Thursday, 28 August 2014

How Creationists Lie To Us - Age Of The Sun

Spot the liar.

Dr Paul D. Ackerman, Creationist:

Around the turn of the century, the famous scientist Lord Kelvin created difficulties for evolutionists by presenting a number of powerful arguments against the long ages needed by their theory. In a widely heralded debate with the famous evolutionist Thomas Huxley, Lord Kelvin tore the evolutionists' position to shreds with simple and straightforward physical arguments that the earth and solar system were not old enough for life to have arisen by Darwin's proposed evolutionary process. Among Lord Kelvin's arguments on the age issue was the time factor for the sun's survival based upon Helmholtz's accepted model of gravitational collapse. Lord Kelvin had the theory of evolution on the ropes and had seemingly dealt the knockout blow.

What happened? The discovery of atomic radiation changed the whole picture. Evolutionists suddenly took new courage as the phenomenon of atomic radiation seemed to provide the necessary answer to Kelvin's challenge. With regard to the question of why the sun shines, the gravitational-collapse model became unfashionable, and in the 1930s Hans Bethe introduced the currently accepted view that thermonuclear fusion in the sun's core is the source of its energy.

Although the nuclear-fusion theory of solar burning is widely accepted in scientific circles, it has one serious drawback. Unfortunately, a large-scale nuclear-fusion reaction in the sun's interior would give almost no indication of its existence, and so the concept is difficult to verify scientifically. As it turns out, however, there is one very expensive method of verification. Princeton astronomer John Bahcall, along with Raymond Davis of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, wrote a research report on this work in 1976.

To "catch" neutrinos (particles released during certain nuclear reactions) and verify the thermonuclear-fusion theory, a large cavity was dug deep underground in a South Dakota gold mine. The necessary apparatus for detecting neutrinos was then constructed. The importance of this research in terms of providing necessary testing of the widely accepted general theory of evolution cannot be overemphasized. As Bahcall and Davis explain:

One may well ask, why devote so much effort in trying to understand a backyard problem like the sun's thermonuclear furnace? . . . The theory of solar energy generation is ... important to the general understanding of stellar evolution. . . .
There is a way to directly and quantitatively test the theory of nuclear energy generation in stars like the sun. Of the particles released by the assumed thermonuclear reactions in the solar interior, only one has the ability to penetrate from the center of the sun to the surface and escape into space: the neutrino. Thus neutrinos offer us a unique possibility of "looking" into the solar interior. . . . the theory of stellar aging by thermonuclear burning is widely used in interpreting many kinds of astronomical information and is a necessary link in establishing such basic data as the ages of the stars. . . . Thus an experiment designed to capture neutrinos produced by solar thermonuclear reactions is a crucial one for the theory of stellar evolution. ... It is for . . . these reasons . . . that so much effort has been devoted to the solar neutrino problem [emphasis added].

From a creationist point of view, the results of the neutrino-capture experiments are very exciting, for they indicate that the thermonuclear-fusion theory of solar radiation may be entirely wrong. The sun is not emitting the necessary neutrinos.


Failure to find the predicted neutrinos was the most direct and telling of a number of serious flies in the ointment of the thermonuclear-fusion theory of solar burning.

Borexino neutrino detector's 'inner vessel', a nylon sphere 8.5 metres across filled with purified benzene.
Ron Cowan, science journalist, Nature:

After decades of searching, physicists have finally confirmed the existence of low-energy neutrinos that are direct evidence for the first crucial step in the nuclear reaction that makes the Sun shine. While the detection validates well-established stellar fusion theory, future, more sensitive versions of the experiment could look for deviations from the theory that would reveal new physics.

The conversion of hydrogen into helium is the source of 99% of the Sun’s energy. The multistep process begins when the star’s hot, dense core squeezes two protons together to form deuterium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen with a nucleus made of one proton and one neutron. One of the fused protons then transforms into a neutron, a process that releases a neutrino and a positron (the antimatter counterpart of the electron).


Now, the Borexino detector, housed beneath more than a kilometre of rock at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory near L'Aquila, Italy, has succeeded in detecting the neutrinos that accompany the proton-proton reaction at the solar core. Physicist Andrea Pocar of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his collaborators report the findings in Nature.


For some reason, Paul D. Ackerman forgot to tell his gullible readers that the reason neutrinos hadn't been found when he wrote his bad science book for creationists was that they were predicted to extremely difficult to detect because they don't interact with other particles, being electromagnetically neutral. The failure to detect them was entirely predictable and not the embarrassment for 'evolutionists' (read 'mainstream scientists') he claimed and was far from the evidence for a young Sun and thus for a young Earth that he implied.

Can we expect Paul D. Ackerman to withdraw his claim and apologise to the readers he mislead for money? Can we expect the ICR, who still host an html version of this book on their website, to issue a retraction and an apology to the readers and donors who were misled by Paul D. Ackerman's misinformation and misrepresentation of the science?

Dr Paul D. Ackerman is a psychologist with no science qualification outside his narrow field and no history of research in science or publication in a peer-reviewed science journal.

Keep a look out for low-flying pigs.

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