We read in the papers, over and over, that the shroud was carbon dated (aka carbon 14, radiocarbon) and it showed that it was medieval. Sometimes a reporter will add that some people question the results. But what we should be reading is that the carbon dating is invalid or at the very least there is reasonable doubt about the results.
Yes, I guess we can imagine that Robert Villarreal and his team of scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory were wrong in showing that the sample area of the cloth is not representative the whole cloth. In other words it is almost certain that the shroud itself was not carbon dated. We can imagine that the comprehensive twelve page article in the scientific journal Chemistry Today (Jul/Aug 2008) is simply wrong, as well. Or maybe Raymond Rogers was wrong when he found significant chemical difference between the carbon dating sample material and the rest of the shroud. Moreover, he provided extraordinary evidence of mending that explains why the differences and shows that the carbon dating can’t be right.
Should we add to our list of people who are maybe wrong the likes of Georgia Tech’s materials experts John Brown who also found clear evidence of mending. There are other who we might imagine are wrong, those who found, by statistics that the samples used in the carbon dating were not homogeneous. That is a show stopper for believing test results. And what about the written comments of textile experts who found suspicious material — that might be from mending — in the material taken from the shroud for testing. What about the “blue mosaic” photographic evidence that shows clearly that the carbon dating sample is suspiciously not like the rest of the shroud.
It is important to note what Christopher Ramsey, head of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit which participated in the 1988 Carbon 14 Dating of the Shroud wrote in March of 2008:
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.
If there is reasonable doubt about the validity of the sample or, to be more precise, overwhelming evidence that the sample was meaningless, we should be reading that these tests are no longer considered valid. The Shroud of Turin was not really carbon dated.
Who from any of the labs involved in the testing are defending the old tests. No one. What scientists, if any, still defend the tests. For more information see Facts Plus Facts.