thought.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: Come on now. Even I can imagine limitations to reproduction or the turnover of sentient carbon-based life. Surely you can at least imagine something similar? I know God can since such a world is described in the Bible and in the writings of Ellen White. Think about it…

Of course I have. This is not simply about reproduction. That is trivial. This is about metabolic process. Show me a carbon based life form that does not grow or metabolize anything and I will show you an organism in stasis as a spore “living” millions of year in amber. That is; effectively dead.

Real life cannot exist without metabolic process in a carbon based world and God has sanctified all this by a process of making good out of evil from the death of one comes life for others. Just as in the biological world so in the spiritual. By his death we have life. Just as God sanctified the practice of sacrifice of appeasement practiced by most cultures for thousands of years before and showed that in the Judeo-Christian tradition these same acts of sacrifice were emblematic of a monotheistic God that would become incarnate and bring life from death. So also he took the preceding accounts of creation derived as they were of the mesopotamian valley and recast it as an account of the monotheistic God who is above all but comes and dwells among us to become one of us. Participating in our life and death but showing us the importance of the transcendent life of the spirit that supercedes carbon based life and its inherent death. It is no fairy tale of 6 impossible things before breakfast. It is not pie in the sky by and by. It is rooted in a real world and it is about the transcendence of love and grace that is acted out in a real physical world by the incarnate God and us as we follow as His disciples.

That is the message I get from the images and visions of the Canon and EG White. But of course I read it for the message that it conveys not as a scientific text. That is where we fundamentally differ.