It 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?
2) The Venue page is filled with exciting pictures of Bari and Apulia. Bari, capital city of the Apulia Region (South Italy), rises on the Adriatic sea as a prominent economic and cultural center. With special reference to mechatronics and wind/photovoltaic energy, Apulia represents nowadays one of the most developed industrial built-up regional areas.
Also note the following deadlines:
- Submissions of abstract or draft manuscript: May 9, 2014
- Acceptance/rejection: June 25, 2014
- Final manuscript: July 25, 2014
- Registration: July 31, 2014
If you plan to submit a paper you should note that
Prospective authors should submit an extended abstract of 3 to 4 pages in IEEE double-column conference style, including figures, tables and references. The extended abstract should summarize the scope of the paper and the primary results and findings, emphasizing new advances, theories and/or applications so that the program committee will be able to understand originality and value of the work.
Authors are allowed to submit a draft version of their manuscript, consisting of up to eight pages in IEEE double-column conference style.
Authors should submit their abstracts or draft manuscripts by May 9, 2014,through the EDAS submission system.(To be activated)
Submission implies willingness to register and attend the workshop to present the paper by at least one Author per paper (member and non-member fees only are acceptable to this purpose) – no exceptions.
While looking for some other documents I came across the following for sale advertisement:
LATE 17th CENTURY SILVER RELIQUARY WITH A RARE RELIC OF THE HOLY SHROUD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
A unique piece from the private collection of a Roman Monsignor: A wonderful filigree silver reliquary, a masterpiece of the Roman silversmiths of this golden age of Baroque art, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall, with fine detailing and silver flowers, sealed with the red wax seal of Cardinal Frederico Caccia (1635 – 1699).
Inside the theca, the precious relic is surrounded by filigree gold paperoles and silver thread decoration. In the center is the most precious relic, one of the rarest of which we know, a fragment of the Holy Shroud of Our Lord Jesus Christ, venerated in Turin, and inscribed S.[anta] Sindone D.N.J.C. [the Holy Shroud of Our Lord Jesus Christ].
The tiny part of the Shroud was most likely detached in 1694 when repairs were made to it by Sebastian Valfrè, and presented between 1695 and 1699 by Duke Victor Amadeus II (1666 – 1732) whose family, the Savoy, was the owner of the Shroud at the time. The Savoy have erected a magnifiscient Chapel of the Holy Shroud, and the reliquaries containing small pieces of the Shorud itself were most likely bestowed to commemorate the Chapel’s competion in 1694 after 27 years in construction.
It is well known, that Savoys were trying to leverage the phenomenal success of the veneration of the Shroud to achieve dominance in Piedmont, to transform Turin into the new absolutist capital, and to gain international recognition as a ruling house of royal rank. Therefore, it is likely, that a number of reliquaries containing small pieces of the Shroud were gifted by the Duke Victor Amadeus II to achieve the dynastic aspirations of the Savoy.
There is more to read HERE.
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 [
rightin 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.
How safe is shroud.com?
Barrie Schwortz’ shroud.com is an irreplaceable treasure. Could it disappear tomorrow because of hackers? It deals with a highly controversial topic that is unavoidably an affront to atheists and many religious people. As such it is a natural target for idealists or extremists of all kinds and particularly a group of hackers who call themselves “Anonymous.” They could probably take down the website in a few minutes. Would they also destroy backup copies of the website’s contents?
Is a full backup copy of the website stored somewhere such that it is inaccessible to the hosting company and the people, like Barrie, who update the site? THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF TRUST. It is about protection against spoofers and hackers of all kinds. Think in terms of identity theft. Could someone posing as a technician for the hosting company or posing as Barrie Schwortz erase the entire site and all backup copies? For protection against this sort of thing, password protected archives will not suffice. Third party backup companies doing multicyclic pull backups is essential. Push backups are vulnerable. If Barrie or a technician can erase or overwrite backup, then it will likely happen in the event of a takedown attack.
How much damage could someone posing as Barrie do? I imagine it would be 100%. Only files stored on third party systems or on dismounted DVD media would be safe. And how much damage could someone posing as a technician of the hosting company do in just a few minutes? Just as much.
After discovering what may have been an attempt to infiltrate my blog, I am implementing two-step authentication. For this I need a userid and password to gain access to the host and my cellphone, in hand, to confirm it is me who is signing on. As for backup, I’m trusting WordPress on a daily basis and I now plan to do monthly backups to DVD.
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.
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”.
From the Home page:
This exhibition, featuring life-sized photographic replicas of the Shroud of Turin was created in 2008, using the 1978 photographs of Barrie Schwortz (www.shroud.com). It aims to use the replica of the Shroud as a visual aid to tell the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and to examine the mystery of the cloth. The exhibition takes the journey of Jesus from his trial through the events of Good Friday to the empty tomb, using passages from the four gospels. It tries to demonstrate what the flogging, the whip; the piercings, the nails and spear were really like, using the Shroud as a teaching aid.
Do visit the site and browse through the various pages.