Saturday, April 11, 2015

How Far Back Can We Measure Dates? Part VIII

Continuing from the previous posts regarding radiocarbon dating techniques and how they have skewed our understanding of the past and its age, and more specifically continuing with the last few posts on the gaps found in tree-ring overlap dating and its effect on using dendrochronology to extend radiocarbon dating back to B.C. times.
Somewhere along the line, dendrochronology was assimilated into the Earth Sciences (geoscience, an all-embracing term referring to the fields of science dealing with planet Earth) where it now specializes in Lacunar Amnesia, that is in “ignoring the gaps.” As an example, mainstream historical narratives for 1st millennium Europe are usually based upon some form of splicing and dicing that, somehow, manages to fabricate a 1,000 years worth of history based upon only [about] 300 years worth of archaeological or dendrochronological evidence.
Stated differently, according to Funnar Heinshon (2014), some 700 years of the 1st millennium (230 to 930) have neither strata nor tree samples for Carbon-14 or dendrochronological dating. Along the same line, the mainstream history of Greenland is different because it includes 985 phantom years (Dr. Dathryn Denning, “The Norse in Greenland, 2007).
Illustrating the principal of cross-dating, samples are taken from very old, living, and recently dead trees—once enough cores are correlated, a chronology is formed
    In theory, the concept of this dating is based upon a principle that trees of the same species from the same geographical area have fairly similar ring patterns, because they are exposed to similar climatic conditions. By starting with living trees and then finding samples from slightly older trees used in buildings and still older trees from more ancient sites, archaeologists have been able to overlap tree-ring data to create chronologies that date back thousands of years.
    However, mainstream Chronologies face major problems whenever they mix the artistry of dendrochronology with the "science" of radiocarbon dating. These problems initially arise because numerous procedures in dendrochronology are based upon subjective human intervention: Sample selection: which trees should be sampled …These problems initially arise because numerous procedures in dendrochronology are based upon subjective human intervention that include thirteen different assumptions, including “Sample Selection,” “Missing Rings,” “Cross dating,” “Bridging,” and “Mixing.”
    From the beginning, Dendrochronology has been faced with difficulties since there has been no way to formally integrate different types of data and problems of estimation that result from:
1.  Multiple sources of observation error, which frequently result in impossible estimates of negative growth;
2. The fact that data are typically sparse (a few trees or a few years), whereas inference is needed broadly (many trees over many years);
3. The fact that some unknown fraction of the variance is shared across the population;
4. The fact that growth rates of trees within competing stands are not independent.
    These initial problems are further compounded whenever dendrochronology is used to calibrate radiocarbon dating. This is especially true when radiocarbon dating has been selectively employed to establish a tree-ring chronology that is subsequently used to calibrate radiocarbon dating. These problems are clearly evident [especially in the first millennium AD] when the Bristlecone Pine and the Irish Oak chronologies are compared.
MAD Carbon-15 Consensus—Mutually assured destruction resulting from a full-scale disclosure of the facts
    In fact, there was a concept in 1982 called the “MAD Carbon-14 Consensus,” which reads that “Mutually assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of academic strategy and policy in which a full-scale disclosure of the facts would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacking and the defending academic disciplines.
    However, an analysis of the “workshop data set” reveals that Radiocarbon Dating of the Bristlecone Pine chronology is far from a perfect fit and that the rounded consensus calibration curve is derived from a very jagged, saw tooth dataset. It should also be considered—though dendrochronologists, among others, will not consider it—that the oldest Bristlecone Pine has been dated to 5064 years (5066 years as of 2015), which is 707 years before the Flood (2344 B.C., or 4359 years ago—2344 BC plus 2014 AD=4359 years). The problem rises in knowing that “and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered; and fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail and the mountains were covered” (Genesis 7:19-20); and “every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth” (Genesis 7:4). The terms “all flesh” (Genesis 6:12,” “I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13), and “every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth” (Genesis 7:4) make it quite clear this was the entire earth, the entire planet, the entire world.
    At the time of the Flood, then, all living things and substance the Lord made was destroyed. That would include plants, trees, and all things that contained carbon (Carbon-14). There would have been no “living substance” left—whatever was not in the Ark died! This would have included Bristlecone Pines and all other “living things” that were part of the carbon-cycle and contained Carbon-14. So in 2344, all carbon-based substance died.
    No tree, Bristlecone Pine or otherwise, lived past the Flood—not tree, Bristlecone Pine or otherwise, can be dated to be older than 2344 B.C. (4359 years ago). Thus, when people start talking about linking crossover tree ring chronologies that date before 2343 B.C. (let alone the date of nearly 9000 B.C. In fact, Dendrochronology claims that as of 1995, the maximum reported fully anchored chronologies is 11,000 years before the present.” However, in 2004, even longer calibrations were determined. INTCAL04 was internationally ratified to provide calibrated dates back to 26,000 BP (before the present, meaning January 1, 1950), based on an agreed worldwide data set of trees and marine sediments, for the use of tree ring chronologies to calibrate and validate Carbon-14 derived chronologies (Richard Fairbanks, “Current Research: Radiocarbon Calibration” Columbia).
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the report from the University of Arizona 17,300 square feet dendrochronology lab in the Bryant Bannister Tree Ring Laboratory (left)  which claims to have a no-longer-living Bristlecone pine specimen from the White Mountains claimed to have 6000 rings. That would make the tree, at time of death, to have been 6000 years old, or dating back to about 4000 B.C., or about 1656 years before the Flood. Based upon the fact as stated above that all living things died at the time of the Flood, then we can assume that this specimen has at least 1656 multiple rings that are not annual rings. That is, the tree, having been begun at the earliest around 2343 B.C. could not have had more than 4358 annual rings, making the additional 1656 rings extra to the annual growth rate claimed for a tree of one ring per year.
    Yet, despite such problems, it is well understood within the dendrochronology community that “The rings in a non-living specimen can be counted to determine the number of years the specimen spans. But for the specimen to be useful in extending the tree-ring chronology, the absolute calendar age of its rings must be determined.” However, when a specimen is used that by its very claimed age to be over 1600 years in error, it is difficult to accept other dates or chronologies claimed to be accurately used in dating.
    So just how is an “absolute calendar age of rings” obtained from different trees with all the difficulties involved in cross matching tree rings?
(See the next post, “How Far Back Can We Measure Dates? Part IX,” to see how this patching and floating of tree-ring dates has uncovered a huge gap in the dating sequence of tree-ring in the Middle Ages)

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