Good Science Gets Its Boots On

On the Shroud.

It has been pointed out for years that radiocarbon dating doesn’t work that way– it’s supposed to be for stuff that has been stored away, not stuff that we KNOW has been handled, soaked at least once, and for heaven’s sake had cloth added to it.

Well, turns out that they hadn’t actually let anybody see the results of those tests.
Until now!

“Three laboratories performed a radiocarbon analysis of the Turin Shroud,” according to Casabianca. “The results, which were centralized by the British Museum and published in Nature in 1989, provided ‘conclusive evidence’ of the medieval origin of the artefact. However, the raw data were never released by the institutions,” he wrote.

In 2017, Casabianca submitted a Freedom of Information request to the British Museum and was allowed to see the data.

“Our statistical analysis shows that the 1988 carbon 14 dating was unreliable: the tested samples are obviously heterogeneous, and there is no guarantee that all these samples, taken from one end of the sheet, are representative of the whole fabric. It is therefore impossible to conclude that the shroud of Turin dates from the Middle Ages,” Casabianca explained in an interview with a website called L’Homme Nouveau.

Oh, if you’d like to look at the Shroud, there’s a site for that.

More to explorer


  1. I have always looked at the shroud in this way: It obviously was of great importance to Catholics over centuries and it still is today even though we cannot verify or deny that the shroud was indeed our Lord’s shroud. There are way too many issues with the shroud that science cannot explain that at least to me makes me believe it is the actual shroud however, whether it is the true shroud or not makes no difference to my faith even if they can absolutely prove it was not.. My faith isn’t based on a shroud.

  2. That’s basically where I am.

    It’s cool, I am fairly sure it IS the Shroud, but I’m not emotionally invested in it.

    I am, however, very emotionally invested in science. 😀

  3. I wouldn’t get too emotionally invested in science. It is too prone to chipping off an ice cube size piece of an iceberg and then claiming it knows everything about the remaining thousands of tons.

  4. Ah, but that isn’t science!

    That’s folks misusing science for a variety of reasons, from emotional rewards to a misplaced religious impulse. The scientific method can’t claim to know, it can on make a big list of qualifications and make a prediction of what, and why, something will happen.

  5. If this is so, the British Museum perpetrated a fraud and the peer-review process at Nature isn’t worth a pitcher of warm spit.

    It’s been a matter of public record for 35 years that the properties of the image are such that it cannot be readily replicated. (Up to 1983, no means of replicating the image had yet been discovered, certainly not with technology conceivably available prior to the 20th c). Characters like Walter McCrone and Paul Kurtz et al have been throwing up chaff for > 35 years (and making implicit accusations of fraud against scientists who produced inconvenient experimental results).

  6. I hope everyone paid attention to and digested Foxfier’s last comment. I’m emotionally invested in science, too, because the engineering output from science has paid my salary since I was a reactor operator on a nuclear submarine in the late 70s. I love science almost as much as I love the Bible. They both reveal glimpses Truth and Truth isn’t a thing but a Person – Jesus Christ.

  7. Might also note, the Pray manuscript, from Hungary, dated 1100’s, shows a picture of the burial of Jesus. In the illustration the wrapping cloth has the ‘herringbone’ weave, and, most interesting the ‘poker marks’ on the cloth. Both are characteristics of the Turin cloth.

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