Actually, it has been *hypothesized* that the seasonal variation detected by some is an actual physical factor related to, say, neutrino flux from the sun. This particular research throws cold water on that hypothesis. These scientists who were involved in this particular research hypothesize instead that "the variations observed in other experiments may have been due to environmental conditions interfering with the instruments themselves", though that alternative hypothesis has yet to be analyzed in detail yet. My bet is on small variations with the measuring instruments.
Of course, as you point out Pi, the variations scientists are talking about are, in the first place, far, far too tiny to be of any support to young earth creationists, who need percentage variations in the dozens of millions, a point that these YECs, who do so very much love to make mountains out of divots, pretend to be oblivious to - which proves yet again that they're either pretty stupid or typically deceitful (or both).
- Todd Greene
--- In Maury_and_Baty, PIASAN@... wrote (post #20523):
> We already knew there is a SLIGHT (seasonal) variation in decay rates. Of course, the fact that these seasonal variations cancel each other out and they amount to less than a 1% shift in the decay rate is completely lost on creationists who will insist this variation is enough to deal with the 75,000,000+ percent in the AVERAGE decay rate they need to account for their problems with the evidence leading to the conclusion the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
> In the case of explaining an ancient planet, they are talking about less than 1% down and more than 74,999,999% to go.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Todd Greene <greeneto@...>
> To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Tue, Sep 28, 2010 10:29 am
> Subject: [M & B] Research shows radiometric dating still reliable (again)
> This is how real scientists engage in debate: They do scientific research to
> EST the ideas against relevant EVIDENCE. So when are "young earth creationist
> cientists" going to actually produce some real scientific research supporting
> heir religious belief that the earth and the universe didn't exist more than
> bout 6,000 years or so ago?
> Answer: Never. Young earth creationist beliefs are based on religion, not
> cience. Fraudulent rhetorical charades can't change that fact.
> - Todd Greene
> Research Shows Radiometric Dating Still Reliable (Again)
> National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/14/2010)
> Recent puzzling observations of tiny variations in nuclear decay rates have led
> ome to question the science of using decay rates to determine the relative ages
> f rocks and organic materials. Scientists from the National Institute of
> tandards and Technology (NIST), working with researchers from Purdue
> niversity, the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and
> abash College, tested the hypothesis that solar radiation might affect the rate
> t which radioactive elements decay and found no detectable effect.
> ossil illustration
> Atoms of radioactive isotopes are unstable and decay over time by shooting off
> articles at a fixed rate, transmuting the material into a more stable
> ubstance. For instance, half the mass of carbon-14, an unstable isotope of
> arbon, will decay into nitrogen-14 over a period of 5,730 years. The unswerving
> egularity of this decay allows scientists to determine the age of extremely old
> rganic materialsâ"such as remains of Paleolithic campfiresâ"with a fair degree of
> recision. The decay of uranium-238, which has a half-life of nearly 4.5 billion
> ears, enabled geologists to determine the age of the Earth.
> Many scientists, including Marie and Pierre Curie, Ernest Rutherford and George
> e Hevesy, have attempted to influence the rate of radioactive decay by
> adically changing the pressure, temperature, magnetic field, acceleration, or
> adiation environment of the source. No experiment to date has detected any
> hange in rates of decay.
> Recently, however, researchers at Purdue University observed a small (a fraction
> f a percent), transitory deviation in radioactive decay at the time of a huge
> olar flare. Data from laboratories in New York and Germany also have shown
> imilarly tiny deviations over the course of a year. This has led some to
> uggest that Earth's distance from the sun, which varies during the year and
> ffects the planet's exposure to solar neutrinos, might be related to these
> Researchers from NIST and Purdue tested this by comparing radioactive gold-198
> n two shapes, spheres and thin foils, with the same mass and activity. Gold-198
> eleases neutrinos as it decays. The team reasoned that if neutrinos are
> ffecting the decay rate, the atoms in the spheres should decay more slowly than
> he atoms in the foil because the neutrinos emitted by the atoms in the spheres
> ould have a greater chance of interacting with their neighboring atoms. The
> aximum neutrino flux in the sample in their experiments was several times
> reater than the flux of neutrinos from the sun. The researchers followed the
> amma-ray emission rate of each source for several weeks and found no difference
> etween the decay rate of the spheres and the corresponding foils.
> According to NIST scientist emeritus Richard Lindstrom, the variations observed
> n other experiments may have been due to environmental conditions interfering
> ith the instruments themselves.
> "There are always more unknowns in your measurements than you can think of,"
> indstrom says.
> * R.M. Lindstrom, E. Fischbach, J.B. Buncher, G.L. Greene, J.H. Jenkins, D.E.
> rause, J.J. Mattes and A. Yue. Study of the dependence of 198Au half-life on
> ource geometry. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A:
> ccelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment.