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Radiocarbon dating failures

In fact, the Shroud is much older than the carbon 14 tests suggested. No matter what any one of us may believe about the Shroud’s authenticity, we can no longer say that carbon 14 dating proves medieval origins; for the tests in 1988 were botched.Photomicrograph of fibers from middle of carbon 14 sample. For those who after 1988 continued to believe that the Shroud was the genuine burial cloth of Jesus, a winter of ridicule and doubts has ended.Material intrusion is well known in the application of carbon 14 dating.

There are, in understanding what went wrong, important lessons that will ripple through archeology, anthropology, forensics and science lecture halls whenever and wherever carbon 14 dating is discussed.The disappearance of all traces of vanillin from the lignin in the shroud indicates a much older age than the radiocarbon laboratories reported." The carbon 14 dating of the Shroud is famous because those who had difficulty accepting the results were ridiculed and called fanatics by tough-minded skeptics.On public television, a prominent Oxford scientist, Edward (Teddy) P.Very old bogs often contain miniscule roots from newer plants that grew in the peat.The roots of these plants, sometimes having decomposed, are nearly indistinguishable from the older peat.What ends up being tested is a mixture of old and new material which produces an average, meaningless carbon 14 age.No one seemed to consider, in 1988, that material intrusion might be a serious problem with the Shroud of Turin carbon 14 dating even though clues were there.It should not be ignored when journalists and authors write about carbon 14 dating.There are textbooks, encyclopedias and many websites to be updated. It is an extraordinary technology that with uncanny precision can count the approximately one in a trillion carbon 14 isotopes that exist compared to the more common carbon 12 and carbon 13 isotopes; isotopes that exist in all living material and material that once was living.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.

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