Thursday, November 3, 2016

"Did you ask radiocarbon dating experts their opinion on this?"

This is my response in this separate post to an anonymous comment under my post, "My radiocarbon dating hacker theory mentioned in Joe Marino's `The Politics of Radiocarbon Dating'!"

Anonymous

>Did you ask radiocarbon dating experts their opinion on this?

The short answer is "no" (although see below on Arizona's Prof. Douglas Donahue).

The long answer is, in early 2014, when I was still only asking the

[Above (enlarge): Dan Porter's blog page of March 9, 2014 in which he promoted a comment by Hugh Farey, the anti-authenticist editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, quoting the response of Prof. Timothy Jull, the Director of the Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory, followed by the response of Prof. Christopher Ramsey, the Director of the Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory, to my early "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" post(s) which Farey had sent them. This was before I had made the connection on 31 March 2014 that Arizona laboratory physicist Timothy Linick and a German hacker Karl Koch, having both died of suspected suicide in May/June 1989 within days of each other, may have been the hackers. Note the `open minded' Porter's question, "Does this put an end to it, once and for all?"!]

question, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" [18Feb14, 20Feb14, 22Feb14 & 07Mar14], I was considering whether, after I had presented my evidence, I would write an open letter, posted to my blog, and emailed (as well as snail-mailed) to the Directors of the three Shroud radiocarbon dating laboratories, Arizona, Oxford and Zurich, for their response to that evidence.

But before I could do that, I learned on Dan Porter's now closed blog that anti-authenticist Hugh Farey had emailed extracts from one or more of those posts (I now assume it was only from my post, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Summary" of 7 March 2014), without mentioning my name or where they came from (but they could have Googled and found out), to Arizona's Prof. Timothy Jull and Oxford's Prof. Christopher Ramsey for their response.

Jull and Ramsey were involved in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud at the same laboratories they now lead and they were signatories of the 1989 Nature paper, which claimed that "... the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[1]

In summary, my response in my post "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: My replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey" of 13 March 2014 was:

I was surprised that two Professors and Directors of major radiocarbon dating laboratories would deign to respond, let alone promptly, to a mere blogger's posts.

■ Both Jull's and especially Ramsey' responses were surprisingly defensive as though they had something to hide.

■ Neither responded to the core issues in my post, that: • the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic. • since the Shroud is authentic, and the

[For example, The Pray Codex [right (enlarge)[2]] is dated 1192-95, i.e. 65 years before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud, yet it depicts at least eight features which are uniquely found on the Shroud, including four sets of L-shaped `poker' burn holes-see 11Jan10.]

probability that the 1st century Shroud had a 13th-14th century radiocarbon date is "about one in a thousand trillion," therefore some kind of fraud must be responsible for the Shroud's 1260-1390 = 1325 ± 65 years radiocarbon date. • the AMS system at all three laboratories was fully computerised and therefore hackable. • as Clifford Stoll recounted in his 1989 book, "The Cuckoo's Egg" [left], in the 1980s university computers were poorly secured and hackers could, and did, break into them. • Stoll had himself caught a German hacker, Markus Hess, who was being paid by the KGB to hack into university, and through them military, computers.

■ I did not then know about Karl Koch, (or Linick) and that Koch and Hess were in the same German KGB hacker ring. But on the basis that Hess had been hacking for the KGB, that the KGB then had a "disinformation campaign ... to discredit the moral authority of the Vatican," and that "a 1st or early century C-14 date of the Shroud would increase enormously the moral authority of the Vatican and Christianity in general," I submitted the first embryonic statement of what later became my theory, that:

"...it is not an unreasonable proposition that a KGB agent hacked into the AMS ... computer at each of the three C-14 labs and inserted a program which, when each test was run, replaced the Shroud's 1st or early century C-14 date, with dates which when calibrated, would yield years clustering around AD 1325, just before the Shroud's appearance in undisputed history in the 1350s."
■ Prof. Ramsey's response was both false and misleading. • He claimed that I was "... someone who does not know what computers were like in the 1980s," which is false. In fact, "I was one of the first to have a personal computer in 1980," "I pioneered the introduction of computers into Health Department of WA [Western Australia] hospitals in the mid-to late 1980s and in the late 1980s/early 1990s, I was the Systems Administrator of a network of 7 hospitals' UNIX systems." • Also misleading was Prof. Ramsey's attempt to downplay the role of the AMS computers:
"... The software was very simple just outputting counts of 14C and currents measured. Age calculation was done offline and could just be done with a calculator, or by a simple program into which you typed the numbers from the AMS."
This misled some on Porter's blog to think that an AMS computer was little more than a calculator and Porter himself questioned whether it was even "programmable"! But according to Ramsey's own words above, it was still "software" (and therefore hackable) which output "the numbers from the AMS" to the control console terminal screen, from which only the final calibration calculations are "done offline ... with a calculator." • Ramsey knew, but he evidently hoped that his readers didn't, that the AMS computers, far from being little more than calculators, were in fact the very powerful DEC PDP-11 [right] or VAX-11 minicomputers (i.e. mini- mainframe computers)! [See 29Mar16]. • So, knowing that the AMS computers at the three laboratories were DEC minicomputers, what was Ramsey's point in downplaying their role and claiming, falsely, that I was "someone who does not know what computers were like in the 1980s"? If it was not to hide that after Linick's name was found in Sox's 1988 book, followed by Linick's assumed suicide on 4 June 1989, the laboratories had discovered, or suspected, that Arizona laboratory's (if not also Zurich and Oxford's) radiocarbon dating of the Shroud had been hacked? [See 29Mar16].

Because of the above defensive responses by Profs. Jull and Ramsey, and the misleading and even false response by Prof. Ramsey, to my early question "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" sent to them by Farey, I concluded it would be a waste of time for me to ask Jull or Ramsey what their opinion is of my hacker theory. They are aware of my theory, thanks to Farey, and they could have responded to it anytime, but haven't to date. Since they both responded promptly to Farey, their failure to respond directly to me, particularly as my theory advanced only weeks later to include evidence that Timothy W. Linick was the hacker, aided by Karl Koch, cannot be attributed to a refusal on principle to comment on a mere blogger's allegations. Prof. Jull and Ramsey are in a perfect position to refute my theory if it is false, having been involved in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, and being signatories of the 1989 Nature paper, at the same laboratories that they now lead, so their failure to do so is itself evidence that my theory is true!

Nevertheless, in consultation with a leading Shroud pro-authenticist, on 17 May 2014 I emailed Professor Emeritus Douglas J. Donahue (left[3]), a co-founder of the Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory and a signatory of the 1989 Nature paper. I had read that Donahue was a Roman Catholic[4], who before the test had hoped that the Shroud was first century[5], and that his face became pale after the calculations produced by the AMS computer were displayed on the control console terminal's screen, indicating that the Shroud's date was AD 1350[6]. I therefore thought that when presented with the evidence that Arizona laboratory's radiocarbon dating of the Shroud had been hacked, Donahue might at least admit that was a possibility. So on 17 May 2014 I emailed Prof. Donahue at his Arizona University email address. I stated upfront who I was, the name of my blog with a link to it, and asked him the following questions:

"Have you any information that you would be prepared to share with me for me to publish on my blog about:

1) The circumstances of [Timothy W.] Linick's death?
2) The possibility of Linick being the leaker of Arizona's 1350 date?
3) The possibility of Arizona's C14 date of 1350 being the result of its AMS computer having been hacked?
4) The possibility of Linick being the hacker?

I don't want to receive information from you that I cannot publish on my blog as that will give me an insoluble ethical dilemma. However, if you ask me preliminary questions in reply I won't publish those.

If you wish to remain anonymous I would respect that and not publish, or tell anyone, your name, even my wife. I would just write, `someone who was there at Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory on 6 May 1988 when the Shroud of Turin was dated 1350 emailed me under the condition of strict confidentiality and anonymity that ...'"[7]
However, I have never received a reply from Prof. Donahue. And since if my theory was false, Donahue, like Jull and Ramsey (see above), would be in the perfect position to show that it was false, I can only conclude that Donahue's silence (as well as Jull's and Ramsey's), is itself evidence that my theory is true!

Notes
1. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
2. "Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 14 March 2015. [return]
3. "Douglas J Donahue," UA Science: Physics, University of Arizona, 2016. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.8; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.11, 188. [return]
5. Wilson, 1991, p.8; Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.264. [return]
6. Gove, 1996, p.264; Wilson, 1998, p.10; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.9. [return]
7. Jones, S.E., 2014, "Re: Timothy W. Linick," Email to Dr. Douglas J. Donahue, 17 May, 10:48 PM. [return]

Posted: 3 November 2016. Updated: 30 January 2017.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was the person who asked you this question and I feel chuff that you decide to reply to it as a whole topic. If I travel to Australia one day I would be honored to
meet you.

Kind wishes
Paul

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>I was the person who asked you this question and I feel chuff that you decide to reply to it as a whole topic.

Thanks for your good question.

>If I travel to Australia one day I would be honored to
meet you.

I live in a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Let me know in a comment if and when you are coming and we can make arrangements to meet.

>Kind wishes
Paul

Stephen E. Jones
----------------------------------
MY POLICIES. Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Except that comments under my latest post can be on any Shroud-related topic. To avoid time-wasting debate I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.

Kyle said...

I have read elsewhere (or maybe even here...? I can't find it now) that it is inherently difficult to radio carbon date linen, though I have no way to verify this statement. Have you heard that argument made before? If so, what do you think of it? Are you taking that into account when you say the odds are "about one in a thousand trillion"?

What about Ray Rodgers assessment that the amount of vanillin in the shroud sample locations appeared to be different from the rest of the shroud?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Kyle

>I have read elsewhere (or maybe even here...? I can't find it now) that it is inherently difficult to radio carbon date linen, though I have no way to verify this statement. Have you heard that argument made before? If so, what do you think of it?

I agree that it is difficult to radiocarbon date linen because of its `twisted rope' fibril structure which has an enormous surface area and `hollow tube' lumen, which are inaccessible to pretreatment necessary to remove all non-original carbon.

Especially for a linen sheet which has been so exposed to extraneous carbon contamination as the Shroud:

See 12Feb08:

"In the light of such concerns, the shroud's known history, that is, its universally accepted history subsequent to the mid-fourteenth century, provides an almost copy-book case of an object seriously unsuitable for carbon-dating. Quite aside from it having been subjected to centuries of smoke from burning candles, an equivalent surely to cigarette smoke, well-known also, not least from the scorches and patches it carries to this day, is that the shroud was involved in a serious fire in 1532. In this latter it came so close to destruction that the silver of its casket melted, destroying one corner of the cloth as it lay folded inside. Knowing that this process could only have happened at temperatures in excess of 960°C, silver's melting-point, Manchester textile specialist John Tyrer has remarked: `In these circumstances moisture in the shroud would turn to steam, probably at superheat, trapped in the folds and layers of the shroud. Any contaminants on the cloth would be dissolved by the steam and forced not only into the weave and yarn, but also into the flax fibres' very lumen and molecular structure ... [They would] become part of the chemistry of the flax fibres themselves and would be impossible to remove satisfactorily by surface actants and ultrasonic cleaning.' [Tyrer, J., Shroud Newsletter, British Society for the Turin Shroud , 20 October 1988, p.11] Furthermore, two years after the fire the shroud was sewn onto a backing made up from three portions of sixteenth-century Holland cloth. Inevitably this linen must contain carbon with equally as much contamination potential as the paper, cardboard and cotton wool mentioned by Dr Bowman. And it has now been in the closest contact with the shroud for over four hundred and fifty years." (Wilson, [ I., "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London,] 1991, pp.176-177).

Google "Shroud Jones linen radiocarbon contamination lumen Tyrer" (without the quotes) to find my further discussions of this.

>Are you taking that into account when you say the odds are "about one in a thousand trillion"?

The above doesn't make sense.

>What about Ray Rodgers assessment that the amount of vanillin in the shroud sample locations appeared to be different from the rest of the shroud?

This is too open-ended and I could spend many hours answering it.

So again. Google "Shroud Jones Rogers vanillin" (without the quotes) and note that his name is "Rogers" without the "d".

It is also too many topics under my "Except that comments under my latest post can be on any Shroud-related TOPIC" (singular) policy.

So I have now changed my policy below to "Except that comments under my latest post can be on any ONE Shroud-related topic," to make it clear that "my latest post" exception policy is not an invitation for a commenter to submit a `shopping list' of many topics for me to answer.

Stephen E. Jones
----------------------------------
MY POLICIES. Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Except that comments under my latest post can be on any one Shroud-related topic. To avoid time-wasting debate I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.

Kyle said...

Thank you for your response and I apologize again for breaking your rules. Though here I am breaking another by posting again. I thought the beginning of your hacking theory came from your opinion that it is the only remaining possibility. But if you accept either that the carbon dating of linen is inherently difficult and/or Rogers vanillin theory is true, isn't it possible that the carbon dating results were just simply wrong and there was no malfeasance involved by any party? What am I missing?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Kyle

>Thank you for your response and I apologize again for breaking your rules. Though here I am breaking another by posting again.

You are indeed!

>I thought the beginning of your hacking theory came from your opinion that it is the only remaining possibility. But if you accept either that the carbon dating of linen is inherently difficult and/or Rogers vanillin theory is true, isn't it possible that the carbon dating results were just simply wrong and there was no malfeasance involved by any party? What am I missing?

Read the first post of the current series of theory: "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #1."

Then read my WHOLE theory, all ten (10) posts of it and counting. My theory is complex and requires hard thinking to follow it.

Those who are unwilling to put in the time and effort to understand my theory, but want only simplistic answers, won't understand it.

Stephen E. Jones
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"By way of guidance as to what I mean by `offensive' and `sub-standard,' I regard comments to my blog as analogous to letters to the Editor of a newspaper. If the Editor of a newspaper would not publish a comment because it is `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' then neither will I. It does not mean that if I disagree with a comment I won't publish it. I have published anti-authenticist comments and other comments that I disagreed with, and I have deleted `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' comments that are pro-authenticist. `Sub-standard' includes attempting to use my blog as a platform to publish a block of text of the commenter's own views, and also bare links to other sites with little or no actual comments. By `off-topic' I mean if a comment has little or nothing to do with the topic(s) in the post it is under (except for the latest post-see above)." [05Jan16]