The Shroud in the Universe: Seeing Images of God

Shroud of Turin Hands placed over the Planck survey map of the universe as it appeared in it’s infancy 13.7 Billion years ago.



There are many other images of the Shroud superimposed on images from space. This one was posted yesterday at  Seeing Images of God. But look in the archives for more.

Is my mind closed? Or is it the other guy?

imageThis morning, I received an email from a “committed skeptic” who told me it is only a matter of time until someone “really figures out” how the shroud’s image was formed. “When that happens,” he wrote, “you will have absolute proof that [the shroud] is a forgery. That is the only assertion acceptable to science.”

The only assertion acceptable to science? Really?

I was reminded of an exchange of emails I had with Ray Rogers in  December of 2004. I mentioned to him that I get significant numbers of emails from the “lunatic fringe.”

I WROTE:  Ray, you wrote [in a previous email]: "Apparently no amount of physical law or illustration can successfully argue against a strong desire to prove the resurrection facts or not."

Sadly, it cuts both ways. . .

His reply was classic, Rogers. Two paragraphs, in particular, were priceless. In the first he  responded to me about a similar email he received with a new explanation for the images:

ROGERS WROTE:  Yes. I get lots of lunatic-fringe mail too – – – and telephone calls. Some of the calls come in the middle of the night…perhaps catalyzed by too much Pinot Noir. My favorite was a guy who pointed out that when you cover a "daid boddie" with a cloth, the flies come to the smell. "They poke their little noses through the cloth. And you know what flies leave – – – little black specks. "Jest look at that image real close, and you will see that it is made up of a whole bunch of fly specks." By that time I was rolling on the floor, and I couldn’t answer him.

The next paragraph below was in response to the fact that

I WROTE:  . . . a distinguished Yale research biologist, told me recently, ‘It’s art. I can see that it’s art. There is no amount of scientific fact that could convince me otherwise.’

Ray’s response:

ROGERS WROTE:  Like you, I had one of the top (Manhattan Project) scientists (and a staunch Episcopalian) at the Laboratory tell me, "Ray, even if you prove that thing is real, I won’t believe it." Many people do not stop to wonder what "real" means in the context of the Shroud.

Is my mind closed? Or is it the other guy?

Leonardo da Vinci Forged the Shroud of Turin?

imageIt is a ridiculous charge, leveled by conspiracy theorists, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, that Leonard faked the shroud. The  current issues of Tuscan magazine doubts it.

As recently as last year, claims were made that Leonardo forged the Turin Shroud using pioneering photographic techniques and a sculpture of his own head. Leonardo’s forgery was apparently commissioned to replace an earlier 14th century version of the shroud that was exposed as a poor fake. The theory says that this earlier shroud disappeared at around the time of Leonardo’s birth and when it reappeared some fifty years later, it was hailed as a genuine relic, because it was really his convincing replica. If anyone could have done it at that time, Leonardo would be a likely candidate, but it’s a fairly implausible theory.

The article also addresses the conspiracy theory that Leonardo da Vinci painted Mary Magdalene into The Last Supper. I recommend the article. It is short and to the point.

Stephen E. Jones’ Report on the Lecture by Joel Bernstein

Thank you, Stephen, from me and all the readers of this blog. We appreciate your quick and informative report. We look forward to your more comprehensive report on your blog, The Shroud of Turin ( ).

imageI attended this lecture by Prof. Joel Bernstein tonight. I wrote copious notes in almost total darkness and discovered that I had written it all in green ink using my 4-color ballpoint pen! But I was relieved to find later that it was almost all legible. My brief report here is that it was basically a lecture during this the International Year of Chemistry on good (or “pathological”) science vs bad science, with the Shroud of Turin being a prime example of supposedly “pathological science.” Indeed, it was not even science at all, but just “Science vs Faith,” which false dichotomy Bernstein’s overheads began and concluded.

Prof. Bernstein put on the screen pictures of seven books on the Shroud that he got off the Web. He admitted that he had not read any of them except the late Walter McCrone’s Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin which he quoted from extensively. Prof. Bernstein admitted that McCrone was “one of his heroes” having been a revered figure in Chemistry at Cornell University where Bernstein gained his Ph.D. Significantly Bernstein cited McCrone’s establishment of his reputation by his debunking of the Vinland Map, without disclosing to the audience that McCrone was later found to be wrong!

It was clear that Bernstein uncritically accepted everything McCrone wrote on the Shroud as Gospel Truth and he even during the Q&A at the end of the lecture ignorantly claimed of McCrone’s analysis of STURP’s 32 tapes that “no one had ever written a book saying `this guy [McCrone] got it wrong.’” I responded by inviting Prof. Bernstein to read John Heller’s Report on the Shroud of Turin and/or Ian Wilson’s The Blood and the Shroud where McCrone’s claims that the Shroud was a painting and that the blood was just iron oxide and vermilion were comprehensively refuted. But he seemed uninterested.

It is ironic that Prof. Bernstein used pro-authenticity Shroud research as a prime example of “pathological science” and McCrone’s anti-authenticity research as “good science,” when the boot is well and truly on the other foot! And Prof. Bernstein himself is hardly engaging in “good science” when he lectures on a subject without bothering to read extensively the other side. But then from my analogous experience in the Creation/Intelligent Design vs Evolution debate, that is the whole point of demonising Shroud pro-authenticity research as “bad” and even “pathological science” or just “faith.” Then, like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, you don’t even have to consider the non-naturalistic other side!

I will now write a fuller report on my The Shroud of Turin blog.

Stephen E. Jones

Reference to Good News: Stephen E. Jones to Attend and Report on Lecture by Joel Bernstein « Shroud of Turin Blog

You Are Reminded. Dr. Karl and the Shroud of Turin in 2009

With Joel Bernstein, Professor of Chemistry for NYU Abu Dhabi and Ben Gurion University of the Negev speaking about the Shroud of Turin at Scitech and The Institute of Advanced Studies at UWA, Dr. Karl of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) wanted to remind this blogs’ readers about three articles he wrote back in 2009. You are reminded. Now have fun finding errors of fact and arguable conclusions:


The shroud of Turin is prepared for public exhibition in Rome in April 1998

Shroud stalwarts scorn science

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 30 commentsArticle has audio
Great Moments in Science Scientific tests confirm that the image appearing on a Turin burial cloth is a fabrication. Dr Karl unwraps the mystery to resurrect a shrouded, centuries-old answer.

Part of the Turin shroud as shown in this August 1978 photograph

Evidence snubbed by famous shroud faithful

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 31 commentsArticle has audio
Great Moments in Science Believing in the authenticity of the famous shroud of Turin is one thing but what of the science? Dr Karl scours the evidence in an attempt to see the light.

Turin's cardinal Giovanni Saldarini (second from left) blesses the shroud of Turin before it is put on display in Turin's cathedral in 1998.

Some life left in holy relic

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 14 commentsArticle has audio
Great Moments in Science For many Christians, the shroud of Turin is proof of the resurrection miracle. Dr Karl can’t quite believe what he sees.

More on Flagrum Proportions and Measurements and Now the Side Strip

imageThere have been sixteen interesting comments on the posting, Not True: The Shroud of Turin and Flagrum Proportions and Measurements Are Identical . Numbers 15 and 16 caught my attention in particular.

If you are interested in the flagrum and/or the side strip, I recommend reading the entire entry using the link shown above:

Ron (Comment 15):  I guess if we go by Dr Jackson’s hypothesis of the body being securred using the re-sewn strip along the side of the Shroud, then it would be possible that contact was made on all areas where scourge marks are shown, but there are problems, although minor, with his hypothesis.One being there should be blood on the side strip, or atleast traces of blood you would think (Which to this day no one can confirm, and I’ve asked).I contemplated the negative images and how the blood shows white also, and also how the scourge marks show the same, BUT as we do not understand the image mechanism, we can not simply assume that they had to have contact to give out a white appearance.The ‘backlight image’ is very telling in many ways and even if the scourge marks were very thin or sharp details, imho, just the multitude of all marks along with the dumbell marks bunched together should have shown up (as in blocking the light), it’s pretty clear.But it’s fruitless discussing these things, as we do not have access to high quality images or the expertise.It would be nice to have access to the recently taken High Definition photos though wouldn’t it?

Yannick Clément (Comment 16):  Hello Ron ! Your last comment is very interesting.I think your totally right about the Jackson hypothesis of the side strip ! I’ve made the same reflexion that you : If the side strip would have been used to tied up the Shroud around the body, it is almost sure that we would see blood marks on this side strip. Excellent remark. But don’t forget one important thing : It is not because the hypothesis from Jackson is wrong that there were not some others linen strips used to tied up the Shroud around the body (at least for some time) and so, to permit the transfer of all those scourge marks we see almost everywhere on the Shroud. I think the probability for this kind of use during the burial is high.

Concerning your point about the image formation mechanism versus the scourge marks, I would say this : If we assume those are made of blood materials coming from clotted blood (I think I’ve supply enough pieces of evidences from the STURP papers to support this idea), then we must assume that those marks were made from direct contacts between the body and the cloth. Every honest scientist who had studied the Shroud has come to the conclusion that the blood stains were made from direct contact.

Of course, there’s still your point about the backlight photo of the Shroud that seem to support at first Baima Bollone hypothesis that the scourge marks are of the same nature than the body image, but I think this fact alone is not enough to really support this idea when you compare it to all the scientific data that exist and who point toward a blood nature for the scourge marks.

It’s funny because right now, I’m reading a book that can help to explain this phenomenon while still thinking the scourges are made of blood. The book I am reading was written by Baima Bollone in 2000 and the title is “101 questions about the Shroud of Turin”. In it, the author indicate that, during the examination of the cloth in 1978, he noticed that some blood stains had penetrated all the thickness of the cloth and reach the other side while some others blood stains did not penetrate the cloth at all and therefore, were very superficial (he didn’t mention any particular area where it happen).

But, with this information in mind, I think there’s a fair possibility that the scourge marks could fit this last description. Regarding their very sharp aspect and the fact that they are not big stains, it think those marks could well be pretty superficial, that is to say that the blood material who probably compose them didn’t penetrate the cloth that much. I think it is logic to think that. In my mind, this could be the best explanation why we don’t see them on the backlight photos. At least, because of the fact that some blood stains are very superficial on the cloth, the observation that the scourge marks are not visible on backlight photos cannot rule out the possibility (very high in my mind) that they are made of blood materials.

One thing’s for sure, to make up our mind on this particular topic, we must look at the whole picture and not just one particular detail. Regarding all the facts and observations reported by STURP or Baima Bollone himself, I think the best explanation for the scourge marks is that they are pretty superficial and made of blood material coming from clotted blood. In the present state of our knowledge about the Shroud, I honestly think it’s the best answer. Of course, the analysis of those high definition photos could be a very good thing to support or discredit my conclusion, but I think another series of direct testing (with chemical analysis of fibres taken directly from those scourge marks) would be the best way to know the truth once and for all and finally end this debate !

Not True: The Shroud of Turin and Flagrum Proportions and Measurements Are Identical « Shroud of Turin Blog

‪Shroud of Turin Blog Getting Many Visitors

Ron noted in a comment to An invitation to discuss the Shroud of Turin. You’ve got to be kidding, about This Non-Religious Life over at Zombie Popcorn:

Holy Geez, I couldn’t watch more then 8 minutes of that youtube video, . . . I would just ignore them, last count they had 70 hits on thier latest video, can anyone say FAIL.

(That is about 10 per day since the video was posted.) This led Kris Herbert to wonder how many hits this blog gets. It has been a bit slow because it is summer and because I haven’t been posting all that much lately (because it is summer). Even so we have stayed consistently above 1000 views per say and above 1500 lately (today is 323 at 7:00 am). This chart is generated by our host,