Archive for the ‘News & Views’ Category

A “Y” Shaped Crucifixion According to the Shroud of Turin?

April 2, 2014 9 comments

presented his results at a meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences
in Seattle in February

<<< YouTube Link >>>

Linda Geddes writing today in New Scientist Magazine:

Borrini wanted to know if the "bloodstains" on the left arm, the clearest ones, were consistent with the flow of blood from the wrist of a crucified person. So he asked Luigi Garlaschelli of the University of Pavia, Italy, to assume different crucifixion postures, while a cannula attached to his wrist dribbled donated blood down his arm.

They found that the marks on the shroud did correspond to a crucifixion, but only if the arms were placed above the head in a "Y" position, rather than in the classic "T" depiction. "This would have been a very painful position and one which would have created difficulty breathing," says Borrini. Someone crucified in this way may have died from asphyxiation. Borrini presented his results at a meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Seattle in February.

Borrini says similar positions were used during medieval torture, but in those cases the victims were suspended from a beam by binding their wrists with rope, rather than using nails.

The results confirm earlier experiments by Gilbert Lavoie, a Massachusetts-based doctor, that suggested a Y-shaped crucifixion. "The blood-flow is absolutely consistent with what you see on the Shroud," Lavoie says. He described his studies in Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud.

"The imprint on the Shroud does not correspond with many traditional artistic images of crucifixion," says Niels Svensson, a doctor in Maribo, Denmark, who has also studied the Shroud.

Categories: News & Views, Science

Part 2: Barrie Schwortz on Roy Schoeman’s Salvation is from the Jews Radio Show

April 2, 2014 8 comments

Easy Direct Links on Radio Maria

Part 1

Part 2

imageBarrie writes on the STERA Facebook page:

Here’s a link to Part 2 of my appearance on Roy Schoeman’s radio program, Salvation is from the Jews:

Apparently, my comment in Part 1 when I referred to certainevidence as "anecdotal at best" upset some people, which is never my intent. However, I always feel obligated to answer as honestly as I can and recognize and accept that some people may strongly disagree with my personal conclusions. I came to accept the Shroud as authentic because of the scientific evidence alone. Some of it is published in credible journals and carries more weight than others. That is not to say that anecdotal evidence is any less important in the overall study of the Shroud. It just doesn’t meet the same scientific standards. It is nothing personal. That is just how it is.

When I am speaking publicly I am simply voicing my own personal opinions, based on 38 years of involvement and study of the Shroud. As a witness and direct participant in the events themselves, my perspective is undoubtedly different from most. Still, disagreement is normal in science and can often lead to great advancements in knowledge. So let’s just agree to disagree from time to time. After all, we ARE talking about the Shroud of Turin!


Previous Posting: Barrie Schwortz on Roy Schoeman’s Salvation is from the Jews Radio Show

The Holy Grail Found in Spain?

April 2, 2014 11 comments

imageDateline: Tues, April 1, 2014, Mark Piggott for the International Business Times (IBTimes). Headline: After Two Thousand Years – Has Holy Grail Been Found? (note the question mark):

Two historians claim they have proof that the ‘Holy Grail‘ – the onyx goblet from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper – has been discovered at a little museum in Leon, northern Spain. Ironically for such a mystical object, whose very name has become synonymous with impossible searches, it was on public display the whole time – right under the public’s nose.

Covered in emeralds, pearls, sapphires and amethysts, the mediaeval chalice has sat on display at the Basilica of San Isidoro in Leon for a thousand years. In a new book, ‘Kings of the Grail’, historians Margarita Torres and Jose Ortiza del Rio say there is ‘no doubt’ that hidden inside the chalice is the very cup that touched the lips of Jesus – and they claim to have unearthed two "ancient scrolls" from Egypt to prove it.

The story had legs; the usual: The Daily Mirror, the New York Daily News, Yahoo (the paragraphs above are in Yahoo echo-land. Did you also note the date, April Fools Day? Some people did.

Sachin Trivedl, also IBTimes writes:

Both "Indana Jones" and Dan Brown may be wrong. A church in Spain reportedly had to remove a precious cup on display after some historians claimed that it was in fact the Holy Grail. Sceptics however are not convinced and wonder if it’s a coincidence that it was found on April Fools’ Day.

According to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald, the church which had the cup is located in San Isidro basilica, northwestern city of Leon in Spain. People flocked to the small room to get a glimpse of the cup and the curators later decided to remove the cup from the small room as they search for a bigger place for the display.

The buzz around the cup was created after two historians Margarita Torres and Jose Manuel Ortega del Rio claimed that the cup was the Holy Grail in their book "Kings of the Grail." The book was published last week.

People who came to know about it on April 1 wonder if this was some coincidence that the Holy Grail may have been found on April Fools’ Day. Many still remain sceptical about it while believers continue to flock to the church to get a glimpse.

The cup is made of agate, gold and onyx. It also has precious stones encrusted on it. The cup has been made by joining two goblets together. One of the goblets was known to belong to the Infanta Dona Urraca, daughter of Fernando I, King of Leon.

Reactions are pouring in from the social media about the news. Some have pointed out that Dan Brown may have got it wrong in book "The Da Vinci Code" and the Holy Grail may be real. . . .

That would make Dan Scavone wrong, too. He (sort of) thinks that the Shroud of Turin may be the Holy Grail and that it never was a cup. See: Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and the Turin Shroud

In 1978, Ian Wilson published a surprising break-through in the history of the Turin Shroud: that the Edessa icon was in fact unfolded to reveal the Shroud still in Turin today. It was the latter that "disappeared," according to Robert of Clari, after the fall of Constantinople in 1204, the same that reappeared in Lirey about 1355 in possession of Geoffroy de Charny.

The present hypothesis reinforces Wilson’s discovery, and it tentatively identifies the Turin Shroud as the real object that inspired the romances of the Holy Grail.


Categories: History, News & Views

Go to Alamogordo and Decide

April 1, 2014 1 comment

imageNeala Schwartzberg writing Is the Shroud of Turin Real? Visit the exhibit and decide. in (and it was headlined by the World News Network,

The Shroud of Turin has been described as the greatest relic in Christendom, but it is permanently stored in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. However, in a bit down-at-the-heels shopping center in Alamogordo is a remarkable exhibit devoted to the Shroud which might be the next best thing to a visit to Turin. It comes with the added benefit of extensive research and documentation about this extraordinary relic.

[ . . . ]

The researchers concluded that there are no answers to the question of how the image was produced, or what produced the image. Now, despite all technology, it remains a mystery.

No answers. Now you have to read my other posting, today, The Shroud that Defies Scientific Explanation (Part 2)

Developing a Hacking Theory

April 1, 2014 23 comments

clip_image001Stephen Jones in a posting on his blog, Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Further to my replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey has investigated the console computers used in Oxford and Arizona. For each he writes, it “CERTAINLY was programmable and therefore HACKABLE!”

Though I am so far utterly skeptical of his hacking theory, I am glad he is doing some necessary research.

Categories: Hacking, Other Blogs

The Shroud that Defies Scientific Explanation (Part 2)

April 1, 2014 20 comments

imageSetup 1: Last December, John Klotz in a comment to Charles Freeman wrote:

. . . Usually, the argument is that science demands absolute answers and legal standards such as beyond reasonable doubt do not apply in the august chambers of science. I think that’s nonsense of course. As I have written: “We do not order our lives by proof beyond reasonable doubt.” I also have written: “Fear the person who has no doubt. Witness George Armstrong Custer.”

Setup 2: As part of a comment yesterday, Jason Engwer wrote:

Sometimes it’s objected that classifying the Shroud image as a miracle, or associating it with a miracle, would bring about an end to scientific investigation of the image. I don’t see why that would be the case. People often continue to investigate something they consider miraculous. I wouldn’t want scientific investigation ended. I’d encourage people to keep investigating the image. And the people who aren’t convinced that the image is miraculous would keep on investigating it regardless of what other individuals believe. I doubt there are many people who want an end to the investigation. The more the Joe Nickells and Luigi Garlaschellis of the world fail to duplicate the image, the more my view of the matter is strengthened. Keep it up! And if I’m wrong about the image’s miraculous nature, or if there’s some natural means of duplicating an image that was created by some other means that was miraculous, I want to know that. I don’t want an end of the investigation.

The bold emphasis above is mine. I must add Colin Berry’s name to this. He’s earned his wings and his name will forever be repeated around the high-back tables of shroudie watering holes.

Setup 3: It was back in December last year that Fr. Duncan (+Dunk) responded to daveb who was at the time discussing the point that nobody knows how the image was formed (see I agree. I agree. I agree. Mostly.):

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.

I would probably say, since we are talking about authenticity, that nobody knows how the image was forged or manmade, and then, yes, I must agree that the argument is used frequently. Philosophically, I don’t like it. It is classic Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (argument from ignorance). Nonetheless, I find myself sometimes using it with the shroud. It seems so true.

But, but and but:

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 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 reaction from Stephen Jones:

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.

I was taken aback a bit by that. I think the shroud is real. I’m still reluctant to say that its authenticity is proven even as I agree (though dragged along kicking and screaming) with John Klotz’ wise words above. And I must agree with Jason Engwer that investigating must go on. Does that make me a denier? Is it true that I don’t like the implications “of there being scientific proof that Christianity is true.” ? No, of course not.

Let’s consider how Stephen cleverly explored this problem in his blog last October. In a posting, Shroud of Turin News, October 2013. Stephen began by  quoting Jonathan Pitts of The Baltimore Sun:

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, Stephen responded:

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, Stephen writes:

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,"

We can forgive Pitts for the NASA historians faux pas. 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!

Absence of proof equals positive proof? Ouch!

Which of course brings us back to John and Jason. There is, however, one more rock to look under. And isn’t that also the definition of insanity.

Categories: News & Views, Science

The Shroud that Defies Scientific Explanation?

March 31, 2014 7 comments

imageDoug Erickson, writing in the Wisconsin State Journal reports on a talk given by Larry Shapiro [pictured], a philosophy professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison:

Larry Shapiro isn’t interested in arguing over whether there is a God or not.

But if you ground your belief in God on a belief in miracles, then the UW-Madison philosophy professor has a problem.

“Belief in miracles is irrational given the evidence to date — you don’t have the reasons you need,” Shapiro told about 150 people at a recent public talk on campus, part of an ongoing series in which UW-Madison philosophers tackle contemporary issues.

[ . . . ]

“In every case of a reported miracle, it’s always more surprising to think that the miracle actually happened than it is to think the testimony is false, for whatever reason,” he said. “It could be the person testifying to the existence of the miracle was hallucinating, was drunk, didn’t understand what she was seeing, was lying, whatever the reason.”

This speaks to the credibility of the witness or witnesses, another important notion, Shapiro said. In order to believe in the purported resurrection of Jesus Christ, for instance, a reliable source is critical, he said. Yet the Gospels were written decades after the purported resurrection by unknown authors, and the scribes who eventually copied the original documents were sometimes illiterate or had religious agendas and would adapt the documents they copied as they saw fit, he said.

imageThis letter to the editor (yes, there still are letters to the editors) from James L. Carney caught my attention because it mentioned the shroud:

Regarding Sunday’s In the Spirit column, "Belief in miracles ‘irrational,’ UW philosophy professor says," professor Larry Shapiro’s argument that belief in miracles is irrational rests upon two assertions.

First, inexplicable things that happen actually have some natural explanation but we haven’t figured it out yet. And second, there is no plausible evidence of miraculous events. The first argument is silly and the second one is false.

Just because primitive people put spiritual labels on medical conditions or events that have a natural cause does not mean there are not inexplicable occurrences that defy logic. For example, the Shroud of Turin is a religious artifact that defies scientific explanation for the time and place of occurrence, and even today for that matter.

The New Testament provides plenty of proof of miraculous events, especially and including the resurrection of Christ. These reports were given by eyewitnesses and verified by people who suffered torture and death in defense of their testimony.

There is no proof there were not earlier reports before the mid to late first century. Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

There are thousands of documented near death experiences that defy rational explanation that excludes the existence of a supernatural soul.

Defies scientific explanation, is that good enough? How often we try to get away with that. Look for me to make this question into another two or three postings.

John Klotz Wants Your Feedback

March 30, 2014 25 comments


As my friend John Klotz draws near to the end of the book he is writing on the Shroud of Turin, he is asking again for some feedback on one part of what will be Chapter 16.  He has posted some of the text in his own blog, Quantum Christ.  Please have a look at The Triumph of Love and comment here or over on his blog.

This book has defined God as the primordial consciousness which birthed the cosmos. In attempting to unlock the mystery of creation of both the Universe and our own consciousness, we have to rely on such objective facts as we can ascertain and the inferences and conclusion we can draw from them. The written Gospels are in themselves material facts whatever their veracity. So too is the Shroud of Turin. Can these material facts help us untangle the Gordian knot of our own existence. Do they in fact verify each other?

And he

Categories: Books, Other Blogs

Stephen Jones’ Revised Hacking Theory Part I is Available

March 29, 2014 24 comments

Darn. Stephen left out two of my favorite historical items:
1) The Hymn of the Pearl and 2) The Mozarabic Rite. 

clip_image001Stephen Jones is up with Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #1.

. . . this is part #1 of my revised proposal that the three radiocarbon dating laboratories, Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, which in 1988 dated the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval … AD 1206-1390," may have been duped by a computer hacker.

Well, there is nothing so far to justify the speculation of a computer hacker. It will be interesting to see where he goes with it, now being forced to revise his thinking after seeing emails to Hugh Farey from two of the three lab directors.

Has he determined if the AMS Control Consoles at all three labs had programmable computers that could have been hacked to conceal real carbon dating results from the scientists. We’ll see.

Anyways, Stephen has provided us with some historic information to consider.

Nice new picture of Stephen.

So, even without knowing how the shroud was faked, it’s obvious that someone did fake it?

March 29, 2014 4 comments

imageA week ago or so, David Kyle Johnson, an associate professor of philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania, wrote a three part posting in his blog, A Logical Take hosted on the website of  the popular newsstand magazine, Psychology Today.

  1. Let Go of the Shroud Part I: The Shroud of Turin: It’s obviously fake
  2. Let Go of the Shroud Part II: The Shroud of Turin: Examining the evidence
  3. Let Go of The Shroud Part III: The Shroud of Turin: It’s Just Bad Science

After some first takes by way of a few comments here, we may need to parse out some of his arguments into separate posts. This is largely an poorly informed attack.

What was the name of his blog? A Logical Take? Is this not a straw man fallacy . . .

Shroud enthusiasts—“shroudies,” as they like to be called—insist that the image on the shroud was produced by some kind of energy (like radiation) emitted by Jesus’s body as he rose.

. . . with a touch of Ignoratio elenchi and a whole lot of oversimplification?

So what about those shroudies that insist otherwise?  He might have gotten away with that statement, though, if he had not gone on:

. . . But the image on the shroud could not be produced by such an event. (A) Radiation can’t leave an image in cloth. (B) Even if it could, since radiation emits in all directions, at best it would just leave a blurry silhouette, not a clear cut face with features. (C) Even if it could produce a clear cut face with features, that face would be distorted. A cloth wrapped around someone’s head lays flat against their nose, eye sockets and ears. If someone’s face somehow ‘radiated’ and recorded an image on such a cloth, when flattened out the cloth would depict whole representations of each part—nose, eye socket, and ears—all pointing in the same direction. Needless to say, this is not what the shroud depicts.

So, even without knowing how the shroud was faked, it’s obvious that someone did fake it. Honestly, this should be enough to convince any fair open-minded person. Of course, nothing I say will convince the “true believer,” so I might as well just stop here. But there is a lot more to the story. So next time we’ll look at the evidence, and even discover how the shroud was likely faked.

And he tells us in his blog that he is attacking pseudoscience. Does he know what he is talking about?

By the way, David Kyle Johnson’s link, Radiation can’t leave an image in cloth, is a link to Colin Berry’s site. Did our philosopher friend read or understand what the chemist Colin Berry actually wrote? Methinks not.

Mark Antonacci on local St. Louis Television

March 27, 2014 2 comments

imageHe recently  appeared on local St. Louis, Missouri, station KSDK. He is still telling people that Pope Francis has a Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. He does not!  Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) attended a technical secondary school, Escuela Nacional de Educación Técnica N° 27 Hipólito Yrigoyen. There, he earned a chemical technician’s diploma, essentially, a high school diploma with a trade school proficiency as a chemical laboratory technician. For some time after that he worked for Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory as a technician. He did not study chemistry in academia.

And he is still promoting his petitioning of Pope Francis for testing that has yet to be shown valid for what he proposes. On this site, last September, he wrote, astoundingly:

[T]hese procedures could test every explanation for the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating and answer all the mysteries surrounding the Shroud.

In a strange PRWEB press release, “Many of World’s Religious Problems Could be Resolved by Molecular and Atomic Testing on the Shroud of Turin,” Monograph Publishing of St. Louis, Missouri stated last May that . . .

Religious beliefs have caused more conflicts, hatred and war than any other factor in the history of mankind, with the number of conflicts and their potential for nuclear destruction increasing at an alarming rate. Shroud of Turin expert, Mark Antonacci, contends that scientific information acquired by modern technology could lessen or eliminate this historic problem.

A wide variety of religions exist throughout the world today as they have throughout history. The reason there has always been such a wide variety is because there has never been objective and independent evidence to support the central premises of these religions. Until now.

Until now?

A leading hypothesis published in Scientific Research and Essays in 2012 asserts that particle radiation was emitted from the length and width of Jesus’ dead body while he was wrapped in the Shroud, and it was this “event” which caused the unique images on the cloth. Molecular and atomic testing could prove that hypothesis to be true. If, on the other hand, it did not provide such proof, it would not mean that the Shroud is a fake – it would simply mean that this particular hypothesis is incorrect. If unfakable and independent evidence was obtained to confirm this hypothesis however, it could actually be used to analyze the central premises of various religions throughout history and in our world today.

Objective and independent evidence does not exist to prove the central premises of any other religion, agnosticism or atheism. In contrast, the Shroud of Turin could provide thousands of unfakable items of scientific and medical evidence to prove the central premises of Christianity. This new, incomparable evidence could lessen or remove the underlying bases for many of the world’s ongoing wars and conflicts. The world has everything to gain and nothing to lose by the proposed molecular and atomic testing of the Shroud of Turin.

[ . . . ]

Antonacci is currently petitioning Pope Francis, who has a masters degree in chemistry, to allow further, non-invasive testing of this burial cloth.

Note the terminology: non-invasive. Mark,however, is now calling for invasive testing, albeit minimally so. He changed the rules of the game after about half of the people signed the petition. All those people who signed up in support of non-invasive testing now find themselves, involuntarily, signature supporters of invasive testing. Is that honest?

It had been on November 1, last years, that Charles Freeman noticed that the title of Mark Antonacci’s petition read, “We Request That Pope Francis Allow Sophisticated and Minimally Scientific Testing to be Performed on the Shroud of Turin.”

“Minimally scientific.” It was good for a laugh or two and the mistake seemed innocent enough. It was quickly corrected. Ellie Jones, who apparently is associated with Mark, let us know:

This was definitely an error in the typing of the headline of the petition. The petition has been corrected to reflect minimally-INVASIVE, not minimally-scientific. The petition was updated a week ago and the word invasive was inadvertently omitted.

Is it not highly unusual to change a petition’s wording and meaning after many people have signed it?

Oh well, it won’t matter much. So far 322 people have signed the petition in about a year. The stated goal on the petition is 50,000 signatures. He has a way to go.

Oh, did we mention that the leading hypothesis published in Scientific Research and Essays was written by Mark and the Scientific Research and Essays is a pay-to-play vanity journal. The very notion that this article was peer-reviewed seems amazing. See: Particle radiation from the body could explain the Shroud’s images and its carbon dating, (Scientific Research and Essays Vol. 7(29), pp. 2613-2623, 30 July, 2012 — Available online at Academic Journals) 


This paper highlights some of the main reasons why radiation caused the body images on the Shroud of Turin; why the source of this radiation was the body wrapped within it; that the radiation appears to be particle radiation; and that if particle radiation came from the body of the man in the Shroud, it could account for or explain all of the primary and secondary body image features, the excellent condition of the cloth, its back side imaging, its possible coin and flower images, and the still red color of its centuries old blood marks. Particle radiation could also explain the Shroud’s 1988 radiocarbon dating.

Giulio Fanti in the Spotlight and a Crash Course on the Shroud of Turin

March 24, 2014 96 comments

imageMyra Adams has a new article in PJ Media: Latest Shroud of Turin News with an Exclusive Message from A Renowned Scientist. The lead reads, “Professor Giulio Fanti from University of Padua, Italy is one of the world’s leading Shroud researchers and you can ask him questions.”

Well into the article Myra writes:

If you are unfamiliar with the Shroud of Turin here is a brief “crash-course” so you can better understand why Fanti’s research is crucial, especially since his date range includes the time when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem.

Shroud of Turin front and back  negative image. Burn marks from a fire in 1532 run the entire length.

The Shroud of Turin is the most sacred religious relic that exists in the world today. It is also the most studied, tested and analyzed due to a mysterious negative image of a man that appears on this 14.3 by 3.7 ft. linen cloth.

The full body image, both front and back, is that of a crucified man who was subjected to the horror of Roman crucifixion — well documented as a form of punishment during the time of Jesus.

The markings seen on the man in the cloth reveal those left by a crown of thorns, torture, scourging, nail puncture wounds of the hands/feet, bruised knees, and a side spear wound.

Is it a coincidence that every mark appearing on the man in the Shroud is consistent with the physical torments endured by Jesus Christ as described in the Bible Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John?

Additionally, the man in the Shroud does not have any broken bones. Not only was this mentioned in the Gospel accounts, but was prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Psalms, “He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” (Psalm 34:20)

The burial cloth (shroud) that wrapped the crucified body of Jesus is also mentioned in the Gospels after Christ was no longer in the tomb. These Scripture accounts make it easier for those of faith to believe that the cloth was left behind as proof of Christ’s resurrection on what is now called Easter Sunday.

Therefore, if the Shroud is scientifically proven to be Christ’s burial cloth then it would be the physical evidence of Jesus Christ’s resurrection which is the foundation of Christianity with or without any physical evidence.

That said, now you can understand why the Shroud of Turin is so controversial.

And then there is a letter from Fanti to Myra Adams:

From my experience of more than 15 years on the Shroud I have understood that I have to separate as much as possible scientific aspects from religious ones. And this is what I always try to do.

You need to read the whole thing:

Latest Shroud of Turin News with an Exclusive Message from A Renowned Scientist.

Baked-In Creases. Really?

March 23, 2014 54 comments

imageColin Berry has returned to his ScienceBuzz blog to report Modelling two distinct types of BAKED-IN crease in the still-enigmatic Shroud of Turin, ones that provide important clues to the image-imprinting mechanism.

This is the third in my series of postings on a feature (or rather, features) of the Shroud image which may tell us a lot about the way the image was created. The first was on this site, over two years ago:

He then asks,

why does the turin shroud appear to have scorched-in crease marks? tell-tale signature for medieval forging?

and answers:

I am more than ever convinced that the answer to the question in that title was a resounding YES! The creases or, rather, some of them, contain imprinted MEMORY of what was happening to the Shroud at the instant it received its ‘body image’ (Blood arguably came later as a part of an extensive re-invention exercise – see my other site).

The images that Colin provides are interesting. It is something to think about; that is for sure. It seems to be consistent with a scorching scenario, I’ll grant that. But why not with any number of other image forming hypotheses, assuming pre-imaging creases? And how certain are we that the creases are the same color at a chromophore level? Is this sort of eyeballing by Colin really scientific enough? I’m not a scientist so I can’t answer that question. It is good thinking but is it good concluding?


Echoing a previous posting from just over two years ago, to which he links, he thus reminds us of this thinking: 

Conclusion: I regard those two crease marks as evidence for the image having been formed by applying force, consistent with my thermo-printing model, especially with a backing bed of sand. The scorched-in creases would seem to me to be inconsistent with any model that has fabric loosely draped over a 3D subject – living, dead or inanimate. Now please refer again to the title of this post.  Are those creases not a signature for the Shroud having been produced as a forgery, using a replica, e.g. bronze statue, of the crucified Christ?

BUT the evidence is still very convincing that the images were not formed by scorching. Yes, I know Colin thinks otherwise but he has not made a convincing case.  This is as close as he gets in a comment of his own to After 2 years, and over 200 postings, I think I’ve finally cracked it – the enigma of the Shroud of Turin.

Folk have asked why I don’t simply get hold of a uv lamp and make a start in filling in the huge gaps in our knowledge of scorching and fluorescence (similar to Hugh Farey’s studies reported previously on this site, with a greater focus on  what’s happening at the molecular level).

[ . . . ]

But it would be more “kitchen lab” stuff, wouldn’t it, and easy target for the debunkers on Troll Central? There’s also an element of biohazard – my eyes have suffered enough in the past from previous exposure to lab-generated uv (a brief glance  at burning magnesium as a chemistry teacher was enough to induce instant headache and nausea).

Here’s a hint as to what I would do if I had proper lab facilities. I would produce scorches at different temperatures and aerobic/anaerobic conditions. Reaction products (low MWt) would be leached with various combinations of solvents (chloroform/methanol/water), the extracts concentrated and run on TLC. Individual bands, fluorescent ones especially, would be eluted and then injected in a mass spectrometer for identification. The stability of any fluorescent properties would be studied, with exposure to air and other oxidants for different times, different temperatures.

Glossing over what is inconvenient and drawing conclusions nonetheless is to my way of thinking a form of pseudoscience. A lot of ifs and maybes might atone for these glaring problems.

And could those creases have been there in the cloth when the image was formed by some supernaturally produced radiation, not that I think that is what happened? Or a Maillard reaction, not that I think that happened either?

As I see it, these creases are more like a statement of fact, well stated. We need to understand them better. Surely they are creases. Baked-in? That is a stretch.

Categories: Image Theory, Other Blogs

John Klotz from his upcoming book

March 23, 2014 11 comments

imageJohn Klotz offers us a wonderful posting, IN WHOSE IMAGE?   Quantum Mechanics and Shroud Science on his blog, The Quantum Christ. It is a part of one chapter from his forthcoming book. John, as most of you know, is a frequent and informative, levelheaded commenter on this blog.

Here is how it begins:

Some have referred to the Shroud as the “Fifth Gospel.”[i] It may be that, but it also something more, a new Revelation brought to us not by a scribe writing on an isolated island, but by science itself. Shroud science was born with Secondo Pia’s 1898 Shroud photographs but in1900 a scientific revolution in science erupted with the formulation of Max Planck’s theory of light as “quanta,” tiny entities that were both particle and wave. His theory gave birth to “quantum mechanics,” a study of the nature of existence at the atomic and sub-atomic levels.

Before the advent of quantum mechanics, the world of science was dominated by the view of the universe and all material existence promulgated by Isaac Newton. Newton’s universe was steady, never ending with no beginning and no end. His theories were the end result of the scientific revolution begun by Copernicus and Galileo. Along the way, he invented a new mathematical system of analysis called calculus. Across the Channel in Germany, Gottfried Leibniz was also developing a calculus. Who is the real father of calculus is a debate of interest and importance to mathematicians but not to most of humanity. What was important to humanity is that calculus systems were developed and they worked.

Philosophically, Newton’s universe led to the principle of “determinism.” Ultimately the universe and everything in it was subject to immutable rules. Everything was determined by those rules even the course of human conduct. There was no room for free will.

That changed with the advent of quantum mechanics because at the quantum level, matter did not behave in a determined manner but obeyed only the rules of probability. Indeed, until measured or observed, the most minute particles are ambiguous, behaving as both wave and particle.

A point John makes about Teilhard is right on, as I see it:

Teilhard wrote before the theory of quantum information was developed. Thus his theories about consciousness and humanity were uninformed by it. However, he divided the human phenomenon into the physical appearance as matter and consciousness as substance. Arguably he presaged the whole question of quantum information which would explain the “substance” of humanity as distinguished from its Newtonian physical existence. What results is a bridge between quantum mechanics and the appearance-substance dichotomy espoused by Thomas Aquinas which in turn was a medieval, Christian transliteration of concepts advanced by Plato.

John wants feedback. He will be watching here for your comments. Read the entire posting, IN WHOSE IMAGE?   Quantum Mechanics and Shroud Science and make comments, here or in his blog.

So then, why is there an image?

March 21, 2014 26 comments

I was wondering, what if there had been only bloodstains and no image on the Shroud of Turin, that is, of course, assuming it it authentic:

Would the burial shroud of Jesus have survived history to exist somewhere today?

Would so many people today believe it is authentic or even know about it?

Would carbon dating seem more final without the mystery of the image?

So then, why is there an image? Is that a fair question?

Sometimes I think it an image should not be there. Then I think I would find it more believable it that image wasn’t there. But that is only sometimes.

Categories: News & Views

From Gethsemane to the Tomb

March 20, 2014 5 comments

imageTerry McDermott (pictured) has a very interesting article, The physical effects of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus in Catholic Insight. Using works by Barbet, Zugibe and others as well as with images of the Shroud of Turin, McDermott delves into many aspects of the passion story from Gethsemane to the tomb. For instance:

The crown of thorns

Dr. Michael Evanari, Professor of Botany at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has opined that the Syrian Christ Thorn, which was available in Jerusalem, was the plant most likely to be used for the crown of thorns. Other experts speculate that the Christ’s Thorn was used, although no one can be certain that it grew in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. Both of these plants have sharp, closely spaced thorns and can be easily plaited into a cap. The crown was not a wreath as is typically believed. It was a cap of thorns placed upon Jesus’ head. The pattern of blood flow in the head area on the shroud and subsequent experiments by Zugibe attest to this. “The shroud indicates areas of seepage and blood flow running down the forehead. The hair in the frontal image suggests marked saturation with dried blood, causing the hair to remain on both sides of the face.”

Effects of the crown of thorns

“The nerve supply for pain perception to the head region is distributed by branches of two major nerves: the trigeminal nerve, which essentially supplies the front half of the head, and the greater occipital branch, which supplies the back half of the head.” 6 These two nerves enervate all areas of the head and face.

The trigeminal nerve, also known as the fifth cranial nerve, runs through the face, eyes, nose, mouth, and jaws. Irritation of this nerve by the crown of thorns would have caused a condition called trigeminal neuralgia or tic douloureux. This condition causes severe facial pain that may be triggered by light touch, swallowing, eating, talking, temperature changes, and exposure to wind. Stabbing pain radiates around the eyes, over the forehead, the upper lip, nose, cheek, the side of the tongue and the lower lip. Spasmodic episodes of stabbing, lancinating, and explosive pain are often more agonizing during times of fatigue or tension. It is said to be the worst pain that anyone can experience.

As the soldiers struck Jesus on His head with reeds, He would have felt excruciating pains across His face and deep into His ears, much like sensations from a hot poker or electric shock. These pains would have been felt all the way to Calvary and while on the Cross. As He walked and fell, as He was pushed and shoved, as He moved any part of His face, and as the slightest breeze touched His face, new waves of intense pain would have been triggered. The pain would have intensified His state of traumatic shock.

The thorns would have cut into the large supply of blood vessels in the head area. Jesus would have bled profusely, contributing to increasing hypovolemic shock.

He would have been growing increasingly weak and light-headed. As well, He would have bouts of vomiting, shortness of breath, and unsteadiness as hypovolemic and traumatic shock intensified.

Categories: Article, News & Views

The Pictures are Great

March 19, 2014 1 comment

According to the Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper:

Seventh graders at Holy Name of Jesus School worked with art teacher Babs Kleinhenz to create their interpretations of Jesus in the days before he died, and the Shroud of Turin. The images include free-form depictions of Jesus done in black marker, and the shrouds were created on recycled packaging paper with acrylic paint.

After drawing the images free-hand in pencil, the students traced their pencil drawing and added detail with black marker, Kleinhenz said. The fifth grade made the Stations of the Cross, she said.

“I run around that room being a cheerleader,” said Kleinhenz, who teaches art once a week to each class at the San Francisco K-8 school. “Art is a form of prayer. I think it is more than just a little picture,” she said. Many students at the beginning of the year “have never picked up a pencil,” and most need encouragement. People ask her, “How do you get them to do that?” Kleinhenz said. Her answer: “I harass them. They go places they don’t know they can go. I tell the principal, ’I try to stay out of their way


Categories: News & Views

An image to hold onto until eternity.

March 18, 2014 2 comments

imageThere is an interesting guest posting by Jan Vallone in the Image Journal blog of the Evangelical Channel at Patheos. She begins . . .

If you asked me about the Shroud of Turin, I could speak for hours. Before I saw it in Italy one Easter, I read several books on it. So I could tell you . . .

. . . and she does. It is well written. Jan goes through the history some of which I dispute. She goes through the science and I scream no-no-no here and there as when she writes, “Forensic scientists . . . . charge the radiologists with sampling a Poor Clare patch.”

But she call the historsy and the science straw. I like where she goes with it even if I disagree with the flash of light and the ponytail and the chrysanthemums and the backlighting:

Because there’s something that leaves me speechless, something I didn’t read in books, something that didn’t strike me till I stood in the dark cathedral among a praying crowd and stared at the backlit Shroud suspended on a wall before me, so close I could have touched its fibers, the imprint, the blood.

That something is this: Jesus was a man, a man no bigger than my son, one man among the billions who have lived or ever will. And one spring evening long ago, he pulled his hair into a ponytail to prepare bread and wine for his disciples, as my son pulls on a favorite t-shirt to set out beer and nachos for his friends.

As if it were an ordinary evening.

But it wasn’t an ordinary evening; it was the last one of his life.

And when his mother saw his broken corpse, one she hoped to never see—as I hope to never see my son’s—she tossed a few chrysanthemums upon it, covered it with the Shroud, and left the tomb with her grief.

Then, when all was quiet, a flash of light, a flutter of fabric. An image to hold onto until eternity.

Well, it does look backlit in the photograph.

Categories: History, Other Blogs, Science

The Shroud of Turin is Number 11 in CNN’s List of Top 11 Mysteries

March 17, 2014 19 comments

imageEvery now and then a top list, usually a top ten list, appears in the media or on some blog. Every one is different and this one, a top eleven list from CNN, is no exception. CNN begins its article, History’s big mysteries: Questionable deaths, missing people, monsters:

(CNN) — The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 could take its place at the top of the biggest unsolved mysteries of history.

"This is a very strange event," aviation historian Carroll Gray said. "It doesn’t lend itself to the normal sets of explanations."

Such mysteries are "phenomenally gripping," Gray said. "Things that are unsolved just sort of grab people, especially when you have the common experience of flying."

Answers about what happen to the Boeing 777 and the people on board must come soon, he said. "When you get on the plane the next time, are you going to wonder a little bit about whether you are going to disappear?"

A look at history’s biggest mysteries

But history holds tight to some secrets, leaving us with just speculation, conspiracy theories and educated guesses. A mystery can have a long life, never forgotten and often re-examined.

This is CNN’s list:

  1. Who shot JFK and RFK?
  2. The mystery of Marilyn Monroe
  3. Was Natalie Wood’s death an accident or murder?
  4. What happened to Amelia Earhart?
  5. Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
  6. Who was Jack the Ripper?
  7. The ghost ship Mary Celeste
  8. What’s the deal with the Bermuda Triangle?
  9. Are Big Foot, Sasquatch or Yeti for real?
  10. Is the Loch Ness Monster a real creature?
  11. Was the Shroud of Turin the burial cloth for Jesus?

And this is the wholly inadequate description of the shroud:

The Shroud of Turin may be the most famous religious relic.

Some Christians believe the shroud, which appears to bear the imprint of a man’s body, to be Jesus Christ’s burial cloth. The body appears to have wounds that match those the Bible describes as having been suffered by Jesus on the cross.

Many scholars contest the shroud’s authenticity, saying it dates to the Middle Ages, when many purported biblical relics — such as splinters from Jesus’ cross — surfaced across Europe. Even the Roman Catholic Church does not insist the shroud was used to wrap the body of Jesus. Its official position is that the shroud is an important tool for faith regardless of its authenticity.

Just before stepping aside as Pope a year ago, Benedict XVI authorized the broadcast of video of the shroud from Turin Cathedral, where the mysterious Christian relic is kept out of sight in a bulletproof, climate-controlled glass case.

So, was the small Arizona piece in Doug Donahue’s custody ever made available to Barrie Schwortz?

March 16, 2014 25 comments

clip_image001Bill McClellan, a columnist writing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is reminiscing about his friends, Dee and Doug Donahue (pictured):

Occasionally, other events brought us to Tucson. In 1988, Doug’s lab at the university was one of three labs to carbon date the Shroud of Turin. The two other labs were at Oxford and Zurich. The labs had agreed not to release the results individually. Doug had invited Harry Gove, a physicist from the University of Rochester, to observe. Gove had had a poor relationship with the scientific adviser to the bishop of Turin, and his lab had been excluded from the testing.

I was waiting for them at the house on Fourth Street when they returned from the lab. Neither of them mentioned the results, but as we had a drink on the porch, I sensed — correctly — from Gove that the results were not what Turin would have wanted.

[ . . . ]

Not long ago, Dee fell. She was not hurt badly, but it was clear that living on the second floor, climbing up and down steps, was not a good idea. For that matter, the house required too much maintenance. Doug and Dee moved into an apartment for senior citizens. . . . the house on Fourth Street . . . will go on the market next month.

And thus I’m reminded as a result of something Helmut Felzmann wrote for the Shroud Science Group that I republished last November with his kind permission in a  blog entry: The Mysterious Arizona Piece. Helmut  had written:

Barrie [Schwortz] went to Tuscon in August 2012 with invitation from Jull (I persuaded Jull) to take photos from all the blind samples, the rest of the large sample and the small sample. When he arrived in Tuscon, Jull told Barrie that the small piece is not available as it is in custody of Mr. Donahue, the retired head of the laboratory in 1988. But Donahue was not available due to his personal situation. It was promised to Barrie, that he will have access to the piece later.

Barrie had also written in Report on the STERA, Inc. – University of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Macro Photography – 30 August 2012:

The day I was to make the photographs, Dr. Jull informed me that one (or more?) remaining samples would not be available for the photography session. These were currently in the possession of Dr. D.J. Donahue, the retired former Director of the laboratory, who was away due to a family emergency. I am hopeful they can be made available at some future date so they can be photographed using the same techniques and equipment and added to the collection.

So, was the small Arizona piece in Doug Donahue’s custody ever made available to Barrie? Was it at the time of Barrie’s visit at home on Fourth Street or locked up in the lab such that Timothy Jull, then the director of the lab, could not get access? Where is it now?

Of Pixels, Spectrum and Density

March 15, 2014 24 comments

discontinuities, striations, halftones and pixels

Colin Berry in his most recent posting used the term half-tone and I was reminded of an email I wrote to Ray Rogers that had I posted to the Shroud Science Group on March 5, 2004. Pixelated and pixels were words being used a lot for the halftone effect  back then and Ray, if I remember correctly, was annoyed. Here is a somewhat edited version of my email to Ray and his response.

imageScientists are good at being cautious, discriminating and precise in the use of language to describe "facts." But those of us who are not scientists and try to describe the world and its things will often call a raisin a grape or worse yet a raison.

I decided to tackle the word pixel, a word so often used to describe an optical quality of the Shroud. I realized, that early on in my research on the Shroud, I encountered the word pixel used often by "authorities" (Ray’s meaning). It conjured up notions about the images that were simply wrong. I settled on an erroneous notion about the images because of how I understood that word. Much is made of pixels to speculate, sometimes quite wildly, about how the images were formed. Such mental images as I had made it difficult to appreciate the chemistry possibilities being advanced by Ray Rogers.

To think this through, I borrowed three facts from "The List" and decided to discuss them with a team of graphics software and hardware experts. Why graphics experts? 1) They live and breathe pixels, 2) they understand visual representation of information at a very granular level and 3) they will humor me to discuss the subject because I agreed to buy donuts and coffee. Ray’s Review was a pre-requisite reading.

[The list was in the works by the Giulio Fanti and several of us in the Shroud Science Group. It was first presented to a rump group in session during Dallas 2005.]

I refer to three facts in List Version 10:

A29) The color of the image-areas has a discontinuous distribution on the entire facing surface (Pellicori and Evans, 1981).

A30) All the colored fibers are uniformly colored, i.e. an exposed fiber is either colored or not colored (Adler 1996, 1999).

A32) All the image shows a uniform straw yellow coloration yielding less than 2% variation in the absorbance of the individual colored body image fibers (Adler 2000, 2002).

One might read these facts and say `aha, pixels.’ I did. I asked the graphics group if my assumption was reasonable.

"You might easily conclude this but you would be very very wrong," was their answer.

Some comments from the donut bunch follows:

Pixel is a good and bad word. It is good in the sense that it means "PICture ELement"and good in the sense that it implies that "perceived shades" of color result from "visual blending" of "bits" of color density. Pixel is bad in the sense that, in common usage, it implies uniform shape and size spots as well as a uniform pattern of placement. Depending on the implementation, pixels are either on/off, as with images on paper, or vary in intensity as is the case with many display devices. The erroneous implication for the Shroud is on/off.

Discontinuous distribution is good precise language. Spot is a good word to use.

Fact A30 seems to clarify A29 by suggesting that the discontinuity is between fibers that are "on" and fibers that are "off" – for their entire `exposed’ length? Note that `on’ and `off’, as binary states, is implied by the word uniform. Is that what it means?

Fact A32 clarifies the on/off state by explaining that the "on" state varies by less than 2% variation in absorbance (Of white light? On a scale of 1 to 0, black to white?). Does this mean that there is little difference in the shade of a color of "on" states and thus the condition is presumably binary enough to be considered binary? (In Rogers’ "Review" he wrote: "The color density seen in any area of the image appears primarily to be a function of the number of colored fibers per unit area rather than a significant difference in the density of the color of the fibers. This observation was puzzling, and we called it the `half-tone’ effect.")

BTW: Halftone effect does not mean it is a halftone.

If we are talking about a 2% variation of what has been observed on very very faint (close to white) images where there is very little variation in the visual blended shades, then the 2% variation could be much more significant than implied. Let us say that sample A absorbs 3% of the white light (more blue obviously) and sample B absorbs 5%. Is this a 2% variation or a 60% variation? (Is there a margin of error that allows the 2% to be 0% or 4%?). Or do we (the donut bunch) simply not understand what 2% variation means?

[ . . . ]

We should not use the word pixel unless we define it explicitly. Spot is a much better word. The use of the word pixel can only lead to absurd conjecture by some people. As one person put it: "To say that grassy hill over there is green because a bunch of green pixels are growing out of the ground is absurd."

A better interpretation might be to say that it appears that much, but not necessarily all, of what we perceive as different shades of color is due to visual blending from concentrations or densities of spots of color that are closely uniform in color.

Ray replied. On the definition of pixels:

Dan: Thank you very much for clarifying the word "pixel" for the group. It has already caused massive confusion.

On the facts used for the analysis, Ray wrote:

A29) "The color of the image-areas has a discontinuous distribution on the entire facing surface (Pellicori and Evans, 1981)." Before making assumptions on the basis of this statement, please look at the photomicrograph of the tip of the nose that Mark Evans took (ME-29).

A30) "All the colored fibers are uniformly colored, i.e. an exposed fiber is either colored or not colored (Adler 1996, 1999)." That is a somewhat misleading statement. Some image fibers have thicker coatings than others, consequently a darker color. Many fibers are darker on the ends where pendant drops of washing liquid probably formed (I see the same effect in dye experiments). I can send photomicrographs to illustrate these facts. HOWEVER: all of the image areas show exactly the same visible/uv spectrum.

A32) "All the image shows a uniform straw yellow coloration yielding less than 2% variation in the absorbance of the individual colored body image fibers (Adler 2000, 2002)." I would like to have asked Al how he made the measurement. The microscope I used in his lab used incandescent illumination, and I assume he used the same exposure meter he used for photomicrography. Dan was correct in interpreting the importance of a 2% variation. But,  perhaps Al simply missed the darkest fibers. Anyway, I can’t agree with the statement, and I will send anyone who asks some photomicrographs.

Clarifying shades of color in term of spectrum and density.

Dan said: "A better interpretation might be to say that it appears that much, but not necessarily all, of what we perceive as different shades of color is due to visual blending from concentrations or densities of spots of color that are closely uniform in color." Right. But they are essentially identical in color (spectrum) and somewhat different in color density.

How good are out definitions of discontinuities, spectrum and density? How good is our understanding of this with regard to the shroud’s image?

Here is ME-29 as it appears on ShroudScope. Click on the image to link to ShroudScope for a better, larger image:


Categories: Image Theory, Other Blogs

The Computer Hacker Hypothesis is Short on Factual Material

March 14, 2014 22 comments

imageHad the responses from Timothy Jull and Christopher Ramsey put the computer hacker hypothesis to bed? No. Stephen Jones tells us:

I am now going to post a revised version of my proposal, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" based on the information contained in Dr. Jull’s and Prof. Ramsey’s emails.

Is Stephen ready to? He should consider this letter from a Chicago reader, as well. Stephen should answer these questions:

How did the allegedly hacked software in the AMS control computers distinguish between  calibration runs and production runs? How did the software know to change the results only if the sample being tested was from the Turin Shroud and not from control material or from material being tested for other clients?

Were the control computers special purpose machines,? Could all three of them be reprogrammed? Even the VP8 was called a computer by some people. But it couldn’t be networked and you couldn’t hack it without parts and a soldering iron.

Without answers to these questions, Jones has nothing. It is only after doing some REAL basic research that he can start looking for motive, means and opportunity. He is doing everything backswords.

Note: Stephen’s fifth article in what is now a long series, Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: My replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey should be read carefully. Therein he writes:

On Dan Porter’s blog he recently posted, under "Comment Promoted: On the Hacking Hypothesis" an email that the Shroud anti-authenticist and Editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud’s Newsletter, Hugh Farey received from Dr. Timothy Jull, Director of the University of Arizona’s radiocarbon dating laboratory and a signatory to the the 1988 Nature paper, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," which claimed that the linen on the Shroud was "mediaeval … AD 1260-1390. Porter, who himself believes:

"The carbon dating, once seemingly proving it was a medieval fake, is now widely thought of as suspect and meaningless."

nevertheless is against my proposal that the radiocarbon dating laboratories may have been duped by a computer hacker, and promoted Farey’s copy of Jull’s email with the comment: "Does this put an end to it, once and for all?" evidently hoping that it did

Against? No! I say unimpressed, unconvinced certainly, but not against. I’m not taking sides. This one sentence is astounding:

My bottom line is that, since the Shroud IS authentic, there HAD to be some form of fraud to convert a 1st century actual date of the Shroud into the `too good to be true’ 1325 ± 65 years date.

Okay, maybe astonished, dumbfounded, aghast, but not against.

Moreover: ARPANET was restricted to U.S. establishments in 1988. So what WAN or LAN communications capabilities did Oxford or Zurich have? Were the AMS machines connected? What sort of computers did they have? These are basic questions that need to be explored. Maybe communicating computers should be discounted completely. Facts would be helpful.

Personally, I doubt the AMS “computers” were networked, at all. It doesn’t matter if ARPANET was installed at the University of Arizona. The claim that computers at laboratories were connected to ARPANET doesn’t mean that a special purpose measurement and control system unit was on the network. Did the unit have the hardware interface and was it even capable of running telecommunications software?  Maybe so? Maybe it was a PDP 11, a System 7 or a Series/1. The point is do we know.

Maybe software changes had to be loaded from a floppy disk or by swapping EPROMs and circuit cards?

Supposedly, if you think Stephen is right, three separate “computers” were hacked. What are the real facts surrounding this hypothesis that even makes that possible?


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