Dendrochronology: Disastrous Data

Dendrochronology - Disastrous Data

Michael Baillie has posted a Tree-ring and Radiocarbon Rebuttal to Gunnar Heinsohn’s 700 Phantom Years hypothesis over at .

mike baillie

Unsurprisingly, Michael Baillie is not impressed and dismisses the Phantom Years as “semantic games with historical documents” and supports his argument with radiocarbon dated chronologies based upon Sequoia, Bristlecone Pine and Irish Oak trees.

I am indebted to Michael Baillie for introducing the Irish Oak chronology because it provides another opportunity to examine why “scientists have their own approach to issues of chronology”.


The saw-toothed Irish Oak chronology is very similar to the mainstream Bristlecone Pine chronology in the BC era where the casual observer could mistakenly conclude the data has been sliced and diced to fit a preconceived construct.

Irish Oaks - Calendar Minus 14C Calendar

However, there is a very marked divergence during Gunnar Heinsohn’s 700 Phantom Years.

Bristlecone Pine Chronology
Bristlecone animation

The casual observer of the Irish Oak chronology could also be mistakenly suspicious of:
1) The apparent splice that occurs between [about] 100 AD and 1400 CE.
2) The younger-to-older inversion of 350 years that occurs [about] 700 BC to 400 BC.

Irish Oaks - Calendar Minus 14C Calendar - Zoom

The casual observer could also mistakenly assume that the yawning gaps in the radiocarbon chronology for the 1st millennium BC means that Irish Oak trees absconded from Ireland for [about] one hundred years on two separate occasions.

Irish Oaks - C14 Cal - BC

The casual observer might again mistakenly assume that the sparse radiocarbon chronology for the 1st millennium AD means that Irish Oak trees were so thin on the ground during this period of Irish history that bridges were regularly constructed using wood from phantom oak trees.

Irish Oaks - C14 Cal - AD

Thankfully, to avoid any confusion, the Irish Oak chronology also provides Δ14C data so that casual observers can cross-check the tree-ring chronology and the radiocarbon dating.

Delta Calculations

Radiocarbon d14C

The saw-tooth Δ14C data starts off rationally enough showing a generally declining trend that would be expected if radioactive carbon-14 is [always] slowly decaying.

Irish Oaks - 2nd Millenium

The casual observer may foolishly wonder about the saw-tooth Δ14C profile because they have been told the level of carbon-14 remains constant in the atmosphere.

Obviously, this foolishness results from an ignorance of the de Vries effect which was “not understood” in 1970 but is now generally presumed to be associated with changes in solar activity.

Atmospheric variation

de Vries effect and Suess effect

However, the casual observer is then amazed to discover that during Gunnar Heinsohn’s 700 Phantom Years the radioactive carbon-14 stops decaying.

Irish Oaks - AD

Furthermore, the casual observer is then spellbound as they watch the Δ14C levels increase throughout the 1st millennium BC.

Irish Oaks - BC-AD

In fact, the Δ14C level doesn’t stop increasing until about 4500 BC according to the Irish Oak trees.

Obviously, only a crazed catastrophist could imagine that the Earth was closer to the Sun in 4500 BC [with a year of 360 days] and then began to slowly drift away from the Sun until about 324 AD [with a year of 365.25 days].

Evidently, only a crazed catastrophist could imagine that the Δ14C data supports the notion that the Earth experienced a series of catastrophes [as per Immanuel Velikovsky] between 1000 BC and 234 AD.

Irish Oaks

Obviously, only a crazed catastrophist could imagine that data had been spliced into Gunnar Heinsohn’s 700 Phantom Years

Splice Plateaux

Obviously, only a crazed catastrophist could imagine that data had been spliced over a catastrophe in 687 BC [as theorised by Immanuel Velikovsky].

Splice Plateaux BC

Hopefully, the casual observer will now appreciate why “scientists have their own approach to issues of chronology”.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Catastrophism, Cosmic Rays, Dendrochronology, Heinsohn Horizon, History, Inventions and Deceptions, Radiocarbon Dating. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Dendrochronology: Disastrous Data

  1. C14 is produced by the collision of cosmic neutrons with atmospheric nitrogen. However the half-life of a free neutron is 10-15 minutes, so this raises the puzzle of the actual existence of free neutrons travelling the depths of space to arrive at the earth to then collide with a nitrogen atom to produced C14. If C14 is formed locally in the atmosphere, then where are the neutrons coming from?

  2. Pingback: A Carbon-14 Chronology | MalagaBay

  3. oldbrew says:

    Search for ‘Yamaguchi’ in this link:

    You should arrive at this eye-opening section:

    Quote: ‘A t-value is given to a wiggle-match on the basis of a statistical analysis of the correspondence between two wood samples. This statistical assessment is done by computer which assigns high t-values (3 and above) to good wiggle-matches and low t-values (below 3) to those with poor correspondence between the ring patterns. Amazingly, using such t-value analysis, Yamaguchi found 113 different matches having a confidence level of greater than 99.9%. For example, Yamaguchi demonstrated that his log could cross-match with different master tree-ring sequences to give t-values of around 5 at AD 1504 (for the low end of the ring age), 7 at AD 1647 and 4.5 at AD 1763. Six of these matches were non-overlapping. That means that this particular piece of wood could be dated to be any one of those six vastly different ages to within a 99.9% degree of confidence. This finding calls into serious question the accuracy of building master tree-ring sequences that go back over many thousands of years.’

    So t-values as high as 7 may be unreliable or even meaningless.

    He goes on to note ‘that a number of the crucial dendrochronology sequences, such as the Garry Bog 2 (GB2) and Southwark sequences, which connect the Belfast absolute chronology (i.e. the AD sequence) to the ‘floating’ Belfast long chronology (i.e. the BC sequence), and ultimately used to re-date the South German chronology, have t-values of around 4.’

    Dodgy data anyone?

  4. Pingback: Heinsohn and The Missing Trees | MalagaBay

  5. Pingback: Mike Baillie and The Heinsohn Horizon | MalagaBay

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