Wednesday, November 18, 2015

No Fossil Trees with Thousands of Rings

Tree rings grow support for Young Earth Science (YES).  Tree Rings Matter.  What tree in the fossil record has the most rings?  There is a Sequoia specimen with 816 growth rings.  Just search “sequoia 89 by 68.”  Where are the fossil trees that are thousands of years old?  Sequoias, Redwoods, Bristlecone pines, Junipers and Olive trees can live for thousands of years.[1]  Why are there no 2K, 3K or 4K year old trees in the fossil record?  If the earth is young this is no problem.  How do supporters of Old Earth Fallacies (OEF’s) handle this enigma?    

Many attempt to avoid the weight of this argument by claiming that the fossil record of trees is not abundant.  The oldest forest trees are dated at 385M years by Big Science, so lack of fossil evidence is just an escape mechanism.  If there have been hundreds of millions of years for fossil trees to form, then why do we see no fossil trees with thousands of rings?  Trees can’t run away from tsunamis or floods.  We witnessed the initial formation of fossil trees in the 1980’s.  According to Wikipedia:

“…virtually identical lahar and stream deposits that contain buried upright standing trunks of forests and beds of transported logs and upright stumps were created by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, and other Quaternary and Holocene eruptions of other Cascade Range volcanoes.  The Late Pleistocene lahar and stream deposits of Mount St. Helens contain buried prehistoric logs and in place (in situ) upright tree trunks that are in the initial stages of being naturally petrified by silica.” (emphasis added)
Erling Dorf (d. 1984) was a professor of Geology at Princeton.  He studied the fossil trees at Yellowstone and found that the average number of tree rings was 500 – far less than 4,000!  At one time the Yellowstone Fossil Forest was considered to have taken 20K years to form.[2]  Now a catastrophic interpretation is widely accepted.
Some might claim that redwoods don’t ever become fossilized, but that’s not the case.  The PetrifiedForest near Calistoga, CA has the largest fossil trees in the world.  There are redwoods and one pine that have been turned to rock.  The fossil tree named “The Queen” is estimated to have 2K rings, but this deposit is of relatively recent origin according to standard geological dating (3.4M).[3]  The point is, where are the trees from Jurassic times with 2K, 3K or 4K rings? 
Is the fossil record really woefully incomplete?  A scholarly work last century specifically addressed that very issue, The Adequacy of the Fossil Record edited by Stephen Donovan and Christopher Paul (Wiley, 1998).  Donovan and Paul demonstrate that protesting about the “incompleteness of the fossil record” is just an excuse.  This book deals specifically with the completeness of the fossil data.  The fossil record may be incomplete, but it is entirely adequate for most studies.
Tree rings ring true, Young Earth Science (YES) has friends in the forest.

1) YES - Young Earth Science by Jay Hall (IDEAS, Big Spring, TX, 2014), pp. 20, 21.
2) Hall, pp. 120, 121.

3) This count is apparently based on the width of the tree.