Archive for October, 2015

Forbes Editors Need to Polish Up Their Headline Writing

October 31, 2015 5 comments

imageThe latest Forbes/Science article by Kristina Killgrove is headlined: Mysteries Of The Black Death, Shroud Of Turin, And Origins of Early Americans Solved With DNA

Solved?  She had written:

Of course, since the shroud has been recognized since the Middle Ages as a possible religious relic, it has been handled and moved about for centuries.  There is unfortunately nothing in the new research to suggest a Medieval origin for the shroud and subsequent handling by people over the centuries is unreasonable.  The question of whether the shroud is indeed a 1st century AD artifact or a Medieval artifact is not solved by the new analysis.

The question of the origin of the Shroud of Turin may yet be solved in our lifetimes, particularly as DNA analysis is getting more reliable, faster, less expensive, and less destructive. But I suspect that there will always be believers on both sides of the authentication argument, no matter what the results show.

She didn’t say solved.

Categories: Article, Press Coverage

Proof of the Resurrection?

October 31, 2015 7 comments

imageJoe Marino was kind enough to send me a clear text version of the press release for Mark Antonacci’s new book. It was much easier to read than the fuzzy one in my previous posting. (I’ve put a copy below the fold).

Anyway, I was reading the release and I noticed this:

[Antonacci] contends that we now live in a singular moment of history. These new scientific test results, combined with previous unparalleled evidence, would confirm that the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were actual events in history.

Really? Proof of the Resurrection?

Glancing over my desk, I saw Critical Summary 3.0 sitting on my iPad. What was it that it said on this matter?

The "Fall-Through" hypothesis is strictly data driven and is not intended to offer a "proof" of the Resurrection. To the contrary, Jackson does  not think the Resurrection can ever be "proven". The philosophy of science includes the stipulation to work to "disprove" rather than to "prove". 

— page 83

Got to go with Jackson et al. on this one.

New Press Release:

LE Press, LLC: Mark Antonacci, world-renowned expert on the Shroud of Turin, has just released his second book on the Shroud entitled “Test the Shroud,” a captivating read which reviews and thoroughly explains all of the evidence discovered to date on this unique burial cloth, and confidently proposes further specific testing methods that could prove the Shroud’s authenticity as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, and answer all of its outstanding questions.

Antonacci, an attorney, has studied the evidence acquired from this burial cloth for almost 34 years. He gave the keynote address at the International Shroud Conference held in conjunction with the cloth’s exhibition in 2010, and his leading hypothesis has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. His accurate description of all of the unique features on the Shroud of Turin allows him to convincingly argue that this is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Written in a way that is easy to comprehend, whether a scientist or someone simply fascinated with this one-of-a-kind burial garment and its evidence, Antonacci takes the reader on a journey throughout history, describing every aspect of the Shroud and its unprecedented features. He presents a very testable hypothesis that particle radiation emanating from the dead, crucified body wrapped within the Shroud caused its unprecedented, full-length body images, its still-red blood marks, its erroneous carbon dating and so many other unforgeable features. Antonacci further describes advanced scientific testing techniques that could be applied to the cloth (and its human bloodstains) at the atomic and molecular levels. These sophisticated techniques could demonstrate whether this miraculous event actually occurred to the corpse wrapped within it, and if so, when it happened, where this happened, the actual age of the burial cloth and the identity of the victim.

He contends that we now live in a singular moment of history. These new scientific test results, combined with previous unparalleled evidence, would confirm that the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were actual events in history.

To place an order, visit or email

Test the Shroud will be available soon on as well as other fine bookstores.

Categories: Books, Critical Summary

Bob Rucker: A Burst of Radiation Did Three Things

October 30, 2015 56 comments

Alas,  I could not find that Bob Rucker or his work was mentioned
anywhere in the Critical Summary.

clip_image001Bob Rucker (pictured) posted what follows as a comment last evening. I have added a link to a previous comment by Bob and some links to more information.

It is my opinion that enough evidence has accumulated that we should now realize that there was no invisible repair/reweave in the C14 sample area, and that the solution to the C14 dating problem is what I presented at the St. Louis conference in 2014. I showed that MCNP nuclear analysis calculations indicate that if 3.0 x 10^18 neutrons are emitted uniformly in the body while it was in the shroud in the tomb, then three mysteries related to C14 dating are solved:

1) Neutron absorption in N14 in the shroud creates new C14 in the shroud that is identical to the original C14 in the shroud so that the C14 date is shifted from 30 AD to 1260 AD. The dating laboratories, not realizing that the shroud had been through a neutron absorption event, would have misinterpreted their result by assuming the wrong C14 decay curve.

2) The results reported by the three dating laboratories were not in good agreement with each other. Statistical analysis indicates only a 5% chance that their results were within their measurement uncertainty, so that the differences were probably (95% probability?) caused by something. Plotting their results as a function of the distance from the end of the shroud indicates that there is a slope or gradient of 42 to 57 years per cm across their data depending on the sampling done in Tucson. This slope in the C14 dates from the three laboratories agrees with the MCNP nuclear analysis calculations, which calculate that a uniform neutron emission in the body causes a neutron distribution in the tomb which produces just this range in the C14 dates across the sample region, so that the disagreement between the laboratory values is the result of the slope of the neutron distribution at the sample location resulting from homogeneous emission of neutrons in the body.

image3) These same MCNP calculations predict that a piece of cloth placed on the side bench about a foot in front of the back bench where the body in the shroud was located would date to about 700 AD. This location in the tomb is a natural location for the person working on the body in the tomb to lay the face/head cloth. According to tradition, the Sudarium of Oviedo is the face/head cloth of Jesus. It was C14 dated to 700 AD, in excellent agreement with the MCNP results.

We should realize the importance of not making the common a priori presupposition of naturalism, so that we not automatically rule out anything that is beyond the laws of science as we currently understand them, so that we can follow the scientific evidence where it leads. When this is done, I believe that the scientific evidence indicates that the solution to the enigma of the shroud is that a burst of radiation occurred within the body that did three things: 1) It caused the image, perhaps either by protons or ultraviolet based on experiments. 2) It thrust the blood off of the body, heated it turning it into a liquid, and thrust it against and into the fibers of the shroud, and 3) It caused the shift in the C14 date from 30 to 1260 AD and the slope in the C14 dates as discussed above. Bob Rucker

I’ve noticed that as you age, you learn that when the morning coffee isn’t yet ready, the mind wanders somewhere between wakefulness and wackiness. Hey, I thought in this state, what does the Critical Summary have to say about this. Alas,  I could not find that Bob Rucker or his work was mentioned anywhere in the Critical Summary. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was too early in the morning to find such stuff.  But then I did find this interesting paragraph on page 82:

Neutron Flux: In the same issue of Nature that reported the 1988 radiocarbon testing results there was an important letter to the editor. This letter rings out today with possibly more force than when It was first written. It causes one again to ponder and adopt a position of caution. The correspondence was with Thomas J. Phillips of the High Energy Physics Laboratory at Harvard University. Phillips suggested that the Shroud might be a fundamentally altered fabric with respect to its C-14 content due its possible witness to some unexplained event, possibly in the tomb of Jesus. He hypothesized that such an unexplained event, which itself cannot be the subject of scientific inquiry, may have had an effect on the Shroud that can be studied scientifically. The unknown event may have generated a flux of neutrons that could have skewed the C-14 / C-12 ratio of the linen doth…..

I met Bob in St. Louis. Nice guy. Undeniably brilliant. Maybe he is on to something. But I’m just not there yet in being able to accept this or any other hypothesis, at least when it comes to how the image was formed. To restate with a bit of on-the-fly-rewrting of what I’ve said before, I say …

With regard to the image I’m stuck in the “it is inexplicable” camp.

You don’t like that? Well then you can consider Bob Rucker’s radiation, John Jackson’s cloth falling through a mechanically transparent body whatever that means, Tipler’s sphaleron quantum tunneling, Giulio Fanti’s corona discharge, Paolo Di Lazzaro’s ultraviolet (with or without the cloth falling through the body, Rogers’ Maillard reactions (quite natural if it could work but requiring every bit as much of a miraculous manipulation to produce such an image as any of the other byproduct of a miracle hypotheses would), Charles Freeman’s it’s-not-a-fraud painting (if STURP and Colin Berry are wrong) and Colin Berry’s fraud-by-Maillard if everyone else is wrong (which is not unreasonable to suppose).  Or think of something else.

As for the C14 question, I’m also stuck in the “so far inexplicable” camp.

Here are some resources for understanding and thinking about Bob’s ideas.

Another Comment by Bob Rucker: Reaction to Ray Rogers’ Paper on Radiation

Abstract for the Following Paper

MCNP Analysis of Neutrons Released from Jesus’ Body in the Resurrection (54 Slides)

Notes for the 54 Slides

Video of the Presentation in St. Louis (1 Hour)

Battle of the Chemists

October 29, 2015 8 comments

Updated since posting:  Try Battle of the Chemists. This is a download of the Power Point.

imageIn the past two days there have been some comments about Adler, Heller and McCrone in the posting, It’s the Curmudgeon in Me.

Here is a link to a PPT presentation Russ Breault did for the American Chemical Society many years ago.  It compares McCrone’s findings and methodology with that of Heller and Adler.

Note: With Windows 10 I can only view the presentation with Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge fails to format correctly. I have not tried any other browsers.

Here is the Table of Contents:

  1. The Shroud of Turin
  2. McCrone
  3. Battle of the Chemists  -  Whose science is better?
  4. The Chemistry Controversy
  5. Adler and Heller Summarized
  6. Procedures
  7. Controls
  8. Incidental Debris
  9. Question
  10. Microscopic Characteristics
  11. More on Iron Oxide
  12. Organic Pigments?
  13. The Body Image
  14. Similar chemistry to a light scorch
  15. Blood Images
  16. Characteristics
  17. Control Samples
  18. Blood Chemistry
  19. Red Particles
  20. Iron Particles
  21. Why Iron Oxide?
  22. Random Particles
  23. Summary
  24. Last Word on McCrone
Categories: Presentation

Splish Splash

October 29, 2015 2 comments

Thomas writes:

The Shroud is just so mysterious! So compelling!

Lying in the bath tonight with my 187m tall, 200 lb frame (similar to the Shroud Man) I jiggled around with different lying postures and thought this:

Surely a medieval artisan, if creating the Shroud image, would have shown Jesus with legs together and flat, if portraying the image of a dead and buried Christ …eg. like this:


The apparently bent legs – amongst other things – just make so little sense in the medieval artisan theory!


Categories: Comments Promoted

Ye Denizens of Shroudsponge

October 29, 2015 2 comments

“You can prove anything with the Bible.”

— My Grandmother*

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Just About Everyone Who Ever Lived

* I looked long and hard for the original author of the phrase about proving anything with the Bible. Not finding anything in cyberspace, I concluded that my grandmother thought this up all by herself.

And if you need an example, Colin Berry, just a couple of days ago, offered this afterthought in a long multi-topic  blog post titled, Might flour-power have been used create the enigmatic “Shroud” of Turin body image? A retired FMBRA flour scientist says … (the ellipsis are his and the following reference to the “denizens of the shroudsponge” is certainly a reference to the readers of this blog):

Hard though it is to believe, the denizens of the shroudsponge site are STILL returning again and again to what are seen as allegedly conflicting NT accounts re burial garments. (oh no they’re not).

As stated here before, MANY, MANY TIMES, there is no conflict whatsoever between the “sindon” (single large linen sheet) supplied to the cross by Joseph of Arimathea (as per 3 synoptic gospels), intended for discreet transport of a naked or near-naked body to the nearby tomb, and the “othonia”, assumed to be a narrow winding strip (or strips) supplied by Nicodemus and taken direct to the tomb, along with that 100lbs of myrrh and aloes.

Even those 12th century Hungarian monks charged with providing simple pen-drawn illustrations for the Pray Codex had no difficulty whatsoever in reconciling those two separate sources of linen, providing us with a ‘snapshot’ of one replacing the other!

You may click on the image to see it on Colin’s website. The caption for the image reads:

Hungarian Pray Codex (1192). Note the presence of TWO separate linens – Joseph of Arimathea’s beneath the corpse, having served its transport function, and the narrow winding strip in readiness as the permanent burial shroud. (Whether the medieval mind was correct in assuming ‘othonia’ to represent a narrow bandage-like winding is an entirely separate issue from that of TWO separate linens (sensible interpretation) v the self-serving notion prevailing in sindonology that J of A’s linen was somehow intended to be dual-purpose, thereby air-brushing out John’s testimony re Nicodemus having supplied additional linen replacing J of A’s transport linen, to serve as final burial shroud).

Categories: Other Blogs

Banding Proves Cloth Was Not Repaired?

October 28, 2015 51 comments

A Guest Posting by Richard Savage

imageI’m debating the Shroud with the skeptics at International Skeptics Forum (Thread 299015).   If you haven’t noticed me on Dan’s blog before, I’ve been doing this for a long time (over 3 years).  We’re now on our 4th sub-thread, and ‘going strong’ (17,000 replies, and 788,000 visits altogether) – though, getting nowhere…

No one I’ve told about my hobby can understand my persistence — and really, neither can I — but, for some reason, I’m enjoying myself, and still have hopes.  Maybe it has something to do with trying to love my enemies…  I don’t know.

But then, my memory is easing down that slippery slope, and I could use a lot of help…

I’m trying to address one sub-sub-etc-issue at a time (there must be thousands of them) with the skeptics, and feel like I’m finally getting somewhere — very slowly.  I’ve done a lot of reading and studying about the shroud over the past 35 years, but my memory for specifics has never been that good (I can’t tell a joke), and as my memory of generalities gets worse, so does my memory for specifics, only worse.

But mostly, I haven’t done a good job of keeping track of citations.  There’s more to this story, but I’ll spare you the details and just say that I’m looking for some needles in a lot of haystacks — and need some help from people who have kept better track of the same, and more, needles.  This blog seems full of such people, and if I can just interest you guys in my plight, I’m sure that I can get a lot of help — and gain some real speed and substance when answering the skeptics.

Without further ado, here’s my first question.  My opponents claim that the banding proves that there has been no repair (or, something similar).  What’s our best argument(s) otherwise?

Categories: Guest Posting
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