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