BWE’s 5th Post

Author: BWE_the real_one. [ Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:02 pm ]
Post subject:

“I’m stubbornly committed to the DATA … not majorities … not authorities … not public opinion. DATA.”

Dave, you have provided no refutation of my first post which pointed out that the process is not circular because, in terms of 14C calibration, it is cross calibrated with many other phenomena. Fairbanks has that side of it covered. All the data converge on the same point.

afdave1 wrote:
Finally … I’ve been given a link which really explains dendrochronology very well. Thank you BWE.
They even have nifty little Java applets that let you play around with plotting.

er… you’re welcome. You should try Pac Man. It’s got a nifty litlle guy that you move around a digital maze. ???

Dave, your hubris is unfounded, unbounded and ungrounded.

But let’s go ahead and add one more creationist to the list.


The entire [master] chronology is the work of one laboratory, the director of which [Ferguson] has refused to allow critical study of the raw data.

–Biochemist Herbert W. Sorenson, Ph.D (See below)

Well, note the underlined parts:

seuss link

Sorenson is wrong QED 🙂

[AFDave wrote]

Answers to questions 5, 6, 7.
5.No. Why? I would use databases to check my own samples against because all that work has already been done. You can find important data here.

6.I don’t know. Why? Do you know an expert who needs to examine them? You could call the Laboratory of Tree ring Research at the University of Arizona and I’m sure they could help you out.
Main Office: 105 West Stadium
Tucson, AZ 85721-0058 USA
phone: +1 520 621 1608
fax: +1 520 621 8229.

[Snip explanation about sensitivity]


Now why do I say this is the bad news? Well because BWE answers “NO” to Questions 5, 6 and 7, yet he trust the experts implicitly. Now I thought scientists were supposed to DIS-trust everything and question everything and try to prove everything wrong. That’s what numerous people here have told me anyway. So BWE … why have you not asked to see these samples? Why has not SOMEONE asked to see these samples? [It turns out they have … see below] Why are these samples not available for other scientists to examine? Isn’t that a little bit “close to the vest”? What are they hiding?

Well, I suppose for the hard of reading I will have to go back and point out that there is a link in my answer number one. One of the links from that page is this one. I forget sometimes how shockingly stupid you will be so I must apologize for not being more specific. That last link is a list of databases of tree ring sequences raw data from around the world. One of those links takes you to this page where Ferguson’s data can be downloaded. Saves the time and expense of going to Arizona and recreating the data. Of course, if you really needed to see them, you could do what I suggested in answer #6 and call them. I did. The receptionist pointed me to This page and explained that people come to see the sequences all the time. She also directed me how to go about applying for use of the samples. Surprise, they want to know what my research would be. I just added that last bit for fun. I already wrecked your claim above but I just wanted to make sure that you have enough information that stupidity is your only refuge. My answer to question 7 seems relevant. Do you have a specific objection?

Herbert C. Sorensen, Ph.D., who is [was at that time] a biochemist and president of Columbia Laboratories in Corbett, Oregon. He is also a Research Fellow of the Geoscience Research Institute in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

I’m sure many of you will tune him out now that you know he’s from GRISDA, but nonetheless, I’ll tell you what he says anyway …

Herbert C. Sorensen, “Bristlecone Pines and Tree-Ring Dating: A Critique,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 13, June 1976, p. 5.

Validity of cross matching signatures has been well established in specific applications. It has not been established in the bristlecone pine chronology. Major difficulties of the bristlecone pine chronology will be discussed in order
of significance:

1. Cross matching is subjective and largely depends on visual inspection and comparison; with statistical analysis after a cross match has been identified. The whole thing depends on the judgement of a highly skilled, trained but fallible investigator.

[1-a]The magnitude of this problem can be assessed by considering the difficulty of matching a specimen with several hundred rings against a composite of several thousand rings. So great is the difficulty in finding cross matches that the wood is first radiocarbon dated to determine its approximate location in the chronology.5

I have these facts in writing from the original investigators who cite the bristlecone pines dates as being in excellent agreement with radiocarbon dates.6,7 Of course they agree. Since the bristlecone pine dates are at least partially determined by radiocarbon dates it is essentially a case of
circular reasoning.

A colleague and I, under the auspices of the Geoscience Research Institute, have attempted to circumvent the subjectiveness of cross dating by developing a method for systematically searching for cross matches by computer. Our results have been encouraging and have shown the feasibility of eliminating the subjective element.

It is fortunate that dendrochronologists are highly trained, isn’t it? 1-a is misleading and knowingly false. Skeleton matching is statistical and computers find the matches. If something doesn’t fit, 14c dating, among other things may be used to determine an appropriate fit but that piece does not get into the master sequence at that point. A master sequence sample must exhibit high sensitivity and a perfect cross-match to be included in the master sequence.

2. The rings width patterns in the bristlecone pines are not sufficiently distinctive. The rings are extremely thin (as many as 100 per cm) with a high percentage missing. (See reference 4). The most distinctive rings are the thinnest and these are of course the ones most likely to be missing. If the very thin rings are removed from any specimen the result is a non-distinctive pattern termed complacent. Complacent specimens are unsuitable for cross matching.

In the case of pine alpha, one of the more famous members of the bristlecone pine chronology, if the nine missing rings are left out the result is a complacent specimen.8 In fact, nearly half of the components of the bristlecone pine chronology are insensitive and relatively complacent, even
with “missing” rings included.

Blatant lie. Refer to my original use of the ferguson 1969 quote.

3. The entire chronology is the work of one laboratory, the director of which has refused to allow critical study of the raw data. It is a fortunate scientist who finds his work of such interest to a colleague that much time and effort is spent in critical appraisal of the work. Because of the farreaching implications of the bristlecone pine chronology to radiocarbon dating, archaeology, climatology, etc., it is essential that every facet be critically appraised.

I have dedicated a substantial amount of time to such an endeavor but have been considerably hampered by the lack of available data. Refusal by the original investigators to make such data available seems inexplicable. Surely the cause of science cannot suffer by focusing opposing viewpoints on raw data.

See above.

In conclusion, the bristlecone pine chronology is flawed through lack of adequate documentation. Answers to the following five questions would substantially clarify the issue:

a. How can a chronology be constructed with a high percentage of complacent specimens?
b. How can specimens with up to 10 percent of their rings missing be cross matched under any circumstances?
c. How can this chronology be used to “calibrate” radiocarbon dating when radiocarbon dating is used in construction of the chronology?
d. If a ring is missing how can it be found, especially when a high percentage of rings are missing?
e. Why is only the final chronology published, with refusal to release the data upon which it is based?

So BWE, my friend … your a nice guy and I’m sure you are very good at what you do.

But it looks like you’ve got some hard questions to answer.

Can you answer them?

a. It can’t. It isn’t.
b. Sensitivity includes this factor. This would be a tree with higher sensitivity and thus better for crossmatching.Fortunately, large enough samples are used for master sequencing that the rings aren’t all missing (also).
c. It isn’t.
d. By knowing how.
e. release being a key word here.


****************************************ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

My 3 questions:

1. Where do you support the assertion that 14C calibration curves are built on “not-very-robust data sets”?

2. Can you point me to a single creationist science article making negative claims about dendrochronology or 14C dating that does not use dishonest science or rhetorical games intended to obfuscate?

3. How can Dendrochronology and 14C calibration be circular when Fairbanks’ curves use up to 12 independent sources for 14C calibration curves?


1) From the Ferguson paper. There are only 17 specimens and no one has been allowed to examine the raw data.
2) Yes. None of the ones I have cited use dishonesty of any kind.
3) Easily. Just as I have explained above. Yes, we must also look at the other methods, but now we are examining dendro.

Re: answer 1: wrong. see above.
Re: answer 2. If you do not specifically address my claims, you will be sad to see my final post. So far, I have demonstrated intentional obfuscation and dishonesty in all of them. Would you care to comment?
Re: answer 3: Could you please explain how this addresses the question???

My 3 questions:
1. Why do you suppose the bristlecone data was cross-correlated with varves, ice cores and a combination of 14C in Stuiver et. al.? ?
2. Do you have any actual problems with the science so I know what kind of things I should be trying to explain?
3. Since I already supported my position in my first post, and since it still stands unchallenged by you, I wonder, do you know what it is you think you might accomplish by doing this?


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