Thursday, April 13, 2006

Some research on the Shroud of Turin

1 comment:

Jim Lippard said...

Meacham is another of the true believers trying to find excuses to disregard the radiocarbon dating (he's been a hardcore Shroud-proves-the-resurrection advocate at least since his _Current Anthropology_ article on the subject in 1983).

Go ahead and date it again, $10,000 says the results will be the same (this bet may be accepted by any proponent by May 14, 2006 for any radiocarbon testing done while both of us are still living).

I interviewed Paul Damon and Douglas Donohue of the University of Arizona about their role in the radiocarbon dating for articles in the Phoenix Skeptics' newsletter back in 1988. Both Damon and Donohue were involved in the sample removal process and in the dating of what turned out to be one of the actual samples from the shroud (they were randomly distributed in a double-blind process, but the real samples were visibly distinguishable from the controls).

The Nature paper describes the process by which the samples were taken, cleaned, and tested.

The criticisms in WorldNutDaily don't make much sense in light of the actual testing process--I don't know why Meacham says yet another sample was necessary. Meacham also dismisses the evidence of the Shroud being a medieval forgery (e.g., the first investigation into the shroud allegedly led to the forger himself, according to a Catholic bishop).

Compare the Skeptics Dictionary summary of the evidence to that of this pro-Shroud site. The latter relies on a known fraud, Dmitri Kouznetsov, who was popular for a short time with the creationists before he was caught falsifying his publication history and credentials, and uncritically cites Max Frei's work.