Psalm 148:9

“[Praise the LORD] Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:”

How old is a tree? It is commonly assumed that the age of trees can be found by looking at a cross section of the tree trunk and counting the rings. Tree rings are produced by differential growth that occurs during the seasons of a year. Therefore, we can assume that one ring is produced every year.

However, this is not always the case. Occasionally, adverse weather patterns will be seen by the tree procuring more than one ring a year. This has implications for dating methods because tree patterns of living trees are correlated with patterns from dead or even fossil trees to extend the timescale back, and this tree ring dating is used to correct or “calibrate” known inaccuracies in carbon dating.

However, California’s bristlecone pines present a major problem as they appear to show 8,000 years of growth, while the Flood was only just over 4,000 years ago. We cannot explain this by multiple tree rings, as they seem to have been stable for 3,000 years, meaning that they would have had to produce five rings per year regularly for the first 1,000 years of their lives.

Some scientists have shown, however, that perturbations may affect different trees of exactly the same age in different ways. The migration of these perturbations could affect rings hundreds of years into the tree structure, and, when compared, these effects could produce a false correlation, leading to scientists thinking the trees are thousands of years older than they are, so that, in fact, they did grow after the Flood.

Prayer:  All of Your creation points to the greatness of our Creator, and we praise Your Name, Lord God. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: Woodmorappe, J. (2009), Biblical Chronology and the 8,000-Year-Long Bristlecone Pine Tree-Ring Chronology, Answers in Depth, Vol. 4, (2009), pp. 4–5., < >. Image: Public Domain.

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