Over at Amazon, I just published a brief review for David Sullivan’s newest book, The Fallacy of God: A Religious Conspiracy. The only other review is by someone named Laptop Doctor who has published one glowing review for each of Sullivan’s books.
If you want to see what Sullivan is like (pictured here pretending to dress like a priest), view this brief YouTube video over at Better than a Saturday Night Live Skit.
Here is what I wrote over at Amazon:
I reviewed the chapter on the Shroud of Turin, a subject I am familiar with. The writing is a mixture of illogical arguments, confused facts and ridiculous claims. One paragraph selected as a fairly representative example illustrates this. Sullivan writes: "If Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and that process (miracle) somehow placed the image onto the shroud; then why when Jesus raised Lazarus from his tomb, or when He resurrected Jairus’ daughter from her bed, do we not find evidence of similar miracles? Jesus’ body was of the flesh, just as they, so whatever force that produced the image on the shroud should have had the same effect on their wrappings. . . ."
What? We don’t have their wrappings to examine. Oh, yes, about a thousand years ago, the church in Byzantium claimed to have Lazarus’ burial wrappings. But those disappeared long ago and, of course, there would be no way to verify that they are real relics. This sort of complete lack of logic and confusion about factual content fills every page of this book.
I do not recommend this book.
Amazon.com: The Fallacy of God: A Religious Conspiracy (9781460941317): David Sullivan: Books
Speaking of fallacies, I wonder if anyone has put together a list of fallacious Shroud arguments against authenticity. A few immediately come to mind (with a little sarcasm thrown in here and there):
*There’s no way a cloth could have lasted that long. Therefore it must be a fake.
*The Bible says that more than 1 cloth was used. The Shroud is only 1 cloth. Therefore it’s a hoax.
*All relics are fakes. The Shroud is a relic. Therefore the Shroud is fake.
*Leonardo was talented enough to produce the Shroud. Therefore he did it. (Never mind that the Shroud was around for about 100 years before he was born.
*Enough was known about photography in the 14th century that the Shroud could have been produced by a photographic process. Therefore it was.
*A bishop in the 14th century said he knew the artist that did it AND paint particles have been found on the Shroud. Therefore, it’s a painting.
*I’ve read 1 or 2 newspaper articles that say it’s a fake and I agree. Even though I haven’t done any research, my opinion trumps those that say a few measly hundreds of thousands of hours of the best scientific research of the 20th and 21st century has failed to come up with a viable explanation.
*The C-14 test gave results of AD 1260-1390. Even though only 1 questionable sample was taken, the putting of the samples into the tubes for the lab was the only part of the procedure not videotaped, and the reports of the sizes and weights of the samples kept changing, there’s no reason to doubt the validity of a test that’s often discarded because results are often affected by unknown factors.
I would enjoy seeing others add to this list.
Point #1: They actually have burial cloths from Masada and their hearing bone weave patterns match that of the shroud of Turin, and they date to their first century, so yes, a cloth could have lasted that long.
Point #2: You are forgetting the Sudarium of Oviedo which covered the face of Christ and is also from the 1st century and has lasted this long – see also http://youtu.be/XsR1_gXQNYo & http://youtu.be/jJBd_xqMlik
Point #3, 4, & 5: Sorry Leonardo Da Vinci couldn’t have produced what we cannot do today. To reproduce the image on the shroud of Turin, we would have to crucify a man, and flog him mercilessly, and then wrap him in a Shourd using 1st century herring bone weave pattern technology on papyrus spun linen to reproduce the burial cloth, and then we would need to have a double sided scanner to scan a body in a weightless environment such as space, say aboard a space shuttle or space station, then after we scanned the body, on earth we would need to send data to a laser printer into which feed the a burial shroud and have the lasers scorch in dot-matrix pattern, the top two micro-fibers, not threads, for there are hundreds of fibers in one thread, but just the top two micro-fibers, so we could have a 2D negative image that shows up as a positive on camera developed film, and then be able to yield gigabytes of information to obtain the images seen on the History Channel of the real face of Jesus. Sorry, but even Leonardo wasn’t that smart, or we’d be travelling beyond our solar system now instead of just having traveled to the moon.
Point #6 – See points 3, 4 & 5, but also see – http://www.greatshroudofturinfaq.com/Crazy/darcis.html:
A French bishop, Pierre d’Arcis, was trying to stop and exhibit of the Shroud. He drafted a letter to the pope claiming that an artist had confessed to painting it. Not many people took him seriously then. Not many historians do not take him seriously today.
Several documents have been discovered that challenge both his honesty as well as his motives. Pilgrims were the problem. Rather than visiting his cathedral in the city of Troyes, France, they were visiting the small church in Lirey to see the purported burial shroud of Christ. And that is where they were spending their money. Money was needed for ongoing construction on the cathedral. There were shrines for four saints, although, admittedly, no one seemed to know who two of them were. Troyes was famous as the founding city of the by then outlawed Knights Templar.
Though Pierre was possibly not the first to challenge the authenticity of the Shroud, he certainly wasn’t the last. The document is still referenced by skeptics even though its contents are suspect; even though it has now been scientifically proved that the Shroud was not painted.
Point #7: You haven’t done any research yourself, which is obvious, therefore here are some reference points for research:
Point #8: The Shroud of Turin was linen spun from papyrus. Los Alamos labs proved the samples taken for the carbon dating were cotton – which proves the theory of a repair weave. Also see: http://www.greatshroudofturinfaq.com/History/Greek-Byzantine/
Time to pull yourself into the 21st Cenutry Joe.
Mr Bratcher, I believe you’ve misinterpreted Joe’s stand in the Shroud debate.I think he was being a little sarcastic.Joe Marino along with the late Sue Benford were instrumental in Shroud research with their independant paper published I believe in 2001, arguing that the C-14 dating was flawed due to the samples being taken from a medieval patch being invisibly woven onto the Shroud.This led to the late R.Rogers further studies ending with the now semi-famous peer-reviewed paper in ThermoChimica Acta (2005).
Anyways I’ll add some things to the list;
*Jesus never existed, there’s no historical proof, so how could the Shroud be his?
*The man on the Shroud is 6 feet tall! people in those times were only 5’5″, so it’s a hoax.
*Scriptures say Jesus was clean shaven and had short hair, so the guy on the Shroud could not have been Jesus.
*They found a burial cloth in a cave in Jerusalem, looked nothing like the Shroud, so the Shroud is a fake.
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