Shroud of Turin Picture of the Day

imageSindone.org (@sindone2015) tweets out this picture and a message to the effect that the shroud can be encountered by the blind at the Museo della Sindone (Museum of the Shroud) in Turin.  For additional  information see http://www.sindone.it


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This is the text of the tweet in the original Italian: L’incontro con la Sindone può essere un’esperienza anche per i non vedenti, per informazioni http://www.sindone.it

The Awesome Shroud-based Art of Juan Manuel Miñarro Lopez

imageThe place to see some of his work on the web is his Facebook page. You’ll want to bookmark it and return to browse through the hundreds of photographs.

A Google translation from the Spanish edition of Wikipedia tells us:

He graduated in Fine Arts in 1984 and in 1987 achieved his doctorate with a thesis entitled: Study of artistic anatomy to the iconography of the Crucified on the sculpture , presenting the Stmo. Cristo de la Paz Rochelambert (Sevilla) as a imagemodel. Since 1988 he is professor at the School of Fine Arts of Seville , and was subsequently appointed professor specializing in sculpture. He is a scholar of the Shroud , and uses the results of their research to improve the realism of the sculptural representations of Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ of the University of the University Brotherhood (Córdoba) finished in 2010.

His work is mainly religious themes and includes numerous images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary destined to Brotherhoods of Easter different places Andalusia and the rest of Spain. One of his last works is a large monument dedicated to Pope John Paul II that is located adjacent to the Cathedral of Seville .

If you will be in Pittsburgh on February 4th

imageThe Pittsburgh Catholic reports that:

Donald Nohs, an expert and leading authority on the Shroud of Turin, will present “Discovering Jesus in His Holy Shroud,” on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul of the Cross Monastery on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

Nohs, director general of the Confraternity of the Passion International and president of the Holy Face of Jesus, has been studying the shroud for more than 50 years. . . .

[ . . . ]

Nohs’ presentation will focus on the shroud in the Gospels. It will examine liturgical connections and how it leads to the Eucharist. Audience members can prepare themselves to encounter the risen Christ by physically touching or kissing his physical face. Nohs will bring life-size authentic replicas of the shroud that present it in both positive and negative images.

[ . . . ]

The presentation is sure to inspire those who see it. Tickets are $7. They are available at the St. Paul of the Cross Office, 148 Monastery Ave., or by calling 412-381-1188, ext. 121. Seating is limited.

If you are unable to attend the live presentation, you can watch Discovering Jesus in His Holy Shroud, published on YouTube just last year:

400,000 Viewing Reservations Already

imageSindone.org (@sindone2015) tweets that they have signed up 4500 volunteer workers to assist with the Shroud Exposition and that nearly 400,000 people have booked viewing reservations.

 

Set Your DVR

imageJoe Marino writes:

Just watched "Veil of Veronica" on American Heroes’ Channel "Myth Hunters" series.  The description:

Searching for the truth behind one of the Church’s most mysterious relics – the Veil of Veronica – this programme follows the discovery and impact of the miraculous face of Manoppello – an image not made by human hands of the resurrected Christ.

It briefly mentions the Shroud.  It’s going to be repeated Friday Jan 2 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

I didn’t know there was an American Heroes’ Channel. It seems to be part of Discovery Communications (think Discovery Channel).

Merry Christmas

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Nativity in an Aryshire Setting by William Bell Scott, 1872

Merry Christmas Everyone

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On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity

John Milton, 1608 – 1674

I

This is the month, and this the happy morn,  
Wherein the Son of Heaven’s eternal King,  
Of wedded maid and Virgin Mother born,  
Our great redemption from above did bring;  
For so the holy sages once did sing,   That he our deadly forfeit should release,  
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.  
  
II

That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,  
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,  
Wherewith he wont at Heaven’s high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,  
He laid aside, and, here with us to be,   Forsook the Courts of everlasting Day,  
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.  

 

Continue Reading Milton’s On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity

Emanuela Marinelli’s 73 Slides

clip_image001On November 3, 2014, I mentioned that Emanuela Marinelli’s St. Louis paper had been published at Academia.edu (it has since been published at shroud.com, as well:

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From the Inbox: Tasteless Christmas Presents

There is Still Time with Next Day Shipping

imageSmart phone covers are available in different colors for  . . . 

  • iPhone 4, 5 & 6
  • Samsung
  • iPad
  • Motorola
  • iPod Touch 4G
  • Kindle

And if you don’t like phone covers there are neckties, tea cozies and coffee mugs.

Tweet of the Day

From the official Twitter page of the Shroud Exposition 2015 maintained by sindone.org of the Diocese of Turin:

imageYou have memories of the previous expositions of # Shroud ? We will post photos and more meaningful stories, write to ricordi@sindone.org

(translation by Google)

 

In other words, if you have been to Turin and seen the shroud, ricordi@sindone.org wants to hear from you. Send photos. 

Reminder: Contribute to STERA Before Year’s End

imageBarrie Schwortz posted the following reminder on STERA’s Facebook page last evening:

The STERA, Inc. Board of Directors held their final meeting of the year today and asked me to remind you that there is still time to make a tax deductible contribution before the end of the year and claim it as a deduction on your 2014 taxes. Just visit the Secure Contribution Form at https://www.shroud.com/steraform.htm to donate. Your help is truly needed and deeply appreciated!

Barrie points out that your credit card information (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover) will be sent using 256 bit encryption algorithms.

Looking at the form, I notice that you can use your Paypal account. If you prefer, you can mail a check. You can even telephone your credit card information to 719-689-2217.

A Miracle Debate

They recognized that a universe in which miracles are possible
is a world in which science, strictly understood, is impossible.

You may wish to read Why I believe in miracles by Matt K. Lewis (pictured second) in The Week for December 9th, and the reaction a week later by Damon Linker (pictured first), The age of miracles is over — even for the religious.

Linker writes:

imageMiracles have traditionally been understood as temporary transgressions by God of the natural order. You know, like Moses parting the Red Sea, or a virgin giving birth to a child, or the resurrection of a man three days after his death. All three events and many others recounted in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament are inexplicable in natural terms. They are divine incursions into the order of things, a suspension of the necessities that govern that order — like the necessity that tells us, for example, that only a female who has been impregnated by the sperm of a male of the same species can give birth to offspring. That necessity reigns supreme, without exception, in nature. But Christians believe — or are supposed to believe — that God overrode that necessity in impregnating Mary, a woman who had never had sexual relations with her husband Joseph or any other man.

imageLewis, like many contemporary believers, uses the term "miracle" to mean something very different and far less, well, miraculous. Instead of referring to a divine intervention that overturns natural necessity, Lewis maintains that a miracle is any event within the world that appears to have personally beneficial consequences. As something taking place within the natural world, the event will always be explicable in scientific terms. But the believer is also free to interpret the event otherwise — as having been mysteriously authored or brought about by the hidden hand of God. That is the kind of miracle that Lewis believes in.

Linker argues:

The great early modern defenders of science (men like Baruch Spinoza, Thomas Hobbes, and David Hume) understood that the belief in miracles was an obstacle to the advance of human knowledge, keeping alive the possibility that the findings of scientific investigation are at most provisionally true — true only so long as God doesn’t act within the world in a way that contravenes natural necessity. That’s why these and other partisans of the Enlightenment actively sought to explain (or rather, to explain away) miracles and undermine popular belief in them. They recognized that a universe in which miracles are possible is a world in which science, strictly understood, is impossible.

Centuries later, the philosophical critique of miracles has been so successful that many of the faithful are more comfortable affirming the truth of soft providentialism, which is perfectly compatible with science because it makes no empirically verifiable (or refutable) truth-claims about the world at all. It’s even compatible with Darwinian evolution, which posits the radically non-theistic view that species evolve through a process of random mutation and adaptation, since it’s always possible that God plays a crucial and hidden (but scientifically undemonstrable) role in the process. Perhaps God causes evolution’s seemingly random mutations, or controls the environment to which these mutated organisms adapt themselves.

The good news for religion is that it has survived the philosophical-scientific assault on miracles. But the bad news for religion is that it now lingers on in a profoundly weakened state. Where faith once confidently ventured truth-claims about the whole of creation and its metaphysical underpinnings, now it often offers mere expressions of subjective feeling about a world that science exclusively reveals and explains. That represents a remarkable retreat.

Oh? Really? I find that we have proponents of both views in the world of the shroud and, interestingly, they are not self-segregated into pro- or not-pro- authenticity stances.

An Online Photo Gallery of Italy’s New Churches

The picture on CNN’s website this morning catches our attention. Here we find writer Helena Cavendish de Moura asking:

(CNN) — What is beauty? What role does it have in spirituality? Is it in the eye of the beholder?

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For instance:

Vatican officials have lashed out against what they see as a diversion from dictates on how to build a church according to Catholic liturgy.

These laws, however, have been subject to interpretation.

The Diocese of Turin, for instance, defends its decision to stand by Botta’s design, claiming it adheres to Catholic dogma on aesthetics. The seven-tower church with skylights is a symbolic play on the use of natural light in ritual and divinity. The industrial-looking church complex blends in with the area associated with Turin’s working class. To the common eye, these towers may seem more like giant chimneys, a reference to the industrial, working-class area.

Photographing inside this monumental building is a different story. Liturgical tradition is referenced, but only slightly. Di Martino photographs the pixelated image of the Holy Face, a "half-cross" by the altar, every element illuminated by natural light. A possible allusion that God is omnipresent in the digital age?

Personally, I liked them all except for photograph number 6, the Church St. Clement in Milan. See CNN’s Photo Gallery.

Oh, and I’m not sure I like this interpretation (picture #1) of the face of the shroud which has Jesus seemingly looking away to one side. Or is it my imagination. 

A Quote for this Sunday

imageFor “scientific approach to the Shroud” is usually understood that according to which the Shroud is regarded solely as an object of study and for which the only important issue is to try to answer the questions about the origin and the authenticity of the Shroud. A “pastoral approach to the Shroud” means the reading of the Shroud in the light of its intrinsic message that, starting from its close and indisputable relationship with the Holy Scriptures, becomes a valuable and unique inspirer of the life of faith and the prompter of those works of charity which are its real big fruit. In this regard at the end of his aforementioned speech in front of the Shroud on May 24, 1998 Saint John Paul II said: “May the Spirit of God, who dwells in our hearts, instill in every one the desire and generosity necessary for accepting the Shroud’s message and for making it the decisive inspiration of our lives”.

Therefore to put in antithesis the scientific approach to the religious one is very dangerous because you run the risk on one hand to reduce the Shroud to a “dead object”, to an image that has meaning only in itself and that doesn’t at all challenge our lives and on the other to turn the Shroud into a kind of idol slaved to a priori and instrumental theses. I am deeply convinced that to leave the presentation of the Shroud to a sole scientific approach or to a sole pastoral approach is neither correct nor useful for any kind of recipient. But then are these two ways of approaching the image of the Shroud really antithetic?

— Bruno Barberis
Associate Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Turin &
Director of the International Center of Sindonology of Turin
from “Shroud, Science And Faith: Dialogue Or Conflict?
a paper he recently presented at the St. Louis Shroud Conference

Shroud Exposition YouTube Channel

imageThere is now an official Ostensione della Sindone 2015 YouTube channel. It’s in Italian. Most of what is being published by sindone.org is in Italian. They seem to be relying on Google and Bing to provide on-the-fly translation, which isn’t half bad.  Spoken word translation, as in YouTube videos, is still a couple of years off.


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"What If?" Clips

imageRuss Breault, through his Shroud Encounter Facebook page, lets us know:

Another update to ShroudUniversity.com is a section dealing with Apologetics. These are video clips from the DVD called "What If?" Take a look. If you want to the DVD, you can order from ShroudStore.com, otherwise, watch it free at ShroudU. Hope you like them. Share your thoughts. http://www.shrouduniversity.com/Apologetics.php

Giorgio Bracaglia over at the Holy Shroud Guild wants your help

imageGiorgio is promoting the survey on the Holy Shroud Guild’s Facebook page. An email to participants reads:

I am a student at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York. I am currently collecting data for my research project entitled The reader’s cognitive response towards peer-reviewed manuscripts,to fulfill my degree program requirement in Organizational Management.  The purpose of my study is to explore the reader’s cognitive response to two manuscripts that were problematic.

I would like you to participate in this study by completing an on-line survey by January 4, 2015.  The questionnaire will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  Your participation is voluntary but very important to the success of this study. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with this assignment, please feel free to discontinue.

The responses you provide are anonymous and STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.  The results of this study will be reported in the form of statistical summaries that do not identify any individual.  You must be over 18 years of age to participate. If you have any questions regarding the questionnaire, please contact me at giorgioprimary@frontiernet.net

Thank you for taking the time to assist in this important project.  I look forward to receiving your completed questionnaire.

CLICK HERE to begin the process.  Read the short (one page) essay on Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Then take the survey. After submitting your results you will be taken to another short essay and another short survey form. (There is a Shroud of Turin connection, as you will see).

Just Published: What Went Wrong with the Radiocarbon Date?

not arguing in this paper that the Benford-Marino-Rogers theory is THE
sole answer to our question . . . it has an awful lot going for it. . . .

imageMUST READ:  It begins with this paragraph, even before we encounter the title and authors name:

Foreword: I had requested that this paper not be published with the 2008 Ohio Conference papers because there were some questions about the nature and history of cotton I wanted to explore before doing so. However, in the interim, my attempts to investigate some issues did not produce results because I was unable to get in contact with the specialists who might have been able to provide the additional information I sought. Joe Marino recently requested permission to publish on-line my Ohio presentation and the appendices of materials I had gathered. I have granted him that permission late this year (December, 2014). The material is largely unchanged from my 2008 Ohio presentation. Bits of more recent information are set off from the body of the original text by my use of brackets [ ].

The title is What Went Wrong With the Shroud’s Radiocarbon Date? Setting it all in Context. It is by the archaeologist and long time shroud scholar Paul C. Maloney (pictured).

imageHere are the first few paragraphs just to give you a good idea why this paper is so important.

We are only two years away from a fresh exhibition of the Turin Shroud [occurring in 2010]–and with that will there be another round of testing? In this light it seems a valuable exercise to recap previous hypotheses regarding the C14 results offered in the years following the 1988 testing. (2). Professionally, I am an archaeologist–some of you might call me an “antique historian.“ This is a paper about history. What I shall attempt to do here is to gather together in one place observations and explanations that have been published elsewhere. There are many things about the Shroud we would all like to know but in this paper I shall deal largely with only one question: What went wrong with the Shroud‘s radiocarbon date? I will provide here a brief synopsis of proposed answers with focused examination of one of those proposals.

A Strange Story

But first I want to share with you a “strange story”. Many of you have already heard it. I first heard it many years ago as it was circulated by Bill Meacham. A single thread of the Shroud was sent surreptitiously to a West Coast Laboratory back in 1982. One end of that thread came up with a date of 200 A.D. while the other end resulted in a date of ca. 1000! How could this be? I thought about it long and hard and finally dismissed it as a complete fluke. Anyway, that was quite a “yarn”! Bill Meacham preserves this story in his most recent book published a few years ago. (3)

Radiocarbon test results and reactions to it

Here’s another story, also old, so much so, you are probably all tired of hearing it. Briefly, on April 21, 1988 a single sample was removed from the so-called “Raes’ Corner” on the Shroud by the late Giovanni Riggi di Numana. This was divided up between three labs, Oxford, Zurich, and Tucson, Arizona and the results analyzed by the British Museum. The analysis from that testing was released on Oct. 13, 1988: the cellulose taken from the Shroud was to be dated with 95% confidence to between 1260 to 1390 A.D. (4)

Most of us reacted first with a mixture of shock and consternation! How could this be? The late Fr. Albert R. Dreisbach liked to say that “the preponderance of evidence” argued for the antiquity as well as the authenticity of the cloth. After all, how could the Shroud have been rendered in artistry 60 some years before the first bracket of the 1260-1390 released radiocarbon date? As we all began to recover it was generally agreed that something was radically wrong. The question was “What?” There have been six major approaches to this question. Evaluative remarks and commentary have been confined to the endnotes due to time constraints.

A dozen pages in, as we approach the conclusion, we read:

When everything is properly understood, the entire picture of the Shroud should come together as a beautifully constructed puzzle. If something is out of place, the whole will not look right. We are currently still in that mode. Not everyone agrees with Ray Rogers findings. Especially in Europe there are those who believe his findings do not represent the real nature of the Shroud. Thus, this issue of “homogeneity” vs. “heterogeneity” needs to be resolved so that we can move forward. If a “re-weave” is not the explanation for the characteristics found at the Raes’ Corner then we badly need an explanation for why cotton is woven into that corner but is not demonstrated in threads in the main body of the cloth.

What does the opposite side of the ledger look like? Do the x-rays of the Shroud show any evidence of the re-weave? Bryan Walsh suggests they do not. (Personal communication). Walsh also notes that in discussions “…with textile conservators in the U. S., they said that while reweaving might be made difficult to perceive on one side of a cloth, it would be painfully obvious on the other side of the cloth because of the various threads and knots involved in stitching it.”

I’m not arguing in this paper that the Benford-Marino-Rogers theory is THE sole answer to our question “What Went Wrong?” Nevertheless, the factors I’ve marshalled here suggest that it has an awful lot going for it. . . .

There is, in Appendix III, a gem, a Dialogue between Ray Rogers and Bryan Walsh in February 2005. And elsewhere throughout the paper there are photographs that you may never have seen. This paper is a must read.

Photomicrograph note:  The caption reads:

B. Second photomicrograph of W. C. McCrone’s rose madder. STURP tape 3-CB very near to STURP tape 3-AB but taken on the blood flow across the back. (Photomicrograph by W. C. McCrone. From the Paul C. Maloney collection of McCrone illustrative materials. No magnification listed by McCrone).


Publication Note:  I received this paper a few days ago. Would I install it on the 2008 Ohio conference website since I had the keys and supposedly the skills to do so? Sure, I said. Well, if you go to the conference site and look you will see some evidence of my trying. I’m still trying to work out went wrong with hosting company.  In the meantime I have temporarily installed this paper within this blog space so you can read it without further delay. Here you need the keys and no special skills. My apologies for taking so long.

So, open or download: What Went Wrong With the Shroud’s Radiocarbon Date? Setting it all in Context by Paul C. Maloney by clicking on the title.

New Paper by Pam Moon

imagePam Moon has uploaded another paper she wrote to her Shroud of Turin Exhibition site: Bl Sebastian Valfrè: The Black Thread, Reweave, and Unravelling the Shroud. It begins:

It was an enormous privilege to attend the St Lewis Shroud conference and to meet so many of the world’s greatest Shroud experts. Can I give my congratulations to the organisers. The comments below are based on some of the conversations I had at the conference.

I am very grateful to Joe Marino for allowing me to present the Oxford photographs and Donna Campbell’s report, to Barrie Schwortz for finding the information online and to Russ Breault for recording the conference. Donna Campbell wrote: ‘there are signs in the Shroud sample that direct the notion of mending or reweaving of the actual woven fabric.’ One of the items mentioned in the presentation was the large black thread which is visible on the Oxford and Arizona samples. A comparison was made with the small black and large white threads also present.

I was delighted to discover from Emanuela Marinelli and Will Meacham that the large black thread was probably stitched in 1694 by Bl Sebastian Valfrè. The invisible reweave hypothesis of Joe Marino and Sue Benford supported by Donna Campbell may refer to two or three different episodes of stitch repair and Bl Sebastian’s repair was one episode. The best demonstration of invisible reweave (both French and in-weaving) I have seen is by the company Without a Trace and can be seen in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIgC_IeuzKE. Please look at that before continuing! The black thread also points to the possibility that the corner strands were unravelled, rewoven back together and then stitched back into place with reweaving techniques. Below is the large black thread seen in th Oxford and Arizona photographs see: https://archdams.arch.ox.ac.uk/?c=1203&k=1bcdc90a8b [|] http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/arizona.pdf. Investigating a Dated piece of the Shroud of Turin, Radiocarbon, 52, 2010.

Collimated Sweat Acting at a Distance

That should warm the cockles of Colin Berry’s heart

imageFrom a press release this morning:

JERUSALEM.- The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, has announced the awarding of its 2014 Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography to American artist and photographer Lisa Oppenheim. Selected from among 160 applicants from 28 countries around the world, Oppenheim was awarded the prize for her outstanding body of existing work and prospective projects.

And one of the prospective projects is:

. . . said Noam Gal, Noel and Harriette Levine Curator of the Museum’s Department of Photography. “Her choices of subjects – including the future project she presented in her application, Imprint (Shroud of Turin) – give promise to the perpetuation of this fascinating artistic path.”

Imprint?  Shroud of Turin?  That should warm the cockles of Colin Berry’s heart. Colin is old fashioned enough and British enough to understand that expression.

Let me explain (or you can read Colin’s whole bloody post on his blog). Colin shows us the picture (below) and tells us: “The mechanism of imprinting of the body image? Can there be any doubt that the artist wanted us to know that the image was a SWEAT IMPRINT.”

Yes! There can be some doubt; for I must ask: Are Jesus followers lifting the cloth up and away from the body or putting it down over the body? If they are just getting ready to lower the cloth over Jesus, was the “imprint” caused by collimated sweat acting at a distance?

Colin writes:

Is this the definitive answer to the Shroud of Turin visible in old paintings? Answer: YES – almost certainly, as the above [=below now] paintings demonstrate, but I don’t suppose Dan Porter will be overjoyed at the use I’ve made of his website graphics.

But I am overjoyed; for I have always put pursuit of the truth about the shroud ahead of trying to convince anyone it is real. In accord with that I am NOT going to put a lot of stock into Colin’s interpretation of a 17th century artist’s artistic interpretation of events and call it definitive evidence of anything.  

Look closely. You can almost correlate the darker areas of the smudge-ish image on the cloth being held above Jesus’ body to the followers surrounding the cloth. Are those perhaps shadows?  Light seems to come from different places in this painting. 

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Please Revisit David Rolfe’s Shroud Enigma Soon

imageSpotted:  A redesign going on over at David Rolfe’s The Enigma of the Shroud of Turin website. “This site is currently being reconstructed. Please revisit soon,” a small banner states just below the title. Fair enough. But some of it is there and we can look at it.

There is a nice 30 second clip of Ian Wilson right there on the home page.

There is this from the right hand column on the page. You can’t click yet (as it suggested you do) so revisit soon:

To use dispassionate argument to focus attention on something that may, uniquely, have a direct link to the historical Jesus of Nazareth. If you are interested in why I think this is important please click here. My reasons may surprise you.

David Rolfe, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, UK.

Films for free. Very generous. Some of it is there already and some is not so revisit soon:

Meanwhile…I am making the three films I have made on the subject over the last four decades available on this site for all to view without charge. The most recent is in eight languages. If you are new to the subject you might wish to select your preferred language and first watch this summary of the story. Just choose your flag. This particular film was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Turin and to their brief. It is not as dispassionate in tone as this website aspires to be but I can vouch for all the factual material. . . .

Some good sharing out here.  I’d add the social media Facebook, Twitter and Google+ links. And aren’t copies of past BSTS newsletters available on Barrie’s shroud.com website?

For really fast-moving debate and comment on the subject you should keep in touch with Dan Porter’s [Shroud Story] blog and for the ultimate in deep study of the subject explore Barrie Schwortz’s exhaustive Shroud.com. Not yet available online but well worth subscribing to is the British Shroud of Turin Society’s (BSTS) Journal. It is edited by Hugh Farey, a sceptic who brings a cold and withering eye to the more sanctimonious or simply superficial studies that are all too frequently let loose.

Looks good. I’ll need to revisit soon.

A Gedankened Image Forming Process

We believe our hypothesis can readily be tested simply by . . . 


our hypothesis depends on a completely natural mechanism.
It does not conflate the image formation mechanism with the Resurrection

imageWhen I spotted Electric Charge Separation as the Mechanism for Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin: A Natural Mechanism by D.S. Spicer and E .T. Toton on shroud.com’s St. Louis Conference page, and I read the abstract again, I quickly looked for something else to read. It’s  the non-scientist in me; this was going to be difficult paper, I realized.

I was wrong. It was very interesting and easy to understand.

I always jump to the end where I found this under Discussion and Conclusions on page 15:

As should be clear, our hypothesis depends on a completely natural mechanism. It does not conflate the image formation mechanism with the Resurrection, nor should it. The image is not the recording of the Resurrection but it is an image capture of the body of a crucified man consistent with the historical records of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That no hitherto satisfying mechanism for image formation has been discovered is not proof that a supernatural explanation must be the only other choice, nor does the discovery of a credible mechanism of image formation impugn the belief in the reality of the Resurrection. If it were possible to take a photo of the Ascension-where is the miracle? Is it the Ascension or the photo of it? We believe that the Shroud Image is indeed the image of Jesus Christ’s lifeless body only and it strengthens the historical argument for His existence, death, and His Resurrection.

Got it!  That’s clear.  Now back to the beginning. This part of the introduction had me hooked. Read on!

In this paper we examine a novel image formation mechanism that comprises a uniform low frequency quasi-electrostatic field and polar molecules to produce the image of a crucified man on a linen cloth known as the Shroud of Turin. Given that to date the historical evidence tracks the origins of the cloth back to at least the 6th century AD, that forensic evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the man enclosed by the Shroud was in fact crucified, which totally undermines the assertion of forgery by revealing details in physics, chemistry and medical knowledge only available in the 20th century, and that there are additional physical tests, other than the one-off and often cited C14 test against the authenticity of the Shroud, that date the Shroud to the 1st century AD, we will assume that the crucified man was in fact Jesus of Nazareth and use the New Testament Gospels as a source of information for Jesus’ crucifixion.

Among the many STURP (Shroud of Turin Research Project) findings regarding the images of a crucified man found on the Shroud of Turin (ST) there are six that point to a clear and natural explanation for both the dorsal and ventral images of the cloth [21, 16, 1, 2, 3, 8, 20]. These are:

  1. Images on the cloth exist only of the dorsal and ventral surfaces of body and these images lie only on the fibers found at the extremities of the cloth
  2. No image or discoloration exists between the two surfaces of cloth, i.e., within the cloth
  3. There is no image of the top of the head or sides of the body enclosed by the cloth [14]
  4. The image density on the cloth appears to embody information on the vertical distance between the cloth and the portion of the ventral body imaged, as if the cloth were held flat and horizontal slightly above the body or, in the case of the dorsal image, between the cloth on either the floor or shelf on which the body lied and the back of the body. In essence, the closer the cloth was to the body the darker the image, and the farther away the fainter the image [13]
  5. A body image is visible in areas where there was no contact between the body and the cloth
  6. The coloration does not appear under the threads where they cross in the weave of the cloth

And there was this timely paragraph that pertains to recent discussions on this blog about why the image does not fluoresce – of course, assuming . . .

The STURP measurements showed that the Shroud fluoresced everywhere except in regions of the image. This suggests to us that the image formation mechanism somehow changed the allowed atomic transitions that permits the rest of the cloth outside of the image areas to fluoresce. This fact suggests that identifying what is allowing fluorescence can help to determine what chemically causes the image. A good start would be to see whether calcium fluoride or residual pectins (an Alan Adler suggestion[1]) are present on the cloth.


[1] Brian Walsh private communication