Archive for the ‘Other Blogs’ Category

Dear Colin: If you change your mind you are welcome back.

February 8, 2014 8 comments

imageFor the past two years, you have been a frequent participant in this blog. You have commented 1,294 times. Most of your comments have been comprehensive, thoughtful, and well written. Many of us disagree with you a lot, and that’s fine. It is only when we start insulting others that things get testy. Yes, you mostly start it. And yes, people return the favor.

You also maintains you own blog, The Shroud of Turin: medieval scorch? Separating the science from the pseudo-science… (formerly entitled, Shroud of Turin Without all the Hype). Oftentimes, I cover your own postings in your blog. I used to cover you more frequently but lately what you have been posting is mostly selected comments that have already appeared in this blog. Maybe that will change because as you wrote:

Firstly, I shall be wasting no more time on the site.

It is simply a mouthpiece (with some very mouthy contributors*) for the pro-authenticity, anti-radiocarbon dating agenda. Its host, Dan Porter,  is almost certainly a front man for a behind-the-scenes organization, probably hard-line Roman Catholic, despite his declaring himself  to be some kind of Anglican (Episcopalian). Or maybe it’s a soft-sell commercial operation. Who knows?

I had no idea. This organization is so behind-the-scenes that they have not told me. Shades of conspiracy thinking, is it?

I think this is the fourth or fifth times you have left vowing never to come back. C’est la vie, I guess. But if  you change your mind you are welcome back.  Really! And don’t stand on principle. None of us around here do.

You also wrote:

I would ask its host [that’s me] NOT to do cover posts on anything I post here in future.

Just as the news media doesn’t work that way, neither does social media. It would be analogous to a politician telling the New York Times not to cover him in the news because he doesn’t like what they write about him. 

There are some things you can do, however. You can customize your blogging template to include the following meta command:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow" />

If you do that, the search engines will eventually drop you from their results. This may take a few months because of the hundreds of comments you have placed in this blog. Google already knows too much about you. You must also stop using the promotional feeds. I see that you use Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit. Tumblr, LinkedIn. No good if you don’t want people to comment on what you write. Finally, you may want to issue user codes and passwords to those people you want to see your blog. If it is  1) in public space, 2) about the shroud and 3) newsworthy, it will or may be covered.

You wrote:

. . .  I’ll still be here,  ploughing my lonely furrow for what I  call genuine untainted  agenda-free science. There will be short shrift to those who continue to malign the radiocarbon dating scientists . . .

Colin, I’m not a scientist. In my world if someone announces and endorse the results of a study, be it scientific, historical, financial, etc., they are quite naturally endorsing the methods used. You can’t get away with saying the scientists in the radiocarbon dating labs merely tested the sample given to them. They knew about anomalies in the sample. If they didn’t know then they were not doing their job. Rogers put it well to Vatican Insider:

Asked whether he [Rogers] thought the authorities at Turin had been aware of such evidence as the 1978 photographs indicating that the corner of the Shroud from which they took the sample was unlike the rest of the cloth, Rogers responded that “it doesn’t matter if they ignored it or were unaware of it.  Part of science is to assemble all the pertinent data.  They didn’t even try.”

The threat of short shrift is noted. I guess you can write about my blog and I’m not supposed to cover yours. Is that it? You can criticize scientists left and right, but I am not supposed to? is that it?

You conclude:

So, time to move on. But to where and how?

I’ve decided to put together a lecture presentation, with no particular audience in mind as yet, one that summarises my thinking about the TS, especially the hot template/hot Templar angle. Yes, it’s all hypothesis, but I try wherever possible to accommodate as much of the available data (hard data that is) while keeping ideas testable in principle.

This is a real-time endeavour, and has been from the start just over 2 years ago. So I will be assembling that lecture in stages, directly underneath here, using my blog essentially as a work area.

That’s the nature of the exercise. I suspect this may be the first time a sustained scientific investigation has been carried out in real time on the internet. . . .

Categories: Other Blogs

Touching on the Byzantine legend that Jesus had a shorter leg and therefore was lame

February 6, 2014 38 comments

imageStephen Jones has just posted a continuation to his series, "The Shroud of Turin."  This is  part 25, "3.7. The man on the Shroud was buried (1)".

. . . the man on the Shroud’s left leg is bent, due to his left foot having been nailed over his right and it then remained fixed by rigor mortis in that crucifixion position[24].

This presumably is the source of the 11th century Byzantine legend that Jesus actually had one leg shorter than the other and therefore was lame[26]. And also the source of the strange design of the Russian orthodox cross, which has a footrest angled with the left side higher than the right which fits Christ’s perceived shorter left leg on the Shroud[27].

In a caption to the photograph shown on his blog (and here) Stephen writes:

[ . . . "The Adoration of the Cross," Second half of the 12th century, The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia, Cat No. 14245[28]. Since this icon is dated from the "second half of the 12th century", i.e. 1150-1200, and if its strange inclined cross footrest is based on the Shroud, then this is further evidence that the "medieval … AD 1260-1390"[29] radiocarbon date of the Shroud is wrong!]

Stephen continues:

As this form of the cross is universal among the Russians[30] it must date from the beginning of the national conversion to Christianity, when missionaries in 988 came from Constantinople[31]. But then the Shroud would have been in Constantinople in the tenth century[32]. Which agrees with Ian Wilson’s Mandylion/Shroud theory that the Shroud arrived in Constantinople in 944[33], folded eight times in the form of the Mandylion portrait[34].

Fascinating stuff. Better explained then I’ve read or heard it explained before. But there is just a bit too much ‘presumably’ – ‘and if its strange inclined cross’ – ‘it must date from’ – language of speculation to make me comfortable. To his credit Stephen uses this cautionary language and doesn’t carelessly make it sound like fact.

Categories: Art, History, Other Blogs

‘In Case You Missed It’ from STERA: Danusha Goska’s Thinking

February 6, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

Danusha Goska

Last night, Barrie Schwortz wrote on STERA’s Facebook page:

clip_image001IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… In the earlier days of the website, we sometimes published comments from our viewers, although that declined over the years as other online venues became available that allowed for more immediate interaction (like this Facebook page). Back in 2000 there was an ongoing debate about the work of Emily Craig, who believed the Shroud was an artwork. This stimulated a debate between Dr. Craig and Shroud scholars like Prof. Dan Scavone and Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr. One particular comment came from then Ph.D. candidate (and now Ph.D.) Danusha Goska. She brought a completely different perspective to the study of the Shroud that is still relevant today.

Click HERE to read the page on Or read it HERE along with some thoughts by Colin Berry in the blog at Paper Chase: Danusha Goska’s Untitled Essay when I quoted Danusha to respond to Colin two years ago (Colin was calling himself sciencebod at the time) – my gosh, that was two years ago.

Here are a couple of other posts regarding Danusha:

Categories: History, Other Blogs, Science

Ian Wilson to Speak on the Shroud of Turin in Melbourne

January 28, 2014 3 comments

imageIn an article, Shroud of Turin – Conversation & Controversy, appearing in The Culture Concept Circle, Carolyn McDowall writes:

Ian Wilson (1941 – ) is a prolific, internationally published author specializing in historical and religious mysteries. He graduated in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford, England, in 1963 and studied art at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art during the same period.

He continually and enthusiastically conducts wide-ranging research projects, both at home and around the world, often giving exciting, tantalizing talks, pushing the edges and boundaries of a subject.

[ . . . ]

On 9th February at 3pm at Melbourne, all interested parties are invited to hear Ian Wilson present a lecture Latest Researches into the Shroud’s History – New Approached and Intriguing New Developments.

He is sure to create a few waves, because he will be talking about The Shroud of Turin, which is one of the most controversial subjects and most studied artifacts in history.




New Official St. Louis Conference Website

January 28, 2014 4 comments


The design is excellent. Click HERE or on the above image to explore the site. There is an updates section that you will want to bookmark and visit frequently. For instance, you will note that . . .

Prof. Bruno Barberis Attending

The organizing committee extended an invitation to Prof. Bruno Barberis, Director of the International Center of Sindonology in Turin, and he has accepted.

We also already have preliminary commitments from six members of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP). Many other scientists and Shroud researchers are expected to attend. In addition to many new and exciting papers, roundtable discussions and open question & answer sessions are planned.

There is also a subscription mailing list for updates on the conference. The sign up form is conveniently located on every screen of the site in the lower right-hand corner.

Key dates to note for presenters:

  • Submission of Abstract:  15 April 2014
  • Acceptance/Rejection: 30 May 2014

Time Out: Interruption Interrupted

January 26, 2014 1 comment

imageIf you were holding your breath waiting for the next installment of Stephen Jones’  The case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud, relax: breath. He informs us:

Note. I have now realised that this topic is going to require a lot of research, which will distract me further from my series " The Shroud of Turin." So I am putting it on the backburner until I get to the topic in that series of the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, in "6. Science and the Shroud," which will be after I have covered "4. History of the Shroud" and "5. Art and the Shroud." That will enable me to then refer back to what Prof. Christopher Ramsey, Director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit admitted was the "lot of other evidence that suggests to many thatthe Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow":

"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information. Christopher Ramsey (March 2008)" ("The Shroud of Turin," Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Version 143 Issued 31/10/2013).

See: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Jones for a bit of background in this.

Photomicrographs and More at Mario Latendresse’s Sindonology

January 25, 2014 4 comments

O.K. writes:

I don’t know if you have seen what’s new on Mario’s webpage:

Besides, I would like to send those interesting pictures. The first one are Enrie photos from Wikipedia. The second one are processed in the ImageJ using Process>Find Edges function. Interesting as they outline no contours on the Shroud Image, as well as several folds.

Indeed. This is a nice and useful update. Check it out. And here are the pictures from O.K.:




Categories: Image Theory, Other Blogs

Paper Chase: A Wonderful, Rare Document from Father Weuncheal

January 19, 2014 3 comments

imageGiorgio Bracaglia has uploaded a new file, Doctor Hynek and the Holy Shroud by Edward A. Weunschel, C.SS.R., S.T.D.  to the website of the Holy Shroud Guild.

Giorgio calls it “a rare document from Father Weuncheal.” I might add the word wonderful, as well.

You may click HERE for direct PDF access if you are using Windows 8 and want to read the document with the Chrome browser or in desktop mode.

Categories: Other Blogs, Paper Chase

Paper Chase: Dorothy Crispino on The Fathers of American Sindonology

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Barrie Schwortz writes on STERA’s Facebook Page:

I am busy working away on our January 21st update but wanted to give you something to read in the meantime. This is a presentation made by Dorothy Crispino at the 1996 Esopus Conference in honor of Fr. Adam Otterbein, in which she details the beginnings of Sindonology in the U.S. – In case you missed it…

The Fathers of American Sindonology

In this place sixty odd years ago, a handful of Redemptorist priests recognized Christ in another effigy, and like the disciples at supper at Emmaus, they lost no time in spreading the news. Perhaps you remember how it started, here in this very building. How Father William Barry, a priest at the Mo…

Categories: Other Blogs, Paper Chase

Barrie Schwortz’ TEDx Talk Featured on NDE Site

January 12, 2014 8 comments

imageIf you have been following this blog you know about Barrie Schwortz’ TEDx Via della Conciliazione Talk (May 3, 2013). After that posting I featured Barrie’s talk in the right margin of the blog. You may have clicked on it there. Of course, you may have encountered it elsewhere such as Vatican News, the Catholic Herald and It is hosted on YouTube, which in and of itself is a powerful referral source.

I was fascinated to see the Barrie’s talk featured on NHNE Pulse, a blog as dedicated to Near Death Experiences as we are here to the Shroud of Turin. Go check out TEDx: Barrie Schwortz on The Shroud of Turin. And take some time to browse about as I am sure others, upon landing on, do for us.

NHNE lists this blog as a reference and I’ve touched on the subject of Near Death Experiences on occasion. There was Near Death Experiences and the Shroud of Turin? about Eben Alexander’s book featured in Newsweek and the Huffington Post. There was my quoting from John Klotz’s blog, Living Free in which he wrote:, the Internet equivalent of MSNBC has a lengthy article by a author of a book to be released next week entitled “Brain Wars.” It’s about Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE) and Near Death Experiences (NDE)

It is my position that the Shroud has a direct relationship to the issues raised.

And there was Akiane’s Jesus, Heaven is for Real and the Man in the Turin Shroud and Still More on Akiane’s Jesus, Heaven is for Real and the Man in the Shroud

It took years for me to be mostly convinced that the shroud is real. I’m still working on NDEs.

You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may

January 11, 2014 8 comments

imageIt is an attractive website: The Shroud of Turin for Children. But does it bother anyone that the following (brown background box below) appears on every single page?

It is one thing to toss around what we think we see as facts among adults who usually know how to take such claims with a grain of salt. It is another to tell children, definitively, that something had been placed around Jesus’ neck with three Hebrew letters and what that means.



“You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may,” is the famous line by Sam-I-Am in Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.

Danish blogger, Austin Sailbury, explains that “Green Eggs and Ham is about navigating life with an open mind and, at its best, it’s Seuss’ way of saying, ‘Don’t judge a book, or an egg—or a man—by its color.’”

Sadly, Dr. Soons takes a different approach with the shroud. What he should be saying is that some people see a ponytail on the man of the shroud. Others do not. Some people see lettering and it could mean this or that. So don’t believe everything you are told. Keep an open mind and you may learn how to judge what you see. In other words, make informed decisions. 

Is this a missed opportunity or is it a chance to fix a website soon?

Categories: Other Blogs

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Jones

January 10, 2014 14 comments

imageStephen Jones is starting a new “mini-series of posts, setting out the case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud . . .”

This is the last paragraph of part 1 of Stephen’s series:

. . .  I cannot prove that there was scientific fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, although I firmly believe that to be only viable explanation. All that I can do is to set out the evidence for: 1) what went wrong in that dating; 2) the bias and dishonesty of those involved in the dating; and 3) suggest various ways that scientific fraud might have occurred in that dating. And then leave it to the `men and women of the jury’, my readers, to make up their own minds, based on that evidence.

The preceding paragraph in Stephen’s posting is a quotation by Richard Feynman from his book, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty – a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid-not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, And how they worked-to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can-if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong-to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it … the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another … I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. (emphasis here is by Stephen)

But are we talking about fraud? Stephen is:

What do I mean by "fraud"? By "fraud" in this context I mean at least the definition of Broad and Wade [right in their book, Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science], of "making results appear just a little crisper or more definitive than they really are, or selecting just the `best’ data for publication and ignoring those that don’t fit the case": (bolding by Stephen)

This ‘mini-series’ sounds promising. Stephen isn’t joking and the title of this posting, being as it is a play on the title of Feynman’s most famous book, is meant as a full-throated compliment to Stephen, assuming he pulls it off.

Best Shroud of Turin Comment of the Day and it’s on Another Blog

January 9, 2014 3 comments

Confused, huh? It’s okay it happens. Let me help you out a little: When Mark says above that the truth claims of Christianity neither rise nor fall on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, what he means is "the truth claims of Christianity neither rise nor fall on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin". He’s a professional writer so sometimes he gets carried away on the flowery verbiage.

– AnsonEddy

imageThe commenter is talking about Mark Shea who is finding a naturalist explanation of the image miraculous. I’ve always thought that. But yes, I know, it is an a priori sandwich.

Mark Shea says in Shroud of Turin Dated… over at Patheos:

For some, the notion that there is a naturalistic explanation for the Shroud deprives it of a divine origin.  Me: I find myself thinking, “Out of all the millions of people who have lived and died, it seems like more than luck that only Jesus of Nazareth should have his image preserved.”

And I can’t help but think that atheists of the gaps sense rather the same connection, since they spend so much time attempting the hopeless task of writing it off as what it obviously is not: a “medieval forgery”.

Categories: Other Blogs

Paper Chase: The Role of the Internet in the Future of Shroud Research way back in 1998

January 5, 2014 4 comments

imageBarrie Schwortz writes on STERA’s Facebook page:

With the 18th anniversary of coming up on January 21, 2014, I thought you might like to read the paper I presented in Turin in June 1998 (when the website was only 2 years old) that shared my vision of how the internet could play an important role in future Shroud research. I just read it again for the first time in 16 years and it is somewhat dated, but you might find it interesting. Here it is, in case you missed it:

I am sure that I speak for most of us when I say thank you, Barrie. And congratulations for having your outstanding vision, your dedication to excellence and your perseverance in the face of a lot of difficult work. You made it happen.

Today, if we type “Shroud of Turin” into a Google search box, we discover that there are about . . .

  • 869,000 webpages (HTML and PDF, many among dedicated websites)
  • 247,000 videos (admittedly many duplicates)
  • 144,000 blog postings
  • countless images (and countless copies)

Barrie, your website is a treasure trove. And, but and so too is everything about the shroud found elsewhere on the internet. You didn’t create all of that material, Barrie. But in one way or another you inspired it – you inspired us. I regret to inform you, however, are not allowed to tire or retire. You have been too successful to allow that to happen.

Categories: Other Blogs, People

What did Stephen Jones just say?

January 2, 2014 21 comments


Stephen Jones is also commenting on Rep. Rebecca Hamilton’s article 2013 Favs: New Tests Date the Shroud from the Time of Christ in Patheos. Stephen writes:

But as I wrote in my post, "Shroud of Turin News, October 2013:

"But if the Shroud is a deliberate fraud, then it would almost certainly be a work of Satan, and no Church that calls itself Christian should be promoting a deliberate fraud (much less a work of Satan)!"

So I for one do not believe that the Risen Lord Jesus, who sits at the Father’s right hand and controls everything . . . would allow such a convincing fake as the Shroud would then be, to exist.

So 2013 was a great year for the Shroud. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for us Shroud pro-authenticists in 2014?

“So I for one . . . ” is clearly the most profoundly interesting  Shroud of Turin quotation for 2014, so far.

Categories: News & Views, Other Blogs

Happy New Year from STERA

December 29, 2013 2 comments


This just popped up on STERA’s Facebook page. Thanks, Barrie.

This presents us with a chance to wish the same to Barrie Schwortz and the Board of Directors of STERA.

2014:  Two significant shroud conferences are scheduled and I think we can expect a major new book on the Shroud of Turin. 

BTW: STERA is easy to find on Facebook. Simply type in

Categories: Other Blogs

A Christmas Posting by John Klotz

December 24, 2013 Leave a comment

clip_image001John Klotz has posted A Blessed Christmas from Boris Pasternak on his blog.

This painting by Domenico di Bartolo (1400–1447) is one of many portrayals of the ‘Our Lady of Humility’ genre often associated with the text,

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold from henceforth all generation shall call me blessed.

I thought it fitting. For more information see the description page at Wikimedia commons.

Categories: Other Blogs

Building A House on .Argumentum ad Ignorantiam

December 22, 2013 47 comments

imageWe do not order our lives by proof
beyond reasonable doubt.

– John Klotz

Earlier this morning, Fr. Duncan (+Dunk) responded to daveb who had made the point in a comment that nobody knows how the image was formed (see I agree. I agree. I agree. Mostly.). He wrote:

In one form or another it is the most used argument for the Holy Shroud’s authenticity: nobody knows how the image was formed therefore it is real.

Well, hmm! I would probably say, since we are talking about authenticity, nobody knows how the image was forged or faked or artistically created. And then yes, I would agree, the argument is used frequently. Philosophically, I don’t like it. We are voicing classic Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (argument from ignorance). Nonetheless, I find myself using the argument with the shroud. It seems true.

In 1963, John Walsh wrote:

The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Christ in existence…or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever products of the human mind and hand on record…it is either one or the other, there is no middle ground.

And we weren’t clever enough to figure out how it might have been manmade so many of us found ourselves agreeing it was real. We still do. Can such logic be defended? Stephen Jones is one of the few people to tackle this question and he has done so very effectively. In a posting, Shroud of Turin News, October 2013. Stephen began by  quoting Jonathan Pitts of The Baltimore Sun saying:

To believers, the Shroud of Turin, as it’s known, is the cloth that cloaked the body of Jesus before his planned burial. To skeptics, it’s a hoax conjured up to sell Christianity or draw tourists.

And then responding:

The “skeptics” (who are themselves “believers” in the Shroud’s non-authenticity) have no evidence that the Shroud was “a hoax conjured up to sell Christianity or draw tourists”. They cannot cogently explain: Who conjured it up? How was it conjured up? When was it conjured up? Why can’t they conjured it up (i.e. make a convincing replicate copy of the whole Shroud)? The “skeptics” (so-called) cannot even agree on how the Shroud was “conjured up”. As Ian Wilson concluded after reviewing all the major sceptical theories of how the Shroud was forged:

“Yet ingenious as so many of these ideas are, the plain fact is that they are extremely varied and from not one of them has come sufficient of a groundswell of support to suggest that it truly convincingly might hold the key to how the Shroud was forged – if indeed it was forged.” (Wilson, I., “The Blood and the Shroud,” 1998, p.10-11).

Quoting Pitts again:

It has been studied by everyone from theologians to NASA historians, and still, no one knows. “The shroud is the most analyzed artifact in history, yet it’s still the world’s greatest unsolved mystery,”

Stephen follows through with:

This alone is effectively proof that the Shroud is authentic. It is an important qualification of the usual “argument from ignorance”, that if something should have been discovered by qualified investigators but hasn’t been, that “absence of proof of its occurrence” is “positive proof of its non-occurrence”:

Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (argument from ignorance)… A qualification should be made at this point. In some circumstances it can safely be assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence for it would have been discovered by qualified investigators. In such a case it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its nonoccurrence. Of course, the proof here is not based on ignorance but on our knowledge that if it had occurred it would be known. For example, if a serious security investigation fails to unearth any evidence that Mr. X is a foreign agent, it would be wrong to conclude that their research has left us ignorant. It has rather established that Mr. X is not one. Failure to draw such conclusions is the other side of the bad coin of innuendo, as when one says of a man that there is `no proof’ that he is a scoundrel. In some cases not to draw a conclusion is as much a breach of correct reasoning as it would be to draw a mistaken conclusion.” (Copi, I.M., “Introduction to Logic,” 1986, pp.94-95. Emphasis original).

Stephen then concludes:

Similarly, if the Shroud were a 14th century or earlier fake, the science of the 20th-21st century should have discovered that by now (see below on the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud to 1260-1390 is itself a fake!). So that absence of proof by modern science that the Shroud is a fake, after 35 plus years of intensive scientific study of the Shroud, is positive proof that the Shroud is not a fake!

Okay. That is unless we missed something. How do you evaluate that possibility?

That is all fine and good until argument from ignorance logic turns into a building foundation:

Myra Adams, in a recent article, Jesus `most significant person ever’ in new research study, (and see my posting, How the Shroud Becomes Part of the Conversation) stated:

. . . that is why [=Jesus’ significance] the mysterious Shroud, which could prove Christ’s physical resurrection – the foundation of Christianity, is still an open and active cause célèbre among believers in Jesus’ divinity and members of the scientific community who continue to study the Shroud and remain intrigued by its unique properties.

which resulted in a swift and direct reaction from Stephen:

The Shroud of Turin already has proved, beyond reasonable doubt, Christ’s physical resurrection and therefore that Christianity is true. But that does not mean that that proof cannot continue to be unreasonably denied, by those (including some Christians) who don’t like the implications of there being scientific proof that Christianity is true.

So am I a denier? And, apparently, I don’t like the implications of there being scientific proof that Christianity is true? Has a weak argument from ignorance become the basis for saying that we have “scientific proof that Christianity is true?”

Fear the person who has no doubt. Witness George Armstrong Custer.

– John Klotz

December’s Flippancy Award: What Would Jesus Do?

December 22, 2013 1 comment

clip_image001From the Bicycle Story blog:

Little is known about the All-Powerful Bicycle Lobby (APBL). In fact, until the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz made a video last Spring lamenting the APBL’s efforts to “begrime” New York City with Citi Bikes, few people (if any) knew that the group existed. Exactly who they are and the extent to which they influence the world’s affairs remains unclear. But, I had the rare opportunity to interview the APBL and help shed light on their dark conspiracy. In it we discuss their history, their slow and steady reshaping of the free world, their end game, and much more.

Your shadowy organization remained a secret until Dorothy Rabinowitz exposed you in her screed against New York’s bike share this year. How did she discover the truth?

We think it might have had something to do with the 6,000 bright blue bicycles we placed on just about every corner of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Wealthy New Yorkers can ignore all kinds of things—from homeless children to the fact that most of the city’s public schools and hospitals are being demolished and replaced with luxury condominiums—but apparently bicycles are a bridge too far. Looking back, we realize we could have taken a more subtle approach in our attempt to secretly turn New Amsterdam back into Amsterdam. But it’s like Oprah always tells us at our weekly poker games, “Go big or go home, shitheads.”

How long has the APBL been asserting its influence on the world?

We don’t have official records, but we recently uncovered research proving that the Shroud of Turin was actually a towel that Jesus used after he completed his first century ride. (When anyone tells us that biking in sandals isn’t safe, we typically tell them that we actually know what Jesus would do.)

Categories: Humor, Other Blogs

Another Christmas Card

December 21, 2013 1 comment

imageSpotted this on The Holy Shroud Guild Facebook page.


And our prayers are with you.
Merry Christmas


Categories: Other Blogs

Well, no. You can’t call him a Catholic Wingnut. Wingnut? Yes!

December 15, 2013 8 comments

imageFrom Ed Brayton’s (pictured) Dispatches from the Culture Wars, we have this (Ed’s okay. A professional comedian who while mocking religion of any kind is just self-deprecating enough to not talk down as he does so):

My favorite Catholic wingnut, Matt Wykoff, is once again sending me unsolicited emails that are stuff to the brim with the bizarre and the deranged. This may be my favorite claim of all: That the Shroud of Turin is authentic and that “there was no entropy during the formation of the image.” I have no idea what that could possibly mean. He doesn’t either, of course. Here’s the first screed:

1. Just as Geocentrism is scientifically irrefutable : Science demonstrates the Resurrection and Crucifixion of the Almighty God and Lord Jesus Christ and that is the One and Only True God. Easter really is the most scientific thing there is. There is Absolutely No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church see the central truths of Christianity – the miraculous Life, Miracles, Death, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of God Lord Jesus Christ are scientifically demonstrated. Science absolutely proves the Life, Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of the Our Lord Jesus Christ (the Christian one and not the Protestant one who doesn’t even exist and is maybe perhaps imaginary or just an evil spirit). Both the Spiritual/Sacred and physical/natural sciences prove this. In the post script I’ll deal only with the physical science part of it.

[ . . . ]

3. The STURP Team (The Shroud of Turin Research Project) said that the body had to be weightless during the formation of the image and that there was no entropy during the formation of the image. Nobel Prize winning physicist Dame Isabel Piczek also said that physics prove that the body was floating between the top and bottom part of the 2 sides of the Shroud when the intense burst and flash of the light of the Resurrection occurred. . . . These elite scientists on earth (STURP) spent over 150,000 man hours studying the Shroud with the most advanced technology in science today.


Dame Piczek was a Nobel Prize winning physicist? I don’t to this day know is she was a physicist or a scientist of any kind. Did Wykoff mean ‘most elite scientists on earth’?

Matt Wykoff then forgets about the shroud and drifts from one unreality to another unreality:

According to the famous web-traffic ranker, ( is the highest-ranked traditional Catholic website in the world. Note that it’s not just the highest-ranked sedevacantist website in the world (which is true by far), but (or has the highest ranking of all ‘traditional Catholic’ websites in the world.

[ . . . ]

Christian armies are amazing. No wonder you have interest in “faith based” military operations. No wonder you want to know more about them. They whipped the pants off of the united states, Jews, England, and Soviet Russia and 50 other nations during the Spanish Civil War. They also whipped the pants off the of the united states during the Mexican revolutionary war. Your America sent armies down there and also weapons, aircraft, artillery, and machine guns and also raped 14 year old Mexican Catholic females who were coming out of catechism classes.

I’d forgotten all about this Beavis and Butthead monastery. Last year, I published a posting, The Sedevacantist Monk and his YouTube Shroud of Turin video. I mentioned that Br. Dimond, a self-proclaimed "Benedictine monk" is one of a two-person Sedevacantism monastic sect.  The other member is his sibling-brother Peter. (Is Matt Wykoff a third monk or merely a fan?) These guys claim that the papacy has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. From the two/three-person "Most Holy Family Monastery" they claim that Pope John Paul I was murdered by Masons and Communists who infiltrated the Vatican. They claim the Chair of Peter is still empty. And, as one might imagine, they claim many other things from their website at and

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone. Matt Wykoff is a Protestant Wingnut.

Categories: Other Blogs, Tinfoil Hats

Update: Hugh Farey Takes Over as BTST Editor

December 14, 2013 1 comment

imageBack in mid-September, David Rolfe wrote to let us know that Hugh Farey [Was taking] Over as BSTS Newsletter Editor. Now we know what he looks like. And we have more information through a new entry at

We recently reported that the BSTS Newsletter was in danger of extinction unless a new editor could be found, so you can imagine how very pleased we are to announce that a new editor has indeed been found in the form of BSTS Member Huge Farey. In a recent message to the online Shroud Science Group, Hugh introduced himself. With his permission, here is what he said:

"…I have been Head of Science in a Catholic school in England for nearly 40 years, and frequently find myself at the cutting edge of the Science vs. Religion debate. I have been interested in the Shroud for most of my life, and began seriously researching and experimenting about a year ago, inspired by David Rolfe’s organising of a BSTS meeting featuring the Art Historian Thomas de Wesselow.

"I do not have a website of my own, but contribute frequently to, and Shroud related threads on other sites. If I had to define my particular sphere of involvement, I wouldn’t select an academic field such as History, Chemistry or Art, but rather the methodology underlying all of them; an insistence on primary sources, a tolerance of opposing opinions, and a clear explanation of whatever conclusions are drawn. I hope this will assist me in editing the BSTS newsletter…"

We want to welcome Hugh and extend our best wishes to him in his new task as editor. We look forward to working with him to keep the BSTS Newsletter alive and well (and available online) far into the future! Watch for the next issue of the BSTS Newsletter in our January 21, 2014 Eighteenth Anniversary update.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 510 other followers

%d bloggers like this: