clip_image001A reader wrote:

I think you are being excessively mean. I agree that the [Siefker and Spicer] paper is a bit weak, but what is the point in drumming on day after day with picayune criticisms?

My intention is not to be mean. I think people who know me know this.  The paper is unfortunate.  What makes it appear that I am being mean is that the paper was written by two good people with the best of intentions. Others, I believe, who knew better, and were in a position to do so, should not have published it without some serious editing. The authors also could have sought input from others as they wrote the paper either in the relative privacy of the Shroud Science Group or in a public forum such as this blog where give and take is the norm.

Drumming on, day after day? I think the point was to try to learn from as many people as possible by going through the lists in the paper and hoping for comments. And why not do the same with Fanti’s paper that was published in JIST or Rolfe’s Challenge list from Valencia or Rogers’ FAQ or the infamous SSG List from Dallas 2005? These are all public documents. The idea of a topic of the day was something I had already been thinking about – how many Super Bowl ads can you talk about? – when the Siefker and Spicer paper was published. I announced it without much commentary in Paper Chase (NEW): The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses

By the next day, following some comments by others, in another, more critical posting, Déjà vu or what?, I wrote:

It seems to me that a positive thing to do with this paper over many days and weeks ahead is to take one item at a time, maybe one-a-day or so, and discuss it in this blog (or re-discuss it or choose to ignore it). And there will be no let up on the many other things that get posted like this wonderful new Guest Posting by Kelly Kearse: Distinguishing human blood from that of other species.

The fact of the matter is that the paper is published in a public place. The authors should know it will be criticized. They are welcome to join the discussion. I would love it.

Perhaps calling each days’ item the “teaser” of the day was insensitive. Okay, it will be the topic of the day henceforth.

If I’m mean, I don’t mean to be, so call me out on it when I am.

Here is where we have been. In clicking on a posting in this list, it is important to read the comments. In this blog comments are more important and more informative than postings: