Error handling and YEC evidence


(James McKay) #1

Has anyone else noticed that YEC evidence never gets error handling right?

As you’ll all no doubt be aware, when you measure something in science, you don’t just take a single reading and leave it at that. You need to specify the uncertainty, by calculating the standard deviation of a series of measurements. Where appropriate, statistical significance and confidence levels also need to be quoted.

The same principle applies to historical assumptions. A good response to “Were you there?” is, maybe we can’t confirm that an assumption holds exactly, but we can ask the question, “Based on the evidence available, how confident can we be that these assumptions are valid?” The answer will be expressed as a number, and that number will be included in the final calculation of the uncertainty.

Out of all the evidences for a young earth that I’ve seen, not one of them calculates errors correctly. Some of them (e.g. soft tissue remnants in fossils, radiohalos, bent rock layers etc) don’t set any specific limit to the age of the earth at all. Some of them that do (e.g. salt/sediment in the sea) don’t seem to quote any error bars anywhere. Those that do quote error bars (e.g. helium diffusion in zircons) invariably include steps where they don’t take them into account, or only include them for some measurements but not others, dismissing the rest with hand-waving claims about being “generous to uniformitarians.”

It goes without saying that conventional dating methods do, in general, get this right.


(system) #2

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