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The Shroud of Turin Carbon Dating in a School Textbook

This, Stephen E. Jones reports, is from a textbook being used in Australia. (Easton, M., et al., "SOSE Alive 1: Studies of Society and Environment," John Wiley and Sons: Milton QLD, 2003, p.15)

One famous object that has been radiocarbon dated is the Shroud of Turin – said by some to be the cloth in which Christ was wrapped after his crucifixion. These tests, carried out in the late 1980s, indicated the cloth was only around 700 years old. Then further tests were done. These proved that only the bacteria and mould on the cloth were around 700 years old. The mystery continues. Written records confirm the cloth did exist in 1357.

Jones notes:

Now I don’t totally agree that the reason the Shroud was carbon-dated to around 1325 AD was because the bacteria and mould on the cloth was 700 years old. But I do agree that the bacteria and mould on the Shroud, being more recent carbon, would have markedly skewed the radiocarbon age of the Shroud to make it appear to be younger than its actual chronological age.

And what’s more, the late Prof. Harry Gove, co-founder of the AMS radiocarbon method used to date the Shroud also agreed . . .

And Jones tells us:

What is really important about this paragraph in a high school textbook is that it is evidence that it is becoming increasingly widely accepted in the broader scientific and academic world generally that the 1988 radiocarbon-dating of the Shroud as "medieval" was wrong!

I agree. But it would be nice if the right reasons were taught. Read the entire posting at The Shroud of Turin Blog of Stephen E. Jones.

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