imageIn a blog called the New American Mind, we learn that Les Fredette has discovered, or at least seen a pattern that he believes is a crucifixion nail, one that is consistent with a nail reportedly found in the tomb of Caiaphas. (See TIME Magazine for a story about the nails ). In the blog posting Crucifixion Nail Image Found on Shroud of Turin – Consistent with Nail Found in Caiaphas’ Tomb we read:

The discovery of an image of a crucifixion nail on the Shroud of Turin is, in itself, a major discovery, but its connection to a physical artifact of antiquity is also extremely significant. While all previous evidence that has been gathered regarding the Shroud has been based on the Shroud itself (e.g., blood samples and pollen samples), historical pictures (e.g., Prey Manuscript) and historical writings/accounts, Mr. Fredette’s discovery brings evidence supporting the Shroud’s authenticity to an entirely new level, one which could, according the Mr. Fredette, "put a significant nail in the coffin of speculation."

Cute pun!

Now, we read:

Mr. Fredette’s discovery is actually two fold in scope. First, there is an image of a crucifixion nail on the Shroud, and, second, the nail image may actually be of one of the nails found in Caiaphas’s tomb in 1990.

Isn’t that pure speculation? And how do we reconcile this with the different nails reportedly found by Wehrkamp-Richter? Or the one found by Alan and Mary Whanger along with . . .

a Roman spear, a sponge on a stick, a crown of thorns, two scourges, a large hammer, a pair of pliers, and two desecrated Jewish phylacteries or prayer boxes. All are consistent with 1st Century objects, with Roman crucifixions of Jews, with Jewish burial practices, and/or with Biblical accounts of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

I am a long way from being convinced that there are any images of nails, coins, flowers, lettering, etc. I recommend reading Sight and brain: an introduction to the visually misleading images by Daniele Murra and Paolo Di Lazzaro:

image. . . We should consider this “subjectivity risk" when using computer tools to elaborate images, because we may generally have the propensity to make visible something that we want to see but that is not embedded in the original image.

Concerning the scientific approach to the acheiropoietos images, only reproducible experiments are scientifically acceptable.

Interpretations of shapes, coins, faces, flowers or letters “seen” on acheiropoietos images by means of image processing tools should be considered a track useful to address further studies, but they cannot be considered as self-consistent proofs.

It is a short paper, wonderfully informative and easy to read and understand.