'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the mosques...

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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#21  Postby Briton » Jul 23, 2015 5:28 pm

Briton wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
duvduv wrote:A review of all the hullaballoo about the discovery of a supposed early fragment of the Quran. The discovery has many holes in it. No pun intended. What "parts" of Suras 18 - 20? How do they know it was from the Quran itself, and as the review states, how do they know the script was as old as the parchment when parchments were erased and reused in ancient times, in both Judaism and Islam, etc.?? And if the parchment itself is datable to BEFORE the traditional birth of Mohammed, then what?! I mean, doesn't the BBC have more integrity than just putting out a puff piece in the guise of scholarship?!
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33436021
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/07/oldes ... -maybe-not



Couldn't agree with you more, but the answer to your questioning is a resounding 'no'. Puff pieces are just fine - they do it all the time. I'm not sure it's really a question of integrity so much as either a lack of relevant expertise and the need to present something clearly and unequivocally to their market, or because they don't think their market has sufficient interest for a more scholarly review.


What specifically do you think is wrong with this news article?



Spearthrower wrote:I wasn't talking specifically about this article


Then it's odd that were unable to agree more with duvduv who was specifically attacking that article.


Spearthrower wrote:
...but generally about the BBC and other news sites when reporting on scientific or specialist discoveries. My point was that it's not about necessarily about the integrity of the reporting standards, but about market factors and readership.


Well that's true but this was a news story and accusing them of acting 'under the guise of scholarship' is false. At least there were plenty of caveats in there.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#22  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 23, 2015 5:55 pm

Briton wrote:
Briton wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
duvduv wrote:A review of all the hullaballoo about the discovery of a supposed early fragment of the Quran. The discovery has many holes in it. No pun intended. What "parts" of Suras 18 - 20? How do they know it was from the Quran itself, and as the review states, how do they know the script was as old as the parchment when parchments were erased and reused in ancient times, in both Judaism and Islam, etc.?? And if the parchment itself is datable to BEFORE the traditional birth of Mohammed, then what?! I mean, doesn't the BBC have more integrity than just putting out a puff piece in the guise of scholarship?!
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33436021
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/07/oldes ... -maybe-not



Couldn't agree with you more, but the answer to your questioning is a resounding 'no'. Puff pieces are just fine - they do it all the time. I'm not sure it's really a question of integrity so much as either a lack of relevant expertise and the need to present something clearly and unequivocally to their market, or because they don't think their market has sufficient interest for a more scholarly review.


What specifically do you think is wrong with this news article?



Spearthrower wrote:I wasn't talking specifically about this article


Then it's odd that were unable to agree more with duvduv who was specifically attacking that article.


Erm no. Quite the contrary - I was disagreeing with duvduv about the specific topic of the BBC's integrity.

First he wrote:

A review of all the hullaballoo about the discovery of a supposed early fragment of the Quran. The discovery has many holes in it. No pun intended. What "parts" of Suras 18 - 20? How do they know it was from the Quran itself, and as the review states, how do they know the script was as old as the parchment when parchments were erased and reused in ancient times, in both Judaism and Islam, etc.?? And if the parchment itself is datable to BEFORE the traditional birth of Mohammed, then what?


I then said 'I couldn't agree more' because I think these are all valid points. I wasn't thinking just of this article, but of the general reporting of this discovery; a lot of which has been gushy speculation.

Then, quite clearly making a distinction with a red highlight, I dealt with the notion about the BBC's integrity.

Duvduv said:

I mean, doesn't the BBC have more integrity than just putting out a puff piece in the guise of scholarship?!


And I replied to that....

but the answer to your questioning is a resounding 'no'. Puff pieces are just fine - they do it all the time. I'm not sure it's really a question of integrity so much as either a lack of relevant expertise and the need to present something clearly and unequivocally to their market, or because they don't think their market has sufficient interest for a more scholarly review.


Does that clarify things?



Briton wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
...but generally about the BBC and other news sites when reporting on scientific or specialist discoveries. My point was that it's not about necessarily about the integrity of the reporting standards, but about market factors and readership.


Well that's true but this was a news story and accusing them of acting 'under the guise of scholarship' is false. At least there were plenty of caveats in there.


Again, this wasn't my point, sorry if I confused, but I thought that the red highlight was sufficient to establish my position, which you will note is saying 'no' because I don't think integrity in that sense comes into it.

Integrity is a factor when reporting about human interactions because this then means telling the unbiased truth, i.e. honest reporting.

I am making a distinction between that and dealing with scientific or academic topics. In such reports, inadequacies in the reporting aren't because of a lack of integrity in the previous sense, but because of 1) lack of relevant expertise 2) need to explain far too simple stuff to puff the piece out and 3) concerns about the interests of their readership.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#23  Postby Ironclad » Jul 23, 2015 6:10 pm

If this proves to be a piece of the Koran, and is too early for Mo, then I'll have it the news will never break and no story will emerge (that Mo's pals copied a fairytale.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#24  Postby campermon » Jul 23, 2015 6:12 pm

Strontium Dog wrote:All they would have definitive proof of is that it was written down on really old parchment.


Yes, a good point.

:cheers:
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#25  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 23, 2015 6:23 pm

Ironclad wrote:If this proves to be a piece of the Koran, and is too early for Mo, then I'll have it the news will never break and no story will emerge (that Mo's pals copied a fairytale.


Well it might, but not in the main media, just the dark dusty academic places.

right now I'm more interested in what they are not finding, the really violent Medina verses
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#26  Postby Alan B » Jul 23, 2015 6:29 pm

campermon wrote:
Strontium Dog wrote:All they would have definitive proof of is that it was written down on really old parchment.


Yes, a good point.

:cheers:

That thought went through my mind as I posted the article (having just read some of the HJer posts). But there are techniques available to ascertain if there is any erased text on the material. We'll have to wait and see.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#27  Postby Ironclad » Jul 23, 2015 7:59 pm

They could test the ink, no? Maybe on some uninteresting and irrelevant words like, "Oh! Women..", perhaps. :coffee:
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#28  Postby quisquose » Jul 23, 2015 8:17 pm

Hold on a second ... wouldn't radiocarbon dating of this Koran actually mean destroying a bit of it? :shock:
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#29  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 23, 2015 8:24 pm

The Sana'a manuscript did have prior writing on it so it can be discovered



see end to view different texts
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#30  Postby duvduv » Jul 23, 2015 11:35 pm

How does one know these depictions of building were "Islamic mosques" - and the fragments were from 70 years after the Prophet? Hold on, even carbon dating can be off by 100 or even 200 years, no?
Anyway, Peter, why were parchments so hard to come by that older ones had to be used? And if that is the case, has other parchment, i.e. the DDS (per my other thread) been subject to fluorescent testing?
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#31  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 24, 2015 1:16 am

because it was the trend to put them in the margins which lasted until that fashion stopped, and the building had to have already built
https://youtu.be/QDjsjSxgALI?t=28m15s

mass production of cheap paper hadn't reached the Middle East yet. When it did you had that Golden Age of translating Greek books into Arabic.

they have more than one way of testing age is all I know.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#32  Postby duvduv » Jul 24, 2015 1:34 am

Peter, I don't understand your first point. What are you referring to about being put in the margins etc.? Are you talking about the "mosques"? For that matter who knows if the prayer house in Jerusalem at Al Aqsa was itself a quranic moslem mosque, or just a "pre-Islamic" prayer house of monotheism-friendly Arabs.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#33  Postby Briton » Jul 24, 2015 7:53 am

Ironclad wrote:They could test the ink, no?


They talk of testing the manuscript, whether that means they are able to test the ink, I don't know. What I do know is that people coming on saying 'but the parchment could be older' is straight out of the University of the Bleedin' Obvious. Don't they think the researchers are aware of that?
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#34  Postby Briton » Jul 24, 2015 8:00 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Again, this wasn't my point, sorry if I confused, but I thought that the red highlight was sufficient to establish my position, which you will note is saying 'no' because I don't think integrity in that sense comes into it.

Integrity is a factor when reporting about human interactions because this then means telling the unbiased truth, i.e. honest reporting.

I am making a distinction between that and dealing with scientific or academic topics. In such reports, inadequacies in the reporting aren't because of a lack of integrity in the previous sense, but because of 1) lack of relevant expertise 2) need to explain far too simple stuff to puff the piece out and 3) concerns about the interests of their readership.


Understood...sorry I got confused. ;)
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#35  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 24, 2015 8:00 am

I don't think they test the ink, just the paper
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#36  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 24, 2015 8:19 am

Briton wrote:
Ironclad wrote:They could test the ink, no?


They talk of testing the manuscript, whether that means they are able to test the ink, I don't know. What I do know is that people coming on saying 'but the parchment could be older' is straight out of the University of the Bleedin' Obvious. Don't they think the researchers are aware of that?



Ink testing is sometimes used, but it is largely relative dating rather than absolute. In other words, you need to have a lot of other information aside from the ink to date it.

The 2 main systems of ink dating are static and dynamic.

The former means that you determine the chemical composition of the ink and date it by comparative evidence of that kind of ink's manufacturing - when was this ink being processed and manufactured, where, and would the writer of this document have access to that supply. If these add up, you have a time band of possibility.

Other examples include assessment of styles of writing, including spelling, grammar, the type of tool used to put the ink on the page - all comparative to other already dated things.

The latter means that you want to know when the ink was put on the page regardless of its manufacturing, and other potentially erroneous misdirections; for example, we could write in Shakespearian grammar today, so it wouldn't establish a categorical date for the use of that grammar. It's 'dynamic' because it's measuring changes in the ink's composition over time. To simplify (mostly because I never really got that involved with this and I've forgotten nearly as much as I ever learned), the dryness of the ink is measured - this doesn't mean 'dry' in the sense of the ink originally being liquid, but dry with respect to the solubility of chemicals remaining in the ink. For this kind of dating, you still need a relative component - an ink of known age to compare to. But techniques in this area are expanding rapidly, particularly in the field of chromatography.

However, ultimately the dating still requires other inks or relevant material culture of known dates to use as comparative markers, and I guess they're pretty sparse.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#37  Postby Briton » Jul 24, 2015 8:32 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Briton wrote:
Ironclad wrote:They could test the ink, no?


They talk of testing the manuscript, whether that means they are able to test the ink, I don't know. What I do know is that people coming on saying 'but the parchment could be older' is straight out of the University of the Bleedin' Obvious. Don't they think the researchers are aware of that?



Ink testing is sometimes used, but it is largely relative dating rather than absolute. In other words, you need to have a lot of other information aside from the ink to date it.

The 2 main systems of ink dating are static and dynamic.

The former means that you determine the chemical composition of the ink and date it by comparative evidence of that kind of ink's manufacturing - when was this ink being processed and manufactured, where, and would the writer of this document have access to that supply. If these add up, you have a time band of possibility.

Other examples include assessment of styles of writing, including spelling, grammar, the type of tool used to put the ink on the page - all comparative to other already dated things.

The latter means that you want to know when the ink was put on the page regardless of its manufacturing, and other potentially erroneous misdirections; for example, we could write in Shakespearian grammar today, so it wouldn't establish a categorical date for the use of that grammar. It's 'dynamic' because it's measuring changes in the ink's composition over time. To simplify (mostly because I never really got that involved with this and I've forgotten nearly as much as I ever learned), the dryness of the ink is measured - this doesn't mean 'dry' in the sense of the ink originally being liquid, but dry with respect to the solubility of chemicals remaining in the ink. For this kind of dating, you still need a relative component - an ink of known age to compare to. But techniques in this area are expanding rapidly, particularly in the field of chromatography.

However, ultimately the dating still requires other inks or relevant material culture of known dates to use as comparative markers, and I guess they're pretty sparse.


In other words, it's a very complex matter. I was just making the point that the simplistically saying 'the parchment could be older than the text' is inane. The researchers will be well aware of that.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#38  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 24, 2015 8:50 am

duvduv wrote:Peter, I don't understand your first point. What are you referring to about being put in the margins etc.? Are you talking about the "mosques"? For that matter who knows if the prayer house in Jerusalem at Al Aqsa was itself a quranic moslem mosque, or just a "pre-Islamic" prayer house of monotheism-friendly Arabs.


pictures were sometimes added to books in those days, just like in the video clip I posted under it.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#39  Postby Oeditor » Jul 24, 2015 9:02 am

I did see an article (sorry, can't find it) saying that a prof from Saudi reckoned that the writing showed it had been written considerably later than the Birmingham dating range. IIRC it cited vowel markings and letter spacings.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#40  Postby duvduv » Jul 24, 2015 11:11 am

Yes, I understand now, but how do they know the buildings are mosques of Quranic Islam rather than a prayer house of something earlier,?
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