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Re: orion 14C and falsifiability

Thanks for your pacific summary:

According to Paul Sodtke, who began by quoting Greg Doudna's citation of Taylor
calling for a "suite of determinations. . . from well-defined stratigraphic
contexts" RADIOCARBON DATING (1987; 105).
> However, it seems to me that the key words here are *well defined
> stratigraphic contexts*. Although the DSS come from the same general
> archaeological context, there is no way to be sure of how long a span of
> time there was for either their production or deposit. So, it is *possible*
> that one or more individual mss. have a date that it is quite different
> from the average. And it would take only one *confirmed* later date to move
> the _terminus ante quem_ for the *deposit* of the collection to a later time.

Yes. And, this, too. A "suite of determinations" would need to be a group of
tests on bits of parchment or papyrus from fragments of a single ms., from the
same or different labs. 

> For
> example, if the deposit date of the collection were later than most of the
> 14C dates that we have, then, the larger the database, the more likely that
> more than one or two of these later dates would turn up. If, on the other
> hand, as the database grows larger, more later dates do not turn up, then
> it is more *probable* that the isolated values are, in fact, outliers.
> Is this an accurate understanding?

Yes, again. Greg and I agreed offline that we won't be able to draw firm
conclusions using C14 testing until 85 different mss are tested. I would be 
like to see "a suite of determinations" on mss that are at the extremes, such as
TQahat and 4QpPs.

> Paul Sodtke
> London, Ontario, Canada
> psodtke@execulink.com
Sigrid Peterson  UPenn  petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu