Moon Dust Answer


Can anyone tell me why some the answers that appear daily on the website appear to have been edited since they appeared in the books? Today’s answer about the depth of the dust on the moon is a good example. As I recall, in its original version (I don’t have the books with me at the moment) the final line of the answer was something like “None of this will make the least differnce to your friend, of course. Creationists have a powerful affection for the absurd”. But today’s answer has been changed to “Don’t expect this to convince your friend. Sounds like the only that would change his mind is a miracle.” Why the change? Or am I just going nuts?

This is just idle speculation, but my guess is that the articles on the website are the originals, and that the book versions are the ones that were edited. It would stand to reason that, when compiling a book, it would be tempting to tweak the material here and there. The fact that the website includes original dates and artwork suggests that these might be a little closer to source.

But really I have no idea.

Oh, and welcome to the board.

“Sounds like the only that would change his mind is a miracle.”

^That doesn’t even make sense. I think there’s a word missing! Morons! (just kidding)

The column is [url=“”]here[/url.

I liked the column, but my immediate reaction was, “cite?” It’d be nice at least to have some idea of where the 4.6 billion year quote came from, if only to convince my own logic-imparied ‘friends’.


Cite it is.

Also see this related page.

God help us all… :frowning:

Lunatic Muslims think that killing people guarantees then 72 virgins !

Lunatic Christians think that Archbishop Usher’s age of the Earth at 4004 B.C. was correct ! But, confusingly, they think the Moon could be 12,000 years old…

Education should be limited to people that can absorb information; save money and give the rest religious texts to eat.

Yeah, paper makes excellent compost.

Wow…please don’t judge all Christians based on this moron. Most of us are quite reasonable. For example, I, and most modern Christians, don’t believe the world is 12,000 years old, or that all dinosaur bones are fake, or that the world was created in seven days (literally), or that Methuselah was 969 years old when he died, and so on, and so on. Even the idea of hell, and that ALL non-Christians go to hell, is losing support (read “The Pluralistic Hypothesis” by John Hick - super cool). Really, the only important part of Christianity is (warning warning warning 12 years of Catholic education is about to come pouring out) Jesus loves you, God loves you, God forgives our sins, and if you love/have faith in God, you get to go to heaven. (The danger has passed. Please return to your everyday activities). All that stuff about creation, and the Exodus, and, well, most of the Old Testament, where atheists get all their arguments, is pretty superfluous. And it seems to me that for every closed-minded Christian spouting racist, homophobic, sexist crap, there’s a closed-minded atheist who has a beef with the idea of a universal authority.

Where did samandmary say all christians? There was clearly a limited set of lunatic christians.

The rest of your rant is off topic and in the wrong forum.

To equate an atheist’s lack of belief with “racist, sexist, homophobic crap” is completely offensive, and it doesn’t matter what forum you post it in. Please apologize.

The 4.6 bya number comes mostly from lead-lead isochron dating, based on the U-Th-Pb system of radioactive decay. The best partly-technical discussion is in “The Age of the Earth”, G. Brent Dalrymple, Stanford University Press, 1991. I don’t know of a good explanation on the web, and it takes Dalrymple an entire chapter to cover it adequately after explaining basic concepts of radiometric dating and basic isochron methods (see Isochron Dating), so I’m not going to attempt it here.

Many meteorites and moon rocks have been dated to circa 4.6 bya using a variety of radiometric dating methods. Dalrymple dedicates one chapter to moon rocks and another to meteorites. Some of the results are summarized at Radiometric Dating. (The 1991 book I referenced is an outgrowth of the 1984 paper referenced therein, but the latter is far less available).

It may be worth pointing out that many creationists have abjured the moon dust argument (e.g. see Moon-dust argument no longer useful and Moving forward - Arguments we think creationists shouldn’t use). That’s at least partly because a little investigation reveals how terribly unscientific and unrealistic the argument is. In addition to the links already posted, see A Dusty Young-Earth Argument Backfires.

Of course, that doesn’t prevent many creationists from using it, e.g. our pal Kent Hovind (see Kent Hovind: Brainless in Seattle?).

Oh, dear… Mea culpa, I guess !
I was in a hurry and just wanted to trash the lunatic fringe of these religions, hence I though the use of the word “lunatic” would have sufficed but I know I should have been more exact.
On a personal level, I’m agnostic: I grew up in a Christian culture and environment so to describe myself as an atheist is too simplistic - more than 1200 years of Chritian faith have shaped British life.
And thanks, “Irishman” - I’m Welsh and I suppose all enlightened cultures must be Celtic (some more so than others) :smiley:
Finally, I am neither homophobic, racist nor sexist (the last one, in my case is doubly amusing): I simply loathe all faiths and politics whose adherents quote dogma without the tiniest bit of brain-tissue being involved…