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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 2, general discussion of Dembski's site< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2008,17:54   

Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 07 2008,15:31)
Is that with any particular radioisotope, or particular decay modes, or what? Is it proportional to Earth-sun distance? (If so, the variation wouldn't matter much to age of Earth, since Earth can't have gotten much closer or further from the sun without drastic climate change.)


Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance

While the mechanism responsible for this phenomenon is unknown, theories involving variations in fundamental constants could give rise to such effects. These results are also consistent with the correlation between nuclear decay rates and solar activity suggested by Jenkins and Fischbach [18] if the latter effect is interpreted as possibly arising from a change in the solar neutrino flux. These conclusions can be tested in a number of ways. In addition to repeating long-term decay measurements on Earth, measurements on radioactive samples carried aboard spacecraft to other planets would be very useful since the sample-Sun distance would then vary over a much wider range. The neutrino flux hypothesis might also be tested using samples placed in the neutrino flux produced by nuclear reactors.

I guess they didn't mention GODDIDIT because they didn't want to state the obvious.

There has subsequently been an attempt to determine if this is effect can be detected in RTG outputs of deep space craft, but no evidence was found. On the other hand, an RTG that you can only monitor by telemetry over millions of km is a fairly blunt instrument. On the third hand, these spacecraft change their distance from the sun by vastly greater amounts than the earth does.

See also this blog post:

So yes, an interesting bit of science. Evidence for creationism ? Not so much. Assuming the effect is real and the mechanism is discovered, it could cause problems for existing models (ages based on decay rates), but DaveScot makes the classic creo mistake of assuming problems with current theory would be support for his.

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