Fortnightly logo

Science, Metascience, and Pseudoscience: Radio Carbon Dating Confronts Pliocene Man in the New World, Noah's Ark, and the Shroud of Turin

Dr. R. Ervin Taylor is professor of anthropology and director of the Radiocarbon Laboratory at the University of Southern California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the laboratory of William F. Libby, the Nobel Prize laureate for the discovery of the radiocarbon method. His research has focused on the application of dating and analytical techniques in archaeology, known as archaeometry, with particular emphasis on radiocarbon dating. In addition to many journal articles and book chapters, he is the author of Radio Carbon Dating: An Archaeological Perspective (1987), and a coeditor of Radio Carbon After Four Decades: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (1992) and Chronologies in New World Archaelogy (1978). Taylor is past president and current general secretary of the Society of Archaelogical Sciences.

Have scientists found a man from the Pliocene era? Are fragments from Noah's Ark within an arechaeologist's grasp? Can one see the actual shroud that wrapped Jesus after the crucifixion? Come discover how carbon dating can decipher the mysteries of time in this program sponsored by Sigma Xi of the Keck Science Center.