Radiometric dating accuracy
that discarding the blind-test method would expose the results – whatever they may be – to suspicion of unreliability.
Shredding the samples would not solve the problem, while making it much more difficult and wasteful to clean the samples properly.
group initially planned to conduct a range of different studies on the cloth, including radio-carbon dating. The six labs that showed interest in performing the procedure fell into two categories, according to the method they utilised: In 1982, the S. The blind-test method was abandoned because the distinctive three-to-one herringbone twill weave of the shroud could not be matched in the controls, and a laboratory could thus identify the shroud sample.
Gove consulted numerous laboratories which were able at the time (1982) to carbon-date small fabric samples. [...] The pressure on the ecclesiastic authorities to accept the Turin protocol have almost approached illegality.
The remaining sample, measuring 81 mm × 16 mm (3.19 in × 0.63 in) and weighing 300 mg, was first divided in two equal parts, one of which was preserved in a sealed container, in the custody of the Vatican, in case of future need.
The other half was cut into three segments, and packaged for the labs in a separate room by Dr Tite and the archbishop.
group expected to perform the radiometric examination under its own aegis and after the other examinations had been completed, while the laboratories considered radio-carbon dating to be the prime test, which should be completed at the detriment of other tests, if necessary.
group published the list of tests to be performed on the shroud; these aimed to identify how the image was impressed onto the cloth, to verify the relic's purported origin, and to identify better-suited conservation methods. We are faced with actual blackmail: unless we accept the conditions imposed by the laboratories, they will start a marketing campaign of accusations against the Church, which they will portray as scared of the truth and enemy of science.
lack of blindness in the measurements is a rather insubstantial reason for disbelieving the result." (t)he Church must respond to the challenge of those who want it to stop the process, who would want us to show that the Church fears the science.
As reported in Nature, Professor Bray of the Instituto di Metrologia 'G.
Colonetti', Turin, "confirmed that the results of the three laboratories were mutually compatible, and that, on the evidence submitted, none of the mean results was questionable." Although the quality of the radiocarbon testing itself is unquestioned, criticisms have been raised regarding the choice of the sample taken for testing, with suggestions that the sample may represent a medieval repair fragment rather than the image-bearing cloth.