But as I also said, I think this work is a great example of the danger of the established sources, such as .nu, strongly projecting the opinions of the creator as known and factual. Anyone after that can't be blamed for not being able to tell when something is opinion, and then they further expound on this opinion, further cementing them as fact, and closing off any chance people will explore any possibles outside of "1420 Genuine European Herbal". So if it is not that, it will never be discovered... or be harder to. But then, that is the point of these sources doing this, they don't want that paradigm questioned. But why and how is another story.
What I wanted to do here was show one clear example of this danger, from this video. The section is on the radiocarbon testing, and starts about 1:02:
After describing the testing (and not identifying Mr. Hodgins in the pictures!), it is stated,
Of course this is incorrect, because all four sample actually gave very DIFFERENT results. Those results, over 60 years apart, were then "combined" on the "assumption" that the Voynich was assembled within a few short years. As I wrote on my "Myths" blog post:"All four samples [of the parchment] gave matching results. With 95% certainty, we now know that the parchment of the Voynich Manuscript originated somewhere between 1404 and 1438".
The only reason we happen to have those results at all was because I quickly snapped the slide presented by Mr. Hodgins in 2012, at his lecture in Frascati (pats self on back). But the point I always make is that we should start with those factual results, and work from there. This "combining" would not have been done this if the samples were, for instance, an Italian land deed, a German letter, a British law, and a Spanish court record. We would not then say that all four of those items "date somewhere between 1404 and 1438, with 95% certainty", because they would be treated separately.The published range is actually a conclusion determined by combining the very different results of the four samples tested. But when looked at separately, as would have been done if not found bound together, nor assumed to be made as the same time, the results show they could be 50 to 60 years apart. And taking into account the extremes of the error range of the samples, they actually could date to as much as 132 years apart:
Folio 8: 490±37, which works out to 1423 to 1497
Folio 26: 514±35, which works out to 1401 to 1471
Folio 47: 506±35, which works out to 1409 to 1479
Folio 68 (cleaned): 550±35, which works out to 1365 to 1435
OK so here is what happened in the documentary, the narrator later states,
When we look at that statement, there is first, an affirmation based on an error ("matching"). But also, looked at a different way, when corrected for that error, there is an implied admission that if the 60 year spread of actual parchment dates was known to the narrator, that it would not only be a weakness to genuine, but even, a support for forgery."It also makes it less likely that the manuscript was a fraud, perpetrated by Voynich himself, as it would have been extremely difficult to gather such a quantity of matching medieval parchment, from which to fashion such a fraud."
An allegory to this effect might be if it were said, "Fred can't be guilty because they never found a weapon on him", when the narrator is unaware that a weapon was actually found on Fred. The "pass" the narrator then becomes, by his own admission, a support of guilt.
In any case, this is only one example of literally dozens in this video, and for that matter other ones, and also books, articles, blogs and forums, which show that when one relies on poor information and/or the opinions of others, the conclusions based on these can only be poor ones. But also, within the secondary conclusions, when one knows the source used, and reads... in the author or narrators own words... the reasoning used on that source, it becomes clear that if they had a full understanding of what is actually known, and not known, they probably would realize there is a problem in paradise, that the Voynich cannot be what they have been told to believe it is. I mean, I can see the wheels of common sense, critical thinking, in these accounts... and can't blame them for not realizing the information they base it on, is incorrect.
And that gives me hope, of a sort. It's not the reasoning process that is at fault, it is the tools they are given to work with, that is the problem.