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 ( http://theshroudofturin.blogspot.com/ ).
I 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