PZ Myers and the Shroud of Turin

pzm_profile_picMyers, who once asked readers of his blog to pilfer a consecrated host from a Catholic Mass (he called it a God Damned Cracker) so he could desecrate it, which he (thought he) did by nailing to a Quran and throwing it in the trash with coffee grounds, now writes:

I get thrown the miracle of the shroud of Turin on a regular basis — just last week someone confronted me with it, basically saying "A-ha! Jesus existed because there’s an old scrap of cloth with a face on it!" It doesn’t matter that I point out that it’s been dated to the 13th century, and was nothing more than a profit-making ‘relic’ for churches that would also hawk Jesus’s foreskin and John the Baptist’s pinky bone. They’d usually retort that it was not humanly possible to make the shroud, so it had to be a religious miracle.

Now I’ve got more ammo. The Shroud of Turin has been recreated, using simple medieval technologies. No magic, just acidic pigments.

I know, it won’t stop the kooks, but it’s still useful to know.

More ammo?  Kooks?

Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He writes one of the most fascinating and most popular evolutionary science blogs on the Internet. But he strays. He is vehemently anti-religious. When he strays he demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge about religion, an unparalleled fundamentalist-atheism agenda, and a knack to surrender all scientific principals.

Suppose some professor in Italy had claimed to find proof that the Theory of Evolution was wrong. Would Myers salute the claim without thinking. Of course not. And he shouldn’t. But this is just what he did with the claim that the shroud had been reproduced. It wasn’t of course. That has already been demonstrated. But Myers accepts the claim without any qualification.

I doubt very much that someone actually said, “A-ha! Jesus existed because there’s an old scrap of cloth with a face on it!" The absurdity is obvious.

Myers is a good writer about biology. He should stick to what he know.