imageHi Stephen,

I do hope everyone will carefully read your latest blog posting (April 18th), My response to Dan Porter. Certainly, that is what you want. You posted it.

I just want to make a couple of points.

You write:

My personal observation is that Porter has, over the years, drifted from a pro-authenticity to an anti-authenticity position, perhaps without realising it. On his blog Porter bent over backwards to be favourable towards anti-authenticists but was unfavourable towards unequivocal pro-authenticists like me.

I think of myself as open-minded. And I think the majority of people who participate on the Shroud Story blog are open-minded, as well. Some of us, like me, think the shroud is authentic; others do not. We may even be biased. But most of us, I think, are open to solid evidence. Can you offer any specifics to show how I favor certain people because they think the shroud may not be real?

You call yourself an “unequivocal pro-authenticist.” That almost sounds like the chap who goes about saying, “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” Surely you don’t mean for us to think that. 

“I have figured Porter out,” you write:

. . . He is not against the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval … AD 1260-1390" per se. He is against any closure of any issue, pro- or anti-authenticity. That way he can have endless debate, maximising the views and comments to his blog, which he regularly boasts about.

Good statistical results are good news for all of us who want to see open-minded discussion about the shroud. This month, alone, in just the first 20 days , 49,419 people viewed 98,798 pages. There have been over a thousand comments. Frequent new content and quality back and forth comments makes for readership.

When I wrote, “Why absent fraud? Why not other possibilities?,” you responded:

Proving my point. Porter is not interested in converging on the truth, only in debating endless "possibilities".

But then you admitted that your hypothesis is “tentative.”

So, as Porter KNOWS, my claim has ALWAYS been TENTATIVE that . . . was the computer hacker, or one of the computer hackers, who according to my proposal duped the three radiocarbon dating laboratories at Arizona, Zurich and Oxford by modifying the program in each of the three AMS control console computers, so as to substitute the Shroud’s first or early century radiocarbon date, with bogus dates which, when calibrated, clustered around 1325, only ~25 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in the 1350s. And absent a "smoking gun," such as an admission or confession by someone in a position to know, my claims that: 1) there was a hacker (or hackers); and 2) that . . . was that hacker (or one of the hackers), might always have to remain tentative.

In the spirit of debating endless possibilities, I must ask (somewhat tongue in cheek, I must admit and apologize for): Did hackers also change the results of the Tuscon, Toronto and recent Madrid carbon dating of the Sudarium?

Stephen, I am not a pro-authenticists or an anti-authenticists; never have been and I hope I never will be. I was once skeptical of the shroud and changed my mind based on evidence. I may change my mind again but that seems unlikely. No one benefits more than me from this blog. That is why I do it. I mean think about it, why would I go to all this trouble if not to learn and give back in the process.