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

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:


(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:

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: 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) 


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.