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The Turin Shroud Image is not a Scorch

April 17, 2014 30 comments

NEW & IMPORTANT:  A paper from Thibault Heimburger: The Scorch Hypothesis: New Experiments, April 2014

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Categories: Image Theory, Science

Maundy Thursday

April 17, 2014 1 comment

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Lorenzetti Pietro. Last Supper.fresco. Assisi, c. 1320

Categories: History

Remember the Valencia Consensus Parenthetical

April 16, 2014 52 comments

questions for Giulio Fanti and Paolo Di Lazzaro

imagePiero asked:

What is the final result of diimide (a powerful reducing agent) treatment on images produced by Corona Discharge ? … and on images produced by VUV excimer laser irradiation ?

Alvin commented:

Those are VERY GOOD QUESTIONS that DiLazzaro or Fanti or anyone else has [not] been able to answer yet (to my knowledge at least)… I guess that if it is so, it’s simply because no one (starting with DiLazzaro and his team) have chosen to make the test, which would probably discard their hypothesis right away, because I seriously doubt that a diimide treatment of their oxydized samples would be able to remove the color and leave a clean linen fiber behind as it was the case for the colored fibers of the Shroud…

and added in another comment:

Here’s another test DiLazzaro should do with his oxydized samples: Try to apply sticky tapes on it with a similar amount of pressure as Rogers used in Turin and see if he can find the same kind of ghosts of color on the tapes. Again, I seriously doubt he could find any… And if my guess is good, that would also be enough to discard his hypothesis right away. Same thing for Fanti and his corona discharge hypothesis.

Paulette took a swipe:

Remember the Valencia Consensus Parenthetical.

For those who don’t, see A Parenthetical Change in the Valencia Consensus from two years ago.

Categories: Image Theory

Okay, we will need to wait several weeks

April 16, 2014 11 comments

imageStephen Jones is now mapping out his revised strategy: Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #2:

I have decided to create a list of every item of historical evidence of the Shroud’s existence from the 13th to the 1st century on my system, before I complete this Revised #2 post. That however, could take several weeks.

The purpose of documenting all this historical evidence of the Shroud’s existence from the 13th to the 1st century is to prove, beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt, that the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "mediaeval … AD 1260-1390" must be wrong. . . .

I don’t have any issue with this. The historical list will be useful. In my mind, it challenges the carbon dating better than anything. It will be interesting to crawl through each item and get everyone’s opinions. How solid is this event, how good is that occurrence?

Stephen continues.

. . . And then the questions are, "how could a 1st century cloth (absent fraud) carbon- date to the 13th-14th century?"

Why absent fraud? Why not other possibilities?

. . .  I will document how courts decide, on the basis of improbability, that a scientific fraud must have occurred.

That will be interesting. Just fraud? Might courts find something else isn’t right? By courts is he thinking of a proxy for informed public opinion?

And then:

And then, having proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there must have been fraud in carbon-dating the 1st century (or earlier) linen of the Shroud to 1325 ±65, I will re-present the evidence for the fraud having been perpetrated by a computer hacker, whom I will tentatively identify.

Will this be the same person he has already not-so-tentatively named? Evidence, this time?

Thinking the 1988 Carbon Dating Outweighs the Other Evidence Is Absurd

April 16, 2014 2 comments

“Carbon dating alone, whether in its 1988 form or
some improvement upon it, isn’t enough.”

imageJason Engwer has delivered a significant and thought-provoking analysis in Triablogue, Weighing The Shroud’s 1988 Carbon Dating

Meacham to Farey upon a whirlwind:

[William] Meacham wrote nearly a decade ago. There have been some significant developments since then. In his book, Meacham discussed Ray Rogers’ 2005 article that undermines the 1988 carbon dating results. Further research since then has corroborated Rogers’ findings. For some examples, see here. A study published in 2010 by Marco Riani, et al., for instance, found significant heterogeneity in the section of the Shroud tested in 1988. In 2013,Giulio Fanti and some other researchers published the results of some dating tests they ran on alleged fragments of the Shroud. All of their dating methods showed a pre-medieval date.

On the other hand, Timothy Jull, a member of the University of Arizona lab that tested the Shroud in 1988,published an article in 2010 that cast doubt on Rogers’ findings. In 2013, Hugh Farey wrote an article that discusses problems with the reweave hypothesis (the view that the section of the Shroud tested in 1988 contains some more recent threads woven into the original cloth during a repair, so that the more recent threads would distort the carbon dating).

Mark Oxley has written an article criticizing Jull’s piece. For some initial reactions to Farey’s article, see the thread here. In that thread, Thibault Heimburger says that he’s noticed some problems with Farey’s article and suggests that he’ll be writing a response to it.

I think Jull and Farey make some good points that significantly weaken the reweave hypothesis. The reweave hypothesis still seems to be the best explanation of the evidence, but now by a smaller margin. We have to leave the door wide open to other possibilities.

Wringing answers from the unknown:

How would the artist or forger know how to portray a Roman crucifixion victim so accurately? Why would he repeatedly and accurately depart from how Jesus was portrayed in the large majority of medieval depictions (a nail wound closer to the wrist than the palm; wounds from a thick cap of thorns rather than a thin wreath of thorns; etc.)? Why are so many characteristics of the Shroud inconsistent with the interests of an artist or forger? Why would an artist or forger brilliant enough to produce such a masterpiece go about introducing his work to the world in such an ineffective manner? Geoffrey de Charny was a relatively low-level figure in the society of his day. The modest status of the Shroud around the medieval timeframe suggested by the 1988 carbon dating is incongruous with what an artist or forger brilliant enough to produce the Shroud would be likely to do with it. And why would an artist or forger include a close-up depiction of Jesus completely nude and uncovered on his back side, something that the vast majority of people seem to find objectionable even in the more sexually libertine cultures of our day (how much more so in a medieval context)? Why and how would an artist or forger include so many details that can’t be seen by the naked eye (in an age without microscopes and other such devices)? Why would an artist or forger display his genius in the Shroud, but nowhere else? Why don’t we see comparable displays of genius from the same source around the same time? Why is the Shroud such an isolated object that stands out so starkly from the medieval context?

The notion that the 1988 carbon dating alone equals or outweighs all of the evidence cited above for an earlier date is absurd. The 1988 dating of one small piece of the cloth, from such a poor area for that sort of testing, can’t bear the weight that’s so often placed upon it. I would argue that even if further carbon dating would produce the same or similar results, the evidence for an earlier date would still weigh more. Carbon dating alone, whether in its 1988 form or some improvement upon it, isn’t enough. There has to be more. That’s how good the evidence is for an earlier date.

Do read the entire posting Weighing The Shroud’s 1988 Carbon Dating at Triablogue.


* Whirlwind? In this sense, yes, borrowing some words from the conflicted Anne Rice:

Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds — justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.

Good Chemistry Questions

April 15, 2014 18 comments

imageA reader who is a high school chemistry student writes:

In Rogers’s book on page 78 I read that “Image color can be chemically reduced with diimide, leaving colorless fibers.”  I’ve seen this mentioned on several websites and I’ve read that the image does not respond to ordinary bleaching.

My teacher and I looked it up in Wikipedia. Neither one of us can understand what it says.

What does it mean?  What does it rule in or rule out? 

Good questions? I just looked up reductions with diimide in Wikipedia and I could not understand it either.

Categories: Science

New Book: The Templar Mandylion

April 15, 2014 15 comments

imageThere is a new book out. It’s called the The Templar Mandylion: Secret story of Turin ShroudThe Templar Mandylion: Secret story of Turin Shroud by Franck Gordon. Amazon sells it for the Kindle. No other editions seem to be available.

Description at Amazon:

The body of a man strangely vanished a long time ago. This man left behind him historical and physical clues about his existence. This is one of the greatest enigmas of our time.

Editorial Review by the author as it appears at Amazon:

During my life, I have devoted my hobbies to do research on archaeological, religious and scientific enigmas. Intrigued by all that is mysterious and unusual, it is with a mind of engineer that I analyzed unexplained mysteries and impossible objects found on our planet.

imageThere is several years ago, while I was preparing my Templar Saga, I discovered a « Templar Mandylion » in Britanny. This historical and religious mystery still remains unsolved to date. Is it the « Baphomet » venerated by the Templars and which led them to the stake? I tried to explain this mystery in my book « Le Code Templier » and during a lecture made in the chapel of Sainte-Marie du Menez-Hom, near the site of my discovery.

For many years I presented my ideas during lectures on the subjects of my research: Worldwide Genealogy and Huge Databases, Camera Obscura and Shroud of Turin, Templar Mandylion and Baphomet, Popol-Vuh and Terraforming of planets, moons, etc… I explained all these topics, and many others, in novels and essays such as the Mormon Case, the Templar Code, the Templar of America, the Templar Mandylion, and the Popol-Vuh. I propose now all these works in book exhibitions, at the end of my lectures or on the web.

I would like to warmly thank my readers for their comments posted on the web, or received by e-mail or by letter. Come on Cirac website in the Book Club that I created with the help of writers, journalists, publishers and booksellers. You’ll found authors, books, lectures, articles, and also a lot of ideas.

I believe that the Franck Gordon is a nom de plume for SSG shroud researcher François Gazay.

I’m not suggesting that you do not buy the book. But first you may want to read Relations of a Breton Calvary with the Shroud and the Templar Knights by François that was presented at Dallas 2005. And when you go over to Amazon, click on Look Inside. BTW, I do find this subject fascinating.

Categories: Books

CNN’s Jesus Code: Six Objects Connected to the Biblical Jesus

April 15, 2014 1 comment

Coming to the old Larry King time slot

imageBREAKING: Jon Creamer of Televisual Media UK tells us about an upcoming six-part series on Jesus:

Nutopia is to make a ‘forensic’ drama doc about the life of Jesus in a six-part commission for CNN called Jesus Code.

Jesus Code will look at “forensics, biblical archaeology and forgery, exploring their connection to the real life of Jesus by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.”

The show will use drama reconstruction and interviews with scholars to re-examine six objects connected to the Biblical Jesus.

Executive Producer, Ben Goold (The Story of US, Mankind, The British) said “These are compelling and astonishing stories of relics such as the Turin Shroud and the True Cross that not only capture the imagination, but also offer real revelations about one of the most important figures in human history.”

Jesus Code will be produced by Nutopia in association with Paperny Entertainment. Filming will start in October in Europe, the US, North Africa and Middle East.  Executive Producers are Ben Goold for Nutopia and Lynne Kirby for Paperny Entertainment and it will be distributed internationally by DRG.

Jesus Code forms part of CNN’s new documentary strand in the ET 9pm primetime line-up.

Rodney Ho of The Atlanta Journal Constitution gives the story a bit more punch with a bit less detail as part of a story on 9 p.m. time slot that Larry King occupied for a quarter century and Piers Morgan attempted to fill. The story is mostly about the big guns CNN is bringing into the hour: Mike Rowe (‘formerly of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs’), Lisa Ling (formerly of “Our America with Lisa Ling”) and John Walsh (formerly of Fox’s ‘America’s Most Wanted”). And the icing on the cake:

Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.

Let’s see, six relics?  (1) Shroud of Turin, (2) True Cross, (3) Holy Grail ???, (4) Veronica’s Veil ???, (5) Seamless Garment ???, (6) ???. 

If the shroud is a forgery, where are its precedents?

April 14, 2014 17 comments

imageYesterday, Stephen Jones copy-pasted a complete essay by Danusha Goska from the pages of shroud.com thus making it more accessible. The essay, in two short paragraphs, contains one of the most powerful reasons for being quite sure that the image is not a scorch or a photograph or any sort of medieval Rube Garlaschelli Goldberg creation:

Items of expressive culture are not found in isolation. They are not found without evidence of practice. If one excavates an ancient site and finds one pot, one finds other pots like it, and the remains of failed or broken pots in middens.

If the shroud is a forgery, where are its precedents? Where are the other forged shrouds like it? Where is there evidence of practice shrouds of this type? If the technology to create the shroud was available in medieval Europe, where are other products of this technology? Humankind is an exhaustively exploitative species. We make full use of any technology we discover, and leave ample evidence of that use. . . .

You will never convince the world with mere science if you ignore the realities of history.

Picture: Annunciation to Mary, 14th century stained glass, Regensburg Cathedral, Germany

Categories: News & Views

Upcoming Talks by David Rolfe

April 14, 2014 Leave a comment

imageDavid Rolfe has two upcoming talks. One is at St Joseph’s Church, Maidenhead at 7:30 pm Good Friday 18th April. 

On May 16th, at 7:00 pm he will be at the Gulbenkian Theatre at the University of Kent, in Canterbury. I understand that there will be a reception with refreshments at 6:30 prior to David’s talk

David also informs me that the 2010 Exposition film may be download at: http://www.shroud-enigma.com/Shop/Shop.php and that until Easter you can get it at half price, that is £5.99 less 50% = £2.99.  They just need to enter the code SS2014

Categories: Event

Happy Passover

April 14, 2014 1 comment

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imageElon Gilad has an interesting write up on Passover in Haaretz this morning:

Once the house is clean, a large meal is prepared. Jews in Israel and the Diaspora of varying levels of religiosity assemble round the table and enjoy a scripted holiday meal.

The Haggadah

The script of the meal is contained in a book called the Haggadah (“the telling”), which dictates the evening’s proceedings.

The Haggadah wasn’t written by any one person or group. Rather, it evolved over the centuries, beginning in the years after the destruction of the Second Temple and to this very day.

While the major parts of the Haggadah remain the same, variations arose based on culture, local tradition and the like. As for the evolution of the book still taking place – there has been a virtual explosion of versions in recent generations, including versions for feminists, for the LGBT community, and so on. There are even versions for atheists that leave the Lord entirely out of the process.

The major objective of the evening is to retell the story of the exodus of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt, as told in the Book of Exodus. This is traditionally believed to have taken place in 1,313 B.C.E.

Most of the Haggadah is in Hebrew, though some parts are in Aramaic. It tells the story of the Exodus, with foods serving as props.

Picture: A Passover Haggadah from Vienna, 1930. Photo by Reuters

Categories: Article, Event

Russ Breault in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday

April 14, 2014 Leave a comment

imageSt. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saratoga Springs, New York, is announcing:

Shroud Encounter

Starts: April 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Ends: April 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm

On Wednesday April 16th St Paul’s will welcome Russ Breault for a presentation of Shroud Encounter at 7 pm, followed by a reception at 8:30 pm.

Shroud Encounter is a dramatic big screen experience and in-depth exploration into the mysteries of the Shroud of Turin. Using a CSI approach, audiences are taken on a thought provoking adventure through early church history, ancient art, modern science, and medical forensics.

Could the Shroud be the most important archaeological artifact ever found, or is it just a medieval fake? Does it provide clues to what happened during the crucifixion and resurrection, or is it just a pious art work created to represent these events? After thousands of hours of scientific analysis, the Shroud remains a profound mystery.

Tickets are required and can be obtained through the church office.

Join us for what promises to be an interesting, thought-provoking, and even entertaining evening!

Categories: Event

Logo for the 2015 Exposition: l’Amore più grande

April 14, 2014 Leave a comment

The Greatest Love

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BING Translation of undated press release as it appeared at Santa Sindone website yesterday:


The face of the shroud

ready the logo of exposition 2015

The custodian of the shroud. Cesare Nosiglia presents tonight at Parco Ruffini, within the Diocesan youth Celebration, the official logo of the exposition 2015. The graphic trade mark was chosen and Armando Testa Agency developed starting from ideas of young torinesi (groups of students of the Accademia Albertina, and boys participating in the walk of the Diocesan Synod of young).

*

The logo A face that invokes the human traits of the shroud; the word Shroud and 2015 the motto love bigger. A background consisting of variations of color reminiscent of the sindonico tissue; the arrangement of text and colors in space suggests the image of the cross. These are the elements of the logo for the exposition 2015 presented tonight around 20.45, within the Diocesan Celebration of youth, at Palasport Ruffini Park.

*

Young The logo is launched at the Festival of young people because it was made by young people. In recent months of February and March, groups of students of the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino and young people participating in the Synod’s coordinated by the youth of the diocese have worked to create a graphic sign that draws the contents of the tagline and theme of the exposition.

The custodian of the shroud. Nosiglia had launched the proposal, for the exposition of young people came from their ideas for the interpretation that will be at the base of the graphic identity of the exposition. We wanted a product that could join the youth creativity and reflection on the meaning of the exposition and the Shroud in a new context, in the light of the chosen motto love bigger, taken from the Gospel of John.

The motto wants to highlight how God’s love for men the same love of Jesus Christ. And donate life discover his true vocation of men and women, in any condition, even in difficult situations of suffering and illness that afflict us.

*

The creative path-The youth worked either alone or in groups, with the accompaniment of the Academy’s lecturers and experts in Youth Ministry.

Jobs products were reviewed by a Committee chaired by Archbishop they belonged to members of the Committee and of the Diocesan Commission for the shroud. The most interesting works judged 4, whose authors will be featured tonight at the party of young people, were subjected to the experts of the Armando Testa Agency, which made the necessary changes to give the work a professional character. The Armando Testa Agency has offered its advice.

*

Info about Exposition: press@sindone.org

Categories: Uncategorized

Faces of Jesus: Is a Shroud of Turin Genre Evolving?

April 13, 2014 2 comments

clip_image001Melanie Jean Juneau, a mother on nine, has put up a collection of faces of Jesus, most derived from the Shroud of Turin in one way or another.

Does anyone know the artist of the last picture in her posting. I’ve seen it but that is all I know about it.

I think the portraits of Jesus based on the Shroud of Turin resemble the famous painting by Akiane that Cotton Burpo*, the boy who supposedly visited heaven, claims looks like Jesus. The upcoming movie about his visit should stir that up quite a bit.

Here is what Melanie says about the faces:

This first image is a 3-D image of the Risen Christ. from an image of The Shroud Of Turin.i Beside it is the shroud of Turin overlaid on the Sinai icons. In the second row both of the small light images on the left are called the Real Face of Jesus and are not a paintings but computer generated images from the Shroud of Turin, as seen on History Channel. The image on the right, in the second row is an actual painting but once again based on the Shroud. The last. large work of art is  also based on the shroud.large painting is beautiful, capturing a strong man with deep, compassionate eyes.Don’t think I’ve ever seen this painting of Jesus. I am not sure of the artist but it is my favorite.

What do you think? Is a new Shroud of Turin genre evolving?


* Wikipedia: Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is a 2010 New York Times best-selling Christian book written by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. It was published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. The book documents the report of a near-death experience by Burpo’s then-four-year-old son, Colton. The book tells how the boy began saying he had visited heaven.

By April 2012 over one million ebooks had been sold.[1] A movie based off the book, Heaven Is for Real, is scheduled for release April 16, 2014.

Christian Post: The skeptic inside of us may knee-jerk away from going to see "Heaven Is for Real." However, may I suggest fighting that impulse and instead, taking yourself to see an extremely powerful movie that, in the end, is a movie about our own questions regarding life and the life-after.

The movie is about our humanness because nearly all of us question where it is we go when we die. We may not be part of a pastor’s family, and surely most of us have never had a near-death experience, but we go about our lives doing much like the Burpo family portrayed in the movie, doing the best they can at making sense of things in day-to-day living, until the unexplainable happens.

Categories: Art

Another Enduring Belief Question: Jesus in the Nude

April 13, 2014 17 comments

But can’t we argue that a nude jesus was still and extraordinary rarity

imageJoe Marino wrote last night:

There have been several discussions on the blog recently regarding long-held Shroud beliefs, e.g, whether the bloodstains went on the cloth before the image and re finding out the VP-8 image analyzer wasn’t actually used by NASA.

I saw the May/June issue of Biblical Archaeology Review at work and noticed a letter to the editor that pertains to another enduring belief:  that early and medieval artists never depicted Jesus in the nude (and thus the nude Shroud image was a point in favor of authenticity).

And here is the letter to the editor:

Crucifixion in the Nude:

I was quite taken by the two fascinating articles on crucifixion in your March/April 2013 issue.  One was Larry W. Hurtado’s Staurogram:  Earliest Depiction of Jesus’ Crucifixion,” the other Ben Witherington III’s “Images of Crucifixion:  Fresh Evidence.”  I was especially intrigued that two of the earliest crucifixions depicted men who were crucified in the nude.  While I have nothing to add to the early pictorial history of crucifixion, your readers might be interested to learn that there is at least one depiction of Christ, crucified in the nude, although he did not stay that way very long.  The illustration occurs on a Spanish polyptych painted in Barcelona in about 1350 ascribed to Ferrer Bassa and family.  In one panel he hangs on the cross nude.  In a subsequent panel he is clothed with a loincloth.  The episode is based on a devotional text (1), according to which he “is stripped, and is now nude before all he multitude for the third time, his wounds reopened by the adhesion of his garments to his flesh.  Now for the first tie the Mother beholds her Son thus taken and prepared for the anguish of death.  She is saddened and shamed beyond measure when she sees him entirely nude:  They did not leave him even his loincloth.  Therefore she hurries and approached the Son, embraces him, and girds him with the veil from her head ..”

This devotional text clearly inspired the artist.  The polyptych is permanently on view in Morgan’s study at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

WILLIAM VOELKLE
CURATOR OF MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
DEPARTMENT HEAD
THE MORGAN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
NEW YORK, NEW YORK

imageI believe that the devotional text is pseudo-Bonaventure’s Meditationes passionis Christi; Devote meditatione sopra la passione del nostro Signore.

But can’t we argue that a nude jesus was still an extraordinary rarity

Categories: Art, History

Palm Sunday

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

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Icon by Fr. Theodore Jurewicz, Master Iconographer at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Categories: History

Indifferent to gravity, Jesus’ hair floomfs out and falls to his shoulders

April 12, 2014 7 comments

floomfs?

imageTwo years ago, Stephen Wagner, in his role as“Paranormal Phenomenon Guide” for the web publication About.com, wrote an article titled, Why the Shroud of Turin is Fake. I mentioned it in this blog on April 2, 2012. I thought it was silly. I still do.

Just yesterday, Stephen tells us that one of his readers named Robert has responded with his own ideas about why the shroud is probably not authentic.

Instead, what we see on the shroud is an image that projects from a complex shape all in one direction – that is, toward the perspective of an observer. There is focus, definition, proportion, all codified through the perspective of an observer. It’s how we’re used to seeing things, so people don’t pick up on it as an anomaly or error, but it’s not at all how the image must appear if it’s what it purports to be.

The shroud image requires that the shroud rose up above Jesus, stretched itself smooth and taut, and then a signal rose up from his body and headed toward a focus. No energy was scattered, it all just went one way and one way only – toward the eye of the viewer. And as it passed through the hovering, smooth sheet, it imprinted information only on the superficial fibers, somehow carrying along with it some understanding of its own distance traveled, so that it could render an artistic coding of the depth dimension, in terms of shadowing, etc.

ALL SORTS OF LOGICAL PROBLEMS

The idea is fairly absurd, on its face, but let’s imagine that that happened. The sheet rises up in a ghostly manner, and smooths itself out. Oh wait – it’s attached at the top, where it doubles back around under the body. So it can’t rise up to get some distance for the photo. Also, the goo and the gore which is in nice registry with the image, wouldn’t correspond in that way if the image was formed out of contact with the body.

There are all sorts of problems with the shroud. Jesus is lying on his back, having been through a very rough day, and yet his hair is not only fluffy and nicely styled, and not only projects its own image directly upward to the sheet, but it is indifferent to the effects of gravity. His hair is the hair of someone standing up. It floomfs out and falls to his shoulders. The hair of someone who’s been bleeding and sweating all day and is lying on his back, doesn’t look like that, even if we imagine that he was carefully shampooed, rinsed, and blow-dried.

And how does Robert address the fact that nobody can explain how the image was formed?

"How was it made?" is a pretty tough question to answer about nearly anything – we don’t even know exactly how cigarettes are made because the manufacturers don’t want us to know.

[ . . . ]

My own feeling is that the image was meant to be ghostly and suggestive (though records show that it was much brighter and clearer at the time of its creation than it is now), and that it was really the now-mostly-vanished gore that was painted on that was the "image" seen centuries ago.

[ . . . ]

Someone figured out how to reverse color scale, liked the strangeness of images made that way, and realized how perfect that technique would be for a magical "picture".

Anything new? Is Robert the new L’enfant Terrible of skeptical explanations?

Categories: Image Theory, Other Blogs

A Gift to the Shroud of Turin Blogosphere from Stephen Jones

April 12, 2014 3 comments

thank you, Stephen

imageStephen writes in a posting titled, The Shroud of Turin: A gift to our proof-demanding era?

Today I came across a reference to this 1973 article by Ian Wilson in the Catholic Herald. I could not find it webbed as text anywhere, even by the Catholic Herald. So I decided to laboriously convert it from images to text for my own use. But then I thought I might as well post it on my blog!

If we wanted to read Ian Wilson’s article in the Catholic Herald, “A gift to our proof-demanding era?”, before Stephen converted it for us, and we still can by clicking here, we would soon come to the first new paragraph of the second column in linotype:

In the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace is an unusual icon, itself not more than three centuries old, but expressing in pictorial form a legendary story of considerable antiquity. The centre-piece, a likeness of Christ’s face seen imprinted on a cloth, at first sight bears a remarkable resemblance to our familiar Veronica.

As the inscription tells us, however, this is the Holy Mandylion, a reputedly miraculous piece of linen first brought to the Syro-Turkish city of Edessa (now Urfa) during the very first century of the Christian era. It was instrumental in the conversion of many of Edessa’s chief citizens, including the petty king or toparch, Abgar V, an authentic contemporary of Christ. reigning from AD 13-50. But persecution broke out and shortly after the cloth disappeared. its whereabouts remaining unknown until the sixth century AD when it was discovered sealed inside a niche in the city’s walls.

Without hesitation it was hailed as the miraculously created true likeness of Christ and so coveted by the emperors of Byzantium that in 944 a bargain was sealed with Edessa’s Arab masters for the relic’s transfer.

It is easy, however to read the full article on Stephen’s blog by reading his posting, The Shroud of Turin: A gift to our proof-demanding era?

Note: Click the icon above for a larger version.

thank you, Stephen. I know how laborious this can be.

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Petrus Soons to Present His Scientific Research at the University of Miami

April 12, 2014 20 comments

if these images are truly scientific, then the unexplained screams out to be explained.

imageeVeritas: News for the Faculty and Staff of the University of Miami, reports that a 3D Exhibition on Shroud of Turin Visits Campus April 14:

UM’s Catholic Campus Ministry, along with the Franciscans of Mary, Missionaries of Gratitude, will present the 3D-hologram exhibit, “The Holy Shroud—the Burial Cloth of Christ,” and a lecture by its creator at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 14, on the University Center Patio.

At the event, which is open to students, faculty, and staff, Dutch scientist Petrus Soons will present his scientific research on the images of Christ on the shroud.

For more information on Soons and the history and creation of the Holy Shroud of Turin in 3D, visit http://shroud3d.com/.  For more information on the event, please contact Michelle Ducker at michelle@ucatholic.org or Lourdes Wolf Marenus at lwolf@miami.edu.

As some of you know, I certainly have real reservations about Petrus Soons’ 3D work., that statement being the title of a posting from November 2012 in which I wrote what follows (below the line).


Bernardo Galmarini, “the 3D expert that produced the conversion from 2D to 3D,” writes on the shroud3d site [which is Petrus Soons’ site]:

I thought at first, that in this more scientific conversion, the hidden information in the Shroud (3D information in the gray-scale), would be a nuisance or obstacle to produce a human representation of the face, and that I would have to struggle continuously against this. Strangely enough, this hidden scientific information in the Shroud became the key and the basis for this work, reducing my artistic work to only softening the “holes” and deformities (caused surely by the passing of time) and the adapting to what this scientific version commands you to do: filling in and normalizing the “holes” or “dead areas” in the hidden information of the linen. For example: the areas without information in the forehead have been corrected following the surrounding gray-scale with coherent information and with a normal human forehead in mind. This process was helped by the fact, that the central zone of the forehead and the bony structure of the orbits contain very coherent information and that of course was taken as a guideline.

That statement lacks needed clarity. There are certainly holes and deformities. Why is not clear in most cases. It seems completely unjustified to speculate that these are caused by the passing of time. Without knowing how the image was formed, without knowing much about how the shroud was stored or displayed over many centuries, we shouldn’t make such guesses.

bandinginfaceExactly what are the holes and deformities? They have not been detailed on the website. The bloodstains certainly are a problem and to make adjustments for these is perhaps warranted. But what about other deformities? How is the problem of banding addressed? Banding, a variegated background pattern to the cloth, perhaps the result of how the thread of the cloth was bleached and having nothing to do with the passing of time, is certainly the single biggest deformity that exists. It gets peculiar treatment in this new 3D work. The left side of the face (our right) has been partially retouched to minimize the effect. The other side of the face is shaped as though there was no banding but the banding remains. Pictured here is an estimate of the banding in the area of the face.

At the bottom of the beard and the lower areas of the hair, darker areas that are not the result of banding are strikingly evident. These relatively dark areas don’t recede towards the background as expected for grayscale plotting. (You can’t see this without 3D glasses. Don’t even try.) What is the rationale for this obviously apparent artistic adjustment? Moreover, hair above the forehead pompadours frontward without grayscale tones to support it. This hair and facial hair treatment seems artistic.

The entire head and shoulders seem to be completely detached from the background. You can, with 3D glasses on, move your own head ever so slightly and see detached movement. (Again, you can’t see this without 3D glasses.) Galmarini speaks of “hidden scientific information,” presumably but not explicitly the grayscale. I can’t find any data in support of this phenomenon. It seems as though an artificial outline has been introduced around the human form. There does not seem to be any such outline on the Shroud. In fact, researchers, over the years, have noted this lack of outline because it is something that an artist, had an artist created the Shroud, would have certainly included. Interestingly, the areas of the lower neck and upper shoulders, though darker than the background, don’t recede into the background and don’t show detached movement. Most amazingly, the lower part of a prominent water stain above the face is now worn in the hair like a miniature yarmulke while the upper part of the stain adorns the background. This, to my way of thinking, strongly suggests the use of false outlines. What other reason can there be other than to enhance the 3D effect?

The most surprising thing is that the grayscale tones that to the untrained eye look like highlights and shadows, but that in fact become the basis for plotting three-dimensionality, remain in place in the plotted image. If you plot a three-dimensional object from the grayscale density you should have something that looks like a stone statue. Whatever highlights and shadows seem to exist in any resulting computerized virtual-reality image should only be from artificially introduced light placed at a calculated angle and distance in the virtual world. This is what the VP8 Analyzer does and what other software packages such as POV-Ray do. But in the anaglyph in question, it looks as though the original image was stretched like a thin film over the calculated shape. Original highlights, shadows and even herringbone twill patterns are there.

I’m willing to be convinced that I am wrong, that the anaglyph in question is scientific. I would actually like this. If this were so we would have something that is truly amazing. Clarity is needed, however. Specifics are required. I would like to see how much of this conversion to 3D is reproducible in a scientific sense and how much is "only softening the ‘holes’ and deformities."

In order to claim that the 3D images on this site are scientific the steps and procedures must be reproducible by others, at least in theory. Documentation is needed.

  1. We should know the software or algorithm used to plot the image including any variables or settings used.
  2. The terminology “hidden scientific information” should be clarified. It is essential to understand how plotting software uses this data.
  3. Expose higher resolution images for examination if the work was done in higher resolution. While this image may be 800 pixels wide, the resolution is no better than 72 ppi. Ordinary books carry pictures at four times the number of pixels per inch.
  4. We should be able to see, in anaglyph form for comparison, the unadjusted, scientifically plotted part of the project so that we can judge for ourselves just how much of the final product is by way of adjustment.
  5. All adjustments made should be explained and justified.

It bothers me to think that these images will be used, as the pastor suggests, in presentations to show the 3D characteristics of the Shroud. These images are certainly being displayed in churches, in exhibits and on the internet without the qualification that this is art and not science. If that is so, it is most unfortunate.

On the other hand, if these images are truly scientific, then the unexplained screams out to be explained.

Don’t get me wrong. There is 3D data in the Shroud’s images. It is the most important quality for knowing that these are not images formed by reflected light as a painter would envision or a camera would capture a human form. The 3D data is a quality that must be accounted for in any hypothesis attempting to explain how the images were formed, be it miraculously, naturally, by fakery or even as honest art. Indeed, this quality, treated scientifically without various forms of electronic manipulation, sooner or later, may suggest how the images were formed.

Categories: Event, Presentation, Science

Funny that when it comes to the Shroud of Turin the carbon testing must be considered watertight scientific proof.

April 11, 2014 14 comments

imageMy favorite Episcopal priests turned Catholic priest, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, pictured here with his wife and four children, weighs in on the GJW (The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife):

However, clever folks on both sides could piece together any sort of saying of Jesus from the scrap we have here. The headline grabbing text seems to read, “Jesus said to them, “My wife…” Is Jesus referring to his wife? Theoretically it could be, but in the absence of any other evidence that Jesus was married, and going against the early text and 2000 years of tradition that he was not married this is unlikely. What might the rest of the text say? Perhaps Jesus was quoting another text about marriage thus, “My wife is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones said Adam…” or “My wife is also my sister and my mother in the Lord.” Who knows?

While it is interesting to follow the scholarship and the debate about this ancient manuscript, what also interests me is the way the secular press have handled it. First of all they have called it “the Jesus Wife Manuscript”. No doubt the headlines will blaze about how Jesus was married and we now have ancient proof for it. This will then become the popular scream. “Of course priests should marry. Jesus was married!!!” Another detail was in the Boston Globe story. The papyrus was carbon tested by one laboratory at 700 BC. So carbon testing can come up with a result that is clearly about a thousand years off? Funny that when it comes to the Shroud of Turin suddenly the carbon testing must be considered watertight scientific proof.

“Of course priests should marry. Jesus was married!!!”

Actually, I think so but not because of the GJW

Fr. Longenecker wants your help:

imageMy blog is part of my ministry and I have a wife and kids to support as well as run a busy parish. If you would like to help out financially you can make a donation through PayPal by hitting the "Donate" button below.

I knew there would be a way to work in a picture of the $2.2 million mansion that is the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. (Fr. Longenecker is not part of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.)

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Two Upcoming Shroud Encounters

April 11, 2014 Leave a comment

image

like tomorrow and the day after in Georgia

Come see this highly acclaimed presentation enhanced with over 200 dramatic images. It is a true CSI investigation revealing clues from science, history and scripture as the mystery is explored.

  • Saturday, April 12 at 7:00pm in EDT at Saint Monica Catholic Church, 1700 Buford Hwy, Duluth, GA (www.saintmonicas.com)

  • Sunday, April 13 at 7:00pm in EDT at Kingswood UMC Church, 5015 Tilly Mill Rd, Dunwoody, GA (kingswoodumc.org)

Categories: Event

More on the Carbon Dating of the GJW, ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ Fragment

April 11, 2014 2 comments

Christian Askeland has posted a very good analysis, Jesus’s Wife Resurrected from Dead, in the blog Evangelical Textual Criticism.

Radiocarbon Dating:

Using two labs, the GJW fragment and a Sahidic John fragment associated with the same papyri lot were carbon dated. The rounded 2-sigma ranges for the manuscripts are as follows:

 

GJohn

GJW

Harvard

640–800 CE

650–870 CE

Arizona

680–880 CE

410–200 BCE

</CENTER.

 

image

Only the Harvard report indicates the date of the test (14 March 2014); one might surmise that the second test was ordered after the extremely early date arrived from Arizona. Whatever the case, if one of the two GJW 14C dates were to be accurate, it would probably be the Harvard range (650–870 CE), which is corroborated by the related GJohn manuscript (chart above). Having said this, the result remains somewhat inconclusive. (δ13C levels were also higher than expected, suggesting contamination in all samples.)

So does this confirm the authenticity of the GJW? Such a late dating bulldozes King’s first appraisal of the manuscript as a fourth century witness. The GJW fragment under question is broken on all sides except the top, where apparently the modern forger cut the empty section off of a larger fragment which was in fact ancient. Carbon dating has no value for authenticating such a manuscript, although if the Ptolemaic date (410–200 BCE) offered by the Arizona AMS lab were accurate (of which I am not convinced), fraud would be certain.

Conclusion:

If a husband were to genetically test his children to determine whether his wife had been faithful, and the tests returned indicating that that the children could not conclusively be proven to not be his, would this assure him of his wife’s fidelity? Could he then, based upon these tests, be confident that he had indeed fathered the children? Karen King has produced no new evidence to authenticate this fragment.  On the contrary, her prior contentions that the GJW fragment was (1) part of a literary codex and (2) was fourth century are now indefensible.  Her method of argumentation was not self-critical or objective, but will doubtlessly be sufficient for those who already want to believe.

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