Dendrochronology carbon dating
However, tree ring specialists have refused to subject their judgments to these statistical tests and would not release their data so others can do these statistical tests" (Walt Brown, In the Beginning, 2001, p. This refusal to submit their work to close scrutiny raises a reasonable concern, especially in light of the apparent circular reasoning employed by the researchers. Despite 35 years of technical refinement and better understanding, the underlying assumptions have been strongly challenged, and warnings are out that radiocarbon may soon find itself in a crisis situation.
"Wood specimens considered for 'long chronologies' are first radiocarbon dated. Continuing use of the method depends on a 'fix-it-as-we-go' approach, allowing for contamination here, fractionation here, and calibration whenever possible.
The dawn of the age of true trees came with the evolution of wood in the late Devonian period.
Before this, their ancestors would have a recognisable tree form, believed to be that of a giant type of fern that began the process of developing a woody stem.
Dendrochronology is the study of the growth of tree rings and we can learn much from their study.
Dr Walt Brown explains, "…links are established based on the judgment of a tree-ring specialist. …Standard statistical techniques could establish how well the dozen supposedly overlapping tree-ring sequences fit. Robert Lee summed up the reasons behind the controversy over the Carbon dating method in his article "Radiocarbon, Ages in Error," published in the Anthropological Journal of Canada: "The troubles of the radiocarbon dating method are undeniably deep and serious.
There is much we can learn about the past climate, how freak season-long weather conditions, or periods of climate change have affected tree growth and how it may affect our climate in future.
American Astronomre A E Douglass, who had a strong interest in studying the climate, developed the method around 1900 (4).
Each season of growth (typically annual but not always, we will examine this problem later) a new ring is set down in the body of the tree.
We can see this in any tree stump, a series of concentric rings circling the heart wood and fanning out towards the edge.
Then they look for pieces of dead wood which are older than the specimen which they started with and whose tree-ring patterns match up with and overlap those of the first specimen (tree-rings can vary greatly in width due to environmental factors and thus produce a pattern by which we can match specimens which grew in the same environment).