Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed,
it is ignorance with wings.

— Sam Harris, The End of Faith (2004)

imageIn checking around the Atheist slice of the blogosphere, just to see what is being said about the shroud, I came across a recent posting, The Turin Shroud… And Other Medieval Relics in Secular Scarlet, a blog with a masthead splash that proclaims that “Theology Is Ignorance With Wings.” It begins:

The Turin Shroud hits the headlines once again as the Pope has made a visit to see the most famous of alleged relics of Jesus. He spent some time with it in fact and before leaving touched the glass case it is enclosed in.

In a carefully worded announcement . . .

Nothing new, really. The author reminds us that Pope Clement VII said that it was not the true Shroud and that John Calvin said there were many shrouds leading one who wonder if the blog author wondered which one was the it that Clement was talking about.

In a section boldly titled WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE SHROUD the author bullets out:

  • Carbon dating confirms the cloth was created between 1290-1390 AD
  • The tools, inspiration and knowledge to create this were available as early as the 12th Century
  • The style and complexity of the shroud weave itself would confirm a 14th Century cloth
  • The earliest shrouds we have found in Israel date to no earlier than 2nd Century AD

The author reminds us that there was a medieval relic trade and that bones once claimed to belong to Joan of Arc did not belong to her. So what. And the author of the blog wants us to know that these are the …


  1. Shroud of Turin
  2. Blood of San Gennaro
  3. Muhammads Beard
  4. Mary’s Holy Belt
  5. John the Baptists Head
  6. Buddha’s Tooth
  7. Tunic of the Blessed Virgin
  8. The Grapevine Cloth
  9. Footprint of the Prophet Muhammad
  10. The Chains of St Peter

Which list is this from?  There is probably a list of TOP TEN LISTS OF LISTS OF TOP TEN RELIGIOUS RELICS. If there isn’t, there should be.

And to wrap it up he or she tells us

In April of 2014, a University in Italy stated that an earthquake in 33AD may be responsible for the mysterious Turin Shroud image. That a supposed  flood of neutrons could have imprinted the image onto the linen. Taking a stab in the dark, I guess they don’t agree with the carbon dating; I would love to find the miracle that causes a cloth made in the 14th Century to arrive in the 1st Century AD for imprinting.

Fans of Back to the Future will maybe ask Michael J Fox; Whovians,  Peter Capaldi.

I will of course keep you updated on the Earthquake theory.

A university stated that? A university? Not a person but a whole university? Really? And if this blogger is going to keep us updated you might have thought that he would have told us that nobody takes this seriously. There is a lot of updating already. For starters there is:

    I have always wanted to see good solid skeptical thinking about the shroud. Real thinking.  Real criticism. This needs work, still. Too bad. There isn’t even one outbound link in support of anything claimed, even though much of it is correct.
    I caught the thing about ignorance on wings.  Is this you, Sam? “you magnificent bastard I read your BOOK!” – Patton (in an indirect utterance to Rommel) in the movie Patton.