Further, the lack of peer review before the testing began bothered some researchers. Additionally, there was evidently no blind testing as reports indicated would be the case. For one thing, the non-shroud control specimens were reportedly marked with their dates, further distinguishing them from the shroud samples.

But perhaps most damaging of all to the carbon dating tests, a secret dating of shroud fibers in 1982 differed from the 1988 tests by centuries, and even suggested a date that could, with the plus-minus factor, date the cloth to the first century AD! Last, a few scientists have even remarked that if the shroud image was caused by Jesus’ resurrection, the sort of molecular change that results from scorch could actually have made the cloth appear younger, due to neutron flux.

As a result, the 1988 carbon testing appears to be less authoritative than one might originally think. At least it is not a closed case. This is especially so when all three cloth samples were taken from a single area on the shroud, which may have been affected in any of several ways.

Even beyond all of this, it is also crucial to realize that virtually all of the other shroud data stand in opposition to the medieval dating. Contrary results come from studies such as the pollen research, the possibility of the Pontius Pilate coins over the eyes, textile evaluations, and the historical trail the shroud may have taken across Europe. So here we have one body of scientific results clashing with another. Which should be favored over the other? More than one opinion has been expressed, to be sure. Further testing and peer review will hopefully follow and may be helpful. We can only conclude that a medieval date has not, at present, been proven.^28