imageI think we now have Stephen Jones’ whole theory of fraud wrapped up in one single neat paragraph:

2. FRAUD THE ONLY PLAUSIBLE EXPLANATION As we saw in my part #1: 1) the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic; 2) but the improbability that the Shroud being first century, yet it had a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 (1325 ±65)[3] was "astronomical"[4], "about one in a thousand trillion"[5]; 3) and conventional explanations for the discrepancy, such as contamination with younger carbon[6], and invisible rewoven repairs with cotton[7], don’t work. 4) Therefore, absent fraud, even if only "making results appear just a little … more definitive than they really are, or selecting just the `best’ data for publication and ignoring those that don’t fit"[8], it would be a miracle if the Shroud being first century `just happened’, by a combination of chance factors, like contamination and medieval repairs, etc, to have a radiocarbon date of 1325 +/- 65, which `just happened’ to be only 25-30 years before the Shroud’s first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France in the 1350s[9].

The only problem is it isn’t true.

1.  When Stephen says that invisible rewoven repairs don’t work he cites a letter written by Teddy Hall in 1990 that really has no real bearing on the subject of repairs as proposed by Benford, Marino and later Rogers more than a decade later. Hall was talking about small amounts of contamination; Benford, Marino and Rogers were talking about massive new material intrusion from repairs.

2.  Beginning with the phrase containing the word miracle, Stephen is restating an absurdity he has stated before. He cannot logically or statistically establish that the statement is true. It has no basis in fact. It is, in fact, certainly false. As I see it, his entire fraud argument collapses if this isn’t true. And it is not.