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The importance of these discoveries, according to the author of the article, Carl Wieland, stems from the fact that they provide "exceptionally striking evidence" for a young earth (i.e., something less than 10,000 years old). Or do they represent more of the same old malarkey we have come to expect from the evolution deniers who comprise the RATE Group?

Are these discoveries really proof of a young earth as specified by a literal reading of the Bible? (See here for a discussion of the organization of the RATE Group and the quality of its research.) Wieland's article attempts to impress upon the reader the fact that the papers which describe this work were "peer-reviewed." However, what the article doesn't tell the reader is that the peer-reviewers were all hand-picked from a fringe group of biblical literalists who have sworn to ignore any data that conflicts with the young-earth creationist (YEC) worldview.

These reviewers are motivated solely by the desire to defend their sacrosanct religious beliefs, not by the desire to discover the the scientific truth.

Anyone who would expect them to actually engage in an impartial and scientifically honest analysis of the evidence is deluding themselves.

The clock was initially calibrated by dating objects of known age such as Egyptian mummies and bread from Pompeii; work that won Willard Libby the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

But even he “realized that there probably would be variation”, says Christopher Bronk Ramsey, a geochronologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the latest work, published today in Science.

Because a 4.5-billion-year-old Earth conflicts with a popular interpretation of Genesis (called the “calendar day” or “24-hour day”), a group of scientists adhering to this interpretation decided to study the validity of radioisotope dating in order to assess how it might comport with a 6,000- to 10,000-year-old Earth.Clicking on the heading takes the reader to an article at the Answers in Genesis (AIG) website which touts "exciting breakthroughs" that are purported to provide "powerful independent confirmatory evidence" for accelerated radioactive decay.The supposed "breakthroughs" have to do with discovery of an apparent overabundance of helium in certain zircon samples and the detection of carbon-14 (14C) in diamond.Various geologic, atmospheric and solar processes can influence atmospheric carbon-14 levels.Since the 1960s, scientists have started accounting for the variations by calibrating the clock against the known ages of tree rings.

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