“We have shown the shroud to be a fake,” Teddy Hall, the director of Oxford’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art said following carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988. “Anyone who disagrees with us ought to belong to the Flat Earth Society.”
That should have been the end of it. The big piece of cloth with two life-size images, front and back, of an apparently crucified man was not—could not be—the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. Science had just proven that. It originated, so the scientists said, in the Middle Ages sometime between 1260 and 1390, or thereabouts. We must say thereabouts because in such scientific measurements, there are margins of error. But the margin of error was small. We might really say it was irrelevant. The work was done at three different prestigious laboratories by thoroughly qualified, highly respected scientists. The carbon dating should have been the end of it. For most people, it was. It was until it wasn’t. Serious mistakes had been made.