Colin Berry is changing course (again):
Crunch time has arrived, given the Vatican has dropped any pretence at neutrality and is now seeking actively to promote authenticity. (That much has been clear to some of us for a while)
Getting the RS [= Royal Society, which acts as the UK’s Academy of Sciences] involved is now my top priority. I will spend time re-composing that draft letter I posted here a while ago (receiving a number of encouraging responses) , mail it to the RS, and then see what if any response I get. After long reflection, I’ve decided t will NOT be an open letter as initially proposed. The RS should not be made to feel it is under any pressure. I also believe that as the author of well over 150 Shroud-related postings in the public domain, having listened carefully to all the responses – positive or negative – I am entitled now to deal with the RS on a private 1:1 basis, saying frankly what I think and don’t think at this particular juncture, without having to watch my back.
If the RS agrees to act, then it goes without saying that it would have my permission to retroactively publish the letter that started the ball-rolling, where my case for RS involvement is set out to break the present impasse (especially as the Vatican has made no moves to get the radiocarbon dating repeated with a more sensible, statistically-rigorous sampling frame, while taking a progressively harder line on authenticity).
If the Royal Society agrees to act, maybe the British Navy can blockade all the sea channels to the Vatican. If that doesn’t work, Prince Harry could lead a helicopter attack on the Turin Cathedral and capture the shroud for more carbon dating at Oxford.
LBJ has an expression about futility: “Hollerin down a rain barrel.” Expecting that the Vatican would allow the Royal Academy unique access to the Shroud is absurd. Get over it CB, the days of empire are over.
I also would not expect the Royal Academy would be trusted to give an independent appraisal that would call into question the verisimilitude of Oxford Dons and the British Museum. I think on both sides of the Pond, there is skepticism of the established authority that looks after its own.
Colin, safe in the embrace of Mother England, needs to get out in the world more.
“as the author of well over 150 Shroud-related postings” who in the process invented more conspiracy theories and promoted more pseudo-science than anyone, I’d say send it to the Times, right away. That’s what Richard Dawkins and all the other big name sciencebods do.
This is not the first time CB suggests this, although now seems really determined. In other words, despite his scientific profile, he has not succeeded by himself to demonstrate the scorch theory. Now he wants a highly reputated institution (RS) to take over this task, focus the research according to his instructions and put the whole devices of RS at work. Obviously, he wants the RS to finish up his research by saying “Colin was right. It was a medieval scorch”.
If he knew -as he continuosly claims- which the standard scientific protocols for -in this case- putting up a research, evaluate its feasibility, its relevance, find finantial help, and so on are, he should know that “writing a letter” is just not the way.
Perhaps he thinks that due to his high scientific profile and to the interest of the subject all these usual steps will not apply to the proposal in that letter.
Good luck, Colin!
This is simply laughable (I mean that literally because it made me laugh). Colin is naive if he thinks the Royal Society would want to re-open the can of worms that in their view the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud closed, by providing “conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval … AD 1260-1390” (Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, 1989, p.611).
Going by polls of the equivalent to the Royal Society in the USA, the National Academy of Sciences, the members of the Royal Society would probably be 90-95% atheist/agnostics.
Therefore like most atheist/agnostics they prefer to ignore the Shroud on the `ostrich with its head in the sand’ principle. That is, if they can’t see it, it isn’t there. Colin is one of the rare exceptions to that rule and he deserves credit for that at least.
My guess is that if the Royal Society even deigns to reply to Colin, that is, in more than a standard `canned’ response, it will be with words to the effect:
“the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud provided conclusive evidence that the Shroud of Turin is medieval. There is therefore no need for the Royal Society to become involved in requesting further testing of what in the Society’s view is merely a medieval artifact.”
Re Pray Ms nail-wound-in-left-wrist-basis issue and how reliable as a ‘scientist’ Mr CB is, here is my last comment:
The TRUE fact is we do not need CB’s most biased/misleading FUZZY “higher magnification and/or improved colour/contrast adjustment” image (see his blog, Alert day 11). What the ‘dear reader’ does need is a truly high definition photograph of the Pray Ms illustration plate IV to REALLY make his opinion.
Methinks CB is just manipulating (once again) the data to his own advantage, call it ‘science’ and just take an English leave… A most curious way to make his point.
Now this is the same man who thinks he is to get the Royal Society involved on the Turin Shroud authenticity!
Typo: Re Pray Ms nail-wound-in-left-wrist-basis AND most elongated fingers issue
When applied to CB the phrase “changing course” here means “taking an English leave”.
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