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Joel Bernstein on Good Science, Bad Science, and the Shroud of Turin

5:11 mark: “… first, I’m going to talk about good science and bad science. We’ll contrast them. And I’ll give you some examples of good science and bad science…. You’ll have then the
rules … I’ll give you the story of one particular person’s research on the
Shroud of Turin and let you judge….”

This lecture by Joel Bernstein, Global Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at NYU Abu Dhabi, was given in May of 2014. It was published on YouTube three days ago where it has so far been watched only nineteen times, including by me.  It runs one hour and thirteen minutes, including questions.


From the YouTube description:

This talk explores the tension between scientific fact and religious faith in the identification and verification of a sacred relic. Many catholic cathedrals and churches can claim some relic associated with Christ. The sanctity of the religious institution is enhanced by proximity of the relic to the time and place of Christ’s life. However, the source and history of many of these relics are often cloaked in mystery due to the scanty historical record. One of the most famous is the treasured Shroud of the Cathedral of Turin. In the 1970’s, authorities overseeing the Shroud enlisted a team of scientists to examine and presumably to verify its source and history. Some of the conclusions drawn from that study, and the absence or presence of scientific evidence for those conclusions, has led to perhaps the quintessential conflict between acceptance of the validity and veracity of the scientific method on the one hand, and religious belief and faith on the other.

Joel Bernstein
Global Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, NYUAD

Hat tip to Joe Marino for spotting this.

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