imageRich Savage, a friend of this blog, has been spending time over at the Randi forums (of the James Randi Educational Foundation – that’s magician The Amazing Randi – pictured here –paranormal investigator and Joe Nickell mentor) on a Shroud of Turin discussion thread that has grown to some 2456 comments as of this morning. Here is the latest comment, as an example. Jabba, mentioned in this comment, is our friend Rich doing a sort of David facing Goliath and an entire army:

I notice Jabba has left out the fact that there is no proof whatsoever of the provenance of the threads Rogers tested in his kitchen. Dinwar rightly presses this point but Jabba seems to ignore it completely in the summing up.

We’re still waiting for some reason to imagine there is an invisible weave in the TS. It seems incredible Jabba would think the presence of such a patch would have escaped notice in the 2002 restoration of the TS.

Rich writes:

Over on the Randi forum
(, we’re focusing on the possibility of an “invisible reweave” – I’ve given that as my best guess as to explaining the results of the carbon dating.  Is that still your best guess?

Anyway, of my 60 or so opponents over there, I’ve finally run into a friendly and rational one — “davefoc”  – and he’s provided a lot of reasonable reservations and questions re the re-weaving hypothesis over there, and I’d like to give him our best answers.

At the moment, we’re discussing the apparent fact that the calcium, iron and strontium contents of the Raes sample are roughly identical to that of the larger Shroud.  Here’s what I’ve said so far.

  • So far, at least, I haven’t been able to find an obvious explanation…
  • Apparently, everyone accepts that these elements are introduced by the
    “retting,” — and wherever and whenever the linen was retted, it would
    contain these elements as “trace elements.”  However, the amount of these
    elements present should be somewhat different if one set was from 1st
    century Mideast, and the other, 16th century Europe.
  • Accepting — for the moment at least — that the two sets are “roughly
    identical,” how different SHOULD they be, and how different ARE they?  You
    and I don’t know.
  • So far, I give the advantage on this “sub-issue” (round?) to your side
    (the dating validity side), but I’m still looking…

How would you answer that question –, and/or, can we ask that question of your audience?

I have a list of other serious reservations and questions from davefoc, but need to paraphrase them better.  I can provide those if you can use them.