Number: 518 (Read 1 time) Date: 27 Feb 94 19:41:39 To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments

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Number: 518 (Read 1 time) Date: 27 Feb 94 19:41:39 From: R. Day To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments From: (R. Day) Organization: Calgary UNIX User's Group Loren I. Petrich ( wrote: : In article <> (James J. Lippard) writes: : >Evidence From Space: : >2). The small layer of dust on the moon indicates less than 10,000 years : >of accumulation. : I guess this is that old "150 feet of dust" argument, which : seems to have been discredited -- the true amound is much less. It's depressing how often the moon dust argument is dragged out -- always by scientific illiterates like Hovind. Allow me to elaborate. The genesis (pardon the pun) of this piece of pseudoscience was the article, "Cosmic Spherules and Meteoritic Dust," by Hans Pettersson, Scientific American, Feb. 1960, of which I have a copy in front of me right now. That anyone would use this article as proof of a young solar system is laughable, since Pettersson makes it clear that that is not what he is claiming. On p. 125 of that article, Pettersson writes, "Though the study is by no means complete, the data now show that meteoritic material comes down to earth in much larger quantity (about five million tons per year) than earlier estimates, based on astronomical information, had indicated. Moreover, it appears that the rate of fall has varied during *the past 10 or 15 million years*." [Emphasis added.] Note that Pettersson makes it clear he is not even considering the possibility of a solar system a few thousand years old, yet creationists continually indirectly refer to Pettersson's work without acknowledging this. Lest anyone remain unconvinced, Pettersson writes on the next page, "Since red clay is deposited in the central Pacific at the rate of one to two millimeters in 10 centuries, every meter the corer sinks into this sediment brings us layers deposited 500,000 to a million years earlier. The lowest part of a 15-meter core contains sediments 7.5 million to 15 million years old." Do I really need to add the emphasis this time? On top of all this, the creationist position is based solidly on Pettersson's estimate of the amount of dust falling on the earth. Creationists inevitably use the value of 14,000,000 million tons per year, quoting Pettersson. However, Pettersson openly admits that his values are just best guesses: "To be on the safe side, especially in view of the uncertainty as to how long it takes meteoritic dust to descend, I am inclined to find five million tons per year plausible." The bottom line here is that Pettersson just doesn't know what the correct value, but is making a best guess. More responsible researchers would, of course, refer to the most recent literature for better values, but as we all know, creationists have a penchant for using outdated sources for all their plagiarism. One more recent source is "Cosmic Dust: Collection and Research", Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 1985. 13:147-173, D. E. Brownlee, who writes, "Roughly 10^4 tons of interplanetary dust impact the atmosphere each year," a far cry from Pettersson's several million tons. Toon and Farlow, "Particles above the Tropopause," same journal, 1981. 9: 19-58, pretty much agree, "Each day about 40 metric tons of interplanetary meteoric debris enter the atmosphere". In addition, a number of papers supporting an ancient moon can be found in "The Moon, An International Journal of Lunar Studies," vol. 13, D. Reidel Publishing Co. For creationists and others who are hard of thinking, a simplified evisceration of this nonsense can be found in "Science Held Hostage," by Van Till, Young and Menninga. R. Day Vice-chair, Alberta Skeptics P.S. If there is no FAQ on this topic, I'll be happy to write one -- minus my usual acerbic contributions. :-)


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