Okay, which is it? The facts or the facts?

image.pngWas it a matter of interpretation or persuasion?

I remember sitting in LaGuardia  Airport several years ago watching news reports about a baseball game. The results of the game had depended on the umpire’s call for a controversial play at home plate.  Over and over, a local television news station showed clips of the runner being tagged out. The New York announcer had me convinced. The Yankees should have won the game.  Hours later I was sitting at Lambert Field in St. Louis seeing those same clips, over and over and over. And there, the local St. Louis announcer had me convinced that the runner was not tagged out. The Yankees should have lost the game.

Who was right? In the end, I couldn’t decide. Years later, I still don’t know. Was it a close call?  When I lived in New York, as I did for many years, would I have favored the New York slanted explanations? And during those many years when I lived in St. Louis, would I have agreed with the St. Louis perspective? Was it a matter of interpretation or persuasion?

I used to work for a man who would frequently admonish us in meetings by saying, “Okay, which is it? The facts or the facts?”

Roger, just a few hours ago, wrote in a comment on this blog:

Wouldn’t the Jesus image show large distortions caused by the unavoidable wrinkles in a shroud of fabric wrapped around a body? If you wrinkle photo paper and use it to develop a photo, then flattening it out would show many lines and voids where the image was interrupted by the creases and folds. Why are there no actual wounds? If a person were subjected to brutal torture by the Romans, shouldn’t there be some actual laceration and swelling? The flagrum was designed to tear through and remove flesh. How was there no flattening of the back or buttocks when the image is to represent a corpse laying on it’s back?

Even a body in rigor mortis flattens on the contact points.

You are right. The Yankees should have won. Now contrast that with this from a story that appeared exactly one year ago in CBN News, a publication of the Christian Broadcasting Network:

… “It is certainly the funeral fabric that wrapped a tortured man.”

[Giulio] Fanti used to research, the cloth, and the three-dimensional projection of the figure to confirm that the man sustained numerous wounds on his body before death.

“I counted 370 wounds from the flagellation, without taking into account the wounds on his sides, which the Shroud doesn’t show because it only enveloped the back and front of the body,” Fanti explained … .

You are right. The Cardinals should have won.

11 thoughts on “Okay, which is it? The facts or the facts?”

  1. “Just the facts, ma’am” (*)

    The slo-mo of the baseball game was the ‘the facts’. The opinions of the ‘experts’ differed, and so it was up to Dan to assess for himself who should have won. He could have used the past history of the teams, or the players, or calculated the speed of the moving parts, the resolution of the film, analysis of the sound and so on, and in the end he might have decided for himself – I can’t tell. Actually it seems he was mostly moved by which team he happened to support when he reviewed the evidence.

    I don’t know if any baseball pundits actually did go into that detail there, but a somewhat similar case is whether Neil Armstrong said “One small step for A man” or “One small step for man” omitting the “A”. “The facts” is the video which anyone can see, and the occasion certainly has been scientifically analysed to the nth degree. Experts remain conflicted, so we can decide for ourselves: yes, no, or, a most important but frequently neglected alternative, I don’t know.

    There are few facts about the Shroud in the quotations above. The first is mostly a series of questions. Questions are not facts, although they are often used in Shroud studies as if they were. “How could an artist have done it?” is often used as evidence for authenticity, and “Why are there no actual wounds?” is used above as evidence for inauthenticity.

    The second is mostly assertion. Assertions are not facts either, although they are often used in Shroud studies as if they were. “It is certainly the funeral fabric that wrapped a tortured man” is used above as evidence (!) for authenticity.

    It is always important in Shroud studies to get past the rhetorical questions and conclusive assertions to the primary evidence behind them. Experts, even baseball experts, are not experts because of what they say, but because they can explain what they say using their experience and collaborative evidence.

    (*) Joe Friday (Dragnet) never used this expression…..

  2. Most people assume that Jesus would have been wrapped in the Shroud in a manner as shown in Dan’s accompanying picture. But since the women were supposedly coming back to the tomb on Sunday morning to anoint the body, I would think it’s very possible that Jesus could have been just laid on 1/2 of the shroud with the other half then pulled over but without any tucking/binding.

    1. In the unlikely event of anybody using a long thin sheet to cover a dead body, I think Joe is quite right in that the body could have been laid on one half, and the other half laid back on top but not tucked or tied pending the arrival of further anointing on the first day of the week. However, the body would certainly not have been lain with the feet at the end, such that the head was covered before the feet. It would have been laid with the head at the end, so that the last thing to be covered would have been the head.

      But Joe is certainly also correct that even if body was laid with the head at the end, God could arrange the image so that it shows the head in the middle. God is not constrained.

  3. After rigor mortis , bilirubin , under the skin x-ray images , computer hacking , invisible reweave , masonic conspiracy, neutron radiation, to name just a few , we now have Jesus being laid on just half of the shroud.

    1. Until someone can definitely figure out how the image is natural or man-made, a putative God can put an image on a cloth anyway it wants, with whatever characteristics it wants. It should be noted that while pro-authenticity views can’t all be simultaneously be true, neither can all the anti-authenticity views.

  4. True experts on Shroud image have long ago infered how the body of the man of the Shroud was covered by the burial cloth.
    Their conclusions were based on serious studies analyzing bloodstain patterns and obviously the body image imprinted on the cloth, and just for the record the cloth evidences many wrinkles-read Professor Jackson’s paper on raking light iphotographs but even with visual unaided observation we can see many wrinkles, now perhaps attenuated by the disastrous 2002 restoration
    Who is really interested on this subject has free access to a lot of excellent papers

  5. Joe Marino made a great point. The women saw everything. Joseph and Nicodemus were in a hurry to finish before 6pm knowing the women were planning to anoint the body. I believe the cloth did collapse because of the bloodstain off the right elbow (see Gilbert Lavoie’s work on that). It even has a brown hue instead of crimson as does the bloodstain where body image exists on the arm and elsewhere. Curious.
    I realize Dr Jackson believes the cloth was bound around the body but Joe’s point combined with a collapsing cloth greatly reduces the wrinkling distortions. This seems to be a very elegant explanation. Who knows? Maybe the Lord gave them detailed instructions on how to do it yet still comply with Jewish burial custom. In any event, as mentioned above, God made this image for a reason. Sign of Jonah.
    Cardinals win!

  6. We agree: the previous image of the wrapping is impossible, although enigmatically repeated in many sindonist papers.

    Marino Hypothesis: Suppose that the accounts of the empty tomb (what?) are not implausible: Some women put the body in the tomb without embalming it until the next morning. This is Jumper and Jackson’s alternative:

    But it is also full of wrinkles and distortions!
    It doesn’t matter. Suppose they were applied to smooth the fabric to avoid wrinkles (why?). Result: Latendresse’s simulation: https://sombraenelsudario.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/becario.jpg?w=443&h=568
    But even in this unnatural scenario there are still some wrinkles and deformations due to the natural weight of the fabric.

    You have not solved the problem of deformation. Only some unnecessary ad hoc hypotheses were added.

    And new problems are waiting. What about Zugibe, for example?

  7. A few days ago, an Israeli, privately funded space probe Beresheet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beresheet crashed on the Moon due to the engine failure.

    This misfortune is, however, fortunate from a certain point of view. Among many other documents the probe carried was a full copy of English-language Wikipedia. Including absolutely biased articles about the Shroud of Turin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fringe_theories_about_the_Shroud_of_Turin

    I have several encyclopedias from communist era in my house, and they are not as much biased as the articles about the Shroud in English Wikipedia. Had the Israeli probe not crashed on the Moon, they would stay there for millions of years, as a testimony of our civilization and our understanding of the Shroud of Turin for any future intelligent lifeforms, capable of retrieving these data!

    It is an absolute scandal that although english Wikipedia has several good articles on scientific topic, the Shroud articles are just blatant propaganda, in the worst style of authoritarian regimes. And any attempt to change that are blocked by the gang of Internet treolls that control these articles.

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