National Geographic Sacred Journeys Exhibit in Indianapolis

August 23, 2015 Leave a comment

This expands on the material announced on Barrie Schwortz’ update

imageThe Archdiocese of Indianapolis informs us on it’s website: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to offer ‘National Geographic Sacred Journeys’ exhibit, including Shroud of Turin replica and lecture

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N. Meridian St., will host “National Geographic Sacred Journeys,” an exhibit recreating places, spaces and events of various faith traditions around the world, starting on Aug. 29 and lasting through Feb. 21, 2016.

Among the recreated places and spaces are:

  • The Western Wall of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
  • The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, site of Jesus’ crucifixion in Jerusalem.
  • The Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
  • Tepeyac Hill and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
  • Allahabad and Sangam at the confluence of three rivers sacred to Hindus at the Ganges River in India.
  • Bodh Gaya, birthplace of Buddhism.
  • Caves in the bluffs along the Dead Sea in Qumran, Israel, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and more.

Among the artifacts featured are fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls from Qumran, a large rock from the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a replica of the Shroud of Turin, and more.

The exhibit is included with general admission.

Coinciding with the exhibit will be two lectures by Shroud of Turin expert Barrie Schwortz. The lectures will take place at the museum on Sept. 19. The 11 a.m. lecture is recommended for ages 10 and older. A second lecture at 2 p.m. will last longer with scientific information geared toward adults. The lectures are free with museum admission, but require advance registration through The Children’s Museum website at

Categories: Exhibition

Pictures of the Day

August 22, 2015 6 comments
Categories: News & Views

Food for Thought: An Important Paper on Radiocarbon Dating

August 22, 2015 19 comments

imageLouis had recommended an important paper on Radiocarbon dating, Does Radiocarbon Provide the Answer? by Uwe Zerbst and Peter van der Veen.

I found it to be very informative for understanding the Bayesian approach to interpreting radiocarbon data. But is there anything in it that might impact the accuracy of the shroud’s dating? That seems unlikely in any significant way, at least to this non-scientist.

The aim of the present paper is not a detailed discussion of the radiocarbon evidence of specific archaeological periods, or even individual sites and strata, but a more general view on whether the scientific methodology, as it presently stands, can really be used conclusively. Despite dissenting claims, the authors will demonstrate that there still is a conflict between the archaeological and radiocarbon based time scales, even if elaborate Bayesian statistics are used. The authors discuss possible reasons for this.

Nonetheless, I’m glad I worked my way through it. It was not an easy read for this non-scientist.

Categories: Carbon 14 Dating

Close to the finishing line or the starting line?

August 21, 2015 32 comments

clip_image001A reader writes:

My reading of things is that STuRP tried a few ways to try and create the image. Finding none, they declared the image a scientific mystery. The unfortunate consequence of this was a tendency of apologists for the faith to stupidly declare that modern science could not reproduce the image. The failure of STuRP only means that no one has yet found a way. It means nothing more, unless, of course, there was a miracle.

I have been reading Colin Berry’s blog posting about testing a method of coating a human subject with flour and imprinting an image onto a wet cloth which is then cooked in an oven. It is ingenious and possibly correct. Maybe modern science can find a way that does not count on a miracle. That means that a medieval craftsman might have been able to create the image on the Shroud. It does not mean that he did.



Philosophically, at least, this serves to remind us that there may be many other ways of producing the image that no one has yet thought of.  At least one of those methods might be a phenomenon of nature in the tomb. One might be the consequence of the byproducts of a miracle.  One might be an arts and crafts method.

Colin’s ingenious work warrants examination:

There’s something very odd about the coloration of the “Shroud” fibres at the microscopic level. It’s to do with (a) the unifomity of coloration between different fibres (b) discontinuities on coloration, i.e. a sudden loss of coloration on particular fibres and (c) the coloration affecting the entire circumference of each fibre (we’re told). The model studies to date reported here with the dry flour/wet linen imprinting seem to match at least two of those characteristics , i.e. (a) and (b) . Who knows, maybe (c) too if I make an effort to view each fibre in the round, maybe by using high magnification on coloured fibres that have separated – or been separated – from neighbours in a thread.


Where are we at? Close to the finishing line would be my guess as regards the body image. It can be accounted for as a dry flour imprint onto wet linen that seeped its natural flour oil (1.5% approx by weight) during oven roasting, causing the hot oil to track along individual linen fibres producing yellow half-tone coloration with discontinuities when/where oil was limiting. It is not impossible that imprinting of the TS body image was carried out, as here, using  flour supplemented with a small amount of added vegetable oil or some other lipid-like or lipid-rich material.

Categories: Image Theory

The End if Near

August 20, 2015 15 comments

imageJohn Klotz has an interesting piece over on his blog, Living Free. He calls it simply Apocalypse Now:

For most of my life, from time to time, I have seen cartoons in magazines satirizing street corner prophets of an apocalypse. The usual caricature is of a scruffy man, in a shabby robe with a long scraggly beard carrying a sign which reads “The End is Near” or some such.

Well, it’s early morning and I am not carrying a placard as I start this piece. I am in a robe (bath) but I don’t have a long beard although I am as of yet unshaven. I don’t have a placard but I do have a blog and a computer. However, I have just read a piece on the web from the morning New York Times by Thomas Friedman, and so here’s my message: “The End is Near.”

Four years ago I began work on my book The Coming of the Quantum Christ. At the very end of my introduction, I described Science as being both Christ and Anti-Christ and raised the question of whether the scientific study of the Shroud of Turin could be the “Coming of a Quantum Christ.” It was a rhetorical question. By the time …

Now you are hooked. You must read it.

Categories: Other Blogs Tags:

New Book on the Shroud of Turin

August 20, 2015 11 comments

imageThere is a new book out as of yesterday. It is by Simon Brown. It’s called Evidence of the Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. So far it is only available in large print paperback format (there is no Kindle or e-book format that I can see). The price in the U.S. is $9.98. The description at Amazon is brief:

We will examine, inspect, survey and scrutinise all the fact’s by the best experts and scientist on the planet, the evidence of the greatest relic yet discovered in world history, what was very possibly left behind in the tomb of Jesus owned by Joseph of Arimathaea, and known as the most famous historical object in ancient history, called: The Shroud of Turin, as told in THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 20.

There is a lot more on the cover if you can read it (click on the picture) and on Simon Brown’s website:

What and who is in this book?

Nothing But, Facts, Proof, evidence, 100’s of links to Peer Reviewed scientific papers & articles, by the best researchers in the world.

100’s? Peer Reviewed? Well, some, anyways. Incidentally this list is cloned from Brown continues:

I have added research by Lt. Dr. General Ray Rogers, America’s finest Scientist who was against the Shroud, until his new research converted him.

Lt. Dr. General?  Is that a British convention to mix it up like that?  It is on the cover of the book that way, as well. Oh, Rogers was neither, by-the-way. Brown continues:

A Jewish man who has now become the greatest expert on the Shroud of Turin: BARRIE SCHWORTZ of

Raymond J. Schneider P.E., Ph.D. Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Information Technology at Bridgewater College.

RUSS BREAULT who has been researching and lecturing on the Shroud of Turin for over 25 years. His presentation makes use of over 150 superb images and unfolds like a CSI investigation. Mr. Breault delivers a dynamic, fast-paced experience. His highly acclaimed presentation is called THE MYSTERY OF THE SHROUD: A Multi-Media Encounter or simply… Shroud Encounter!

Ancient languages translator and historian Mark Guscin, B.A. M.Phil., Expert on the ”SUDARIUM” OF JESUS. (Face cloth).

This book Includes research by Peter Shumacher, the inventor of the NASA VP-8 Image Analyzer.

NASA?  Check out VP8 Image Analyzer at Wikipedia. It goes on and on and concludes with this admonition:

As Christians we know that our mission is to intercept those who are sadly heading for the Gates of Hell and each one of us need to be aware of the urgency of the hour in saving our ‘neighbour’….

Well, I guess that is one way of putting it. Not my way, exactly.

Categories: Books

Who is Addai?

August 19, 2015 7 comments

from newly published papers at

imageIf you are fascinated by historical theory, like I am, read, FROM JERUSALEM TO EDESSA – THE SHROUD AND THE FAMILY OF JESUS:

Semitic name Addai, abbreviation for Adonija, does not derive from a person of the New Testament. It is necessary to wait until Eusebius – secondary source compared to the Doctrina (Illert 2007: 20) – to identify him with Thaddeus, one of the twelve Disciples (Matteo 10,3 / Marco 3,18) (HE I 12,3). According to the Doctrina, Addai came from “Panea, at the springs of Jordan River” (Howard 1981: 42s). The position against the conjecture that this is a reference to the Gospels is supported by the different name used in the Bible. As a matter of facts, it mentions the place as Caesarea Philippi (Marco 8,27 / Matteo 16,13). Because of this detail, Theodor Zahn’s position is still convincing. He presumes that «since it is totally impartial, this should be considered as a trustworthy tradition through the first, or one of the first, preachers of Christian faith in Edessa» (1881: 369). A significant role into the Doctrina is played by James the Brother of the Lord (Howard 1981: 22-25. 34s).

Yet there is a pre-existent source connecting James with Addai. According to the First Apocalypse of James, the Brother of the Lord had instructed Addai. The Gnostic apocryphal text in Coptic language brought to us, that we know also from the recently (re)published Codix Tchacos, contains Jewish-Christian translations and can be dated back to the 3rd century (Brankaer/Bethge 2007: 114-117; 84s). Richard Bauckham assumes that there had been a mission of the Family Members of the Lord towards East (1990: 66-70) and that Addai, before the year 70, had relations withJerusalem. Richard Bauckham also gives the Apocalypse of James for sure (2008: 265). Also M. L. Chaumont considers the Mission of Addai a verified historical fact (1988: 14-16), but, like Adolf von Harnack (1924: 681), he places it in a later period of time, around the year 100.

Categories: History

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