Matching growth rings between different wood samples is called “cross-dating” or “cross-matching.” Though it seems this matching would be easy, counting growth rings is tedious, and visually cross-matching similar ring patterns and specific growth rings from sample to sample is highly subjective.
There can be major variations from tree to tree in a forest and, accordingly, in the wooden beams used to build houses.
But others, especially those who believe the earth is millions of years old, might first think of a well-known bristlecone pine in California’s White Mountains.
It’s named Methuselah and claimed to be 4,849 years old.
Several factors determine the growth rate of trees and the width of their growth rings—the soils, altitude, water table, climate, seasons, and weather.
Secular scientists believe these layers clearly mark the passage of time and date the earth—whether rings in trees, sediment layers on lake floors (called varves), or layering in the ice sheets.
Whenever scientists find a new log or beam, they can theoretically match the ring patterns in that beam to their hypothetical series.
Yet this involves massive layers of questionable interpretation.
These days Methuselah is the old-earth poster child of Bill Nye “the Science Guy” and other secular science debaters who say we have proof that the earth is older than the Bible says.
Tree rings, ice cores, and other natural records of seasonal changes, they say, prove the earth is old and the Bible’s account of history can’t be true.