SOME interesting research from Purdue University has thrown the creationists into a frenzy. Purdue gives us a description of that research: Purdue-Stanford team finds radioactive decay rates vary with the sun’s rotation. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Radioactive decay rates, thought to be unique physical constants and counted on in such fields as medicine and anthropology, may be more variable than once thought.
A team of scientists from Purdue and Stanford universities has found that the decay of radioactive isotopes fluctuates in synch with the rotation of the sun’s core. The fluctuations appear to be very small but could lead to predictive tools for solar flares and may have an impact on medical radiation treatments.
Here’s a link to the paper, or at least the abstract: Power Spectrum Analysis of BNL Decay-Rate Data. Of course you’re all wondering: When they say that the “fluctuations appear to be very small,” what do they mean? Let’s read some more from the Purdue article:
In general, the fluctuations that Jenkins and Fischbach have found are around a tenth of a percent from what is expected, as they’ve examined available published data and taken some measurements themselves.
“The fluctuations we’re seeing are fractions of a percent and are not likely to radically alter any major anthropological findings,” Fischbach said.
What might be causing this? Let’s continue:
Jenkins and Fischbach suggest that the changes in the decay rates are due to interactions with solar neutrinos, nearly weightless particles created by nuclear reactions within the sun’s core that travel almost at the speed of light.
Sturrock said it is an effect that no one yet understands and that if it is not neutrinos that are responsible, then perhaps there is an unknown particle interacting with the atoms. “It would have to be something we don’t know about – an unknown particle that is also emitted by the sun and has this effect – and that would be even more remarkable,” he said.
Okay. That’s interesting indeed. But even more interesting is the effect this is having on creationists. We found a most amusing reaction at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. They give their impression of the news in this article at their website: The Sun Alters Radioactive Decay Rates. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Many scientists rely on the assumption that radioactive elements decay at constant, undisturbed rates and therefore can be used as reliable clocks to measure the ages of rocks and artifacts. Most estimates of the age of the earth are founded on this assumption. However, new observations have found that those nuclear decay rates actually fluctuate based on solar activity.
Then they get carried away. Here it comes:
If the assumption of a constant rate is incorrect, then conclusions built upon that assumption are suspect, including certain dates assigned to artifacts and earth materials.
Right! The entire enterprise of science is in chaos! Here’s their conclusion:
The implications of inconsistent decay rates in radioactive elements are vast. And those inconsistencies are real, calling into question evolutionists’ adamant assertions of an ancient age for the earth.
So there you are, dear reader. The earth really is only 6,000 years old. Once again, the creationists turn out to have been right all along.
Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.