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The public in large measure only responds to proclamations that "this changes everything." If new information isn't presented as game-changing most folks hardly turn over in their sleep. Popular level science writers thus hype the implications.
Science is the most powerful knowledge building tool on a human level, but goes awry when we lose understanding of the limits of that knowledge. Thomas Huxley lectured that scientists should not count certain anything that is not both demonstrated and demonstrable. My 7th grade science teacher taught that a phenomenon could only qualify as science fact if it is repeatably observable by multiple qualified (trained) observers. Unobserved, unique, undemonstrable events of pre-history should be excluded by those rules from fact-of-science status. Yet both those gentlemen and many others push evolution through many hundreds of millions of years as science fact.
When Thomas Jefferson consulted John Adams on the curriculum for a university Jefferson was looking to start, Adams warned that study of origins should not be included in science courses, as they are about unobservable events. He admitted, though, that humans are too anxious to reach conclusions on origins to totally exclude the subject.
The truth is that while demonstrable principles can be interpreted to indicate one or another hypothesis is more likely, what seems to be constant for years of research may have been much different before the researchers existed. The facts of reality are a vastly greater realm than the facts of science. The great majority of reality is true without the official endorsement of science. Anyone wanting to speak scientifically (creationists too) should speak very modestly, making as few absolute claims as possible.
How can one properly get at the realities of prehistory? Creationists feel they have in the Bible testimony regarding the earliest times from someone who was there. People rejecting the historicity of the Bible, or portions thereof, can understandably choose not to rely on it for guidance. Advances are made in archeology by those taking ancient writings seriously. Creationists just take the Bible seriously, reason implications of the Bible's testimony, and devise tests to see how reality might compare to their interpretation of the Bible.
This approach has led to the discovery that pretty much any natural source of carbon has radiocarbon in it which would imply it is less than 50,000 years old, even when other means identified it as many millions of years old.
The high amount of uranium decay products in many igneous rocks like granite was problematic to creationists, since the Bible's testimony seems not to include enough time since the time of creation. An investigation of granites collected by the US Geological Survey showed that, although the granite was officially rated at around a billion years old, the helium which is produced in uranium decay was almost all still in the crystals containing the uranium. So much so, that at the rate the helium is now escaping, the helium must have been generated within the last ten thousand years.
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