Nicholas Boer gets it wrong in SFGate, the online edition of the the San Francisco Chronicle. Or was it CAMS director Graham Bench who got it wrong?
My tour guide, CAMS director Graham Bench, related how radiocarbon dating has helped convict elephant poachers by showing that their booty was taken after the 1989 ivory ban. By testing bits of underground wood, CAMS has measured the frequency and intensity of past earthquakes. (Interpreting this data is how the U.S. Geological Survey is able to announce the likelihood that any particular fault will produce an x magnitude earthquake in x amount of time.)
CAMS pegged Kennewick Man at circa 7500 B.C., and the Shroud of Turin came in around A.D. 1300 — a wee bit after the time of Christ, causing a lot of unwanted controversy. “But for any scientist,” says Bench, “it’s case closed.” Any object less than 50,000 years old is within CAMS reach.
CAMS pegged it? CAMS is the the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Everyone knows (well almost) that the carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin took place in Arizona, Oxford and Zurich in 1988. Livermore’s CAMS didn’t open until 1989.
This isn’t correct, either: “But for any scientist,” says Bench, “it’s case closed.”
It is an opinion, since many scientists disagree. The journalist should have made that clear so that Bench isn’t made to appear incorrect.