Now, The thing that I find very curious is Cyberia's apparent indignation towards my questions.
I felt the post (below) was snarky and directed at me, so I threw it back at you.
Thanks for just throwing a link at me. It says "high degree of precision" which tells me that there is some wiggle room. Whoever submitted this article to wikipedia didn't even bother to offer a citation to back up his assertion. For all I know you could be the articles author.
This article only helps support my incredulousness. Was this your intent?
So lets make peace and I'll try to teach you, if you're willing to learn.
NO SEASONAL VARIATION HAS BEEN CONFIRMED.
A few teams reported such an effect, with a very small magnitude. The after those reports, two other teams specifically tested the claims of the first teams and found NO SEASONAL VARIATION AT ALL, and the second teams achieved substantially higher precision than ever before. The Oklo Reactor team can measure decay rates (and also alpha, the fine structure constant) back two billion years(!) and found no indication of a changing decay rate or a change in alpha. This also puts constraints on the amount of variation that is possible.
So there is no confirmed variation, and as such there is no need to look for a cause (of nothing)
Scientists are somewhat incredulous of such a seasonal effect, (like they were incredulous about the faster-than-light neutrinos) NOT because it violated their "worldview" but because it would mean than RETROACTIVELY experiments we have already performed and verified would be "wrong", and because from everything we know about physics, THE CLAIMED EFFECT CANNOT HAPPEN.
So, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
The "seasonal-variation teams" did not provide such evidence, it didn't prove to be repeatable, nor did they suggest any mechanism for HOW such an effect could happen. AT BEST they found correlation, not causation.
We can, and do, measure everything "to high precision" that comes out of the sun: visible, infrared, ultraviolet, gamma rays, neutrinos, x-rays, radio, solar wind, magnetic flux, etc. Only Gamma rays, x-ray and neutrinos could POSSIBLY fission an atom.
Remember there isn't that much radioactive material on Earth, so it has a low cross-section compared to the planet. If the Gamma or X-ray flux was so high that it produced this effect in radioactive material, it would be TOTALLY wrecking havoc on the surface
. We can measure their flux directly, we could see by-products of the collisions all around us, and we would be dying! This is not happening.
Neutrinos are a possibility, but they barely interact with matter, so an increase sufficient to cause this effect would mean A LOTTTTTTTT of extra neutrinos were coming from the sun. This would dramatically affect internal processes in the sun, and it probably isn't happening. We also have neutrino observatories and they don't report huge seasonal spikes.
Even if we did detect an variation...so what? Wouldn't that tend it average out with the seasons? For example: It goes up in March and down in October. So its sorta moot. But ok, lets say we detected it, and can measure it, we just figure it into the decay rates and although it changes they dates we thought were accurate, we have HIGHER confidence that the new value to correct. So the Earth is 99.5% (or 99.9%) as old as we though it was. Shrug.
There is a possibility something was detected, and of course one must leave the door open for new discoveries, but we must remain skeptical of claims that would dramatically wreck knowledge that has already been tested and confirmed. The team that found this MUST be doing something wrong, in their equipment or in their procedure. In other words, to overturn scientific consensus, you must convince that same scientific body BEYOND ANY DOUBT that you aren't making a mistake, that your effect is real.....and they haven't even come close to this.
Feel free to ask questions.