Carbon-14 Dating Method is Outdated: New Evidence Defends Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin

Carbon-14 Dating Method is Outdated: New Evidence Defends Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin
An Italian scientist has conducted new tests demonstrating that the Shroud of Turin dates from the first century A.D.

An Italian scientist has conducted new tests demonstrating that the Shroud of Turin dates from the first century A.D., in stark contrast to the much promoted 1988 Carbon-14 dating study, which claimed that the Shroud was only from the Middle Ages.

Dr. Liberato De Caro, from Italy’s Institute of Crystallography of the National Research Council in Bari, has spent nearly 30 years studying the Shroud of Turin. Together with a team of researchers, he recently tested fibers from the Shroud using the “Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering” (WAXS) method. This manner of research examines the “natural aging of the cellulose that constitutes the linen of the investigated sample” to provide age estimates.

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The findings from Dr. De Caro’s research, published April 11, note that the testing results of the thread sample taken from the Shroud “were fully compatible with the analogous measurements obtained on a linen sample whose dating, according to historical records, is 55–74 A.D., Siege of Masada (Israel).”

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The Shroud is the full linen burial cloth in which Our Lord was wrapped after the crucifixion while lying in the tomb. In excess of 13 feet long and 4 feet wide, it bears the undeniable marking of a man, front and back, with wounds consistent with those which Our Lord suffered during His Passion and Death. Catholics revere it as one of the foremost relics of Christ. It presents clear evidence supporting the historical reality of Christ’s Life, Passion and Death.

Saint John’s Gospel mentions it in the passage recounting Saints Peter and John running to find the empty tomb of Christ. (John 20: 4-7)

The Shroud also displays unexplainable 3-D “distance information,” which resembles a topographical map of Christ’s body, as well as elements resembling a negative photographic image that, when viewed as a positive image, show the physical sufferings endured by the man wrapped in the Shroud. The image does not penetrate the Shroud’s fabric but only sits on top.

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The famous 1988 Carbon-14 dating studies upon the Shroud declared with “95% confidence” that the Shroud dated only from 1260 – 1390 A.D. A team of scientists from the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich published their findings in Nature magazine in early 1989. Since then, the Carbon-14 dating has been used to debunk the belief that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Our Lord and instead labeled it as a “fake.”

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However, Dr. De Caro’s research appears to add yet another nail in the coffin of the much-criticized—although still widely promoted—Carbon-14 dating analysis.

Far from the roughly 700-year age attributed to the Shroud, the WAXS research found that “experimental results are compatible with the hypothesis that the Turin Shroud is a 2000-year-old relic, as supposed by Christian tradition.”

Dr. De Caro used a fabric sample from the same area used in the 1988 Carbon dating study. Unlike Carbon-14 dating, the WAXS method does not harm the sample, thus allowing the same material to be used for future research.

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In his research published on Italy’s Department of Chemical Sciences and Materials Technologies website, De Caro defended his findings. He highlighted possible flaws which could lead to inaccurate readings from Carbon-14 dating, which do not exist in the WAXS method:

“Molds and bacteria, colonizing textile fibers, and dirt or carbon-containing minerals, (such as limestone) adhering to them in the empty spaces between the fibers that at a microscopic level represent about 50% of the volume, can be so difficult to completely eliminate, in the sample cleaning phase, which can distort the dating. In fact, the fabric can be enriched with new carbon 14, assimilated through the life cycle of living beings belonging to epochs subsequent to the one in which the textile product was made.”

Dr. De Caro added:

“This new campaign of dating measures, through WAXS, could allow us to confirm that the sheet, which the Christian tradition associates with the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has precisely 2000 years of history, defining a very important piece, the temporal one, of the complex puzzle that the Shroud of Turin still represents for science today.”

Speaking further to the National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin about his findings, Dr. De Caro noted that his team’s work has already been “evaluated and peer-reviewed by three other independent experts” as well as the editor of Heritage, the journal which published De Caro’s findings.

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The scientist called for studies on Shroud threads using the WAXS method, suggesting “blind” tests to “avoid any possible bias in the data analysis by the authors of the research.”

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Robert Rucker, a nuclear analyst turned Shroud of Turin researcher, is another of many experts who take issue with the Carbon-14 Shroud dating. In a paper published in July 2020, he highlighted 15 problems with the suggested age derived from the Carbon-14 study. The mainstream media blindly accept the study’s conclusion verbatim despite numerous issues with the dating procedure.

As Mr. Rucker notes regarding the image of the figure on the Shroud:

“The characteristics of the image are so unique it is impossible for the image to have been made in 1260-1390 because the technology did not exist, and still does not exist. This is indicated by the failure of all modern attempts to produce an image of the face that is macroscopically and microscopically correct, using only materials and abilities available to people in the Middle Ages.”

Dr. De Caro’s findings are also supported by another Shroud of Turin researcher, Joseph Marino, who recently published an 800-page book detailing “numerous questionable actions, errors and contradictions” regarding the Carbon-14 dating methods, which “included multiple versions of the sizes and weights of the chosen samples.”

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After the three laboratories curiously refused to release the study data for several years, a Freedom of Information legal request in 2017 revealed that the Carbon-14 study tested a piece of the Shroud that had been repaired and was thus composed of both “first-and sixteenth-century cloth.”

In a 2021 interview, an Inside the Vatican reporter noted how “Marino says his book points to irrefutable proof that politics—along with personal agendas—was the main theme of the Carbon-14 dating of the Shroud.”

Indeed, the mainstream media’s fascination with and insistence on debunking the Shroud of Turin lends itself to becoming a stepping stone from which to attack Catholicism.

By ridiculing the veracity of the Shroud–which provides historical evidence of Christ’s Passion and Death–leftists can then attack the existence of Christ, as does James Lynn Page in his book The Christ Enigma: Did Jesus Really Exist?

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However, the renewed evidence of scientific research, as conducted by Dr. De Caro, appears to defend beyond doubt the historical and Scriptural reality that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.