And [Russ Breault] has a fascinating tale to tell: not least, The Shroud might aptly be described as a divine joke at the expense of skeptics. It is unique in that it would be even more miraculous if it were to be a fake than if it were to be genuine.
The findings of Professor Fanti—a life-long atheist—and Roberto Maggiolo, both from the university’s department of mechanical engineering, were recently published in the highly regarded journal of the Institute of Physics in London.
Ed: Fanti is not a life-long atheist.
While the front of the shroud has been studied intensively over the years, the back has remained hidden under the Holland cloth sewn on by the nuns. However, in 2002, that protective layer was removed for restoration and the back of the cloth was photographed.
The two scientists studied these photographs, using mathematical and optical techniques to process the images. They discovered that the face that can be seen on the reverse of the shroud matches that on the front.
“We can detect the presence of a nose, eyes, hair, beard and mustache on the back surface that correspond in place, form, position and scale to those of the front,” Prof. Fanti said.
The findings, he said, support the contentions of those who maintain the cloth is genuine.
Don’t expect the skeptics to take the news quietly. This is a comedy that isn’t going to close any time soon. Indeed, it’s already run for seven centuries.
A life-long atheist, pictured here with Benedict XVI? Here is something that Giulio Fanti wrote for posting in this blog on November 4, 2011:
I am Christian Catholic by faith and I had the privilege to confirm more than one time my faith by means of personal physical proofs.
From my researches on the Turin Shroud and on other Objects connected with the Supernatural I understood that positivism is not always applicable and that there is necessary to suppose the existence of something that is out the traditional science to explain some phenomena connected with God, to the Mother of God, or to Religion in general.
I therefore approach problems related to the Turin Shroud and to other supposed relics knowing that Science and Faith are not in contrast each other but the one helps to explain the other.
I am sure that the Turin Shroud is authentic in the sense that it enveloped the dead Body of Jesus Christ and I tend to suppose authentic also the Oviedo Sudario, the Tunique of Argenteiul and the Titulus Crucis (being the first more reliable for me than the last) from knowledge I have on these Objects (that is not so wide as the knowledge I have for the Turin Shroud).
I am the leader of a Research Project on the Turin Shroud financed by the University of Padova also addressed to study the possible environmental effects that could have influenced the radiocarbon dating on the Turin Shroud and also from these on progress results I formulated the hypothesis recently presented. I repeat, it is only a working hypothesis that should be tested in the future, but for me it must not be a priori discharged.
There should be too much to write about the argument and much of it should be read in my publications, therefore my messages must be synthesized as much as possible. For example in this view I only presented two hypothesis in my recent posting in reference to the two possibilities of authenticity or falseness of the four Relics of Christ.