Thursday, October 8, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part II

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “It seems to me you are trying to cloud the issue of tree-ring dating by claiming trees grow more than one ring per year. But everyone knows that trees grow only one ring per year and that is how they are dated” Carol O.
Left: (Yellow Arrow) Area of Cross Section shown magnified to the Right: (Red Arrows) Annual Ring; (Blue Arrow) Early wood-larger spring cells; (Green Arrow) Late wood-smaller summer cells
    Response: According to dendrochronologists, sometimes dark-wood is produced which does not have a distinct outer boundary, but a fuzzy one, like the inner boundary. Under the microscope it can be seen that the cells of dark-wood do not end abruptly but gradually start getting bigger again. This is usually interpreted as the tree, for some reason, slowing down its growth during the growing season, but then picking up its growth again before beginning the final slow down that occurs at the end of a season. The entire growth band for that year would then include a ‘false’ band of dark-wood (such dark bands are designated as ‘false’ because they did not occur at the end of the growing season as ‘true’ dark bands should). If not detected, false bands would lead one to believe that two rings were present, representing two years, rather than one year’s worth of growth with a ‘false’ dark band in the midst of that year’s light-wood. So it was assumed that ‘false’ rings (and thereby multiplicity) could be easily detected because the outer edge of the dark-wood would be less distinct than the outer edge of normal annual rings.
Left: Easy to count these rings; Right: Can you tell which are real and which are “false” rings?
    Later, however, W. S. Glock et al. (Smithsonian Collections, 1960), demonstrated that in dry climates, not only are ‘false’ rings common in many species, but the bands of ‘false’ dark-wood can have outer boundaries that are every bit as distinct as the outer boundaries of a true annual ring. Therefore, ‘false rings’ can be indistinguishable from ‘true’ annual rings; ‘ … the growth layers resulting from intra-annual flushes (of growth) may, and commonly do, possess outer borders indistinguishable from the borders terminating the annual increment.”
    LaMarche and Harlan see four lines of evidence as supporting the annularity of rings in Bristlecone Pines (Journal of Geophysical Research 78(36), 1973, pp8849–8858). The first is that the dark-wood bands in Bristlecone Pines do not have diffuse outer boundaries, implying that none of the rings are ‘false rings.’ Glock also showed that at least some species can have ‘false rings’ that are indistinguishable from the annual rings. It may well be that White Mountain Bristlecone Pines have false rings which are indistinguishable from annual rings. It is also often the case that extremely thin rings have inner and outer boundaries, which are virtually identical.
    By the way, there are only three false rings in the two images above: two in the top and one in the bottom, for a combined 13 real annual rings, not the 16 (or 18) that appear. How did you do?
Photo of thin-ring dark-wood with diffuse inner and outer boundary. It is difficult to tell which is the inner, and which is the outer boundary (they are virtually identical). The frame is about 0.1 mm wide
    Additionally, Glock found that some of these rings were only one cell thick. Others have interpreted this as being multiple rings in a single season. As an example:
Three dark-wood bands tied together. B continues to the right of A with the black vertical line at approximately the same location. If traced to the left, the dark-wood band in A indicated by the white arrow merges completely with the dark-wood band above it. Likewise, the same dark-wood band in B (also indicated by the white arrow) if followed to the right blends in completely with the dark-wood band below it, giving the strong indication that all three dark-bands were grown during the same growing season. The total length of A and B together is about 2 cm
    Comment #2: “How do you come up with the date of 2344 B.C. for Noah’s Flood? It is my understanding that Irish Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656) did serious work in Genesis chapters 5 and 11 to compile genealogical chronologies that were widely accepted in his day. Scientists such as Isaac Newton believed in Ussher's work, which was even published for years in the margins of the King James Version of the Bible, starting in 1701. Ussher placed the date of Noah's flood at 2350 B.C. and creation at 4004 B.C. Other Biblical scholars have researched dates for the flood ranging from 3398 B.C. to 2348 B.C. and creation between 3760 B.C. and 5555 B.C.” Brett B.
     Response: For clarification, the numbers we use for simplicity of the Bible dates is 4000 B.C. when Adam left the Garden of Eden (his mortal life began), and from that, using Moses dating of the Patriarchs, arriving at 2344 B.C. when the Flood began and 2343 when the Flood ended. The 4000 B.C. date is much like the 600 B.C. date we use when Lehi left Jerusalem when, in reality, he left during the commencement of the first year of Zedekiah’s reign (1 Nephi 1:4), which began in 597 B.C. according to Jewish dating of their events, which shows that the Babylonians in 597 B.C. under King Nebuchadrezzar besieged and captured Jerusalem, deported Jehoiachin to Babylon and made Mattaniah regent under the name Zedekiah.
    Comment #3: “ In your series about the dating of tree rings, how certain are you that trees grow more than one ring a year? I was taught even in grade school, that all trees grow just one ring a year. Does this mean the Bible ages are correct now?” Claire P.
    Response: As we’ve pointed out in that series and in other writings, many years ago, in the infancy of dendrochronology, certain assumptions were made from the type of research that such disciplines were capable of achieving. However, today with the powerful microscopes available, and greater knowledge achievable, there is no question that we are finding more and more examples of multiple rings per year—as much as five in a single year in some cases.
Thus, in earlier years (and even today in far too many cases) people refer to the great ages achieved through tree-ring dating of Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains of California, claiming as much as eight or nine thousand years—this became famous in scientific circles through the work of Dr. Edmund Schulman (1908-1958) of the University of Arizona, whose dendrochronological studies spanned almost thirty years, of which the last five were spent mostly in the White Mountains (his work was carried on after his death by Dr. H.C. Fritts and Dr. Charles W. Ferguson). However, upon later and much closer scrutiny today there is strong evidence that multiplicity of ring formation is common under the environmental conditions where the trees grow that are used in the master chronology. Thus the assumptions behind the great ages are not correct.
    The number of growth rings produced by Bristlecone Pines seems to be more a function of the soil water status of the area in which the they grow: the drier the environment, the more rings are produced. Multiplicity of growth rings and the strip growth habit are possibly physiological mechanisms for conserving water in dry conditions. Past studies that have sought to prove annularity in Bristlecone Pines have not used a correct methodology or time frame, and more suitable experimental methods have been proposed. In investigating direct evidence for multiplicity, the effect of environmental conditions needs to be accounted for—once again, uniformitarian assumptions about the constancy of rates in the past are shown to be too simplistic. The Bristlecone Pine research may well verify biblical dates, since the far shorter time frames of the trees, such as those indicated in the Bible can accommodate this new and more correct data.

No comments:

Post a Comment