But where are the records for it in Besançon if it was there? The city’s Cathedral of Saint Etienne was struck by lightning in 1349 and burned to the ground along with countless records in its archives. That may explain why there are no records before the 1350s. That is not proof, of course. It is not proof of anything. But it does offer an example of why a claim of a lack of any history before the 1350s is not a sound historical argument.
There certainly was a burial shroud relic in Constantinople and there is extensive evidence, both historical and scientific, that this shroud is the same shroud found in Turin. We’ll see that as we proceed. But what about the verdict of the carbon dating from Oxford, Arizona and Zurich, dates “all—within normal margins of error—compatible with each other. . .”? We should not be surprised that the dates seem close. Actually, if we dig a bit deeper, we see that there are some serious statistical problems with the dates the laboratories measured. Dawkins only gives us averages of many tests that the labs performed. He implies this is a final verdict. He is praising carbon dating.