Archive for October, 2010

More on Dead Sea Scrolls Project

October 22, 2010 Comments off

Israel Antiquities Authority Press Release

19 October 2010 – As part of the celebrations on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its establishment, the Israel Antiquities Authority is launching a unique project – The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library – to document the entire collection of the Dead Sea Srolls.

Read on.

Real Face of Jesus in Stock Again

October 19, 2010 Comments off

image I just received an email from the folks at the History Channel to let me know that they have more stock. You can order it (or you can get it at Amazon)

This remains one of the best History Channel DVDs. You can see that from the comments and the customer ratings.

There is a pretty good trailer/teaser in the History Channel Store. Be sure to click on the Video Clip tab. It runs 42 seconds.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shroud of Turin

October 19, 2010 Comments off

image CNN’s Kevin Flower reports from Jerusalem.

In an ambitious application of 21st century technology to a first century wonder, the Israel Antiquities Authority and internet search giant Google announced a plan Tuesday to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls and make the entire collection available to the public online.

The authority’s general director, Shuka Dorfman, called the project a milestone that will enhance the field of biblical studies and people’s understanding of Judaism and early Christianity.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Archdiocese of Turin or the Vatican released tot he public the huge 12.8 billion-pixel image of the Shroud of Turin. The image was made at the Vatican’s request:

"We have stitched together 1,600 shots, each the size of a credit card, to create a huge photo which is almost 1,300 times stronger than a picture taken with a 10 million pixel digital camera," Mauro Gavinelli, technical supervisor at HAL9000, a company specializing in art photography, told Discovery News.

In the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls, all scholarship is welcome. In the case of the Shroud, many scholars are convinced that the Archdiocese of Turin wants to control research. It’s is more of a control issue than anything else. I’m convinced of that.

Discovery News : Discovery Channel

Categories: Image Theory, Science

Example of the Plurality of Truth

October 18, 2010 Comments off

This very notion certainly has nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin’s authenticity or how the images were formed.  But it may have implications for what the Shroud means to Christians and non-Christians. As posted by Kyle R. Cupp at Vox Nova:

Even within a single faith tradition, the accepted, “orthodox” symbols, figures, and images will have a degree of incompatibility due to all figurative language having creative and productive aspects. For example, the Christian conception of evil as a stain or blemish that the cleansing waters of baptism remove envisions evil as a kind of thing, as something with being, and yet, in the same tradition, evil is also considered as a privation, as a lack of a good that ought to be there, as not a thing at all, as not having any being. These two conceptions of evil aren’t entirely compatible, and yet both are very much at home in the same faith tradition.

What can we conclude from this?  Ultimately what we know about evil, or anything else that we use figurative language to conceptualize, cannot be made into a single, coherent, all-encompassing conception.  It’s truth is not one, but many, at least in so far as we have its truth figuratively in mind.

Incompatible Figures of Evil and the Plurality of Truth « Vox Nova

Categories: News & Views, Off Topic

Thought for Sunday Morning on Imitating God

October 17, 2010 Comments off

image It amazes me; every year or so, we hear how someone has finally figured out how the Shroud of Turin was faked and that last year’s explanation was all wrong. The latest, from Luigi Garlaschelli, more convolutedly complex than Rube Goldberg scratching his ass, was accepted as a paper in the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Imaging Science and Technology. In the same issue another peer-reviewed paper by no less than six scientists explained how profoundly wrong Garlaschelli was. Proponents of authenticity have done no better.

imageWhy does all this remind me of a certain elementary school science fair project. A student had built a papier-mâché mountain with a jelly jar stuck in the top. He filled the jar with baking soda and poured in some vinegar. His poster, drenched with explosive goop, read, “Volcanoes happen when acid seeps into sodium bicarbonate deposits in mountains.”

Skeptics and believers alike are intent on making something that looks like the image on the shroud so they can say this is how the image was formed.

Search Engines for God

October 16, 2010 Comments off

imageDivine Remedy is an excellent blog. It forces us to think. From today’s post:

The Shroud, unlike anything else, is the manifestation of the fusion of the external and internal search engines. It mysteriously lures us towards its vortex-like pathway to God. No human mind in our world has been able to crack the code and access all the necessary information about how the image was formed or how it could be reproduced. The Shroud helps us to appreciate the layers upon layers of complexity and simplicity of our cosmos and the omniscience of God.

When we take everything we know, of Christ’s life, of the Gospels, of the Bible, of the sciences, of religion, of history, of physics we fall down the rabbit hole into the image on the Shroud, searching for God through the light of the Resurrection of Christ.

Read some of the other posts. They are very thought provoking.

Categories: News & Views, Other Blogs

Video on the 3D Aspects of the Shroud of Turin Image

October 16, 2010 Comments off

Very well done. Highly recommended. Less than 5 minutes:


Stephen Colbert’s thoughtful Catholicism

October 16, 2010 1 comment

Kimberly Winston in The Washington Post’s On Faith section:

image It was a different kind of religious message than Colbert typically delivers on Comedy Central’s "The Colbert Report," where he often pokes fun at religion – even his own Catholic Church – in pursuit of a laugh. Yet it was the kind of serious faith that some of his fellow Catholics say makes him a serious, covert and potent evangelist for their faith.

. . . . Colbert has said that he attends church, observes Lent and teaches Sunday school. "I love my church, and I’m a Catholic who was raised by intellectuals, who were very devout," he told Time Out magazine. "I was raised to believe that you could question the church and still be a Catholic."

. . . . The Rev. Kurt C. Wiesner, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Littleton, N.H., writes a blog about religion and popular culture. Watching Colbert’s congressional testimony, he saw something that reaches beyond Catholicism.

"He offered a human witness, without a doubt," Wiesner said. "He gave witness to what Christians are often called to do, but the message isn’t be a Christian like him. It is that one’s faith calls us to be engaged with our fellow human beings."

It is worth reading. Stephen Colbert may play religion for laughs, but his thoughtful Catholicism still shows through (syndicated, Religion News Network)

Categories: Off Topic

I’m from Missouri, the ‘Show Me’ state

October 16, 2010 Comments off

image Apparently, there was some confusion about my comment that I’m from Missouri, the ‘Show Me’ state. So what did I mean in reference to the suggestion from Chidambaram Ramesh that the Shroud of Turin image might be a hologram or that something called Quantum Holography is real or has anything to do with the Shroud?

This is from the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1979-1980, page 1486:

There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri’s sobriquet "Show-Me" state. The slogan is not official, but is common throughout the state and is used on Missouri license plates.

The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia. In a speech there, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."

. . .

Other versions of the "Show-Me" legend place the slogan’s origin in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. There, the phrase was first employed as a term of ridicule and reproach. A miner’s strike had been in progress for some time in the mid-1890s, and a number of miners from the lead districts of southwest Missouri had been imported to take the places of the strikers. The Joplin miners were unfamiliar with Colorado mining methods and required frequent instructions. Pit bosses began saying, "That man is from Missouri. You’ll have to show him."

However the slogan originated, it has since passed into a different meaning entirely, and is now used to indicate the stalwart, conservative, noncredulous character of Missourians

I have doubts. Telling me won’t suffice. You will need to present me with clear evidence.

Categories: News & Views

Search added to the blog

October 16, 2010 Comments off

image A search widget has been added for searching this blog. For instance, if you enter “Garlaschelli” in the box and click on search it will display all the postings that mention him. You have to scroll down to read them.

If you don’t know how to spell “Garlaschelli” you can put in something like “Italian scientist.” At least you will find some postings with his name and you can copy his name and paste it into the search box.

It is not Google but it helps.

Categories: Off Topic

NPR’s Shroud of Turin Objectivity

October 16, 2010 Comments off

This story started going around the blogosphere this morning.  It seems that some grammar checking or spell checking software changed “shroud of objectivity” to what got posted below And, of course, many, many people copied it without reading.

The fact that NPR felt obliged to put Stewart’s rally off limits to its staff but didn’t feel it necessary to issue such an order for Glenn Beck’s rally does obviously raise the presumption that NPR staffers would be interested in the former and not the later — ergo, NPR staffers are liberally inclined. (I have no problem with that, only that it is masked under NPR’s Shroud of Turin Objectivity.) Shepard merely repeats and accepts the company line without real discussion of it. She doesn’t deal with the journalistic questions I raised, only repeats the cant of freshman journalism seminars about objectivity:

These posts don’t dry up. They just surface over and over and over thanks to Google. For the lack of editing whole theories might develop.

Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem

October 15, 2010 Comments off

Interesting article: 

In a side room in the Chapel of the Holy Relics is another fascinating sight: a full-sized, exact replica of the Shroud of Turin. It is stretched out on the wall at eye level and well-lit, providing a rare opportunity to inspect the famous relic up close. In the corner of the room stands a gory statue of Jesus that was designed based on the portrait in the Shroud.

Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem | Bruno Tours

Not Happy with Me

October 15, 2010 Comments off

A reader writes:

Are you stupid? Why are you posting this stuff. Quantum holograms? The belief that organisms are a form of hologram which is part of a universal hologram for all of space and time. Just ask anyone who was kidnapped and taken aboard an alien space ship. They will tell you all about it.

I think I made my point. I’m from Missouri. Show me. Until then I am suspicious about Petrus Soons’ 3D work on the Shroud of Turin and I am dubious, more than you can imagine, about quantum holograms. But I’m also in the business of telling people to keep an open mind. I’ll look at his book. Then I’ll say more.

Why am I posting this stuff? Chidambaram Ramesh is a “Guinness World Record holder for having had the largest number of letters to the editor published in a single national newspaper in a year.” Whi is is counting? We will hear plenty from him if he is such a letter writer.  It is better to not simply react after the fact. He wrote to me in a public sort of way through comments. I posted his reply. Now it is being discussed.

Comment on “Troubled by the New Shroud of Turin 3D Web Site”

October 15, 2010 Comments off

Chidambaram Ramesh comments from India. According to Self Publishing Review:

Chidambaram Ramesh is a freelance researcher, writer and social activist. He is currently working to re-discover and restore many forgotten ancient and medieval sciences by eliciting their importance for contemporary science. His first book entitled “The Shroud of Turin: An imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram” proposes for the first time quantum holographic idea to explain the causes of mysterious image on the Turin Shroud. His next book is on Clairvoyance (Anjanam-Gazing) and quantum holographic connections. He is a Guinness World Record holder for having had the largest number of letters to the editor published in a single national newspaper in a year.

He writes:

Dr.Petrus Soons has been kind enough to send me a lenticular and 3-D image of the Shroud. My discussions with him through e-mails convince me that the 3-Dimensional image made by him is a photographic creation.

Why? Can you share with us why you are convinced? I would not, of course, ask you to betray a confidence, but there are a lot people who are not convinced. And I’m from Missouri, the Show Me state:

Still, I must make a point here. There have been theories that the Shroud image itself formed out a quantum hologram (analogous to what Dr.Johnson described as a Man transparent to the environment)! My ensuing book “The Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram” (proposed to be released in a fortnight) proposes that the Shroud image is indeed an imprint of the Quantum Self. It is not a mere theory. A plethora of concrete evidences has been drawn from the ancient alchemical science of palingenesis (that is resuscitating 3-D spectral plants from their ashes) and natural magic (showing house full of snake images in 3-D). The theory is simple but sound: Bio-matters of all organisms, even if consumed to ashes, retain the selfsame form and figure of the parent organism. The science behind such extraordinary quality is quantum holography. Each part of the body molecule or cell may encode information for the whole body .This fact has been successfully proven by various experiments in cloning by reconstructing the whole body from a single cell. These subtle holographic energy fields or patterns are the templates or blueprints for the physical body to guide its growth and development.

I’m from Missouri.

Dr. Benford, (also a Shroud researcher who discovered the French weave patch which misrepresented the Shroud in the C-14 dating results) in her paper, “Empirical Evidence Supporting Macro-Scale Quantum Holography in Non-Local Effects”, attributes the reason to quantum hologram as follows:

‘One theory is that the test object contains a complete quantum hologram that can affect optical systems and, under the right conditions produce a holographic-like image. To make a hologram, two optical waves are needed: a reference wave and an object wave. These two waves make a 3D holographic image by creating an interference pattern frozen in space-time. Both waves are spatially and temporally coherent at the moment of creation, then separated. The object wave is directed towards the object and it experiences intensity changes and phase-shifts. Normal 2D photographs record only the intensity changes of the object wave and not the phase-shifts. However, when a reference wave is directed back towards the emitted object wave, an interference pattern is created, that records the phase-shifts of the object wave relating to the reference wave. These phase-shifts are what produce the apparent freezing in space-time of the object’s 3D image.’

Thus the quantum science will explain the centuries-old mysteries wrapping the Turin Shroud soon.

I look forward to reading and perhaps reviewing your book. And, remember, I’m from Missouri.

Categories: Image Theory, News & Views

Time Must Stop for the Resurrection

October 15, 2010 Comments off

It is an interesting thought by the late Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama. From: No Handle on the Cross

Chronology cannot contain the event of resurrection as paper cannot contain fire. The New Testament does not describe how Jesus was raised. The resurrection of Jesus Christ must be a new experience for time!…Time must stop, for it does not know how to behave at this great mystery…The risen Lord means, then, the coming of the new time, the new order, the new covenant, and the new humanity. The risen mind is the mind…captivated by the presence of the new quality of time within this history of ours. It is, then, an extremely unusual mind which sees time in the light of Jesus Christ crucified and risen. It is the mind of faith. It works with the discernment of faith and sees what is not visible and believes what is impossible.

I like the metaphoric interpretation of this. I’m not sure there is any basis for a literal interpretation. If so, then how was the image formed? No transforming process can take place in the absence of time.

Hat tip: Is God Anonymous?: Chronology

Categories: Uncategorized

Hmmm. Proof that Christianity is true by way of the Shroud of Turin???

October 15, 2010 Comments off

I’ll reserve judgment until I read what Stephen Jones tells us in one of his other blogs:

And although I haven’t yet posted a message with the subject: "The Shroud of Turin: Proof that Christianity is true and Naturalism is false!" on my The Shroud of Turin blog, I intend to do so.

I’m not convinced that such proofs are possible. But, let’s see.

You really need to read the entire posting. He does an excellent job of definitions. Particularly read his What I believe about Creation, Evolution and Design section. I’m impressed. We are not in the same camp in many things, but I’m impressed with the thought and organization that has gone into Jone’s thinking. So click on over to CreationEvolutionDesign: Messianic prophecy: Proof that Christianity is true!: Introduction.

The Two Hitchens Brothers Debate if Civilization Can Survive without God

October 15, 2010 1 comment

Can civilization survive without God? Do watch the video. It is quite good. I have a great deal of respect for Christopher even though I pretty much disagree with most of what he has to say.

image Brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens squared off Tuesday in a debate over whether civilization can survive without God. Christopher, the older of the two, is a renowned image atheist thinker and author. Peter, the lesser known of the two, is a practicing Christian and also a well-regarded author.

Hitchens brothers debate if civilization can survive without God – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs

Categories: News & Views, Off Topic

Quote that I have pinned on the wall beside my picture of the Shroud of Turin

October 14, 2010 Comments off

Amy Davidson, a senior editor at the New Yorker magazine:

What came through the tube kept them fed, but what sustained them, and humbled everyone else, was the way they worked together, sang together, kept faith together. There were worries that it could turn into “The Lord of the Flies” down there; instead, it was more like a shining city deep beneath a hill. (Gomez, who set up a makeshift chapel, was the latter-day John Winthrop—whose own most famous sermon was given on a ship.) When the news came that the miners were arguing about who would wait to go up last, it was hard not to come undone.

Evidence of God, evidence of the Resurrection: seen far more clearly in the men of the mine than in a scientific explanation of images on the Shroud.

Close Read: Chile’s First Astronaut : The New Yorker

In Derwood, Maryland, see ‘The Real Face of Jesus?’

October 14, 2010 Comments off

The St. Francis Men of Emmaus in Derwood, Maryland are going to be watching the History Channel’s Real Face of Jesus. This may turn out to be one of the best Shroud of Turin presentation going. I would certainly prefer that anyone watch this then listen to one of my boring PowerPoint presentations. (However, if you get a chance to see a presentation on the Shroud by Barrie Schwortz or Russ Breault, don’t miss it). The History Channel DVD’s 3D reconstructions by Ray Downing  are well done (unlike some other stuff recently discussed in this blog). Ray Downing just received an Emmy for his skillful work on reconstruction the appearance of Abraham Lincoln.

From St Francis Men of Emmaus blog:

Have you ever wondered what Christ really looked like?  I have.  So when a couple of St. Francis Church Guys said that they saw a documentary that reconstructed a 3-D image from the Shroud of Turin, I checked it out.  It was nothing short of amazing.   So, on October 23 and 30, 2010, the Men of Emmaus will be watching and discussing it.  Not only does it involve the reconstruction, it includes a lot of background about the Shroud.  Although the Church deems it an object worthy of veneration due to the image of suffering, it does not take a position on whether the image is that of Christ or,  in fact, has any connection to Him.  The documentary lays out the circumstantial evidence, though, and it is compelling.

For me, having a picture helps make Christ more concrete.  If He is the visible image of the invisible God, what happens if He is invisible because there are no pictures?  Reading the Gospels and picturing that man (as reconstructed) in a particular physical context makes it all so real and gives it an immediacy that it lacked for me beforehand.

So join us as we watch the History Channel reconstruct the Real Face of Jesus.

Do You Want To See The Real Face of Christ? « St Francis Men of Emmaus

Fun and Games with Shroud of Turin Anaglyph

October 13, 2010 Comments off

The first thing to do is get the anaglyph using the tiny URL found here after reading the article so you get an idea of what we are talking about. After have a lot of fun watching it with red-cyan 3D glasses:

  1. Put the glasses on upside down. Now you are looking at the inside of a mask.
  2. Create a negative of the anaglyph and look at through the glasses.
  3. Upload the image of Picasso or Flickr and look at it on a large screen TV.


Categories: Art, News & Views

Picture of the Day: Mario Gomez After Emerging from the Mine in Chile

October 13, 2010 Comments off


Categories: News & Views, Off Topic

Benedict XVI Appoints New Holy Shroud of Turin Custodian

October 13, 2010 Comments off

CNA and several newspapers is reporting:

Vatican City, Oct 12, 2010 / 09:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Vicenza as the new Archbishop of Turin. The appointment makes Archbishop Nosiglia the new custodian of the Shroud of Turin.  He will succeed Cardinal Severino Poletto, who submitted his resignation upon reaching the retirement age of 75.

The new Archbishop of Turin was born on October 5, 1944 in Rossiglione, Italy in the Diocese of Acqui.  He was ordained a priest on June 29, 1968 and was named Auxiliary Bishop of Rome on July 6, 1991.  He was ordained a bishop on December 14 of the same year. 

On October 6, 2003 he was transferred to the Diocese of Vicenza.  Among the posts he has held are president of the National Council of Catholic Schools, president of the International Organization of Catholic Education, delegate of the Council of European Bishops of Europe for Catechesis and Campus Ministry. 

He is currently the vice president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, a post he has held since May of this year.

Benedict XVI appoints new custodian of the Holy Shroud of Turin :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


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