imageThis is a good article by Daniel Loxton. I only take serious exception to the dubious and mostly obsolete claims of Joe Nickell treated by Loxton as though they were unquestioned facts. These “factoids” are even doubted by many if not most well informed skeptics of the shroud. Mostly, I agree or not in measured ways. Two parts of his posting stand out. And although I believe the shroud is genuine, I agree here (what is quoted below) with what Loxton says:

All this business with lasers is neither here nor there. I’m reminded of magician James Randi’s line from Flim-Flam! about the pseudoscience technique of the Provocative Fact.

The same technique was used by the Gellerites when they assured us that at no time did Uri Geller use laser beams, magnets, or chemicals to bend spoons. This was quite true. It is also quite true that he had no eggbeaters, asbestos insulation, or powdered aspirin in his pockets either. So what?1

Turns out it’s hard to make a Shroud copy using lasers. . . .

Than as I read on, I disagree for awhile and then find something else to agree with:

. . . The Shroud’s popularity seems to stem from the hope that it could deliver tangible evidence for the divine, but that hope is misplaced. Even if Shroud researchers were to prove their (exceptionally unlikely) speculation that the Shroud image was imprinted by “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation,” this would in no way confirm the existence of God, only of a unique printing process—a process enthusiasts have thus far been unable to demonstrate. The truth is that the tools and methods of empirical science would remain powerless to confirm the existence of a transcendent metaphysical God even in the event that such a being existed. It’s just not the sort of question science can answer.

Read Skepticblog » Shroud of Turin Redux