Remembering the Post

September 1, 2014 3 comments

Yesterday, a reader wrote:

A couple of years ago you wrote a parody of an article about Luigi Garlaschelli. I am preparing a lecture on the Shroud and was thinking of using the fake article as a humorous handout. I have not been able to locate it. Do you have a copy that you can send to me.

Actually, it was five years ago. As I read it now I am embarrassed. It was kind of stupid (nah, maybe it was a bit funny). Here is the boring original news story from Reuters. In tracking it down I found this lead up link to it in PZ Myers’s Pharyngula, unquestionable the leading New Atheists blog out there. Here, below the line, is what I wrote (undoubtedly late at night sitting alone in some Jimmy Buffet Margarita Ville bar that I can’t remember. Feel free to use it. And there is no need to give me the credit.


ROME (Reuters) – An Italian scientist says he has reproduced a human being, a feat that he says proves definitively that humans, which Christians say are made in the image of God, are medieval fakes produced using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.

A scientifically-made mannequin, measuring 6 feet, 2 inches tall, looks eerily like Luigi Garlaschelli, the scientist himself.

"We have shown that is possible to reproduce something which has the same characteristics as a human being," Luigi Garlaschelli, who is due to illustrate the results at a conference on the para-normal this weekend in northern Italy, said on Monday.

A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, Garlaschelli made available to Reuters the paper he will deliver and the accompanying comparative photographs.

The mannequin resembles the back and front of a bearded man with long hair with his arms crossed on his chest. He has two hands, two feet and a single head with two eyes and two ears.

Since Darwin, evolutionary biologists have believed that humans evolved along with other animals and plants from a common ancestor. But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain why some people smoke cherry flavored pipe tobacco since it offers no evolutionary advantage.

Garlaschelli, who received funding for his work by an Italian association of atheists and agnostics, expects people to contest his findings. “They didn’t believe me when I reproduced the Shroud of Turin, Quantum physics and the Egyptian pyramids, thus proving that they, too, were medieval creations. “

“It works for me,” said PZ Myers, pastor of the Morris, Minnesota Pharyngula Church of Fundamentalist Atheists. “I was getting tired of evolution, anyway. I believe everything I read in the newspapers so long as it doesn’t conflict with my beliefs. If humans are manmade, that’s fine. I still don’t need to believe in God.”

Garlaschelli said the funding for his work by his own organization of like-minded atheists had no effect on his results. "I always start with results," he said. “That way, I always arrive at the desired conclusion.”

Categories: Article, Humor Tags: ,

Shroud 4 Kids: Great Site

August 31, 2014 3 comments

Yahoo News was reporting out the following brief notice this morning. I’m not sure I know why:

THE SHROUD OF TURIN for Children – HOME

shroud4kids.com

THE SHROUD OF TURIN for Children: HOME; Here is the Story….. En Español: Some Interesting Facts: Your Drawings & Paintings: READ ABOUT THIS AMAZING PICTURE OF JESUS!

That picture looked familiar. Hadn’t I covered this before? Yes, and I was critical at the time. Diane, the owner of the site, promptly made changes and all looked good.

It was time to look again. I like it! And I like text that reads like this. It shows that you can write objectively, even for children:

But what is so special about this shroud? Well, the Shroud of Turin holds a mysterious picture of a man, front and back, and no one knows how this picture was made!

And although the picture is hard to see, you can tell where the man was wounded in his hands, feet, and side. He was crucified just like Jesus of Nazareth. Also, there are wounds all over his head, which could have been made from a crown or a cap of thorns.

A slideshow is in English and in Spanish. It is a gem.

Time will tell.

August 30, 2014 15 comments

imageI’ve decided that I no longer mind it when one scientist calls another scientist a “Mickey Mouse Scientist,” as Colin Berry does this morning in his blog. I may be wrong, but I realize now that it is a cheap shot in lieu of being able to criticize effectively. My personal vision of a good scientist doesn’t embrace derision of colleagues. To so insult a fellow scientist defines the source.

Colin, in his blog, reminded me this morning (afternoon for him) of a posting from February of 2012. He writes, “Here’s a link to a Mickey Mouse scientist.” He is referring to Paolo Di Lazzaro. At Colin’s urging, go have a look.

Paolo never came back to this blog after the insult. Maybe I should have kicked Colin out then but I stood on principle. I wanted all voices represented. Too many people have been driven away by Colin’s insults.

I do happen to think the shroud is real. That is different from knowing it is real. Colin accuses me of pushing a pro-authenticity agenda. In another blog Stephen Jones accuses me of being anti-authenticity. Take your pick. Would I rather know the truth about the shroud no matter what it is? Of course, I would. Does Colin believe that? I doubt it. Should I wonder if Colin is completely objective?  Would I believe him if he said he was? I would like to think so. I wonder, though.

I am a skeptic at heart. I am skeptical of many things claimed about the shroud. I don’t think there are coins on eyes or images of flowers on the cloth. I’m not convinced by the evidence that there is no image content under the bloodstains. When it comes to possible material intrusion in the area from which the radiocarbon dating samples were taken, I’m not convinced that the blue quad mosaics tell us anything useful. I don’t buy some of the interpretations by John Jackson or Don Lynn concerning the 3D data inherent (not encoded) in the images. There are many things I doubt.

imageYou must read Colin’s latest posting in which he covers so many, many things. A thousand words is worth a picture, right? His newest posting, today, is more than 5,000 words. Read what he says about Paolo.

I agree with much of what he says and I disagree with other things he says. For now, there is too much to discuss. But have a look at the ImageJ work he is doing. Is that cityscape-like image partly the result of banding?  Click on the image to see it enlarged in Colin’s blog space.

I’m disappointed to see how he generalizes and characterizes people who think the shroud is real (Fair Use):

It’s got to be a photograph of the crucified Jesus, miraculously preserved , right,  albeit as a non-photogenic negative, intended as a present to 20th century man, right? Right? Do I hear any voices of dissension? No?  [ . . . ]

I am a voice of dissention. Colin should know it. I have repeatedly said that I have never found a single theory or hypothesis for the images that I can accept. Nothing yet appeals to me and it is not because of my world view or my religion or any assumptions. I have never seen enough evidence to convince me that the image is or is not God-made, naturally made or manmade. Who knows, maybe Colin will be proven right in the end. Maybe it is a contact scorch. Maybe it is a picture of Jacques de Molay. I doubt it but let’s see. Colin seems to think it is our job to prove that he is wrong.

Time will tell.

Categories: Other Blogs Tags:

Emanuela Marinelli: Fantacies! Non Existent Objects

August 30, 2014 6 comments

Flowers, tools of crucifixion, double impression of the right hand showing movement.

visionaries discredit the serious research on the Shroud

imageRobert Vitale over at the Amici della Sindone Facebook page, ( tell us (in Italian) about a new book (in Italian) which, as we read in the Bing translation:

It’s definitely one of the most controversial books written in relation to the shroud. The author, from Palermo Giuseppe Maria Catalano, Claims That Are Clearly visible on the Turin linen, traces of the resurrection of Jesus (in double impression of the right hand in the "movement" Among other things.) Not only. The author, as he Stated in His work, working on high magnifications Enrie photos, he noticed the presence of the fabric flowers, plants, (also on the helmet of thorns !!!), even of the tools used to crucify Christ. I have personally met Catalan, but blackberries than convinces me, I was confused blackberries. Have you ever read this book? And then, what do you think of the Sicilian scholar claims?

What the blackberries? Just ignore the fruit references; Bing is far from perfect.

Emanuela Marinelli, one of the world’s most respected shroud scholars,was quick to respond:

Fantasies! Catalano is not the first to see non-existent objects in every spot of the Shroud.http://people.duke.edu/~adw2/shroud/whanger.htm Unfortunately, these visionaries discredit the serious research on the Shroud.

Notice that Emanuela is pointing to the Duke University based site of Alan Whanger.

Roberto Vitale replies:

also add my testimony. Naturally skeptical of these claims, I just tried to figure out who he really was the "character" Catalano, visiting the photographic exhibition on the Shroud actually a commercial for his book,he set up in Palermo. Catalan is definitely an interesting character in his own way highly educated, but, and here I fully agree with Emanuela Marinelli, definitely imaginative. Just think of his thesis, definitely out of the ordinary, with which Catalan claims that the Earth’s axis has shifted due to an asteroid. There were also problems with the Center for Sindonologia, as Catalano wanted to use his lawyers accusing him of defamation that the Centre had allowed himself to define "questionable" his thesis. As far as I know, his only threats were not carried out. What impressed me though, was the great journalistic attention turned to a study of this kind, reflecting the fact that the press is thrown a dead weight on the sensational, not investigating the goodness of the content of what they publish.

And, of course, we have someone in Australia who sees the eyes opening in order to take a quick peek around the room.

More about banding on the Shroud of Turin

August 29, 2014 13 comments

imageHugh Farey has prepared a helpful, four page, image rich PDF document on Banding on the Shroud of Turin. He points out, for instance, in referring to this image on the right:

This is the top of the alleged band which Barrie
Schwortz felt needed adjusting in density to
restore the image to a more realistic
appearance. It is two ‘pitches’ (1) wide, and
defined on the right by a bunch of thin warp
threads (2) forming the prominent stripe
visible on the Enrie image, and on the left, less
clearly, by the adjacent pitch (3), which is
darkened by ‘hair.’

Hugh concludes:

Conclusion. The weave of the cloth does produce the illusion of bands according to its illumination, which serve to enhance a viewer’s perception of the intensity of the image at various places, and give the illusion of over-defined dark and light bands in various places which are not as clearly vertical sided as they appear.. So the light vertical areas defining the sides of the cheeks are really present, but they are not as precise or as well defined as they appear, and are not merely artifacts of the cloth, but real areas where the image making process just didn’t happen.

Categories: News & Views Tags:

A new paradigm for banding?

August 29, 2014 6 comments

photo (1)WmW writes in a comment:

HF has made what seems to be a brilliant observation (see Aug 28, 3:42 am). Would love to see some pictures of just what he is looking at. Is that possible? This may be a whole new paradigm for banding

I made the screen shot shown here. You should be able to click on it to enlarge it.

This is what Hugh Farey wrote:

In Shroud 2.0, longitudinal banding is very clear, and is definitely related to the pitch of the zigzag, specifically the darkness of the shadows cast by the overlying warp threads onto the underlying weft threads. Thus the entire Shroud is covered in alternating lighter and darker bands. This pattern is not seen on the Durante photo. Here the various longitudinal stripes seem to me to be much thinner, where you can see them, and appear to be related to the ‘spines’ of the herringbone ribs, which may have formed into slight ridges or troughs as part of the rolling up process. I cannot find a good positive Enrie image, but the large scale negatives, which can be found at the link above among others, show a variety of bands, some very thin and some as thick as a width of a pitch. However they are much less consistent and the thick ones do not appear to be lighting artifacts as they sometimes extend over two or three bands of alternating pitch. It is not clear in any case that the pale vertical areas defning the sides of the cheeks, or the dark vertical areas defing the fall of the hair, are due to imperfections in the weave or the lighting of a photo rather than the shape of the image model itself. As such, attempts to ‘correct’ the image by removing them are probably misguided.

Colin Berry certainly agrees. Here, and in his blog, he writes, “Brilliant. Hugh. Possibly, nay probably the best contribution to ‘banding’ in all time.”

Two “brilliants.” I think I see what Hugh is talking about. I may need to agree with Colin. But, “the shape of the image model itself.”? Model? I would like to see pictures with pointed narrative. Hugh, can you send along a couple of screen shots from your perspective?

image
To make screen shots in Shroud 2.0, hold down the round “Home” button on the front of the iPad or iPhone and press the “Sleep/Wake” button. The screen shot is in your Pictures folder.

Breaking News on the Bari Conference

August 28, 2014 12 comments


The Bari conference, officially the Workshop on Advances in the Turin Shroud Investigation, has posted the following information on the conference home page:

Only few papers accepted for presentation at the workshop exhibit a content within the IEEE field of interest. As a consequence, we regret to inform the Authors that the IEEE Italy Section do not award the sponsorship to the event.

image


David Roemer is taking credit. He sent me the following in an email:

Did you know the IEEE withdrew its sponsorship of the Shroud Conference in Bari? I’m taking credit for this because I explained to the leadership of the IEEE that conferences about the Holy Shroud are exercises in pseudoscience.

Now, David, you can get back to important things like having Cardinal Dolan investigated by the Inquisition because he thinks the shroud is real, disagrees with your views on the Big Bang or thinks you can be a quite unpleasant fellow when you paper is not accepted. 

Categories: News & Views Tags:
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