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Science and the Bible pt 5

We continue this article with the intent of discovering what is said on the issue of Science, the Bible, and Pre-Adamite civilization:

Tree Rings from the Past
Scientists have tried to solve their dating problems by submitting C-14 to the TREE RING dating method for verification. This, in itself, was a tacit admission that all the attempts to verify their BASIC assumptions of the C-14 method were inconclusive at best!

Many geophysicists, like Richard Lingenfelter, were now falling back on tree ring dating methods to TEST the viability of radiocarbon dating. In Lingenfelter's own words, "Because of the UNCERTAINTIES in the calculation of both the production rate and decay rate of C-14 we find that the BEST DETERMINATION of the ratio of these two rates is obtained from the C-14 variations determined from dendrochronology [tree ring dating]" (Richard E. Lingenfelter and R. Ramaty, Astrophysical and Geophysical Variations in C-14 Production, Maryland: Goddard Space Flight Center Publication, July 1969, p. 29).

With the development of tree-ring dating sequences, one way, it was thought, in which the validity of radiocarbon dates could be tested was against the separately developed tree-ring chronologies of oaks from Germany and Ireland -- and the bristlecone pines from California. The outcome was that these comparisons revealed that before about 500 B.C. C-14 dates are TOO YOUNG. Peter James notes that "the 'calibration' required to convert Carbon-14 results into calendar years rises to OVER A MILLENNIUM for the Neolithic of Europe" (Centuries of Darkness, p. 325).

The trouble is, calibration is not a simple matter -- the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere FLUCTUATED tremendously in the past, falling at times and then rising again significantly within a SINGLE CENTURY. According to Peter James "the calibration curve produced by comparing radiocarbon dates to the tree-ring chronology, rather than being a smooth progression, is full of SHORT-TERM WIGGLES. At certain points a radiocarbon result can be calibrated to several alternative calendar dates, without any way of being sure which is the correct choice."
There is a complex period of time known to the chronologists as the "1st-millennium B.C. radiocarbon DISASTER"! It appears that between 400 and 800 B.C. the calibration curve is essentially FLAT, with ALL the calendar dates within that range equating to a C-14 date of around 500 B.C.! Michael Baille, who developed the Irish oak dendrochronology, came to the conclusion "that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sensibly resolve the radiocarbon dates of ANY samples whose true ages lie between 400 and 800 B.C. This is a CATASTROPHE for Late Bronze Age/Iron Age archaeology although one which has been predicted for some time" ("Some Observations on the High-Precision Calibration of Routine Dates," Archaeology, Dendrochronology and the Radiocarbon Calibration Curve. University of Edinburgh Dept. of Arch. Occas. Paper 9, 51-63).

But, my friends, how ACCURATE is tree ring dating?
Tree ring analysis was proposed in 1837 by Charles Babbage, although the beginnings go all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci. Evidently da Vinci was the first to note that the yearly growth of trees in spring-time produces an apparent sequence of annual tree-rings in the wood.

The real investigator of tree-ring dating, however, is Dr. Andrew Ellicott Douglass, physicist and astronomer, formerly director of the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. In 1929 he wrote that by reading the story told by tree rings, the horizons of history in the United States had been pushed back nearly eight centuries before Columbus, establishing an accurate chronology for the south-western United States.

Dr. Douglass died some time ago. Through his intensive investigations of tree rings he claimed that trees add a new ring EACH YEAR, and counting the rings can tell you the age of the tree. But he discovered that all rings are not of equal thickness -- some are narrow, some wide, and often a series of narrow rings or broad rings would occur. Douglass reflected that the fat rings represented "fat years" and the lean rings "lean years" -- or moist and dry years, respectively.

Most people believe that trees produce ONE ring each year. Is this true? Does one tree ring ALWAYS represent one year? Not necessarily so! It is common knowledge in botanical circles that some trees produce "false rings."

In the book Botany, the authors make the following assertion: "The occurrence of FALSE growth rings may cause the age of the tree to be OVERESTIMATED. Such rings are produced by a temporary slowing of growth during the growing season" (Carl L. Wilson, et al. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1966, p. 130).
In another book entitled Botany, author Wilfred W. Robbins states that other phenomena causing false rings could be defoliation by insects, drought, and variation in rainfall (New York: John Wiley, 2nd edition, 1959, pp. 110-111).

Amazingly, Libby challenged the ring-per-year theory himself. "Recently, it has been reported that some trees add MORE THAN ONE ring per year, and thus a question has been raised about the accuracy of tree ring dates.
"This finding indicates that rings sometimes have been INCORRECTLY correlated with years, TOO GREAT AN AGE having been assigned from tree rings" (Willard F. Libby, "Accuracy of Radiocarbon Dates," Science, Vol. 140, No. 3564, April 19, 1963, p. 270).
Libby's statement was not based on thin air! He was familiar with the work done in the state of Texas by W.S. Glock -- which revealed that SPECIAL conditions are required for trees to put on only one ring per year consistently.
W.S. Glock and S.R. Agerter put their findings in writing in the journal Endeavor:
"It has long been supported that tree rings are formed annually and so can be used to date trees. The studies of tree ring formation...have shown that this is NOT always so, as MORE than one ring may be formed in one year.
"Two growth layers, one THICK, the other THIN and lenticular, proved to be more common than one growth layer in this particular increment [that was studied]. THREE growth layers, in fact, were NOT unusual. A maximum of FIVE growth layers was discovered in the trunks and branches of two trees.
"It must be pointed out that these intraannuals were as distinctly and as sharply defined on the outer margin as any SINGLE annual increment" ("Anomalous Patterns in Tree Rings." Jan. 1963, Vol. 22, pp. 9, 13).
The researchers concluded that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to know which rings were put on in what year -- except for effects of frosts in various years visible in the trees.

Douglass tried to push his research back further and further into the past, collecting cores and samples of wood from ancient trees used in old pueblos and Indian villages. He believed that he could "cross-date" or "overlap" the tree rings of different trees of different ages, and gradually push the new chronometer back to before the birth of the Messiah.

Since that time, new advances have been made, using the redwoods and giant sequoias of California, and the bristlecone pines, which are up to 4,500 years old -- the oldest living organisms in the world.

By cross checking bristlecone pine dates with radiocarbon dates, the reliability of the method was thought to be verified. Using dead wood, C.W. Ferguson of the University of Arizona has obtained an "unquestionably accurate back-dating to the year 5,200 B.C." (C.W. Ceram, The First American, New York: Harcourt Bace, Inc., 1971, p. 134).

Tree ring experts (Dendrochronologists) claim that the BRISTLECONE PINE puts on only ONE ring per year. In their researches, so they say, they found no false or additional rings per year.

They said: "These results are in contrast to the findings...where branches from a wide variety of Texas-grown trees reveal multiple growth layers attributed to varying temperatures and soil moisture" (Harold C. Fritts, Bristlecone Pine in the White Mountains of California, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969, p. 32).

According to the author, the above results were on young branches of LOW-ELEVATION trees. These, the dendrochronologists admitted, might grow rings SEVERAL times a year during a long frost-free season.

But, according to Harold C. Fritts, this multiplicity of tree rings in young, low-elevation trees "led Libby [in 1963] to improperly infer that discrepancies between tree-ring and radiocarbon dates in HIGH-ELEVATION bristlecone pine may be attributed to frequent double rings. All studies that have been conducted in the White Mountains indicate that distinct double rings rarely occur" (Ibid., p. 32).

So what caused the discrepancies?
Once again, the present had to be used as a key to the past. Let us suppose the White Mountain region was a LOW-LEVEL area for a long period of time in the past and, then, was dramatically RAISED UP during a period of mountain building? Is it also possible the climate of the White Mountain area was similar to the climate of Texas at this time? How can one know? How do we know it WAS THE SAME as it is today?

But that's not all.
Very few people know that NO LIVING TREES older than about 4,900 years have ever been found. The more lengthy chronologies of 8,200 tree ring years (touted by dendrochronologists) are built up from DEAD tree stumps that are pieced together in a very delicate manner. When did these stumps die? How long have they been sitting there dead?

According to the "experts" trees growing in the same area at the same time will produce similar successions of ring widths. "Thus if a newly felled tree some 200-300 years in age is examined, the rings from its EARLY LIFE can be matched with their counterparts in the LATER RINGS of a tree long since dead. The rings in this older tree can then be matched with those from even older ones, and so on, extending the sequence back in time as far as possible" (Peter Jones, Centuries of Darkness. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1991. Appendix I, p. 321).

There are a number of problems with this. When this method of dating is used, allowance has to be made for the growing time represented by the sapwood (the soft outer part of the tree that has not yet developed into proper rings) on the timber.

Another difficulty lies in the fact that trees of different species VARY GREATLY in their sensitivity to the weather, so that "effective sequences have to be built up using a SINGLE SPECIES" (Ibid.). Even trees of the same species from the same locality will react DIFFERENTLY to growing conditions -- the absolute widths of the rings they form in a given year will not be the same. We have already seen that some species (especially in lower elevations) can form MORE THAN ONE ring per year!

There are further difficulties when dendrochronology is applied to certain areas of the world. In some countries, such as Egypt, trees are so scarce that local tree-ring dating could NEVER be built up. Further more, in large parts of the world LONG SEQUENCES are still being developed. Douglass' attempts to push dendrochronology back to before the birth of Christ are highly suspect and, in the Eastern Mediterranean, juniper succession so far stretches back ONLY to 1073 A.D. Even when a sequence does exist, "its application to archaeological dating can still be difficult, since there is a real LACK of archaeologically significant timbers. Most excavations produce NO wooden objects, because they have simply rotted away. Only at those sites in very dry or very wet conditions will wood survive" (Ibid., p. 322). When one or two pieces of wood from a site are proven to be datable, they may have been REUSED from older buildings, but this may not always be apparent to the archaeologists present.

Dendrochronology, therefore, was forced to extrapolate -- just as radiocarbon was. Tree rings may also need correcting if conditions were different in prehistoric times.

Puzzling Age Limit?
There are no LIVING 50,000-year-old trees. None at 25,000. None at 10,000. None at 8,200.
Not only that, but the oldest known trees -- the bristlecone pines -- present an enigma to uniformitarian, noncatastrophic thinking evolutionists.

Speaking of these remarkable trees, dendrochronologist Edmund Schulman noted: "Microscopic study of growth rings reveals that a bristlecone pine tree found last summer at nearly 10,000 feet began growing more than 4,600 years ago...Many of its neighbors are nearly as old; we have now dated 17 bristlecone pines 4,000 years old or more" (Edmund Schulman, "Bristlecone Pine, Oldest Living Things," National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 113, No. 3, March 1958).

Years before Dr. Schulman had been puzzled by the SAME APPROXIMATE AGE LIMIT to the giant sequoia trees that he had been studying. It was even more puzzling when he considered that these magnificent trees enjoy near-perpetual life in the absence of catastrophic destruction. They also appear to be immune to insect attack.
With this in mind, Dr. Schulman asked the obvious question as early as 1934:
"Pertinent also is the well-known fact that standing snags of this species, other than those resulting from factors of gross destruction, are unknown. Does this mean that shortly preceding 3,275 years ago [or 4,000 years ago if John Muir's count was correct] ALL the then-living giant sequoias were WIPED OUT BY SOME CATASTROPHE?" (Edmund Schulman, "Longevity Under Adversity in Conifers," Science, Vol. 119, March 26, 1934, p. 399).
Did you catch that?
Why is it that these still-living trees seem to be the ORIGINAL trees that grew in the present stands?

It CANNOT be disputed that some series of cataclysmic occurrences eradicated numerous forms of mammal life on the earth. Did a great cataclysmic event occur just beyond the historical era -- around 4,300 years ago? Were the trees killed during this cataclysm? And, did the effects from a catastrophe or series of catastrophes gravely DISTORT dates from the prehistoric period? Were conditions so DIFFERENT in the pre-historic period that radiocarbon and tree ring dating are gravely affected? The evolutionists cannot adequately answer these questions.

Potassium-Argon Dating
A simple method of dating that appears to be essentially reliable is that of potassium-argon -- discovered in 1948. Potassium is the lightest element possessing a naturally occurring radioactive isotope, K-40, with a half life of 1,280 million years. K-40 transmutes to either calcium 40 or argon 40, a gas, about one atom of K-40 in seven becoming argon.

By measuring the amount of potassium and argon in a lava or rock specimen, the specimen can be accurately dated with very refined techniques. The method is based on two assumptions: that no argon was trapped within the specimen at the time of its formation; and that no potassium or argon was added or subtracted by external processes during the lifetime of the mineral (Stokes, Essence of Earth History, page 23).

Potassium, a common mineral found in sedimentary and igneous rocks, offers great promise of dating many formations, and should therefore be a useful tool for the scientists.

The potassium-argon dating method helps fill the gap between uranium dating and the more accurate time frames of carbon 14 dating. It is useful for geological strata older than 40,000 years. Theoretically, it helps us establish the age of those NEAR-HUMAN CREATURES which existed and roamed various parts of the earth during the Pleistocene age and before. This dating method has been crucial in establishing the dates of the Australopithecines, HOMO ERECTUS, HOMO HABILIS and similar creatures dating from several hundred thousand years to a few million years in antiquity.

Use of this clock dated the Fort Ternan fossils found by Louis Leaky at about 14 million years, give or take a few hundred thousand years. Similarly the technique was useful in dating volcanic minerals at Olduvai, and the deposits containing the 1959 skull of Zinjanthropus turned out to be 1,750,000 years old, twice as old as had been estimated on the basis of geological studies.

The basis for these dates, by and large, appears to be irrefutable. Certainly, we must not reject out of hand, without due reason, these and many other established dates. The scientific evidence is substantial. In order to reconcile these findings with the biblical record of creation, we conclude that these creatures -- Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Swanscombe man -- WERE ALL PRE-ADAMIC CREATURES.
Meanwhile, another useful dating technique has come into vogue.

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