Stopwatches and Age


That’s just silly. I would respond, but I don’t think you even believe this is true.

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I am completely sincere. Your religion requires that you allow for the occurrence of “miracles” that cannot be evaluated by the scientific method. GAE is your effort to accomplish this. YEC’s have another method. Your method avoids doing violence to science itself, so I commend you for that.

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You don’t need religion to realize that scientism is untenable though.

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So, contrary to your above assertion, you can measure the age of some things, given appropriate circumstances and within limited accuracy. It’s not even particularly hard to do so.

Your claims are far too simplistic, and fail immediately upon even the most cursory examination. It seems you will say anything, however ridiculous, if it bolsters your worldview.

True - but there are other ways of measuring passing time, and some of them have inbuilt start buttons and indications of incorrect working.


Scientism? The idea that we can only learn about the world via interaction with it rather than by internal reflection?

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No, I don’t mean that.

So shall I have another guess or would you like to say what you do mean!

Yes, you can measure the age of things that are extremely young, and only for as long as you’re able to keep a continuous track of time. My statement was a general rule, and you have drummed up an irrelevant exception to it. For example, let’s say you started a stopwatch the moment that Abraham Lincoln was born. Would you be able to measure his age all the way up to his death? Only if that one stopwatch happened to keep working, and properly, uninterrupted for Lincoln’s entire life. That’s unlikely.

How do we know Lincoln’s age? Historians, who were drawing upon eyewitness testimonies available to them. Not science. Do we still have Lincoln’s birth certificate? Was he even issued one? I don’t know, but my point should be obvious here.

These “other ways” are overstated repeatedly. For any “dating method” you like to choose, there are assumptions that must be made, and all depend upon the presupposition of uniformitarianism. That presupposition is 1) philosophically naturalistic and 2) anti-biblical.

I roll my proverbial eyes in irony each time a secular humanist utters this silly statement. Which is frequently. They never seem to realize they are cutting the legs out from under themselves, since all science essentially depends upon the reliability of human eyewitness testimony. Each and every report of experimental results is a report of an eyewitness of those results by one or more humans. And in every judicial jurisdiction I’m aware of, eyewitness testimony is still regarded as reliable enough to get you sent to prison or to the electric chair for crimes. In fact, it’s the most reliable form of evidence we possess.

Well, that’s approaching three million years for ice core samples.


Not at all. At least in principle, you can directly and personally verify experimental results or observations of nature. Neither you nor I are going to chum with Moses, no matter what resources we bring to bear. John’s statement stands.

Experiments can be repeated.

They all depend on evidence.

I suppose I missed the verse as to how measuring radioactive decay or running an accelerator mass spectrometer is supposed to be anti-biblical.

The understanding of the age of the earth is supported by observational science. What measurements from observational science do you have to support a young earth? Where are the accelerated radioactive decay measurements under terrestrial conditions? Where is the accelerated light speed? If it is observational science that YEC is good with, show the experimental measurements which support your world building exercise.

Ice cores are not clocks. Just like tree rings, it is known that the number of layers does not necessarily reflect an even passage of time. Weather conditions affect the number of layers per year. If weather has been significantly different all over the globe in the recent past, we could not use ice cores to “date” things reliably. It can also be extremely difficult to properly count the number of layers.

By humans. Who will give eyewitness reports.

This is fundamentally wrong. Operational science can only deal with ongoing processes, not past events. Past events can only be inferred from present-day evidence, and that’s not testable or repeatable. It’s historical science.

Says who?

We could go back and forth on this all day, but all the inferences of every dating method available, and there is more than just a few dozen, point to a consilience of an ancient earth. Each technique stands on its own, but the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. Every method is another that YEC has make stuff up to explain away. There is no observational science supporting a young earth. Where is that measurement of accelerated decay, or even a worked out theory?

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As I stated above, you Paul, can in principle personally verify experimental results. No eyewitness required.


Sorry, but no. Forensic evidence is more reliable.

“Operational science” is a creationist invention used solely to discredit historical science. It has no actual meaning in science. This is hopeless philosophy of science. I see also that you use “infer” as a pejorative. Even more hopeless.


The picture you paint of the overall state of the evidence is, unsurprisingly, extremely one-sided. The fact is, there are many conflicting “dates” and “maximum ages” for the earth, depending on how you choose to attempt to date it. This idea of consilience is an illusion created by cherry picking data all over the place. Old earthers will always point to the methods they feel show the earth is old, while completely ignoring all the methods that fail to produce that result. Or, just as you accuse YECs of doing, they will come up with reasons to dismiss the other methods that don’t agree.

If all we had were these various methods, I can say I would be entirely agnostic as to the age of the earth. Fortunately, we have something much more important. As Francis Schaeffer said, “He is there and he is not silent.” As you said, there would be no end to it if we were going to debate each and every method ad nauseum. The only important question boils down to this: will you believe God or not? 2 Peter 3 rightly prophesied these days would come.

I’m not aware of any of these conflicts except for a number of creationist misunderstandings, like the supposed decay of earth’s magnetic field, the time to get the current salt level of the oceans, and so on. What were you thinking of?