Islamic Awareness have just put up an amazingly thorough examination of radiocarbon (Carbon-14) dating of manuscripts of the Qur’ān. On Twitter the author says: “One can notice that almost all the criticism on radiocarbon dating is due to misunderstanding of science and maths. The criticism has nothing to do with faulty science or imprecise calibration, rather an attempt to censure science. Stephen Shoemaker’s criticism of hemispherical variation in radiocarbon content & calibration issues are dealt with.” Most of this analysis is way above my pay grade. Hopefully you will understand it all. Enjoy.
On 14th August 2016 Islamic Awareness published the article referred to above. They summarised the contents thus:
‘Radiocarbon dating of ancient Qur’anic manuscripts is an upcoming field. Can radiocarbon dating provide more accurate results than traditional palaeographic techniques and associated methods? Radiocarbon (Carbon-14) Dating Of Manuscripts Of The Qur’ān discusses the scientific principles underpinning this radiometric dating technique, together with some practical examples from actual Qur’anic manuscripts, highlights the strengths and weaknesses of this procedure as compared to more traditional palaeographic based methods.
The article has been substantially expanded and rewritten and now includes more in-depth discussion and explanation of the scientific principles and technical terms. We discuss and assess recent criticisms of this dating technique, primarily attributable to the media publicity regarding the now famous Birmingham Qur’an. Every radiocarbon dated Qur’an that has been published – excluding those that are embargoed or bound by confidentiality agreements – are included in our article, making this the most comprehensive listing of radiocarbon dated Qur’an’s published so far in print or online.‘