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Dear Colin: If you change your mind you are welcome back.

imageFor the past two years, you have been a frequent participant in this blog. You have commented 1,294 times. Most of your comments have been comprehensive, thoughtful, and well written. Many of us disagree with you a lot, and that’s fine. It is only when we start insulting others that things get testy. Yes, you mostly start it. And yes, people return the favor.

You also maintains you own blog, The Shroud of Turin: medieval scorch? Separating the science from the pseudo-science… (formerly entitled, Shroud of Turin Without all the Hype). Oftentimes, I cover your own postings in your blog. I used to cover you more frequently but lately what you have been posting is mostly selected comments that have already appeared in this blog. Maybe that will change because as you wrote:

Firstly, I shall be wasting no more time on the site.

It is simply a mouthpiece (with some very mouthy contributors*) for the pro-authenticity, anti-radiocarbon dating agenda. Its host, Dan Porter,  is almost certainly a front man for a behind-the-scenes organization, probably hard-line Roman Catholic, despite his declaring himself  to be some kind of Anglican (Episcopalian). Or maybe it’s a soft-sell commercial operation. Who knows?

I had no idea. This organization is so behind-the-scenes that they have not told me. Shades of conspiracy thinking, is it?

I think this is the fourth or fifth times you have left vowing never to come back. C’est la vie, I guess. But if  you change your mind you are welcome back.  Really! And don’t stand on principle. None of us around here do.

You also wrote:

I would ask its host [that’s me] NOT to do cover posts on anything I post here in future.

Just as the news media doesn’t work that way, neither does social media. It would be analogous to a politician telling the New York Times not to cover him in the news because he doesn’t like what they write about him. 

There are some things you can do, however. You can customize your blogging template to include the following meta command:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow" />

If you do that, the search engines will eventually drop you from their results. This may take a few months because of the hundreds of comments you have placed in this blog. Google already knows too much about you. You must also stop using the promotional feeds. I see that you use Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit. Tumblr, LinkedIn. No good if you don’t want people to comment on what you write. Finally, you may want to issue user codes and passwords to those people you want to see your blog. If it is  1) in public space, 2) about the shroud and 3) newsworthy, it will or may be covered.

You wrote:

. . .  I’ll still be here,  ploughing my lonely furrow for what I  call genuine untainted  agenda-free science. There will be short shrift to those who continue to malign the radiocarbon dating scientists . . .

Colin, I’m not a scientist. In my world if someone announces and endorse the results of a study, be it scientific, historical, financial, etc., they are quite naturally endorsing the methods used. You can’t get away with saying the scientists in the radiocarbon dating labs merely tested the sample given to them. They knew about anomalies in the sample. If they didn’t know then they were not doing their job. Rogers put it well to Vatican Insider:

Asked whether he [Rogers] thought the authorities at Turin had been aware of such evidence as the 1978 photographs indicating that the corner of the Shroud from which they took the sample was unlike the rest of the cloth, Rogers responded that “it doesn’t matter if they ignored it or were unaware of it.  Part of science is to assemble all the pertinent data.  They didn’t even try.”

The threat of short shrift is noted. I guess you can write about my blog and I’m not supposed to cover yours. Is that it? You can criticize scientists left and right, but I am not supposed to? is that it?

You conclude:

So, time to move on. But to where and how?

I’ve decided to put together a lecture presentation, with no particular audience in mind as yet, one that summarises my thinking about the TS, especially the hot template/hot Templar angle. Yes, it’s all hypothesis, but I try wherever possible to accommodate as much of the available data (hard data that is) while keeping ideas testable in principle.

This is a real-time endeavour, and has been from the start just over 2 years ago. So I will be assembling that lecture in stages, directly underneath here, using my blog essentially as a work area.

That’s the nature of the exercise. I suspect this may be the first time a sustained scientific investigation has been carried out in real time on the internet. . . .

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