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Assumptions Can Be Calculations ...and Vice Versa

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Posted by Michael W. Pearson on September 26, 2002 19:46:58 UTC


I wrote:
"True, it's very difficult to vouch 100% for things like that. Still, we're only proceeding on the best information we have."

Sam replied:
What if the best information you have mis-interpreted? Then all your dates are going to be wrong. This is what I believe is happening.

I respond back:
Yes, the conversation continues. But if you
"believe" that is what is happening, it is still
incumbent upon you to demonstrate their error
in scientific process. The paper you cited
has quoted one study...which apparently finds
results which deny that Potassuim-Argon parent/daughter elements separate completely during a "melt." Have you personally examined any
papers which reported results confirming they DO separate completely? Have you asked for a dialogue between the two positions on this matter
so you can determine whether one or both have
impeccable process in finding their opposite results? Or are there NO reliable studies which ever established the original assumption?
Please don't select only one sentence to answer, but answer the general idea, okay? Thanks.

I wrote:
"The age of the rock is only correct to the extent their calculation is correct."

Sam replied
No, the age of the rock is correct to the extent their assumptions are correct. And their assumptions are unprovable.

I respond back:
The "No," is unnecessary. The assumptions are not
just silly notions. They proceed from prior calculations. It is fine to re-inspect prior calculations, just in case they WERE silly notions. But you have not demonstrated that until you actually trace the process whereby these assumptions were put forward. I submit you will find they represent "calculations" based on
scientific studies. Still, it is good to go back and check if "we" are really dedicated to finding the truth, and not just blowing bilge.

I tend to trust the scientists, but one reason for that is that checking their work IS allowed.:)


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