But they didn’t ask about the Shroud of Turin

clip_image001Yesterday’s Quinnipiac University National Poll on American Catholics is causing quite a stir. Most news outlets carried an abridged version of the press release. Google, for the search, “quinnipiac poll on american catholics,” reports 644 news stories and 10,298 blog entries. Boston University’s Stephen Prothero in a “Special to CNN’ decided the pope is irrelevant. Catholic News Service (CWS) managed to eke out this oh-so-limp headline from the finer details: Quinnipiac Poll: 55% of Weekly Mass-Attending Catholics Oppose Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ (Italics mine)

Well they didn’t ask about the Shroud of Turin but they did ask about married priests and women priests.

March 8, 2013 – American Catholics Support Same-Sex Marriage, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Catholics Want New Direction From Next Pope

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American voter support for same-sex marriage is inching up and now stands at 47 – 43 percent, including 54 – 38 percent among Catholic voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

. . .

Among all adult Catholics, 52 percent say the Church is moving in the right direction, while 31 percent say it is going in the wrong direction.

Church leaders are out of touch with the views of Catholics in America today, all Catholics say 52 – 40 percent. Men say out of touch, 54 – 37 percent, while women agree by a smaller 49 – 43 percent margin.

The next pope should move the Church in new directions, 55 percent of Catholics say, while 38 percent say the pope should maintain the current direction.

American Catholics say 62 – 30 percent that the next pope should allow priests to marry and say 64 – 28 percent, including 68 – 24 percent among women, that he should relax the church ban on contraception.

Under the next pope, Catholics say 81 – 13 percent, the Church should do more to combat sexual abuse of young people by priests.

Catholics agree 59 – 35 percent that clergy should not be allowed to run for and serve in public office.

By a 51 – 41 percent margin, Catholics support Present Barack Obama’s position that religious-based institutions, such as hospitals and universities, must arrange for their insurance companies to provide birth control coverage for employees.

Among Catholics, 16 percent have a very favorable opinion of Pope Benedict XVI, with 58 percent favorable, 15 percent unfavorable and 3 percent very unfavorable.

Religion is very important in their life, 57 percent of Catholics say, while 33 percent say fairly important and 9 percent say not very important.

As an Episcopalian, I noticed the release didn’t mention item 34 that asks, “Should the next pope support or oppose allowing women to become priests?” It turns out that 62 percent think so while only 27 percent do not.

I’ve always wanted a real poll on the Shroud of Turin to includes Catholic, Anglican, Mainstream Protestant, Evangelical and Orthodox Christians.

Pope Benedict says Shroud of Turin authentic burial robe of Jesus & it doesn’t matter what science says about its authenticity

imageBT writes from New London:

We might wonder who will be calling the shots and what will the take away message be for the Holy Saturday exhibition of the Shroud. I rather think Benedict 16 has decided that.  Who can forget the 2010 headlines proclaiming the Shroud authentic and the Associated Press comment about Benedict’s attitude towards science on this matter. Contrast this with the statements of John Paul II on science and the Shroud.

Such a long time ago but thanks to Google we can find all this. One headline stands out in particular: “Pope Benedict says Shroud of Turin authentic burial robe of Jesus.” It was the headline for an article in the normally careful and judicious Christian Science Monitor on May 1, 2010. That was right after the pope’s visit to the exhibition of the shroud. The paper went on to say:

The Vatican, which owns the linen cloth, has in the past tiptoed around the issue, describing it as a potent symbol of Jesus Christ’s suffering but never asserting outright its authenticity. Pope John Paul II visited the Shroud when it last went on public display in 1998, but he said the Catholic Church had "no specific competence” to pronounce on its authenticity and urged further scientific analysis.

Benedict was much less equivocal on Sunday when he prayed in front of the cloth at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin, Italy, saying afterwards in a “meditation” that it was "an icon written in blood; the blood of a man who was whipped, crowned with thorns, crucified, and injured on his right side."

Other news outlets pulled their punches a bit. The AP story read:

TURIN, Italy – TURIN, Italy (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI all but gave an outright endorsement of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin on Sunday, calling the cloth that some believe is Christ’s burial shroud an icon "written with the blood" of a crucified man.

The AP story went on to say:

"This is a burial cloth that wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus," Benedict said. He said the relic — one of the most important in Christianity— should be seen as a photographic document of the "darkest mystery of faith" — that of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

[. . . ]

"The Shroud of Turin offers us the image of how his body lay in the tomb during that time (of death); time that was brief chronologically — about a day and a half — but was immense, infinite in its value and significance," Benedict said.

But then we had this bit of a journalist’s interpretation:

Benedict’s meditation — delivered after he prayed as if in a trance before the shroud — appeared to imply that in the end it doesn’t matter what science says about its authenticity.

And that most inappropriate interpretation was published everywhere AP feeds are used from the New York Times to the Chattanooga Times. I’m not so much concerned about any take away message as I am about what some journalist tells us it is.

Shroud of Turin Around the Blogs

clip_image001Stephen E Jones continues his series (be sure to see his contents page for more in this wonderful series0:

Here is "2.6. The other marks" (2), which is part 13 of my series, "The Shroud of Turin." The series was originally titled, "The Shroud of Jesus?" but I have retitled it "The Shroud of Turin" so that my posts in this series are more easily found using a search engine. The previous post in this series was part 12, "2.6. The other marks" (1)." See the Contents page (part 1) for more information about this series, .

As explained in my previous post, by "other marks" I mean those significant marks on the Shroud of Turin which are not wounds (see "2.4. The wounds") or bloodstains (see "2.5. The Bloodstains"). In that previous post I covered the burns and water stains. In this post I will cover the `poker holes’, the dirt on the man’s foot and in particular the limestone in that dirt. Again the order in which they are presented is from the most to the least obvious (not necessarily from the most to the least important). (Bold mine)

imageColin Berry, by way of a most unusual picture caption, updates us some more on his planned letter to the Royal Society:

Colin, above, he say (being a free agent): My letter to Sir Paul Nurse PRS will go into the post by the end of the week. It will focus, at least initially, on just two carefully-selected and crucial questions regarding the TS where I consider that the UK’s premier scientific society could play a useful and clarifying role: 1. Which arrived first on the linen : blood or image (as already discussed) – a test of authenticity entirely independent from radiocarbon dating 2. Can heavily media-promoted hypotheses based on any kind of electromagnetic radiation, such as those of John Jackson, Paolo Di Lazzaro, Luigi Fanti, August Accetta and others be safely dismissed as unscientific, or in some cases pseudoscience, through their disregard for established principles of physics and chemistry. (If others wish to make similar approaches to their own learned societies then that is fine by me.) (Bold mine)

clip_image001[6]John Klotz offered us a must read posting, Evidence and the Shroud of Turin in his blog Living Free. We mentioned this yesterday, but it merits mentioning again.

There is no authentic doubt about the Shroud once it is established that it is a linen cloth that once enwrapped the body of a crucified man who was scourged, beaten, nailed to a cross and his side pierced with a post-mortem (after death) spear wound. There is even evidence that he carried the cross-bar on his shoulders and walked through streets that had limestone stone dust compatible with the streets of Jerusalem. There is also evidence that he fell and because he was carrying the cross-bar, he couldn’t break his fall, injuring a knee and the tip of his nose.

The accumulation of facts is overwhelming. The question that nobody has ever answered, given the circumstances is: If not HIM, who?

imageOther, mostly Catholic blogs are beginning to talk up the upcoming Holy Saturday TV-only exhibition. The story is being picked up from CWN, ANSA, STERA and this blog. For instance, Catholic Culture reports:

Before his resignation took effect on February 28, Pope Benedict XVI authorized a television broadcast that will display the Shroud of Turin.

On Holy Saturday, March 31, Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia will lead a liturgical ceremony that will include a public display of the Shroud. The ceremony will be telecast and made available worldwide.

The last broadcast images of the Shroud were carried by the Italian RAI network in 1973. The last public display of the Shroud was in May 2010. Pope Benedict was among the 2 million people who came to venerate the Shroud during that exposition.

ANSA: Ratzinger orders TV broadcast of Shroud of Turin

clip_image001The Gazzetta del Sud Online (English Edition) article, Pope Emeritus orders TV broadcast of Shroud of Turin is no longer easily accessible. Instead, go to the original news feed from the Italian news agency ANSA: Ratzinger orders TV broadcast of Shroud of Turin (English Edition).

It begins:

(ANSA) – Turin, March 4 – Although Pope Emeritus Benedict resigned last week, he left a parting gift for the world: an unusual display of the mystical Shroud of Turin.

Last week, shortly before Benedict became the first pope in roughly 600 years to resign from the papacy, he announced that television cameras will be permitted to broadcast extremely rare images of the Shroud.

The Vatican described this as Benedict’s final gift to the Roman Catholic Church.

John Klotz: If not HIM, who?

imageMUST READ: For John Klotz, in his must read posting, Evidence and the Shroud of Turin in his blog Living Free, the conclusion that Rudy Dichtl should arrive at, based on the article in the Denver Post is a matter of probabilities.

[A]s scientist, it can’t be said that it has been proven to be the burial cloth of Christ. Rudy Dichtl has made great contributions but there is a point where we have to make decisions on the evidence available. Based upon all the evidence available, the Shroud is a burial cloth of Jesus Christ. It is a matter of probabilities. How many Jews were crucified in 30-33 CE who claimed to be the Messiah?

[. . . ]

The accumulation of facts is overwhelming. The question that nobody has ever answered, given the circumstances is: If not HIM, who?

The Denver Post article was already mentioned in another post in this blog.

STURP’s Rudolf Dichtl: Bloodstains Real and Carbon 14 Dating has to be Redone

A good story, Boulder scientist shares Shroud of Turin research, by Amy Bounds appears in the Denver Post:

clip_image001Rudolph Dichtl’s expertise on the famed Shroud of Turin includes not just extensive research into its history, but also firsthand experience testing the cloth itself.

Dichtl, a retired physicist who lives in Boulder, was a founding member of a contingent of scientists granted unprecedented access to the shroud in 1978 in Turin, Italy. They worked around the clock for five days to run tests and gather evidence.

Sunday, he gave a talk  . . .

On the bloodstains and the image:

The 30-person Shroud of Turin Research Project ultimately concluded the apparent bloodstains were real and very old. They also found no evidence of paint, dye, stains or any known artist’s media that could have created the discolorations that form the image.

Dichtl said there’s no way to prove that the shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus. But, he said, based on the evidence, “I believe it’s possible.”

On the carbon dating:

However, Ray Rogers, a member of the research project and Los Alamos National Laboratory fellow until his death in 2005, found in 2004 that the test sample used for the carbon dating was taken from a rewoven area — skillfully mended with different materials — that was virtually invisible under normal lighting conditions.

Rogers used ultraviolet photography and a battery of chemical tests to conclude that the tested section was this medieval patch and that the carbon dating, while correct, didn’t apply to most of the shroud.

“The consensus is the Carbon 14 dating has to be redone,” Dichtl said.

Down-loadable apps, books: Holy Saturday Exhibition

clip_image001Gazzetta del Sud Online (English Edition) is reporting today, Pope Emeritus orders TV broadcast of Shroud of Turin:

Turin, March 4 – Although Pope Emeritus Benedict resigned last week, he left a parting gift for the world: an unusual display of the mystical Shroud of Turin. Last week, shortly before Benedict became the first pope in roughly 600 years to resign from the papacy, he announced that television cameras will be permitted to broadcast extremely rare images of the Shroud. The Vatican described this as Benedict’s final gift to the Roman Catholic Church. The Shroud of Turin is one of the Catholic Church’s most mysterious and often revered holy relics. Believers say the linen shroud was used to cover the body of Christ after his crucifixion and countless scientific tests conducted over the years have revealed the outline of the body of a man embedded in the fabric. Relatively few people ever have an opportunity to see the Shroud, so permitting it to be video taped and broadcast to the world is especially significant.

Some details:

But now, such images will not only be televised by Italian state broadcaster RAI, but also beamed out to anyone with the correct application on almost any kind of communications device. The broadcast, scheduled for the Saturday afternoon before Easter Sunday on March 31, 2013, will be transmitted from the northern Italian city of Turin, where the Shroud is heavily guarded in a bullet-proof, climate controlled glass case within the city’s most important cathedral. Archbishop of Turin Cesare Nosiglia will lead a celebration that is part of the Holy Saturday broadcast and although Benedict is not expected to take part, Vatican officials say the ceremony will allude to the fact that in May 2010, Benedict called the Shroud the "Icon of Holy Saturday". . . . Besides the televised broadcast of the Shroud event and down-loadable apps, a publication of a related book in Italian, English, Spanish, and Portuguese is planned, along with the release of a DVD.

And there is some discussion of the shroud’s image and the carbon dating.

How long will it take to make it to YouTube?

Defining Pseudoscience: It Takes a Rocket Surgeon

imageColin Berry somewhat clarifies his now work-in-progress letter to the Royal Society when he writes:

Thus my resort to the RS – to suggest new technology for addressing the blood-first claim, hopefully that would not require snipping bits off the Shroud, i.e. could be applied in situ, custodians permitting. If they don’t permit, then folk can be left to draw their own conclusions (and the RS asked to state which existing evidence it considers science, which pseudo-science). . . .

There is in this an implied threat. But that makes me wonder. What if, instead, the custodians of the shroud invited the Royal Society to design and conduct tests to see if the bloodstains were formed before the image and that prestigious organization declined to do so. Should folks be left to draw there own conclusions? Colin’s suggestion sounds more like bluffing in poker than doing science. In fact, I wonder, is this a form of pseudoscience? Maybe.

Why the Royal Society? Why not the National Academy of Science in Washington? Why not the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences? And why is it any of Royal Society’s business to consider “which existing evidence it considers science, which pseudo-science”?

The title of Colin’s blog includes this phrase: “Separating the science from the pseudo-science…” (ellipses his). Which is fine if that is what is happening in his blog. Is it?

And in this blog, many of us, including me, have labeled the work of others pseudoscience. That’s fine if it’s true. But is it?

The problem in answering all of these questions lies in the definition of pseudoscience. I imagine that if you ask Sir Paul Nurse (PRS), a prominent geneticist and the President of the Royal Society and Sir John Polkinghorne (FRS), a theoretical physicist, Anglican priest and also a Fellow of the Royal Society to define pseudoscience, you might get two very different definitions. If you ask Francis Collins, a convert from Atheism to Christianity who, like Nurse, is a prominent geneticist who directed the Human Genome Project and now heads up NIH in Bethesda and is a Fellow of Pontifical Academy of Sciences you might get a third answer. And if you ask Colin Berry you might get a fourth answer. And if you ask John Jackson . . . 

Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine, and a vocal skeptic of the shroud’s possible authenticity, explains the problem. In an article in Scientific American, he writes:

Climate deniers are accused of practicing pseudoscience, as are intelligent design creationists, astrologers, UFOlogists, parapsychologists, practitioners of alternative medicine, and often anyone who strays far from the scientific mainstream. The boundary problem between science and pseudoscience, in fact, is notoriously fraught with definitional disagreements because the categories are too broad and fuzzy on the edges, and the term “pseudoscience” is subject to adjectival abuse against any claim one happens to dislike for any reason. In his 2010 book Nonsense on Stilts (University of Chicago Press), philosopher of science Massimo Pigliucci concedes that there is “no litmus test,” because “the boundaries separating science, nonscience, and pseudoscience are much fuzzier and more permeable than Popper (or, for that matter, most scientists) would have us believe.”

It was Karl Popper who first identified what he called “the demarcation problem” of finding a criterion to distinguish between empirical science, such as the successful 1919 test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and pseudoscience, such as Freud’s theories, whose adherents sought only confirming evidence while ignoring disconfirming cases. Einstein’s theory might have been falsified had solar-eclipse data not shown the requisite deflection of starlight bent by the sun’s gravitational field. Freud’s theories, however, could never be disproved, because there was no testable hypothesis open to refutability. Thus, Popper famously declared “falsifiability” as the ultimate criterion of demarcation.

The problem is that many sciences are nonfalsifiable, such as string theory, the neuroscience surrounding consciousness, grand economic models and the extraterrestrial hypothesis. On the last, short of searching every planet around every star in every galaxy in the cosmos, can we ever say with certainty that E.T.s do not exist?

And why not perfectly natural phenomena perhaps kicked off or energized by a miracle? Can we ever say with certainty that miracles do not exist?

Princeton University historian of science Michael D. Gordin adds in his forthcoming book The Pseudoscience Wars (University of Chicago Press, 2012), “No one in the history of the world has ever self-identified as a pseudoscientist. There is no person who wakes up in the morning and thinks to himself, ‘I’ll just head into my pseudolaboratory and perform some pseudoexperiments to try to confirm my pseudotheories with pseudofacts.’” As Gordin documents with detailed examples, “individual scientists (as distinct from the monolithic ‘scientific community’) designate a doctrine a ‘pseudoscience’ only when they perceive themselves to be threatened—not necessarily by the new ideas themselves, but by what those ideas represent about the authority of science, science’s access to resources, or some other broader social trend. . . .

Like religion? Like the resurrection of Christ?

The illustration by Alex Robbins appears in Scientific American.

More Shroud Encounters in March


Wed 3/13 6:30pm

clip_image001Silverdale Baptist Church,
7236 Bonny Oaks Dr,
Chattanooga, TN
6:30 in the Silverdale Baptist Church Chapel (http://silverdalebc.com/)


Saturday 3/16 6:15pm

Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church
4810 South Leamington Ave
Chicago (near Midway airport)
6:15 PM Parish Website (http://www.ourladyofthesnowsparish.org/)


Thurs 3/21 7:00pm, Fri 3/22 7:00 pm, Sat 3/23 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm

Blessed Sacrament Church
305 Laurentian Ln
Kitchener, Ontario
This is in conjunction with a weeklong exhibition of the Vancouver Shroud Association’s exhibit (http://www.manoftheshroud.org/exhibit/)


Easter Sunday March 31, 10:45am

Sacred Tapestry United Methodist Church
3000 Johnson Ferry Rd North
Marietta, GA
10:45 AM Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/events/510353889009459/)

Lisa Miller on American Catholics

imageLisa Miller, writing in the Washington Post, explains why Even if they don’t follow its rules, Catholics stick with their church:

[America Catholics] wish, by a wide margin, that their bishops were talking more about social justice issues such as poverty and less about culture-war issues such as abortion. When asked what matters to them most about being Catholic, they overwhelmingly say the resurrection of Jesus, not Vatican authority or celibate, male priests.

[ . . . ]

“New Pope? I’ve Given Up Hope,” wrote the historian Garry Wills, perhaps America’s most eviscerating disillusioned Catholic. It’s as if Catholic identity has become entirely disconnected from the institutional church. “I’m Catholic,” a friend of mine explained to me. “I just don’t agree with anything the church says.”

During this historical caesura, when one pope has exited the stage and another has yet to enter, why not then ask the obvious, blasphemous question? What distinguishes these Christians, skeptical of authority and seeking meaning in their own interpretations of the gospel message, from their brothers and sisters who wholly reject the power of the pope? Bluntly put: Why are these Catholics different from Protestants?

Only American Catholics?

Read why Even if they don’t follow its rules, Catholics stick with their church

The Real Face of Jesus this Lent and Eastertide

A reader writes:

I want to watch the Real Face of Jesus before Easter. Will the History Channel being showing again this year?

The online schedule for the History Channel (in the U.S.) only goes out to March 16 and Easter (Gregorian) is March 31. My bet is that the History Channel will show it again around Easter in the U.S., the U.K. and on some of other international History channels. So watch the schedule.

But you have several good options for watching this highly rated Shroud of Turin documentary:

1) You can watch it by linking to YouTube or you can watch it right here.

The Real Face of Jesus from the History Channel


2) For $1.99, you can purchase a downloadable version (search for “Real face of Jesus”). This can be viewed with many television set top boxes, such as TIVO, or on your computer. You can watch it as often as you want. This version is available in HD format.

3) Tor $3.99, you can also purchase an Apple iTunes version for the iPad, iPhone or your computer.

4) For $24,95, you can buy the DVD from Amazon or the History Channel. It is often on sale for less.

I keep a fully licensed version on my laptop and another one on my iPhone. I’ve used the iPhone version with a large-screen projector to show clips of the show to an audience. 

Colin Berry: Getting the Royal Society involved is now my top priority.

Colin Berry is changing course (again):

clip_image001Crunch 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)

Neutrality, Colin?

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.

The face Jesus left us

clip_image001The word-comma-word emphasis, “a sign, sign” is hard to miss as Vatican Radio reports The Shroud of Turin and the New Evangelization. So is the wording borrowed for the title of this post:

(Vatican Radio) As part of the Year of Faith a conference gets underway here in Rome (Friday) tomorrow entitled “The Shroud and the New Evangelization. The two day event is being sponsored by the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum and will feature speakers including Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

The conference will deliver a programme presenting the shroud of Turin, which is believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, as a sign of faith that speaks to contemporary society.

“The message is this, the shroud is a sign, a sign that speaks to contemporary man and so I think in this year of faith this Holy Shroud has something to tell us in a very graphical view,” says Father Rafael Pascual LC, Director of the Science and Faith Institute at the Regina Apostolorum.

He told Lydia O’Kane that the face Jesus left us is one of suffering but also of love and donation. Listen RealAudioMP3

Be sure to listen RealAudio or MP3

Observations Consistent with a Medieval Artist?

clip_image001Hugh Farey writes:

Hi Dan,

You’re so good at picking up references to the Shroud that I was thrilled to find this before you published it yourself, in the latest copy of Skeptical Inquirer – a letter from an artist called Robert A. Richert, of RichertArt.com.

I am a professional artist who has studied human anatomy and painted several portraits. I do not believe that the face of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin is an anatomically accurate depiction of a real person. Several years ago, I met and spoke with Joe Nickelll. Joe is an artist and sceptical investigator who has studied the Shroud of Turin extensively, wrote a book on the subject and appeared on numerous television programmes.

I told Joe that to me the image of Jesus’s head on the cloth resembles a common medieval to early Renaissance stylised depiction of a person. Jesus’s face appears too large for the surrounding size of the head, and his eyes are located too high. In addition to making faces too large, amateur artists tend to place the eyes about 2/3 to 3/4 up from the base of the chin to the top of the head. Human eyes are actually located close to the middle of the head. Check this out for yourself the next time you look in the mirror! These common amateur and medieval artists’ characterizations are based upon idealistic perceptions, not upon an attempt toward anatomical accuracy or realism.

Also, a popular artistic stylisation in the Middle Ages to early Renaissance was the exaggeration of long, thin, European noses. Observe the similarity of mediaeval paintings to that of the face on the shroud: long thin noses, disproportionately large faces compared to head size, and eyes placed high on their heads. These similarities clearly show that the face of Jesus on the shroud more closely resembles the stylised and anatomically inaccurate faces of mediaeval paintings than that of a real person.

My observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the Shroud of Turin is the work of a medieval artist.

There is no link. This is from the latest issue that is not yet online.

Made Up Fact of the Day Award

clip_image001The news about the upcoming TV only exhibition of the shroud has been largely ignored in the English speaking media (I just don’t know about coverage in other languages). Three exceptions, at least, all in the UK, are:

Colin is having a tizzy here (Day 11, scroll down to 00:02 am, get some sleep, my friend) about the Daily Mail coverage. Can’t say that I blame him. But then again, it is the Daily Mail which gets today’s “Lousy Reporting of the Day Award ,” for . . .

Carbon-dating tests were conducted on the cloth in 1988 and suggested it was from between 1260 and 1390, other scientists have since claimed that contamination over the ages, from water damage and fire, were not taken sufficiently into account and could have distorted the results.

. . . and “Made Up Fact of the Day Award,” for . . .

The Shroud was given to the Turin archbishop in 1578 by the Duke of Savoy and has been kept in the Cathedral ever since.

Let’s see if coverage increases after the election of a new pope, as Easter approaches.