More on Political Pistachio: Some Scientists Claim Shroud of Turin is Authentic

imageThis thread of comments is interesting (Anonymous, I can tell you, is Joe Marino, the man pictured here is Douglas V. Gibbs, the blogger of Political Pistachio).

          Anonymous said…

In only about 800 words, you have confidently dismissed the Shroud. I, on the other hand, am not so confident. You refer to the biblical passages, in English, that mention the Shroud. I’m guessing you have not studied the original Greek words or consulted any biblical or Jewish experts to see if they think the Shroud is compatible with the texts. I’m guessing you have read little or none of the thousands of books and articles on the Shroud, which is one of the most intensely studied objects in human history. I’m guessing you don’t find it significant that some of the best minds in the American space and nuclear programs have studied the Shroud and have more questions than answers.

I’ve never understood the logic that because the Gospels mention more than one cloth and the Shroud is only one cloth, the Shroud has to be a fake. If I lost a pair of shoes and later only found one of them, is it logical to say that the one shoe couldn’t have been one of the original two? If the Shroud is authentic, I would have expected the various cloths to end up in different places.
I’m guessing you won’t take any advice since you seem to believe that your interpretation of the biblical passages trumps every other piece of data, but I would advise that you do a little more homework before making such an absolute pronouncement.

Douglas V. Gibbs said…

I have studied Greek translations, and I have not just jumped to some conclusion. My argument is significant, but there is more to it than all that I wrote. If you want a 50 page summation, however, it is not going to happen. Interesting how, because you disagree with me, in your mind I must automatically be speaking from an ignorant point of view, or you assume my studies are limited. Let me ask you this: If God does not want us to worship icons instead of Him, why would He leave behind such a relic? I think that many of these items man has searched for are missing on purpose. God knew people would worship the artifact, and it would pull their eyes from Him. And I assure you, I have done my homework on this, and more, and my absolute pronouncement stands. Perhaps you should study the Word of God a little more before jumping onto something that draws our eyes to an object, rather than Him.

          Flagrum3 said…

Worship icons? Man made icons, Yes, but this may not be ‘manmade’, what about the ‘tablets’ of the Ten commandments? Did people worship the tablets or the one who made them? Furthermore, who is worshipping the Shroud? No one, people are venerating the one whom it depicts. I must agree with anonymous. There may have been several cloths in the tomb that morning!. It makes perfect sense that there would be, as his blood would have been collected. Some articles may have been lost in time or destroyed.But to suggest scripture disproves the Shroud was one of them is ludicrous. Have you heard of the Sudarium of Oviedo? It is purported to be the napkin "that was about his head, found in a place by itself"! The Shroud has a 4 inch strip resewn along it’s side, suggested to have been used to bind the Shroud to the body.

Yes I think more research is warranted on your part before making comments such as you did.

Source: Political Pistachio: Some Scientists Claim Shroud of Turin is Authentic

Comment Promoted: Did Christopher Ramsey Change His Mind?

imageYannick Clément writes:

The thing that I don’t understand his why Ramsey said what he said in the David Rolfe documentary (that the C14 result of 88 was really questionnable) and now, he seem to have completely changed his mind. Is it due to the possible failure of the hypothesis of John Jackson regarding a possible increase of the level of C14 in the Shroud fibers due to Carbon monoxide ? I know he worked with Jackson and, reading Ramsey’s last comment, it seem that Jackson hypothesis has been discard by him. Maybe that’s why he seem to have changed his mind about the possibility that the C14 result of 88 can be wrong ? If it is so, then I think he made a mistake because there’s others viable hypothesis out there, like the french invisible reweaving.

It is also significant to look at the Oxford University News Releases. From a March 25, 2008, release entitled, “International radiocarbon dating experts confirm the Turin Shroud is a medieval fake:”

Professor Christopher Ramsey said: ‘ Further research on the Turin Shroud is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to investigate anything that might have affected the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests. It is equally important that other experts critically assess and reinterpret all the evidence, which may point to an earlier date. Only by doing this will we be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud, which takes into account and explains all the available information.’

Read the whole release for context. How much of the problem is Tom Chivers in his Interview with Paolo Di Lazzaro.

Growth of this Shroud of Turin Blog


New Book: Wrapped Up in the Shroud of Turin, Chronicle of a Passion by Joseph G Marino

imageJoe’s new book is out. You can order it at Amazon ($21.95) or Barnes and Noble ($14.70). I do not find any publisher description at this time. That often follows release by several days. However, until then . . .

Joseph Marino, a former Benedictine monk, has been studying the Shroud of Turin since 1977. As the Catholic Church’s most revered relic, the Shroud is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus. While at the monastery, Marino lectured extensively on the subject in the St. Louis, Missouri area, produced a newsletter read in 23 countries, wrote articles, appeared on local, national and international radio and TV programs, and attended an exhibition of the Shroud in Turin in 1998. He was once referred to by a parishioner at the monastery church as the monk “who’s wrapped up in the Shroud.”

Currently Marino is a library associate at Ohio State University. He has amassed one of the largest personal collections of Shroud materials in the world. He and his late wife, M. Sue Benford, (shown in accompanying photo) presented a paper at the Sindone 2000 World Congress in Orvieto, Italy, hypothesizing that the reason the 1988 C-14 dating of the Shroud resulted in a date range of AD 1260-1390 for the cloth was because of a sixteenth-century repair in the sample area. The combined sixteenth-century repair with first-century cloth definitely could have produced the medieval dates. Raymond Rogers, one of the scientists from the Shroud of Turin Research Project who studied the Shroud in 1978, thought the hypothesis was nonsense. Rogers had in his possession samples of the Shroud and said he would prove the hypothesis wrong in five minutes. However, less than an hour after he began to examine the samples, he concluded that Benford and Marino were probably correct. Other scientists have independently verified Rogers’ findings, which were published in 2005 in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal, Thermochimica Acta. Benford and Marino wrote several follow up articles about their theory, which now has significant support in the Shroud community and beyond. Previously unpublished notes from a key scientist, as well as correspondence with other key scientists involved with the Shroud, provide important new historical data. Marino continues to stay active in Shroud research.

WRAPPED UP IN THE SHROUD is a real-life chronicle of one long-time researcher, who has devoted nearly thirty-five years to studying this enigmatic cloth. Breezy and entertaining, yet powerful in its scope, the book recounts strange, humorous and at times mystical events surrounding Marino’s involvement, and even includes a tragic but touching love story. This book is unlike any other on the Shroud you have ever read.

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Cradle Press LLC (December 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097894996X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978949969
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches

    Source: WRAPPED UP IN THE SHROUD, Chronicle of a Passion (9780978949969): Joseph G Marino: Books

  • Paper Chase: Dan Scavone’s Besancon Presentation at Ohio 2008

    imageSince Joe Nickell brought up Bishop d’Arcis in the Cosmic Log blog, it seems appropriate to point to this wonderful paper by Dan Scavone: “BESANÇON AND OTHER HYPOTHESES FOR THEMISSING YEARS: THE SHROUD FROM 1200 TO 1400

    But even without thinking about Nickell, it is a paper that should be read if you haven’t done so and reread if it has been awhile since you read it. Great paper.

    What’s in a name, Christopher Bronk Ramsey?

    Stephen E. Jones reports by way of a comment that:

    imageIt is worth noting that the ” C.R. Bronk” among the signatories to the 1989 Nature paper declaring that the radiocarbon dating of a three postage stamp size samples of the 4 x 2 metre Shroud was “conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval”:

    Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin by P. E. Damon,1 D. J. Donahue,2 B. H. Gore,1 A. L. Hatheway,2 A. J. T. Jull,1 T. W. Linick,2 P. J. Sercel,2 L. J. Toolin,1 C.R. Bronk,3 E. T. Hall,3 R. E. M. Hedges, 3 R. Housley,3 I. A. Law,3 C. Perry,3 G. Bonani,4 S. Trumbore,5 W. Woelfli,4 J. C. Ambers,6 S. G. E. Bowman,6 M. N. Leese6 & M. S. Tite6 Reprinted from Nature, Vol. 337, No. 6208, pp. 611-615, 16th February, 1989

    is none other than Professor Christopher Bronk Ramsey! (pictured above)

    So Prof. Ramsay is far from being a disinterested party in the defence of that now increasingly discredited radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to 1260-1390 AD.

    If Prof. Ramsey was quoted correctly that, the “radiocarbon dating results which put the Shroud at around 800 years old, which Prof Christopher Ramsey of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit tells me we have no reason to doubt” then his continued unscientific dogmatism is itself highly significant.

    Indeed, the very fact the scientists involved did not then, and still do not now, preface their conclusions with something like:

    “If the tiny 1.2cm x 8cm = 0.00096 sq m. sample of the Shroud we were given, cut from the one bottom corner of the 4.4 x 1.1m = 4.84 sq. m. cloth, and therefore being only 0.02% of the whole cloth, is representative of the whole cloth, then, and only then, can we extrapolate our 1260-1390 AD date of that sample, to the Shroud as a whole”

    tells me that they were, and still are, trying too hard to discredit the Shroud.”

    Source: An Interview with Paolo Di Lazzaro « Shroud of Turin Blog

    How Fast is Wikipedia? Shroud of Turin Article Updated Already

    imageI can’t tell exactly when this material was added.  But we all know that the paragraphs are from no earlier than the week before Christmas. This is new material in the “Recent developments” section of the full article. Too bad Nickell gets mentioned.

    In December 2011 scientists at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development ENEA announced that their series of tests demonstrated the image on the shroud could, in their opinion, only have been created by "some form of electromagnetic energy" such as a flash of light at short wavelength.[163][164] Professor Paolo Di Lazzaro, the lead researcher, indicated in an e-mail interview that ‘….it appears unlikely a forger may have done this image with technologies available in the Middle Ages or earlier’, but their study does not mean the Shroud image could only have been created by the flash of a miraculous resurrection, contrary to how the story was presented in the media, especially on the Web.[165] Prominent skeptic Joe Nickell, however, is not impressed with the news. He indicates the latest findings is nothing new despite ‘dressed up in high-tech tests’ and don’t prove much of anything.[165]

    In December 2011 physicist Giulio Fanti published a critical compendium of the major hypotheses regarding the formation of the body image on the shroud. Fanti stated that "none of them can completely explain the mysterious image".[166] Fanti then considered corona discharge as the most probable hypothesis regarding the formation of the body image.[166]

    Here is a list of the citations for the above paragraphs:

    163.   Squires, Nick (December 19, 2011). "The Turin Shroud could not have been faked, say scientists". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved December 23, 2011.

    164.   ^ (in italian)

    165.   ^ a b Boyle, Alan (December 23, 2011). "Was Holy Shroud created in a flash? Italian researchers resurrect claim". Retrieved December 23, 2011.

    166.   ^ a b G. Fanti, Hypotheses regarding the Formation of the Body Image: A Critical Compendium, The Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, 55(6) 060507 (nov-dec. 2011), abstract

    Source: Shroud of Turin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    An Interview with Paolo Di Lazzaro

    imageTom Chivers in The Telegraph:

    A week or two ago I wrote about the Shroud of Turin, after a new study by Italian scientists was trumpeted in the media as apparently showing it really was the burial cloth of Christ. Naturally, it did no such thing: it showed that marks similar to those on the Shroud could be made using ultraviolet light. It’s very interesting, but not proof of divine origin – especially in the light of radiocarbon dating results which put the Shroud at around 800 years old, which Prof Christopher Ramsey of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit tells me we have no reason to doubt.

    After I’d written it, one of the lead authors of the Italian study, Dr Paolo Di Lazzaro, got in touch to ask for a correction, which I happily made (specifically, I’d said the authors claimed that their method was "the only" way the Shroud image could have been made – they didn’t). He also kindly agreed to a brief email interview about what he thought his study meant. I’ll reprint his answers in full below:

    Full Interview: The Shroud of Turin: forgery or divine? A scientist writes

    Continue reading “An Interview with Paolo Di Lazzaro”

    Quote for Today by David Rolfe

    imageSO WELL PUT AND SO TRUE:  From an email yesterday:

    Journalists are not normally experts on the subjects on which they report. They must always look for a countervailing view. The problem with the Shroud is – and I speak from experience – it is impossible to find anyone who has actually made a detailed impartial study of the Shroud who remains, on balance, skeptical about its authenticity. Consequently, only highly partial critics are available to journalists and thus the Shroud and the public remain badly served. Of course, among Shroud enthusiasts there is plenty to discuss and differ over, but basic authenticity is not a dividing issue.David Rolfe

    By-the-way, if you haven’t seen David’s revised website, click on the above image or visit Oh, and also, the old URL now redirects to the new URL, which is a big deal since it protects old links.

    The Beat Goes On: Shroud of Turin and the Laser Experiments

    imageMUST READ: For a science and religion story, this story has staying power. Nick Squires hit an out-of-the-park home run six days before Christmas. Today, he is re-writing the same story in the same newspaper, The Telegraph, and citing new sources. In the meantime many other news sites reported the same story with different wording but very little variation. Several hundred blogs reported the story. I have had more posts on this story then on any other shroud story I can remember. Here we go:

    Dateline: Nick Squires, Rome, December 29, 2011:

    Headline: Vatican’s official newspaper says science cannot explain Turin Shroud

    Lede: The Vatican’s official newspaper has given strong endorsement to research by Italian scientists which suggests that the Turin Shroud cannot be a medieval fake and may be the authentic burial cloth of Christ.


    "For science, the shroud continues to be an ‘impossible object’ – impossible to falsify," L’Osservatore Romano said in a lengthy article on Thursday.

    After conducting five years of advanced laser experiments, a team of experts from Enea, the National Agency for New Technologies and Energy, concluded that the imprint of a bearded man’s face and crucified body could not be reproduced by modern scientific techniques.

    . . .

    The researchers presented their results with "extreme caution" and had stopped short of putting forward theories that "strayed from science", the Vatican daily said.

    But the implication of their work was that the enigmatic marks on the cloth were created at the moment of Christ’s Resurrection by some sort of miracle.

    . . .

    Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti, the president of the Turin commission responsible for the relic, told the newspaper: "Revelations about the shroud easily assume a sensational tone, but in this case the measured way the scientists speak of their research is to be appreciated. It’s a rare thing that gives the news added seriousness".

    He said the Catholic Church would welcome more tests being conducted on the holy relic.

    "New technologies will enable non-invasive experiments to be conducted on the fabric. But it will be important to respect scientific rigour and procedures, in order to avoid sensationalism and to respect the great religious meaning that the shroud has for Christians."

    . . .

    I must admit, I am not ready to easily accept, “But the implication of their work was that the enigmatic marks on the cloth were created at the moment of Christ’s Resurrection by some sort of miracle.”

    Full story:  Vatican’s official newspaper says science cannot explain Turin Shroud – Telegraph

    Political Pistachio: Some Scientists Claim Shroud of Turin is Authentic

    imageDouglas V. Gibbs at Political Pistachio writes in a posting entitled, Some Scientists Claim Shroud of Turin is Authentic:

    Once again the Shroud of Turin is in the news, after some Italian scientists claim it may be the real deal.

    The Shroud of Turin is a fake, and one must only refer to the Bible to know this.

    • Luke 24:12: But Peter arose and ran to the tomb, and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves;
    • John 20:6-7: Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded together and placed by itself.

    We have only been studying the shroud for 110 years or so and intently since the 1970s; it is amazing that anyone  might think the Bible has been ignored.

    Did Jesus Eat Fish? Not according to the Shroud of Turin. Go Figure.

    imageOften we hear from from a very small number of people that the Shroud of Turin can’t be real because Jesus had short hair (says who and what is short in the context of time and place?).

    But Khaetlyn Grindell over at Working Class Vegan writes:

    Many Biblical scholars believe Jesus was a member of the Nazarene Essenes, a Jewish religious sect that followed a vegetarian diet and rejected animal sacrifices. This is possible when one looks at the Shroud of Turin, a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man, whom many believe to be Jesus. If Jesus was indeed a member of the Nazarene Essenes, he would also have taken the vow of a Nazarene, thus not cut his hair (Numbers 6:5). In the imprint found in the shroud of turin, there is a man with west-asian features (Nazareth is in west Asia), who has long hair, further supporting the claim Jesus was a member of the Nazarene Essenes.

    Define long hair. And while you are at it explain this logic from the same posting.

    "Jesus ate fish."

    There are two ways this could be argued:

    1. Jesus did NOT eat fish and was a vegetarian, or
    2. Jesus DID eat fish but it does not matter.

    How about, Jesus ate fish and lamb, eggs, and maybe even the four types of locusts that were kosher. And it does matter. Locusts were eaten by Jews in all biblical times. Don’t many people claim that John the Baptist was an Essene. Didn’t he eat locusts? If, however, you want to believe Jesus was vegan, go for it. Even if you convince me, I’ll eat meat.

    Source: Working Class Vegan: "Jesus ate fish."

    Even more on Waldemar Januszczak doesn’t think the Shroud of Turin is real

    On Dec 28, I had posted the following but could have posted a better choice of images (scroll down):


    Ron writes by way of a comment to Waldemar Januszczak doesn’t think the Shroud of Turin is real, BUT . . . (Updated):

    Re; Update- I would also guess Mr. Januszczak is not aware of the Christ portrait found in the catacombs in Rome dating around 300AD. Which by the way also bears a striking resemblance to face seen on the Shroud. Although dated to 300AD some believe it may be of an earlier date, possibly even the 1st century and quite plausibly painted by someone whom actually had seen Jesus.

    Pictured: Bearded Christ from the catacombs of Commodilla ca. A.D. 302-303 at the time of the Diocletian persecutions.

    So had the “Middle Ages invented this suffering, bearded Christ and then somehow found a clever way to imprint the image on the fake Turin Shroud,” as Januszczak stated it or had the ‘Middle Ages discovered this suffering, bearded Christ imprinted on the image on the real Turin Shroud?’

    You decide. But I think the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of discovered. Moreover, the style shift throughout the Middle East from Syria to Egypt was sudden and complete.  I doubt it was because of creative invention. Rather, it was probably a compelling discovery.

    However, I did not have the Bearded Christ that Ron was thinking about. He was kind enough to send that image along. Here it is:


    And he added, “ . . . Notice the uncanny resemblance to the Shroud? But the best part is the dating of 300ad may possibly be inaccurate! As apparently, (I haven’t been able to confirm this) there were other etchings found near this painting, very reminiscent of very early Christian drawings, possibly late 1st century. . . .”

    See: More on Waldemar Januszczak doesn’t think the Shroud of Turin is real « Shroud of Turin Blog

    The Coming of the Quantum Christ

    imageJust before Christmas, I met with John Klotz, a New York attorney who is writing a book on the Shroud of Turin. We lunched at the Princeton Club in Manhattan, which was a perfect setting for discussing the plan for what promises to be a very intelligent book.

    He kindly shared his Introduction with me. And now he is sharing it with you. I have placed a copy in PDF form on this blog with you can access by clicking here.

    John wants your feedback. You can comment here or send an email to him to the email address on the first page of the Introduction.

    Shroud of Turin Quote for Today by Stephen King

    imageThe quotation is old, well sort of, like 2002. But I just encountered it this morning for the first time.  It is from a novel by Stephen King called Pet Sematary. This is it:

    He had likewise agreed with an acquaintance in the dorm who had said, during an all-night bull session during Louis’s sophomore year at Chicago, that the Bible was suspiciously full of miracles which had ceased almost completely during the age of rationality (“totally ceased,” he had said at first but had been forced backward at least one step by others who claimed with some authority that there were still plenty of weird things going on, little pockets of perplexity in a world that had become by and large a clean, well-lighted place—there was, for instance, the Shroud of Turin, which had survived every effort to debunk it).

    New Exhibit Coming to Winstead, Connecticut

    imageFrancis DeStefano announces on his blog, Resurrection Now, a new exhibit at Northwestern Community College, in Winsted, Connecticut:

    I am very pleased to announce that I made considerable progress in creating my first public exhibit, devoted to public education about the Shroud of Turin, and related objects, at Northwestern Community College, in Winsted, CT.

    He includes a YouTube tour of the exhibit. So visit his blog, read the entry and watch the video.

    Is that Jesus’ Face or DeNiro’s Face in that Sock

    imageLeave it to the Daily Mail:

    It is reminiscent of one of Christianity’s most significant relics.

    But unlike the Turin shroud, this image of Jesus’ face was found on a sock among items of laundry in Kent.

    Sarah Crane, from Orpington, was stunned when she hung her laundry out to dry and discovered the face of Jesus staring back at her from a crumpled sock.

    Miss Crane was so impressed by the clarity of the face she even built a shrine to the sock.

    Miss Crane, I’d be careful with that shrine, if I were you. I think the picture looks like Robert DeNiro playing Louis Cyphre (obvious pun on the name Lucifer) in the movie Angel Heart.

    Source: Face of Jesus in sock: Image of Jesus Christ miraculously appears amid laundry | Mail Online

    Put another Nickell in . . . In the nickelodeon

    imageA reader writes:

    Please tell Dr. Di Lazzaro (real scientist) how admirably professional he appears compared to Dr. Nickell (PhD in literature) with his latest remarks, complete with misunderstood biblical wisdom. Should we tell the great skeptic that the meaning in Matthew 23:24 has Jesus saying, ‘You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.’ Dr. Nickell, having just swallowed the camel, is his own worst enemy. Let it drop.

    Yes, this really is a picture of Dr. Nickell playing scientist. It is a publicity shot provided by him. I kid you not.

    What Nickell writes:

    "Di Lazzaro equates the depth of colored coatings that were stripped from surface fibers (using adhesive tape) with the depth of penetration that might be determined by cross-sectioning of actual threads, then asserts that a single fiber’s examination (still apparently not cross-sectioned) has ‘confirmed’ the dubious claims. Given the tremendous evidence against the ‘shroud’ — its incompatibility with Jewish burial practices, lack of historical record, bishop’s report of the forger’s confession, the still-bright-red ‘blood’ which failed forensic serological tests, the presence of pigments and paints throughout the image, three laboratories’ radiocarbon dating of the cloth to the time of the confession (1260–1390), and much additional evidence — it would seem that Di Lazzaro is straining at a gnat and attempting to swallow a camel. Let him produce a shroudlike image according to whatever theory he can muster, and we’ll talk again."

    Source: Cosmic Log – Was Holy Shroud created in a flash? Italian researchers resurrect claim

    More on Waldemar Januszczak doesn’t think the Shroud of Turin is real

    imageRon writes by way of a comment to Waldemar Januszczak doesn’t think the Shroud of Turin is real, BUT . . . (Updated):

    Re; Update- I would also guess Mr. Januszczak is not aware of the Christ portrait found in the catacombs in Rome dating around 300AD. Which by the way also bears a striking resemblance to face seen on the Shroud. Although dated to 300AD some believe it may be of an earlier date, possibly even the 1st century and quite plausibly painted by someone whom actually had seen Jesus.

    Pictured: Bearded Christ from the catacombs of Commodilla ca. A.D. 302-303 at the time of the Diocletian persecutions.

    So had the “Middle Ages invented this suffering, bearded Christ and then somehow found a clever way to imprint the image on the fake Turin Shroud,” as Januszczak stated it or had the ‘Middle Ages discovered this suffering, bearded Christ imprinted on the image on the real Turin Shroud?’

    You decide. But I think the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of discovered. Moreover, the style shift throughout the Middle East from Syria to Egypt was sudden and complete.  I doubt it was because of creative invention. Rather, it was probably a compelling discovery.

    Muslim Blog Asks: Is the Shroud of Turin Fake or Not?

    imageBecause of the level of news coverage given to the ENEA Report, Arif Khan over at Revelation and Rationality has written an interesting article, “Shroud of Turin – Fake or Not.”  This is a blog prepared by “Ahmadi Muslim researchers who are interested in the interface between science and religion.” They are open to the possibility that Jesus survived the cross. I am convinced otherwise by the shroud’s image and historical plausibility. Even so and because so, I recommend reading this article. It is well written. Here is one of many points put very well:

    Why is it so hard to explain the image?

    There are specific key characteristics of the image that any theory must account for:

    1. The image is a photographic negative
    2. There is a 3D property to the image – the further away a part of the body was from the cloth the fainter that part appears
    3. The image is visible only in the very upper fibres of the cloth – it does not go all the way through to the back of the cloth
    4. When standing close to the cloth the image is not visible – it is only visible when standing a few metres away from the cloth
    5. The blood flows on the cloth have been shown to be 100% anatomically correct based on modern physiology
    6. There are no pigments or dyes used on the cloth
    7. The blood is human and contains extractable DNA samples

    It is very hard to put together a theory that can satisfy all of the above items.

    Waldemar Januszczak doesn’t think the Shroud of Turin is real, BUT . . . (Updated)

    Anthony, a reader of this blog, writes:

    imageMany thanks for the blog you put together each day. I have to admit that, as a non-scientist, I am rather adrift about the significance of the latest Italian findings. Stephen E Jones appears to conclude that they prove all the doubters wrong. I think you are rather more reticent. Whatever, I am more concerned about a December 22nd letter in England’s Daily Telegraph by Waldemar Januszczak [pictured] in which he states that that the image on the shroud is an obvious fake because it is in keeping with the art of the period of the carbon dating. Waldemar is an ebullient presenter of various art programmes on the BBC. Art, the impression he gives, is his life and his spirituality. I cannot believe therefore that he can be wrong in this. Could someone enlighten me?

    Anthony, I think this other letter to the editors of the Daily Telegraph from Michael Daley (pictured just below), Director of ArtWatch UK,  answers this quite well.

    imageSIR – Waldemar Januszczak (Letters, December 22) pronounces the Turin Shroud a cleverly imprinted impression of a bearded, apparently crucified man, reflecting the artistic conventions of the Middle Ages, though earlier depictions of Christ had attributed to him the features of a blond, curly haired boy.

    We are armed with many centuries’ worth of scientific advances, and numerous formidable analytical technical studies of the material composition of the Shroud, but two questions remain.

    What would Christ’s true appearance have been after his crucifixion? Secondly, by what means could a fraudster of the Middle Ages have so cleverly imprinted an apparent photographic negative impression on a piece of fabric, so long before the invention of photography?

    Given that fakes tend to belong to identifiable family types, I wonder whether Mr Januszczak knows of any similar artefacts.

    Michael Daley
    Director, ArtWatch UK
    Barnet, Hertfordshire

    In this blog, I would be happy to discuss any medieval art that “is in keeping with the art of the period of the carbon dating,” or, for that matter, any period in history. One need not be a scientist to understand such qualities as being like a photographic negative or having three-dimensional encoding. We could demonstrate this right here with off-the-shelf computer software.

    The letter from Daley may be found at Just how could the Turin Shroud have been faked? – Telegraph. I have not been able to find the letter from Januszczak. If someone does have a link, please let us all know so we can read the letter.


    Anthony kindly sent along a copy of Januszczak’s letter. It reads:

    Dear Sir

    Whenever the authenticity of the Turin Shroud is discussed, no one ever mentions the most obvious proof of the shroud’s falsehood: theactual image of Christ on the cloth. This bearded, long-haired, suffering Christ was popular in the Middle Ages but had no precedents in the art of earlier epochs.

    The first images of Christ showed a blond, curly haired boy who worked miracles. These early Christs often had feminine characteristics too. It took 600 years for images of Christ with a beard to appear. And even when this bearded Christ did emerge, he was enthroned like an emperor not covered with wounds or crucified.

    The Middle Ages invented this suffering, bearded Christ and then somehow found a clever way to imprint the image on the fake Turin Shroud.

    Waldemar Januszczak

    London N6

    Anthony then asked, “My question is, apart from the abracadabra at the end, whether the rest is accurate.”

    imageYes, I think so in large measure. Most commonly Christ was depicted as young – actually notably as a young shepherd carrying a lamb. It is widely believed, however, that the image of the Christ Pantocrator developed after the finding of the Image of Edessa in A.D. 544. The earliest and best example is the 6th century Pantocrator from St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai which bears an uncanny resemblance to the shroud. For this reason and other reasons the Image of Edessa is thought to be the Shroud of Turin. I certainly think so.  It is also important to note that two other lines of images evolved almost certainly from this same sixth century discovery. And thus I challenge the use of the word “invented” in the letter. They are very telling. One is the Man of Sorrow image (left below) which developed after the Edessa image arrived in Constantinople in A.D. 944. The other is manuscript illustration such as we find in the Hungarian Pray Manuscript (right below), ca. 1194. This last, in particular, from before the carbon dating period, shows clearly that Waldemar Januszczak is on thin ice unless he can show a single negative image or image with 3D encoding.



    Third Update to Cosmic Log Posting: This Should Settle It

    imageHeard from Paolo Di Lazzaro that “Alan Boyle was kind enough to update his post adding my reply to Nickell’s claims.” It is captioned, “Update for 3:50 p.m. ET Dec. 26: Di Lazzaro sent this response to Nickell’s questions via email,” and reads as follows:

    "In 1978, several sticky tapes were used to sample the Shroud in different points of the body image. When the image fibers were pulled out of the adhesive, their colored coatings had been stripped off the fiber and remained in the adhesive. These coatings were independently analyzed by Profs. Alan Adler and Ray Rogers, and all of them were too thin to measure accurately with a standard optical microscope. This means the thickness of all coatings was smaller than the visible light wavelength, say thinner than 0.6 micrometer.

    "Recently, these results have been confirmed by a direct measurement of another fiber, showing the thickness of the colored coating around the fiber is about 0.2 micrometer. As a consequence, there is quite a good probability most of the image fibers throughout the body image have a coloration depth smaller than 0.6 micrometers.

    "Prof. Garlaschelli claimed he obtained ‘a superficial coloration’ without mentioning ‘how much’ superficial. Is it 100 micrometers thick? 10 micrometers? One micrometer? Nobody knows. I asked chemists [who are] colleagues at ENEA, and they told me it is impossible to obtain a coloration depth smaller than 10 to 20 micrometers with the chemicals used by Prof. Garlaschelli. This fact alone means the results of Garlaschelli are not comparable with the Shroud image.  Mr. Nickell may be interested to know Prof. Garlaschelli refused to reply the letter sent to the editor of JIST (the journal that published his results) where several points of his work were criticized, including the lack of a measurement of the coloration depth.

    "Coming to the question of Mr. Nickell: We never claimed to have reproduced the whole Shroud image. We were interested to gain a deeper insight into the physical and chemical processes that generated such an unusual image. And we were successful to find photochemistry processes that are able to generate a Shroud-like coloration of linen fibers.

    "Concerning Occam’s razor, I am a scientist, and when I wish to understand a phenomenon, seeking for a scientific explanation, I use microscopes, spectrometers, image detectors and other laboratory tools. I see Mr. Nickell prefers using philosophical instruments like the medieval Occam’s razor, a theory proposed in the 14th century. Each of us is free to choose the most familiar tool to find answers."