Food for Thought: An Important Paper on Radiocarbon Dating
Louis had recommended an important paper on Radiocarbon dating, Does Radiocarbon Provide the Answer? by Uwe Zerbst and Peter van der Veen.
I found it to be very informative for understanding the Bayesian approach to interpreting radiocarbon data. But is there anything in it that might impact the accuracy of the shroud’s dating? That seems unlikely in any significant way, at least to this non-scientist.
The aim of the present paper is not a detailed discussion of the radiocarbon evidence of specific archaeological periods, or even individual sites and strata, but a more general view on whether the scientific methodology, as it presently stands, can really be used conclusively. Despite dissenting claims, the authors will demonstrate that there still is a conflict between the archaeological and radiocarbon based time scales, even if elaborate Bayesian statistics are used. The authors discuss possible reasons for this.
Nonetheless, I’m glad I worked my way through it. It was not an easy read for this non-scientist.