There are ... other possible types of contaminant, and it it could be that one, or some combination of these, might mean that the Shroud is somewhat older than the radiocarbon date suggests. It is important to realise, however, that only if some enriched contaminant can be identified does it become credible that the date is wrong by 1000 years. As yet there is no direct evidence for this - or indeed any direct evidence to suggest the original radiocarbon dates are not accurate.
There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information.
Christopher Ramsey (March 2008)
Fresh tests on Shroud of Turin
David Rolfe, the director of [a new documentary on the shroud] said it was hugely significant that Prof Ramsey had thought it necessary to carry out further tests that could challenge the original dating.
He said that previous hypotheses, put forward to explain how the cloth could be older than the 1988 results suggested, had been "rejected out of hand".
"The main reason is that the contamination levels on the cloth that would have been needed to distort the results would have to be equivalent to the actual sample itself," he said.
"But this new theory only requires two per cent contamination to skew the results by 1,500 years. Moreover, it springs from published data about the behaviour of carbon-14 in the atmosphere which was unknown when the original tests were carried out 20 years ago."
Editor of Nature, Philip Ball, He holds a degree in chemistry from Oxford and a doctorate in physics from Bristol University. He was an editor for the journal Nature for over 10 years: "Attempts to date the Turin Shroud are a great game, but don't imagine that they will convince anyone...And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artifact, one of the few religious relics to have a justifiably mythical status. It is simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was made." (Nature online, January 2005)
Raymond Rogers, leading expert in thermal analysis, in the scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta (Vol 425, Jan 2005), “Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin”: The fact that vanillin cannot be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicate that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggest the shroud is between 1300- and 3000-years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years...The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud.
Robert Villarreal, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) chemist who headed a team of nine scientists at LANL which examined material from the carbon 14 sampling region. (Aug 2008): [T]he age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case.
Monday, June 20, 2011