When Miracles Just Happened

image.pngMore on Robert Rucker’s new paper Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin. Therein, after advising us to be open-minded by not being bound to “a philosophical assumption of naturalism,” Rucker writes:

The radiation not only had to be emitted from the surface of the body, but it had to be emitted from within the body because we can see bones on the Shroud, including teeth, bones in the hand, etc. The radiation had to be emitted within the body to carry to the linen cloth the information regarding the presence of these bones in the body. Since there was no lens between the body and the cloth to focus this radiation, the radiation had to be emitted in vertically collimated directions up and down, like a billion vertically oriented lasers going off simultaneously within the body. In this way, each point on the cloth could be affected by only one point on the body (the point directly above or below it) so that a good resolution image could be formed without a lens.

Why? It would seem to me that a God who could raise Jesus to new life, could also by his will do for all that “radiation” what a lens would do. At the same time, He might even attenuate the radiation for the desired effect.  I mean, why not?  Do a miracle within a miracle with a Goldilocks effect image.  But perhaps we scientifically-minded mortals are more bound than we think to “a philosophical assumption of naturalism” even as we warn readers not to be. We have to have something natural like radiation to do God’s work (except for a bit of luck when it comes to all things quantifiable).

Of course, if we are truly not bound to “a philosophical assumption of naturalism,” then we could skip the radiation altogether and allow God to discolor the fibers without it.  Can God do that?

It’s quite possible that miracles — if you believe in them as I do — don’t produce radiation or anything other than the end result.  Then what?

I was just wondering:  Did God intend the image?  If so, why did He go to so much trouble? If not, and the radiation was not anticipated (and you can convince me this is what happened) I might believe in this nuttiness.

Do you remember when miracles just happened?

12 thoughts on “When Miracles Just Happened”

  1. There’s some reluctance to admit it but even hardcore religious people sometimes have doubts regarding God. ” Actually does he really exist ?” The same can be said of atheists “Actually he might really exist” , but here also there’s some reluctance to admit it.

  2. Dan’s comment reminds me of clip in the early 80s, perhaps on Saturday Night Live, where a clothes detergent promised to get out any stain. A nun then puts the imaged Shroud in the machine and it comes out perfectly clean. The nun then makes the sign of the cross and says, “it’s a miracle.”

  3. Here what I had found (last week), the paper titled : “Electric field correlation measurements on the electromagnetic vacuum state”

    Ileana-Cristina Benea-Chelmus1,
    Francesca Fabiana Settembrini1,
    Giacomo Scalari1 &
    Jérôme Faist


    volume 568, pages202–206 (2019)

    Quantum mechanics ascribes to the ground state of the electromagnetic radiation (1) zero-point electric field fluctuations that permeate empty space at all frequencies. No energy can be extracted from the ground state of a system, and therefore these fluctuations cannot be measured directly with an intensity detector. The experimental proof of their existence therefore came from more indirect evidence, such as the Lamb shift (2,3,4), the Casimir force between close conductors (5,6,7) or spontaneous emission (1,8). A direct method of determining the spectral characteristics of vacuum field fluctuations has so far been missing. Here we perform a direct measurement of the field correlation on these fluctuations in the terahertz frequency range by using electro-optic detection (9) in a nonlinear crystal placed in a cryogenic environment. We investigate their temporal and spatial coherence, which, at zero time delay and spatial distance, has a peak value of 6.2 × 10−2 volts squared per square metre, corresponding to a fluctuating vacuum field (10,11) of 0.25 volts per metre. With this measurement, we determine the spectral components of the ground state of electromagnetic radiation within the bandwidth of our electro-optic detection.

    … and after these old news …
    Have you found an useful connection with the Holy Shroud ?

  4. Exactly right, Dan. If the Shroud is a miraculous image of the crucified Christ, all the speculation about how it was made seems ridiculous to me. The only value of this line of inquiry is to eliminate natural explanations. With all due respect to Colin Berry, no one has ever produced anything even close to an accurate facsimile of which I am aware.

  5. I believe that Robert Rucker’s theory that a burst of energy at the moment of the resurrection using natural explanations would leave a footprint behind in the fabric of the cloth in the form of isotopes that is measurable with today’s instruments that measure isotopes.

    I would suggest that a crowdfunding effort be launched to raise enough money to measure the isotopes in the two most likely places: The Garden tomb and the tomb beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    If isotopes can be measured in either of the walls of the tombs, then, case closed.

    This discovery would put tremendous pressure on the Vatican to release the Shroud for isotope measurements that would prove or disprove Robert Rucker’s concept that isotope dispersion would effect the carbon 14 dating process.

    1. Do you know the location of “The Garden tomb “and the “tomb beneath the Church” ?

      1. I believe that identifying the authenticity of the Holy Shroud image as a result of the resurrection would create proof of the supernatural.

        The existence of the supernatural would challenge the scientific community to look more into conciousness and TRUTH existing beyond the material world.

        Ruling out Rucker’s theory would add credibility to your theory as to the nature of miracles.

        The presence of Isotopes on the walls today could be read with today’s instruments because isotopes have something like a 4,000 yr. half life

  6. The “philosophical assumption of naturalism” is the minimal caution required to avoid fulling our minds with things like fairies, green little martians or ghosts. It is in reality a methodological caution. “Extraordinary hypothesis require extraordinary proofs”. David Hume, you know.

    “If men had bull heads their gods would have bull heads” (Xenophanes). Do you know why miracles change with times? In the antiquity many miracles from Christ to Vicent Ferrer were physics. Now miracles are medical. Does change God or do men change? Logically, in the time of technology God becames scientist. But does he need it?

    I have always thought that playing this way with God’s omnipotence has something of irreverent, if not worse. So much thinking about primitive Christianity has perhaps made me more Christian than many Christians. Who knows?

  7. Arthur is quite right. In keeping with the huge increase in radiocarbon in the cloth, a neutron event would also increase the proportions of Cl-19 and Ca-41. It would also add radiocarbon to the limestone of the tomb, which normally would not be expected to contain any at all, as well as contributing to various other isotopic changes, which might be detected. The recent restoration of the Holy Sepulchre included extensive surveys of the geology of the original tomb, but I do not know if radiation was measured at all.

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