A 4800 Year Old Living Tree: Confirmed Prediction of Creationism
The scientific Theory of Special Creation and the Flood, commonly referred to as Creationism for short, predicts that the oldest living plant could not be much over 5000 years old because this is the approximate oldest date for the Great Flood of Noah, in which all terrestrial life (including plants) was destroyed. It turns out that this prediction is correct as demonstrated by the discovery in 1957 of Methuselah. Wikipedia has this to say about “Methuselah” …
Methuselah (estimated germination 2832 BC) is a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California, which was 4,789 years old when sampled in 1957 (when the trees were originally being surveyed by Schulman and Harlan). It is the oldest living organism currently known and documented. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah_%28tree%29
There is another bristlecone called Prometheus which is a bit older than Methuselah, but it was cut down in 1964. Numerous claims of older plants of other species have been made, but these are all of clonal colonies, not individual plants. One such claim appears below in Science, but it is debunked as you can see …
Science 25 July 1997:
Vol. 277. no. 5325, p. 483
A team of Tasmanian botanists claims to have found the world’s oldest living plant–a vast, low-growing, one-of-a-kind shrub born more than 43,000 years ago. If their conclusions are accurate, this Lomatia tasmanica, a member of Proteaceae family otherwise known as King’s holly, would be more than three times as old as the previous record holder, a 13,000-year-old box huckleberry in Pennsylvania.
The leader of the research team, Rene Vaillancourt, a plant geneticist at the University of Tasmania, says the plant ranges over an area of 1.2 km. Its age–about 43,600 years–was estimated using carbon-14 dating of charcoal found along with fossilized leaf fragments. The fragments themselves were too fragile to date, he says. [This explains a lot]
Vaillancourt admits that there is no direct evidence linking the plant fossil to the living representative.
Another claim for an organism older than the Methuselah tree is the Creosote Bush in the Mojave Desert. Read closely though (click link at left) and you will see this is a shaky claim at best. The author says …
Creosote bush clones were estimated to attain ages of several thousand years on the basis of growth rates derived from radiocarbon ages of two wood samples (Vasek et al., 1975; Sternberg, 1976). However, two radiocarbon dates constitute a narrow base from which to project age estimates.
True. And I will add that the whole enterprise of radiocarbon dating further back than about 4000 years ago is based upon the erroneous assumption that there was no Global Flood and that the Carbon 14 concentration in the biosphere has not been radically changed. (It WOULD have changed radically as a result of the Flood) So when you hear anti-creationists trumpeting King’s Holly and Creosote Bushes as being far older than the Methuselah Tree then you can dismiss it as just one more fairy tale foisted upon us by the Darwinist/Deep Time Crowd.
NOTE: This ‘prediction’ is actually what is known as a ‘retrodiction.’ See my article discussing Sir Karl Popper for more on this.