Shroud of christ carbon dating
Rasmus Nyerup's quote reminds us of the tremendous scientific advances which have taken place in the 20th century.
In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.
Libby later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 for the radiocarbon discovery.
Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon dates for the scientific community.
In the 1940s, scientists succeeded in finding out how long it takes for radiocarbon to disappear, or decay, from a sample of carbon from a dead plant or animal.
Willard Libby, the principal scientist, had worked in the team making the nuclear bomb during World War 2, so he was an expert in nuclear and atomic chemistry.
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.
Libby of the University of Chicago after the end of World War 2.
Most of the carbon on Earth exists in a slightly different atomic form, although it is chemically speaking, identical to all carbon.
After the war he became very interested in peaceful applications of atomic science.