Home > Television > Keeping an audience in suspense

Keeping an audience in suspense

March 5, 2015

imageBrian Lowry, writing in Variety, figures out what is going on in the first episode of Finding Jesus:

Despite all that’s been reported about the Shroud (including debate over carbon dating conducted in 1988 to determine its age), it’s pretty clear that the program is less concerned with ascertaining whether the artifact is fake than it is with simply keeping an audience that hasn’t read much about it in suspense for as long as possible. Along the way, viewers are treated to what amounts to a Sunday-school recap, courtesy of the various talking heads, regarding what the Bible doesn’t tell us about Jesus and the horrors of crucifixion.

But maybe the producers, writers, talking heads and CNN, itself, realized they couldn’t ascertain whether the artifact is fake. Maybe a news agency is better at understanding this than a so-called history channel or a geographic society.

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  1. March 5, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Why do people duck ALL the information that is available about the Shroud? The skeptics seem to lack the objectivity (and courage) to consider things their preordained prejudices won’t allow them to consider.
    Again, the carbon-dating tests have been debunked by no less than Raymond Rogers, a scientist, atheist and leader of one of the three teams which had done the testing. His conclusion is that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Christ.
    Then there’s Barrie Schwortz, an American Jew who has studied the Shroud for 35 years. View his presentation on the Internet wherein he talks about how he had abandoned God when he was very young and how he has reached out to God after coming to the coinclusion that the Shroud is authentic.

    • March 5, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Rogers was not an atheist. He was not on any of the dating teams. He did not conclude that it was the burial shroud of Christ. Where did you get this crap?

  2. March 5, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Leon asks “Why do people duck ALL the information that is available about the Shroud?” That is a good question – because if some of that information were presented in the CNN Finding Jesus episode on the Shroud – it would be clear that the proposed theory of the shroud as a medieval photography with hand painted blood doesn’t fly. There’s plenty of info to disprove that theory. Some of it is listed here:
    http://rationalfaith.com/2015/03/finding-jesus-the-shroud-a-review/

  3. Hugh Farey
    March 5, 2015 at 11:18 am

    “Why do people duck ALL the information that is available about the Shroud? The skeptics seem to lack the objectivity (and courage) to consider things their preordained prejudices won’t allow them to consider.”
    What does this mean? I’m a skeptic, and I’m objective (and courageous) and I consider everything. I don’t have preordained prejudices – indeed, until a couple of years ago I considered that the Shroud was on balance authentic. Even if I had prejudices, they would not forbid me to consider evidence. So pray tell, Leon, which bit of information do you think I haven’t considered? Or is your statement a sweeping generalisation? Choose me a skeptic. Which bit of information has David Mo not considered, or Colin Berry, or Charles Freeman? Two wonderful things about the skeptics on this site anyway: firstly they consider all the evidence, in depth, using primary sources, and do not hide behind airy mentions of ‘experts’ who happen to agree with them, and secondly, they do not make baseless generalisations of disparagement regarding their opponents. Gentlemen to the core, that’s us!

  4. March 5, 2015 at 11:27 am

    If you can put SOME evidence that offers us sceptics a reason to consider that the linen of the Shroud has a date from before AD 1000 we shall be happy to consider it.

    • piero
      March 6, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Excuse me …
      Have you worked taking into the account
      all the past published scientific works?
      I do not think you’ve considered in a good manner
      the past analyses, already conducted on the Shroud …

      In any case I remind you that there are other new
      possibilities offered by

      – ATR-FTIR techniques. See also [as I have already reported
      in this blog] how to resolve the issue ATR-FTIR (about data
      regarding the pigments). Now I have just found the following reference:
      “Attenuated total reflection micro FTIR characterisation of pigment-binder
      interaction in reconstructed paint films” Microchemistry and Microscopy Art Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy
      Published in “Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry”
      (Link : http://www.researchgate.net/publication/5399015_Attenuated_total_reflection_micro_FTIR_characterisation_of_pigment-binder_interaction_in_reconstructed_paint_films ). Then there is the applicability of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. and

      – SPMs (= AFM and SNOM controls) …

      So…
      I think that your particular theory about a painting
      will be further denied by those new controls
      (ie: there will be incontrovertible evidence against your strange theory …).

      Your particular idea initially had interested me because of what looked
      like a change suffered from the image, witnessed by the photographs
      of the Shroud (after few years and after many years …).
      I must add that I do not think there has been a true experimental control
      (ie: with laboratory tests on sheets similar to the Shroud) about
      these changes occurred over time …
      This type of experimental controls does not seem that hard to do
      if you start with adequate materials (unbleached linen, etc.) with
      the use of appropriate types of accelerated aging.

      What do you think of my criticism?
      If I had a laboratory available I would have already done
      what I described before (but … maybe I explained vaguely …).
      Do you understand me?

      But I understand that Art is charmful.
      In fact, I’ve read that a woman in the end of life was brought
      to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to see the paintings of Rembrandt,
      for the last time …
      Unfortunately the famous “Descent from the Cross” (1634, that is one
      of his many religious scenes) is now located
      in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

      • piero
        March 6, 2015 at 11:36 am

        Was not the numismatic dating by prof. Fanti an
        interesting evidence that the linen of the Shroud
        has a date from before AD 1000?

        Why not?
        — — *** — —
        In any case, here another possible reference about the importance of ATR-FTIR:

        Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
        September 2008, Volume 392,
        Issue 1-2, pp 37-45
        Date: 25 Apr 2008
        “ATR-FTIR imaging for the analysis of organic materials in paint cross sections: case studies on paint samples from the National Gallery, London”

        Marika Spring,
        Camilla Ricci,
        David A. Peggie,
        Sergei G. Kazarian
        Abstract:
        >The potential of attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) imaging for the characterisation of the chemical components of paint cross sections from old master paintings was investigated. Three cross sections were chosen to cover a variety of the analytical problems encountered in samples from paintings. The binding medium and degradation products in a green paint sample from a fifteenth-century Florentine painting were imaged, as well as a thin layer within a cross-section from a fifteenth-century German painting, and multiple thin surface coatings on a painting of the 1760s by Peter Romney. The application of chemometric methods for further analysis of the large data set generated for each sample was also explored. The study demonstrated the advantages of ATR-FTIR imaging, which allowed images to be obtained with high spatial resolution (ca. 3–4 μm) without the need to microtome the sample. The gain in sensitivity in detecting trace materials and the information derived from the location of these compounds in the sample was especially valuable, improving interpretation of the FTIR analysis and extending knowledge of the sample composition beyond that obtainable with other analytical techniques.

        Link:
        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00216-008-2092-y
        — — —
        Here another study (not on linen, but about the paper!):

        Ancient and modern paper characterization by FTIR and Micro-Raman spectroscopy
        Vito Librando, Zelica Minniti, Salvatore Lorusso

        Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage
        (Quaderni di Scienza della Conservazione)

        Link:
        http://conservation-science.unibo.it/article/view/2700
        http://link.springer
        — — —
        Here the other way:

        “AFM CFM chemometric methods”
        = CFM consists of measuring the interaction forces between a modified “functionalized” tip and a surface by using atomic force microscopy (AFM).
        — —
        >CFM has been primarily developed by Charles Lieber at Harvard University in 1994.
        Link:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_force_microscopy
        — —
        >CFM measures the chemical interactions between functionalized tips and sample to determine the chemical nature of surfaces and facilitate studies of chemical bonding enthalpy and surface energy. Tips are typically gold-coated and functionalized with R-SH thiols, R being the functional groups of interest such as -CH, -COOH, -NH, and -OH.

        Link:
        http://www.parkafm.com/index.php/park-spm-modes/chemical-properties/224-chemical-force-microscopy-cfm-with-functionalized-tip

        .com/article/10.1007/s00216-008-2092-y

  5. Kelly Kearse
    March 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    ” Choose me a skeptic. Which bit of information has David Mo not considered, or Colin Berry, or Charles Freeman? Two wonderful things about the skeptics on this site anyway: firstly they consider all the evidence, in depth, using primary sources, and do not hide behind airy mentions of ‘experts’ who happen to agree with them, and secondly, they do not make baseless generalisations of disparagement regarding their opponents. Gentlemen to the core, that’s us!”

    Here’s one example: In Charles Freeman’s most recent article, the initial (negative) findings regarding the blood in 1973 are selectively mentioned. Don’t hear about STURP’s conclusions or Baima Bollone’s findings. What’s so wonderful about that? In depth? All the evidence? Give me a break.

    Here’s a generalization: the Shroud crowd on both sides of pro- or no-authenticity has its share of “experts” and the “Mega-expert”, one who knows about all disciplines, especially science, to comment “in depth”, on essentially all things. Take away the Google trigger finger and much of that expertise would be reduced, I suspect.

  6. Hugh Farey
    March 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Um… touché!

  7. March 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    The professionals ( e.g. Experts in recognising bloodstains or the scientific evidence for them) I have consulted both over the red marks on the Shroud and in the findings of Adler and Heller all agree that this is not dried blood. However, bearing in mind the many blood cults of the fourteenth century and their popularity and the lucrative possibilities of having Christ’s blood (e.g the monastery at Hailes in England built their main building from the fruits of pilgrims visiting their relic of Christ’s blood), it is quite possible that real blood was added to the Shroud. In this I am not supported by the expert opinion I have consulted but in an age when consecrated hosts bled ( e.g. After transubstantiation with what the Church insisted was the ‘real’ blood of Christ), crucifixes spurted blood from the body of Christ when hit by heretics or Jews and there were many shrines claiming to have the blood of Christ, the Shroud could hardly be left out! So I am just keeping the remote, and it is very remote, possibility that Adler, Heller, etc, were right open. So what is wrong about this?

    • March 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Sources, Charles, please. Can you list your blood experts? They may be known to Dr. Kearse and he can at least corroborate that they are indeed experts on the matter.

      • Sampath Fernando
        March 5, 2015 at 4:14 pm

        Skeptics never give sources because they are working on speculations. Why these people are ignoring published scientific work?

  8. Kelly Kearse
    March 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    When one intentionally & selectively omits findings, including those published in peer-reviewed journals (even if one disagrees), it presents a distorted view. Selective omission is the easiest way to damage one’s street cred. A similar pattern emerged when other scientific findings involving the now you see it, now you don’t shakey flakey paint by numbers set were pointed out multiple times.

    Sorry David, not interested in corroborating/rehashing either of these any further-it’s transparent agenda-driven at a minimum, not to mention a retread of a retread (of a retread)-been there, done that

    • March 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      I actually don’t expect that any corroboration will be necessary, as I expect my request will go unanswered (or conveniently unnoticed).

  9. mickeymullen
    March 5, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    They say a light was needed to put the image on the cloth. It was 9pm when the Spirit (a powerful light) of Genesis removed my heart that I was born with, and gave me another from God Ezekiel 36:26.

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