BWE’s 2nd Post

Author: BWE_the real_one. [ Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:56 am ]
Post subject:

Dave, if I didn’t know you better, I’d think this was just the rantings of a lunatic.


Your substantiation for that statement must be in the next part but I can’t find it. What I see is one unsubstantiated claim followed by:

This may seem like an obvious statement, and indeed it would have been for most people prior to the “Great Darwinian Subversion” of academia which began in the late 19th century. [sup]1[/sup]
Actually, beginning as far back as the middle of the 18th century, skeptics began questioning everything that had been established and accepted up to that time, including historical accounts like the book of Genesis.[sup]2[/sup] A great myth (though mixed with a little truth) was invented by Jean Astruc, Julius Wellhausen and others which later became known as the “Documentary Hypothesis.” [sup]3[/sup] Bottom line with this theory was that the Pentateuch was not of Mosaic authorship after all. It was a compilation (partly true it turns out) which was written down many hundreds of years after the actual events described from oral traditions (disproved). [sup]5[/sup] This theory was based upon the notion (later discredited by archaeological finds)[sup]6[/sup] that writing was unknown by Moses and his countrymen at the time of the Exodus and for several hundreds of years following, which in turn, was inferred from speculations about human cultural evolution,[sup]7[/sup] which of course was influenced by evolutionary thinking.[sup]8[/sup]

But this theory has been discredited.[sup]9[/sup] Thanks to the massive efforts of 20th century archaeology, we now know …

1) that Moses and his countrymen DID know how to write and kept meticulous records … the skeptics were wrong[sup]10[/sup]
2) that writing was known in all nations long before Moses, i.e. all the way back to the Flood and Tower of Babel eras, c. 2750BC and 2500BC, and extending back all the way to Adam[sup]11[/sup]
3) that Genesis was probably a compilation, but not of oral tradition. Rather, it was a compilation of written records, passed down through generations and received by Moses, who compiled and edited them, then added his own accounts to form what became the Pentateuch.[sup]12[/sup]

Elsewhere I have pointed out clear statements by leading archaeologists such as Nelson Glueck and William F. Albright who spent their lives personally investigating the historicity of the Old Testament. Both of these investigators are quite clear in their contentions that the Old Testament including the Book of Genesis is highly accurate in its historical accounts.[sup]13[/sup]

I only see 13 unsupported assertions. To be fair, 12 is, though self-canceling, asserted with a link to some other things that look like unsupported assertions and 13 refers to a straw man of some historical accuracy in genesis equating to all of genesis being accurate which I actually did remember being used as unsupported assumptions elsewhere by you. So, as far as I can tell, there is nothing of any substance yet. Therefore, unless you decide to demonstrate:

A. that genesis has anything to do with dendrochronology
B. that you haven’t just made up those assumptions without actually having any real supporting evidence,I get to state that you have scored no debate points and offered no information thus far. In fact, you have demonstrated a remarkable lack of cognition in understanding what the hell you are talking about. That being the case, You are starting to look kind of silly, don’t you think?

Then you assert:


Most of our knowledge of Ancient Egypt comes from the WRITTEN RECORD of Manetho and his king lists.

which you support with this statement:

For all but the last century of Egyptian prehistory, whose neolithic and later phases are normally termed “predynastic,” evidence is exclusively archaeological; later native sources have only mythical allusions to such remote times.

Dave, think about this for just a minute. Anything? No? Oh well. One point for me. After you make an assertion you just refuted with your supporting evidence you do throw yourself a bone with this next unsupported assertion:

We also have inscriptions on monuments and other written records.

But then you bury it and forget where when you use the unsupported assertion which you refuted in the paragraph before you made it to support the original unsupported assumption restated with a remarkably dull-witted poke at a real historian:

But I hope you will not miss the fact–seemingly lost on some modern historians such as “Fronkey” at this forum–that WRITTEN RECORDS have always been and will always be the most reliable means of determining events of the past.

Assertions do not support assertions. Just like a turtle doesn’t support Earth (may we dance naked and drunken in her honor). What you have is an assertion free-fall.


Dave not only failed so support a single one of his assertions, the one he did try to support he supported with evidence that refuted the assertion. Dave loses 3 points, I win a beer and a stripper for the afternoon.

So far you have offered nothing.

Moving right along.

That said, we now have a background for understanding the relatively new (1950’s) field of Carbon 14 dating and the attempts to use it to increase our accuracy in dating events of the past.

OK…. Are you pretending? BWE wins another beer.

Carbon 14 dating is sound in principle, but only if proper ASSUMPTIONS are made, namely, the assumptions about …the C14 ratio in the atmosphere throughout the history of the planet If the world C14 inventory were in equilibrium (say for the last 100,000 years or so) and there had been no major global events of the past to alter C14 ratios significantly, then C14 dating could be assumed to be relatively accurate. Relatively minor variations in C14 ratios during the historical period of the world (up to ~6000 bp) should be able to be calibrated by various methods, of which Dendrochronology is one such proposed method. However, if one overlooks a major historical event such as the Great Flood of Noah, then Carbon 14 dating is called into question because of the massive alterations in Carbon 14 which would be expected to occur in such a cataclysm.

Right. But since there was no flood of Noah (as I conclusively demonstrated in the flood debate comment thread and elsewhere) we don’t need to worry about it.

Carbon 14 chronologists today are operating under the following assumptions …
1) World C14 inventory is in equilibrium and has been so for > 100k years
2) There have no major perturbations in atmospheric C14 ratios during this period (i.e. they deny the Global Flood at c. 4750 BP)
3) There have been minor variations in C14 throughout the last 50,000 years (max range of C14 dating), but these can be accounted for by calibration methods such as Dendrochronology, Ice Cores, Varves, etc.

which of course, brings us to the subject of this debate. It is my belief that Dendrochronology, while it can possibly be used in a limited way to calibrate Carbon 14 dating back to ~3000 YBP (maybe as much as 4000 YBP), it cannot be used to determine accurate dates beyond this period because of the huge perturbation in C14 ratios caused by the Global Flood.

Now I am quite happy to be proven wrong if BWE can do so, but I think it will be a significant challenge for him.

Jesus Dave, you’ve already lost 18 points and I’ve won 2 beers and a stripper before you even made your opening sentence. Do you have something up your sleeve? Are you laying a trap for me?

Dr. Don Batten, [snip for appeal to authority], has written …

Claimed older tree ring chronologies depend on the cross-matching of tree ring patterns of pieces of dead wood found near living trees. This procedure depends on temporal placement of fragments of wood using carbon-14 (14C) dating, assuming straight-line extrapolation backwards of the carbon dating. Having placed the fragment of wood approximately using the 14C data, a matching tree-ring pattern is sought with wood that has a part with overlapping 14C age and that also extends to a younger age. A tree ring pattern that matches is found close to where the carbon “dates”are the same. And so the tree-ring sequence is extended from the living trees backwards.

Now superficially this sounds fairly reasonable. However, it is a circular process.

and he goes on to explain why he thinks it is a circular process.

Why is that Dave? Do you agree with what he says? Specifically equivocating pinus radiata with pinus longaeva because tiger and lions can produce offspring? Dang I’m just going to get a beer ready for when you bring that one up. Just so you know, the reason Bristlecones are good for 14C calibration is the environment they live in:
Ferguson, C.W. 1969. A 7104-year annual tree-ring chronology for bristlecone pine, Pinus aristata, from the White Mountains, California. Tree-Ring Bulletin 29(3-4):3-29.
Link here
You might want to read a little more on that one because I will probably be referring to it later.


And so, my good friend BWE, I challenge you to convince me that it is NOT a circular process. To do this, I will ask the same questions I have asked elsewhere …My starting point with this subject is SAWells’ (a physicist) post found HERE

I follow Wells just fine on his first two points, but then he makes an incredible LEAP here …

iii) now you take an even older specimen and match its later rings to the early rings of specimen (ii) and carry on for as long as you can find overlapping specimens. This turns out to be a VERY long time- using building beams from Bronze-age dwellings etc we can go back about 15,000 years by this method.

Let’s just stop right there for a while. Please explain to me in detail how this process was done. Where can I go and see these original tree samples which were used to create the master sequence? I have in my mind’s eye, a picture something like this …
(taken from

that would extend off to the right far off the page. How am I doing? Is that how this works?


So I would like to see this entire master sequence and examine it closely. Can I do this? Where can I go to do this? What trees were used to build this Master Sequence? From where? What species? How long did they live?

I’m not allowed to show you the real master sequence because it contains official secrets but I can answer your questions regarding them.

In short, please give me the details of how we get all the way back to 15000 YBP, considering the fact that the oldest livingtree is only ~4700 years old (Methuselah).

Now I did read the article you linked which supposedly extends dendro back to 13000 YBP, but I was tripping over so many assumptions and unexplained items that it left me very confused about how this is really done. Maybe I’m just ignorant, I don’t know, but to me, this debate is all about EXPLAINING the basis for all these various assumptions and determining if they are valid or not. For example, from the Intro …

With the recent establishment of an unbroken West European tree ring sequence spanning the past 7272 years Pilcher et al 1984 the calibration of the 14C time scale was advanced considerably.

Well how about we just start right there and ask how we got an “unbroken West European tree ring sequence spanning the past 7272 years” ??

Well, if you think about it*, especially since you have a subscription to Nature, starting right there would be looking at the Pilcher paper. I’m a lazy citer so I’ll just c&p from the abstract:

Nature 312, 150 – 152 (08 November 1984); doi:10.1038/312150a0
A 7,272-year tree-ring chronology for western Europe
J. R. Pilcher*, M. G. L. Baillie*, B. Schmidt  & B. Becker

*Palaeoecology Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK
†University of Köln, 5000 Köln 41, Weyertal 125, FRG
‡University of Hohenheim, 7000 Stuttgart 70, Garbenstrasse 30, FRG

Long tree-ring chronologies provide a unique calendrical record that is of value for archaeological dating, climatic and post-glacial studies. They also form a standard for the calibration of the radiocarbon time scale. The world’s longest continuous tree-ring chronology is based on the bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata and Pinus longaeva) growing in the White Mountains of California1−3. The great age of living and sub-fossil trees of this species enabled a continuous tree-ring sequence of 8,681 years to be established, providing absolutely dated wood samples for the first radiocarbon calibration4,5. We have now established an unbroken west European tree-ring sequence spanning the past 7,272 years.

link here

But maybe you missed my first post where I pointed out that Batten was wrong about circularity because of the cross checking with other periodic stratification phenomena like ice-cores and varves etc. I’m getting a weird sense of Deja vue. Deja vue.

This link here has a bunch of individual dating curves linked. You could check those and discover that for circularity to be a problem each would need to be the actual reference for each other. But that’s not the case now, is it? They are each independently drawn and then cross-checked against each other. Do you want to know why they are cross-checked against each other? Well, I’ll tell you. To determine the accuracy of each other. The cool thing about dendro is that the rings, once calibrated against ice-core data, and varve data, can be 14C dated and then that date can be referenced not only to the dendrologically derived age (guess what, they have some discrepancies) but the dendro ages can be cross-referenced against other techniques to check for it’s own accuracy. Since some climactic factors are recorded in periodic stratified phenomena like ice-cores, corals, marine sediments, varves, tree-rings, certain cave formations and others, those climactic events actually provide another cross-reference for dendro age determination too. Once the dendro age is determined through cross calibration, it works as a great way to calibrate 14C since the rings can be analyzed with 14C techniques.

Lets review my 3 points.
1. The title of this debate is retarded because when investigations into phenomena are conducted via the scientific method, they are valid science. When they deliver results that turn out to be incorrect, either they get thrown out or revised to be more correct. So yes, dendro is valid science.

So, unless you have a specific objection, that point stands. Beer for me.

2. Dendro isn’t circular because it isn’t isolated and calibrated using itself as the only reference.

So, unless you have a specific objection, that point stands. Beer for me.

3. Creationists are using fallacies, untruths and rhetorical games to confuse the issue and convince vulnerable people not to investigate the matter.
The artist sometimes known as Woodmorrappe in this editorial points out that

Trees absorb whatever carbon dioxide gas is within their vicinity. In the absence of other sources, the only source of CO2 is the atmosphere. But what other source could there possibly be? One source is volcanogenic gases. And, since deep subterranean carbon usually had no prior contact with the atmosphere, it has zero 14C and therefore an infinite carbon-14 age. Now, consider a tree that imbibes half of its CO2 from the air and the remaining half from local volcanogenic gases. Its concentration of 14C at time of death is only half that of the ambient atmosphere, and hence it dies having a “built-in” carbon-14 age of 5,700 years (one half-life).

Tuscany, Italy, is probably the first place where “inherited” carbon-14 dates on wood were described.6 These dates, much too old to be attributed to any past civilization in Italy, were determined from timbers located several kilometers from a volcano. Since that report, other examples of this phenomenon have surfaced from all over the world.7 A recent, detailed study8 has shed further light on the dynamics of this process. Particularly interesting is the fact that these “bad” carbon-14 dates do not occur haphazardly, but to the contrary:

“The pattern of 14C depletion in the annual rings is remarkably consistent between all three of the trees cored, suggesting that either changes in CO2 flux are occurring homogeneously across the entire area of the tree kill, or that trees integrate CO2 flux very well over relatively large areas.”

Under the right conditions, inherited carbon-14 dates can therefore mimic “real” ones.

but fails to note how frickin easy it is to determine if this has happened. I’m gonna just post this image:

This paper and you can just figure out why that might be.

For a more detailed critique of the artist sometimes known as Woodmorappe click here

I don’t have enough room to go through more than one creationist per post but the story will remain the same.

So, unless you have a specific objection, that point stands. Beer for me. Are you trying to get me drunk so you can take advantage of me?

NOTE: We’ve each taken our shots now … you at Creationism and me at Darwinism, so I suggest we leave more of that aside for other places and other times and make our focus razor sharp on the present questions. 🙂

Wow. Well, that’s mighty gentlemanly of you there Dave. I think you forgot the bullets.

My 3 questions:
1. Why do you suppose the bristlecone data was cross-corellated 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?

Might I suggest an approach that would at least attempt to form an objection to my OP? I mean, pretty pictures ought to refer to something anyway.

Over to you.

*Ha ha.


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