Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #4

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

Introduction. This is part #4 of my concluding summary of the evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[2] was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89)[3], aided by German hacker Karl Koch (1965–89)[4], on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. Previous posts in this series were parts: #1, #2 and #3. I will link the headings back to my previous, "My theory ..." posts on those topics. It is my emphasis below unless otherwise indicated. The next post in this series is part #5.

■ Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper is evidence that the Shroud's dating was hacked [#10(5) & #5] Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper (below) is itself evidence that the radiocarbon dates of

[Above (enlarge): Table 2 in the 1989 Nature paper showing the mean uncalibrated radiocarbon dates of sample 1 (the Shroud) and control samples 2-4, by the three laboratories[5].]

the Shroud samples were not real but were computer-generated by a hacker's (allegedly Timothy W. Linick's) program. This is because, as the Nature paper admitted, across the three laboratories, although "the agreement among the three laboratories for [control] samples 2, 3 and 4 is exceptionally good," yet the "spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the Shroud] is somewhat greater than would be expected:

"An initial inspection of Table 2 shows that the agreement among the three laboratories for samples 2, 3 and 4 is exceptionally good. The spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the Shroud] is somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted"[6]
But, absent some form of fraud (e.g. computer hacking) this is inexplicable, as we shall see.

• This is the exact opposite of claims by Shroud anti- authenticists. The British Museum's Dr Michael Tite at the 13 October 1988 press conference in the British Museum in which he,

[Right (enlarge): Prof. E. Hall, Dr M. Tite and Dr R. Hedges announcing on 13 October 1988 that the Shroud had been radiocarbon dated to "1260-1390!"[7].]

flanked by Oxford's Prof. Edward Hall (1924-2001) and Dr Robert Hedges, announced that the Shroud's radiocarbon date was "1260-1390!", falsely claimed that "the laboratories' findings ... had proved in excellent agreement with each other":

"During the second week of October 1988 press personnel of the English-speaking world were notified that the results would be announced on Thursday, 13 October in the British Museum's Press Room ... Accordingly, .. I joined this gathering in a dingy, poorly lit and overcrowded basement room of the British Museum. At one end of the room had been set a low platform which three men mounted ... They were ... Dr Michael Tite, with the Oxford radiocarbon-dating laboratory's Professor Edward Hall and Hall's chief technician, Dr Robert Hedges. ... their only `prop' was a blackboard behind them on which someone had rather crudely scrawled: `1260-1390!' ... as Dr Tite explained, these numbers represented radiocarbon dating's calculation, to a ninety-five per cent degree of probability, of the upper and lower dates of when the Shroud's flax had been harvested. Representing an average of the laboratories' findings, which had proved in excellent agreement with each other, they indicated that the Shroud's raw flax had most likely been made into linen on or about the year AD 1325, give or take sixty-five years either way."[8]
This was repeated uncritically by the professional sceptic Joe Nickell, that "the labs obtained dates in close agreement":
"That the shroud's cloth dated not to the first century but to the Middle Ages was reported on October 13, 1988, after samples were carbon-dated. Postage-stamp-size samples were snipped from one end of the main portion of the shroud and transferred to laboratories at Zurich, Oxford, and the University of Arizona. Using accelerator mass spectrometry, the labs obtained dates in close agreement: the linen dated from about 1260 to 1390, about the time of the forger's confession. The results were given added credibility by correct dates obtained on control swatches of ancient cloths (Damon et al. 1989)." (my emphasis)[9]

In 1996, Prof. Harry Gove (1922-2009), the co-inventor of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, actually referred to the Nature paper (as Nickell did, and which Tite presumably wrote!), yet falsely claimed it said that, "All three AMS carbon dating laboratories had independently obtained excellent agreement on the ages of the three control samples and the shroud sample":

"On 27th February the 16 February 1989 issue of the British journal Nature (volume 337) finally reached the library in my lab. On pages 611-615 appeared the article titled 'Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin' by P E Damon et al. As reported ... on 13 October 1988 it stated that ... the flax from which the shroud's linen was made was harvested between 1260 and 1390 AD. The ... results were clear. All three AMS carbon dating laboratories had independently obtained excellent agreement on the ages of the three control samples and the shroud sample." [10]
The above are prime examples of Shroud sceptics' self-deception in believing what they want to be true, overriding what clearly was true: the Shroud sample dates were in wide disagreement (as we shall see). And of what the late leading physicist Richard Feynman (1918–88) called, "cargo cult science," to avoid which:
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists" [11]

• This is inexplicable if the Shroud sample dates were real, given that the three laboratories' Shroud `postage stamp' size samples[12] were all sub-divided from the same sliver cut from the Shroud[13] (see below). And at each laboratory, both Shroud and

[Above (enlarge): Drawing of the approximately 8 cm x 1.2 cm Shroud sample, which was subdivided into sub-samples from right to left: "A" (Arizona), "Z" (Zurich), "O" (Oxford), and "A1" (Arizona additional), with a photograph of the sample superimposed over the bottom right hand side[14]. Clearly there can be no significant difference between sub-samples from such a tiny sample.]

control samples were converted to pure carbon and then compressed into tiny carbon pellets inside the holders on a carousel wheel (see below):

"Next the sample became a target. The powdery graphite was ... loaded into tiny target holders, and thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch was applied with a drill press. The Shroud sample was now a target for the beam of caesium atoms which was to be fired at it"[15].

The carousel wheel at each laboratory on which Shroud and control samples' graphite pellets were all together awaiting irradiation by a caesium beam was "a little larger than a [British] two pence coin" (about 26 mm or 1 in) in diameter[16]:

"Like gunpowder packed into a bullet casing, the Shroud sample now reduced to graphite is compressed into metal pellets one millimetre in diameter. A drill press with thousands of pounds of pressure is used for this task. Ten pellets with graphite are loaded into holes in a small carousel that is a little larger than a two pence coin ... The carousel is loaded into the end of the accelerator, and under a vacuum, a beam of caesium atoms is fired at the graphite target"[17]

[Left (enlarge): Carousel wheel of the CEDAD (CEntro di DAtazione e Diagnostica) AMS radiocarbon dating facility at the University of Salento, Italy[18]. This carousel wheel has 12 target holders and is of unknown diameter. Arizona's and Zurich's (and presumably Oxford's since all three were effectively clones[19]) carousel wheel had ten holders and its diameter was about 26 mm or 1 inch (see above).]

Then the Shroud and control sample graphite pellets on the one ~26 mm or ~1 inch diameter carousel wheel at each laboratory were irradiated together by the one caesium beam for a total of ten minutes:

"There were three or four members of the AMS team there when I arrived and they had almost finished the five minute per sample cesiation. This consisted of rotating each of the ten samples, located on the ion source wheel, into the cesium beam ensuring that the sample was coated with cesium ... The first sample run was OX1. Then followed one of the controls. Each run consisted of a 10 second measurement of the carbon-13 current and a 50 second measurement of the carbon-14 counts. This is repeated nine more times and an average carbon-14/carbon-13 ratio calculated. All this was under computer control and the calculations produced by the computer were displayed on a cathode ray screen"[20].
As stated above the process was fully "under computer control" so human error cannot have intervened in the process, to cause the Shroud sample dates at each laboratory to disagree widely (as they did-see next), while the control samples dates had "exceptionally good agreement. The AMS system is clearly designed so that if there was a problem with the dating process at a laboratory, then its target (Shroud) and control sample dates would wrongly agree together, and disagree together with the correct Shroud and control samples dates of the other two laboratories. Otherwise AMS radiocarbon dating in general would be unreliable and this "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" AMS radiocarbon date of the Shroud would have to be disregarded anyway (as it should have been)!

So again it is inexplicable if the Shroud sample dates were real (and not computer-generated by a hacker's (allegedly Timothy W. Linick's) program in this fully computerised process), for "the agreement among the three laboratories for [control] samples 2, 3 and 4" to be "exceptionally good," yet the "spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the Shroud]" to be somewhat greater than would be expected.

• The uncalibrated dates of sample 1 (the Shroud) in Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper are widely different. As can be seen in Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper (see above), sample 1 (the Shroud)'s average uncalibrated radiocarbon date by each laboratory was widely different, unlike the non-Shroud samples (2, 3 and 4). Prof. Gove criticised the 1989 Nature paper for having been, "opaquely written" and "difficult to comprehend ... even by experts in the field":

"On 27th February the 16 February 1989 issue of the British journal Nature (volume 337) finally reached the library in my lab. On pages 611-615 appeared the article titled 'Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin' by P E Damon et al. ... The article was rather opaquely written-difficult to comprehend in complete detail even by experts in the field ..."[21]
Presumably this was deliberate so as to conceal the inexplicable fact that the Shroud sample dates between the three laboratories were widely different. If so, then this itself was a form of scientific fraud, or at least scientific dishonesty. Again, according to Richard Feynman's 1974 graduation address at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech):
"It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty - a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid-not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, And how they worked-to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can-if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong-to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. ... In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another ... I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. ... If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results."[22]
That there are wide differences in the Shroud sample dates between the three laboratories is clearer in my spreadsheet table and chart below, based on the years in column "1" (the Shroud sample) of Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper (see above), showing the age ranges (before 1950)[23] and the years they equate to.

[Above: Spreadsheet table, based on column "1" (the Shroud sample) of Table 2 in the 1989 Nature paper, showing minimum and maximum uncalibrated year ranges of each of the three laboratories' average for Sample 1 (the Shroud).]

As can be seen above in the column "Age (bef. 1950)," Oxford's years range 780-720 doesn't overlap Arizona's 677-615 or Zurich's 700-652, and Arizona's and Zurich's ranges overlap by only 25 years (677-652). And in the column "Years," when subtracted from 1950, Oxford's 780-720 equates to a years range of 1170-1230, which doesn't overlap either Arizona's 1273-1335 or Zurich's 1250-1298. Moreover, Arizona's and Zurich's ranges again overlap by only 25 years (1273-1298). This is even clearer in my spreadsheet bar chart below.

[Above: Bar chart, based on the uncalibrated years in my spreadsheet table above, which in turn is based on the average age ranges for each laboratory's dating of Sample 1 (the Shroud) in Table 2.]

As can be seen in the bar chart above, which again is based on column "1" (the Shroud sample) of Table 2 in the 1989 Nature paper, (see above), there are wide differences between the three laboratories' dating of the Shroud (sample 1). Visually (allowing for the limitations of the spreadsheet), Oxford's year range of 1170-1230 does not overlap those of the other two laboratories: Arizona 1273-1335 or Zurich 1250-1298. And visually, Arizona's 1273-1335 and Zurich's 1250-1298 ranges overlap by only 25 years 1273-1298.

• The calibrated dates of sample 1 (the Shroud) in Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper are also widely different. The above are uncalibrated years (i.e. not calibrated to take account of past variations in atmospheric CO2), because that is all that is shown in the tables of the 1989 Nature paper. Yet the paper does not in its text refer to "uncalibrated" dates but only to "calibrated" dates:

"The results of radiocarbon measurements at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich yield a calibrated calendar age range ... for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of AD 1260-1390 ... These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval"[24]

There does not appear to have been published anywhere each laboratory's dating of the Shroud in calibrated years. However, the Nature paper on page 614, Fig. 2, has a calibration curve graph[25] (see below), from which I have converted the above uncalibrated years into calibrated calendar years.

[Above: Calibrated years of Arizona (red), Zurich (green) and Oxford (orange) laboratories, based on the ages (before 1950) and years in Table 2, drawn using Windows Paint™ on a copy of the calibration curve of Fig. 2, page 614, of the 1989 Nature paper.]

Below is my spreadsheet table based on these calibrated years, derived from the calibration curve of Fig. 2.

[Above: My spreadsheet table showing calibrated years of the Shroud (sample 1) based on Table 2 and Fig. 2 of the 1989 Nature paper.]

See my bar chart below for a clearer view of the still wide differences between the three laboratories' dating of the same `postage stamp' sized sample (see above) of the Shroud divided between the three laboratories and dated by the same AMS method.

[Above: My bar chart of the Shroud samples' calibrated years based on my table above, which is turn is based on Table 2 and Fig. 2 of the 1989 Nature paper.]

As can be seen, there are still wide variations between the three laboratories' calibrated dating of the Shroud, with Oxford's years 1264-1275 still not overlapping Arizona's 1285-1314 or Zurich' 1285-1293 and those latter two laboratories overlapping by only 8 years (1285-1293).

• This is explicable if the Shroud sample dates were computer-generated by a hacker's program. Again, it is inexplicable (and in fact no explanation has ever been given) that the agreement between the three laboratories in their non-Shroud control samples was "exceptionally good," yet the "spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the Shroud]" was "greater than would be expected." As we saw above, the three laboratories' `postage stamp' size Shroud sub-samples all came from the one sliver of linen cut from the Shroud. The three AMS laboratories were effectively clones, so there was no essential difference in their dating machinery and processes. The Shroud and control samples at each laboratory were all together on the one small (~26 mm = ~1 inch diameter) carousel wheel, and were all irradiated together for a total 10 minutes by the one caesium beam, during which time the fully computerised carbon 14 measurements were taken. If there was a problem with a laboratory's dating, then the spread of measurements of its Shroud and non-Shroud control samples would wrongly agree together, and disagree with that of the other two laboratories' Shroud and non-Shroud control samples. But again, it is explicable if the Shroud sample dates were not from the Shroud, but were computer-generated by a hacker's program. And as we shall see next, there is evidence that the hacker was Arizona laboratory physicist, Timothy W. Linick (1946-89).

Continued in part #5 of this series.

Notes
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E., 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 5 May 2015. [return]
5. Damon, 1989, p.613. [return]
6. Ibid. [return]
7. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.7 & pl.3b. [return]
8. Wilson, 1998, pp.6-7. [return]
9. Nickell, J., 2007, "Relics of the Christ," The University Press of Kentucky: Lexington KY, pp.136-137; Nickell, J., 1993, "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, p.28; Nickell, J., 2005, "Voice of Reason: The Truth Behind the Shroud of Turin," Livescience , 18 March. [return]
10. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.301. [return]
11. Feynman, R.P., 1985, "Cargo Cult Science," in "`Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!': Adventures of a Curious Character," Unwin Paperbacks: London, Reprinted, 1990, p.343. [return]
12. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, pp.104; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.94; Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.170. [return]
13. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.6; Wilson, 1998, pp.6,191; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.82A, 87, 95. [return]
14. Wilson, 1998, p.189. [return]
15. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.142. [return]
16. "Two Pence Coin Designs and Specifications," The Royal Mint, 10 June 2014. [return]
17. Sox, 1988, p.145. [return]
18. "Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," CEDAD, University of Salento, Italy, 27 June 2006. [return]
19. Wilson, 1991, p.178; Wilson, 1998, p.192; Wilson, 2010, p.281. [return]
20. Gove, 1996, p.262. [return]
21. Gove, 1996, p.301. [return]
22. Feynman, 1985, pp.341-343. [return]
23. See note under "FIG.1 ... Ages are given in yr BP (years before 1950)." Damon, 1989, p.611. [return]
24. Damon, 1989, p.614. [return]
25. Ibid. [return]


Posted: 18 November 2015. Updated: 26 October 2016.

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