- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (January 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0750303980
- ISBN-13: 978-0750303989
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,510,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud 1st Edition
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"This is a fascinating and unusual book; it is a very personal memoir; and it provides a rare window into the sometimes surprising workings of both science and religion." D Allan Bromley, Professor of Science and Dean of Engineering, Yale University and President Elect of the American Physical Society "This extraordinary book recounts the drama and intrigues involved in carbon dating the Shroud of Turin with a frankness usually found only in the pages of a diary. Required reading." Dorothy Crispino, Editor and Publisher, Shroud Spectrum International ..."a very readable and worthwhile book." De La Salle University, Philippines s a fascinating and unusual book; it is a very personal memoir; and it provides a rare window into the sometimes surprising workings of both science and religion." D Allan Bromley, Professor of Science and Dean of Engineering, Yale University and President Elect of the American Physical Society "This extraordinary book recounts the drama and intrigues involved in carbon dating the Shroud of Turin with a frankness usually found only in the pages of a diary. Required reading." Dorothy Crispino, Editor and Publisher, Shroud Spectrum International ..."a very readable and worthwhile book." De La Salle University, Philippines
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Top Customer Reviews
He says that the members of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) "comprised mainly true believers in the Shroud's authenticity... I believed STURP's members to be so convinced it was Christ's shroud that I was determined to prevent their involvement in its carbon dating... Fortunately in this I was successful." (Pg. 6-7) He argued, "The  STURP tests conducted so far involved exposing the shroud to powerful visible light, ultraviolet light and X-rays. They could have been very harmful to the shroud... the collection of surface detritus with sticky tape could [hardly] be beneficial to the shroud... The STURP tests constituted a stress no matter how careful they might think they were being... and could have caused image fading." (Pg. 166)
He records, "No one handling the shroud... wore gloves. There was absolutely no ceremony---everything was carried out in a businesslike manner. As soon as the sample ... had been removed it was weighed... Riggi then divided the strip into three approximately equal pieces... He then inserted the shroud samples in their aluminum wrapping in specially machined stainless steel cylinders. One was given to each lab representative along with three other cylinders containing the controls. Almost the entire procedure had been videotaped and photographed by technicians ... The only part of the operation that had not been viewed by anyone other than the cardinal, Tite, and Gonella was what took place in the Sala Capitolare although most of that was videotaped. This mildly flawed procedure later provided grounds for some 'true believers' to argue that substitutions for shroud cloth had been made." (Pg. 261)
He notes, "in mid-October 1988, I received a document ... written by Meacham. It presented his concerns about the possible exchange of carbon isotopes that could have taken place during the fire in 1532. This and other forms of contamination of the small samples ... had been constantly pointed to by critics of carbon dating as reasons not to trust any shroud date so obtained. Remarkably enough, the statement was made by Meacham that the sample was taken from a scorched area. (That was simply not true as Meacham very well knew." (Pg. 283-284) He concludes, "the adventure is over---it lasted too long and was filled with too much acrimony. I felt no joy in the final result except that it proved the power of AMS to credibly date precious artifacts."
Even for those who disagree with the C-14 results, this book will be "must reading" for anyone seriously studying the Shroud.
In the early 1970s onwards Professor Grove set about with a group of fellow scientists, religious zealots, curious hangers-on and an assortment of faithful doubters to use this new technique in a scientific manner to prove the worth of carbon dating. And what better than a piece of historical enigma to use this new discovery on other than the Turin Shroud?
This book follows Professor Grove through the many years of negotiation it took before the Vatican finally allowed the controversial experiment to go ahead.
In parts this book is highly technical but Professor Grove manages to make himself and the theory behind Carbon dating understood. He is never sentimental but I picked up on a quiet unspoken faith he has in both the scientific and the religious and he comes across as man who somehow manages to balance these diametrically opposed modes of thought in a coherent and sensible way..
This is both a good read, surprisingly quite humorous in parts as well as being a technical masterpiece which anyone with a leaning toward academia will appreciate. Worth getting out from your local library if the cost is too prohibitive.
De mortuis nihil nisi bonum, but it simply must be said that the author of this book has dwelled all too often on the level of plain polemics.
His judgement on the work done by STURP, for instance, and on their motivations, is highly one-sided. Would STURP ever have bothered to resort to the services of a Walter McCrone if they had been hell-bent from the outset on proving the Shroud genuine?
What he says about STURP as a group, may be true for some of its members, but even there Gove resorts to exaggeration and distortion. Thus he calls the author of "Verdict on the Shroud" an "abrasive character", on account of a clash they had in Turin in 1978, conveniently forgetting that it was he himself who opened the hostilities. Also he is scoffing about the alleged statement in that book of there being a chance of 83 millions to One that the Shroud is the genuine shroud of Christ, not comprehending (or not wanting to comprehend) that the calculation alluded to (meant as a rough estimate) does NOT constitute a general probability statement, but applies only in the case of the theoretical eventuality that the Turin Shroud represents a genuine first century crucifixion, which in itself is quite improbable from a purely theoretical point of vue.
What appears most irritating to me is that one cannot even rely on Mr. Gove when he is dealing with his own field of interest. His comments on the preliminary C14 tests of 1983/84 run be the British Museum are just as biased as the rest of the book (though the other way around), clearly glossing over the reality. Not just one single outlier result has come out of these tests, as Gove seems to be indicating, but as many as four of them (cf. "Radocarbon", Vol. 28, 2A, 1986), plus a number of other unsatisfactory results. Of course, it would have been quite disastrous to reveal the whole truth!
Concerning the dating of the Shroud itself, Goves "AD 1325 plus/minus 33 years" (with 68% confidence) is quite at odds with the figures given in the official report on it in "Nature" (Vol. 337, February 1989): "AD 1273-1288". As if Gove had attempted to close the gap between the REAL mean date - 1281, NOT 1325!! - to the alleged first historical appearance of the Shroud in 1353... Does this not, to quote Gove in his own words about STURP, "suggest something less that scientific dispassion"?