This 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.’
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?