Monday, 6 July 2015

The Vinland Map, The Shroud, and Walter McCrone A Parallel Example of Science in Conflict

Shroud University 

In 1965, Yale researchers discovered the Vinland Map in a small medieval volume purchased by Paul Mellon '29 and shocked the academic world. The map -- dated before 1440 -- is significant because of a black ink drawing of an island in the upper left hand corner. The island is labeled Vinlandia Insula (Island of Vinland, land of vines), and the coast of Northeastern America is unmistakable.

If the representation is authentic, then the Vinland Map is the only one drawn before Columbus' voyage depicting North America. An authentic Vinland Map is certain proof that the Vikings discovered North America first.

The Vinland Map appears on a single sheet of vellum, which has the consistency of a very thick sheet of tracing paper. It measures 11 x 16 inches and folds down the middle. When folded in half, the map fits perfectly into a book of manuscripts where researchers theorize it existed for hundreds of years.

In 1972, the results of chemical analysis of the map's ink raised doubts about its authenticity. McCrone Associates' Walter McCrone removed and analyzed portions of the map's ink. McCrone concluded that the ink contained a significant amount of titanium anatase in it, a material scientists thought was invented after 1920.

In 1985, Dr Thomas Cahill of the University of California at Davis, was secretly given the map by Yale University for four days. Cahill analyzed the map and the ink using a new process called PIXE or Particle Induced X-ray Emission tests. The results were startling because Cahill found only a minute presence of titanium anatase, which scientists have since discovered occurs naturally

Cahill said, "The Vinland map does not in any way stand out from the 150 Medieval manuscripts already analyzed." Regarding the disparity between his findings and McCrone's, Cahill said, "The interpretation of the same data can be quite divergent."

Jacquelin Olin, a research chemist with the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research said, "I'm more and more convinced of the map's authenticity". She explained that titanium dioxide (anatase) in the ink would just as easily be there as a consequence of the deterioration of the ink. In medieval times, scholars made ink through a process that created green vitoral, the primary substance used for ink in the 15th and 16th centuries. The process also produced a by-product of titanium anatase which could have easily contaminated the ink solution.

Interestingly, Harry Gove, who is credited with inventing the AMS technology for carbon dating, had much to say about Walter McCrone in his 1996 book, Relic, Icon or Hoax. "I sometimes think that McCrone dreamed of becoming history's greatest iconoclast. Having, in his view, demolished the authenticity of the Vinland Map, he saw a chance to do the same to the Turin Shroud…As far as the Vinland map is concerned, I would put my money on Cahill and PIXE."

Now we turn to the battle of the chemists, the debate between Dr. Al Adler, one of the world's leading blood porphryn experts and Walter McCrone. Lets keep in mind what Dr Thomas Cahill said, "The interpretation of the same data can be quite divergent." The Shroud of Turin is not the only artifact about which McCrone has made declarations that are highly disputed by other scientists…The Vinland Map is a perfect parallel example to what has gone on with the Shroud.

Original Article -