On November 1, 2013, Charles Freeman noticed that the title of Mark Antonacci’s petition read, “We Request That Pope Francis Allow Sophisticated and Minimally Scientific Testing to be Performed on the Shroud of Turin.”
“Minimally scientific.” It was good for a laugh or two and the mistake seemed innocent enough. It was quickly corrected. Ellie Jones let us know:
This was definitely an error in the typing of the headline of the petition. The petition has been corrected to reflect minimally-INVASIVE, not minimally-scientific. The petition was updated a week ago and the word invasive was inadvertently omitted.
But now we must wonder, why is a petition being “updated” after most of the signatories have signed it?
A press release on May 21, 2013, read, “Antonacci is currently petitioning Pope Francis . . . to allow further, non-invasive testing of this burial cloth.” (emphasis mine)
A press release on October 29, 2013, read, “Proposed Minimally-Invasive, Scientific Testing of the Shroud of Turin Endorsed by Shroud Expert,” which is now, of course, what the petition states: minimally-invasive. (emphasis mine)
Is it not highly unusual to change a petition’s wording after many people have signed it?
There is a big difference between non-invasive and minimally-invasive. I support the one and not the other, with the possible exception of carbon dating. Did at least half of the signatories of the petition think they were signing on for non-invasive testing because they relied on the May 21 press release or on whatever wording existed in the petition before it was changed? What did it say? Were signatories informed that the petition they had signed had been updated? Were they given the opportunity to reconsider?
But you have to hand it to him: Mark Antonacci’s neutron-bombardment C-14 generating thesis is devilishly clever, as is his diagnostic-testing proposals via isotope scanning, especially as he’s a lawyer, not a nuclear physicist.
If I ever found myself accused of a crime I had not committed, one that hung on forensic evidence, I’d pay Mark $1000 an hour to represent me. If it were for a crime I had committed, I’d pay him $5000 per hour. ;-)
Dan, the petition has always described the testing as minimally invasive (except for a one day typo). Other statements such as press releases may use similar, but not always identical language such as minimally invasive or non-invasive. The only changes made to the petition were a) to identify the pope by name after a successor to Pope Benedict XVI was named, and b) to ask Pope Francis to include the tests and experiments that I have described extensively on the web site and elsewhere in any future testing.
P.S. Colinsberry, thanks for the “compliment.” (I’ll be looking for a check soon.) Thanks also for an initial look at the scientific merits behind the testing.
Mark, thanks for the clarification.
Comments are closed.