This update to the Debate Blog Proposal was emailed to me by Jabba:
1. For those of you who are not familiar with our “mission,” we are a small group of Dan’s followers who wish to lure a notable skeptic (or so) into a real-time, on-line, systematic, written and friendly debate regarding The Shroud of Turin…
2. We do have some “connections,” so luring a somewhat notable skeptic seems to be a somewhat reasonable possibility. If that works somewhat, we should be able to lure some somewhat more notable skeptics. See what I mean?
3. I introduced the idea on Dan’s blog back on 8/9/11, under the heading, “Debate Blog Proposal.”
4. Our position in this debate: As strange as it might seem to the scientifically minded, the preponderance of scientific evidence actually, and greatly, supports Shroud “authenticity.”
5. More simply stated: The Shroud very likely was the burial cloth of the Biblical Jesus.
6. In this debate, we will try to show just how strong the evidence for authenticity is.
7. We especially wish to take on this challenge because
a. We think that the majority of the general public, at this point in time, believe that the Shroud has been proven fraudulent.
b. Correcting this misconception would provide a great service for a lot of people.
8. This motivation actually strengthens our liklihood of success in that we don’t really care whether we “sway” our opponents or not – opponents hardly ever get swayed — we care only about swaying our audience.
9. At the same time, however, we will try to be honest, objective and friendly – admitting when we think we’re wrong (yeah, right) — which, for us humans, is almost impossible.
10. Towards that particular end, however, I have “invented” a debate format that theoretically forces opponents (on both sides) to comply to that ideal – or, lose in the minds of the audience! Which again, is what counts.
11. We’ll see.
12. Just to clarify our current position a little: So far, it is not our opinion that the evidence “proves” the intervention of anything “supernatural.” What we think is that the evidence surely gives one a lot of pause.
13. Which, we can all use…
14. Including Dan, we have 5 team members so far. All 5 of us are somewhat expert regarding The Shroud (some more expert than others).
15. One of us is also a website expert, and has provided us with a rather sophisticated site at www.shrouddebates.com – though, at this writing, we have yet to post anything of substance.
16. Our venue will imitate a court room trial to some extent, and we are currently trying to develop something like a “legal brief” for our side. This brief should include about 15 supportive claims — such as, “The Shroud is, perhaps, the most scientifically studied of all ancient artifacts – and yet, no artist or scientist has ever been able to fully reproduce or explain it. If the Shroud is not authentic, it must be the most incredible forgery ever – and, this most incredible forgery would have been perpetrated prior to the15th century. Doesn’t sound too likely…
17. After developing that “overall” brief, we plan to elaborate on one of the supportive claims – developing a separate “brief” for it – and use that as our opening “bait.”
18. Doing this “by committee” is somewhat tedious. But then, it is also fun; so, where better to spend one’s ‘spare’ time?
19. We can probably use all the help we can get, so let us know through a “comment” here, or through an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’d like to participate.
20. I will place your email address on our distribution list, and we of the team will try to read whatever questions and comments you offer — but for now, we can’t promise to respond to them all… Personally, I’m having trouble keeping up with our current 5 member team.
21. I’m hoping that with better organization, and delegation of authority, we will be able to accommodate everyone who’s interested.
22. Again, we’ll see.
Whatever, thanks for listening.