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Shroud of turin and carbon 14 dating

In the case of the Shroud it was the fibers of flax plants from which linen thread is made. And because scientists know the rate of decay, measured in half-lifes, they can calculate how old something is.

When a plant or animal dies it no longer absorbs carbon. The current state of the technology is useful for dating things younger than 50,000 years.

It should not be ignored because of the lessons to be learned.

It cannot be ignored so long students raise hands and Google-check lecture notes.

John Dominic Crossan, the famed Jesus Seminar scholar, proposed that someone in medieval times was crucified by a crafter of fake relics in order to produce the Shroud.

Others proposed that Leonardo da Vinci created it — anew, it turns out, since the Shroud was well known in Europe a century before Leonardo was born.

Chemical tests show that dye is yellow alizarin from madder root complexed with alum, a common mordant. Cotton, alizarin and gum are only found in the C14 sample area of the shroud.

The 1988 carbon 14 dating failure will not be ignored; for how does one ignore such a famous example.

Material intrusion is well known in the application of carbon 14 dating.

A classic example is to be found in the dating of peat bogs.

Students will ask why a single sample from a suspect corner was used.

They will wonder why protestations from experts in the Shroud’s chemistry were ignored.

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