Carbon dating shroud error repair dating night
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.His technique was so specific that, despite his being limited to High Middle Ages technology, every attempt to reproduce the method has failed or omitted at least one key characteristic.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.It isn’t necessary that scientists or their methods be perfect for us to generally trust their results.
In March 2019, a paper published in the scientific journal by a team of French scientists undermined the labs’ analyses.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.Even those of us who are more scientifically educated usually bow before the certified experts, as well we should.
My first intimation that the Shroud results were under fire came in 1993—oddly enough, from my organic chemistry professor, who testified movingly to the integrity of a friend who had participated in the tests.
As far as scientific credibility goes, however, the press and the skeptic community have taken the 1988 tests at face value precisely because they were performed by scientists using a scientific procedure.