The Shroud of Turin and Near Death Experiences

July 25, 2014 5 comments

clip_image001He calls his posting “The Near Death Experience: A believer’s evidence, a skeptic’s challenge.” The blogger of He Rose for Grace, uses the Shroud of Turin as an example to explain how accumulations of evidence give credence to near death experiences or NDEs.

Jeffrey Long, M.D. [pictured] has spent a life time studying near death experiences (NDE). Evidence is a curious thing. Standing alone, any evidence can only vaguely point a finger toward a specific direction of truth. Oftentimes, as in the belief in Christ or God, Himself; by taking only one piece of evidence, you can’t eliminate enough variables to keep a convincing argument.  To say, for example, that the pollens on the Shroud of Turin are a dead ringer for the species that grew in Jerusalem at the time of Christ, therefore the cloth is authentic, doesn’t give enough evidence.  However, when you consider that the scorch is of an unknown origin, and can only be caused by vacuum ultraviolet radiation  with a wavelength of 200-100 nanometers from laser pulses lasting less than 50 nanoseconds, it helps.  . .  . As we study, painstakingly sweat in the labs, carry on discussions, and bleed our brains over midnight oil for variables to give us another alternative, at one point, we finally realize that the variables have been nearly explained away, given enough lines of evidence.  It is  the gift of reason.

The blogger continues:

Jeffrey Long is a radiation oncologist.  For more than ten years he has studied the incidences of NDE. He is the author of Evidence of the Afterlife; the Science of Near Death Experiences. His web site is the largest known account of NDEs. Jeffrey says that the Gallup Poll numbers those who have had NDEs then lived to tell about it  are 5% of the population.  Blissful state, Heavenly realms, and those recovering wake up unafraid of death.  His claim is that consciousness is outside of the body. These people come into infinite love and a feeling of being in touch with divinity.  Some feel a universal knowledge. The changes they emotionally go through impacts them for the rest of their lives.  They come back to life convinced there is life after death.  Relationships become important, materialism slides into the background and its importance often dissipates.  Sometimes they change professions and begin to work in areas that are geared more toward nurturing and love for fellow man.

According to Dr. Long, the nine lines of evidence that surpass any medical reasons follow.

You can read the entire posting if you wish. It is well written.

imageALSO:  Skeptiko has published DR. JEFFREY LONG TAKES ON CRITICS OF, EVIDENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE, following reviews of his book,  Evidence of the Afterlife. In the Skeptiko article, I found:

Dr. Long also discusses the nature of NDE skepticism, “The other issue I’ve seen with skeptics is they often have their pet theory. Their theory of how the world works, how things work, and it’s very, very difficult to dislodge them from their pet theory, even with overwhelming evidence.”

In the end Dr. Jeffery Long believes in his evidence, “I have confidence in the substantial majority of people. When they hear evidence, and it’s presented in a straightforward way, they’re smart enough to understand what’s real evidence and what’s evasiveness.”

Pet theory! That sounds like the world of shroud skeptics, as well. . . well. some of them anyway. 

Crowdfunding to be Used for 2015 Exposition

imageThe Google translation leaves something to be desired. Even so, you can get the idea. Marco Bonatti, the Director of Communications Shroud Exposition 2015 tells us:

A network of small and large partners to support all projects of the exposition; and multiple modes of financing, including the involvement of citizens through the "crowdfounding."

and there is this:

Projects – Regarding the crowdfounding will be activated in the coming months platforms needed to start collections around specific projects that will be identified or who can report to the Committee. The proposed contribution will all be received and considered by the Organising Committee, which will use a ‘grid’ of ethical criteria that help to assess the compatibility of the proposals with the objectives and style of the exposition.

Companies and individuals who are interested in collaborating in the preparation of the exposition can take right now a first contact by sending an e-mail message to this address: comitato@sindone.org .

Crowdfunding has been discussed in relationship to the shroud and even tried in one instance by David Rolfe. See Crowdfund my meth lab, yo and The Shroud Affair Crowd Funding Campaign: A Guest Posting by David Rolfe.

Maybe it will work well.

Origin of the Gammadia

July 22, 2014 52 comments

Click on the image for a larger version

imageRuss Breault writes:

I have run across something interesting and am trying to determine if it has significance.  From the 3rd to the 9th centuries it was apparently common in Byzantine iconography for the outer garments, especially representing people with high authority, to be marked with a stylized "L" called a "Gammadia".  No one seems to know what the origin is but is it possible it is derived from the L-shaped pattern of burns on the Shroud?  These holes when seen on the Lierre copy are very pronounced and for centuries, until the 1532 fire would have been the most obvious marking on the cloth. Was it picked up and turned into a symbol for ancient iconographers?  Would some of your participants like to investigate this further?  Here is an example from Ravenna:

image

Book Review of Hoax

July 22, 2014 1 comment

imageJoe Marino sent along an interesting review on Strategy Page by Albert A. Nofi of the book, Hoax: Hitler’s Diaries, Lincoln’s Assassins, and Other Famous Frauds by Edward J. Steers with a forward by Joe Nickell.

We previously discussed this book in May last year, Summer Reading: Tell Me What You Want to Believe and I Will Tell What You Will Believe, and so it was good to see this review. Here is what Nofi wrote:

This methodology applies equally to the several Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories Steers address.  For the Hitler diaries hoax, Steers not only points out flaws in the methodology used to authenticate the bogus documents, but also manages to trace the fate of Hitler’s actual papers.  A similar approache is used for the “Anthon Transcript” hoax.  While Steers marshals considerable scientific evidence that the Shroud of Turin is not what it purports to be (a conclusion reached by some churchmen nearly seven centuries ago), it still remains a curious mystery.  Of the cases, only Piltdown Man is without some degree of lingering controversy, having the least political or popular importance.

Joe also noticed an Amazon review by Michael P. Maslanka on Amazon:

That’s the formula for pulling off a hoax as we see time and again in this short and insightful book. We see these elements come together in the Hitler diary hoax. Time and again, when belief was about to be suspended, these elements re-ignited it. Best chapter in on the Shroud of Turin. The author is respectful of thos who believe it is the burial shroud of Christ, but is still devasting in his arguments that it is not:(a) why did the shroud pop up all of a sudden in the 1300’s?;(2) surely it should have been mentioned in the Bible but is not;(3) the type of weave pattern did not exist at the time of Christ’s death(the burial shrouds of the very rich had a simple weave pattern, not the more complex one on the shroud);(4)the Bible says that Christ was buried according to Jewish tradition which requires a washing away of all blood and the placement of a small cloth over the face of the deceased but the shroud shows Christ’s face and the blood. A well made(nice feel to holding it) and a well written book. Want insights into human nature? Give it a read.

Did Nickell write that piece about the shroud? Tired, old arguments. It will never cease.

Another Segment of Stephen Jones’ Conspiracy Theory

July 22, 2014 2 comments

imageIt is part 8. If you are interested CLICK HERE.

Stephen, in bold, banners text that reads:

EVIDENCE THAT KARL KOCH INSTALLED LINICK’S PROGRAM ON ZURICH AND OXFORD LABORATORIES’ AMS COMPUTERS

He then presents no evidence that I can see; none whatsoever. By-the-way, what Linick program? So far, Stephen has only hinted at this.

Well anyway, you can learn something about Karl Koch. And you can wonder why Stephen makes a splashing point that Koch is not essential to his theory.  He’s got that right.

Creative Ideas That Work

July 21, 2014 6 comments

imageShanun Palus in Smithsonian magazine has an interesting article, Astronomers Are Doing Real Science With Space Photos They Found on Flickr. I’m not saying it is applicable. I’m sure it is not. But it demonstrates the idea that there may be new ways to study images that we have not thought of:

To get detailed images of deep space, astronomers have a couple of options, says Technology Review. They can either use a long exposure to capture one really detailed image, or stack multiple less-detailed images together. Lang and colleagues opted for the second approach. But rather than using multiple photos taken with the same telescope, they looked to the web.

The team used a new alogorithm to stack nearly 300* images of the Galaxy NGC 5907 that they found on Flickr, Bing, and Google. They did this by "[l]iterally searching for ‘NGC 5907′ and ‘NGC5907′," explains Astrobites.

Picture from Smithsonian:  An amateur photograph of galaxy NGC 5907 by Flickr user korborh. On its own it doesn’t look like much, but combined with hundreds more it can reveal new secrets about the universe. (korborh)

RIP radiation twaddle?

imageColin Berry writes in a comment:

PS: here’s a link to that graphic. Look inside the yellow rectangle. Spot the non-imaged zone in the angle where the two hands overlap.

[ CLICK HERE for large image ] . . .

Reminder: it’s NOT a photograph. It’s better described as a contact print, or what I’ve previously called an ‘impactograph’.

RIP radiation twaddle.

Surely, not everyone enthusiastically agrees.  So CLICK HERE to join the discussion rather than commenting on this pointer-only posting.

BTW: I doubt that radiation played a role in image formation but I don’t think this is as damning as Colin does. In fact, it might be supportive of radiation. 

Categories: Image Theory Tags:
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 561 other followers

%d bloggers like this: