Radiodendrochronology, that'd be a bugger in Scrabble, if it would fit on the board that is.
An archaeologist and an astrophysicist have discovered a new method of timekeeping that could reset key historic dates by inspecting ancient radioactive tree rings. Researchers from the University of Oxford, Michael Dee and Benjamin Pope, published their results today in Proceedings of the Royal Society A. “The discovery of …
Carbon-14 comes from ionized Nitrogen-14 and is not constant. Terrestrially plants and animals have some dating value, but ocean photosynthesis has a naturally lower C-14 ratio, giving average 400 year error. Fresh killed penguins C-14 date as 3000 years old because Antarctica food chain is Earth based Carbon and not solar ionized isotope. The CFP article explains.
C14 decays into N14 not the other way around.
"Ionization" is not the correct term, but carbon-14 is produced when cosmic rays pimp slap a nitrogen-14 atom. Eventually, yes, the carbon-14 atom decays back to nitrogen-14.
Also, yes, carbon-14 production is unsteady. Groups who use radiocarbon dating adjust for that. Linking tree rings to carbon-14 surges and deficits would be a powerful tool for better calibrating radiocarbon dating.
Some of the trees are aged via rings alone, but have damage to the bark. Thus they could have been putting out two or more rings per year during certain changes in weather. So they could be as much as half the age estimated.
The sad thing is, most of these techniques are estimations, and when used to overrule historic records (written history), it's rather saddening.
I googled this and got a decent overview of the issue.
"Most tree species are reliable; oak is the most reliable tree type for tree rings - with not a single known case of a missing annual growth ring. Alder and pine are notorious for occasionally “missing a year” which is confusing enough without the fact that those species also sometimes “double up”, by having two rings in the same growth season (8). Birch and willow are not used at all because of the erratic nature of their growth cycle."
So I guess the Dendrochronologists are on top of it.
They only need one tree to go back X years. Then they need another tree that was used cut down and used for lumber or a round table or something a long time ago to match known spikes in the 'current' tree that goes back further with new spikes, then an even older one, and so on.
Theoretically if there enough Miyake spikes that could be distinguished we could go back to the dawn of civilization. Then if we found a 20,000 year old dugout canoe sunk in the mud of a big lake we might able to tell the exact year the tree it was made from was cut down!
"5 watch their heads explode"
No, see them explode into an argument how the omnipotent God has *planted* the evidence.
Conversion to atheism is a long gradual process where you need to plant ideas that don't support their beliefs. People just don't lose their religion on the spot.
I think a better way (than this carbon dating) to challenge the "6000 year" belief is to ask whether the person first accepts the scientific facts that light travels at a near constant speed in space, and that the universe has stars and galaxies that are further than 6000 light-years away. If the universe was only 6000 years old then we could possible not observe any star beyond the 6000 ly radius, right?
I'm sure the entrenched mindsets can explain all this with the "omnipotent god playing tricks", but since the light speed is common knowledge this will be one of the easiest ways to plant these conflicting ideas.
"No, see them explode into an argument how the omnipotent God has *planted* the evidence."
While I'm sure they will do as you say, it's an odd argument. If God has "planted the evidence", that would suggest he/she wants us to believe the earth is older than 6,000 years. In which case, us rationalists are truly following God's will. Those young earth people may know the truth, but they could be in for a hard time later by defying God's will.
I'm not sure why I wrote this.
That 'logic' can be extended to the belief system called 'Last Thursdayism'.
Everything was created last Thursday, including the planted evidence that seems to indicate any earlier dates. Including your supposed memories.
It's always Last Thursday.
I didn't just make this up. It's a long-established philosophical rebuttal going back, oh, nearly a week now.
I don't recall Douglas Adams's planet builders (of Magrathea) putting in fake fossils. Fjords, yes. And "glaciers poised to roll over Africa" IIRC on the new model of Earth, so they did use some traditional methods.
Terry Pratchett's planet makers did planted dinosaur bones in his early novel "Strata", and then there's an indication in the story - this may be a spoiler - that God uses a similar method in Her work.
I don't recall Douglas Adams's planet builders (of Magrathea) putting in fake fossils.
I remembered that in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but not that I had the Guide on my phone. Now that the latter amnesiac moment has passed...
Slartibartfast: "That is, unless you would care to take a quick stroll on the surface of New Earth. It's only half completed, I'm afraid - we haven't even finished burying the artificial dinosaur skeletons in the crust yet, then we have the Tertiary and Quaternary Periods of the Cenozoic Era to lay down, and..."
"No, thank you," said Arthur, "It wouldn't be quite the same."
I have made this exact point to a couple of young earth believers that once you allow a created moment with back-filled evidence then that moment can be just about anytime.
I may not in fact have read your post or even typed the start of this sentence . . . .
I am afraid you are a bit of an optimist referring to "common knowledge". As you know we don't know why the tide comes in and goes out. Like here:
I am a lot more concerned with people who believe in guys like Trump and similar.
> "I am a lot more concerned with people who believe in guys like Trump and similar."
Who says we believe in him? We just can't stomach a corrupt, lying crime-boss family like the Clintons getting another chance to ream us a new one. With that option retchingly close now, even the loudmouth Trump seems pretty harmless by comparison.
"...the universe has stars and galaxies that are further (sic) than 6000 light-years away..."
The person, religious or not, might refer you to the work of Chip Arp and others, who dispute that red-shift is a Doppler manifestation.
In short, they contend that the Big Bang/Expanding Universe paradigm is faulty.
Do the research -- even read a book or two.
@Martin Moloney: they do but without any scientific justification (that I have encountered) for why that should be the case.
To be clear: I've seen a number of rationalisations and explanations for why what's out there may not be they way we imagine it to be (which is of course possible) but the reason for creating these rationalisations and explanations is NEVER (in my experience) a piece of scientific evidence that needs to be explained in this way.
It is always (in my experience) to allow one particular interpretation of one story written in a very old book which has seen transmission through oral history long before a long chain of edits, translations and sundry other human-common alterations.
The Hubble telescope can now measure parallax out to 10,000 light years.
That has allowed the relationship of Cepheid variable rate to intensity to be confirmed, allowing the apparent intensity of Cepheids to be used to measure distances across the universe.
I'm reading up on H. Arp's stuff, but a first review has me thinking that some objects not fitting the Hubble law doesn't mean the Big Bang theory is disproved, only that we don't know the nature of some of the things we see. Claims that Einstein's General relativity is wrong have to deal with the detailed confirmations of it, at least near Earth.
Socialism is a religion like the others. You don't have to prove it works. You just promise some future paradise and people will blindly believe in it. Meanwhile, its priesthood becomes rich and powerful, while the others are asked to sacrifice themselves 'for the cause'.
It's just a different variety of opium.
The Miyake event was in 775 CE (during the reign of Offa, king of Mercia, and at the end of the reign of Constantine V, Emperor of Byzantium), not 775BCE (around the time of the first Olympic Games in classical Greece, and well before the invention of either Mercia or Byzantium). The other one is 993-994CE (reign of Ethelred the Unready)
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Holy shit that solar fllare must have been orders of magnitude stronger than the Carrington Event. I also bet far future generations (if we last that long) would be able to use above ground nuclear testing as a time marker as well in some way. Very unique signature(unlike anything in our history), global (Strontium 90 in nearly every humans bones got their attention finally) and fairly brief.
I also bet far future generations (if we last that long) would be able to use above ground nuclear testing as a time marker as well in some way.
We already use it as a time marker. Whenever you see a time quoted as 'ya' (meaning years ago), if you want to get the actual date you should subtract it from 1950. 1950 has been declared as the fixed present because of the nuclear tests effing up accurate radioactive dating of anything grown since then.
It seems you have changed 'BCE' to 'CE' throughout. The Assyrian eclipse was in 763 BCE, we are reasonably confident that the foundation of Rome was 753 BCE, the first year of the Gonghe Regency, after which Chinese chronology is apparently pretty well-known, is 841BCE.
This means the last three paragraphs of the article, which I suspect are commentary inserted by the article author rather than extracted from the source publication, don't make much sense.
Usually when article typos are mentioned in the comments it takes a while to fix. I guess the authors have better things to do than to zealously read our comments, go figure. I know I do!
Better to use the corrections link found after every article. I did that for this one and the fix arrived within two hours.
Good old email. Private and effective, like all the best things in life.
I'm away from home at the moment, but I've definitely got books that explain how dendrochronology can be used to calibrate C14 dates, complete with graphs of how C14 levels varied across history, spikes and all, those graphs being derived from tree rings.
It is also, if I may venture to say so, pretty effing obvious that if you have two dating methods then you can use one to check the other and vice versa, so even if I didn't have the published evidence in my bookcase I'd be pretty gob-smacked to discover that people had omitted to do this over a period of several decades.
So what's actually new here?
>So what's actually new here?
We already use use dendro to calibrate C14 because we could measure the C14 level in each ring and correct for the variation in C14 production (due to the sun) = makes C14 more accurate.
This says that there were a couple of C14 spikes that were so obvious that if you find them in a tree ring it was exactly that year. So it give you an absolute point to peg tree ring data to for around that time - so makes tree more useful because you don't have to count back from a more modern matching sequence.
"So what's actually new here?"
That was my thought too.
Firstly, if the timber is of a suitable species and comes from an area where there are good dendrochronological records then a good tree-ring sequence should be sufficient. If the timber was imported to the site there's a possibility of identifying the general area it came from.
Secondly, I recall the idea of "wiggle matching" being proposed years ago. Variations in the 14C content have been discussed since the '60s.
AFAICS this would have a place as a dating method for situations for which there are no good dendrochronological sequences. That would include species which are too erratic; someone mentioned alder and pine - the latter are apt to show accelerated growth round just part of their circumference for a few years. It would also include areas where the climate is more equable or where tree growth continues all the year round. A third application would be fragments too small to build a dateable sequence. The disadvantage would be that you'd have to have an approximate date so you know which event you're looking at.
It's as well to remember that all you date is the date of growth of the wood you've got. If you don't have the cambial surface, or at least the start of the sap wood for oak, you don't know how much later the tree was cut and even if you know that you can't necessarily tell when in was incorporated into the actual structure you're trying to date.
"When plants are alive the carbon-14 to carbon-12 ratio remains constant, but after they die the ratio begins to decline. A measurement of the ratio, therefore, provides a way to estimate how much time has elapsed since the plant was alive."
This is somewhat garbled. Material is laid down in the cell walls beneath the cambial layer, at the outer edge of the wood. The isotope ratio is that prevailing in the plant at that time, mostly from photosynthesis, maybe some from stored carbon from previous seasons. There may be some additional deposits of material such as tannins within the wood later* but essentially this is the material being dated. The carbon in the wood is not subsequently exchanged with that in other parts of the plant which "remains constant" seems to imply. Once the wood is laid down the isotope ratio starts to change by radioactive decay. In general the outer wood will have a younger radiocarbon date than the inner wood on the same tree.
*In oak this is the difference between sap wood and heart wood.
Then Before Christ and Anno Domini aren't terribly comfortable dating terms, as 'anno domini' (year of our Lord' forces people who don't believe that Jesus is the Lord to define their time around this. Same goes for those people who don't believe Jesus was the Messiah. Given the millions who believe neither, and yet are forced to contend with a dating system used by a dominant (or once-dominant) culture, it just seems more friendly and neutral to recognise hat we have this big time split, but to call it the Common Era and Before Common Era. I personally would like to find any interesting point in time and use that as a base. Perhaps if we could find the birth moment of Mitochrondrial Eve, we could use that. And then we could also sort out if it is a century change on 2000 or 2001...
Short answer: it's just terminology. Just as we all moved to 'aluminium' etc in civilised countries.
Fake Merkin! That's spelled "y'all", y'all.
I've spelled it "ya'll" since I got busted for scrawling it in super-sized lettering on my Snoopy kids suitcase, like 35 years ago in Missouri. I was proud because it was my first use of an apostrophe, just like big kids. Mom didn't reciprocate appreciation for my crayonmanship on account of poor grammar and vandalism, and wouldn't let me use Snoopy as a carry-on afterward. It's the sort of experience that sticks with you. ("Ain't" was also unacceptable grammar, spoken or written, in her presence.)
PS: "ya'll" passes the Chrome browser and MS Office spell checks.
"Short answer: it's just terminology"
And lazy. Really, if you don't agree with using the incorrectly calculated birthdate of a Jewish guy as your reference point for a calendar then don't just take the easy way out and rename stuff, find a new reference point. Personally I think the development of writing would be a good point to use.
"find a new reference point."
Nooooooo.....we did that once already!!!! People lost entire days from their lives. If you chose a whole new reference point and change the number of the *year* we could all die years early. (or later, please make it later!!)
The most obvious new reference point would be the birthday of Mitochondrial Eve. As we don't know when exactly her birthday was then we will need to make a bit of a guess. we know she was born some 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, so I'd suggest making today 23rd August 102,016 with her birthday on the 1st January 0 ME
In this schema the Battle of Hastings took place on 14th October 101,066, the Battle of Actium took place on 2nd September 99,970, and the very first Olympic Games took place in 99,225.
No more before this or after that nonsense for historical (and a vast swathe of prehistorical) stuff.
. . . because we are moving away from the baseline assumption that everyone in the world (well, everyone who matters) is christian.
It doesn't seem to have taken too much effort for you to decode it so what's the problem?
Please don't let be another Imperial/Metric, Fahrenheit/Centigrade thing . . . . .
So I'm confused. Do these "cosmic irradiation events" mess up other radiological dating, or not? You don't have to believe in a young earth to have healthy skepticism regarding some of our dating methods - an error of a century in antiquity can lead to gross errors in perception regarding chronology of events.
If archaeologists two thousand years hence screw up and think that WWII occurred in 2000, (only a 60 year difference) they'd be hard pressed to prove it happened, and might consider it a "legendary war", like the Trojan War was once thought to have been.
> "If archaeologists two thousand years hence screw up and think that WWII occurred in 2000, (only a 60 year difference) they'd be hard pressed to prove it happened, and might consider it a "legendary war", like the Trojan War was once thought to have been." <
We know of the Trojan war through literature. A certain amount of archaeological evidence can be tied into a 'war'. The literature then guides the archaeology.
If in future an archaeologist is examining WWII artefacts they will be viewing them through the prism of historical records and not poetical literature. The historical records will have a date associated with them and it's hardly likely that 1945 will mutate into 2000.
plus the most obvious 'archaeological' dig two thousand years from now associated with a WWII site would most probably be at Hiroshima. Given that any object discovered there with a date associated with it would state Showa 20 and not 1945, it is still more probable that lists of conversion dates would still exist that would pinpoint the object to 1945 rather than somebody would mysteriously assign a year of 2000 to it.