Dave’s final debate post:

Author: afdave1 [ Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:42 am ]
Post subject: Re: Formal Debate: Dendrochronology and C14?


This is what it looks like, folks …

and I only say “very likely” because PROVING this is very difficult and time consuming. I would like to reiterate what I said in my previous post …

I am still very interested in this “debate.” It’s really not a normal debate to me. I really intended it to be a challenge for someone to demonstrate that Dendrochronology is not circular. To do this, I envisioned someone …

1) Taking me back to the beginnings of the science of Dendro and explaining how the first master sequences were made, what assumptions were made and why
2) Walking me through some of the tree ring data for this original master sequence and explaining how matches are made
3) Present a convincing case as to why tree samples used in this original sequence purported to be 7000 years old or so (contrary to the YEC view) ACTUALLY ARE that old because they do not match to any sequences that we know are LESS THAN 5000 years old (the approximate YEC date for the Flood) and they DO fit the 7000 year old range best.
4) Present a convincing case that the C14 dating procedure of the supposedly >5000 year old samples is sound and contains no holes.

You see … the fact is that the oldest LIVING samples of these trees (Bristlecone pines) are about 4700 years old, just about the age we would expect if they began to grow right after the Flood. So it is highly suspect to me to propose that the dead trees used in Ferguson’s original Master Sequence would be older than that. My suspicion is that certain parts of these dead trees (maybe the inner portion) returned C14 dates in the >5000 year old range, but this does not represent the real age because of the massive C14 ratio upset that would have inevitable taken place during the Flood. Thus having these C14 dates for samples >5000 years old, the investigators apparently felt justified in assuming that they were really that old and thus they looked for tree ring matches in that range and not in the range of <5000 year old trees. As has been pointed out elsewhere (click HERE and search the page for “Kuniholm”), tree rings often have several different match points.

Now BWE has done some of this work and for that I am grateful. He was the one who first pointed me to the original work of C.W. Ferguson, and he has also pointed me to the original Ferguson tree ring data (available for free online) and he pointed me to some nice software that can be used to analyze the rings and look for matches. I keep hoping he will himself use that software and demonstrate the items above, but that’s a lot of work … even for an expert like BWE. I have not yet attempted it myself, but I would like to and have intended to do so.

So … DEMONSTRATING that the original Ferguson Master Chronology is sound was to me the real crux of this debate and BWE has not yet done this.

Again, to do this, BWE needs to …

1) Demonstrate that the C14 dating of the dead wood samples in Methuselah Walk is not arbitrary and based upon good assumptions
2) Demonstrate that the ring matching used to extend the chronology beyond 4700 YBP is THE ONLY match and that the rings WILL NOT match in younger time ranges.

There have been times during this debate when I have desired to do BWE’s work for him, but it is a lot of work and the more I think about it, the more I think that BWE should be the one to do it. He makes the claim that the Ferguson Chronology is sound. Let him DEMONSTRATE that it is sound.

That being said, I doubt he or anyone else will. Also, I think the mods here at RD.net are tired of this debate and want to finish it. So I doubt I will be making any more posts in this debate. But my interest remains in this topic and I hope that a) someone at IIDB will take up my challenge here, or b) that I will eventually get around to using the tree ring software myself (that BWE so kindly referred me to).

Any further action on this topic by me will occur at IIDB … that’s Internet Infidels found here … http://www.iidb.org/vbb/index.php

I can usually be found discussing various topics with people in the Evolution/Creation Forum and/or the Biblical Criticism & History Forum. I like both of those forums and I like IIDB’s software and moderation a lot. There are many credentialed scientists there who enjoy sparring with creationists like me. You may also search my blog to find what I have written on this and other topics (see link below in my sig). I read the leading science journals, Nature and Science regularly as well as many scientific papers which relate to Origins and I normally write at least one new blog post per week as a result of my study and discussions at IIDB. I welcome your comments either at my blog or in the discussion threads at IIDB. I also am working very hard at http://www.kids4truth.com to create more Dynamations like “The Watchmaker” (my first creation) so that kids all over the world will get the truth about science, the Bible and many other topics.

Thanks, BWE, for your efforts so far in this debate. You are wrong about creationists and I think you are wrong about the Ferguson Chronology being sound, but that’s OK. I like you anyway and I’ll see you around the internet, OK?


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