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Swallowing castor oil, Re: orion Re: Date of Scrolls Deposit--55 BCE?

On Wed, 15 Oct 1997, fred cryer wrote:

Greg has proposed precisely that in his assumpti=
> on
> that there is a question of contamination in conjunction with some of the
> results of C-14 tests performed on the  DSS. Fortunately, it is an
> assumption that can be tested by subjecting pieces of ancient, dated,
> parchment deliberately to castor oil and other contaminants, then
> subjecting them to the routine cleaning procedures used in C-14 labs, and
> then testing them in the ordinary (AMS) manner. If the results are skewed
> as expected, then a systematic offset will have been demonstrated. This
> very test is being conducted right now by Kaare Lund Rasmussen, curator o=
> f
> the radiocarbon lab of the National Museum in Copenhagen.

One of the two - either there are traces of castor oil in the 4QpPs, or
this is yet another case of a Popperian telling a just-so story. The
notion that _in general_ use of castor oil may make a manuscript appear
earlier could be applied to any of the manuscripts - there needs to be an
additional, non-circular, reason to apply it to a particular manuscript
rather than all or any others. To apply it to 4QpPs because it's too early
for comfort, but not to others because they fit the theory is a prime
example of circular reasoning. If one chooses to apply the casor oil
"alibi" at will, the notion of short creation period becomes precisely
what Popper talked about, an unfalsifiable theory: if a manuscript dates
to the "right" period than its just right, if it dates earlier, it must be
because of the castor oil. Who'd want to swallow that?

	Regards,	Asia Lerner