Exposing PseudoAstronomy

February 24, 2014

Under a Creationist’s Reasoning, Titan (moon of Saturn) Is Just a Few Years Old


Introduction

I’m always amazed at the penchant for young-Earth creationists (YECs) to use science for part of their argument and creationism for another part, when it relies on the science being right, but they’re arguing that the science is wrong.

If that was confusing to you, let me explain …

Crater-Age Modeling

The basic idea behind using craters to estimate the age of a surface is that, if you have an older surface, it’s been around longer and has had more time to accumulate more craters. So, more craters = older.

We can use samples from the Moon to correlate crater densities with absolute ages and get a model for how many craters of a certain size equals a certain age.

That’s the basics … if you want more, see my podcast, episodes 40 and 41: Crater Age Dating Explained, Part 1 and Crater Age Dating and Young-Earth Creationism, Part 2.

So, we have, from the moon, the idea that a heavily cratered surface equates to one that’s been around for billions of years. This REQUIRES radiometric dating to be correct and the basics of crater age-modeling to be correct.

The implication is that a surface that has just a few craters is much younger.

Titan

Titan is Saturn’s largest moon, its atmosphere is thicker than Earth’s, and the Cassini and Huygens probes have shown that its surface is geologically active. It also has very few impact craters.

YEC

Enter David Coppedge, a man I’ve talked about on this blog quite a bit. His latest writing was published by Creation Ministries International, “Saving the ‘Billions of Years’ Age of Titan.”

In his article, he is keying in on a recent popular article that explains that Titan’s surface looks young, and there are a few ways that it can still be geologically active (as in have a young surface, like Earth) and still have formed over 4 billion years ago.

The problem is that, for us to say it looks young, that’s because of the few impact craters. Versus old, that’s because of radiometric dating and then the calibration to lots of impact craters on the Moon. For Coppedge to say (effectively) “Yes, scientists are right, Titan’s surface looks young because it has few impact craters,” then he is REQUIRED to accept the basics of the crater chronology system, which he clearly doesn’t. Because, if Titan is young because it has few craters as he is agreeing with, then the Moon and other bodies must be much older under that same crater chronology system.

Yes, confusing. To get to point B, he must accept A. He thinks B is true, but he does not think A is true. Hence the confusing cognitive dissonance he just ignores.

Alternative

The alternative is that the crater calibration stuff is off, and radiometric dating is wrong. So, the Moon is not 4 billion years old, it’s 6000 years old. With the crater population of Titan, that means Titan can only be, oh, around 15-150 years old. Except that it was discovered in 1655.

Or, the entire crater calibration stuff is completely wrong. Which means you can’t use it to say Titan’s surface is young, which is what he is claiming — that it is young because scientists are showing it’s young because it has few craters.

Final Thoughts

Does anyone have a headache now? I think I gave myself one.

7 Comments »

  1. Mr. Coppedge demonstrates throughout his article that he is so caught up in his fantasy that he can’t discern reality anymore. He is more than willing to quote mine, obfuscate, prevaricate, and mislead in order to sell his worldview. He repeatedly shows he has no clue how science works. He resorts to some of the same tropes we recently heard from Ken Ham, plus a few others we see far too often from creationists. All this fuss over an article that’s a year and a half old? This man seriously needs to get a hobby.

    Comment by Rick K. — February 25, 2014 @ 12:16 am | Reply

    • He has a lot of free time since he got fired laid off by NASA.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — February 27, 2014 @ 11:04 pm | Reply

  2. […] a quick follow-up to my last blog post, a reader wrote in and their comment was published on the Creation.com website. From Mark V. of New […]

    Pingback by Follow-Up on Saturn’s Moon Titan, its Craters, and its “Youth” | Exposing PseudoAstronomy — February 27, 2014 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  3. On an unrelated note, I ve heard a YEC argument that Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io is proof that the Solar system is a lot younger than it appears to be. It went along something like “If Io was really 4.5 billion years old, then it would have lost all its mass from sulphur eruptions and ionization by Jupiter’s magnetosphere millions of years ago”

    YECs grasping at straws aside, I cant help but wonder: Is Io a relative new capture by Jupiter’s gravity, or is it really 4.5 billion years old like the rest of the solar system? If so, then how is it still volcanically active after billions of years?

    Comment by Daren H — March 10, 2014 @ 8:03 am | Reply

  4. I also find the inconsistency of CMI hard to stomach as a Christian and Pseudo science debunker myself. They indulge in the same fallacies of Induction and Affirming the Consequent and belief without question on many scientific matters but use the same methods themselves and have no logical framework in order to reject one and accept another according to their own personal bias.I am a Creationist but i don’t need the fallacies of pseudo science to prove creation as they just as fallacious as the arguments for Evolution. They are too timid to stand on Revelation alone and it seems and try to cling onto some scientific credibility and worldly honor and then arbitrarily reject or accept the Narrative to have it both ways which is irrational.

    Comment by Andrew — October 30, 2014 @ 4:50 am | Reply

    • If I understand you correctly, you can “prove creation” without resorting to logical fallacies. Have you already done that in a blog or something similar? I’d like to read your proof.

      Comment by Rick K. — November 2, 2014 @ 12:10 pm | Reply


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