Turin Shroud: the latest evidence will challenge the sceptics | Catholic Herald
There are, in understanding what went wrong, important lessons that will Because of the carbon 14 dating, the Shroud of Turin, a religious object the Piltdown man hoax and who participated in the carbon 14 dating of the. In the center of the cloth, the faint front and back imprint of a man's body can be seen. Critics of the Shroud's authenticity cite as evidence the radiocarbon dating of the Further evidence shows that the carbon dating results are wrong. New scientific tests on the Shroud of Turin, which was on display The burial shroud purports to show the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man. Many experts have stood by a carbon dating of scraps of.
They denied that the sample was taken from a damaged area and they argued that any residue from the fire would have been removed during the sophisticated cleaning process that precedes actual testing.
Leoncio Garza-Valdes, a Texas pediatrician and amateur archeologist, and Stephen Mattingly of the University of Texas offered another suggestion. They claimed that they found an organic bioplastic contamination on the Shroud that would not have been removed with the cleaning process that the labs had used.
The bioplastic idea gained traction among many Shroud researchers when Harry E.
The Biggest Radiocarbon Dating Mistake Ever
Gove, a nuclear physicist at the University of Rochester who designed the carbon-dating methods used on the Shroud, gave tentative support to Garza-Valdes and Mattingly.
Sheler, writing in the July 24,issue of U. But the bioplastic idea came up short. For one thing, there is no way to determine the definitive composition of an organic material by scanning electron microscope. Furthermore, it is well known that such polymers obtain their carbon material from the host fibers in this case and not from the atmosphere, hence they would not significantly alter the carbon 14 dating.
On this point, Gove took exception with the bioplastic theory by explaining that the quantity of biological material would be very significant. Because significant material could be easily detected, fibers from the Shroud were examined at the National Science Foundation Mass Spectrometry Center of Excellence at the University of Nebraska.
Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry examination failed to detect any form of bioplastic polymer on fibers from either non-image or image areas of the Shroud. As it turns out, those who suggested that the carbon 14 samples were from a rewoven area were right. This is what was reported in Thermochimica Acta on January 20, Thermochimica Acta is not the sort of journal you will find in the reading room of public libraries.
It is mainly for chemists. It is a peer reviewed journal which means that articles are carefully examined by other scientists to ensure that the science is true, methods are sound, and all explanations and conclusions are completely free of logical fallacies.
Peer review, an exacting process of challenge and correction, is the normal way that scientists announce their findings. Carbon 14 Dating Scientists Fooled When the Piltdown man hoax was uncovered insophisticated chemical analysis techniques, developed in part by Teddy Hall, showed that skull fragments and other bone pieces had been expertly dyed to look older and match each other.
This was done to fool people into thinking the bones were very old. People were fooled and many thought that the Piltdown man might be the missing link. In the case of the Shroud of Turin, it was threads were dyed to look older and to match other threads. It was a small area in one corner of the Shroud where some mending threads had been dyed to look like the rest of the age-yellowed Shroud.
Chemical analysis proves this. There is absolutely no doubt about that. In the case of the Shroud it was the carbon 14 testers that were fooled.
And they should not have been fooled.
There were clues that warranted investigation: InGilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology was given permission to remove a small sample from a corner of the Shroud. In the sample he found cotton fibers. It might have been that the cotton was leftover fibers from a loom that was used for weaving both cotton and linen cloth.
It might have been that the Shroud was exposed to cotton much later, even from the gloves used by scientists. However, when later he examined some of the carbon 14 samples, he noticed that cotton fibers, where found, were contained inside threads, twisted in as part of the thread. It is important to note that cotton fiber is not found anywhere else on the Shroud. H South, while examining threads from the sample on behalf of the Oxford University Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory found similar indication of cotton.
To him it seemed like material intrusion. In an article entitled "Rogue Fibers Found in Shroud," published in Textile Horizons inSouth write of his discovery of "a fine dark yellow strand [of cotton] possibly of Egyptian origin, and quite old.
Giovanni Riggi, the person who actually cut the carbon 14 sample from the Shroud stated: The question should have been asked: It is not found elsewhere on the Shroud.
In the years following the carbon 14 dating, in the years when careful reexamination seemed warranted, other compelling reasons to be suspicious emerged: In the Shroud was subjected to carbon dating technology which dated it to the 13th century.
Predictably, the result has been criticised for a range of reasons. The most recent critique argues that the samples used for the test were taken from an edge of the Shroud that was not simply patched in the middle ages, but patched with a difficult-to-detect interweaving. The Carbon tests it is argued were therefore compromised. A different sort of dating test was conducted by Giulio Fanti of Padua University in This technology uses infra-red light and spectroscopy to measure the radiation intensity through wavelengths, and from these measurements a date can be calculated.
However, a good detective does not rely on one piece of evidence. Instead he gathers and weighs all the facts. Here are the pieces of evidence which I find compelling. It is not a stain, nor is it painted on the Shroud. It is not burned on in a conventional heat application method. Instead it is seared on to the cloth with a technology that has yet to be explained.
The image of the man on the Shroud can be read by 3D imaging technology. Paintings fail this test. Pollen from the Shroud is not only from the Jerusalem area, but from Turkey and the other places the Shroud is supposed to have resided.
He also found clear chemical reasons to believe that the cloth is several centuries older than the carbon dating results. He published his findings in the peer-reviewed journal Thermochimica Acta Vol — Brown was wrong when with a scanning electron microscope he found clear evidence of mending. To measure the age of the shroud, a single sample was cut from a corner of the cloth. That sample was divided among three radiocarbon dating laboratories and a reserved piece was set aside in case it was needed.
The labs, in turn, divided their pieces into sub-samples in order to run multiple tests. Each sub-sample was then burned with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide. An Accelerator Mass Spectrometer was then used to measure the ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 12 isotopes. Because carbon 14 decays over the years, it is possible to used the ratio determines the age of the sample. A problem arises if the sample consists of older original cloth thread and newer threads from mending because the carbon dioxide gas is a mixture of gas having different ratios.
Several textile experts examined documenting photographs of the radiocarbon samples and found what they believed was visual evidence of reweaving.
Based on estimates from these photographs and on a historically-plausible date for reweaving, Ronald Hatfield of Beta Analytic, a leading radiocarbon dating firm, provided estimates that show that the original cloth might, in fact, date to the first century. With all of this evidence in hand, researchers combed records looking for other evidence. It is startling to look back at the clues that were there and ignored: This cotton is unique to the carbon dating sample area.
There is no cotton elsewhere on the shroud. That was an important question because it is not found elsewhere on the Shroud. It may have been aluminum hydroxide, a common mordant used in dying; possibly used to make a repair invisible to the naked eye.
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Remi Van Haelst, a chemist, statistically showed that the sample was not homogeneous, hence suspiciously not a good sample. In other words, different parts of the sample produced starkly different ages, which is consistent with the argument that the samples were from a medieval repair to the cloth.
In light of this does it suffice to simply say that some people question the results? It does sound balanced. It is the sort of balance in reporting that diffuses. If someone is inclined to believe the shroud is real, he or she can continue to do so. If not, he or she can continue to believe in the carbon dating.
But has the reader been given any real information? Balance, when it comes to different opinions, as in politics, is a good thing in journalism. Balancing facts with fiction is not. Diffusing truth is never helpful.
One test for balance is to reverse the argument.