June 18, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Long Live the Seed

A seed buried under the rubble of Herod the Great’s fortress took root and is now growing into a palm tree.  Science Now reported this as verification of claims that ancient seeds can still grow.  See also the National Geographic News report that added this record beats out the previous verifiable claim of ancient seed germination by 700 years.
    The Israeli research team nicknamed the tree “Methuselah” after the Old Testament man who sets the Guinness record for human longevity at 969 years.
    Radiocarbon tests of other seeds from the cache showed dates of 1995-2110 years.  That makes this remarkable tree a “date palm” in more than one sense. 

This seed lay buried in a fortress in the hot Judean desert for two thousand years and was still alive.  It has been growing now for two years into a healthy, green plant.  Can you imagine Herod the Great with all his wise men designing a machine that could be unpacked and made to work after two millennia?  If so, you’re probably thinking of a simple machine like a lever.  Try a miniaturized robot that reads codes, can grow and draw up nutrients from the desert and produce sweet fruit, then duplicate itself.  Amazing.  If all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t pull off a trick like that using intelligent design, don’t expect blind evolution to do it.

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Categories: Amazing Facts

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