Okay, we will need to wait several weeks

April 16, 2014 11 comments

imageStephen Jones is now mapping out his revised strategy: Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #2:

I have decided to create a list of every item of historical evidence of the Shroud’s existence from the 13th to the 1st century on my system, before I complete this Revised #2 post. That however, could take several weeks.

The purpose of documenting all this historical evidence of the Shroud’s existence from the 13th to the 1st century is to prove, beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt, that the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "mediaeval … AD 1260-1390" must be wrong. . . .

I don’t have any issue with this. The historical list will be useful. In my mind, it challenges the carbon dating better than anything. It will be interesting to crawl through each item and get everyone’s opinions. How solid is this event, how good is that occurrence?

Stephen continues.

. . . And then the questions are, "how could a 1st century cloth (absent fraud) carbon- date to the 13th-14th century?"

Why absent fraud? Why not other possibilities?

. . .  I will document how courts decide, on the basis of improbability, that a scientific fraud must have occurred.

That will be interesting. Just fraud? Might courts find something else isn’t right? By courts is he thinking of a proxy for informed public opinion?

And then:

And then, having proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there must have been fraud in carbon-dating the 1st century (or earlier) linen of the Shroud to 1325 ±65, I will re-present the evidence for the fraud having been perpetrated by a computer hacker, whom I will tentatively identify.

Will this be the same person he has already not-so-tentatively named? Evidence, this time?

Thinking the 1988 Carbon Dating Outweighs the Other Evidence Is Absurd

April 16, 2014 2 comments

“Carbon dating alone, whether in its 1988 form or
some improvement upon it, isn’t enough.”

imageJason Engwer has delivered a significant and thought-provoking analysis in Triablogue, Weighing The Shroud’s 1988 Carbon Dating

Meacham to Farey upon a whirlwind:

[William] Meacham wrote nearly a decade ago. There have been some significant developments since then. In his book, Meacham discussed Ray Rogers’ 2005 article that undermines the 1988 carbon dating results. Further research since then has corroborated Rogers’ findings. For some examples, see here. A study published in 2010 by Marco Riani, et al., for instance, found significant heterogeneity in the section of the Shroud tested in 1988. In 2013,Giulio Fanti and some other researchers published the results of some dating tests they ran on alleged fragments of the Shroud. All of their dating methods showed a pre-medieval date.

On the other hand, Timothy Jull, a member of the University of Arizona lab that tested the Shroud in 1988,published an article in 2010 that cast doubt on Rogers’ findings. In 2013, Hugh Farey wrote an article that discusses problems with the reweave hypothesis (the view that the section of the Shroud tested in 1988 contains some more recent threads woven into the original cloth during a repair, so that the more recent threads would distort the carbon dating).

Mark Oxley has written an article criticizing Jull’s piece. For some initial reactions to Farey’s article, see the thread here. In that thread, Thibault Heimburger says that he’s noticed some problems with Farey’s article and suggests that he’ll be writing a response to it.

I think Jull and Farey make some good points that significantly weaken the reweave hypothesis. The reweave hypothesis still seems to be the best explanation of the evidence, but now by a smaller margin. We have to leave the door wide open to other possibilities.

Wringing answers from the unknown:

How would the artist or forger know how to portray a Roman crucifixion victim so accurately? Why would he repeatedly and accurately depart from how Jesus was portrayed in the large majority of medieval depictions (a nail wound closer to the wrist than the palm; wounds from a thick cap of thorns rather than a thin wreath of thorns; etc.)? Why are so many characteristics of the Shroud inconsistent with the interests of an artist or forger? Why would an artist or forger brilliant enough to produce such a masterpiece go about introducing his work to the world in such an ineffective manner? Geoffrey de Charny was a relatively low-level figure in the society of his day. The modest status of the Shroud around the medieval timeframe suggested by the 1988 carbon dating is incongruous with what an artist or forger brilliant enough to produce the Shroud would be likely to do with it. And why would an artist or forger include a close-up depiction of Jesus completely nude and uncovered on his back side, something that the vast majority of people seem to find objectionable even in the more sexually libertine cultures of our day (how much more so in a medieval context)? Why and how would an artist or forger include so many details that can’t be seen by the naked eye (in an age without microscopes and other such devices)? Why would an artist or forger display his genius in the Shroud, but nowhere else? Why don’t we see comparable displays of genius from the same source around the same time? Why is the Shroud such an isolated object that stands out so starkly from the medieval context?

The notion that the 1988 carbon dating alone equals or outweighs all of the evidence cited above for an earlier date is absurd. The 1988 dating of one small piece of the cloth, from such a poor area for that sort of testing, can’t bear the weight that’s so often placed upon it. I would argue that even if further carbon dating would produce the same or similar results, the evidence for an earlier date would still weigh more. Carbon dating alone, whether in its 1988 form or some improvement upon it, isn’t enough. There has to be more. That’s how good the evidence is for an earlier date.

Do read the entire posting Weighing The Shroud’s 1988 Carbon Dating at Triablogue.


* Whirlwind? In this sense, yes, borrowing some words from the conflicted Anne Rice:

Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds — justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.

Good Chemistry Questions

April 15, 2014 18 comments

imageA reader who is a high school chemistry student writes:

In Rogers’s book on page 78 I read that “Image color can be chemically reduced with diimide, leaving colorless fibers.”  I’ve seen this mentioned on several websites and I’ve read that the image does not respond to ordinary bleaching.

My teacher and I looked it up in Wikipedia. Neither one of us can understand what it says.

What does it mean?  What does it rule in or rule out? 

Good questions? I just looked up reductions with diimide in Wikipedia and I could not understand it either.

Categories: Science

New Book: The Templar Mandylion

April 15, 2014 15 comments

imageThere is a new book out. It’s called the The Templar Mandylion: Secret story of Turin ShroudThe Templar Mandylion: Secret story of Turin Shroud by Franck Gordon. Amazon sells it for the Kindle. No other editions seem to be available.

Description at Amazon:

The body of a man strangely vanished a long time ago. This man left behind him historical and physical clues about his existence. This is one of the greatest enigmas of our time.

Editorial Review by the author as it appears at Amazon:

During my life, I have devoted my hobbies to do research on archaeological, religious and scientific enigmas. Intrigued by all that is mysterious and unusual, it is with a mind of engineer that I analyzed unexplained mysteries and impossible objects found on our planet.

imageThere is several years ago, while I was preparing my Templar Saga, I discovered a « Templar Mandylion » in Britanny. This historical and religious mystery still remains unsolved to date. Is it the « Baphomet » venerated by the Templars and which led them to the stake? I tried to explain this mystery in my book « Le Code Templier » and during a lecture made in the chapel of Sainte-Marie du Menez-Hom, near the site of my discovery.

For many years I presented my ideas during lectures on the subjects of my research: Worldwide Genealogy and Huge Databases, Camera Obscura and Shroud of Turin, Templar Mandylion and Baphomet, Popol-Vuh and Terraforming of planets, moons, etc… I explained all these topics, and many others, in novels and essays such as the Mormon Case, the Templar Code, the Templar of America, the Templar Mandylion, and the Popol-Vuh. I propose now all these works in book exhibitions, at the end of my lectures or on the web.

I would like to warmly thank my readers for their comments posted on the web, or received by e-mail or by letter. Come on Cirac website in the Book Club that I created with the help of writers, journalists, publishers and booksellers. You’ll found authors, books, lectures, articles, and also a lot of ideas.

I believe that the Franck Gordon is a nom de plume for SSG shroud researcher François Gazay.

I’m not suggesting that you do not buy the book. But first you may want to read Relations of a Breton Calvary with the Shroud and the Templar Knights by François that was presented at Dallas 2005. And when you go over to Amazon, click on Look Inside. BTW, I do find this subject fascinating.

Categories: Books

CNN’s Jesus Code: Six Objects Connected to the Biblical Jesus

April 15, 2014 1 comment

Coming to the old Larry King time slot

imageBREAKING: Jon Creamer of Televisual Media UK tells us about an upcoming six-part series on Jesus:

Nutopia is to make a ‘forensic’ drama doc about the life of Jesus in a six-part commission for CNN called Jesus Code.

Jesus Code will look at “forensics, biblical archaeology and forgery, exploring their connection to the real life of Jesus by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.”

The show will use drama reconstruction and interviews with scholars to re-examine six objects connected to the Biblical Jesus.

Executive Producer, Ben Goold (The Story of US, Mankind, The British) said “These are compelling and astonishing stories of relics such as the Turin Shroud and the True Cross that not only capture the imagination, but also offer real revelations about one of the most important figures in human history.”

Jesus Code will be produced by Nutopia in association with Paperny Entertainment. Filming will start in October in Europe, the US, North Africa and Middle East.  Executive Producers are Ben Goold for Nutopia and Lynne Kirby for Paperny Entertainment and it will be distributed internationally by DRG.

Jesus Code forms part of CNN’s new documentary strand in the ET 9pm primetime line-up.

Rodney Ho of The Atlanta Journal Constitution gives the story a bit more punch with a bit less detail as part of a story on 9 p.m. time slot that Larry King occupied for a quarter century and Piers Morgan attempted to fill. The story is mostly about the big guns CNN is bringing into the hour: Mike Rowe (‘formerly of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs’), Lisa Ling (formerly of “Our America with Lisa Ling”) and John Walsh (formerly of Fox’s ‘America’s Most Wanted”). And the icing on the cake:

Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.

Let’s see, six relics?  (1) Shroud of Turin, (2) True Cross, (3) Holy Grail ???, (4) Veronica’s Veil ???, (5) Seamless Garment ???, (6) ???. 

If the shroud is a forgery, where are its precedents?

April 14, 2014 17 comments

imageYesterday, Stephen Jones copy-pasted a complete essay by Danusha Goska from the pages of shroud.com thus making it more accessible. The essay, in two short paragraphs, contains one of the most powerful reasons for being quite sure that the image is not a scorch or a photograph or any sort of medieval Rube Garlaschelli Goldberg creation:

Items of expressive culture are not found in isolation. They are not found without evidence of practice. If one excavates an ancient site and finds one pot, one finds other pots like it, and the remains of failed or broken pots in middens.

If the shroud is a forgery, where are its precedents? Where are the other forged shrouds like it? Where is there evidence of practice shrouds of this type? If the technology to create the shroud was available in medieval Europe, where are other products of this technology? Humankind is an exhaustively exploitative species. We make full use of any technology we discover, and leave ample evidence of that use. . . .

You will never convince the world with mere science if you ignore the realities of history.

Picture: Annunciation to Mary, 14th century stained glass, Regensburg Cathedral, Germany

Categories: News & Views

Upcoming Talks by David Rolfe

April 14, 2014 Leave a comment

imageDavid Rolfe has two upcoming talks. One is at St Joseph’s Church, Maidenhead at 7:30 pm Good Friday 18th April. 

On May 16th, at 7:00 pm he will be at the Gulbenkian Theatre at the University of Kent, in Canterbury. I understand that there will be a reception with refreshments at 6:30 prior to David’s talk

David also informs me that the 2010 Exposition film may be download at: http://www.shroud-enigma.com/Shop/Shop.php and that until Easter you can get it at half price, that is £5.99 less 50% = £2.99.  They just need to enter the code SS2014

Categories: Event
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