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More Tetherd Cow Ahead on the Shroud of Turin

The Tetherd Cow Ahead sent in this comment. It should be addressed as its own posting:

Oh whatever. The details are trivial – a medieval repair/C02 contamination/incorrect calibration – I’m sure Shroudies could come up with a million reasons why the actual facts don’t fit with your theories. It doesn’t matter if someone dumped a truck full of scientific evidence at your door, you’d still cling to the irrational idea that the Turin Shroud is something other than the most likely explanation suggests, that is, a medieval forgery. I note you didn’t even attempt to address my question about why Christians seem desperate to get scientific proof that Jesus Christ was resurrected. Aren’t you just supposed to have Faith?

Let’s first address the question about seeking proof that Jesus Christ was resurrected. I see this stated frequently, and indeed it is part of the Joe Nickell polemic. But it isn’t so. I seldom hear it from any shroud researcher. To my knowledge only John Jackson and a couple of his associates ever state it. I was at the conference in Ohio and I never heard anyone talk about proof of resurrection. Quite the opposite, people who did talk about their faith (and that wasn’t a big topic) expressed the view that the shroud has nothing to do with their faith. And that is my view. I believe in the resurrection. I don’t know if it happened. It is a matter of faith.

At the Ohio conference there were Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Evangelical Christians, a Jew and many who will not express their beliefs. I think there was one atheist. There may have been one or two more, I don’t know. I only identified one person who I would call a biblical literalist-fundamentalist. I know that theological interpretations of the resurrection included physical and spiritual interpretations.

In fact, I doubt that we can or ever will be able to prove that the shroud is the real thing. I think the closest we will get is to show that it is probably the burial cloth of late-Second Temple era crucifixion victim. Anything beyond that must be inference.

As for the comment that details are trivial, that is profoundly ridiculous. If 27 woven-in fibers from the carbon 14 corner of the cloth are cotton and there is no cotton elsewhere on the shroud it is significant evidence that the carbon 14 sample is suspiciously NOT representative of the cloth. If the carbon 14 area contains vanillin and the rest of the cloth does not, that too is an important detail. And by the way, the lack of vanillin in the cloth is a powerful argument that the cloth cannot be medieval and is at least twice as old as the C14 date.

Frankly, I still say, and most serious shroudies will agree, the shroud could still be demonstrated to be a fake. If so, I would like to know that. But the evidence does not support the argument that it is fake.

There was only one skeptical paper at the Ohio Shroud Conference. That is too bad. The best way to arrive at conclusions is open dialog. There is no truck load of evidence. And Joe Nickell with his ludicrous arguments does not advance knowledge.

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