Sunday, January 15, 2012

Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has to be wrong!: #1 Introduction

On Dan Porter's Shroud of Turn Blog I recently commented :

As I and others, especially Dan, have pointed out: 1. the Pray Codex (1192-95), 2. the Vignon markings unique to the Shroud on coins and art from the 6th century, 3. the exact match of bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo (which has been in Spain since at least AD 840) and the Shroud, and now 4. the ENEA report showing that the Shroud's image is only "one fifth of a thousandth of a millimeter" and therefore it could not possibly have been created by a medieval or earlier forger. Because of any one of the above, let alone all four, lines of conclusive evidence that the Shroud is not medieval, the AD 1260-1390 medieval radiocarbon date of the Shroud simply has to be wrong. The only question now is: how did the three radiocarbon laboratories get it so wrong? The ball is now in the Shroud anti-authenticist court to try to find a face-saving answer. The pro-authenticity side no longer have to provide an answer since it no longer is (if it ever was) their problem. The 16th century invisible reweave theory is a possible explanation, among many, of how the radiocarbon labs got it wrong. If ... and his Shroud anti-authenticist ilk don't like that explanation, then let him/them find another. It's now his/their problem, not ours!

I have decided to flesh out those four lines of evidence (which I have called "proofs" in the title to reduce its length), in separate posts and in the order of their discovery:

1. the Vignon markings-which showed that unique features of the Shroud face were being copied by artists from the mid-6th century;

2. the Hungarian Pray Codex (1192-95), with its unique features of the Shroud image and cloth, dating from the 12th century;

3. the exact match of bloodstains on the Shroud head and the Sudarium of Oviedo which has been in Spain since at least AD 840; and

4. the ENEA report which found the image on the Shroud was only "one fifth of one thousandth of a millimeter" and therefore could not possibly have been created by a medieval or earlier forger.

Any one of these individually, let alone all four together collectively, provide conclusive evidence that the Shroud of Turin is not medieval and therefore the AD 1260-1390 medieval date of the Shroud has to be wrong.

First, some background to the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the

[Right (click to enlarge): Prof. E. Hall, Dr. M. Tite and Dr. R. Hedges on 13 October 1988 announcing the Shroud had been carbon- dated to "1260-1390!": Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, pl.3b]

Shroud. On 16 February 1989, the leading science journal Nature reported that three radiocarbon dating laboratories, Arizona, Oxford, and Zurich had in 1988 radiocarbon-dated "very small samples from the Shroud of Turin" and the results, "provide[d] conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390":

"Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich. ... The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... The age of the shroud is obtained as AD 1260-1390, with at least 95% confidence" (Damon, P.E., et al., "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, 1989, pp.611-615, p.612).

Note that these were "Very small samples" (about 1.2 x 8 centimetres total, divided equally among the three labs - Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," p.189), and that the Shroud is a very large cloth (about 4.37 x 1.11 metres - Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," p.18).

[Above (click to enlarge): The postage-stamp size of the "very small samples" used to radiocarbon-date the Shroud compared with only its the front image half: Benford, M.S. & Marino, J.G., "Discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating area of the Turin shroud," Chemistry Today, Vol 26, N0. 4, July-August 2008.]

According to an illustration given by Prof. Harry Gove, a pioneer of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) method used to date the Shroud, if "The entire shroud could be covered by 8,800 standard 22-cent stamps. The amount of material the ... Three labs would need [is] seven-tenths of a stamp":

"Gove said speculation that the motive for reducing the number of labs from seven to three was to conserve the amount of shroud material that would have to be destroyed is specious. `As a homey example, let's measure it in terms of postage stamps,' he said. `The entire shroud could be covered by 8,800 standard 22-cent stamps. The amount of material the original seven labs would need is a sample the size of about two-and-a-half stamps. Three labs would need seven-tenths of a stamp. So what? It's like knocking a few dollars off the national debt.'" (Clark, K.R., "Shroud of Turin Controversy Resumes," Chicago Tribune, January 17, 1988).

But in fact "every laboratory [was] ... given a piece of material about the size of a stamp," i.e. the three laboratories were together given a total of three `stamps':

"In the crossfire of the polemic, Gonella justified the limited number of the laboratories by the fact that this would reduce to the minimum the damage of the Shroud. Gove, however, answered him by noting that the additional amount of fabric necessary for four laboratories did not justify their exclusion. He gave this example: the Shroud could be covered by 8,800 22-cent stamps. The amount necessary for the seven laboratories would have corresponded to two-and-a-half stamps. Three laboratories need seven-tenths of a stamp. [Fidelity, cit., p. 42] Actually, every laboratory would eventually be given a piece of material about the size of a stamp." (Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, 1996, p.47).

That is, the total sample of the Shroud that the three laboratories tested, was a miniscule 3/8,800 = 0.035% or about one third of a thousandths of the Shroud!

So there already was a potential major problem of the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to AD 1260-1390, that the sample size was so very small that it was not necessarily representative of the whole Shroud. Which was in 2008 shown to be the case by in fact, by Los Alamos National Laboratory analytical chemist Robert Villarreal:

"The results of the FTIR [ Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy] analysis on all three threads taken from the Raes sampling area (adjacent to the C-14 sampling corner) led to identification of the fibers as cotton and definitely not linen (flax). Note, that all age dating analyses were conducted on samples taken from this same area. Apparently, the age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case. What was true for the part was most certainly not true for the whole. This finding is supported by the spectroscopic data provided in this presentation. The recommendations that stem from the above analytical study is that a new age dating should be conducted but assuring that the sample analyzed represents the original main shroud image area, i.e. the fibers must be linen (flax) and not cotton or some other material. It is only then that the age dating will be scientifically correct." (Villarreal, R., Schwortz, B. & Benford, M.S., "Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth," August 16, 2008, "The Shroud of Turin: Perspectives on a Multifaceted Enigma, " 2008 Columbus Ohio International Conference, August 14-17, 2008).

Professor Christopher Ramsey Bronk, whose name ("C.R. Bronk") is on the 1989 Nature paper, as a

[Right: Dr Christopher Bronk Ramsey: Science Photo Library]

member of the Oxford Radiocarbon Laboratory which jointly carbon-dated the Shroud as "medieval ... AD 1260-1390," and is now Director of that same Oxford laboratory, has conceded that, "There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow":

"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information." (Ramsey, C.B., "Shroud of Turin Version 77," Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, 23 March, 2008)

As we will see, there are at least four different, independent, lines of evidence that not only "suggest," but in fact prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow! And therefore the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has to be wrong!

Continued in, "Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has to be wrong!: #2 The Vignon markings (1)."

Stephen E. Jones, B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!

12 comments:

The Deuce said...

I saw that one commenter there tried to take you to task for saying that anything is really final in science, which is kind of ironic since the belief in the infallible finality of the C14 date is the sole factor holding together the "Medieval forgery" theory.

Anyhow, it's instructive to try and think of what it would require for a forger to create something like the Shroud at the C14 date:

1) We have to suppose that the many particular similarities of the man on the Shroud to the Vignon markings, and identical placement of the burn markings on the Hungarian Pray Codex, were copied in the *other* direction. That is, we must suppose that an artist deliberately "drew" the Shroud picture to have the features of the Vignon markings, and that he then made burn holes in the Shroud to match the picture on the Hungarian Pray Codex.

2) We must suppose that the artist didn't actually paint the picture directly though, because the Shroud is not painted, but that he created the picture in some other way, and then somehow "projected" the picture onto the Shroud such that it only burned into the top .002 mm of the fabric, using some mysterious technology that was not known by others at the time, and which we still lack today.

3) In addition to his mysterious knowledge of some still-elusive projection technology, we must suppose that this same artist had a knowledge of 3-dimensional perspectivism, realism, and accurate portrayal of shadow and light-sources in 2-dimensional art, far above any other artist of the time, as there is no other art from the period that is remotely comparable. He also knew how to make a wraparound image of all sides of the body on the Shroud.

4) We must assume that the artist wiped real blood onto the Shroud *before* "projecting" (or whatever) the image onto it, in patterns perfectly matching veins and arteries, and that he then managed to project the picture such that it matched up with the blood markings perfectly, rather than painting the blood on after creating the image like you'd expect. He apparently did this to trick people 100s of years in the future who would note that the image isn't burned in to the areas that have blood on them.

5) Speaking of which, we must suppose that the artist had medical knowledge, most especially of the circulatory system, much in excess of doctors and scientists of the day, not to mention artists. This is in addition to his secret picture projection technology, super-advanced artistic realism,

6) Additionally, he must have managed to get possession of the Sudarium of Oviedo, and made the Shroud to match the blood stains on it as well, not just on the face but on the entire 3-D wraparound image, or else we must say that the matching bloodstains and similar material are pure luck. And quite a stroke of luck that would be, that this remarkable piece of art, produced by a charlatan with knowledge centuries ahead of his time on multiple fronts, would just happen to match another, older relic that also happened to be attributed to Christ! On the other hand, if he had the Sudarium, we have to wonder ask how he got it out of its place of safekeeping in Spain and then put it back.

There are probably several other things I'm missing here, but this is a start.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>I saw that one commenter there tried to take you to task for saying that anything is really final in science,

I hadn't read those comments. But the word "final" was not in my comment. And it is false that nothing is "final in science". Is Copernicus' Heliocentric Theory, that the Earth orbits around the Sun, not final?

But Jackson (and I) would agree that if someone came up with a better theory than his, i.e. that better explains all the major characteristics of the Shroud, as his does, then that would be the new preferred theory, as Jackson's Cloth Collapse theory should be.

BTW, I have asked and received permission from Jackson to publish Jackson's 1991 paper here on my blog, which I will do ASAP.

>which is kind of ironic since the belief in the infallible finality of the C14 date is the sole factor holding together the "Medieval forgery" theory.

Good point. Why is that effectively the `final theory'? Especially when it flies in the face of all the other evidence?

>Anyhow, it's instructive to try and think of what it would require for a forger to create something like the Shroud at the C14 date:

Agreed. Mark Guscin does it in his 1998 book, "The Oviedo Cloth."

>1) We have to suppose that the many particular similarities of the man on the Shroud to the Vignon markings, and identical placement of the burn markings on the Hungarian Pray Codex, were copied in the *other* direction. ...

There was actually a commenter to my blog who proposed that! I responded that at least he admitted that the Pray manuscript (1192-95) did have unique features of the Shroud that required such a desperate explanation!

>2) We must suppose that the artist ... "projected" the picture onto the Shroud such that it only burned into the top .002 mm of the fabric, using some mysterious technology that was not known by others at the time, and which we still lack today.

It is 0.0002 mm. And there is no medieval technology that could do that. Sunlight focused by a crystal lens in a camera obscura couldn't do it, because it would burn the cloth to a greater depth. It required ultraviolet light unknown before the 19th century to do it.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>3) In addition ... we must suppose that this same artist had a knowledge ... far above any other artist of the time ...

Agreed. The problem with modern science is that it has become captive the the philosophy of Naturalism, i.e. "nature is all there is: there is no supernatural." Therefore, a false naturalistic theory is to be preferred over a true supernaturalistic theory.

>4) We must assume that the artist wiped real blood onto the Shroud *before* "projecting" (or whatever) the image onto it, in patterns perfectly matching veins and arteries ...

This is one of many showstoppers for the medieval forgery theory. No artist would or could apply the blood first and then paint around it. But the Shroud being genuine, Jesus' blood was on it before He was resurrected.

>) Speaking of which, we must suppose that the artist had medical knowledge... much in excess of doctors and scientists of the day ...

Maybe Picknett and Prince new edition of their `Leonardo Did It' book will be that Leonardo was a time-traveller. Or an alien!

>) Additionally, he must have managed to get possession of the Sudarium of Oviedo, and made the Shroud to match the blood stains on it as well ...

Another showstopper. Perhaps the ultimate one. The Sudarium has been in Spain since at least AD 840, yet its bloodstains match perfectly those on the head of the Shroud image.

>There are probably several other things I'm missing here, but this is a start.

Thanks for the comment. But save any further comments until I post my other four posts: 1. the Vignon markings; 2. the Pray manuscript; 3. the Sudarium of Oviedo; and 4. the ENEA report.

See my policy about usually only one comment from each person under each blog post. That is so I don't have to waste my time debating the `empty vessels that make the most noise' and I can concentrate on blogging.

Stephen E. Jones

cumpa_29 said...

I have a question on the Sudarium of Oviedo. I have read that it was carbon dated, and that the result came out 7th CAD (when it appears in the historical record). For the life of me, I cannot find more detailed info on this dating. Who did it? Which institution was involved? How many eyeballs were there for this dating?

As a believer in the Shroud's authenticity, I am predisposed to believing that this Sudarium test was either in error, or a product of ill will. I am uncomfortable in leaping to the conclusion of the latter, unless there were only one or two people involved. The sudarium tests were not the subject of intense oversight such as the Shroud's C14 test. This increases the chances for manipulation. Nevertheless, manipulation due to ill will is not a conclusion I'm confortable sticking with. I prefer restraining my natural bias with more solid info.

Do you know details?
Thanks.

Stephen E. Jones said...

cumpa_29

>I have a question on the Sudarium of Oviedo. I have read that it was carbon dated, and that the result came out 7th CAD (when it appears in the historical record).

Two samples of fragments of the Sudarium taken by Max Frei in 1979, were sent by Mario Maroni in 1990 to Tucson and Toronto radiocarbon laboratories, with the result that Tucson dated the samples at "between 642 and 869" and Toronto between "653-786":

"Later, in 1994, it was reported ... that Mario Moroni sent two laboratories, that of the University of Arizona in Tucson and the ISO Trace Radiocarbon Laboratory of Toronto, fragments of the Sudarium taken by Max Frei in 1979. According to this report, the results of the dating were between 642 and 869 (Tucson) and 653-786 (Toronto) with 95% reliability." (Bennett, J., "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image, 2001, p.78).

Mark Guscin investigated the Tucson laboratory dates. In 1992, a second, burned sample was sent by Moroni to Tucson (a sample may have also been sent to Toronto but Bennett does not mention this second sample and Guscin never mentions Toronto).

An Mr Jull of Tucson responded to Guscin that the results were unreliable because they had not been adequately informed of the samples' "provenance":

"I contacted Paul Damon in Arizona again, this time by fax. This time I received a kind answer from Mr A J T Jull. He informed me that samples AA-6049 and AA-8432 had indeed been carbon dated. `Mr Jull continues, `These samples were of linen cloth. ... The second sample was also used by Mr Moroni in some heating experiments, which suggests they were not particularly valuable. Unfortunately, no detailed provenance information was provided by Moroni or his colleagues. In order to produce a radiocarbon date on any particular material, it is important that the origin of the samples be known and clearly stated to the laboratory. In the case of samples of particular archaeological interest, it is important to follow the correct protocols in order that samples ages are not represented as something else at a later date. I do not think this has happened here.'" (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, 1998, p.83).

Guscin sums up that "the whole affair was something of a shambles" and "the supposed results of the carbon dating of the sudarium can safely be ignored":

"To sum up this rather complicated case ... Mario Moroni claims that he has the results of the sudarium's carbon dating. In the papers he provides, there were two datings: 1990-sample V6009-642-869 AD ... [and] 1992-sample AA-8432-540-754 AD ... The only conclusion that can be drawn from this, and the Tucson laboratory would seem to agree, is that the whole affair was something of a shambles. Mr Jull ends his fax to me offering to carry out a serious radiocarbon dating on a sample of interest. The samples were not taken with permission for radiocarbon dating ... When sent, insufficient provenance information accompanied them ... Taking all this into account, the supposed results of the carbon dating of the sudarium can safely be ignored." (Guscin, 1998, pp.83-84).

Guscin then (see my next comment) with devastating wit, points out what would have to be true if these radiocarbon dates of the Sudarium and Shroud were correct.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

cumpa_29

Continued from my previous comment:

"However, let us suppose ... that the results obtained from the carbon dating of both the sudarium and the Shroud are accurate ... In that case, the following story would have to be true.

Sometime in the seventh century, in Palestine ... a ... forger of religious relics saw the opportunity of putting a new product on the market - a cloth that had been over the face of the dead body of Jesus. This forger was also an expert in medicine, who knew that a crucified person died from asphyxiation, and that when this happened, special liquids fill the lungs of the dead body, and can come out through the nose if the body is moved. The only way he could get this effect on the cloth was by re-enacting the process, so this is exactly what he did. He crucified a [victim] ... When the body was taken down from the cross, he [held] ... the folded cloth to the dead volunteer's nose so that future generations would be able to see the outline of his fingers. He even stuck a few thorns in the back of the dead man's neck ... he convinced people that this otherwise worthless piece of cloth was stained with nothing less than the blood and pleural liquid of Christ, and so it was ... considered so ... valuable that it was worth saving first from the invading Persians and later from the Arabs.

A few hundred years later, some time between 1260 and 1390, another professional forger ... decided that the time was ripe for something new.... - the funeral shroud of Jesus! And not only that, but he would also put an image on the Shroud, the image of the man whom the Shroud had wrapped! ... Being an expert in textile weaves, (one of his many specialities, the others being ... Roman whips, and electronic microscopes) he needed linen of a special kind, typical of the Middle East in the first century. Once this had been specially ordered and made, he folded it up before starting his work, as ... such a cloth would have been folded up and hidden in a wall in Edessa for a few hundred years, so the image would be discontinuous on some of the fold marks.

Leaving the cloth folded up, he travelled to Oviedo in the north of Spain, where he knew that a forerunner in his trade had left a cloth with Jesus' blood stains. On obtaining permission to analyse the sudarium, he ... then made an exact plan of the blood stains (carefully omitting those which would have already clotted when the sudarium was used) so that his stains would coincide exactly. After his trip to Oviedo, he went on a tour of what is now Turkey, forming a composite portrait of Jesus from all the icons, coins and images he could find. After all, he needed people to think that his Shroud had been around for over a thousand years, and that artists had used it as their inspiration for painting Christ. He didn't really understand what some of the marks were, the square box between the eyes, the line across the throat, but he thought he'd better put them on anyway ...

Once he was back home, he somehow obtained some blood ... and decided to begin his work of art with the blood stains, before even making the body image. Unfortunately ... the nail stains appeared on the wrist instead of on the palms of the hands, where everyone in the fourteenth century knew that they had been ... Now ... the forger `paints' the image of Christ, a perfect three dimensional negative, without paint or direction. His method was so secret that it went to the tomb with him ... he ... called his wife ... `What do you think?' `... you've forgotten the thumbs' `No, I haven't. Don't you know that if a nail destroys the nerves in the wrist, the thumbs bend in towards the palm of the hand, so you wouldn't be able to see them?' ...

Such a story, even without the embellishments, is more incredible than the Shroud's authenticity."

(Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," 1998, pp.84-88).

See also the first comment above by The Deuce.

Stephen E. Jones

cumpa_29 said...

Stephen,
Thank you for your reply.
So if I understand you correctly, the Labs didn't know what they were testing.
How does a lack of knowledge of the sample's provenance translate into an opportunity to misrepresent the results? One would think that it wouldn't matter if they knew or didn't know. If the cloth was from the 6th or 7th century, the analysis would show it, regardless of whether people knew what it was.


I don't question the connection of the Shroud to the Sudarium. Guscin's logic on the matter mirrors my own. What precisely went wrong with the protocol is what interests me.

To reduce this thing to the fact that they didn't know what they were testing doesn't seem quite right. There has to be a missing angle here.

Does being unsure of the sample's "provenance" really mean that there was absolutely no oversight of the test itself, and that we have to take these scientists at their word? Does following the protocol to the letter really mean a process where we don't find ourselves dependant on the honesty of one or two individuals? If so, then it seems Guscin is accusing these guys of almost certainly lying.

I highly doubt the labs accidentally confused the Sudarium sample with some other 6th century linen that just happened to be in the pipeline that day. And since the Shroud and the Sudarium seem to match so uncannily, my guess is that Guscin is probably right. Either the Sudarium is a 6th C blood-soaked cloth with nothing to do with the Shroud, or the congruence between the two cloths is accurate, and these guys are lying.

That being said, I don't suppose anyone out there is floating around the idea of a second dating (this time following protocol)?

Anonymous said...

cumpa_29

>How does a lack of knowledge of the sample's provenance translate into an opportunity to misrepresent the results?

That's what the Tucson radiocarbon lab said. So radiocarbon dating is evidently not a case of `plug it in and out pops the result', as the public think it is.

There has to be calibration (e.g. for fluctuations in past levels of CO2), re-runs (the three Shroud carbon-dating labs cut up their 1/3rd sample into many sub-samples, so they could re-do a test if they did not like the result), and even statistical manipulation (see below), until they get the answer they were expecting in the first place.

I was reading only the other day that, "to perform a radiocarbon dating, a good deal of archaeological and historical information is indispensable," whereas "In chemical analyses, there is no need for exogeneous information":

"However, to perform a radiocarbon dating, a good deal of archaeological and historical information is indispensable. In chemical analyses, there is no need for exogeneous information. This is the weak point of the Carbon 14 method: its specialists will not accept to proceed with their work unless they are given the probable result. It is anomalous in the scientific field, all the more anomalous since Carbon 14 claimed to have an aura of infallibility among the other chemical analyses." (Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., "The Enigma of the Shroud," 1996, pp. 124-125).

Because of this, Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, a French critic of the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "medieval ... AD 1260-1390", hypothesised that the actual carbon-dating of the Shroud may have been "too recent a date," which exceeded "the known history of the Shroud" and so the results had to be statistically manipulated "according to a method of correction that has become customary ... in order to make them possible":

"Bonnet-Eymard ... advances his hypothesis: the laboratories may have found an amount of Carbon 14 too high with the result that their interpretations tended to move towards too recent a date, for example the fifteenth century, with the obvious anachronism. The statistical commission that had been entrusted with the harmonization of the three results, having looked at the known history of the Shroud, therefore aged them according to a method of correction that has become customary, if not exactly official, in order to make them possible. [Bonnet-Eymard, B., La Contre-Reforme Catholique, Christmas 1988, p.33]." (Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, pp.128-129).

Thanks for your comments, but as per my stated policy, I can only usually allow each individual one comment under each of my blog posts. Otherwise I would be tied up endlessly answering comments and not have the time to make new blog posts.

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

I have read extensively on the 1988carbon dating tests and have come to the conclusion that something was definitely ASKEW!. The dates arrived at cannot be justified by the labs as many protocols were not followed, as most are aware of. Furthermore all other archaeological evidence was not taken into account, just ignored!...Not very professional in my eyes. As for further c14 tests, I think it would be fruitless as the Shroud is way too contaminated, has been thru atleast two fires (that we know of) and if the hypothesis of UVU to create the image is correct, it would be assumed the process would have 'skewed' the c14 amounts on the shroud and possibly the sudarium aswell being in close proximity.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>I have read extensively on the 1988carbon dating tests and have come to the conclusion that something was definitely ASKEW!.

Agreed. The 1989 Nature article itself confirms that in the C14 dating of the Shroud there must have been some built-in contamination, in that all three labs had markedly different dates from each other, and even each from itself, even though the samples were all from the same tiny 1.2 x 0.8 cm postage stamp sized area of the Shroud:

Sample 1
(Shroud)
Arizona AA-3367
A1.1b* 591±30
A1.2b 690±35
A1.3a 606±41
A1.4a 701±33

Oxford 2575
O1.1u 795±65
O1.2b 730±45
O1.1b 745±55

Zurich ETH-3883
Z1.1u 733±61
Z1.1w 722±56
Z1.1s 635±57
Z1.2w 639±45
Z1.2s 679±51

and the same AMS dating method was used by all three labs. The spread of those dates from a max of 795+65=860 (Oxford) to a min of 591-30=561 (Arizona), i.e. 299 years, shows that there had to be contamination from new carbon, e.g. from a 16th century invisible repair.

>The dates arrived at cannot be justified by the labs as many protocols were not followed, as most are aware of.

Yes. The protocols called for samples from different areas of the Shroud and seven laboratories using two different methods. But it was the fault of the Church, not the laboratories, that the protocols were broken, because apparently the Pope secretly told Turin to keep the damage to the Shroud down to the absolute minimum.

>Furthermore all other archaeological evidence was not taken into account, just ignored!...Not very professional in my eyes.

The labs were more interested in the publicity value for their new AMS method of dating. Oxford's Teddy Hall sold his story to the media for £100K. And his lab got £1M in donations for its success in proving the Shroud was a fake.

It was the only C14 dating where the labs asked to date an archaeological artifact and did not charge for their services. It is also the only C14 dating where the labs announced the result to the media, rather than advising the client of the date and letting it announce the date if it wanted to.

>As for further c14 tests, I think it would be fruitless as the Shroud is way too contaminated, has been thru atleast two fires (that we know of) and if the hypothesis of UVU to create the image is correct, it would be assumed the process would have 'skewed' the c14 amounts on the shroud and possibly the sudarium aswell being in close proximity.

Agreed. No other artifact would be C14 dated given such a potentially contaminated history, including the likelihood that it may have been irradiated with neutrons.

And we already know the Shroud has been in existence since the 6th century AD, because of the Vignon markings. With any other archeological artifact that would be decisive, and any C14 date that claimed it was later, would be rejected.

And since the Shroud is at least 6th century, there is no reason to deny it is 1st century, since no one in the 6th century or earlier could have faked it.

Indeed, the ENEA report shows that no one prior to the 14th (or even the 21st) century could have faked the image on the Shroud.

So there seems no reason to submit the Shroud to further C14 dating, which would require further pieces to be cut from it. The C14 labs had their chance and blew it!

Having said that, the Church itself, could as a client, commission a number of different C14 labs to date: 1) charred linen, and 2) pollen, taken from the Shroud during the 2002 restoration. But it would have to be a genuine double-blind test, so that powerful vested interests in the C14 `club' did not (again?) subvert the results.

It would be interesting to see how wrong the 1988 "medieval ... AD 1260-1390" C14 date of the Shroud was. It could become a textbook case study in bad science, i.e. getting the wrong result because you expect (or want, or need), it to be true!

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Totally agree with your last two paragraphs. One needs to wonder though, WHY? Why has the Shroud custodians or the Vatican NOT allowed these 'pieces' to be tested? Or maybe they have, in secrecy ;-)

Thanks for the reply.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Why has the Shroud custodians or the Vatican NOT allowed these 'pieces' to be tested?

As an evangelical protestant I can understand it from the RC Church's point of view.

The Pope (the Owner), the Archbishop of Turin (the Custodian), and probably most Catholics, already now believe the Shroud is authentic because of: 1) the overwhelming evidence that it is (e.g. the four proofs that I am going to present in this series); and 2) the major problems with the 1988 "medieval" C14 dating.

A little known fact is that Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger, was Chairman of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, at the time of the 1988 C14 tests (see my Pope Benedict XVI on the Shroud of Turin being "an image that has not been made by human hands"!), and is very well aware of of the issues for an against the Shroud's authenticity and during the 2010 Exhibition came down on the side of its authenticity (e.g. "Pope Benedict says Shroud of Turin authentic burial robe of Jesus").

What has the RC Church to gain from another C14 test? Because of centuries of irremovable carbon contamination deep inside the flax fibres of the Shroud, and possible neutron irradiation, both of which would yield a younger radiocarbon age, a C14 date is unlikely to yield a 1st century date, but something in between, e.g. 6th century.

Then if that happens the anti-authenticists will probably claim either: 1) the date was a pro-authenticist fraud and demand they have their own anti-authenticists test; or 2) the Shroud was actually created in the 6th century by some unknown genius, which would explain why the Vignon markings suddenly arose in the 6th century.

So a new C14 date, even if it proved the AD 1260-1390 was wrong, probably would just be another big can of worms for the RC Church.

Remember that the RC Church's after all is a church. It is not a scientific organization. The truth of Christianity does not depend on the Shroud's authenticity. The Pope, and Turin's Archbishops, bishops and priests are no doubt already very busy with their `day jobs' and don't have the spare time to organise another C14 dating that probably would be inconclusive anyway.

>Or maybe they have, in secrecy ;-)

I note the ";-)". But to answer your comment anyway. There have been rumours that the Church has done its own C14 date on a piece of the Shroud it kept in 1988 from the same area the three labs were given their samples.

But they could never keep that a secret. Outsiders would have to be involved (the Church does not have it own C14 dating labs) and the secret would be out while they were still planning it. Besides, what could the Church do with a secret C14 date, even if it did come out 1st century?

Stephen E. Jones
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