A Bone for You Creationists!

by metatron 22 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • metatron


    There are repeated claims being made that some radioactive materials decay rate could be modulated by

    strong electromagnetic fields - near heresy to some people. The above site includes a publication list of some

    such information.

    Implication? Could all radioactive dating methods be rendered useless by such discoveries?

    Hard to say, but I know that some C-14 dating results have been calibrated by historical events.

    I believe the guy who discovered C-14 dating got upset when confronted with the possibility

    that radioactive decay could be triggered in thin layers by fields.

    I stumbled across this subject because of my interest in 'free energy'. If these new claims result

    in practical devices, the whole world will change radically. Imagine not fueling your car for

    years! ... or say goodbye to Exxon and the Arabs.


  • RunningMan

    Creationists must be awfully hungry, if this morsel constitutes a "bone".

  • peacefulpete

    There are numerous clean an effective power sources at our disposal now, yet the world is addicted to oil. Hopefully our generation will be the ones to breakm from the past and embrace hydrogen and solar energy. The radioactive clock matter is not an issue with modern archaeology as they consistantly require at least 2 different dating methods to even tenetively assign any date. Also the extent of our understanding of the past and the reconstructions that various fields of study and methods of dating has given us produces a model that stands as a touchstone for new findings. Any anomolous dating claims are subjected to even greater analysis before that model is amended.

  • metatron

    I guess that deepens on what the "different" dating methods are. What I had in mind was more the unverifiable millions of years

    thrown into any evolutionary discussion, rather than anything in the historical era.

    I have always been skeptical of the assertion that radioactive decay is absolutely fixed and unalterable. I also think

    "evolution" can take place much faster than currently thought.


  • peacefulpete

    The clock you are likely concerned about is the c14. This is used largely when dealing with human artifacts. There are litteraly dozens of other methods used to provide relative dates. A really good Naional Geographic issue last year entitled "How old is it?" discussed some of these tools now at our disposal.

  • AlanF

    Hi Metatron,

    Your post sounded very interesting to me at first (as virtually all of them do), but after I read the linked website (BetaVoltaic) some red flags went up. Early in the page-1 description the author said this:

    "The limitation that this cell had was that only very low powered isotopes could be used. This is due to the types of semiconductors that would accept a P and N type dopant was limited to silicone and germanium for the most part."

    Being a EE who deals with silicon every day, it struck me that anyone who can manage to mispell this word who claims actually to be working with silicon devices such as pn junctions cannot possibly have real working knowledge of electron devices.

    After reading some more, I came upon this statement about powering electronic devices via beta-decay of the isotope beryllium-10:

    "A microgram of this naturaly abundant isotope would power an electronic device for its entire expected lifetime."

    This is nonsense, and I will show the calculations which prove it. Basically, I calculate the number of electrons produced per second by Be-10 decay, and convert this to an equivalent electrical current.

    First we calculate the time constant of the exponential radioactive decay. With a half-life for Be-10 of 1.5 million years, this works out to be tau = 6.829e13 seconds. I.e., if you plug this number into the equation: Quantity = exp( - t / tau ) with t = 1.5 million years worth of seconds (1.5e6 * 365.25 * 24 * 60 * 60), you get Quantity = 1/2, which is the definition of "half-life".

    Next we calculate the fraction of material lost in one second due to this decay: Fraction lost = exp( -1 / tau) = 1.464e-14 per second.

    Next we calculate the number of atoms in a microgram of Be-10: A mole of Be-10 contains 6.022e23 (Avogadro's number) atoms, a mole of Be-10 weighs about 10 grams, so: Number of atoms = (1e-6 gm / 10 gm) * 6.022e23 = 6.022e16 atoms.

    As each atom decays, it emits one beta-electron, which according to BetaVoltaic, forms a sort of electrical current when harnessed properly. So the number of electrons available per second is equal to the number of atoms in one microgram of Be-10 multiplied by the fraction lost per second: 6.022e16 * 1.464e-14 = 880 electrons per second.

    Finally we divide the number of electrons emitted per second by the number of electrons in one coulomb of charge, to get a current (since current in Amperes is by definition 1 coulomb per second): 880 electrons per second / 6.24e18 electrons per coulomb = 1.4e-16 coulombs per second = 1.4e-16 Amperes. This is a very small current.

    Now, the BetaVoltaic website claims that they know how to speed up the decay of Be-10 to get a half-life of only a few years. Let's say they can speed it up to get a half-life of only 1.5 years. Then the rate of electrons produced per second would go up by a factor of a million, and the current available from the decay would go up by a factor of a million. Thus we might theoretically have available 1e6 * 1.4e-16 = 1.4e-10 Amperes. In EE language this is 0.14 nanoamps -- still an extremely small current.

    Now, I know of no electron devices that operate at this level of current. In fact, currents this small tend to be leakage currents (unwanted stray currents). Leakage currents in typical CMOS transistors tend to be at least 1 nanoamp and can easily be 100 or more times larger, and 10 to 100 times higher still if temperature is high. That's why a typical Intel microprocesser has a leakage current of up to 10 Amps when it's completely shut off! Which means that for each of the 50-some-odd million transistors on the Pentium-4, each one has a leakage of some 200 nanoamps.

    So it appears that BetaVoltaic's ideas are complete nonsense. I have no doubt that these people have never even tried to produce a working demonstration. This whole idea sounds to me like trying to make a perpetual motion machine.

    Other problems: how does one manage to gather all the Be-10 necessary to power things on the vast scale that would be necessary? Do they have the slightest idea how difficult it is to collect and purify the stuff? I think not. Do they have any idea how difficult it is to handle radioactive material? I don't think so.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Metatron, but I don't want to see you go down the garden path with this nonsense.


  • JCanon
    There are numerous clean an effective power sources at our disposal now, yet the world is addicted to oil.

    That's right. This is the modern world and people who have the money and business are more interested in maintaining that business than any advanced scientific cheaper or cleaner way to save mankind lots of money. The people with the money have the power to buy up any technology they wish and suppress it, just so they can stay in business.

    So while the science is very interesting, in my mind I'm imaginging once the oil runs out, we'll be amazed at what science suddenly comes up with in the way of alternative fuel!

    If you came up with a fertilizer that could increase the productivity of one acre by ten times, do you think a non-hungry world would embrace it? Or would the food producers simply pay you off for your idea so they can keep their good incomes?

    Affirmative Action is sort of like that. It's not about finding the BEST medical brains around but sharing the social status and income of doctors with those outside the natural system of advancement existing in the modern world.

    So you see, the world is beautiful....if you're rich...on the surface, but ultimately corrupt. Some people look at the pyramids and marvel at the ingenuity of a few architects hired by the Pharoah to build them; while others realize only a massive, oppressed labor force could have accomplished these things.

    I think that is what is going to be the "contest" at the end of the millennium. Christ's reign, which will equalize as much as possible all things for all men, will be more communistic in nature, or perhaps I should say communal, than we know in the capitalistic world, where the smart and aggressive can achieve great things. This is primarily a European emotion/instinct. But fact is, some of those things can't happen on a personal level without wealth and a lower class providing those services. Perhaps some will be convinced that great achievements in the field of science or other areas we are so used to would be hampered in a monarchy rule by Christ and they will rebel. The desire and chance to be rich or exceptional is quite addictive. "Gog of Magog" is associated with western culture but particularly Nazi Germany and thus white supremacy at the most extreme and Eurocentrism at the lesser extreme.


  • JCanon

    Thanks for thowing us that bone!!!

    It does matter. And even as AF pointed out, while the application looks limited, we don't know everything about what impacts the natural laws. Will something decay twice as fast in a warm climate than in cold? What about exposure to other elements, radioactive elements, magnetic elements?

    Uncertainties in ever-changing science like these makes it sensible not to fully trust anything they have to say that would directly contradict what the Bible says, even if you don't consider the Bible as being "inspired" but simply a reliable record of a people who might be reporting on thing accurately as far as mankind's true ancient history,

    But it is interesting. Perhaps something does exaggerate the C-14 rate of decay at some point and it becomes fantasically exaggerated at some point, explaining why we get these huge numbers into the millions of years, something that would not be noticed in the early stages; maybe the decay is on a curve, slow at first then rapid acceleration at some point, but something we don't know enough about?

    But SOMETHING is missing since obviously they have the wrong numbers if you believe the Bible, right? We're just waiting until they figure it out.

    But definitely thanks for this "bone". You have no idea how I'm going to throw up MAGNETIC INFLUENCE in all my pseudo-science arguments now. It's worth it just as an addition to the list of reasons WHY NOT TO BELIEVE in science when it contradicts the Bible.



  • metatron

    Alan, I agree that the article is flawed.

    I was hoping these guys (the poor spellers) would carry on the work

    of Paul Brown: www.rexresearch.com/nucell/nucell.htm

    The emission of an energetic beta particle is supposed to trigger a

    secondary electron avalanche - like alpha particles do. Thus, a strict

    # derived from the same # of atoms may not hold.


  • czarofmischief

    yeah, c-14 always seemed a little far-fetched to me.

    I could take a used condom, bury it ancient dirt, and some archaeologist would be proclaiming that he'd found evidence of Neanderthal birth control (which is why they died out).

    Interestingly, attacking c-14 triggers the same emotional reaction (contempt, hysteria) in sciencehumpers that attacking the Trinity or immortality of the soul provokes in biblethumpers.


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