Does this put an end to it, once and for all?
Hugh Farey comments on the posting, Stephen Jones Persists with the Hacker Theory.
I have recently received an email from Timothy Jull, regarding the hacking hypothesis. Its text, in its entirety, runs:
“This is impossible. In our case, the software for the calculations is offline. In any case, the calculation does NOT require software, it was done offline and plotted on a graph, as I recall.
Indeed, in 1988 the internet (as we know it today) didn’t exist – there was a pre-existing network run by the US government which was quite restricted.
Anyway, the machine we used at that time couldn’t have been attached to it, and that one still isn’t.”
Does this put an end to it, once and for all?
Jason provided a link to something he wrote a year ago. (Heck, it’s short; let me quote from it directly – all of it):
Jason: The Shroud of Turin has been in the news a lot lately, due to a new book that’s come out claiming further scientific testing that dates the Shroud around the time of Jesus. See the March 28 entry here for an overview from Barrie Schwortz, including a discussion of some of the problems with Giulio Fanti’s claims at this point. We’ll have to wait to see how things develop. Dan Porter has been covering the story on his blog as well. There’s already good reason to reject the 1988 carbon dating of the Shroud, such as Ray Rogers’ work published in 2005. We’ll see how much Fanti’s research adds to that. From what I’ve read so far, I agree with the general thrust of Schwortz’s comments. Fanti’s work looks somewhat promising, but there are problems with it.
In his latest post, Jason quotes Fanti from the Vatican Insider interview. It’s a computerized translation, but it is readable:
Fanti: Today, we have thus five different dating methods: the radiocarbon method, my three and those of Rogers. Also, we could have been wrong. But four different independent methods, reach the same result, but then speak a clear language. As long as these results are not refuted, and I can not imagine how this should be possible, these results have scientific validity. So that has first Century after Christ the greatest probability as emergence period for the Turin grave cloth. This dating corresponds exactly to the time Jesus of Nazareth lived in Palestine. We now await the reactions from the rest of the science world. So far we received only affirmative and affirmative responses, but no refutation.
Jason wraps it up (and I agree with him):
Jason: Notice Fanti’s reference to the work of Ray Rogers, which I’ve discussed before. Even if we were to reject Fanti’s research, we’d have other grounds for dismissing the 1988 carbon dating results. There are many indications, some of which I’ve discussed before, that the Shroud is older than the medieval era. The preponderance of evidence favors authenticity.
And that is when I got to thinking. Fanti said, “As long as these results are not refuted, and I can not imagine how this should be possible, these results have scientific validity.”
Maybe we should be revisiting Revisiting Giulio Fanti’s Dating Methods.
Beyond the blogosphere, is anyone paying attention to Fanti’s methods? Is anyone giving thought to refuting his methods or refuting the result he achieved?
As to the first part of that question, methods, at least one method has been explored in a scientific journal: Vibrational Spectroscopy, an Elsevier journal. The paper: Non-destructive dating of ancient flax textiles by means of vibrational spectroscopy.
As for the second part of the question, results, Fanti’s science is being published by Edizioni Segno, a Christian publishing house of books and magazines “unique in their genre for the variety and completeness of the information on prophecies and private revelations and apparitions and messages, everything about the world of the supernatural.” (Bing Translation for quoted portion). Not likely to draw a lot of scientific attention, is it.
It is hard to say, as Fanti does, “As long as these results are not refuted . . . [they] have scientific validity,” if nobody is paying attention.
Or am I missing something? Do we need a better translation?
- Here is a link to the publisher’s page on the book. (Use Bing or Google Translation)
- Here is a link to a press release in the form of an interview with Giulio Fanti
- BEST: The The Eponymous Flower blog discusses this book’s launch with a short introduction and a well done translation of an interview with Giulio by Vatican Insider
Surprise! This paper seems to be open access. Click here to have a go at it.
Radiocarbon Dating of Scrolls and Linen Fragments from the Judean Desert by A.J. Timothy Jull, Douglas Donahue, Magen Broshi and Emanuel Tov; Radiocarbon, Vol 37, No 1, 1995, pp 11-19.
We report on new 14C measurements of samples of 18 texts (scrolls) and 2 linen fragments from Qumran Caves 1, 2, and 4 and from Nahal Hever, both in the Dead Sea region. The radiocarbon results are in good agreement with estimates of age based on paleography.
Various parchment and papyrus manuscripts found in caves in the area of Qumran and at other sites in the Judean Desert are known generally as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Qumran scrolls are generally considered to have been hidden by the Qumran Community, identified by most scholars as the Ess- enes. The documents are usually regarded to have been copied between the mid-third century BC and AD 68, when the Qumran settlement was destroyed by the Romans.
Bonani et al. (1991, 1992) dated 14 texts, 8 of which came from Qumran. We present here new radiocarbon dates of 18 texts, including 3 date-bearing texts (3 from Qumran Cave 1,12 from Cave 4, and 3 from other sites in the Judean Desert). We consider the importance of the 14C dates in relation to other age estimates and we also report on 14C examinations of linen fragments from the Judean Desert.
Read Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (3). Did Stephen Jones make the case?
He didn’t intend to:
So it would not be surprising if the atheistic Soviet regime of the 1980s would see it as a legitimate target to discredit the Shroud, and through that Christianity, by one its agents hacking into each of the three radiocarbon dating laboratories’ computers, and replacing the actual radiocarbon dates of the Shroud that the laboratories’ accelerated mass spectrometers were determining, with bogus dates which when calibrated would cluster around 1325 +/- 65 years.
I have presented this proposal as a question, "Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" because in the nature of the case, barring a belated confession, my proposal is unlikely ever to be confirmed as correct, even if it is correct. The hacker would be unlikely to admit it because he would be prosecuted and gaoled for breaking into government computers, as Hess was. And the laboratories would be unlikely to admit they had been duped by a hacker, even if they realised they had been. Whatever evidence there was in the laboratories’ computers, the hacker would almost certainly have deleted it, and even if he didn’t, it is most unlikely that it would still exist in the laboratories’ 1988 computers.
Anyway, in the final analysis it is the Shroud anti-authenticists’ problem to find a explanation for what went wrong with their carbon dating of the first-century Shroud to the 13th-14th centuries. As Thomas de Wesselow pointed out, we Shroud pro-authenticists don’t need to find an explanation of what went wrong with the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud. We can just dismiss it out of hand as a "’rogue’ radiocarbon date" as archaeologists routinely do when a radiocarbon date is contradicted by the majority of the other evidence:
Stephen Jones is inching forward with the second part of Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (Here is part 1).
After stoking the fires of his incredulity a bit more, Stephen tells us that Denis Dutton, a shroud skeptic, publicly predicted that if the Shroud was radiocarbon dated it would date to "A.D. 1335, plus or minus 30 years"
“So,” Stephen tells us, “a fraudster would know what date to aim for!” Then . . .
Agnostic art historian Thomas de Wesselow, who believes the Shroud is authentic but Jesus did not rise from the dead, on the basis of the art history evidence considers that the fourteenth-century radiocarbon date of the Shroud to be the equivalent of claiming that "the Shroud was deposited in medieval France by aliens":
"Given credence, the carbon-dating result effectively raises the Shroud to the status of a miracle, an object that defies, if not a law of nature, a law of culture. All artefacts are linked to the art and technology of the society in which they originate. Something that cannot be explained in terms of its (presumed) cultural context invites a supernatural explanation. As far as I am aware, no one has yet argued that the Shroud was deposited in medieval France by aliens … There is no better explanation, though, for a fourteenth-century Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," pp.167-168. My emphasis).
Therefore de Wesselow considers fraud to be a real possibility for the Shroud’s "1325 ± 65 years" radiocarbon date, and indeedbecause of it:
"The third possibility is that a fraud was perpetrated … Most sindonologists regard these fraud theories as plainly incredible. Some, like Ian Wilson, refuse to contemplate such `unworthy’ accusations. However, scientific fraud is by no means unknown, as the editors of science journals are well aware. … One important consideration weighs in favour of the possibility of deception. If the carbon-dating error was accidental, then it is a remarkable coincidence that the result tallies so well with the date always claimed by sceptics as the Shroud’s historical debut. But if fraud was involved, then it wouldn’t be a coincidence at all. Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, ’1325 ± 65 years’ is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve." (de Wesselow, 2012, p.170. My emphasis).
To be continued (and hopefully concluded) in. "Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (3)".
In fairness to Stephen, check out Timeline of computer security hacker history on Wikipedia. Scroll down to 1988 and thereabouts.
I’ll try to keep an open mind for now. I believe Stephen will address the hacking at some point soon; for unless Stephen is right – he could be – I’d hate to see this speculation become another well established rumor, e. g., Shroudies believe that the labs were hacked.
NEVER MIND. GO TO THE NEXT POSTING. PLEASE COMMENT THERE.
Unrelated tidbit: in 1989, the year the carbon dating was announced, Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at CERN, created the world’s public first web page and the World Wide Web was born.
does anyone buy the earthquake thing?
Jerry Coyne has jumped into the earthquake fray with an article, The Shroud of Turin: why religion is a pseudoscience, which he posted on his blog named for his best selling book, Why Evolution is True (A New York Times Best Seller).
The book was one of the best I read on the subject of evolution. The article on why religion is a pseudoscience, well, interesting, anyway. Too much attitude. There is this:
But as real science arose in the 15th and 16th centuries, and began eroding religion’s claims, religion began turning into a pseudoscience. That is, it still made empirical claims, but immunized itself against refutation of those claims using a variety of devices—the same devices used by other forms of pseudoscience like ESP, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and astrology. These include arguing that the propositions themselves are untestable, using poor standards of evidence (including reliance on “revelation” as a “way of knowing”), reliance on a priori personal biases that are not to be tested but merely confirmed, refusing to consider alternative hypotheses, and engaging in special pleading when religious tenets are disconfirmed.
We can see all of these—but especially in the last—in a paper by A. Carpinteri et al. on the Shroud of Turin, a paper that’s gotten a lot of publicity. It’s an attempt to defend scientific radio-carbon dating of the Shroud, which showed it to be a medieval forgery, by special pleading invoking earthquakes.
1. The evidence for an earthquake is thin. . . .
2. There is no evidence that neutron emission during an earthquake could alter the C-14 content of a shroud. . . .
3. The alteration of the amount of C14 in the shroud would have to be sufficient to make it look sufficiently pre-modern, but not too young. . . .
4. There is no known way that an earthquake could, by neutron emission, produce an image of a body on a shroud. . . .
The Carpinteri paper is thus a confection of unlikely and untested hypotheses, all assembled to try to save the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as the true burial cloth of Jesus. It is not a piece of science, but a piece of apologetics.
Coyne points out:
Indeed, even Wikipedia does a better job than the popular press, and points out something that Ms. Knapton should have known: Carpinteri is the editor of the journal that published this flawed paper. What does thatsay about the review process? As Wikipedia notes:
A team of researchers from the Politecnico di Torino, led by Professor Alberto Carpinteri (and published in the journal Meccanica, where same Alberto Carpinteri is currently the acting Editor-in-Chief, believe that if a magnitude 8.2 earthquake occurred in Jerusalem in 33 AD, it may have released sufficient radiation to have increased the level of carbon-14 isotopes in the shroud, which could skew carbon dating results, making the shroud appear younger.This hypothesis has been questioned by other scientists, including a radiocarbon-dating expert. The underlying science is widely disputed, and funding for the underlying research has been withdrawn by the Italian government after protests and pressure from more than 1000 Italian and international scientists. Dr REM Hedges, of the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit of the University of Oxford, states that “the likelihood that [neutron irradiation] influenced the date in the way proposed is in my view so exceedingly remote that it beggars scientific credulity.” Raymond N. Rogers conducted various tests on linen fibers, and concluded that “the current evidence suggests that all radiation-based hypotheses for image formation will ultimately be rejected.”
But he mistakenly assumes that he understands “the faithful.” It suggests to me that he has not taken the time to understand the shroud and the people who study it before writing about it.
Of course none of this counterevidence will shake the faithful, who will still see the Shroud as authentic, and will come in droves to pay homage when the Shroud has one of its rare showings. Like believers in homeopathy or ESP (or, now, Adam and Eve), they continue to hold their faith despite all scientific counterevidence.
That and the first paragraph show how little he understands religion. But do read the full article, The Shroud of Turin: why religion is a pseudoscience and see if you agree.
A little over a month ago, Stephen Jones, created a posting with a title that read, The case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud #1: Introduction. To make the introduction, Stephen lead off by quoting Thomas de Wesselow:
I had for a long time been thinking of posting on this topic, and was prompted to do so by reading recently what the agnostic Shroud pro-authenticist, art historian Thomas de Wesselow, wrote:
"The third possibility [why "the 1988 result ... conflicts with all the evidence that points to the Shroud having been in existence long before 1260"] is that a fraud was perpetrated … Most sindonologists regard these fraud theories as plainly incredible. … However, scientific fraud is by no means unknown, as the editors of science journals are well aware … One important consideration weighs in favour of the possibility of deception. If the carbon-dating error was accidental, then it is a remarkable coincidence that the result tallies so well with the date always claimed by sceptics as the Shroud’s historical debut. But if fraud was involved, then it wouldn’t be a coincidence at all. Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, ’1325 ± 65 years’ is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve" (my emphasis).
“I firmly believe that to be only viable explanation,” he tells us:
. . I cannot prove that there was scientific fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, although I firmly believe that to be only viable explanation. All that I can do is to set out the evidence for: 1) what went wrong in that dating; 2) the anti-Christian bias and/or dishonesty of some of those involved in the dating; and 3) suggest various ways that scientific fraud could have occurred in that dating. And then leave it to the `men and women of the jury’, my readers, to make up their own minds, based on that evidence.
Six postings were to follow:
. . . #2: "Difficulties of radiocarbon dating"; #3: "Conflicts of the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud with other evidence"; #4: "What went wrong in the dating of the Shroud"; #5. "Bias and/or dishonesty of some involved in that dating"; #6: "Possible fraud scenarios in the dating of the Shroud"; and #7: "Conclusion"
Stephen is incredulous when it comes to the carbon dating. So am I. But I have not joined the ranks of those who might think it is fraud. I don’t see sufficient evidence for that. What there is is circumstantial at best. And I can’t see that fraud can be the “only viable explanation.” I did want to see what Stephen would say, however. I waited. A month of silence followed. Then on February 5, Stephen inserted the following note into his posting:
Note. I have now realised that this topic is going to require a lot of research, which will distract me further from my series " The Shroud of Turin." So I am putting it on the backburner . . . .
Damn! Other topics ensued. Sooner or later, I knew, Stephen would tell us why, in his opinion, fraud was the only viable explanation. Thus I was surprised when Stephen posted: Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (1)
Another viable explanation?
This latest posting is only part one. And it says absolutely nothing whatsoever about the subject. I read it. I reread it. I searched on the word hacker. Nothing! I searched on comuter? Nothing! There is a picture of a book; Clifford Stoll’s 1989, "The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage." What was this about? What did Stephen uncover?
Fearing another long wait for a part two I bought the book. No, I have not read it yet. But I did search for some key words (isn’t Kindle great?): I searched for Shroud? Nada! I looked for Turin? Not Found! Arizona? Nope! Oxford? Nope! Linen? Only a reference to someone in white linen pants. Carbon dating, radiocarbon, C14? No! No! No!
I can hardly wait for part two.
There is this for starters: Italian Government Slams Brakes on ‘Piezonuclear’ Fission from Science Insider (June 11, 2012)(published by Science):
Italy’s research and education minister Francesco Profumo has heeded the call from more than 1000 Italian scientists not to fund research into a controversial and disputed form of nuclear fission. The scientists had signed an online petition urging Profumo to block research on "piezonuclear" reactions at the National Institute of Metrological Research (INRIM). The petitioners say they are concerned that the institute’s president, Alberto Carpinteri, was prioritizing research on the subject and that Profumo was about to place a second proponent of the research on the institute’s scientific council. But Profumo has told ScienceInsider that he changed his mind about the council nomination and that he has "no intention" of funding piezonuclear research without the backing of the scientific community.
Carpinteri, a civil engineer at the Politecnico di Torino in Turin, Italy, has worked on the controversial research with a handful of other Italian scientists since 2008. His collaborators include Fabio Cardone, a physicist at the National Research Council in Rome. The researchers claim that when they crush various kinds of rock, they observe very high emissions of neutrons: 10 times the background level in the case of granite, and 100 times in the case of basalt. They interpret the emissions as being due to the splitting, or fission, of iron atoms in the rock into lighter atoms such as those of aluminum. Unlike the materials used in conventional fission reactions, the crushed rock does not emit ionizing gamma rays or leave behind radioactive waste, the researchers say.
Speaking to ScienceInsider, Carpinteri acknowledged that the group’s conclusion is controversial, as established nuclear physics shows that the compression could not supply the enormous amounts of energy needed to split nuclei. But he argues that several other lines of evidence—including chemical analyses he and his colleagues have carried out on the rock samples before and after compression—indicate that nonstandard fission is indeed taking place. "The classical theory of fission still has a few holes in it," Carpinteri says.
Other researchers, however, remain far from convinced. Three different groups, from Canada, Sweden, and Italy, published papers in 2010 criticizing the rock-compression experiments and similar work by Cardone. And in a paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server on 29 May, nine researchers from INRIM took aim at the chemical analysis carried out on the rock samples. They show that many identical numbers reported in the analysis, which are quoted to two decimal places, are more closely correlated than would be expected from independent measurements—although the paper says nothing about how the correlation might have occurred.
The online petition, started 24 May, urges Profumo not to spend public research money on what it calls projects "without, at least for the moment, any scientific foundation." The petitioners argue that INRIM’s work on piezonuclear reactions would "bring discredit to the whole research system."
[ . . . ]
I’m with Barrie on this: you should read The Shroud of Turin: Radiation Effects,
Aging & Image Formation by Ray Rogers. Then decide.
For whatever reason, the recent Maybe-An-Earthquake-Did-It proposal to explain the making of the image and a possible error in the carbon 14 dating of the shroud, awakened an otherwise sleepy news media. Megan Gannon’s syndicated story in LiveScience, Shroud of Turin: Could Ancient Earthquake Explain Face of Jesus? captured prominent headline placement at Yahoo News. The Telegraph, USA Today, Fox News, the Huffington Post and the Christian Post, for whatever reason, gave the story plenty of ink. Some of the earliest coverage, such as that appearing in The Telegraph, was amateurish yet effective (see Breaking News: Another Day, Another Solution to the Image and the Carbon Dating in this blog two days ago).
However, do notice, most top shelf news outlets are ignoring the story. Dip into the archives and you will discover that the earthquake idea and the radiation idea is old news. Read the paper, Is the Shroud of Turin In Relation to the Old Jerusalem Historical Earthquake? in Meccanica and you’ll find little that is new or anything, really, that rises above the level of speculation.
Nonetheless, traffic on this blog exploded yesterday. My inbox filled up quickly. Barrie Schwortz at STERA, in part due to mail volumes, was prompted to post a special update to shroud.com. Frankly, from what I have seen so far, I think the story has gotten attention out of all proportions to its real significance. I doubt it has much traction. But we will see.
Here is what Barrie wrote on shroud.com:
Once again, the Shroud of Turin is in the news, this time because of a new paper titled, Is the Shroud of Turin In Relation to the Old Jerusalem Historical Earthquake? just published in the journal Meccanica. Authored by A. Carpinteri, G. Lacidogna and O. Borla, the paper asserts that neutron radiation generated by a major earthquake could have been responsible for the Shroud’s image and could have also modified the cloth in a manner that might have skewed the results of the radiocarbon dating. It has long been our policy not to comment on news releases until the claims they make can be properly evaluated by qualified experts in the related disciplines. However, due to the volume of mail we have been receiving and the fact that the entire paper is readily available online, we decided to make a brief comment on the paper until a more in-depth review can be written by an expert in the field and published in our next regular update.
We should first point out that the idea of radiation creating the image on the Shroud or skewing the radiocarbon dating is not a new one. Over the past few decades it has been proposed by a number of Shroud scholars, including Dr. Jean-Baptiste Rinaudo and Mark Antonacci. After reading the article carefully (and reminding you that this is far from my area of expertise), the only apparent new information it includes is the possibility that the proposed neutron radiation was produced as a by-product of a major earthquake. The authors also provide references to credible evidence that such events can and do occur. However, the issue of radiation and the Shroud was addressed in an article titled, The Shroud of Turin: Radiation Effects, Aging & Image Formation, written by Ray Rogers just before his death and published on Shroud.com posthumously in 2005. Rogers was a chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the head of STURP’s chemistry group and an expert in the effects of radiation on a wide variety of materials. He based his conclusions on examining and comparing a number of irradiated flax samples, including actual fibers of the Shroud. Once again, you will have to read the materials and decide how significant they are for yourself. We hope to have more information on this in our next update.
This has to be the best comment this month, so far. It is from Paulette. While I think it is a response to David Roemer, in this case, it seems it would be applicable to many other hypothetical and speculative proposals lately:
No! The C14 results and the image properties point to the medieval wizard Merlin and his magic wand. End of discussion.
But first, there is this slapdash account from The Telegraph: An earthquake in Jerusalem in AD 33 may have caused an atomic reaction which created the Turin Shroud and skewed radiocarbon dating results, scientists believe
The Turin Shroud may not be a medieval forgery after all, after scientists discovered it could date from the time of Christ.
The shroud, which is purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus – showing his face and body after the crucifixion – has intrigued scholars and Christians alike.
But radiocarbon dating carried out by Oxford University in 1988 found it was only 728 years old.
However a new study claims than an earthquake in Jerusalem in 33AD may have not only created the image but may also have skewed the dating results.
The Italian team believes the powerful magnitude 8.2 earthquake would have been strong enough to release neutron particles from crushed rock.
This flood of neutrons may have imprinted an X-ray-like image onto the linen burial cloth, say the researches.
In addition, the radiation emissions would have increased the level of carbon-14 isotopes in the Shroud, which would make it appear younger.
Are there no editors at The Telegraph? Or do I not understand what BC means?
Last year scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy dated it to between 300BC and AD400 – still hundreds of years after Christ, who is believed to have died between 30-36AD.
Somehow this got inserted into the story:
Mark Antonacci, a leading expert on the Shroud and president of the Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation, is currently petitioning Pope Francis to allow molecular analysis of the cloth using the latest technology. It is hoped that such an investigation will be able to confirm or rule out the radiation theory.
Again, are there no editors at The Telegraph? What was hotly debated? What does this have to do with the story?
The first, hotly debated, documented reference to the Shroud of Turin dates back to the 14th century when a French knight was said to have had possession of the cloth in the city of Lirey.
Records suggest the Shroud changed hands many times until 1578, when it ended up in its current home, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
Wait, a minute. The Daily Mail is carrying the same story. Whole paragraphs are identical even though the journalist-author byline names are different. Notice what mainstream papers have not picked up the story.
GETTING BEYOND THE TELEGRAPH:
Megan Gannon, News Editor for LiveScience has sought out reactions from others:
Even if it is theoretically possible for earthquake-generated neutrons to have caused this kind of reaction, the study doesn’t address why this effect hasn’t been seen elsewhere in the archaeological record, Gordon Cook, a professor of environmental geochemistry at the University of Glasgow, explained.
"It would have to be a really local effect not to be measurable elsewhere," Cook told Live Science. "People have been measuring materials of that age for decades now and nobody has ever encountered this."
Christopher Ramsey, director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, had a similar issue with the findings.
"One question that would need to be addressed is why the material here is affected, but other archaeological and geological material in the ground is not," Ramsey wrote in an email. "There are huge numbers of radiocarbon dates from the region for much older archaeological material, which certainly don’t show this type of intense in-situ radiocarbon production (and they would be much more sensitive to any such effects)."
Ramsey added that using radiocarbon dating to study objects from seismically active regions, such as regions like Japan, generally has not been problematic.
It seems unlikely that the new study, published in the journal Meccanica, will settle any of the long-standing disputes about how and when the cloth was made, which depend largely on faith.
"If you want to believe in the Shroud of Turin, you believe in it," Cook said.
Paper published in Meccanica February 11, 2014: Is the Shroud of Turin in relation to the Old Jerusalem historical earthquake? by A. Carpinteri, G. Lacidogna and O. Borla appearing in Meccanica: An International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
In any case, the most important aspect of this work, from the point of view of physicists working in the field of AMS dating, is the methodological one concerning sampling strategy. First, sampling should always be done in agreement with and under the guidance of scholars and people involved in the historical or archaeological problem. In addition, whenever possible, collecting several samples from the object to be dated (as we did in the case of the two frocks) is definitely the right approach in order to reduce the possibilities of ambiguities.
– AMS radiocarbon dating of medieval textile relics:
The frocks and the pillow of St. Francis of Assisi
by M.E. Fedi, A. Cartocci, F. Taccetti, P.A. Mandò
An interesting thread within a thread brought us to the above important quote. daveb started it off:
The sampling area [of the Shroud of Turin] is clearly anomalous, and unrepresentative of the whole, never mind the details. No other area was sampled. To assert the truth of an hypothesis on such ambiguous evidence would never be accepted in any other scientific endeavour. It merely demonstrates wishful thinking on the part of skeptics and anti-authenticists, not to say their poverty of scientific reasoning. Precisely the same poverty of thought that Yves Delage encountered from the Science Academy in 1905, dominated as it was then by so-called free-thinkers and agnostics. Some things never change!
daveb then amplified this position:
My point is that it is bad science to assert any kind of conclusion from such a poor sampling protocol. Just reflect on the stringent sampling protocols for drug testing for instance. For some 10 years I was engaged in designing sampling systems for a significant Corporate’s Internal Audit function, together with various other sundry applications of Applied Statistics. So I know more than a little about drawing conclusions from sampled data. The laboratories may have had a good grip on the theoretical and technical physics aspects of Carbon 14 dating. But it is only too obvious that they had little idea on how a proper and persuasive scientific conclusion can be reached when they accepted such a poorly constructed sampling regime for their testing, peer reviews notwithstanding. . . . For any further understanding of the problem, I can only recommend any elementary Applied Statistics text book. It does turn out that the sampled area in this case was anomalous, and merely illustrates the folly of it. If it had turned out that the date reached conclusively proved a 1st century date, these very same scientists would have been the first to object at the sampling regime.
Hugh Farey chimes in:
I’m interested in daveb’s comment (although I appreciate that it is a commonly held view, not just his), that “To assert the truth of an hypothesis on such ambiguous evidence would never be accepted in any other scientific endeavour.”
A fairly similar problem to the Shroud arose in deciding where to take the samples from two garments and a pillow associated with St Francis in 2005. The details are in ‘AMS Radiocarbon Dating of Medieval Textile Relics: the Frocks and the Pillow of St Francis of Assisi,’ M. Fedi et al, Science Direct, 2009. (Behind a paywall, I’m afraid).
Beginning with “dating of materials connected to faith is always a delicate matter,” which has a familiar ring to it, the authors discuss where, exactly, they took their radiocarbon samples from. “Samples were taken following the advice of a textile conservator, who examined the manufacture of the relics. No darns or patches were present.” Sounds familiar? “Anyway, [interesting adverb...] we decided to sample several pieces from each frock.”
From one ‘frock,’ “supposed to have covered St Francis just in the moment of his death,” the team took seven samples, about 1cm2 each, three from the hem, two from the end of one of the short sleeves, one from the side, and one from slap in the middle of the back. The frock was made of several pieces of wool sewn together, and the samples came from different pieces. The samples were washed in an ultrasound bath, then in hydrochloric acid, but not in sodium hydroxide as it was thought detrimental to wool.
One of the hem samples and the one from the side fell to pieces during cleaning and couldn’t be used. The others gave dates of between 1155 and 1225, a 70 year spread which was assumed consistent. This compares with the Shroud findings (12 samples from the same place) of between about 1225 and 1315, a 90 year spread.
St Francis died in 1226, which fitted this frock (and the pillow, as it happens) well. The other frock was dated to about 1300, and was therefore considered not a genuine relic, although the authors say, rather charmingly, that “these data are not to be read in a negative way, since the result of its dating can anyway be a valuable element for the reconstruction of the history of religion during Middle Ages.”
The circumstances of the two radiocarbon datings make interesting comparison, I feel. One important point is that, even in 2005, a 1cm2 area is considered a minimum sample for accurate dating, whereas in 1988 every laboratory subdivided its sample further and tested each one separately. No wonder their experimental error bars were so much bigger, especially those of Tucson, which dated roughly 0.2cm2 pieces.
Joe Marino focuses on an important point:
There were a couple of sentences I found most interesting in this paper: “In any case, the most important aspect of this work, from the point of view of physicists working in the field of AMS dating, is the methodological one concerning sampling strategy. First, sampling should always be done in agreement with and under the guidance of scholars and people involved in the historical or archaeological problem. In addition, whenever possible, collecting several samples from the object to be dated (as we did in the case of the two frocks) is definitely the right approach in order to reduce the possibilities of ambiguities.
This single procedural screw-up – it doesn’t matter who did it or who is to blame – opened the door to the Benford/Marino/Rogers observations that something was amiss; daveb simply says it was “anomalous, and unrepresentative of the whole.” This single procedural screw-up opened the door to worrisome statistical observations that the sample was not sufficiently homogenous. You can nitpick at this or that: did Rogers do this or that correctly or not? You can squabble about the statistics until you are wondering if Chi Squared applies to the problem of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. In the end these many detail questions are like magnifying glasses held over wood shavings in the sun. They ignite, again and again, the single issue: “No other area was sampled.”
Note: Picture from Reuters story has been removed on February 4, 2013. See comments for explanation.
Joe Marino writes elsewhere:
Some of you have heard this story before but it bears repeating in this context.
In late 2001, Sue and [I] [pictured together] submitted to Radiocarbon our Orvieto paper. In a letter dated January 1, 2002, Dr. Timothy Jull, editor of the journal Radiocarbon, and one of the scientists from the University of Arizona laboratory that dated the Shroud in 1988, sent Sue and me a reply regarding the submission of our C-14 paper. For those not familiar with the process by which papers are published in scientific journals, the editor chooses various reviewers, usually anonymous to the author and supposedly objective, who then make suggestions to the author(s) on how to make the paper better. After changes are made, the reviewers read the paper again, and make their recommendations to the editor as to whether the paper should be published or not. However, the final decision is in the hands of the editor. The review of our paper was out of the ordinary insofar as the reviewers were revealed to us, something that normally doesn’t occur. They were all originally directly involved in the specific topic of our paper, the 1988 Shroud C-14 dating. It was our contention that the C-14 dating was skewed due to the presence of a sixteenth century repair. Here is a list of the reviewers of our paper:
- Paul Damon, head of the Arizona laboratory that participated in the 1988 Shroud dating
- Jacques Evin, French C-14 expert present at the 1988 sample-taking
- The late Gabriel Vial, French textile expert present at the 1988 sample taking
- Franco Testore, Italian French textile expert present at the 1988 sample taking
- Harry Gove, inventor of the AMS radiocarbon dating method, who had literally bet a companion that the Shroud was medieval and was heavily involved in various aspects of the dating
What were the chances that any of these men, each of whom would publicly look bad if our theory were correct, would want to see our paper published? The answer was obvious. Needless to say, our paper was not accepted. Most interesting was a comment by Evin, who wrote in the review sent by the editor to Sue and me:
The authors, who, for several reasons, are convinced that the shroud is authentic, want to publish an article in Radiocarbon only to introduce a doubt about the dating. All people involved in the sampling and in laboratory analyses, will be very angry with these suspicions turning on so an important mistake or a misconduct…
Enigmatic comment by Evin, is it not?
How fair or ethical was of it of Radiocarbon to use reviewers who were directly or closely involved with the Shroud C-14 dating?
This is the book description as it appears at Libreria Cattolica (translated by Bing):
Description of "SHROUD: the FIRST CENTURY AFTER CHRIST!"
After the radiocarbon test of 1988, the scientists responsible were photographed with the date written on the Blackboard . . . followed by an exclamation point; now, the exclamation point must be reported to a date in the first century after Christ. Among the most interesting news is not only that new methods of mechanical and chemical, dating the Shroud is compatible with the period in which Jesus of Nazareth lived in Palestine, but who was also a model for numismatic Byzantine iconography from 692 ad who carved the coins in those years had just seven chances on a billion billion coin that particular face of Christ without having seen the image on the shroud. Scientific studies on the Relic to date fail to provide conclusive answers both on the identity of the Man who was wrapped up, both on the dynamics of formation of image imprinted thereon. The human science must admit its limitations, but studies continue to dispel erroneous conclusions and absurd assumptions. The book not only addresses these issues in a scientific way and objective as possible, but within everyone’s reach, leading the reader through new research paths.
While I congratulate the authors on publishing the book, I wonder if anything has happened to independently verify these methods since we discussed them in Paper Chase: Giulio Fanti’s New Flax Fiber Dating Machine.
As 2015 approaches there will be more calls for new tests to date the Shroud of Turin. The pope, because he is the legal owner of the cloth, should support new tests while remaining completely uninvolved in any discussions on protocols. He should make it clear that he will welcome for consideration a finalized proposal brought to him by a large multidisciplinary consortium of capable scholars. In the interest of credibility, the Centro’s role must be limited to reviewing and recommending acceptance or rejection of such a proposal following public hearings. The church and its officials must not negotiate protocols or participate in sampling or testing. As much as it may be an affront to academics and church officials, an independent auditing firm and several journalists should be involved in every phase of such a project.
Ideally, the first call for new tests should come from the pope. He might invite Oxford’s Christopher Ramsey and Arizona’s Timothy Jull to Rome to ask for a proposal.
How does the pope call for testing and then possibly reject an inadequate formal proposal? That would be difficult, it seems.
If you were holding your breath waiting for the next installment of Stephen Jones’ The case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud, relax: breath. He informs us:
Note. I have now realised that this topic is going to require a lot of research, which will distract me further from my series " The Shroud of Turin." So I am putting it on the backburner until I get to the topic in that series of the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, in "6. Science and the Shroud," which will be after I have covered "4. History of the Shroud" and "5. Art and the Shroud." That will enable me to then refer back to what Prof. Christopher Ramsey, Director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit admitted was the "lot of other evidence that suggests to many thatthe Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow":
"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information. Christopher Ramsey (March 2008)" ("The Shroud of Turin," Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Version 143 Issued 31/10/2013).
See: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Jones for a bit of background in this.
“Yer gotta larf, han’t yer…,” writes Hugh
And because he may be right.
And because the worst thing any of us can do
is promote authenticity or inauthenticity, on questionable information.
On the other hand . . . well, let’s be sure, now and thanks for the opportunity.
Hugh commented in Cat Among the Pigeons:
The six quad mosaic images are at https://www.shroud.com/gallery/index.htm, close to the bottom. Two of them are enlargements of others. Three of the remaining four show exactly the same colouration: namely a pale blue upper, bright yellow middle and orange base, with green lower left-hand corners. The fourth has a blue central smudge which does not extend as far as the other three.
In his article “Some Details about the STURP Quad Mosaic Images” (https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/quad.pdf) Barrie Schwortz quotes Jean Lorre, as follows:
“There was a strong illumination brightness falloff from the centre. This was eliminated by dividing each image by a flat field.”
Well it wasn’t, was it? Each of the images is brighter in the centre than it is around the edges. The flat field process may have diminished the brightness falloff, but it didn’t eliminate it, and that’s important. What Lorre is clearly explaining is what was hoped, or expected, not what actually happened. Let’s go on.
“We wanted to enhance the colour to reveal subtle colours which might betray spatial variations in chemical composition. [...] we greatly exaggerated the colour saturations while preserving the original hues and intensities.”
A noble idea, but it didn’t work. Lorre wishes so much that it had, that he loses all touch with his own images in his next sentence.
“These colour images should be interpreted as a chemical composition map.”
Shall we take him at his word? Shall we agree that the blue bands across the top of three of the quad images really represent different chemicals from the yellow and orange below them? What might these blue bands be? They may be found across the front of the thighs, the head, and the buttocks. Shall we?
Or shall we agree that the illumination of the areas of the shroud by the photographic lights are responsible, and the colours have nothing to do with the chemical composition of the shroud at all.
Oh, and the image described as “ultraviolet” by Rogers? It’s the shape of the patches which gives it away. It’s the one captioned Quad Mosaic Dorsal Legs, which shows the bloodstained feet at the top, and nearly reaches the buttocks at the bottom. The camera zooms meaningfully into the bottom left hand corner of this image, apparently under the impression that it is looking at the medieval patching of the radiocarbon corner.
Yer gotta larf, han’t yer…
Joe had commented in Cat Among the Pigeons:
Some clarifications about the order and circumstances of the invisible reweave theory.
We did not start out with the Quad Mosaic photos when we first presented our theory in 2000. We had shown some experts photos that included a very high-quality photo of the C-14 area that’s in the excellent book by Gino Moretto (of the Shroud Museum in Turin) called Shroud Guide. It was only brought out in 2008 in the Chemistry Today article from 2008 and the presentation made at the Ohio Shroud conference that year.
Regarding the experts we showed it to, one was Thomas Ferguson & Co. Ltd, world-renowned makers of Double Damask Linen, another was Louis Harner of Albany International Research Company, and the third was European-trained weaver David Pearson, owner of the French Tailors in Columbus, Ohio, who was very familiar with the French invisible reweave technique. I will leave it to others to decide if the fact that they aren’t academics is significant.
Going back to the Quad Mosaic, there’s a very fine article on Barrie’s site about it at http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/quad.pdf, with some important comments by the late Jean Lorre, an imaging expert from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Titulus Crucis –a supplement to The idea of something being authentic is
"just too powerful" on shroudstory.com1
In a recent post on Dan’s blog, Joe Marino wrote:
The Military Channel has a new series called "Myth Hunters." I just finished watching my recording from 16 January. The 1 hour episode was called "Quest for the True Cross" and featured German author/historian Michael Hesemann [pictured]. (Hesemann gave one to two presentations at the 2001 Dallas Shroud conference.)
While historical documents, certain archaeological data and comparative paleography indicate that the titulus crucis from the Santa Croce in Rome is authentic, the C-14 dating performed in 2002 did not agree. The results came out something like AD 842-1000.
The program spent several minutes on the Shroud. Robert Wilcox was interviewed for that portion and expressed doubts about the reliability of the C-14 results in that case. (Bob, you should have alerted us you were going to be on.) But they let a C-14 scientist give the old line that C-14 is practically infallible.
Although the program did give most of the time to Hesemann, at the end they once again touted how reliable C-14 is. The narrator ended by saying that believers won’t accept the reliability of the results in the case of the titulus crucis because the idea of it being authentic is "just too powerful."
Once again we have a case of mainstream science accepting the validity of C-14 dating over a wealth of other scientific and historical information that conflicts with the dating
There are several books, and a couple of documentaries devoted to the subject of Titulus
Crucis. The most comprehensive are I think, The Quest for the True Cross, written by the late Carsten Peter Thiede and Matthew D’Ancona3, and Die stummen zeugen von Golgatha by
Hesemann.4 Some summary of their conclusions is also provided in Grzegorz Górny’s Witnesses to Mystery, pg. 81-95. Curiously, Górny seems to be unaware of 2002 carbondating, as Hesemann’s and Thiede’s works he probably used pre-date it.
The summary of the pre 2002 historical investigations can be summarized as follow. The board is made of walnut wood, 25×14 cm in size, 2.6 cm thick and has a weight of 687 g. There are fragments of Hebrew/Aramiac, as well as Greek and Latin (written mirror-style, just like the Hebrew/Aramaic, from the right to left). The Titulus was discovered by St. Helena in 326 AD, and then divided into two or three parts, one of which traveled to Rome, to the Santa Croce in Gerusalemme church. Another part remained in Jerusalem, while the third one probably traveled to Constantinople, as it is mentioned in 958 letter of Constantine VII, as well as in the list of relics from Constantinople sold to the king Louis IX –before disappearing during the French Revolution. As to the Jerusalempart, Joan Carroll-Cruz claims that the monk Anthony (living 1389-1459) reported that he had hold it in his own hands, so it was probably still there at that time.5 The existence of Titulus in Jerusalem is attested by Egeria circa 384 AD (Then is brought a silver-gilt casket, in which is the holy wood of the cross; it is opened, and the contents being taken out, the wood of the cross and also its inscription are placed on the table)6, and by Antoninus from Piacenza (for I also saw, and held in my hand and kissed, the title which was placed over the head of Jesus, upon which is written, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’)7, circa 570 AD. Thus, we can be certain that Titulus existed before 1000 AD, which is the date suggested by radiocarbon-dating. The Rome part of it, stored in Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, was buried inside the walls of the church during the barbaric invasions at some time in the 5th century (Rome was sacked by Visigoths in 410, and by Vandals in 455). It was rediscovered around 1144, when Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, the later Pope Lucius II, was cardinal priest of Santa Croce (his seal was later found in the casket in which the Titulus was stored) –and then, for some strange reasons buried again in the walls, only to be rediscovered on 1st February 1492. Since that time, it is venerated in that basilica. The writings on the Titulus had been paleographically dated by several experts: Hannah Eshel and Gabriel Barkay, specialists in Hebrew (who gave verdict: “late period of the Second Temple”, between 1st -3rd century), by Leah di Segni from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (a specialist in Greek), and Israel Roll and Ben Isaac, as well as Thiede, who concluded that the writings date back to the 1st century. Thus it couldn’t have been a forgery made in Helena times.
At that time, it was very near to the full happiness (of the faithful). Unfortunately, the 2002 radiocarbon dating gave completely unexpected results. Hesemann in his more recent book Jesus von Nazareth. Archäologen auf den Spuren des Erloesers8, while admitting that he is not a physicist, being so surprised by the results tries to give some blatant (and erroneous) pseudo-explanation of it.
Contrary to Hesemann and many others, I believe that this dating has been accurate -it is extremely hard, if not impossible to skew wood dating to that extent. The whole radiocarbon dating is in fact, calibrated on dendrochronology! However this doesn’t mean that the Titulus is a simple forgery. No the matter is more complicated than everyone though. Because there is apparently conflict of historical, paleographical, and C-14 data. The C-14 suggest 980-1146 AD. It is in contradiction with paleography (1st century) and history (at least 4th century). However, interestingly, it coincides closely with the discovery of Titulus circa 1144.
There is only one solution to the problem, that makes sense. The current Titulus is the faithful reproduction of the original one, made circa 1144 AD. It is the only way to explain the 1st century script, unknown in medieval times, as well as historical data and C-14 results. But there is another mystery: why? For what purpose make a replica (as it was based on the original it must have been in a relatively good condition), and immediately bury it once again in the wall? This makes no sense. Unless…
From this moment on, the following is just only my idea. I suspect a crime. A dirty medieval crime, performed by one of the highest ranked person in the Church. The original Titulus was apparently stolen, and replaced with a fake one, resembling the original as much as possible. And to further cover up the crime, the replica was once again placed in the walls, and buried for centuries. Who could perfrom that. The first person that comes into the mind is cardinal Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, the later Pope Lucius II. As the Wiki informs us:9
Pope Lucius II (Latin: Lucius II; died 15 February 1145), born Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, was the head of the Catholic Church from 9 March 1144 to his death in 1145. His pontificate was notable for the unrest in Rome associated with the Commune of Rome and its attempts to wrest control of the city from the papacy.
While quelling unrest in Rome:
Lucius marched against the Senatorial positions on the Capitol with a small army. He was driven back by Giordano, and according to Godfrey of Viterbo, he was seriously injured during this battle (by a thrown stone). He did not recover from his injuries and died on 15 February 1145 at San Gregorio Magno al Celio, where he was under the protection of the neighbouring Frangipani fortress.
While his pontiff was not notable, if he had fallen to the temptation of appropriating the
Titulus for himself, he might have buried our chance to recover this priceless relic from the Christ’s Cross. Here we have to ask the question: if the current Titulus from Santa Croce is a replica, than where is the original? The most probable (and misfortunate) answer is that it was buried along with the Pope Lucius II, in the St. John Lateran’s Archbasilica. Unfortunately, as Wiki informs us:10
A dozen additional papal tombs were constructed in the basilica starting in the 10th century, but were destroyed during two fires that ravaged the basilica in 1308 and 1361. The remains of these charred tombs were gathered and reburied in a polyandrum. The popes of the destroyed tombs were: Pope John X (914 – 928), Pope Agapetus II (946 – 955), Pope John XII (955- 964), Pope Paschal II (1099–1118), Pope Callixtus II (1119–1124), Pope Honorius II
(1124–1130), Pope Celestine II (1143–1144), Pope Lucius II (1144–1145), Pope Anastasius IV (1153–1154), Pope Clement III (1187–1191), Pope Celestine III (1191–1198), Pope Innocent V (1276).
What can be said in summary? Once again we see that the reality is much more complex than most scientists believe. Although the case for Titulus apparently ended in rotten compromise between pro-authenticity and the skeptics (not an authentic piece of the Cross, but a replica of authentic relic), it was in fact important victory for those believing in the existence of authentic relics of the Passion, even despite C-14 bitter pill. Based on paleographical results, we can be almost certain that St. Helena recovered the True Cross. A deliberate forgery on her part does not take into the account –there was no comparative paleography in those times, and the alleged forger on her behalf could not even think about it. Thus it is also highly probable that other relics recovered by Helena (nails, Tunic, etc.) are also genuine. As for the original Titulus –one can only pray, and search. Maybe one day, someone will recover the Constantinople/Jerusalem/Rome parts of it to the light –again…
1 See http://shroudstory.com/2014/01/20/the-idea-of-something-being-authentic-is-just-toopowerful/One can watch this episode on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8_mspQXrvU, I don’t know for how long.
2 Francesco Bella, Carlo Azzi. 14C Dating of the Titulus Crucis, Radiocarbon 3 (44), pg. 685689, 2002. University of Arizona
3 I have the polish edition: Carsten Peter Thiede, Matthew D’Ancona, W poszukiwaniu Świętego Krzyża, Amber Sp. z.o.o. 2005. Original appeared in 2000. A TV documentary was also made based on the works of Thiede.
4 I have the polish edition: Milczący Świadkowie Golgoty, Wydawnictwo Salwator, Kraków 2006. Original appeared in 2000.
5 Joan Carrol Cruz, Relics, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing 1984, pg. 43-44. Up to a few
months ago almost entire first chapter about the relics of the Christ was available at http://books.google.pl/books?id=2NutWXeteNgC&printsec=frontcover&hl=pl#v=onepage&q &f=false , this however, has changed since that time.
8 I have the polish edition: Na Tropie Jezusa z Nazaretu: Ziemia Zbawiciela, Wydawnictwo Salwator, Kraków 2012. Original appeared in 2009.
About Hugh Farey as the new editor of the BSTS newsletter, a reader writes:
I was a little surprised that Hugh chose to be quite so iconoclastic with his first edition. His “Mystery of the Invisible Patch” article appears to put the cat among the pigeons but, so far, I have heard no fur or feathers flying. As Barrie’s site has no forum perhaps you might get a response started. It seems to need one.
And you may have heard that once upon a time most people thought the world was flat.
No they didn’t. Like script writers writing for the History Channel, they didn’t think at all
about matters on which they were not well informed.
Last night [=January 18] there was a History Channel subject on ancient relics which briefly stated about the Shroud: While some have attacked the carbon dating "MOST SCIENTISTS" accept.
I was bit bummed out by the History Channel thing. Not because I believe it but because I believe the reverse is true as to the opinion of most scientists who had studied the Shroud.
I have been fascinated by the story of "La Principessa" that was identified as a da Vinci drawing even though its provenance had been shrouded in mystery and there is no explanation where it had been for several centuries. You can see the analogy.
For some reason I was "inspired" to dig into a book about the La Principessa this morning to sharpen my analogy. La Principessa had been carbon dated to the 16th century but here’s the caution by the authors about the weight it carried:
"Carbon-14 dating is a chemical examination based on the way natural elements age, and it can be used to test a material or substance that has a biological origin—such as vellum, cloth, or wood. Carbon is breathed in by animals and plants through the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon-14, one of three carbon isotopes, is radioactive and subject to decay over a very long period. Its half-life is 5,730 years, which means that in that period, half of the carbon-14 isotopes will have decayed. By measuring the percentage of carbon-14 that remains in a test sample, it is possible to determine its age to within two hundred years.
"The most famous and controversial case of carbon-14 testing involved the Shroud of Turin, the cloth that is alleged to have been the burial shroud of Jesus. In 1988, carbon testing revealed that the age of the cloth was medieval, which means it could not have belonged to Jesus. That might have settled the matter once and for all, but there was so much interest in the Shroud of Turin, and so much passion
"In 2005, Raymond N. Rogers, a highly respected chemist and a fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, revealed in a scientific journal that the entire cloth was much older than the test sample—at least twice as old, and possibly two thousand years old. The explanation: the corner that was tested had been subject to mending and thus contained newer material. Rogers’s discovery did not stop the controversy, and studies of the Shroud of Turin continue."
Whitney, Catherine; Silverman, Peter (2011-12-19). Leonardo’s Lost Princess: One Man’s Quest to Authenticate an Unknown Portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci (pp. 60-61). John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition.
Regarding photographs copied from Wikimedia Commons which reports regarding potential copyright claims:
This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself [,La Bella Principessa,] is in the public domain for the following reason:
This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.
The official position taken by the Wikimedia Foundation is that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain".
This photographic reproduction is therefore also considered to be in the public domain. In other jurisdictions, re-use of this content may be restricted; see Reuse of PD-Art photographs for details.