Hugh Farey’s blog posting, The Most Studied Artefact? is a must read for everyone who studies, writes, gives presentations, or takes interviews on the Shroud. And it should also be a must read for those of us who listen to what others say.

Hugh writes:

Of all the most widely circulated canards about the Shroud, probably the commonest is that the Shroud is the most studied artefact, “in human history,” “in Christendom.” “in the history of the world,” “of all time” . . . .

But it’s all nonsense. The truth is that the Shroud has hardly been studied at all, . . .

The scientists who carried out the 1978 investigations subsequently wrote reports, . . . lists thirty-five papers of which one or more members of STuRP were authors or among the authors, to which at least one by Walter McCrone should be added, but was omitted out of personal animosity.

And on and on it goes in a most informative way. Do read it.

BTW: Canard derives from the expression “half-sell a duck,” which makes no sense at all. It has evolved over time to mean a fabrication, a tall tale, a falsehood, an absurdity, and an exaggeration. The Oxford English Dictionary tells it better:

{trli} canardn

[Fr.; lit. ‘duck’; also used in sense 1: see note there.] 

1. An extravagant or absurd story circulated to impose on people’s credulity; a hoax, a false report.
Littré says Canard for a silly story comes from the old expression ‘vendre un canard à moitié’ (to half-sell a duck), in which à moitié was subsequently suppressed. It is clear that to half-sell a duck is not to sell it at all; hence the sense ‘to take in, make a fool of’. In proof of this he cites bailleur de canards, deliverer of ducks, utterer of canards, of date 1612: Cotgr., 1611, has the fuller vendeur de canards a moitié ‘a cousener, guller, cogger; foister, lyer’. Others have referred the word to an absurd fabricated story purporting to illustrate the voracity of ducks, said to have gone the round of the newspapers, and to have been credited by many.