Friday, March 21, 2008

Shroud of Turin believers grasp at straws again

Yes, naïve or, more often, self-delusional Shroud sympaticos are once again making the claims that 1988 radiocarbon tests were inaccurate. Please. We’ve heard this before.

The Today Show piece is one-sided in not quoting a single Shroud skeptic to refute those claims, the claims about “ancient Mediterranean pollen grains,” that too much handling of the Shroud threw off radiocarbon calculations, that there actually is blood on the Shroud (there isn’t, at least none that’s been identified) and more.

Of course, that’s nothing new either. American TV trots out gullibility-driven twaddle like this around Christian religious holidays, as do major newsmagazines.

See Skeptic’s Dictionary for the truth about all these claims.
The suggestions that modern biological contaminants were sufficient to modernize the date are also ridiculous. A weight of 20th century carbon equaling nearly two times the weight of the Shroud carbon itself would be required to change a 1st century date to the 14th century. Besides this, the linen cloth samples were very carefully cleaned before analysis at each of the C-dating laboratories.

But, Shroud sympaticos will continue to bring up new red herrings, as Bob Carroll notes at Skeptic’s Dictionary.

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