Thursday, March 9, 2017

Odds "one in a thousand trillion" against the radiocarbon dating!: Steps in the development of my radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud hacker theory #4

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is part #4, "Odds `one in a thousand trillion' against the dating!" of my "Steps in the development of my radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud hacker theory" series. For more information about this series see part #1, "Hacking an explanation & Index." References "[A]", etc., will be to that part of my previous post. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Index] [Previous: My first use of the term "hacker" #3] [Next: Another form of fraud - computer hacking #5]

Odds "one in a thousand trillion" against the radiocarbon dating! Continuing in my post of 20 February 2014, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (2)," I

[Above (enlarge)[2]: Part of Victoria, Australia's Ninety Mile Beach. Ninety miles is ~145 kilometres. Best of luck finding in only one try a particular grain of sand, of 1 mm diameter, on this beach in a strip 145 kilometres x ~5.4 metres wide. Because that is about the probability, "one in a thousand trillion," of the Shroud being first century (as the evidence overwhelmingly indicates), yet its radiocarbon date is 1260-1390![08Dec14]]

presented the following evidence and arguments:

■ Prof. Harry Gove (1922-2009) pointed out that the "probability that the shroud [radiocarbon] dates between 1260 and 1390" yet it is actually "first century" was "about one in a thousand trillion"[A]. But since the Shroud is authentic, according to the overwhelming weight of the evidence, and therefore its actual age is first century or earlier, the odds are "one in a thousand trillion" against the radiocarbon dating being 1260-1390!

■ Given the above it is easier to believe that a fraud was committed in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" than to believe that by a "one in a thousand trillion" chance the three radiocarbon dating laboratories `just happened' to independently converge on the 1260-1390 date range, the midpoint of which, 1325±65 years, `just happens' to be a mere ~30 years before the Shroud first appeared in the undisputed historical record at Lirey, France in c. 1355[B].

■ Which 1325±65 years date the laboratories were aware of (as we saw in part #3). A leading Shroud sceptic, Denis Dutton (1944–2010), had publicly predicted in a journal two years before the 1988 tests, that if the Shroud "were to be carbon-dated it would come in at A.D. 1335, plus or minus 30 years"[C]. I didn't then know it but another leading Shroud sceptic Walter McCrone (1916-2002), had in 1981 publicly predicted in another journal that the Shroud image had been "painted ... about 1355"[D]. So a fraudster would know what date to aim for!

Agnostic but pro-authenticist art historian Thomas de Wesselow, on the basis of the art history evidence, regards the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud to be the equivalent of claiming that "the Shroud was deposited in medieval France by aliens"[E}!

■ Therefore de Wesselow considers fraud in the Shroud's "1325 ± 65 years" radiocarbon date to be a real possibility, because "Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, '1325 ± 65 years' is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve."[F]

Continued in part #5 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of it (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. "90-Mile Beach, Gippsland, Victoria," The Grey Nomads, Travel & Holiday Information Australia, 2017. [return]

Posted: 9 March 2017. Updated: 28 March 2018.

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