He tells us that he is writing to the Vatican to encourage a new round of carbon dating. I think that’s great. I’d like to see it. But I have a different perspective. I spent my entire career in business. I worked for a major corporation for 25 years and I ran a small company for another decade. I’m not a scientist by training but I’ve learned a great deal from scientists who have worked for me – mainly I learned how much I don’t know. I’m in awe of people like Hugh, Colin and Kelly.
Business people tend to look at things differently. Would we “bet the farm” on a single proposition? And we business people love to make bullet and number charts and think like the world is a big organization chart. Perhaps it comes from our inadequacies in science. So here is how I’d like to see a new round of tests organized:
Create an international, multidisciplinary umbrella organization (e.g. STURP 2). Within it there should be a Provenance Group organized into three sections, as follows:
A) Direct Scientific Methods to be considered and possibly used:
- Radiocarbon dating
- Micromechanical Properties Analysis
- Limitations and Advantages. Reliability.
- Important question for each method is appropriateness for ancient flax fiber,
- Potential problems such as thymol (C14), extreme temperature (Vanillin), etc.
- Completely transparent protocols published in advance.
- Actual tests outsourced to labs as needed (no lab involvement in sampling or writing protocols).
B) Historical Support Analytics
- Pollens (new samples and re-examination of Frei and Rogers tapes)
- Banding. Thread following filtering as opposed to FFT methods. Identify all hank changes (laying in) to see if they match changes in color that would support hank bleaching theory.
- High magnification, high quality, photography of eyes and places where some plants have been identified. Can we see anything meaningful?
C) Other Considerations
- The Sudarium. What can be tested to see if these cloths did indeed contact each other?
- Historical Documents such as the Hungarian Pray Manuscript. How good a visual match?
Since people in the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Turin read this blog almost daily (yes, I know that), I’ll just let this posting substitute for my letter. And you all get to comment.