Strong ignorance is not strong evidence

BT from the Coast Guard Academy in New London writes:

imageMany of your blog readers all [too] casually say that no one has figured out how the image was formed and that in this day and age with all of our modern scientific knowledge and technology this is a powerful if not convincing argument for authenticity. Strong ignorance is not strong evidence, however. No one in this age has figured out if there is but one universe or if certain biological mechanisms are too complex to have evolved naturally. What is thought about these possibilities by even the best and most brilliant scientists is subject to revision. What we may learn may delight or dismay. 

Religion on the Internet

imageInteresting, in light of our many discussions about the Shroud of Turin. The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the Senior Religion Editor at The Huffington Post writes in an article, Ask Not What Religion on the Internet Can Do for You…:

As the Religion Editor at The Huffington Post, I often ask audiences: "How many of you use the Internet in your religious practice?" Often people keep their hand down, surprised anyone would sully their religious practice with the web. Then I ask how many of them have ever looked up a Bible passage, a prayer, researched a religious figure or watched a guided meditation or prayer — all of the hands go up.

Religion is one of the hottest areas of the Internet because religion is one of the most intense and contested arenas of human relations and ideas. There are many people who are taking information from the Internet that is shaping their religious thought and perception. But all that glitters on the Internet is not gold. The web has only the ethics that people bring to it and provides the perfect vehicle for those who wish to spread misinformation, ridicule, provoke or incite people of a different culture or belief. Take one example: Right now if you type in Jew into the Google search, an Aryan nation site comes up on the first page.

Do Nobody Knows Nothing?

imageYesterday, John Crace in the Guardian describes a BBC4 documentary:

The first episode explored the development of Christian iconography in religious art between the fourth and the 11th century, from the absence of any depictions of Jesus because no one had a clue what he looked like, to the hijacking of the fresh-faced, sunny look from Roman statues of Apollo, through to the tortured look of suffering that has been with us ever since pain and guilt became the Christian artistic orthodoxy. Watching long lines of the devoted file past the Turin shroud, [art historian Waldemar] Januszczak observed that he was certain it was not really the cloth in which Jesus’s body was wrapped after the crucifixion, because the bearded outline could be artistically dated to the medieval period. Personally, I would have thought that carbon dating was a rather more reliable method of establishing its authenticity; I suppose that proper art historians must have their own, more rigorous standards of proof. Watch and learn.

Of course, art historian Thomas de Wesselow will disagree. Or David Freeman. Or

David Roemer will maybe present the Shroud of Turin at the Princeton Club in New York

Google led me to a blog posting two days ago:


imageWhen I went there the posting was gone. Why? However, WordPress, the host for David Roemer’s blog recommended another posting from October that had been updated with an additional blurb at about the same time this month. Here is that blurb:

Email sent to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States on Nov. 13, 2012
Your Excellency,

Cardinal Dolan is suppressing my slideshow/lecture on the history, theology, and science of the Shroud of Turin (, and I am hoping you can help us resolve this conflict. My correspondence with the Archdiocese of New York is on my blog at

Cardinal Dolan did not answer my rebuttal to his letter of September 5, 2012.

I’v attached a transcript of the slideshow. Feel free to call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Yours respectfully in Christ, David Roemer (phone number removed by me.)

I read the entire posting, The Truth About the Shroud of Turin from Roemer’s blog, New Evangelist. It is not about the shroud. It is about a personal, long-running, escalating and seemingly pointless disagreement with just about everyone in authority in the Catholic Church over his cancelled presentation (and just for good measure evolution and the Big Bang, as well). How about this:

The Catholic Church grants indulgences to people who pray before the Shroud itself or an image of the Shroud. I feel my slides of the Holy Shroud are just as deserving of veneration as the cloth itself. I feel that the pastor desecrated the Holy Shroud by depriving his parishioners of the experience of seeing a miraculous artifact.

Here is a small sample about evolution. Yes, evolution!

Stephen Barr is a prominent physicist who writes about evolution on the pages of First Things. He is also a member of the Academy of Catholic Theology. He told me in an email that I was wrong and the AJP article was right, and that I was harming the Catholic Church. In my opinion, Barr is harming the Catholic Church. Barr does not go so far as to advocate ID, but he doesn’t say there is no evidence for ID. His argument is that ID is not science. In my opinion, Barr is helping atheists propagate misinformation about evolutionary biology. Barr should be expelled from the Academy of Catholic Theology because he is lying about science (

Or this to Cardinal Dolan (not on evolution):

Your Eminence:

I developed a slideshow/lecture about the Shroud of Turin (, attached transcript) and think you should know about the negative reaction of Catholics to my analysis of the science, history, and theology of the Holy Shroud. After sending emails to Newman clubs, Catholic colleges, and Catholic churches in Brooklyn and Manhattan, I got only one invitation to speak. To my chagrin, the pastor cancelled the talk at the last minute on the grounds that I was not promoting the authenticity of the relic. I am the only one on the Shroud Speakers Directory of The Shroud of Turin Website ( who does not think the Holy Shroud is authentic.

You wonder? I’m all for discussing and airing all arguments about the shroud. Maybe, in a realistic sense, it is his choice of venues. There is, in this posting, this implied threat. Read into it: If I can’t do my presentation in our/your churches, know that . . .

I am a member of the Princeton Club at 15 West 43rd St., and can get a meeting room in the morning with breakfast cheap. Without breakfast it is more expensive.

Separately, I received an email from David asking me if I would attend such a presentation at the Princeton Club on a yet unspecified date. I would love to. Of course! I’ve never had  breakfast there but lunch is particularly good. Unfortunately I now live in South Carolina but if I am in New York when you have the presentation, I’ll try to be there.

Any New Yorkers?

It is sad that Googlers will read this as The Truth About the Shroud of Turin. It has nothing to do with the shroud. Hopefully David will get some New Yorkers for his Princeton Club talk.

MUST READ: Cloning the man on the Shroud of Turin


Cloning the man on the Shroud of Turin:

The Media’s Hyperbole with the Double Helix

by Kelly P. Kearseimage

The subject of a recent blog post about a comic book series that is now into its fifth issue, Punk Rock Jesus, involves a rather popular storyline regarding the Shroud: using DNA extracted from bloodstained threads to clone Jesus. Search on and you will find over twenty fiction novels based on this premise; include those available exclusively as e-books and you can add about ten more. There has also been an Outer Limits television series episode, and a feature film released in 2010, “I’m not Jesus, Mommy”, centered on this idea.

Just how realistic is this scenario? What would be required to accomplish the cloning of a person under such circumstances? Would a clone be an exact duplicate of the Turin Shroud man? These and related issues are discussed below.

What exactly is cloning?

Cloning is the creation of an identical genetic copy of a living organism. Several types of cloning exist, but the most germane to the discussion of the Shroud is reproductive cloning using a method known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Somatic cells are cells other than sex cells (sperm or egg), which under normal circumstances do not provide DNA in the generation of an organism. Development of the SCNT technique began in the early 1950s using frogs, and was further refined and eventually popularized in the mainstream media years later with the success of Dolly, a cloned sheep, in 1996. The basics of this method are shown in the figure below. The nucleus of adult cell (a skin cell, for example) is isolated and transplanted into an egg cell (oocyte), which has had its own nucleus removed. The egg cell is then implanted into a surrogate mother, who also receives various hormones to simulate the normal course of pregnancy. Since the only source of nuclear DNA in the developing embryo is from the adult cell, the resulting offspring will be genetically identical to the organism from which it was taken.


In the creation of Dolly, the scientists used a very clever strategy to monitor their success: the skin cell containing the DNA to be transferred was taken from a type of sheep that was purely white-faced; the host egg cell into which this nucleus was transplanted was from a black-faced animal. If truly a clone, the offspring would have to be purely white-faced (which was also verified by DNA analysis). Cloning Dolly required significant effort; success was achieved only after 276 previous attempts by the same group resulted in failure.

Send in the clones

Since the creation of Dolly, other types of animals have been cloned using this method, including mice, rats, cats, dogs, goats, deer, cows, mules, and horses. To date, however, reproductive cloning has not been successful in primates. Although cloning of a Rhesus monkey was reported in 2007 (by embryo splitting), this is not equivalent to reproductive cloning by SCNT using DNA from adult cells in the creation of an exact genetic copy. Refinement of this method for use in primate cells has been especially hampered by the fact that removal of the nucleus from the egg cell disrupts important host proteins that are essential for subsequent division and development. It is certainly possible that current limitations to reproductive cloning in primates will be overcome in the future as techniques continue to be developed and refined. Reports of cloned human embryos have periodically surfaced in the media, but all have been subsequently found to be bogus.

Cloning and the Shroud

Apart from the existing technical roadblocks in the reproductive cloning of primates, if such a system were currently in place, cloning the man on the Shroud using DNA isolated from bloodstains still lies well within the realm of science fiction. Multiple problems exist with this scenario. First and foremost, to clone an organism, you need a full complement of nuclear DNA. The DNA on the Shroud is badly fragmented; while certain regions on particular chromosomes may be intact (for example, portions of the betaglobin and amelogenin X and Y genes sequenced by Garza-Valdes and coworkers), it is extremely unlikely that sufficient DNA is present to represent the entire genome. As mentioned above, even with technically pristine DNA present in a freshly isolated nucleus, successful transfer and development often requires numerous attempts together with a generous amount of luck.

Additionally, because numerous individuals are known to have handled the cloth, it is unclear that any DNA isolated would belong exclusively to the man on the Shroud. The average human being sheds approximately 400,000 skin cells per day, a portion of which contains DNA that may be transferred by contact, referred to as touch DNA; how long touch DNA may survive is unclear and unique to each object. The extent of contamination of the Shroud by exogenous DNA is unknown, but given the communal nature of the cloth in both its past and even more recent history, it is reasonable to speculate that DNA from numerous individuals may be present on the Shroud. If it were possible to obtain a full nuclear complement of DNA from a sample taken from the Shroud, it is likely to be a mosaic, resulting from the contribution of multiple persons. In the previously mentioned 2010 film “I’m not Jesus, Mommy”, the scientist responsible for the breakthrough, Dr. Gabriel, announces “What you are holding in your hands is the first human embryo cloned from red blood cells.” This is a miraculous feat indeed, as red blood cells in humans (and all mammals) are devoid of DNA because they lack a nucleus. In the non-Hollywood version, DNA from the Shroud would have to originate from white blood cells in the bloodstains.

A True Duplicate Copy: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Di or Ob-La-Da?

Ethical and moral issues aside, which are without question, hugely significant and relevant; and strictly speaking from a scientific viewpoint: if a full complement of intact, unfragmented nuclear DNA were available, and if it were purely from the bloodstains on the Shroud, and if current methods were in place for reproductive cloning in primates, would a clone be identical to the man on the Shroud? Genetically speaking, the answer is yes and no. Although a clone contains exactly the same nuclear DNA as the organism from which it originated, it is not entirely identical. There is no such thing as an exact clone. In addition to nuclear DNA, cells also contain mitochondrial DNA, which encode genes necessary for cellular function. In reproductive cloning, only the nuclear DNA is transferred to the donor egg cell. All mitochondrial DNA originates from the host egg cell, which will be expressed in the resulting organism (clone) throughout its lifetime. In normal organisms (non-clones), while nuclear DNA is inherited from both parents, mitochondrial DNA is transmitted solely from the mother.

Genes are only part of the story in the development of an organism. Environmental factors may influence which genes are turned on and which genes are switched off. Even monozygotic twins, which are truly genetically identical, do not have the same fingerprints. Twins that are raised together may appear at times indistinguishable, but each possesses unique personality traits and even physical features that are distinct characteristics. Unlike cinematic portrayals of cloning, which at times border on the irrational (e.g. Multiplicity, 1996), clones are not born as adults, equivalent in age to the individual from which they were propagated. A clone would be born as an infant and subject to unique experiences and environmental influences, which would impact the genetic blueprint. A clone would be expected, of course, to be very similar to the organism from which it came, but an identical carbon copy is not likely.

What the future holds in terms of cloning, particularly in relation to higher organisms, remains to be determined. Technology has advanced relatively rapidly compared to the full consideration of moral and ethical issues that accompany such scientific progress. Concerning the Shroud, such cloning scenarios are best categorized as science fiction rather than science fact.

Blinding ignorance does mislead us

clip_image001In today’s Huffington Post book section, Ross King, the author of Leonardo and the Last Supper [Walker & Company, $28.00] writes an article, 10 Myths About Leonardo da Vinci:

Leonardo da Vinci bears the burden of great expectations. The undeniable breadth and depth of his genius means there was, it seems, no intellectual feat of which this original Renaissance Man was incapable. Almost five centuries after his death, his legacy thrives not merely in his paintings, two of which, The Last Supper and Mona Lisa, are arguably the world’s most famous and celebrated works of art. It also throbs in the chests of those whose damaged hearts have been repaired by the British surgeon inspired by Leonardo’s writings on the mitral valve. It takes to the air on the tiny wings of a bluebottle-sized robot designed by aerospace engineers captivated by Leonardo’s studies on flight. It even lingers, courtesy of the entrepreneur Alessandro Passi, in a range of pasta shapes, perfume bottles, and pepper grinders – all based on Leonardo’s drawings.

Leonardo was certainly wide-ranging and eerily modern in his interests. With his dreams of manned flight, submarines, and weapons of mass destruction such as giant crossbows and doomsday cannons, he almost seems more a prophet of our age than a product of his own. His known accomplishments – in anatomy, engineering, hydraulics, optics and painting – are undeniably astounding. But often he is given a little too much credit. He tends to get abstracted from his own time and fast-forwarded into ours, and in doing so he slips out of documented history and soars into the giddy realms of myth. So it is that he gets credited with tasks as varied as forging the Shroud of Turin by taking the world’s first photograph, or serving as the Grand Poobah of an arcane lodge charged with keeping ancient secrets about the bloodline of Christ.

Just how much do these and other claims stand up to scrutiny? "Blinding ignorance does mislead us," Leonardo himself said. "Oh, wretched mortals, open your eyes!" So let’s open our eyes and look at some of these claims about Leonardo in the light of documented fact, not hero worship or wishful thinking. (bolding mine)

And then he tells is as it is:

The history of the Shroud of Turin is complex and controversial enough without having Leonardo thrown into the mix, but he has been pushed forward as its creator. In 1993 Nicholas Allen proposed that the image on the linen shroud could have been produced in the Middle Ages via a photographic process that involved suspending a cadaver in the air for three or four days while its image slowly blossomed on the chemical-soaked cloth. Others were quick to give Leonardo the credit, even though he was born a century after the first documented reference to the Shroud. But who else could have pipped Daguerre – by some three and a half centuries – to the world’s first photo?

Like others before him, Leonardo did experiment with a camera obscura. But there is zero evidence that he had any knowledge of – let alone used – photo-sensitive chemicals. Even if he did invent something as earth-shattering as photography – and it’s a truly massive if – why should he have kept quiet about it? Why not take more pictures? The fact is that not a single shred of evidence links Leonardo to either photographic technology or the Shroud of Turin. As one critic has written: “The premise is more demanding of faith than is the authenticity of the Shroud.”

Yep! But blinding ignorance will persist.

Christopher Howse: For important read stupid

clip_image001Many contributors help shape The Spectator’s ‘Books of the Year’ edition. One of them is The Telegraph’s Christopher Howse  who writes for that paper about Christianity and other faiths. It helps to read up to his comments about de Wesselow’s The Sign just to get a sense of his curmudgeonity:

. . . The most helpful piece of scholarship was Noel Malcolm’s translating the Latin version and appendix of Hobbes’s Leviathan in his monumental three-volume edition (Oxford, £195). I still haven’t got over the old devil insisting that God is corporeal. What could he have meant?

The best cover — to which the book lived up — this year used a wood engraving (reproduced below) of a shire horse by C.F. Tunnicliffe for the New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, edited by Steve Roud and Julia Bishop (£25). Yet the same publisher also sent out a note this year saying that their volume on the Shroud of
Turin, Thomas de Wesselow’s The Sign (£20), was ‘one of the most important books we have published’. For important read stupid.

I’d like to know why Howse thinks it is stupid. Contrast this with what Barrie wrote on his site just a couple of days ago:

Speaking of the British Society for the Turin Shroud, the organization held its first public meeting in many years in Beaconsfield, England on Sunday, October 21, 2012. The highlight of the meeting was the presentation titled, "Why the Shroud of Turin Is Not a Medieval Hoax," made by featured speaker Dr. Thomas De Wesselow, acknowledged expert in medieval art and author of the recent book, "The Sign." Fortunately, the presentation was recorded on video by BSTS member David Rolfe and posted on his Shroud Enigma web page so you can watch it yourself. Of course, many readers already accept the scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates the Shroud is not any type of artwork, medieval or otherwise, but it is refreshing to hear it so clearly presented by a true expert in Medieval art history. This video is worth watching by every student of the Shroud and a "must see" for anyone who still believes the Shroud is a medieval hoax. I urge you to watch it and share it with your friends and family.

Sinister Clowns in the Shroud of Turin Burn Marks

imageLast week, in his Hidden Experience blog, Mike Clelland pointed us to Jeffrey Vallance’s cartoon website and his piece about some other images that people see in the shroud. Be sure to see the ventral and dorsal (front and back for the rest of us) images and some of his other provided links. The picture here is an interpretation of the sinister clown images seen in the burn marks. Enjoy the laugh:

However, some people have claimed to have seen "other" images on the Shroud such as coins on the eyes, chin bindings, Jewish packets on the forehead called "phylacteries" and cryptic words and letters. Researchers believe they see specific coins minted by Pontius Pilate placed over the eyes Of the shroud man. A group of secondary images caused by burn marks from a fire in 1532 produced what appear like sinister clown-like faces. Some believe that the devil tried to burn the Shroud in 1532, but when this proved unsuccessful, he created the scorch marks (that are actually darker than the Holy Face) in an attempt to mock the Shroud. As the true burial cloth of christ, the Shroud was the most dangerous object to the forces of evil. The Devil was so exasperated by the existence of the Shroud (the most scientifically conclusive evidence of the the Resurrection) tha he sought to destroy the relic forever – instead he only pathetically managed to burn the clown-like faces on it. Both the devil and the clown are trickster figures. The sinister clowns on the Shroud can be interpreted as diabolical portraits made by the devil himself.

[ . . . ]

Patriotic Americans think that they see the profile of President George Washington in the blood stain on the side of the Shroud made form the wound of the Holy Lance .

Last update this year to

Barrie Schwortz writes to all STERA subscribers. (Note, I removed the link to the private subscriber page since I’m copying this letter. If you subscribe, as you should, you will have the link in the future.

The Shroud of Turin Website

Last Update of the Year

November 21, 2012

. . .

Just a short note to let you know that our last update of the year is now available online. Just go to to the Home Page and click on the Latest Update link to see the details.

As you can see from the above graphic, we are also very proud to announce that Shroud Spectrum International is coming to! Spectrum was the only English language peer reviewed journal that was exclusively devoted to scientific and scholarly studies of the Shroud. This update also includes a detailed technical report and a representative sampling of the macro photographs I made in August at the University of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory of the remaining Shroud samples and other reference samples they used to date the Shroud in 1988. In addition, the update also includes the final ten issues of the BSTS Newsletter (#1 through #10). Consider this update an early Christmas present from STERA, Inc.

Finally, let me also take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, merry Christmas and a joyous and healthy New Year! We’ll see you next on January 21, 2013, our 17th Anniversary online. And don’t forget to visit the Private Subscribers Page for exclusive offers not available to the general public.

You received this e-mail because you signed up as a subscriber to the Shroud of Turin Website Mailing List. As always, unsubscribing from this list is simple. Just click on the SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of each e-mail and your name will be permanently removed immediately. If you need to update your personal information or your e-mail address, just click on the Update Profile/Email Address link at the bottom of each e-mail and follow the instructions provided.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you can contact me directly by e-mail at the address listed at the end of this letter. Please be patient as I receive large volumes of mail. Although I do my best to answer most of the letters I receive, a response is not always possible. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Warmest regards,

Barrie Schwortz

Editor & Founder, Shroud of Turin Website
President, STERA, Inc.

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Punk Rock Jesus #5 – Review « Weekly Comic Book Review

imageDean Stell, writing in Weekly Comic Book Review, updates us on the ongoing saga of Punk Rock Jesus who was cloned from the Shroud of Turin. Can it be that we are up to the fifth volume of this comic book series and I haven’t yet been tempted to read it?  Maybe I’m just not into comic books anymore. But thousands upon thousands of people are and they are reading this.

The Story: Chris continues his assault on fundamentalist religious movements.

Review (with SPOILERS): This is a very interesting issue.  On the surface, Murphy has introduced some fun and exciting elements to this issue.  At first, it’s tempting to think that Murphy is putting away all the allegory from the series so that he can tell a rousing finale – allegory can be confining, after all.  But if you ignore the bright and shiny stuff, all the complexities are still right there, causing you to think and ponder.  It’s impressive that Murphy can simultaneous tell a story that is (a) entertaining and (b) has a lot of depth.

Let’s talk about the fun stuff first.  Any comic that focuses so much on religion can get a little heavy at times.

. . . [nonetheless] . . .

  • Chris is just a normal person: There is nothing supernatural about Chris.  Even if you accept that Jesus existed and that Jesus is the Son of God and that there was something divine in Jesus’ DNA, Chris doesn’t have any of this.
  • [ . . . ]
  • LOTS of stuff about worshiping the wrong things: Whether it is the mindless people worshiping Slate’s TV shows or the lunatic fringe worshiping Chris (before turning on him), there are a LOT of people in the world of PRJ who have their values out of whack.

[ . . . ]

Conclusion: This is the best comic being published right now.  From a writing/art standpoint, it might have a few equals, but the fact that Murphy actually has something to say puts it in another class.

Punk Rock Jesus #5 – Review « Weekly Comic Book Review

I certainly have real reservations about Petrus Soons’ 3D work. Any comments now?

imageimageYesterday afternoon, someone calling himself GonzoII posted a message at the Free Republic message board. It was the Abstract from Petrus Soons’ website that reads:

This website summarizes work connected with digitizing Shroud photographs taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931, enhancing the digitized images to improve details, translating the enhanced images “gray scale data into depth data”, generating a sequence of up to 625 images of each of these, and combining these images with a Holoprinter to produce holograms (3D images) of the Shroud. It also summarizes my study of these holograms and discovery of heretofore unseen details, which confirm many previous findings and reveal some suprises.

(Excerpt)

Several comments followed; “Gave me chills! I believe!”, gives you the idea.

There is nothing new here. But it is a subject well worth revisiting. Here is what I posted just over two years ago. Not one person commented at the time. Maybe I was just too wordy. Maybe I just said what nobody wanted to hear. Maybe . . . maybe. Any comments now?

(October 10, 2010 posting follows):

The pastor of a large parish in New Orleans wrote to me by email:

I think this new 3D image is the most convincing scientific evidence yet for arguing that the shroud is authentic.”

imageI strongly disagree. The pastor is referring to the red-cyan anaglyph image of the Shroud that you can see only with red and cyan 3D glasses. Personally, I feel that this is a work of art, an artist’s impression of what Jesus may have looked like, expressed in 3D. It doesn’t prove anything any more than the animated 3D movie, “Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus”  proves that horses can fly. (Have I changed my mind since myfirst posting about the site? Yes.)

Here is what the pastor wrote:

The red/cyan anaglyph of the face from the Shroud of Turin at the website is startling. Regrettably, the size of the image is reduced on the website. Fortunately it is done with HTML so you can grab the bigger sized jpeg and save it on your computer. Do so right away before they reduce the size on the server.Here is the link:

Note: I have replaced the pastor’s long link with a TinyURL. You can see a bigger image (800 by 921 rather than the web page size set to 484 by 545)  just by using the following link. Do save a copy of the image on your computer and buy some inexpensive 3D glasses. Read on:

It is, of course, pointless to save this image unless you have red/cyan 3D glasses. The shroud3d website does have stereoscopic images for those who have the proper viewing equipment. It also has a short video showing slow and slight rotation of the image. But these are poor substitutions for looking at an anaglyph with 3D glasses. The anaglyph is fantastic. It will knock your socks off.

imageI took the bigger image and inserted it into a PowerPoint presentation. It looks great on an eight foot screen. Now all I have to do is buy 3D glasses for an upcoming talk at my church. I found some paper ones for $25.00 per hundred. I also had a poster of the anaglyph jpeg printed at Staples. It works great, too.

I think this new 3D image is the most convincing scientific evidence yet for arguing that the shroud is authentic.

No! The anaglyph may not be very scientific, at all. And that is a major concern because the impression one gets from the website and probably most places this image is displayed is that it is scientific. It may be, but if so, how so.

imageI am not at all convinced that the data found in the Shroud’s image supports the anaglyph on the website. I’m not convinced that adjustments that were made to the images (there seem to be many) are scientifically warranted. If this is so, if I am right, then the final product, the anaglyph at must be thought of only as a work of art. Nothing more!

Red and cyan 3D glasses that I ordered from ($4.70) arrived earlier in the week. I have since examined the anaglyph for hours. I was glad to learn from the pastor — one of this blog’s readers — that the full size image was available and I have studied it imageon a high definition 55 inch monitor. My first reaction was not unlike our friend above. Really, do order some 3D glasses at Amazon and prepare to be amazed.

My second reaction was that there was something wrong.

Bernardo Galmarini, “the 3D expert that produced the conversion from 2D to 3D,” writes on the shroud3d site:

I thought at first, that in this more scientific conversion, the hidden information in the Shroud (3D information in the gray-scale), would be a nuisance or obstacle to produce a human representation of the face, and that I would have to struggle continuously against this. Strangely enough, this hidden scientific information in the Shroud became the key and the basis for this work, reducing my artistic work to only softening the “holes” and deformities (caused surely by the passing of time) and the adapting to what this scientific version commands you to do: filling in and normalizing the “holes” or “dead areas” in the hidden information of the linen. For example: the areas without information in the forehead have been corrected following the surrounding gray-scale with coherent information and with a normal human forehead in mind. This process was helped by the fact, that the central zone of the forehead and the bony structure of the orbits contain very coherent information and that of course was taken as a guideline.

That statement lacks needed clarity. There are certainly holes and deformities. Why is not clear in most cases. It seems completely unjustified to speculate that these are caused by the passing of time. Without knowing how the image was formed, without knowing much about how the shroud was stored or displayed over many centuries, we shouldn’t make such guesses.

bandinginfaceExactly what are the holes and deformities? They have not been detailed on the website. The bloodstains certainly are a problem and to make adjustments for these is perhaps warranted. But what about other deformities? How is the problem of banding addressed? Banding, a variegated background pattern to the cloth, perhaps the result of how the thread of the cloth was bleached and having nothing to do with the passing of time, is certainly the single biggest deformity that exists. It gets peculiar treatment in this new 3D work. The left side of the face (our right) has been partially retouched to minimize the effect. The other side of the face is shaped as though there was no banding but the banding remains. Pictured here is an estimate of the banding in the area of the face.

At the bottom of the beard and the lower areas of the hair, darker areas that are not the result of banding are strikingly evident. These relatively dark areas don’t recede towards the background as expected for grayscale plotting. (You can’t see this without 3D glasses. Don’t even try.) What is the rationale for this obviously apparent artistic adjustment? Moreover, hair above the forehead pompadours frontward without grayscale tones to support it. This hair and facial hair treatment seems artistic.

The entire head and shoulders seem to be completely detached from the background. You can, with 3D glasses on, move your own head ever so slightly and see detached movement. (Again, you can’t see this without 3D glasses.) Galmarini speaks of “hidden scientific information,” presumably but not explicitly the grayscale. I can’t find any data in support of this phenomenon. It seems as though an artificial outline has been introduced around the human form. There does not seem to be any such outline on the Shroud. In fact, researchers, over the years, have noted this lack of outline because it is something that an artist, had an artist created the Shroud, would have certainly included. Interestingly, the areas of the lower neck and upper shoulders, though darker than the background, don’t recede into the background and don’t show detached movement. Most amazingly, the lower part of a prominent water stain above the face is now worn in the hair like a miniature yarmulke while the upper part of the stain adorns the background. This, to my way of thinking, strongly suggests the use of false outlines. What other reason can there be other than to enhance the 3D effect?

The most surprising thing is that the grayscale tones that to the untrained eye look like highlights and shadows, but that in fact become the basis for plotting three-dimensionality, remain in place in the plotted image. If you plot a three-dimensional object from the grayscale density you should have something that looks like a stone statue. Whatever highlights and shadows seem to exist in any resulting computerized virtual-reality image should only be from artificially introduced light placed at a calculated angle and distance in the virtual world. This is what the VP8 Analyzer does and what other software packages such as POV-Ray do. But in the anaglyph in question, it looks as though the original image was stretched like a thin film over the calculated shape. Original highlights, shadows and even herringbone twill patterns are there.

I’m willing to be convinced that I am wrong, that the anaglyph in question is scientific. I would actually like this. If this were so we would have something that is truly amazing. Clarity is needed, however. Specifics are required. I would like to see how much of this conversion to 3D is reproducible in a scientific sense and how much is "only softening the ‘holes’ and deformities."

In order to claim that the 3D images on this site are scientific the steps and procedures must be reproducible by others, at least in theory. Documentation is needed.

  1. We should know the software or algorithm used to plot the image including any variables or settings used.
  2. The terminology “hidden scientific information” should be clarified. It is essential to understand how plotting software uses this data.
  3. Expose higher resolution images for examination if the work was done in higher resolution. While this image may be 800 pixels wide, the resolution is no better than 72 ppi. Ordinary books carry pictures at four times the number of pixels per inch.
  4. We should be able to see, in anaglyph form for comparison, the unadjusted, scientifically plotted part of the project so that we can judge for ourselves just how much of the final product is by way of adjustment.
  5. All adjustments made should be explained and justified.

It bothers me to think that these images will be used, as the pastor suggests, in presentations to show the 3D characteristics of the Shroud. These images are certainly being displayed in churches, in exhibits and on the internet without the qualification that this is art and not science. If that is so, it is most unfortunate.

On the other hand, if these images are truly scientific, then the unexplained screams out to be explained.

Don’t get me wrong. There is 3D data in the Shroud’s images. It is the most important quality for knowing that these are not images formed by reflected light as a painter would envision or a camera would capture a human form. The 3D data is a quality that must be accounted for in any hypothesis attempting to explain how the images were formed, be it miraculously, naturally, by fakery or even as honest art. Indeed, this quality, treated scientifically without various forms of electronic manipulation, sooner or later, may suggest how the images were formed.

Berry: No matter where he or she considers themselves to be on the scale of infallibility

Colin has a scheme for retesting the shroud (see summary below).He then addresses a concern while explaining, quite thoroughly, how to really clean the samples.clip_image001

. . . . Of course there are those who say they would reject the results of a new round of testing if they came back with the same answer, citing “contamination”, and claiming there is no clean-up procedure that is guaranteed to separate original from acquired carbon.

No, Colin, you won’t see much of that. But there are many who will object because they feel that the Resurrection changed the effective age of the cloth.

So here is Colin’s plan. I think it is good. But, do you really think the owners of the cloth will permit it?

Step 1: Obtain the go-ahead from the Shroud’s custodians to repeat that contested radiocarbon dating. Assure them that all samples will be taken from the  portion of linen that has the less photogenic DORSAL view.

Step 2: select 20 sampling points at random from the NON-IMAGE area of the Shroud. Cut out samples according to a predetermined protocol that CANNOT be altered by ANYONE on the appointed day, no matter where he or she considers themselves to be on the scale of infallibility.

Step 3: Rediscover the medieval techniques for invisible repair. Make good the damage such that the Shroud is indistinguishable from the original, even to the trained eye:

. . . . Of course there are those who say they would reject the results of a new round of testing if they came back with the same answer, citing “contamination”, and claiming there is no clean-up procedure that is guaranteed to separate original from acquired carbon.

The Turin Shroud: but for the pseudo-science it would have been dismissed long ago as a medieval fake | If it looks like a scorch, behaves like a scorch – e.g. negative image, superficial, encoded 3D information (see banner) – then it probably is a scorch…

Bishop Justin Welby Chosen to Lead Anglican Communion

As an Episcopalian, an Anglican, every now and then I slip in something that has nothing to do with the Shroud. So this, I note, is how Matthew Rarey is reporting the selection of Justin Welby to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury for the Catholic News Agency (EWTN and National Catholic Register):

Catholic leaders welcome the British government’s selection of the former oil executive to succeed retiring Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

clip_image001LONDON — Anglican Bishop of Durham Justin Welby will become the 105th archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, succeeding the retiring Archbishop Rowan Williams.

“I feel a massive sense of privilege at being one of those responsible for the leadership of the church in a time of spiritual hunger,” said the 56-year-old father of six, who was an oil-industry executive before pursuing a religious vocation.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office formally announced the appointment, saying he had been the “overwhelming choice” of the British Crown Nominations Commission, a body made up of clergy and laypeople.

Bishop Welby is widely hailed for his personal holiness and ability to sort out complex issues, which supporters hope will serve him well as church attendance continues to drop and the Church of England wrestles with divisive issues such as female clergy and bishops, ordaining practicing homosexuals and creating wedding ceremonies for homosexual persons.

The future Anglican Communion leader got a warm reception from Catholic quarters, including Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.

“I am sure that his ministry, like that of his predecessor, Archbishop Rowan Williams, will provide an important Christian witness to this country over the coming years,” said the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, welcomed Bishop Welby’s appointment and will travel to England for his installation on March 21, 2013.

Bishop Welby’s press conference Nov. 9 underscored why Paul Murray, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Durham University, described him to Vatican Radio as “a very unusual combination.”

On the one hand, Bishop Welby praised “the riches of Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality, the treasures of contemplative prayer and adoration” and being “confronted with the rich and challenging social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.” He mentioned no other branch of Christianity in his remarks.

He also admitted, like his predecessor, to taking spiritual direction from a Benedictine monk.

Women Bishops

But Bishop Welby also took the occasion to voice his support for an issue that is further straining the theologically divided Church of England and is being hotly debated at its general synod, which will end later this month.

“I will be voting in favor” of ordaining women bishops, he said, “and join my voice to many others in urging the synod to go forward with this change.”

Archbishop Williams is also pushing this measure, saying it is “inconsistent to exclude in principle a baptized person from the possibility of ordained ministry.”

In a 2008 article in The Tablet, Cardinal Walter Kasper, then the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said any hope the Catholic Church had in recognizing Anglican holy orders was dashed by the consecration of women bishops.

Cardinal Kasper said that hope of “full, visible communion” had receded and dialogue was compromised, now that 16 provinces, including the Church of England, had voted for legislation for women bishops.

“The Catholic Church must now take account of the reality that the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate is … increasingly the stance of the [Anglican] Communion,” said the cardinal.

The issue of the ordination of women bishops will be decided at a two-day meeting that will begin Nov. 19. If it fails to pass, it cannot be brought up for reconsideration until the next synod in 10 years. The Church of England allowed for the ordination of women priests in 1992.

Bishop Welby’s predecessor served 10 years in the position before announcing his retirement earlier this year. He struggled to maintain order in the Anglican Communion, which is divided over issues of sexuality and ordination.

In 2006, Archbishop Williams chided the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Anglican Communion, for its embrace of homosexuality, including ordaining an openly homosexual bishop living with his partner.

“In terms of decision-making, the American Church has pushed the boundaries,” he said.

Many disaffected traditional Anglicans have left for other churches rather than remain in a church where, it seems to them, theology and morality are up for grabs.

Bishop Justin Welby Chosen to Lead Anglican Communion | Daily News |

Early Evidence of AB Blood

imageGabriel writes:

Regarding the controversy about how old AB blood is, Charles Freeman supports the idea that until 9th century this type of blood did not exist because there are no evidences of mingling between A linages (EUROPEAN) and B linages (Asian) before that date.

In this peer-reviewed journal a recent study shows that by iron age there is now an evidence of such a mixture [: Tracing the Origin of the East-West Population Admixture in the Altai Region (Central Asia) by Mercedes González-Ruiz, Cristina Santos, Xavier Jordana2, Marc Simón, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Elena Gigli, Maria Pilar Aluja, Assumpció Malgosa].

I think this study may represent a contribution to the debate.

I have added the abstract here:

A recent discovery of Iron Age burials (Pazyryk culture) in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia may shed light on the mode and tempo of the generation of the current genetic east-west population admixture in Central Asia. Studies on ancient mitochondrial DNA of this region suggest that the Altai Mountains played the role of a geographical barrier between West and East Eurasian lineages until the beginning of the Iron Age. After the 7th century BC, coinciding with Scythian expansion across the Eurasian steppes, a gradual influx of East Eurasian sequences in Western steppes is detected. However, the underlying events behind the genetic admixture in Altai during the Iron Age are still unresolved: 1) whether it was a result of migratory events (eastward firstly, westward secondly), or 2) whether it was a result of a local demographic expansion in a ‘contact zone’ between European and East Asian people. In the present work, we analyzed the mitochondrial DNA lineages in human remains from Bronze and Iron Age burials of Mongolian Altai. Here we present support to the hypothesis that the gene pool of Iron Age inhabitants of Mongolian Altai was similar to that of western Iron Age Altaians (Russia and Kazakhstan). Thus, this people not only shared the same culture (Pazyryk), but also shared the same genetic east-west population admixture. In turn, Pazyryks appear to have a similar gene pool that current Altaians. Our results further show that Iron Age Altaians displayed mitochondrial lineages already present around Altai region before the Iron Age. This would provide support for a demographic expansion of local people of Altai instead of westward or eastward migratory events, as the demographic event behind the high population genetic admixture and diversity in Central Asia.

Virgin Mary of Breezy Point and Hurricane Sandy: Signs and Miracles

clip_image001I missed this story in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago. It is worth reading:

Stories of saints or relics and sacred objects surviving fires and other destructions are legion across the Christian West. Hagiography accounts tell of saints who walked away from torture by fire, and relics are described as saving buildings around them. When the Chambery Chapel in Savoy, which then housed the Shroud of Turin, burned down, the shroud itself emerged with only slight scorching.

Shroud of Turin Threads on Christian Forums

imageAn interesting Shroud of Turin thread just started on the Anglican Board of Christian Forums

I posted this on the Catholic board, but i’d like to see what fellow Anglicans think of the Shroud as well.

The Shroud of Turin is perhaps one of the most important and controversial "relics" in the world today. Even famed atheist Richard Dawkins calls the Shroud a "problem."
. . .

One of the more thoughtful responses was from Anna Scott (“Anglo Catholic fighting for orthodoxy in TEC [= the Episcopal Church]”):

I think the Shroud is interesting. I’ve followed the different tests and controversies through the years. It is possible that it could be the Shroud of Christ; but I think using it to convince others of the resurrection (I realize you are not doing this) can do damage to the Gospel—especially if the shroud is eventually proven to be a forgery—just as I have seen incalculable damage to the Gospel by the Intelligent Design proponents. We accept the Gospel through faith–Christ being the author and perfecter of our faith. I don’t need anything in the material world to prove that Christ came to us as God Incarnate, was crucified and resurrected. However, I am always glad to hear more information on the Shroud. It is fascinating–whether it be authentic or a very clever forgery. What did Dawkins say about the shroud being a "problem." I thought he had completely dismissed it as a forgery? . . .. . . See: Turin Shroud resurrected  (a link at Dawkins Foundation)

And Sean611 responded:

He absolutely dismisses it as a forgery, but he still calls it a "problem" and a "controversy" because science can’t dismiss it easily. He dismisses it based on the carbon dating test back in the 1980s and has admitted that it can be as old as 600AD. However, there is a very large segment of the science community, mostly atheist/agnostic, that don’t come to the same conclusions as Dawkins. They can recreate something somewhat similar, but what is especially difficult is the 3-D information content in the images of the Shroud. Fascinating stuff!

You shroudies and your fallacious thinking

clip_image001A reader writes:

In the final analysis, after endless blogging about an unending supply of questionable historical and scientific speculation, you shroudies always fall back on a single argument: even with modern science no one has been able to figure out how the image was formed so it must be miraculous. Don’t you shroudies realize that this is classic god of the gaps fallacy.

Yes, I think we do realize it*. And I don’t think we always fall back on that argument. But humor me: ask yourself what if the image was miraculously formed in such a way that science could never explain it, then what? Is it then a fallacy to call it a fallacy? I know, I know, that’s why I said humor me.

*When God of the gaps is meant to be a form of the fallacy of argument from ignorance.

Who is right (if you can see through the bickering)?

imageColin Berry lets us know about this comments back-and-forth that appeared in Stephen Jones’ Shroud of Turin blog:

Weaving fan: ‘A further highly unusual [sic] feature of the Shroud’s linen is the weave itself. … an altogether more complex three-to-one herringbone twill …’

Jones: I regard your putting a “[sic]” in Wilson’s words quoted by me (and therefore my words) as substandard and personally offensive. The only valid excuse would be if Wilson or I made a spelling or grammatical mistake, which we didn’t.

Weaving fan: Ian Wilson, not so far as is known an expert on textiles.

Jones: This is FALLACIOUS. Wilson has spent a LIFETIME studying the Shroud and has met, seen and heard at Shroud conferences, and corresponded with, many “an expert on textiles”. To dismiss what Wilson says about the Shroud’s weave because he is not “an expert on textiles” is also substandard.

Weaving fan: Compare: Gilbert Raes, renowned expert on ancient textiles: … The type of weave [the herringbone pattern of the Turin Shroud] is not particularly distinctive and does not enable us to determine the period in which it was produced” .

Jones: This is also substandard. As I previously pointed out, Raes was talking about not being able to pinpoint the weave of the Shroud TO THE TIME OF CHRIST. He was not saying that 3:1 herringbone twill weave linen was produced in Europe in the Middle Ages.

Weaving fan: There is nothing particularly special about 3/1 weave which is why it is so widespread, even way back in ancient Egypt and still used by weavers today.

Jones: This is merely an ASSERTION by you. It is also FALLACIOUS. That 3:1 herringbone twill weave is “widespread” TODAY and was known “in ancient Egypt” does not thereby mean it was produced in Europe in the Middle Ages.

Weaving fan: Wilson is misleading here. Remember also that Tite had to find a piece of linen that the owners would allow to be cut up to be used as a CONTROL.

Jones: This is FALSE. The amount of linen needed as a control in the 1988 AMS radiocarbon dating was only the size of a POSTAGE STAMP. So it would NOT mean it would have to be “cut up”. The Shroud is of FAR GREATER value than any individual medieval linen and so the Vatican would never have allowed the Shroud to be C14 dated if that meant it would be “cut up.”

The fact is that Tite of the British Museum could NOT FIND a medieval piece of linen AT ALL which was 3:1 herringbone twill and therefore visually identical to the Shroud, so that the C14 dating labs could not tell which was the Shroud. But if medieval European 3:1 herringbone twill linen was so common as you claim it was, it would have been NO PROBLEM for Tite to obtain a POSTAGE STAMP sized sample of at least ONE of them.

Weaving fan: Wilson seems to imply that there were no similar herringbone cloths around in the Middle Ages. This is not true- it is simply that most are in museums (e.g the Victorian and Albert Museum in London) and can not be cut up to provide a control sample.

Jones: This is FALSE. See above.

As I pointed out above, several aspects of your comment I found to be substandard and even offensive, and so according to my policies it should not have appeared (see below). I only allowed it to appear so that I could further refute your argument.

I used to have a policy for those who like to argue and waste my time by reiterating the same false and substandard arguments:

“Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post. Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post.”

This policy was not permanently abolished, but only temporarily relaxed, and is held in reserve by me to invoke whenever I deem it necessary, as I now do.

Therefore you have had your last comment under this post. You are free to comment under other posts on this blog, but if they are similarly substandard they won’t appear.

I don’t like Jones’ way of moderating comments. Colin Berry doesn’t either. But did Colin, who squeals like a wounded something-or-other every time someone criticizes him, need to serve up this?

Berry: You, Mr. Uptight Stephen E.Jones, are not just a martinet, but A BOIL ON THE BUM OF THE BLOGOSPHERE! (emphasis his)

How to win friends and influence people!

But back to the question in the title: Who is right, Weaver fan or Jones?

National Geographic Book: Mysteries of Jesus

A friend just sent me this. The description at Amazon reads:

imageJoin National Geographic and bestselling author Jean-Pierre Isbouts to investigate ten enduring mysteries of Jesus in this original ebook short. Who was the unnamed "Beloved Disciple’, who leaned on Jesus during the Last Supper? What did the Holy Grail look like—and could it possibly still exist? What do alternative tales of Jesus’ life, not included in the New Testament, suggest about early Christianity?  From the extraordinary circumstances of Jesus’ birth to the latest analysis of the Shroud of Turin, Isbouts consults with the world’s leading scholars to shed new light on the mysteries that surround the extraordinary story of Jesus’ life.

Has anyone read it? It was released earlier this year. It is only 60 pages, so maybe next weekend.

Life of the Party in the Sistine Chapel’s Ceiling

Since we have been discussing the Sistine Chapel, I thought you would like to see the picture that the Huffington Post put together to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the ceiling a couple of days ago:

imageAnd the article reads:

Five hundred years ago today [(November 1)] every single fresco was put to shame when the painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was first revealed to the public. The painted work embodies the artistic lifeblood of the High Renaissance and serves as a living tapestry of spirituality, visual storytelling and bodies in motion. The Chapel also inaugurated the artistic tradition of luring in a gigantic amount of tourists, craning their necks, sweating profusely and jostling to get a prime position beneath a work of genius. We’d like to honor that tradition on this joyous anniversary.

Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to create the Vatican’s most prized work of eye-candy. After enlisting other big-name artists like Raphael, Botticelli and Ghirlandaio to paint other parts of the chapel, the Pope had particularly high hopes for the ceiling, wishing to imbue it with layers of complexity and multiple meanings, some of which are still being unpacked today. Although Michelangelo was foremost a sculptor before taking on what would become his most legendary accomplishment, his mastery of the male form seemed to translate effortlessly from marble to canvas.

Face of the Man of the Shroud of Turin Encoded in Sistine Chapel?

imageThis appears in the Christian Newswire press release service. I can’t see that it has been picked up by anyone, even bloggers. So here it is. Enjoy.

I must admit, however, that I can’t see anything that I’m supposed to see in the referenced paper: The Face of the Man of the Shroud of Turin Is Encoded Within the Sistine Chapel Frescoes.

Is it just me or is this a case of seeing elephants in the clouds?

RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 31, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Investigative researcher, Philip E. Dayvault, of Raleigh, NC, discovered in 2003 that the Last Judgment fresco and a portion of the Ceiling fresco by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel contain the encoded, and "hidden in plain view," image of the face of the Man of the Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus Christ. This forensic conclusion is based on distinctive pattern recognition, the detection of identifying individual characteristics and a progressive overlay comparison of both images. It is also concluded, based on abundant forensic circumstantial, documentary and physical evidence, and coupled with logic and reason, that Michelangelo unknowingly painted the encoded image within the Sistine Chapel, and which contains individual characteristics consistent with those from the Shroud face. Michelangelo never saw the encoded image…it only became observable with the advent of photography in the early 1800’s; and then specifically with the first photograph of the Shroud taken in 1898 by Seconda Pia! However, exactly how the encoded image was made remains unknown. This new data is being released to commemorate the 500th-year anniversary of Michelangelo’s completion of the ineffable Ceiling in the Sistine Chapel on October 31, 1512, and also the presentation of the Ceiling to the people of Rome, and ultimately to the world, on November 1, 1512, All Saints Day.

Importantly, the two frescoes were painted at different times in history. The Ceiling, (not shown in this photo), extending down to the top of the "eye brows," was painted from 1508 to 1512; and the Last Judgment on the Altar Wall, depicting "the face" from the eyes-down, was painted from 1535 to 1541. During the interim years, there were three different popes, each of whom could have commissioned anyone to paint the Altar Wall. Michelangelo was in such pain and agony from painting the Ceiling that he didn’t "know" if he would be alive the next day, much less, 23 years in the future.

Dayvault, a former Special Agent and Physical Science Technician with the FBI, utilized the preferred and scientifically accepted forensic principles and methodologies for facial review and identification. This research involved painstaking comparisons and iterations of the two images. Slight scaling of the Shroud Face was required to accommodate for the parallax, focal distance and lens variations present in each available Sistine Chapel photograph. This incredible image, shown below via a Progressive Overlay Comparison, has been critically reviewed by several Shroud colleagues and a forensic expert who concur with Dayvault’s conclusions. Some of the numerous individual features include the "Epsilon-like," or "reversed-3," bloodstain image around Jonah (not depicted in this photo), the off-centered bifurcated beard, the eye orbits, the circular cheek wound, unique chin markings, etc.

For further information, please visit, or click the link below to view the ENCODED article,

Who are the several shroud colleagues?

Shroud Encounter Coming to Cresson, PA and Buffalo, NY

imageFrom promotional flyers:

Could an ancient Jewish linen cloth be the actual burial shroud of Jesus? Could the Shroud of Turin be a document of the crucifixion? Is that even possible? Or is it nothing more than a medieval hoax?

For hundreds of years this ancient linen cloth etched with the faint image of a crucified man has mystified millions. It continues to speak from centuries past challenging us to unlock its many secrets. Nearly every scientific regimen has been employed to unravel the mystery and yet it remains unsolved.

Shroud Encounter is a dramatic big-screen experience. Each clue is revealed and examined like a CSI Investigation leading deeper into its maze of mystery and intrigue.

Explore this profound enigma with Russ Breault, one of the world’s leading experts captivating audiences coast to coast and seen in numerous documentaries including The History Channel, Discovery and CBS.

Don’t miss Shroud Encounter!

  • Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, PA on Thursday, November 8th at 3:30 and 7:00 PM in the Cosgrave Student Center. Admission is free. Promo spot:

  • The Historic Holy Trinity Church located at 1419 Falls St. in Niagara Falls, NY on Saturday, November 17th at 7:00 PM. Admission is Free. Promo spot:

Official website:

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