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

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.