Unreliability of Radiometric Dating and Old Age of the Earth

christian explanation of carbon dating

But are dates from mica always accepted, and do they always agree with the age of their geologic period? The observed value is between 0. What is telling here is the fact that Reynolds, instead of using a scientific approach to look at the problem, applies his own reasoning that must necessarily accord with his preferred historical interpretation. Most of the decay rates used for dating rocks are known to within two percent.

About E.M.Smith

The actual interpretation of such ranges in terms of "confidence" depends on the probability distribution model chosen to model the error. The most recent state as of late of the Aegean tree-ring chronology is shown in Figure 23 which also appeared in a slightly expanded form in I am afraid the debate over the age of the Earth has many similarities. Radiocarbon, or Carbon dating, was developed by W. The Principles of Dendochronology.

If there are open wounds at these low points then you may get some blood flow, but you won't likely get blood flowing from wounds on the top of a body that is lying on its back.

And since the Bible [John Although contradicting the Bible account, the body shown in the shroud was not washed. Washed or not, evidently there was blood flowing freely from all of Jesus' wounds, not just the lower ones due to gravity, which is difficult to explain. Obviously Jesus would have bled while being tortured and crucified, but once dead the bleeding would have stopped and the exposed blood would have dried.

The body was not washed, and the dried blood should not have transferred to the shroud. If the blood hadn't dried by the time Jesus was wrapped in the cloth unlikely , then this means that while he was being removed from the cross and carried to the tomb, it would have been very difficult for those handling his body not to have smudged and rubbed the blood flows.

If you've seen Mel Gibson's sadistic movie 'Passion of the Christ' , which the Catholic Church assures us is an accurate portrayal of Jesus' final hours, then you'll remember that Jesus was naked and literally swimming in blood.

Carrying a naked, heavy, slippery dead body without touching the blood flows would be impossible. And strangely enough, the shroud image is not covered in blood.

Just a little blood to indicate the wounds described in the Bible. Even if by some 'miracle' the blood flows were still wet and not disturbed, as soon as you wrapped the body in an absorbent linen cloth, the blood would spread into the material.

The detail that is supposedly seen in the image would be lost. Same with the blood from the scalp wound, it should mat the hair, not run in rivulets. Far from being accurate, the blood flows are more like an artist's representation of blood. The only wound that possibly conveys unexpected detail is the one in the wrist. And I say unexpected for someone living in the 21st century, not necessarily unknown detail for someone in the 14th century.

The Bible clearly states that on the cross nails were driven though the hands. Most historical literature and paintings have continued with this tradition.

Yet we have since re-discovered that nails through the hands will not support the weight of a crucified body. However historical documents have also revealed that many of the victims were actually tied to the crossbar rather than nailed, so perhaps if nails were used as well, they could still go through the hands.

Anyway, since we haven't crucified people for centuries, we have forgotten the practical details and simply assumed that the Bible was accurate about the hands. We also arrogantly assume that since we didn't know the true details, then ignorant peasants in the Middle Ages wouldn't have known either.

But they lived a lot closer to crucifixion times than we did, so it's quite possible that some people still remembered how it was really done. We need to stop assuming that man in times gone by was intellectually inferior to 21st century man. A similar argument is used for the fact that the image is naked.

Paintings from the Middle Ages always show Jesus with some sort of loin cloth, thus, just as with the bit about the nails, it's suggested that medieval artists obviously didn't know he was really naked.

Crucifixion was a brutal punishment designed to act as an example to others. The Romans had just tortured him and were now killing him, are we expected to believe that they would be concerned about his nudity embarrassing him?

His public nakedness would have been part of the punishment. Likewise, just because they normally painted him with nails through the hands didn't mean that they didn't know they should really go through the wrist. The shroud artist may simply have decided to forgo tradition and create a more realistic image, naked and with wounds in the wrist.

Of course if you still accept the argument that there is a lot of unexpected detail in the image, you then have to explain why a lot of detail you would expect is actually missing. For example the navel is missing. The body's buttocks, chest and toes "are defined poorly or not at all". The ears are missing. The top of the head is missing. The genitals are not visible.

One pro-shroud website article explains this item away with the following: What Jewish custom, and why would the body need a 'modesty cloth'? It was wrapped from head to toe in an opaque cloth. Also why did the radiation or whatever it was that created the image not penetrate the modesty cloth? The missing genitalia, whether covered by an unnatural posture, magic underwear or simply missing would suggest an artist trying to maintain Jesus Christ's modesty rather than portraying a naked body in a natural posture.

And of course, as I've already mentioned, there are evidently serious anatomical problems with the image — "Jesus' face, body, arms, and fingers were unnaturally thin and elongated, one forearm was longer than the other, and his right hand is too long. Jews who lived in the 1st century were much shorter than this. The front and back images, in particular of the head, do not match up precisely, and the back image is longer than the front. The back of the head is wider than the front of the head.

The hair is hanging straight down, as if the man was sitting. It is simply an attempt to portray a wounded and bleeding body, a rather poor attempt. Rather than describe things that they couldn't have known, they actually got many details wrong. Details that they would have known well.

After all, humans have been exposed to the sight of wounded, bleeding and dead bodies for thousands of years. We may be relatively shielded from that today, but in medieval times artisans would have been extremely familiar with blood and dead bodies.

History details numerous wars involving close combat with sharp implements, the Inquisition with its judicial torture had already begun and remember also that the Black Death occurred during the 14th century so blood and death would have surrounded those living during this time.

They may not have known why blood flowed but they would have been depressing familiar with all manners of horrific wounds and bleeding bodies.

So now that we've established the real problems with the image, we move to the second part of the question: Any fool can create an image that doesn't accurately reflect reality. Since the image displays many details that don't occur naturally, the shroud image can't have formed by being wrapped around a real dead body.

The STURP group researched the Shroud and discovered that the cloth covered a real human body, the blood stains on the cloth were real blood, the image on the cloth could not have been burned on and the image on the cloth could not have been painted on. What do you think of their findings? Unfortunately almost all of these scientists were deeply religious, many were not specialised in the field they investigated and they were actively trying to prove its authenticity.

In their book 'Debunked! Knowing that the proportion of believers to agnostics is much different in scientific circles than it is in the general population, they calculated that the odds of selecting a group of 40 scientists at random and achieving this high ratio of believers is 7 chances in 1,,,,, In other words the makeup of this group is stacked and very biased towards authenticating the shroud, and therefore you must take their claims with an extremely large grain of salt.

In fact before they even examined the shroud, STURP scientists went on record with statements such as: Remember also that the authenticity of the shroud is vastly more important to Christians scientists than it is to secular scientists. So if secular scientists may have been prepared to cheat to discredit the shroud, as suggested by some shroud supporters, then it is equally reasonable to believe that Christian scientists are even more likely to cheat and falsify their results.

We are not for a moment suggesting that the STURP group has been in any way dishonest, however all scientists must be continually alert that they don't allow their personal beliefs or desires to unconsciously bias their experimental results.

STURP claiming that the cloth covered a real human body and that the alleged stains were real blood does not make it so. Other scientists have claimed just the opposite, that there is no blood on the Shroud: We've already mentioned that this "real blood" doesn't behave like real blood and that the argument that the cloth covered a real body is also suspect, since there are serious anatomical problems with the image. It's also vitally important to realise that even if there was a real body and real blood on the shroud, whose body was it, whose blood was it?

Even if STURP's results were correct — real body, real blood — this knowledge can in no way be used to connect the shroud with the crucifixion of Jesus.

Many hospitals possess cloths that contained real bodies and real blood, but none wrapped Jesus. STURP's claim that the image was not burnt or painted onto the cloth is accepted.

However other scientists have detected what they believe could be paint pigments. As already mentioned, if the image was created by using a bas-relief technique that was known in the Middle Ages, no burning or brush strokes would be evident. The facts are that STURP did their tests in , with the scientific tools they had available at the time and, importantly, they were unable to date the shroud. Carbon dating in , a more invasive and accurate test, has since dated the shroud to between and CE.

Unlike religion, science is willing to accept more reliable evidence. How would you respond to the fact that certain paintings from the 8th century exist that show the Shroud? I have no knowledge of any paintings from the 8th century that show the shroud.

The only picture I'm aware of that allegedly depicts the shroud, prior to CE, is from a document called the Hungarian Pray Manuscript or Pray Codex, produced between and An illustration in this appears to show Jesus being prepared for burial and the shroud after the resurrection, although it takes considerable imagination to see the shroud in the picture Click image to enlarge. It's claimed that it shows the unusual weave of the cloth, some burn marks, the act of Jesus trying to cover his genitals and the fact that you can't see Jesus' thumbs, just like the shroud.

There is the claim that four small circles in this image do match burn marks on the shroud, but why the obsession to show minor burn marks on the cloth that had nothing to do with the crucifixion, and yet omit important details such as the wounds through the wrists and feet of Jesus, in fact there is no sign of blood on the body or the shroud.

The hands are shown in the wrong position, and in the shroud image Jesus clearly has a moustache and beard, but not in the manuscript image. We're asked to believe that the artist went out of his way to show the unimportant herringbone pattern weave of the shroud, which isn't at all obvious, and the four small burn marks, but seemingly ignored the important detail the shroud revealed of Jesus. Why bother getting a very minor thing like the linen right, which was evidently common in the Middle Ages, if you're not going to bother showing the right clothes, since the people administering to Jesus are shown dressed in medieval clothes?

As for the artist deliberately omitting the thumbs to accurately portray the image on the shroud, supporters neglect to tell us that the man with his hand on the chest of Jesus is also missing a thumb, as is the guy top right and the guy bottom left has five fingers and no thumb.

Obviously the artist simply had a problem with drawing hands. There is also a large halo like object around Jesus' head. Why didn't that show up on the shroud image? And Jesus covering his genitals is just another example of artistic modesty. It's actually quite clear that the manuscript doesn't show the shroud, since a simple description of the shroud would be 'a large cloth with the image of a crucified man on it'.

Why paint a blank shroud if you're trying to show that the burial shroud of Jesus has his image imprinted on it? The only thing that makes the Shroud of Turin stand out from any other burial shroud is the mysterious image on it. And yet this mysterious image is the very thing that the manuscript neglects to show!

It's claimed that they thought the burn marks were important to record for posterity, but evidently they could see no reason to show that the shroud had an image of Jesus on it. Clearly they had no knowledge of it.

Can you imagine any modern Christian raving about the Shroud of Turin to someone who had never heard of it and all they talk about is the small burn marks and the herringbone weave of the cloth, and never reveal that it contains a miraculous image of Jesus?

Without the image the shroud is just a piece of old cloth. And yet this is exactly what the Hungarian pray manuscript does, they refer to the death and burial of Jesus with pictures and text, but not once do they show an image on the shroud or mention that one could be seen. In fact no where in the text do they mention that the real burial shroud of Jesus, with or without an image, still exists and can be viewed.

Why can no one be bothered to mention that this shroud actually still exists until the 14th century? People deceptively insist that this is an accurate representation of the shroud, but what it omits is far more revealing than what it appears to show. The only other image mentioned by shroud proponents is the 'Image of Edessa' or the Edessa Cloth or the Holy Mandylion.

This was an ancient cloth allegedly bearing an image of the face of Jesus. It no longer exists, if it ever did. The legend for this cloth began when Jesus was still alive, and like most legends, this one has been continuously embellished on each retelling. King Abgar of Edessa wrote to Jesus asking for his help, and initially the King only received a letter from Jesus, then the legend changed to one of the disciples bringing him a small cloth bearing the image of Jesus' face.

The legend continues to change in certain details, but it important to note that the cloth never shows a full body image, only the face, and this legend actually began when Jesus was still alive, so it can't be referring to a burial cloth. By suggesting that they are in fact one and the same, even though they all acknowledge that these references to the 'Image of Edessa' always refer to it as an image of the face and never as a full body image.

If the Shroud of Turin was known to history as the 'Image of Edessa' , this would give the shroud a traceable history from the time of Jesus up until the Middle Ages.

Only the face was visible because the shroud was folded up, like a beach towel on a shelf. They want us to believe that for all the centuries that this cloth existed, not one of its owners realised that it was actually a folded, 20 lb, 14 foot piece of linen displaying two full length images of Jesus. None noticed that the image extended beyond the face.

Just how stupid to they think these people were, or us if we are to believe this fairytale? Proponents also fail to highlight that painters' representations of the 'Image of Edessa' bear no resemblance to the image on the shroud. While there are references to Jesus and burial cloths prior to the midth century, the Bible for example, there are none that could reasonably be said to depict the Shroud of Turin.

The most important and respectable reference, the Bible, actually conflicts utterly with the Shroud of Turin. Thus the shroud does not appear in history before the 14th century.

If people claimed this was the burial cloth of Pontius Pilate or any other known historical person, would you believe it to be authentic? The answer to this question as it stands is a simple no. There is nothing about the shroud that matches what we know about Pontius Pilate.

As for other people from history, there were a large number crucified that could theoretically have left behind burial cloths. The biblical description of the cloth and the missing historical record can be ignored if this shroud didn't belong to Jesus, but the scientific problems would still exist and would still suggest that it wasn't a 1st century burial cloth. However I suspect that this question is hinting at something else. Many Christians can't understand why skeptics are seemingly quite willing to accept stories about historical figures such as Pontius Pilate, Josephus or Tacitus by reference to historical documents, but then are highly skeptical of stories about Jesus or other biblical figures featured in other historical documents, specifically the Bible.

Some Christians suggest that skeptics are not consistent, that we demand a higher standard of evidence for events involving Jesus than we do for other historical figures.

This is blatantly incorrect. It needs to be highlighted that historians don't necessarily accept everything they read about people such as Pontius Pilate. The Bible tells us that he supposedly performed as judge in the trial and execution of Jesus, yet no Roman record mentions such a trial. Thus Pilate's existence is more widely accepted than his connection with Jesus.

What some Christians don't grasp is that historians may be prepared to accept, on rather weak evidence, that Pontius Pilate for example, may have had two children. Pilate having children is perfectly feasible, it doesn't contradict other reports about Pilate or known laws of physics and it doesn't have any real impact on history. Christians then make the unwarranted leap that weakly supported claims about Jesus should also be accepted. If this merely involved the possibility that he ran his own carpentry business before turning to preaching or that he had two brothers, then historians would happily accept these claims as plausible even if there was only weak evidence for them.

However the claims that Christians want accepted, based on weak or non-existent evidence, is that Jesus was actually God, that he walked on water, turned water into wine, raised people from the dead, performed numerous miracles and rose from the dead himself after being executed. These are claims that no sane person would accept without extraordinary evidence, yet Christians imply that if these claims were attributed to Pontius Pilate then historians would be more accepting of them, due to different standards.

This is utter rubbish. Imagine if an ancient document surfaced that said Pilate could fly like a bird, turn himself invisible and walk through walls. Historians and skeptics would correctly state that there is no evidence that humans can perform these magical feats, that no one else wrote about Pilate possessing these powers and that Pilate himself did not write about it.

They would deduce that this one document was a fantasy and could not be relied on to inform us about Pontius Pilate. And Christians would wholeheartedly support this conclusion.

They would see it as ridiculous and impossible that Pilate had these magical powers. Even if you claimed that Pilate had these powers because he was actually the son of the Roman god Jupiter, still no one would believe you, neither skeptic nor Christian. The fact that Pilate was a real historical person rather than a biblical figure would not stop skeptics immediately dismissing this claim.

Rather than the skeptic being inconsistent in the way that they deal with different historical claims, it is in fact the Christian that is guilty of this crime. Christians are perfectly happy when skeptics refuse to believe certain stories surrounding numerous other famous historical figures, and indeed, they don't believe them themselves. Not only are skeptics disbelieving of their exploits, they don't even believe they existed at all.

And yet when these same methods of inquiry are turned on a similar historical figure called Jesus, suddenly researchers are accused of being biased and unfair. It is important to realise that these figures are not silly fairytale caricatures. Long before Jesus allegedly appeared, they were the 'Jesus' of their time. They were believed to exist by most of the population and the similarity of some gods with the Jesus figure yet to come is considerable.

Osiris, Dionysus, Mithra, Adonis, Bacchus, Attis etc all had events in their "lives" that would later be retold in the Jesus story. The myths concerning these names all involved 'a dying and resurrecting godman, who was known by many different names. Fundamentally all these godmen are the same mythical being Some details about the 'Osiris-Dionysus' god clearly demonstrates this similarity with Jesus: He had 12 disciples.

He turned water into wine at a wedding. He healed the sick, exorcised demons, provided miraculous meals and performed other miracles. He rode triumphantly into town on a donkey. His followers symbolically ate bread and drunk wine to commune with him. He was crucified as a sacrifice to redeem the sins of the world and was resurrected on the third day. If you removed the name Osiris and Dionysus from the above list of events, Christians could easily be convinced that you were describing the life of Jesus.

And yet as similar as the ancient figures Osiris, Dionysus, Mithra, Adonis, Bacchus, Attis etc are to Jesus, not one single Christian believes that they existed. Christians will categorically state that there is no evidence whatsoever that there once existed someone who was born of a virgin, turned water into wine and rose from the dead — if that someone was called Osiris or Dionysus.

They will confidently claim that any rational person should be able to discern that these stories are myths, with no support from science or history. Yet in the next breath they will assign the identical story to Jesus and proclaim it as fact. The reasons they so confidently trumpeted to demonstrate the falseness of the Osiris and Dionysus stories are forgotten.

It is Christians who are inconsistent, who have different standards of proof, who correctly turn the full glare of reason and science onto the beliefs of others, but then turn down it's brilliance when examining their own. Thus skeptics do not have to fear that they are being unfair to Christians by refusing to give their stories equal credence with those of Pontius Pilate. It's a level playing field and claims stand or fall after being exposed to the same rational inquiry.

Of course it would be revealing to ask shroud supporters the same type of question: If people claimed this was the burial cloth of Osiris, Dionysus or Zeus or any other known historical person, would you believe it to be authentic?

But Christians never take skeptics to task for not believing that a certain Greek urn might have been used by Zeus, that a certain Roman toga might have been worn by Jupiter or that a recently discovered Egyptian sarcophagus might have been occupied by Osiris. Christians never accuse skeptics of being biased and unfair as they debunk these historical figures. Just the Jesus one. Does more research need to be done on the Shroud?

Do you think more research needs to be done on the Shroud? From an intellectual point of view it would be interesting to know exactly how the image was created, by whom and for what reason. That said, this would be a frivolous pursuit. There are far more important things that our scientists could be doing. The conclusions reached, whether 1st century or 14th century, would still just be considered a curiosity by most and have no impact on our future.

If the shroud is from the 14th century, further scientific tests would just reconfirm the medieval date with increased accuracy. However shroud proponents have already shown that they aren't prepared to accept, and will challenge, any scientific result that doesn't favour authenticity, eg carbon dating. Is there any test that shroud proponents would accept?

Probably not, as the carbon dating result should have squashed all serious debate. The other possibility of course is that further testing could actually show that the shroud was 1st century after all.

But how could shroud proponents accept 31 CE without labelling themselves hypocrites? They would basically be saying, 'I will accept any test as accurate that gives a 1st century result, and challenge all tests that don't'.

Many shroud proponents already have their desired answer and now they merely need a test to return that date.

Whether it's a revised form of radiometric dating or a silly psychic channelling one of the disciples is immaterial. Unfortunately there is no conceivable test that can be performed to conclusively prove it is the burial cloth of Jesus.

Remember that nowhere in the Bible is there even a vague description of what Jesus might have looked like. Also remember that the Gospels that purport to describe his life and death were not written during his lifetime. They were not written by anyone that had ever met Jesus and in some cases they were written by people that weren't even familiar with Palestine of the 1st century or with Jewish custom.

Originally they had no titles and only in later years were the Gospels called Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. However these disciples of Jesus were long dead before the gospels were written.

Other than the New Testament of the Bible, there exists no other written document that mentions Jesus as an historical figure. The writings of Josephus and Tacitus that mention Jesus have been shown to be clear forgeries by the early church. At the end of an article by Frank R. Zindler — 'Did Jesus Exist? None mentioned Jesus, and thus we have no information whatsoever about Jesus that might be used to tie him to the image on the shroud.

The Bible contains no hints, no details at all, so how can anyone say that an image resembles him? And it should be obvious that he certainly wouldn't resemble the tall, light haired, European male that the churches and movies portray. He was Jewish not Swedish. We have no sketches, no photos, no blood group, no DNA sample. Since he supposedly had no children, he has no descendants that we can take DNA from to compare with DNA found on the shroud. His mother Mary had other kids according to the Bible, although this is debated by some Christians, but if she did, we have no idea who her descendants would be, so again we can't take DNA samples for comparison.

The most promising outcome that could be achieved from a pro-shroud perspective is that scientific tests demonstrated that the shroud linen could be dated to the 1st century, that it did contain human blood and pollen from Palestine, and it had wrapped a crucified Jewish man. However this in itself proves nothing about it being the burial cloth of Jesus.

Everyone agrees that linen was common in 1st century Palestine, as was blood, pollen and crucified Jewish men. At the end of the day most scientifically minded, rational people, Christian and non-Christian, have accepted the carbon dating result. The shroud is a medieval fake or religious icon. New evidence that supported this conclusion would make little difference to the devout believer in the shroud. They would not be swayed. Even if Jesus himself appeared in puff of smoke and said it was a fake, I suspect that they would merely say that the apparition was the work of the Devil.

Thus further testing is unnecessary and would be a waste of time and resources. However the Vatican won't allow further testing so it's a moot point. What is your number one reason why you don't believe this cloth could possibly be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ? Perhaps surprisingly, I'm not going to say carbon dating. There is a far more powerful argument than any single piece of evidence.

It is the consensus of expert opinion. Think of a murder trial where several expert witnesses are called to produce evidence. If none of these witnesses can reach agreement as to whether the accused is guilty, then a guilty verdict is unlikely. However if the expert witnesses all concur, all agree that the evidence strongly points towards the accused having committed the murder, then the public can have greater confidence in a guilty verdict. In regards to the shroud, we are the jury and we have to rely on the expert testimony of scientists, historians and biblical scholars.

Rather than concentrating solely on one expert and ignoring the rest, we must consider what they all have to say. We have to weigh up the strength and evidence for each argument and determine whether the experts support or challenge each other.

While there is the odd dissenting voice — views from non-experts and interested parties — the majority view from our experts is unequivocal. They are all in agreement. The verdict is guilty. The shroud is a fake. Where does our expert testimony come from? It comes from highly qualified and respected scientists, historians and biblical scholars who have studied the shroud. Within each of these fields there is debate, but if we ask what single statement, what piece of evidence or test result is the most robust and the most widely accepted by the experts, a clear winner emerges in each case.

For scientists it is the carbon dating to the 14th century. For historians it is the documented first appearance of the shroud in the 14th century. For biblical scholars it is that the burial cloth consisted of multiple strips of linen, not one large piece. All of these are powerful arguments in their own right.

Each was arrived at independently, yet each is in agreement with and supports the others and this vastly increases our confidence that each individual argument is correct.

So the best reason to reject the shroud as authentic is not simply that science, for example, has a good argument, but because the combined arguments from science, history and religion all jointly reject the shroud.

All our expert witnesses agree. There is a consensus of expert opinion. Our choice is clear. We are not experts, so the only rational and logical step is to accept the conclusion of those who are. We must not be fooled into supporting the views of others simply because they express a view that we wish were true.

Scientist David Bohm has said that science is about finding the truth, whether we like it or not. Is there anything you can recommend to help me further on my paper? There are only two outcomes from this debate. Either the shroud is authentic or it is not. I believe it isn't, but either way it is important to be objective and not subjective.

I repeat what scientist David Bohm said: This quote from Joe Nickell is also fitting: Something else that's important to keep in mind is the 'Burden of Proof'. This principle states that the responsibility is with those that make an additional claim to prove their claim. The burden is on those who claim the shroud is authentic to prove their case, not on skeptics to prove it's a fake. Both believers and skeptics agree that it's an ancient linen cloth, but believers add one more claim to this, that it's also the burial cloth of Jesus.

Believers make an additional claim, thus the burden is on them to prove this claim. It is they who must do the research to settle the issue, not the skeptics. This is nigh on impossible so many believers try and turn the tables, but it's important to remember that believers are not entitled to say, 'You prove it's not the burial cloth of Jesus'.

Just like in a court of law, it's their claim, they must provide the proof. We then examine it and either accept or reject it. Another aspect that we need to consider is why the shroud is important to the faithful? How would their faith in Jesus suffer if the shroud weren't his burial cloth? Is their faith reduced because the Vatican doesn't also posses his robe, his sandals or his underwear?

Doesn't the Bible encourage Christians to believe because of faith and not to seek material evidence? Didn't Jesus say, "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed"? What proportion of Christians actually believe in the shroud? Is it mainly Catholics, and if so, why? Another error that believers in the shroud make is claiming that it's evidence of Jesus' resurrection.

An authentic burial cloth would merely be evidence of his death, not his resurrection. The fact that there were no bones in the shroud means nothing, as all burial cloths were eventually emptied and the bones buried. Most people don't debate whether Jesus died or was crucified, but whether he rose from the grave. Authentic or not, the shroud is silent on this point. There is also somewhat of a similarity between groups that try and find support for the shroud and those that try and find support for Creationism.

That silly belief that the earth is only 6, years old, that evolution is a lie, that Noah's flood actually occurred and that the Bible is literally true in every detail. To me both groups seem committed to an unshakeable conclusion, and are willing to distort or suppress science, history, reason and logic to 'prove' their case. To paraphrase a statement from a book I'm presently reading - Belief in the shroud is unfailingly rooted in religion, not science.

I wonder if there are any believers in the shroud's authenticity who aren't Christians? Are any Muslims, Hindus or atheists working to prove it's the real thing? And what of this modern research into the shroud by these pro-authenticity researchers? What do they hope to achieve, since people that try to prove a particular scientific test is flawed don't actually go anywhere towards authenticating the shroud?

Even if you prove the carbon dating sample was a patch or its results unreliable, this just takes us back to having no idea how old the shroud is. Even if it were proven that the shroud is from 1st century Palestine, that it does contain human blood and that it did wrap a man crucified by the Romans, this would give almost no support to their case.

The Romans crucified an enormous number of people, not just Jesus and a couple of thieves, as many Christians seem to believe. Even if we find a small name tag that says 'Property of Jesus of Nazareth' , this in NO WAY provides any proof that Jesus rose from the dead, which after all is the real claim of Christians embracing this shroud.

The most that anyone could ever prove is that Jesus was crucified, and at the moment they can't even do that. So knowing that they have no chance of proving that that it was the burial cloth of Jesus and that, more importantly, he rose from the dead, why do they continue to challenge the science? I believe they do it in the hope that they can at least turn it into a mystery again, to have people once again proclaim, "Well, we just don't know".

Well, sorry, but we do know, it's a medieval fake. Comparing the carbon-dating and vanillin tests Reasons to doubt the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin Conclusion Readers' Comments On October 17th I went along to a lecture on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin in Dunedin. The lecture was one of several held around the country by Rev. He is the prior in Wanganui, New Zealand and he displayed a full size high-resolution photograph of the Shroud which he had brought over from Australia.

It was obvious to me that the only purpose of this travelling lecture was to provide devout Christians, especially Catholics, with reasons to believe that the Shroud of Turin was the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

These reasons would revolve around discrediting the scientific evidence that show it is a medieval fake. So were these reasons valid and is the Shroud anything more than a religious gimmick used by the Church to bolster the shaky faith of their gullible and insecure flock?

It's all a scam. The main purpose of this essay is to discuss that part of Father Laisney's lecture that I believe imparted the most reassuring revelations for believers and the most disturbing for skeptics. Those revelations concerned the carbon-dating of the Shroud and the damming medieval date that was attributed to it. Those revelations were false, and I will clearly show they were false. During the lecture I did not challenge Father Laisney over many of his claims such as the anatomical perfection of the image, the alleged pollens, blood stains etc, since this merely becomes an argument between opposing scientific claims.

However I must take exception at the comments he made regarding the carbon-dating of the Shroud and the Nature magazine article describing these tests. It is the results obtained by this carbon-dating that have led most of the world to accept that the Shroud is a medieval fake. Thus it was these tests that Father Laisney wished to discredit. Father Laisney claims to have studied the shroud for many years. Nevertheless, I wish to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he has read an article produced by some unscrupulous zealot, and that this formed the basis of his talk regarding the controversy over the carbon-dating.

Because it is blatantly obvious that Father Laisney has never read the Nature article he referred to or else he would not have made such wild, erroneous claims. If it was not ignorance that motivated Father Laisney's lecture tour, then the only other option is deliberate deception. Like most of us Father Laisney probably doesn't bother to check all the references provided at the end of articles and simply trusts the integrity of the author.

Unfortunately in this case Father Laisney has been seriously misled. Hopefully the following will cause Father Laisney to rethink his view regarding the carbon-dating conspiracy, or at least omit it from his future lectures in the fear that some of his audience may have actually read the Nature article or this essay.

Also it is hoped that those present at his lectures where he pushed these erroneous views may realise that they also have been misled. Nature and the conspiracy behind the testing Father Laisney mentioned a Nature magazine article and how it threw considerable doubt on the results obtained, and especially the methods employed, when the Shroud was carbon-dated in It was not until after his lecture that I obtained a copy of this article and compared it to his comments.

The complete Nature article "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin" can be found here on this pro-shroud website. Among other things, Father Laisney claimed that the protocols agreed upon between the scientists and the Vatican included using seven labs, two different carbon-dating methods, two control samples, blind testing etc. Father Laisney then stated that the scientists went on to break every single protocol. His most serious accusation however, was that of scientific fraud.

Father Laisney stated that while numerous people witnessed and videotaped the sampling of the shroud, the laboratory scientists took the sample into a back room where they packaged them along with the control samples. Their activity in this room was unobserved. Father Laisney went to considerable length to place suspicion on the scientists' handling of these samples, implying that they were switched to produce a fraudulent result. On hearing this, several people in the audience near me happily accepted this revelation, one summing it up with "Ah, so that's how they managed it!

So if fraud did occur in this backroom, it was committed by the Archbishop of Turin or by Dr Tite while being observed by the Archbishop of Turin. Yet everyone left his lecture, including me, believing that the scientists did the packaging, not the Vatican's representative, the Archbishop of Turin. The following indented text prefaced by Nature: The samples were then taken to the adjacent Sala Capitolare where they were wrapped in aluminium foil and subsequently sealed inside numbered stainless-steel containers by the Archbishop of Turin and Dr Tite.

As to Father Laisney's claims that the labs broke every single agreed upon protocol, the Nature article that Father Laisney said details these failures tells a different story, mentioning explicit approval by the Archbishop of Turin: The procedures for taking the samples and treating the results were discussed by representatives of the three chosen laboratories at a meeting at the British Museum in January and their recommendations were subsequently approved by the Archbishop of Turin.

Father Laisney stated that seven labs were to be used, yet again the article shows the Archbishop choosing only three: In October , the offers from three AMS laboratories Arizona, Oxford and Zurich were selected by the Archbishop of Turin, Pontifical Custodian of the shroud, acting on instructions from the Holy See It is important to note that before the testing began, the protocol to use only three labs was agreed upon by both the labs unwillingly and the Vatican.

This protocol was not broken. Father Laisney was correct in that the original intention was to use seven labs, but this was rejected by the Vatican, prior to testing, and not by the labs as Father Laisney implied. In the following points I have summarised the items relating to the change of protocols and who instigated them.

The full Shroud chronology can be found in the book titled "The Blood and the Shroud" by Ian Wilson, a pro-authenticity shroud advocate. In September several radiocarbon dating laboratories meet in Turin and draw up a protocol utilising seven laboratories, which is submitted to the Pope and the Archbishop of Turin. In April , the Archbishop of Turin's scientific advisor announces that only two or three labs will be involved.

In July , the seven laboratories write to the Archbishop of Turin urging him to reconsider. In October , the Archbishop of Turin replies saying that the three labs have been chosen because of their experience in the field. The cardinal also advises the labs that certain other details of the protocol have been scrapped. In November the three chosen laboratories warn the Archbishop of Turin: The abandonment of the original protocol and the decision to proceed with only three laboratories will certainly enhance the skepticism of these critics'.

The chosen three declare themselves 'hesitant to proceed' , and request the matter be given 'further consideration'. In January Professor Gove and Dr. Harbottle write an open letter to the Pope In January the Archbishop of Turin's scientific advisor and leading representatives of the Oxford, Arizona and Zurich laboratories met to discuss the best procedures to be adopted, which were subsequently approved by the Archbishop of Turin..

Professor Gove writes to the Pope appealing to him to persuade the Archbishop of Turin to revert to the original protocol. His letter is ignored. On April 21, , the sample is removed from the Shroud and the radiocarbon dating begins. As the above timeline clearly shows, while there was debate over the reduction of labs from seven to three leading up to the testing, the bad guy in this episode was the Vatican, not the scientists as Father Laisney implied in his lecture.

Father Laisney also stated that two different carbon-dating methods were to be used, yet the Nature article clearly states why this would never have happened: Put simply, the Vatican would not permit the taking of a large sample, so no other carbon-dating method was available other than AMS. AMS only requires 7cm 2 whereas other methods need samples to be cm 2. Scientists would have been happy to use additional methods, but it was the Vatican that, understandably, insisted on only one method being used.

Father Laisney stated that two control samples were to be used, but that the labs again broke the agreed procedures by using three control samples. Father Laisney also mentioned that the story behind the added control sample aroused suspicion but did not elaborate as to why. Once again the Nature article that Father Laisney referred us to states that the use of three control samples was agreed upon: From a scientific point of view, the more control samples you use, the more you improve the reliability of your results.

No sane person would complain even if an additional control sample were added. Father Laisney stated that blind testing was to be employed, but this agreement was broken. It is correct that blind-test procedures were not used. The article does not make it clear whether this was decided before or after the sampling began, but it does make it perfectly clear why.

A blind test only works if there is no visible difference between the samples. Since the shroud weave was noticeably different there was no point pretending that nobody would notice. Making them different would have reduced the effectiveness of the test, thus the results obtained were more reliable by not being a blind test. However, as the article notes, at one stage in the testing, two laboratories did convert to blind testing when it permitted: The laboratories were not told which container held the shroud sample.

Because the distinctive three-to-one herringbone twill weave of the shroud could not be matched in the controls, however, it was possible for a laboratory to identify the shroud sample. If the samples had been unravelled or shredded rather than being given to the laboratories as whole pieces of cloth, then it would have been much more difficult, but not impossible, to distinguish the shroud sample from the controls. With unravelled or shredded samples, pretreatment cleaning would have been more difficult and wasteful.

Because the shroud had been exposed to a wide range of potential sources of contamination and because of the uniqueness of the samples available, it was decided to abandon blind-test procedures in the interests of effective sample pretreatment.

Also, at two laboratories Oxford and Zurich , after combustion to gas, the samples were recoded so that the staff making the measurements did not know the identity of the samples. Father Laisney stated that results from one lab differed vastly from that of the other two, but again the article contradicts this: From these data it can be seen that, for each laboratory, there are no significant differences between the results obtained with the different cleaning procedures that each used.

The results, together with the statistical assessment of the data prepared in the British Museum, were forwarded to Professor Bray of the Istituto di Metrologia 'G. Colonetti', Turin, for his comments. He confirmed that the results of the three laboratories were mutually compatible, and that, on the evidence submitted, none of the mean results was questionable.

The results of radiocarbon measurements from the three laboratories on four textile samples, a total of twelve data sets, show that none of the measurements differs from its appropriate mean value by more than two standard deviations. Father Laisney stated that even though the laboratories had agreed to perform the testing on the same day and time and to not compare results, one lab did their testing 2 months after the others and they all continuously compared results during testing.

It is unrealistic to believe that the laboratories would agree to perform the testing at an identical time. An understanding of the work involved in carbon-dating and the article's brief description of the methods used to clean and test the samples show that this would be impossible, and it would never have been agreed to by the labs.

As to their comparing results, the article clearly states: On completion of their measurements, the laboratories forwarded their results to the British Museum Research Laboratory for statistical analysis.

The conspiracy evaporates It is important to note that no reputable pro-shroud advocates in their numerous books and websites make any of these unsubstantiated accusations towards the scientists that Father Laisney made. Granted they question the date of CE, but none question the integrity of the laboratories as Father Laisney did.

They instead say that the shroud may have been contaminated by a layer of bacteria, or altered by the fire in , or that radiation emitted by Jesus as he was resurrected altered the shroud, etc.

These have all been shown to be false, but they are legitimate possibilities as to why the shroud dated to the Middle Ages. The conclusion of the Nature article is very clear. There is no confusion, no debate, no controversy, no conspiracy: Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich.

As controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated. The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval. The article provides no support for his lecture whatsoever, on the contrary, it effectively demolishes all his claims.

The Nature article "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin" can be found here on this pro-shroud website. New evidence authenticates the shroud? The media article advertising Father Laisney's lecture stated that: At the lecture Father Laisney agreed that this statement was wrong, and referred instead to chemical tests done by Ray Rogers, a retired research chemist.

However many people, including many in the media, believe the carbon-dating results have been discredited. In the scientific sphere however, it is Ray Rogers "research" that has been discredited. Along with viewing a full size photograph of the Shroud, I believe this snippet about new evidence that overturns the dating was the other main draw card for his audience. Unfortunately information about this new evidence has been very misleading. What articles normally fail to reveal is that Rogers was also director of chemical research for STURP Shroud of Turin Research Project and a long-time believer that the shroud is an actual burial cloth of a crucified man which dates from the first century CE.

They do not disclose this bias. It is difficult to conceive how scientists, who were given the task of removing a representative sample from the shroud for testing, could have removed cloth from a patched section. Unlike the commonly available carbon, 12 C, 14 C is unstable and slowly decays, changing it back to nitrogen and releasing energy. This instability makes it radioactive. The 14 C isotope is brought to the earth by atmospheric activities such as storms and becomes fixed in the biosphere.

Since 14 C reacts just like 12 C and 13 C isotopes of carbon, it becomes part of a plant through photosynthesis reactions. Animals eating these plants in turn absorb 14 C as well as the stable isotopes i. This process of ingesting 14 C continues as long as the plant or animal remains alive. Because 14 C is so well mixed up with 12 C, the ratio between 14 C and 12 C is the same in a leaf from a tree, or a part of an animal body.

The entire 14 C inventory is termed the carbon exchange reservoir. As soon as a plant or animal dies, the metabolic function of carbon uptake is ceased.

There is no replenishment of radioactive 14 C and the amount of 14 C gradually decreases through radioactive decay as given by the following equation. Age measurements are possible because 14 C becomes a part of all organic and inorganic carbon compounds and a steady state between the uptake photosynthesis or food and the decay of 14 C exists as long as the organism is alive.

So, we have something like a "clock" which starts ticking the moment a living being dies. Thus it can be said that the radiocarbon dating method can, in principle, be uniformly applied throughout the world.

The radioactive decay of 14 C follows what is called an exponential decay. Here the amount of 14 C decreases at a rate proportional to its value. Libby, Anderson and Arnold were the first to measure the rate of this decay and found that the half life of 14 C was years, i.

After another years, half of that remaining material will have decayed, and so on. This value is known as the Cambridge half-life. After 10 half-lives, there is a small amount of radioactive carbon left in a sample.

In about 50,, years, therefore, the limit of this technique is reached. It must be emphasised that the 14 C decay is constant and spontaneous.

In other words, the probability of decay for an atom of 14 C in a sample is constant, thus making it amenable to the application of statistical methods for the analysis of counting data. There are two techniques to measure the radiocarbon content i. On the other hand, accelerator mass spectrometers count the number of 14 C atoms present in the test sample.

Needless to say, both these carbon dating methods have advantages and disadvantages. Due to its numerous advantages such as small sample size, faster analysis and high precision, AMS is the most widely used radiocarbon dating method. This is pressed on to a metal disc. The reference materials are also pressed likewise. These metal discs are then mounted on a target wheel and it is here they are analyzed in sequence.

The test and reference samples on the target wheel are sequentially ionised by bombarding them with caesium ions resulting in the production of negatively ionized carbon atoms. These ionized carbon atoms are focused into a fast-moving beam. The ions then enter the accelerator. The accelerator is used to help remove ions that might be confused with 14 C ions before the final detection.

The ions are filtered and finally the 14 C ions enter the detector where they can be counted. The 14 C concentration measured either by radiometric dating or AMS techniques provides information about the time elapsed since the time of death or deposition. Both methods allow the dating of natural carbon-bearing material. After death or deposition, the equilibrium between uptake from the environment atmosphere, ocean, lake and 14 C decay is broken.

Since new 14 C atoms cannot be incorporated by the organism, the activity begins to decrease with a half-life of years. Application of the decay law for radiocarbon dating is based on the assumption that that the activity of the organic matter after the death of the organism changes only due to radioactive decay.

Raw radiocarbon measurements are usually reported in years Before Present or BP. Before Present BP years are the units of time, counted backwards to the past, used to report raw radiocarbon ages and dates referenced to the BP scale origin in the year CE. Firstly, in this year the calibration curves for carbon dating were established and secondly, the year predates atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, which altered the global balance of 14 C to 12 C Atom Bomb Effect.

The radiocarbon measurements reported in terms of BP years is directly based on the proportion of radiocarbon found in the sample. Its calculation is based on the assumption that the atmospheric radiocarbon concentration has always been the same as it was in As we have noted earlier, this is not true. The 14 C to 12 C ratio varied by a few percent over time. It is now well known that 14 C years do not directly equate to calendar years because of the variations in atmospheric 14 C concentration through time due to changes in the production rate caused by geomagnetic and solar modulation of the cosmic-ray flux, and the carbon cycle.

Therefore a calibration is required, which, to be accurate and precise, should ideally be based on an absolutely dated record that has carbon incorporated directly from the atmosphere at the time of formation.

Calibration of radiocarbon determinations is, in principle, very simple. The radiocarbon measurement of a sample is compared with a tree ring with the same proportion of radiocarbon. Since the calendar age of the tree rings is known, this gives the age of the sample.

In practice, there are limitations. The measurements on both the sample and the tree rings have a limited precision. This will give rise to a range of possible calendar years. Furthermore, since the atmospheric radiocarbon concentration has varied in the past, there might be several possible ranges.

In any scientific measurement, including the analytical 14 C measurement, its repetition every time under identical conditions on an identical sample leads to a slightly different result. That is if a radiocarbon measurement is performed ten times on a single sample under near identical conditions, then the result obtained will have ten different values, with identical results occurring by chance.

This scatter in the measurement data highlights the effects of small errors [Figure 1 a ]. Every individual experiment is influenced by small but uncontrollable changes in the measurement conditions or in the source material itself.

To this, one must also add the fact that the radiocarbon decay itself is a random process which will also add minor errors. Such variation in values is interpreted as the effect of small but random errors, which themselves are varying. It is the variation in the group of replicate measurements that establishes the means to calculate the measurement uncertainty. Random error must be distinguished from a systematic error.

The latter remains constant and cannot be reduced by doing repeated measurements. However, if the source of the systematic error can be identified, it can be eliminated. The error in a measurement consists of both random and systematic errors.

The combined effect of these errors produce an uncertainty and it is calculated using statistical methods. The expectation is to get one single data value every time left , however, the actual result is spread in the data due to random and systematic errors right. The peak indicates the point where the mean of the data lies whilst the drooping curve gives an idea of the spread of data. Precision in measurement characterises the degree of agreement among a series of individual and independent measurements under identical conditions.

The actual interpretation of such ranges in terms of "confidence" depends on the probability distribution model chosen to model the error. Summing the discussion, the true age of the sample is highly likely to lie within the measurement uncertainty or within the range.

However, calendar ages obtained from radiocarbon dating are quite complicated with multimodal distribution. Figure 2 also gives an idea of what is probable and what is impossible. As for the counting error, it can be reduced by improved counting statistics and is achieved by increasing counting time. In the AMS technique, this is usually limited by the sample size as well as performance and stability of the AMS device.

Accuracy describes the difference between the calculated radiocarbon and the true age of a sample. Measurement precision and accuracy are not linked and are independent of one another [Figure 1 c ]. Radiocarbon laboratories check their accuracy using measurements of known age samples.

These can be either independently-known-age samples, or those for which a agreed uponage has been derived such as from an interlaboratory trial. Both precision and accuracy in radiocarbon dating are highly desired properties. The precision of a 14 C age is quantified with the associated quoted error, however, it should be borne in mind that the basis of the calculation of the error may be different depending on the laboratory. Through the use of repeated measurements of a homogeneous material, the estimated precision associated with a 14 C age can be assessed indirectly.

However, in radiocarbon dating laboratories, such repeated measurements of a single sample of unknown age are often impossible. Consequently a radiometric laboratory will typically conduct numerous measurements of a secondary standard and use the variation in the given results to establish a sample-independent estimate of precision , which can then be compared with the classical counting error statistic, which is derived for each unknown-age sample.

In other words, for a single measured radiocarbon age, the commonly quoted error is based on counting statistics and is used to determine the uncertainty associated with the 14 C age. The quoted error will include components due to other laboratory corrections and is assumed to represent the spread we would see were we able to repeat the measurement many times.

We are now left with two more terms: The term repeatability refers to measurements made under identical conditions in a single laboratory, whilst reproducibility refers to measurements made in different laboratories and under different conditions. Both repeatability and reproducibility provide the closeness of agreement between the 14 C ages under two different scenarios. In order to have a better understanding of how the process of radiocarbon dating works, let us take the example of radiocarbon data from E20 manuscript , housed in the St.

Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies. A detailed history of this manuscript was published by Efim Rezvan in The main elements of Figure 3 a are as follows:.

The age of BP is calculated using the simplistic assumption that the amount of radiocarbon in the atmosphere has always been the same. Earlier we have noted that this is not quite the case except that it is a rough indication of the age. Hence the measurement must be calibrated against samples of known ages, for example, the tree rings. The radiocarbon data and the calibration curve are used to plot the probability distribution of the age of the manuscript.

In the case of the E20 manuscript from St. No technique is perfect and radiocarbon dating is no exception. Although with this technique almost any sample of organic material can be directly dated, it suffers from a number of limitations.

The theory discussed below is summarized from here. Radiocarbon dating of Qur'anic manuscripts is very rare, though this is beginning to change. With the advent of the Corpus Coranicum project, carbon dating has been given pride of place with a specially named module Computatio Radiocarbonica. The aim here is to supplement traditional methods for dating the earliest Qur'anic manuscripts with modern scientific methods.

It should be highlighted that when conducting radiocarbon analysis, almost any date within the specified range generated by the confidence level is equally possible scientifically.

It is not the case that the range can be averaged to find the most probable date due to the fact that there usually exists a complex multi-modal probability distribution. The carbon dating is applicable to the scriptio inferior text. Folios of a Mingana Islamic Arabic a and Arabe c.

Both these manuscripts belong to the same codex. The core Mingana Collection, of manuscripts and manuscript fragments, was built up between through the common interest and energy of Dr. Edward Cadbury and Alphonse Mingana. Edward Cadbury, owner of family's chocolate factory at Bournville, sponsored Alphonse Mingana in three journeys to the Middle East, and subsequently engaged Mingana to catalogue much of the collection.

The two folios of Mingana Islamic Arabic a manuscript belong to the same codex as Arabe c. These folios have now been subjected to radiocarbon analysis at the University of Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit and have been dated to — CE with Folios a 1 recto and b 24 recto of Ms.

Whilst serving in his position as first Prussian Consul to Damascus in the middle of the 19th century, Johann Gottfried Wetzstein made numerous acquisitions of ancient Arabic manuscripts, many of which belonged to the Qur'an. In his foreword to a small catalogue he published, Wetzstein said he hoped these more than 1, kufic folios of the Qur'an he had collected would be of some interest to those involved in palaeography and Qur'anic criticism, and gave a brief entry for M a VI Hans-Caspar Graf von Bothmer from the University of Saarland, Germany, studied this manuscript in great detail from the point of view of script, ornamentation and illumination.

This monumental Qur'anic manuscript originally had dimensions around 51 cm in length by 47 cm in width Figure Its origin appears to be from Syria. However, the radiocarbon dating of this manuscript suggests a date between and CE. Certain features of the manuscript and the iconography intimate that this work was made for a member of the Umayyad family; historical circumstances suggest that caliph al-Walid himself may have commissioned it.

However, the carbon dating points to a slightly earlier date. Here it is interesting to note that both the palaeographic considerations and radiocarbon dating have arrived at nearly the same conclusion, i.

However, as von Bothmer has noted, the radiocarbon dating gives a slightly earlier date. This could be due to the fact that the radiocarbon dating gives the death of animal and not when the manuscript was actually written. The most famous of them is the Chester Beatty Moritz published details of the twenty ornamented pages. This privately-owned fragment of the Qur'an was published recently by Yasin Dutton [Figure 11 a ].

The radiocarbon dating of the fragment was carried out at the University of Oxford [Figure 11 b ]. Two calibration data-sets, viz. The results are as follows. Since the time of this test in , a newer calibration data-set, INTCAL04, has yielded slightly narrower results for the same radiocarbon age i. Likewise, the test on E20 Qur'anic manuscript in St.

Petersburg yielded a year range — CE. In these two cases, neither of them help very much in establishing a narrow and possibly accurate date for these particular manuscripts. This fragment is remarkably similar to two other published folios and it has been concluded that they all come from the same codex. The E20 manuscript , housed in the St. Commenting on the script and decoration, he suggests a date nearer the turn of the 1st century AH late 7th, early 8th century CE.

Folios of a Leiden Or. They were purchased by the University Library of Leiden in from H. Jorissen, the former Dutch Ambassador to Beirut.

This manuscript has been subject to radiocarbon analysis under the auspices of the Corpus Coranicum project and has been dated to — CE with Late in the 19th century the manuscript was in St. Petersburg, Russia, where it was studied by the Russian orientalist A. So great was the interest in this codex that in Pisarev or Pissareff was encouraged to publish a facsimile edition.

Petersberg, a number of folios were separated from this manuscript and over the years a number of folios have appeared under the hammer at auction or have been sold privately between collectors. It was found in North Africa. This is a massive Qur'anic manuscript on vellum showing a well-formed kufic script without diacritical marks and ornamentation.

The verse endings are marked by small panels of diagonals lines; the tenth verse is marked with a square medallion illuminated in blue, green, red and manganese with a stellar design. Shebunin dated this manuscript to the early second century hijra. Pisarev, [64] Jeffery dated it to the early ninth century. The recto side of folio of manuscript Leiden Or.

This manuscript was privately acquired by C. Van Arendonk was a curator of the Leiden Oriental collections. Qur'ans written on papyrus are quite rare. This is because papyrus, unlike parchment, is not as durable a material for everyday use.

Due to their fragile nature combined with regular use of the Qur'an, these manuscripts may not have survived. The recent radiocarbon dating of this papyrus under the auspices of the Corpus Coranicum project gave a date range of — CE with This privately-owned fragment of the Qur'an is unpublished and remains in the private collection of Professor Dr.

Mark Mersiowsky, located in Stuttgart, Germany. This manuscript, consisting of one folio only, was subject to radiocarbon analysis under the auspices of the Corpus Coranicum project and has been dated to — CE with This Qur'an is written on 7 lines per page measuring on average A folio from Arabe m belongs to Codex R. This small Qur'an is written on 6 lines per page measuring on average just The largest section is kept under shelfmark R.

Additionally there are four other folios, Ms. Arabe m , ff. A folio from Ms. This Qur'an is written on 5 lines per page measuring on average Numerous folios have been acquired on the open market and are scattered around the world in various public and private collections.

Table I below provides a summary of radiocarbon dated manuscripts of the Qur'an that have been described and fully referenced in the previous section.

Some manuscripts were dated several times to understand the accuracy of the process as well as to presumably check the location-dependent changes in dating that may be observed. List of radiocarbon dated manuscripts of Qur'an. As shown in Table I, it has been radiocarbon-dated in five different labs in five different countries. This also serves as a platform to independently verify the agreement on dating performed in various laboratories. Agreement between independent radiocarbon tests conducted at different laboratories is a very useful method for weeding out aberrations due to mishandling of samples.

One may conclude that the radiocarbon tests completed at Lyon are suspect due to their irreproducibility. The application of radiocarbon dating to early Qur'ans has also resulted in a raft of questionable, bizarre and even absurd hypotheses from non-scientists.

It is not clear whether such attempts are to anchor their own chronological reconstruction of history or to construct a totally "new science" to extricate their version of history. We will examine some of these prominent hypotheses below. Being well served by historians, is Qur'anic studies really in need of carbon dating?

After all there are some major drawbacks to this method - it is very expensive and destructive. Other serious issues include the wide range of calendar years in which a manuscript could have been written. Scholars have successfully utilised "traditional" dating methods such as palaeography, codicology and art history that utilise script, format, ornamentation and illumination which are then compared, where possible, with their dated counterparts in architecture.

In short, why bother? Being a modern invention, some historians have become unduly skeptical in embracing radiocarbon dating. Two Qur'ans, both with endowment notices, were carbon dated by the Centre de Datation par le Radiocarbone de Lyon, France, and provided a range of dates that preceded the date given in the endowment notices by around 50 and years, respectively. It is also important to remember that the carbon dating of parchment is an imprecise science something indicated by the large range of possible dates given for the various fragments.

An imprecise science does not follow the scientific method - the method that involves testing an idea and modifying the idea to fit the evidence. Radiocarbon dating utilizes the knowledge of the unstable nature of 14 C with a precise half-life that makes it easy to measure, thus making it an absolute dating method. As a test, in , Willard Libby and his team took samples of acacia from two ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom rulers and dated them.

Therefore, it is clear that radiocarbon dating is not based on some imprecise science, cooking up evidence to fit the idea or data. On the other hand, palaeography is a relative dating method which gives an order of events without giving an exact age. Thus, generally speaking, it cannot be used to pinpoint dates with high precision. Is palaeography a form of science? Commenting on the issues regarding the dating of inscriptions, William M. The so-called science of paleography often relies on circular reasoning because there is insufficient data to draw precise conclusion about dating.

Scholars also tend to oversimplify diachronic development, assuming models of simplicity rather than complexity. In other words, palaeography can at best be termed as an inexact science, filled with uncertainties and imprecisions.

It is not judicious to upscale palaeography for its reliability whilst, on the other hand, putting down radiocarbon dating for its alleged lack thereof. So, what is the general "rule of thumb" followed in dating manuscripts via palaeography? This kind of precision dating defies the realities of scribal activity.

The productive writing life of a scribe was probably around thirty or thirty-five years. Add to that the fact that the scribal profession was an apprenticed trade, with students learning a particular style from a teacher, and we find that a given hand may be present over multiple generations of scribes. Thus the "rule of thumb" should probably be to avoid dating a hand more precisely than a range of at least seventy or eighty years.

This is comparable with the "rule of thumb" of at least a range of 70 to 80 years used in palaeography for dating a manuscript. Unlike radiocarbon dating, it is worth noting that a range of 70 to 80 years used in palaeography has no confidence level attached to it. The choice of whether to believe in such a "confidence level" is entirely up to an individual. In any case, the Birmingham results suggest that Lyon might not have botched the job after all.

Intriguingly, the first date range from Lyon — corresponds rather closely to the date range given from a laboratory in Oxford for the Birmingham manuscript — What is telling here is the fact that Reynolds, instead of using a scientific approach to look at the problem, applies his own reasoning that must necessarily accord with his preferred historical interpretation.

How does one make a rational choice as to which date, if any, out of these three is correct? The answer is that there is no way of knowing if Lyon botched the job unless these three dates are independently compared with those obtained from other labs. Reynolds makes no attempt to use the scientific method here. Nevertheless, the dating of these manuscripts has proven to be highly problematic and controversial.

Suffice to say that the process of radiocarbon dating does not seem to be working accurately on these materials. For instance, one such manuscript, now in Birmingham, England, has been given a date range that places it before Muhammad began his religious movement. It is not clear as to why the radiocarbon dating of these manuscripts is inaccurate.

Imsges: christian explanation of carbon dating

christian explanation of carbon dating

TL dating can generally be used on samples less than half a million years old. This causes the correlation between K-Ar dates and other dates on meteorites to come into question, as well.

christian explanation of carbon dating

In five specimens were taken from this dome at five different locations and subjected to conventional Potassium-Argon dating.

christian explanation of carbon dating

Christian explanation of carbon dating you imagine them mounting these arguments against that result? Yet we are all powered by the Sun, nourished via Carbon, made of the the same stuff, and by the santo domingo dating site means. This method uses exactly the same parent and daughter isotopes christian explanation of carbon dating the potassium-argon method. Anyone can move the hands on a clock and get the wrong time. It has been demonstrated by atomic clocks in very expalnation spacecraft. This article should be a "must read" for any person interested in factualy accurate information on dating methods.