STERA Facebook Page: A Tinfoil Hat Warning

The administrative angel Gabriel, his second in command, ruled the universe
while Michael, a.k.a. Jesus, was visiting this planet.

What? No, really, what?

imageIf it is a setup, then first, there is the softball question.“Hello Stera team, I have a question. Is it possible to get a list posted with a summary, maybe in a PDF file, of all the scientific findings related to the Shroud?”

And Barrie nicely writes back. Try the SSG List from Dallas 2005.

Then comes the sales pitch. Maybe it is just a coincidence, the way it plays out.  But it looks familiar, a way to maybe slip past moderation:

Dear Stera team, After having watched the History Channel documentary, The real face of Jesus, I left compelled to share the following information. I understand that the search for a theory of how the image came to be embedded in the Shroud is still ongoing. I would like to introduce the you guys to a paper that contains a theory as to how the image has come into existence. The link below wil lead you to a fascinating theory. This just might be the new way of looking at the shroud that could lead to greater understanding of it’s possible origin. You will not regret having taken the time to read the paper.http://www.ubthenews.com/topics/documents/Shroud.pdf

Put on your tinfoil hats. Folks, this is the pitch for the Urantia Book . . .

which includes an eight hundred page biography of the life and teachings of Jesus that claims to be given by the apostle Andrew’s guardian angel. The Urantia Book’s account of the resurrection is far more detailed than the New Testament, providing more appearances of Jesus to various believers.

Forgoing the full 800 pages (no I have not read it), I’ll opt for a summary from the website: Urantia News – Verifying History and Science in The Urantia Book:

The Urantia Book says the angels performed a time-accelerated elemental disintegration of Jesus’ body and this has intriguing correlations with the image found on the Shroud of Turin. It says that Jesus’ resurrected body was like that of angels and that his physical body still lay in the tomb after the resurrection and that the angels were given permission, upon request of an archangel, to cause the accelerated dissolution of his physical remains. This permission was requested and granted so that they would not have to witness the decay of his body. The correlations have primarily to do with the superficial nature of the image and current theories about corona discharge and nuclear medicine imaging . Additionally, there are intriguing correlations related to the Sudarium of Oviedo, a face napkin said to have covered Jesus’ face as part of the burial process.

It helps to understand that the UBers believe that Jesus was the name that the most senior angel, Michael, the ruler of Nebadon, used, temporarily, after the incarnation and before the resurrection. The administrative angel Gabriel, his second in command, ruled the universe while Michael, a.k.a. Jesus, was visiting this planet. He is currently using the name Michael, not Jesus.

I recall another criticism from a UBer. This time the topic was evolution. Someone who called himself Nautiusmaxi wrote to me, “When you mention Darwin you’re showing your ignorance as humans were not addressed in the Origin of the Species.” Maybe, it was suggested, Darwin knew that (according to Wikipedia):

imageAccording to The Urantia Book, multi-colored human races originated suddenly in one generation and in one family, producing brothers and sisters that variously turned blue, yellow, red, green, orange, and indigo when exposed to sunlight. Their offspring subsequently favored the parent color. Later, Adam and Eve produced a violet race. In the book’s account, the blue, yellow, and red races were considered “primary”, and the green, orange, and indigo “secondary”. The green and orange races were driven to extinction, and the rest mixed over time.

I have no problem with whatever someone chooses to believe. That is just as true if someone is a follower of Urantia Book, an Atheist or a member of any number of religions and religious cults with which I disagree. If they publish and promote on the internet, then I am entitled to criticize in the same venue.

Nautiusmaxi had said, why “insult people who just might be on your side.”

It’s not about sides. It is about truth and if the truth is ultimately that I was wrong and the shroud is a fake, then that is the side I’m on.

Having said all that. I don’t put any stock in the Urantia Book. Here is some fair use quoting from the book:


189:2.1

At ten minutes past three o’clock, as the resurrected Jesus fraternized with the assembled morontia personalities from the seven mansion worlds of Satania, the chief of archangels—the angels of the resurrection—approached Gabriel and asked for the mortal body of Jesus. Said the chief of the archangels: "We may not participate in the morontia resurrection of the bestowal experience of Michael our sovereign, but we would have his mortal remains put in our custody for immediate dissolution. We do not propose to employ our technique of dematerialization; we merely wish to invoke the process of accelerated time. It is enough that we have seen the Sovereign live and die on Urantia; the hosts of heaven would be spared the memory of enduring the sight of the slow decay of the human form of the Creator and Upholder of a universe. In the name of the celestial intelligences of all Nebadon, I ask for a mandate giving me the custody of the mortal body of Jesus of Nazareth and empowering us to proceed with its immediate dissolution."

189:2.2

And when Gabriel had conferred with the senior Most High of Edentia, the archangel spokesman for the celestial hosts was given permission to make such disposition of the physical remains of Jesus as he might determine.

189:2.3

After the chief of archangels had been granted this request, he summoned to his assistance many of his fellows, together with a numerous host of the representatives of all orders of celestial personalities, and then, with the aid of the Urantia midwayers, proceeded to take possession of Jesus’ physical body. This body of death was a purely material creation; it was physical and literal; it could not be removed from the tomb as the morontia form of the resurrection had been able to escape the sealed sepulchre. By the aid of certain morontia auxiliary personalities, the morontia form can be made at one time as of the spirit so that it can become indifferent to ordinary matter, while at another time it can become discernible and contactable to material beings, such as the mortals of the realm.

189:2.4

As they made ready to remove the body of Jesus from the tomb preparatory to according it the dignified and reverent disposal of near-instantaneous dissolution, it was assigned the secondary Urantia midwayers to roll away the stones from the entrance of the tomb. The larger of these two stones was a huge circular affair, much like a millstone, and it moved in a groove chiseled out of the rock, so that it could be rolled back and forth to open or close the tomb. When the watching Jewish guards and the Roman soldiers, in the dim light of the morning, saw this huge stone begin to roll away from the entrance of the tomb, apparently of its own accord—without any visible means to account for such motion—they were seized with fear and panic, and they fled in haste from the scene. The Jews fled to their homes, afterward going back to report these doings to their captain at the temple. The Romans fled to the fortress of Antonia and reported what they had seen to the centurion as soon as he arrived on duty.

189:2.5

The Jewish leaders began the sordid business of supposedly getting rid of Jesus by offering bribes to the traitorous Judas, and now, when confronted with this embarrassing situation, instead of thinking of punishing the guards who deserted their post, they resorted to bribing these guards and the Roman soldiers. They paid each of these twenty men a sum of money and instructed them to say to all: "While we slept during the nighttime, his disciples came upon us and took away the body." And the Jewish leaders made solemn promises to the soldiers to defend them before Pilate in case it should ever come to the governor’s knowledge that they had accepted a bribe.

189:2.6

The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the "empty tomb." It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.

189:2.7

The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the "dust to dust," without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.

189:2.8

he mortal remains of Jesus underwent the same natural process of elemental disintegration as characterizes all human bodies on earth except that, in point of time, this natural mode of dissolution was greatly accelerated, hastened to that point where it became well-nigh instantaneous.

189:2.9

The true evidences of the resurrection of Michael are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.

Man of the Shroud Exhibition in Calgary

imageThere is a nice write up in the Calgary Herald by Mario Toneguzzi about Man of the Shroud exhibition coming to Calgary: St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church hosting unprecedented event. There is a lot more than details about the exhibition. I recommend the entire article.

The exhibition takes place from April 9-15 at [St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church] located at 541 Silvergrove Dr. N.W. Admission is free but donations are also appreciated. For more information about when the exhibit is open and the times for presentations, visit the church website at http://www.st-peters.ca. The April 15 event is by ticket only admission and it will be streamed live online so people not in attendance can see it. By texting the word shroud to 76000, people can find out more information and be kept informed about the event.

The text message worked. What is says us go to www.st-peters.ca/live on April 15, at 7:00 pm MDT to watch the streaming. Hopefully it will be taped and put up on YouTube.

imagePresenters include:

  • Dr. Phillip Wiebe, a practicing Anglican and professor of philosophy at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. and
  • Father Andrew Dalton, “a shroud expert from Rome.”

The Shroud that Defies Scientific Explanation?

imageDoug Erickson, writing in the Wisconsin State Journal reports on a talk given by Larry Shapiro [pictured], a philosophy professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison:

Larry Shapiro isn’t interested in arguing over whether there is a God or not.

But if you ground your belief in God on a belief in miracles, then the UW-Madison philosophy professor has a problem.

“Belief in miracles is irrational given the evidence to date — you don’t have the reasons you need,” Shapiro told about 150 people at a recent public talk on campus, part of an ongoing series in which UW-Madison philosophers tackle contemporary issues.

[ . . . ]

“In every case of a reported miracle, it’s always more surprising to think that the miracle actually happened than it is to think the testimony is false, for whatever reason,” he said. “It could be the person testifying to the existence of the miracle was hallucinating, was drunk, didn’t understand what she was seeing, was lying, whatever the reason.”

This speaks to the credibility of the witness or witnesses, another important notion, Shapiro said. In order to believe in the purported resurrection of Jesus Christ, for instance, a reliable source is critical, he said. Yet the Gospels were written decades after the purported resurrection by unknown authors, and the scribes who eventually copied the original documents were sometimes illiterate or had religious agendas and would adapt the documents they copied as they saw fit, he said.

imageThis letter to the editor (yes, there still are letters to the editors) from James L. Carney caught my attention because it mentioned the shroud:

Regarding Sunday’s In the Spirit column, "Belief in miracles ‘irrational,’ UW philosophy professor says," professor Larry Shapiro’s argument that belief in miracles is irrational rests upon two assertions.

First, inexplicable things that happen actually have some natural explanation but we haven’t figured it out yet. And second, there is no plausible evidence of miraculous events. The first argument is silly and the second one is false.

Just because primitive people put spiritual labels on medical conditions or events that have a natural cause does not mean there are not inexplicable occurrences that defy logic. For example, the Shroud of Turin is a religious artifact that defies scientific explanation for the time and place of occurrence, and even today for that matter.

The New Testament provides plenty of proof of miraculous events, especially and including the resurrection of Christ. These reports were given by eyewitnesses and verified by people who suffered torture and death in defense of their testimony.

There is no proof there were not earlier reports before the mid to late first century. Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

There are thousands of documented near death experiences that defy rational explanation that excludes the existence of a supernatural soul.

Defies scientific explanation, is that good enough? How often we try to get away with that. Look for me to make this question into another two or three postings.

John Klotz Wants Your Feedback

image

As my friend John Klotz draws near to the end of the book he is writing on the Shroud of Turin, he is asking again for some feedback on one part of what will be Chapter 16.  He has posted some of the text in his own blog, Quantum Christ.  Please have a look at The Triumph of Love and comment here or over on his blog.

This book has defined God as the primordial consciousness which birthed the cosmos. In attempting to unlock the mystery of creation of both the Universe and our own consciousness, we have to rely on such objective facts as we can ascertain and the inferences and conclusion we can draw from them. The written Gospels are in themselves material facts whatever their veracity. So too is the Shroud of Turin. Can these material facts help us untangle the Gordian knot of our own existence. Do they in fact verify each other?

And he

A homage to Christ’s imprinting . . . ?

imagePeter Conrad’s review in The Guardian yesterday of Jame Hall’s book The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History begins in the middle ages . . .

The images James Hall discusses in his enthralling book are therefore exercises in self-appraisal, not self-celebrations like the happy snaps on Facebook. Unusually, Hall’s history begins in the middle ages, because for him self-portraiture emerges as a reflex of Christian conscience, a homage to Christ’s imprinting of his agonised face on the Turin shroud. But the imitation of Christ takes courage, and it usually ends in the artist’s self-castigation.

Think so?  It’s opinion, but it’s an interesting thought.

NASA had nothing to do with it.

The VP-8 Image Analyzer was a simple non-programmable analog computer
from Interpretations Systems Incorporated that produced simulated
3D elevations from brightness maps, often called height fields.

image

How many times have we read something like this?

the Shroud uniquely has 3D information embedded in the image, which was only discovered by NASA scientists in 1976.

Or heard something like this, in this case from a recent Simon Brown video?

Peter Shumacher, the inventor of the NASA VP-8 Image Analyzer, describes the discovery of the 3 D image.

NASA had nothing to do with it. Really. It was not the NASA VP-8 Image Analyzer. And Peter Shumacher did not invent it.

Barrie Schwortz tells us in a recent comment:

The VP-8 was purchased by William Mottern of Sandia Laboratories from Interpretation Systems to use in the examination of the x-rays they were making at the lab. Bill felt it was another way to extract image data from nearly monochromatic x-rays. He originally saw the VP-8 advertised in a trade journal and bought one. Shortly after the Shroud image was placed into Bill’s VP-8, Jackson and Jumper purchased one for STURP’s use and the man who came to install it was Pete Schumacher, founder of the New Mexico Shroud Museum in Alamogordo.

Two of our team members were from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and were directly involved in the space program. Don Lynn was in charge of imaging on the Voyager, Viking, Mariner and Galileo projects. At some point in time, some journalist out there wrote erroneously that the VP-8 was used in the space program and it seems to have stuck and become part of Shroud “mythology.” JPL had far more sophisticated technology than the VP-8.

Andy in another comment clarified:

Just to clarify Barrie’s comment on one point, as Pete Schumacher tells it, the VP8 was donated by Interpretation Systems to Jackson & Jumper for their work. I’m fairly sure they didn’t have the $25k it would take to purchase it then. Pete agreed to deliver and install it if the company would pay for the gas. This was Pete’s introduction to the Shroud and he had no knowledge prior to seeing the 3D green screen image in Jumper’s basement. He knew the VP8 did not do 3D, but made brightness maps as one of its functions.

A page at shroud.com, a description of one of the 1978 Examination Photographs, provides more information.

A New Rector Major for the Salesians

imageAfter discussing how “Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime [pictured], a Spaniard who most recently served as provincial in southern Argentina, was elected rector major of the Salesians of St. John Bosco March 25,” in several paragraphs, a story from CNA/EWTN concludes with these two paragraph.

As rector major, Fr. Fernandez will oversee the Salesians’ celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of their founder, St. John Bosco.

The celebrations will begin Aug. 16, 2014, and will end Aug. 16, 2015. In the midst of celebration, an exposition of the Shroud of Turin will take place, and it is possible Pope Francis will visit Turin next May to venerate the Shroud and take part in celebrating St. John Bosco.

I imagine that every story about the upcoming 200th anniversary of the of St. John Bosco’s birth will be tagged with the Shroud exposition.

Stephen Jones’ Revised Hacking Theory Part I is Available

Darn. Stephen left out two of my favorite historical items:
1) The Hymn of the Pearl and 2) The Mozarabic Rite. 

clip_image001Stephen Jones is up with Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #1.

. . . this is part #1 of my revised proposal that the three radiocarbon dating laboratories, Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, which in 1988 dated the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval … AD 1206-1390," may have been duped by a computer hacker.

Well, there is nothing so far to justify the speculation of a computer hacker. It will be interesting to see where he goes with it, now being forced to revise his thinking after seeing emails to Hugh Farey from two of the three lab directors.

Has he determined if the AMS Control Consoles at all three labs had programmable computers that could have been hacked to conceal real carbon dating results from the scientists. We’ll see.

Anyways, Stephen has provided us with some historic information to consider.

Nice new picture of Stephen.

So, even without knowing how the shroud was faked, it’s obvious that someone did fake it?

imageA week ago or so, David Kyle Johnson, an associate professor of philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania, wrote a three part posting in his blog, A Logical Take hosted on the website of  the popular newsstand magazine, Psychology Today.

  1. Let Go of the Shroud Part I: The Shroud of Turin: It’s obviously fake
  2. Let Go of the Shroud Part II: The Shroud of Turin: Examining the evidence
  3. Let Go of The Shroud Part III: The Shroud of Turin: It’s Just Bad Science
  4.  

After some first takes by way of a few comments here, we may need to parse out some of his arguments into separate posts. This is largely an poorly informed attack.

What was the name of his blog? A Logical Take? Is this not a straw man fallacy . . .

Shroud enthusiasts—“shroudies,” as they like to be called—insist that the image on the shroud was produced by some kind of energy (like radiation) emitted by Jesus’s body as he rose.

. . . with a touch of Ignoratio elenchi and a whole lot of oversimplification?

So what about those shroudies that insist otherwise?  He might have gotten away with that statement, though, if he had not gone on:

. . . But the image on the shroud could not be produced by such an event. (A) Radiation can’t leave an image in cloth. (B) Even if it could, since radiation emits in all directions, at best it would just leave a blurry silhouette, not a clear cut face with features. (C) Even if it could produce a clear cut face with features, that face would be distorted. A cloth wrapped around someone’s head lays flat against their nose, eye sockets and ears. If someone’s face somehow ‘radiated’ and recorded an image on such a cloth, when flattened out the cloth would depict whole representations of each part—nose, eye socket, and ears—all pointing in the same direction. Needless to say, this is not what the shroud depicts.

So, even without knowing how the shroud was faked, it’s obvious that someone did fake it. Honestly, this should be enough to convince any fair open-minded person. Of course, nothing I say will convince the “true believer,” so I might as well just stop here. But there is a lot more to the story. So next time we’ll look at the evidence, and even discover how the shroud was likely faked.

And he tells us in his blog that he is attacking pseudoscience. Does he know what he is talking about?

By the way, David Kyle Johnson’s link, Radiation can’t leave an image in cloth, is a link to Colin Berry’s site. Did our philosopher friend read or understand what the chemist Colin Berry actually wrote? Methinks not.

IEEE Shroud Conference Call for Papers Reminder

Authors should submit abstracts or draft manuscripts by May 9, 2014 in accordance with:

image

(and remember the call-for-papers deadline for the St. Louis Conference in April 15)

Update on the Upcoming St. Louis Shroud Conference

imageHere is the March Newsletter from the conference website:

Posted by St. Louis Shroud Conference Administrator on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

As we move closer to Easter, we are now a little more than 7 months away from the conference. There are several key dates to remember: if you are planning to submit a paper, the deadline for abstracts is April 15th (easy to remember—same as tax day!) and a discount for early registration runs through the end of May.

One of the organizers, Mark Antonacci, was recently interviewed on a local St. Louis TV station, where he, of course, mentions the conference. The reporter, Kay Quinn, asked Mark afterwards to let her know more information about the conference when it gets closer. Hopefully the station will provide some coverage before and during the conference. You can see the segment (about 3 ½ minutes) at:http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/2014/03/24/shroud-of-turin-mark-antonacci/6838531/.

With another Shroud conference slated for Italy in October 2014 and with an actual exposition of the Shroud set for 2015, this is an exciting time in Shroud studies. We expect to have many exciting presentations. The venue for the conference is easily accessible and is right next to a major mall. Come join us and let your friends know about it as well.

Thanks for mentioning the Shroud of Turin again

Recall recently, Jerry Coyne Pounces on the Earthquake Hypothesis

University of Chicago Professor of Ecology and Evolution and super New Atheism evangelist, Jerry Coyne, seems a little angrier than usual in his latest article appearing in the New Republic: Another Vapid Effort to Claim that Science and Religion Can Get Along.

imageSociologist Elaine Ecklund [pictured] from Rice University is known for her constant stream of publications and talks promoting the compatibility of science and religion. Her work is, of course, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, whose goal to show that science and faith are mutually supportive. Ecklund’s spinning of her survey data to emphasize interdisciplinary comity—even when the data doesn’t really show it—is getting quite tiresome.  I’ve often written about Ecklund’s spin-doctoring, which always yields conclusions congenial to Templeton’s mission, but the distortions just keep on coming. Templeton dispenses some $70 million a year to get its soothing message out.

Now we have another article on Ecklund’s latest research: New survey suggests science & religion are compatible, but scientists have their doubts.” This the third piece that the Huffington Post has published on this study since February 16 (the others are here and here), implying that this “compatibility” is of great interest to somebody. Further, Ecklund’s study was done in collaboration with the U.S.’s most important science organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Science—an eternal blot on a group that should stay far away from religion.

Thanks for mentioning the Shroud of Turin again:

What? Miracles? Well, science used to consider them, but it never helped our understanding of nature. As Pierre-Simon Laplace supposedly replied when asked by Napoleon why there was no mention of God in one of Laplace’s works on astronomy, “Sir, I had no need of that hypothesis.” This story may be apocryphal, but it makes a valid point: modern science has no need to invoke miracles, for we’ve been able to explain things adequately without considering supernatural involvement.  Nor have we encountered phenomena that demand the miraculous intervention of a deity. Indeed, tests of whether miracles occur (studies of the efficacy of intercessory prayer, investigations of supposed miracles like the Shroud of Turin, and so on) have always shown no evidence that God stuck his hand in. But he could have: all he would have to do is, on one night, to rearrange the stars in a pattern that spelled out “I am who I am” in Hebrew. Science would have a tough time explaining that one! There are innumerable phenomena that would, if verified, convince scientists that a god existed. But no such things have been seen.

Recall recently, Jerry Coyne Pounces on the Earthquake Hypothesis

Barrie Schwortz on Roy Schoeman’s Salvation is from the Jews Radio Show

imageBarrie writes on the STERA Facebook page:

Over the past few years a number of my Catholic friends have sent me a book by Roy Schoeman titled, “Salvation is from the Jews.” In my recent visit to Ave Maria University I had the privilege of meeting Roy for the first time, and we spen…t several hours together discussing our work and our faith. Afterwards, he asked if I would appear on his radio program (named the same as his book) and we have since recorded two shows, the first of which aired on March 22, 2014. You can listen to the first show at this link: http://radiomaria.us/salvationisfromthejews/?powerpress_pinw=147-podcast. I will include the link to the second program, which airs on March 29th, as soon as it becomes available online.

Mark Antonacci on local St. Louis Television

imageHe recently  appeared on local St. Louis, Missouri, station KSDK. He is still telling people that Pope Francis has a Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. He does not!  Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) attended a technical secondary school, Escuela Nacional de Educación Técnica N° 27 Hipólito Yrigoyen. There, he earned a chemical technician’s diploma, essentially, a high school diploma with a trade school proficiency as a chemical laboratory technician. For some time after that he worked for Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory as a technician. He did not study chemistry in academia.

And he is still promoting his petitioning of Pope Francis for testing that has yet to be shown valid for what he proposes. On this site, last September, he wrote, astoundingly:

[T]hese procedures could test every explanation for the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating and answer all the mysteries surrounding the Shroud.

In a strange PRWEB press release, “Many of World’s Religious Problems Could be Resolved by Molecular and Atomic Testing on the Shroud of Turin,” Monograph Publishing of St. Louis, Missouri stated last May that . . .

Religious beliefs have caused more conflicts, hatred and war than any other factor in the history of mankind, with the number of conflicts and their potential for nuclear destruction increasing at an alarming rate. Shroud of Turin expert, Mark Antonacci, contends that scientific information acquired by modern technology could lessen or eliminate this historic problem.

A wide variety of religions exist throughout the world today as they have throughout history. The reason there has always been such a wide variety is because there has never been objective and independent evidence to support the central premises of these religions. Until now.

Until now?

A leading hypothesis published in Scientific Research and Essays in 2012 asserts that particle radiation was emitted from the length and width of Jesus’ dead body while he was wrapped in the Shroud, and it was this “event” which caused the unique images on the cloth. Molecular and atomic testing could prove that hypothesis to be true. If, on the other hand, it did not provide such proof, it would not mean that the Shroud is a fake – it would simply mean that this particular hypothesis is incorrect. If unfakable and independent evidence was obtained to confirm this hypothesis however, it could actually be used to analyze the central premises of various religions throughout history and in our world today.

Objective and independent evidence does not exist to prove the central premises of any other religion, agnosticism or atheism. In contrast, the Shroud of Turin could provide thousands of unfakable items of scientific and medical evidence to prove the central premises of Christianity. This new, incomparable evidence could lessen or remove the underlying bases for many of the world’s ongoing wars and conflicts. The world has everything to gain and nothing to lose by the proposed molecular and atomic testing of the Shroud of Turin.

[ . . . ]

Antonacci is currently petitioning Pope Francis, who has a masters degree in chemistry, to allow further, non-invasive testing of this burial cloth.

Note the terminology: non-invasive. Mark,however, is now calling for invasive testing, albeit minimally so. He changed the rules of the game after about half of the people signed the petition. All those people who signed up in support of non-invasive testing now find themselves, involuntarily, signature supporters of invasive testing. Is that honest?

It had been on November 1, last years, that 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, who apparently is associated with Mark, 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.

Is it not highly unusual to change a petition’s wording and meaning after many people have signed it?

Oh well, it won’t matter much. So far 322 people have signed the petition in about a year. The stated goal on the petition is 50,000 signatures. He has a way to go.

Oh, did we mention that the leading hypothesis published in Scientific Research and Essays was written by Mark and the Scientific Research and Essays is a pay-to-play vanity journal. The very notion that this article was peer-reviewed seems amazing. See: Particle radiation from the body could explain the Shroud’s images and its carbon dating, (Scientific Research and Essays Vol. 7(29), pp. 2613-2623, 30 July, 2012 — Available online at Academic Journals) 

Abstract:

This paper highlights some of the main reasons why radiation caused the body images on the Shroud of Turin; why the source of this radiation was the body wrapped within it; that the radiation appears to be particle radiation; and that if particle radiation came from the body of the man in the Shroud, it could account for or explain all of the primary and secondary body image features, the excellent condition of the cloth, its back side imaging, its possible coin and flower images, and the still red color of its centuries old blood marks. Particle radiation could also explain the Shroud’s 1988 radiocarbon dating.

Pictures to Consider for the Posting: “Baked-In Creases. Really?”

Mike M sent these along to go with Baked-In Creases. Really?  . They are from his iPad. I will leave it to him to explain them in comments. (You should be able to click on the pictures and get larger versions):

Sorry, Mike, for the delays.


#1

MikeM1


#2

MikeM2


#3

MikeM3


#4

MikeM4


Giulio Fanti in the Spotlight and a Crash Course on the Shroud of Turin

imageMyra Adams has a new article in PJ Media: Latest Shroud of Turin News with an Exclusive Message from A Renowned Scientist. The lead reads, “Professor Giulio Fanti from University of Padua, Italy is one of the world’s leading Shroud researchers and you can ask him questions.”

Well into the article Myra writes:

If you are unfamiliar with the Shroud of Turin here is a brief “crash-course” so you can better understand why Fanti’s research is crucial, especially since his date range includes the time when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem.

Shroud of Turin front and back  negative image. Burn marks from a fire in 1532 run the entire length.

The Shroud of Turin is the most sacred religious relic that exists in the world today. It is also the most studied, tested and analyzed due to a mysterious negative image of a man that appears on this 14.3 by 3.7 ft. linen cloth.

The full body image, both front and back, is that of a crucified man who was subjected to the horror of Roman crucifixion — well documented as a form of punishment during the time of Jesus.

The markings seen on the man in the cloth reveal those left by a crown of thorns, torture, scourging, nail puncture wounds of the hands/feet, bruised knees, and a side spear wound.

Is it a coincidence that every mark appearing on the man in the Shroud is consistent with the physical torments endured by Jesus Christ as described in the Bible Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John?

Additionally, the man in the Shroud does not have any broken bones. Not only was this mentioned in the Gospel accounts, but was prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Psalms, “He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” (Psalm 34:20)

The burial cloth (shroud) that wrapped the crucified body of Jesus is also mentioned in the Gospels after Christ was no longer in the tomb. These Scripture accounts make it easier for those of faith to believe that the cloth was left behind as proof of Christ’s resurrection on what is now called Easter Sunday.

Therefore, if the Shroud is scientifically proven to be Christ’s burial cloth then it would be the physical evidence of Jesus Christ’s resurrection which is the foundation of Christianity with or without any physical evidence.

That said, now you can understand why the Shroud of Turin is so controversial.

And then there is a letter from Fanti to Myra Adams:

From my experience of more than 15 years on the Shroud I have understood that I have to separate as much as possible scientific aspects from religious ones. And this is what I always try to do.

You need to read the whole thing:

Latest Shroud of Turin News with an Exclusive Message from A Renowned Scientist.

Baked-In Creases. Really?

imageColin Berry has returned to his ScienceBuzz blog to report Modelling two distinct types of BAKED-IN crease in the still-enigmatic Shroud of Turin, ones that provide important clues to the image-imprinting mechanism.

This is the third in my series of postings on a feature (or rather, features) of the Shroud image which may tell us a lot about the way the image was created. The first was on this site, over two years ago:

He then asks,

why does the turin shroud appear to have scorched-in crease marks? tell-tale signature for medieval forging?

and answers:

I am more than ever convinced that the answer to the question in that title was a resounding YES! The creases or, rather, some of them, contain imprinted MEMORY of what was happening to the Shroud at the instant it received its ‘body image’ (Blood arguably came later as a part of an extensive re-invention exercise – see my other site).

The images that Colin provides are interesting. It is something to think about; that is for sure. It seems to be consistent with a scorching scenario, I’ll grant that. But why not with any number of other image forming hypotheses, assuming pre-imaging creases? And how certain are we that the creases are the same color at a chromophore level? Is this sort of eyeballing by Colin really scientific enough? I’m not a scientist so I can’t answer that question. It is good thinking but is it good concluding?

image

Echoing a previous posting from just over two years ago, to which he links, he thus reminds us of this thinking: 

Conclusion: I regard those two crease marks as evidence for the image having been formed by applying force, consistent with my thermo-printing model, especially with a backing bed of sand. The scorched-in creases would seem to me to be inconsistent with any model that has fabric loosely draped over a 3D subject – living, dead or inanimate. Now please refer again to the title of this post.  Are those creases not a signature for the Shroud having been produced as a forgery, using a replica, e.g. bronze statue, of the crucified Christ?

BUT the evidence is still very convincing that the images were not formed by scorching. Yes, I know Colin thinks otherwise but he has not made a convincing case.  This is as close as he gets in a comment of his own to After 2 years, and over 200 postings, I think I’ve finally cracked it – the enigma of the Shroud of Turin.

Folk have asked why I don’t simply get hold of a uv lamp and make a start in filling in the huge gaps in our knowledge of scorching and fluorescence (similar to Hugh Farey’s studies reported previously on this site, with a greater focus on  what’s happening at the molecular level).

[ . . . ]

But it would be more “kitchen lab” stuff, wouldn’t it, and easy target for the debunkers on Troll Central? There’s also an element of biohazard – my eyes have suffered enough in the past from previous exposure to lab-generated uv (a brief glance  at burning magnesium as a chemistry teacher was enough to induce instant headache and nausea).

Here’s a hint as to what I would do if I had proper lab facilities. I would produce scorches at different temperatures and aerobic/anaerobic conditions. Reaction products (low MWt) would be leached with various combinations of solvents (chloroform/methanol/water), the extracts concentrated and run on TLC. Individual bands, fluorescent ones especially, would be eluted and then injected in a mass spectrometer for identification. The stability of any fluorescent properties would be studied, with exposure to air and other oxidants for different times, different temperatures.

Glossing over what is inconvenient and drawing conclusions nonetheless is to my way of thinking a form of pseudoscience. A lot of ifs and maybes might atone for these glaring problems.

And could those creases have been there in the cloth when the image was formed by some supernaturally produced radiation, not that I think that is what happened? Or a Maillard reaction, not that I think that happened either?

As I see it, these creases are more like a statement of fact, well stated. We need to understand them better. Surely they are creases. Baked-in? That is a stretch.

John Klotz from his upcoming book

imageJohn Klotz offers us a wonderful posting, IN WHOSE IMAGE?   Quantum Mechanics and Shroud Science on his blog, The Quantum Christ. It is a part of one chapter from his forthcoming book. John, as most of you know, is a frequent and informative, levelheaded commenter on this blog.

Here is how it begins:

Some have referred to the Shroud as the “Fifth Gospel.”[i] It may be that, but it also something more, a new Revelation brought to us not by a scribe writing on an isolated island, but by science itself. Shroud science was born with Secondo Pia’s 1898 Shroud photographs but in1900 a scientific revolution in science erupted with the formulation of Max Planck’s theory of light as “quanta,” tiny entities that were both particle and wave. His theory gave birth to “quantum mechanics,” a study of the nature of existence at the atomic and sub-atomic levels.

Before the advent of quantum mechanics, the world of science was dominated by the view of the universe and all material existence promulgated by Isaac Newton. Newton’s universe was steady, never ending with no beginning and no end. His theories were the end result of the scientific revolution begun by Copernicus and Galileo. Along the way, he invented a new mathematical system of analysis called calculus. Across the Channel in Germany, Gottfried Leibniz was also developing a calculus. Who is the real father of calculus is a debate of interest and importance to mathematicians but not to most of humanity. What was important to humanity is that calculus systems were developed and they worked.

Philosophically, Newton’s universe led to the principle of “determinism.” Ultimately the universe and everything in it was subject to immutable rules. Everything was determined by those rules even the course of human conduct. There was no room for free will.

That changed with the advent of quantum mechanics because at the quantum level, matter did not behave in a determined manner but obeyed only the rules of probability. Indeed, until measured or observed, the most minute particles are ambiguous, behaving as both wave and particle.

A point John makes about Teilhard is right on, as I see it:

Teilhard wrote before the theory of quantum information was developed. Thus his theories about consciousness and humanity were uninformed by it. However, he divided the human phenomenon into the physical appearance as matter and consciousness as substance. Arguably he presaged the whole question of quantum information which would explain the “substance” of humanity as distinguished from its Newtonian physical existence. What results is a bridge between quantum mechanics and the appearance-substance dichotomy espoused by Thomas Aquinas which in turn was a medieval, Christian transliteration of concepts advanced by Plato.

John wants feedback. He will be watching here for your comments. Read the entire posting, IN WHOSE IMAGE?   Quantum Mechanics and Shroud Science and make comments, here or in his blog.

So then, why is there an image?

I was wondering, what if there had been only bloodstains and no image on the Shroud of Turin, that is, of course, assuming it it authentic:

Would the burial shroud of Jesus have survived history to exist somewhere today?

Would so many people today believe it is authentic or even know about it?

Would carbon dating seem more final without the mystery of the image?

So then, why is there an image? Is that a fair question?

Sometimes I think it an image should not be there. Then I think I would find it more believable it that image wasn’t there. But that is only sometimes.

Comment Promoted: Another hypothesis about the image formation

imageTristan Casabianca writes in a comment:

Another hypothesis about the image formation process has just been published in a peer-reviewed journal : Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology : Tattoli, Tsokos, Buschmann, “Could the Shroud of Turin be an effect of post-mortem changes?”

You can have a free access to the first two pages.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12024-014-9547-6#page-1
(parental discretion advised)

imageYou will probably need to click on the “Look Inside” button from within the publications website to see the first two pages.

From Gethsemane to the Tomb

imageTerry McDermott (pictured) has a very interesting article, The physical effects of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus in Catholic Insight. Using works by Barbet, Zugibe and others as well as with images of the Shroud of Turin, McDermott delves into many aspects of the passion story from Gethsemane to the tomb. For instance:

The crown of thorns

Dr. Michael Evanari, Professor of Botany at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has opined that the Syrian Christ Thorn, which was available in Jerusalem, was the plant most likely to be used for the crown of thorns. Other experts speculate that the Christ’s Thorn was used, although no one can be certain that it grew in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. Both of these plants have sharp, closely spaced thorns and can be easily plaited into a cap. The crown was not a wreath as is typically believed. It was a cap of thorns placed upon Jesus’ head. The pattern of blood flow in the head area on the shroud and subsequent experiments by Zugibe attest to this. “The shroud indicates areas of seepage and blood flow running down the forehead. The hair in the frontal image suggests marked saturation with dried blood, causing the hair to remain on both sides of the face.”

Effects of the crown of thorns

“The nerve supply for pain perception to the head region is distributed by branches of two major nerves: the trigeminal nerve, which essentially supplies the front half of the head, and the greater occipital branch, which supplies the back half of the head.” 6 These two nerves enervate all areas of the head and face.

The trigeminal nerve, also known as the fifth cranial nerve, runs through the face, eyes, nose, mouth, and jaws. Irritation of this nerve by the crown of thorns would have caused a condition called trigeminal neuralgia or tic douloureux. This condition causes severe facial pain that may be triggered by light touch, swallowing, eating, talking, temperature changes, and exposure to wind. Stabbing pain radiates around the eyes, over the forehead, the upper lip, nose, cheek, the side of the tongue and the lower lip. Spasmodic episodes of stabbing, lancinating, and explosive pain are often more agonizing during times of fatigue or tension. It is said to be the worst pain that anyone can experience.

As the soldiers struck Jesus on His head with reeds, He would have felt excruciating pains across His face and deep into His ears, much like sensations from a hot poker or electric shock. These pains would have been felt all the way to Calvary and while on the Cross. As He walked and fell, as He was pushed and shoved, as He moved any part of His face, and as the slightest breeze touched His face, new waves of intense pain would have been triggered. The pain would have intensified His state of traumatic shock.

The thorns would have cut into the large supply of blood vessels in the head area. Jesus would have bled profusely, contributing to increasing hypovolemic shock.

He would have been growing increasingly weak and light-headed. As well, He would have bouts of vomiting, shortness of breath, and unsteadiness as hypovolemic and traumatic shock intensified.

If you will be anywhere in DeWitt County, Texas on April 6

clip_image001. . . like in Cuero, famous as a once-upon-a-time gathering point for cattle drives along the old Chisholm Trail and later famous for Turkey trots, which are like cattle drives but over much shorter distances, then you might want to attend a Shroud of Turin presentation at the First Baptist Church. According to the Cuero Record:

Everyone is invited to attend Dr. Glenn Robertson’s presentation on the Shroud of Turin. The presentation will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 6 at the First Baptist Church Sanctuary.

Since 1992, Robertson has studied books and research papers on the Shroud of Turin. He will share a summary of the history and research on the shroud, as well as his insights for understanding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Robertson will also reveal his digital painting, “It is Finished.” Robertson he made the painting for Holy Week observance and incorporated information from the shroud into the painting.

“Do not expect something pretty with the painting. There is nothing pretty in the crucifixion. Yet, in this painting lies a message for the world,” Robertson said.

We are talking about no more than a one and a half hour drive out of San Antonio along the old Indianola Trail, which is now a paved road. Cuero is, after all,a the turkey capital of the world.

Here is a link to the church’s Facebook page. I hope Glenn Robertson displays his painting on the web.