and then there’s the shroud
It is a well written posting, The Forensics of the Sudarium of Oviedo – The Shroud of Turin. He, whoever he is, who calls his blog “He Rose for Grace,” nicely summarizes the documented history of the Sudarium. He explains the bloodstains and plant pollen found on the this 84 by 53 centimeter (33 by 21 inch) piece of cloth. Fine. But, then, really?
Though the stains were smeared, modern technology has been able to decipher facial features from when the cloth covered the face. They show typical Jewish features including a prominent nose and cheekbones.
No. It is people who decipher facial features. They may use modern methods and tools. But, in the end, it is totally subjective. Can anyone really say the stains show typical Jewish features? I’m open to being convinced. So far, I’m not. And then, if I am convinced, so what?
And then there is this:
And Then There’s the Shroud:
Probably the most sentimental characteristics of the cloth is in its coincidental details that match the Shroud of Turin. First off, the blood on both cloths belongs to the same group, AB. The length of the nose from where the the pleural oedema fluid came onto the sudarium, measures 8 cm. This is the exact same length as the nose on the Shroud. There is an exact fit of the stains with the beard on the face. There is a small stain on the right hand side of the mouth. This stain is barely visible on the Shroud, but Dr. John Jackson, used the VP-8 and photo enhancements to confirm that it is there. Thorn wounds on the nape of the neck also coincide with the bloodstains on the Shroud. Dr. Alan Whanger used a Polarized Image Overlay Technique to study the sudarium, comparing it to the bloodstains on the Shroud. The frontal stains on the sudarium have seventy points of coincidence with the Shroud, while the back side has fifty. There is no doubt that the Oviedo sudarium covered the same face.
It would seem that in light of these recent scientific findings, the dating for the Shroud need no further investigation, the authenticity is confirmed with the holy relic of the Sudarium of Oviedo.
Just what is a point of congruence in this case? Can I see some examples? I know about the points of congruence with the claims for coin images. I’ve seen some of those and actually used a Polarized Image Overlay Technique. Some points looked impressive but I wondered if they meant anything. Other points seemed nebulous. Maybe it was me.
I was never really convinced that a point of congruence analysis was valid. Where is this method documented? I’ve read about using POC for fingerprint analysis and I understand it enough to know that this is very different. POC for fingerprint matching uses well known, well understood, carefully defined patterns. Matching coins and matching bloodstains is something different altogether.
Moreover, I am convinced by other evidence that those coin images that supposedly match coins, do not exist on the shroud. That makes those points of congruence seem meaningless. So why are the bloodstains POC any different?
Having said all that, I think it might really be that the Sudarium and the Shroud are linked by bloodstains. But can we say so scientifically? I think that if we are going to convince people, we need to show them in a convincing way.
Photo by Jorge Manuel Rodríguez as found at The Forensics of the Sudarium of Oviedo – The Shroud of Turin