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Bristlecone pine and carbon dating

bristlecone pine and carbon dating-38

Renfrew (1973) called it 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its impact upon the human sciences.Oakley (1979) suggested its development meant an almost complete re-writing of the evolution and cultural emergence of the human species.

This leaves out aquatic creatures, since their carbon might (for example) come from dissolved carbonate rock."Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)]. It is produced in the upper atmosphere by radiation from the sun.(Specifically, neutrons hit nitrogen-14 atoms and transmute them to carbon.) Land plants, such as trees, get their carbon from carbon dioxide in the air. The same is true of any creature that gets its carbon by eating such plants. Suppose such a creature dies, and the body is preserved.Bristlecone pines are aged by counting tree rings, which form annually within their trunks.

But in the case of the Norway spruce, ancient remnants of its roots were radiocarbon dated.

It is also standard to coat fossils during their extraction and transport.

Acetone is sometimes used while extracting fossils, because it dissolves dirt.

Discovered in 2004, the lone Norway spruce—of the species traditionally used to decorate European homes during Christmas—represents the planet's longest-lived identified plant, Kullman said.

The researchers found the shrubby mountain survivor at an altitude of 2,985 feet (910 meters) in Dalarna Province.

The following article is abstracted from The Biblical Chronologist Volume 5, Number 1. The science of constructing chronologies from tree rings is called dendrochronology. Modern trees are known to produce one growth ring per year. (The idea that ancient trees grew more than one ring per year will be discussed below.) Therefore, by coring a living tree and counting rings from the present backwards, it is possible to determine the year in which each ring grew. The bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California live to extremely old ages, some in excess of 4,000 years.