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Re: orion-list Re: turn of discussion

On Mon, 23 Aug 1999 02:24:14 -0500, goranson@duke.edu writes:
>Dear Avital and Greg and list,
>  I also noticed that the "hello" from "Bruce W, Davison" was from Ian.

   Would you be good enough to tell ME, or the List, how you know that?

>  I have been asked to substantiate my claim that Greg misinterpreted
>C14 data, which is disputed by Ian and supported by Timothy Jull.

   I disagree.  You seem to be reading more onto Professor Jull's
   work than he wrote.

>  If the manner in which I expressed myself offended anyone, I
>apologize for my manners. I have been known to use words poorly and
>inappropriately at times.


>  Here, I will try again to express my objection to what I see as a
>misleading presentation of history. Though the exact numbers are more
>complex, here is a heuristic exercise. Go to the very learned essay by Dr.
>Doudna in Flint and VanderKam volume one. page 462, figure 3, which
>helpfully gives the date ranges for AMS tested mss. Draw (or imagine) a
>line at 63 BC. You will notice that not only does the estimated date range
>of 4QpPs(a) fall entirely after this date, but so do the date ranges for
>4QMessApoc and 1QH(a) and 4QSd (2nd) and 4Q266. That is, 5 of the 21 tests
>listed there, at a claimed 95% reliability, are commpletely later than 63
>BC, with time/space between 63 BC and the beginning of the ranges. How many
>date ranges are entirely before this line at 63 BC? One, the disputed
>reading of 4QTQahat. All other date ranges overlap the 63 BC line. This
>does not support 63 BC as the latest date of the manuscripts. Rather, these
>data show 63 is too early to be the end date. In fact, one may ask whether
>63 BC is suitable even as a midpoint of the AMS readings.

   When first we tangled, I smelled that you'd never taught Statis-
   tics.  Once more you've given me reason to think so.  If you have
   actually taught courses in it, you should turn in your ticket.  

   Your work above shows that.  Each score's reliability estimate
   simply tells you what the chances are the same result would be
   reported with another test.  You make no mention of any analysis
   of these variances so that we may speak of the date of deposit
   with some confidence.  

   You write, "All other date ranges overlap the 63 BC line."  You 
   SHOULD have said next, "This suggests a 63 BC date.  The Modal  
   Mean implies this.  We better look carefully at these divergent 
   scores.  They skew the Arithmetic Mean somewhat."  Instead of 
   looking at what the Lab says about contamination on these items
   you take off on your own bias.

   Surely, from the results as cited you can't argue for a CE date of

>  If one had an archaeological "assemblage" which one knew was all of
>about the same time--for example, grave goods prepared for a single burial,
>found in a sealed locus, one could look for a sudden end date. But it is
>circular reasoning to assume that the Qumran mss had a brief, rapid
>production and sudden end date (much less with an assumed specified end
>date of 63) or that they were found in one sealed locus, and then to use
>that assumption, that other hypothesis, to pick and choose what data will
>be accepted and what data will be rejected. That, as Prof. Jull indicated,
>is not scientific method.

   Did Professor Jull say just that?  I have his post before me on
   my second screen.  I can't see anything like that.  You might
   post the exact quote so I can see what I have missed.

>best wishes,
>Stephen Goranson

   You fail to discuss Professor Jull's reactions to my points on
   contamination and on further testing.  He seems to agree that
   more testing and better efforts at decontamination might give us
   more precise advice.

   His points suggest that with further study we may find the
   fragments test even earlier.  You make no mention of that.

   Your comments for which you have apologized suggest to me it was
   YOUR ox being gored.

   It may be you are cutting the fabric to fit and don't like being
   called for it.

   A friend from 60+ years ago who can cut to the bone any issue I
   present has this cut on the issue:

     "For damn certain, a site isn't usually destroyed
     _prior_ to the creation date of documents contained
     therein.  :)"

Tom Simms 

For private reply, e-mail to Tom Simms <tsimms@mailserv.nbnet.nb.ca>
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