The Resilience of Life

     The seeds of many plants can germinate, even after an amazingly long time.  According to SCIENCE magazine, scientists have grown a Judean date palm tree from a 2,000 year old seed!

     The seed is the oldest seed ever known to germinate, according to SCIENCE.  Previously, the oldest was a 1,300 year old Chinese lotus seed.  

     The good news is that life is so persistent.  A seed, lying dormant for so many years, may still have what it takes to produce a healthy plant.  The sad news is that this sapling is the only living Judean date palm.  It may be the last link to the forests that once shaded and nourished the Middle East. 

     Using carbon dating, scientists were able to place the date palm seed at Masada around the time of the Roman siege of 73 AD.  One thousand Jews committed suicide at Masada, rather than surrender to the Romans.  Scientists believe the Jews may have been eating dates up on the mountain and looking down at the Roman soldiers.–April Moore

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