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Specimen Creek fossil trees grew at the same time (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Specimen Creek fossil trees grew at the same time (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CC332.1:

The fossil trees at Specimen Creek in the Yellowstone Petrified Forest show common tree ring signatures, indicating that they all lived at the same time. This rules out the conventional interpretation that the trees in successive layers all grew in place and were covered by successive volcanic eruptions.

Source:


CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. The signature series of tree rings which Arct used to establish commonality between trees is too short, spanning only five years. The actual tree ring widths given in his data show too little correlation between samples to support his conclusion.

2. Arct attributed non-standard causes to his signatures: "[I]t appears that the Yellowstone signature is a result of a pronounced sensitivity to the intra-annual availability of water as recorded in young trees". Instead of being signatures which occur over several rings growth, his are within one year's growth. This is not as good a signature set.

Unfortunately the main source (Arct's dissertation) is not readily available and as such it is not possible to check the validity of what Talk.Origins claim he said or to independently analyze his actual data, and there is no way other than a visit to Yellowstone National Park to check this out.

3. Arct's data indicate that the trees did not all die in the same year, thus ruling out the possibility that they were uprooted and later deposited by a common event.

Do to the unavailability of Arct's dissertation, it is not possible to check this. Talk.Origins does not explain whether Arct himself says that the trees did not all die in the same year, or whether that is Talk.Origins' conclusion.

Even if it is true it is not a problem for a young-Earth model, as it only means that these fossil trees were buried in more than one event. It does not mean that they any of them were buried in place or that it did not happen in a relatively short time span.

4. There is other evidence, such as paleosols and in-place roots, that the trees fossilized in place

There are plenty of reasons to doubt that these "paleosols" are fossil soil. This is a common uniformitarian interpretation, but there are reasons to suggest that it is not the correct one. Furthermore, there is plenty of other evidence that all of these trees were transported.

References