Earthquake Neutrons Shroud Relic from Aging?

The story

The story was covered by Doubtful News. Check there for comprehensive coverage.

Turin Shroud may have been created by earthquake from time of Jesus (telegraph.co.uk):

The Turin Shroud may not be a medieval forgery after all, after scientists discovered it could date from the time of Christ.

The Italian team believes the powerful magnitude 8.2 earthquake would have been strong enough to release neutron particles from crushed rock.

This flood of neutrons may have imprinted an X-ray-like image onto the linen burial cloth, say the researchers.

In addition, the radiation emissions would have increased the level of carbon-14 isotopes in the Shroud, which would make it appear younger.

Why our pleading is Special

Possible de-aging of the shroud (or other artifacts) is considered “special pleading” because we are introducing an exception to the criteria by which age of an object is measured, based on a proposed (but not yet substantiated) mechanism by which the input criteria might have been corrupted.

If we could demonstrate that this mechanism occurs as described (i.e. a physical experiment yields predictable results), and further, that there is good reason to suspect we are not invoking this mechanism arbitrarily, then our pleading would no longer be special.

For more information, see “special pleading” at The Fallacy Files.

Shroud of Turin from Wikimedia Commons

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