Please scroll down and read the comments by Michael Kowalsk. And also notice the addendum and corrections to Hugh Farey’s posting at The Radiocarbon Data were correct (!) This matter will never be resolved without new testing.
Even when I was more of an ardent pro-authenticist, I don’t think I would have been inclined to listen to podcasts with a fish-chumming lead like this:
Did the prestigious British scientific journal “Nature” compromise its usual acceptance criteria when publishing the 1988 Shroud radiocarbon test report in February 1989? Was the decision to publish motivated by editorial bias? Michael Kowalski, author and British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter editor, joins me to discuss.
But I did listen. The only reason was that Hugh Farey called it a “scurrilous” podcast . . .
. . . insinuating that the radiocarbon data produced by the laboratories of the Universities of Arizona, USA, Oxford, UK and the ETH University in Zurich, Switzerland was duplicitously manipulated to produce a fraudulent date, and published with minimal review by the scientific journal Nature. . . .
Hugh’s post is not an easy read. It’s long and detailed. For someone who still uses my fingers to figure out how many days there are between Monday and Thursday, the math is challenging. It is worth the trouble, though.
If you are into after-the-fact fact-checking, Hugh does a good job of exposing Kowalski trying to shoot the messenger, namely the journal Nature (open Hugh’s post and scan for “It does beg”).
Hugh’s conclusion is good:
I’m sorry that it has become a feature of almost all authenticist criticism of the medieval case, although there are notable exceptions, not to need to investigate its findings analytically, but simply to assume dishonesty, ignorance, incompetence, psychological factors and other personal failings of those who present them. Not only is this an unjustified assault on some of our most celebrated scientists, but it seriously damages the credibility of the authenticist case.
“Scurrilous” is a stronger word than I might use. But it is the right word according to the dictionary.
As I have said before, I still have hang-ups about the radiocarbon dating, mainly having to do with the Pray Codex and other historical tidbits. Thus I think it might be wrong but I don’t know why. I doubt that it’s because of 1) mending 2) other forms of contamination, 3) radiation, or 4) wait for it — KGB agents hacking the equipment in Arizona and at the other radiocarbon dating labs.
Is the new normal to assume “dishonesty, ignorance, incompetence” on the part of scientists and journals we disagree with? It sounds almost too much like . . .