Dear Colin Berry
Change of plan: I’m now terminating all posting on the Shroud of Turin, feeling as I do that I’ve given it my best shot, and that it’s now time to move on. However, I’m still available here to respond to questions, criticism etc as best I can (see quick link to Comments top right).
In your latest blog posting you complain about my use of a picture of a child making hand imprints with finger paint. “Yet another attempt to infantilize,” you write. No it wasn’t that at all. I use pictures the way newspaper editorial pages use cartoons. Yes, to poke fun, but also to express ideas. These two pictures next to each other metaphorically captured his notion of what you refer to as a two-stage technology. Something is applied to the body and then its is applied to the cloth where it can be developed somehow. You were working with white flour and using nitric acid and limewater as developing agents. Maybe you were onto something. Maybe it is not white flour.
I want to scream at you to lighten up. I was not suggesting that your work was infantile. Compared to every other skeptic of the shroud, you have shown more erudite imagination than any, ever. You researched more. You experimented more. You wrote more and you wrote well.
You say at times that I am pro-authenticist. I’m not. I can’t imagine trying to tell anyone that the shroud is real if I don’t believe it. I say the shroud is probably real. I say, on every page of my blog, “The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus.” Every page!
Probably! May be! Those words mean that I could be wrong. If I’m wrong I want to know it. So first of all I want to thank you as you move on to other things for trying out new avenues that may lead the truth about the shroud no matter what that truth may be. I sincerely mean that. Thank you.
You have recently advanced the idea that the medieval person who created the image was not thinking of the piece of cloth as a burial cloth but something else all together, like a stretcher. That thought will not go away. Thanks for that.
You advanced many such ideas. Those will not go away. They will be pondered by me and others in years to come. Thank you.
You have discovered many things. Those will hang it the air among everyone who properly studies the shroud. Thank you.
You have taught me a lot. That will stick with me. Thank you.
You have created an important list that skeptics, if they are to be as careful as you, must consider carefully. With your permission, I’m going to remove the word stoopid and publish it on my blog, maybe with a link in the upper right corner, because it’s a good list.
The past three of so years have been contentious at times. There have been times when I would have liked to have reached through the screen and punched you. I’m sure you felt the same way. But there are times when I would have liked to sit down and had a beer with you. We could talk about Freeman, perhaps. Here is a toast to you.
You know, Colin, you could change plans again. You could at least drop by and comment every now and then. Godspeed.