When I was a child, my first exposure to the Shroud of Turin was on an episode of “In Search Of…”, a weekly television program that featured a number of various popular mysteries including Bigfoot, the Amelia Earhart disappearance and the Bermuda Triangle, among others. For this episode I sat enthralled as the show’s host, Leonard Nimoy, described how the shroud bore an image of the crucified Christ and that the image was undoubtedly caused by a huge transfer of energy at the moment of the Resurrection. I remember hurrying off to excitedly tell anyone who would listen all about the irrefutable facts presented by the program. Of course, what I eventually came to realize, after several increasingly disappointing conversations, was that “In Search Of” presented “irrefutable facts” (or omitted the refutable ones) in support of every mystery they featured; it was, of course, their bread and butter. Sadly, such childhood epiphanies are often the lynch-pin for of a life of skepticism; reaffirming the fact that truth is so important, and so elusive, in any argument or discourse.
So it was with my hard-earned skepticism that I sat down to watch The History Channel’s presentation of “The Real Face of Jesus” . . .
Like many other ancient mysteries, science will probably never have the capacity to prove exactly what the shroud is, but many modern scientists will easily tell you what it is not- it isn’t, in any scientifically explainable sense, a work of art created as an elaborate hoax.
And, if it isn’t a hoax, the thought of what it might be sends shivers down my spine.
Old TV shows can be fun to watch.