Radiocarbon dating theory

24-Dec-2019 11:20

3) The results did not rule out the various opposition theories of the kind put forth by scholars like Robert Eisenman, Norman Golb, Cecil Roth, G. Driver, Joel Teicher, Barbara Thiering, and John Allegro, but actually supported such theories in that they carried the dates of many of the sectarian or extra-biblical scrolls well into the first century CE, contemporaneous with movements such as that those called Zealot or Sicarii and the rise of early or at least proto-Christianity in Palestine.

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Right from the start, this is well beyond the margin of error required to date individual Scrolls with the accuracy necessary to affect the present chronological debate or arrive, for instance, at absolute dates.In the first place, radiocarbon dating is only able to give approximate dates and its results, therefore, are given in units of mean and standard deviations -- known as sigmas -- that represent the statistical range in which the mean date may fall.The first sigma is the time span that radiocarbon dating theory posits would contain the actual date 68% of the time; the second sigma is a wider time span that would theoretically include the date 98% of the time.Review The authors have now undertaken an independent review of the results of the two rounds of carbon testing, in particular the second for which the actual raw data upon which the analyses culminating in these results are based is more fully available and we have determined that: 1) In both the 1989--95 AMS C14 dating runs an inaccurate dating curve was utilized or, more succinctly, a dating curve that because of its imprecision has since come to be considered inexact.

This inaccurate dating curve for the 200BC-200CE period made the absolute dating indications for some samples appear older than they actually were -- this perhaps by a period of some fifty years or more.4) Finally -- and this is a general statement -- carbon testing (and to some extent as a result the findings of paleography) is too imprecise a tool to provide conclusive evidence for a time span as short as the one at issue in the debate concerning when the sectarian Scrolls were written.