Carbon dating shroud error repair
But when the evidence for fraud consists solely of a compromised radiocarbon test and a 14th-century bishop’s accusation (which tells us neither the forger’s name nor how it was done), simple mulish insistence is hardly persuasive.The preponderance of the evidence to date is against the “medieval forgery” theory. Rather, I’m saying that the “medieval forgery” theory is inherently untenable.But science is first and foremost a not a machine, far less a perfect machine.Scientists themselves are humans, capable of mistakes, prone to cognitive biases, and subject to all the temptations the rest of us mere mortals face.Among other errors, the scientist who cut the samples, working under the direction of two textile experts unfamiliar with the Shroud, took all of them from near a repair patch made in the 16th century rather than from different areas of the cloth.As the French scientists recently reported, the raw data from the tests “strongly suggests” that “homogeneity is lacking;” i.e., the samples were contaminated.It would also have to avoid paints, dyes, and any medium that would bind the fibers.To date, none of the attempts to reverse-engineer the presumed forger’s technique have succeeded—the parameters are too specific.
Furthermore, this monstrously clever person left no other clue to his existence except an allusion in the draft of a bishop’s letter. Perhaps an extraterrestrial mischief-maker was pranking us.
Though this report may not be the final nail in the coffin of the dating debacle, it ought to be clear by now that uncritical acceptance of the tests’ results is unwarranted.
The “medieval forgery” theory, which was never scientifically or historically plausible, remains unproven.
The scientists performing the test complained and protested the departures from the 1986 “Turin protocol” devised to guide the process.
Even assuming their ignorance of the cutting fiasco, they had every reason to believe the integrity of the experiment had been compromised, undermining its credibility.