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Checking in on Stephen Jones’ Blog

September 1, 2015 1 comment

imageStephen has been discussing the side strip: Sidestrip #5: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

< CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE >

Problem for the forgery theory. That the Shroud has almost invisible stitching in its seam that is identical to stitching found elsewhere only at the Jewish fortress of Masada, which was last occupied in AD 73, is yet another (see #1, #3 and #4) problem for the forgery theory. Since a medieval forger would be most unlikely (to put it mildly) to even know about almost invisible first century Jewish stitching; and even if he did know about it, he would be even more unlikely to go to the trouble of adding it to his forgery (what use would almost invisible stitching be to a forger?); and even if he wanted to use it, he would be most unlikely to have the high degree of skill needed to do such stitching. So again the forgery theory would need to resort to the pre-1988 fall-back position of the late leading anti-authenticist Walter McCrone (1916-2002), that "a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image":

"A carbon-dating test would be final if it led to a date significantly later than the early first century. A first century date, on the other hand, would remove almost all obstacles to universal acceptance of the `Shroud’ as authentic. Only the careful objective scientist might still point out that a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image"[18].

But, leaving aside whether that would be "objective," for anti- authenticists to claim that a medieval forger forged the Shroud’s image on a 1st century cloth would, as we saw in parts #3 and #4, mean admitting that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud claim was wrong…

Does Stephen mean this is overwhelming – the emphasis on the word in the title of his posting is his – or that this argument, in conjunction with a gazillion other (or a few other) arguments, is overwhelming. I think he means the latter. I’m just not a big fan of piling up weak arguments one on top of the other. But then, again, that’s just me. And maybe it’s not weak.

Your thoughts?

Categories: Uncategorized

Stephen Jones on the Thomas De Wesselow Presentation

June 14, 2015 49 comments

“de Wesselow’s Monty Pythonesque explanation”

imageStephen Jones reviews the Thomas De Wesselow Video in his blog. First he praises it:

The AGNOSTIC art historian Thomas De Wesselow is DEVASTATING against the Shroud being a medieval forgery.

He concludes that the Shroud can ONLY be Christ’s burial sheet or someone else crucified in the first (or early) century in imitation of Christ.

But then he goes on to tell us:

Being a non-Christian, de Wesselow cannot accept the Shroud image was caused by Jesus’ resurrection. So he argues for the Shroud body image having been caused by a Maillard reaction, as proposed by STURP chemist Ray Rogers….

[…]

But de Wesselow doesn’t mention that that explanation fails on several counts:

“[1] However the potential source for amines required for the reaction is a decomposing body, and no signs of decomposition have been found on the Shroud.

[2] Rogers also notes that their tests revealed that there were no proteins or bodily fluids on the image areas.

[3] Also, the image resolution and the uniform coloration of the linen resolution seem to be incompatible with a mechanism involving diffusion.” (Ibid. My numbers in square brackets) …

[4] there are no Shroud-like images on other burial shrouds, of which there are many Egyptian ones…. This invalidates de Wesselow’s Monty Pythonesque explanation that: “What the apostles were seeing was the image of Jesus on the Shroud, which they then mistook for the real thing. It sounds … as absurd as a scene from a Monty Python film.”

[5] a Maillard reaction would not explain the coin and flower images on the Shroud.

[6] a non-resurrection explanation does not explain how the Shroud was removed from Jesus’ (or another crucified in imitation of Jesus) body with the blood clots that adhered to both His body and the Shroud being intact and not tearing.

[7] Ockham’s Razor again: Jesus is the only person of whom it is credibly claimed that He was resurrected….

imageBUT:   I completely doubt the existence of coin and flower images. I question the nature of intact blood clots after centuries of rolling and folding. I find Stephen’s point about Jesus being “the only person of whom it is credibly claimed that He was resurrected” logically fallacious in this context. In fact, I agree with only one of Stephen’s seven points: the argument that the resolution is incompatible with a mechanism involving gaseous diffusion. And I’m not sure about that.

Too bad.

Categories: History, Other Blogs

Stephen Jones: The Shroud was not left behind

November 6, 2014 1 comment

. . . Jesus took His Shroud with Him out of the empty tomb
and later gave it to the Apostle John, seems the most likely [possibility].

imageHe writes today in part 1 of what will be multiple installments of an article on the servant of the priest:

Introduction. The Gospels don’t record that Jesus’ burial shroud [sindon] was in the empty tomb. Indeed, despite the desire by most Shroud pro-authenticist to place the Shroud in the empty tomb, included among the othonia, or even as the soudarion, both mentioned in (Jn 20:5-7), the evidence is that it wasn’t there. What Peter and John saw in the empty tomb, as recorded in Luke 24:12 and John 20:5-7, was the linen strips [othonia] which had bound [edesan] Jesus’ hands and feet and the spices (Jn 19:40), as well as the sweat-cloth [soudarion] (the Sudarium of Oviedo) which had been on [epi] Jesus head, but no Shroud [sindon]. From seeing this arrangement of the othonia andsoudarion but no sindon, John believed that Jesus had risen from the dead (Jn 20:6-9). Several early Christian writings record that the resurrected Jesus took His shroud with him out of the tomb and gave it to different individuals. The earliest and most highly regarded of these writings, the late first/early second century The Gospel of the Hebrews records that after His resurrection Jesus gave his shroud [sindon] to "the servant of the priest." Since it seems incredible . . . .

FYI:  The following quotation is taken from Wikipedia which sources it from the critical 3rd German edition of Schneemelcher’s New Testament Apocrypha, translated by George Ogg:

And when the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest, he went to James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord until he should see him risen from among them that sleep. And shortly thereafter the Lord said: Bring a table and bread! And immediately it is added: He took the bread, blessed it and brake it and gave it to James the Just and said to him: My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of man is risen from among them that sleep.

Categories: History Tags:

Searching Stephen Jones’ Quotation Archives

September 28, 2014 7 comments

imageRecently, as with the comments about dirt being in the knee and nose area of the shroud, people were looking for quotations in books and papers.  Google books is one place to look. There are many other places to search as well. One of those places is Stephen Jones’ quotation archives.

I have found that it helps to search Stephen’s archives, with Google, using three elements:

  1. site:members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/
  2. "Shroud of Turin" (including quotation marks)
  3. Search argument (fewest possible words, generally avoid quotation marks)

Note: Putting the words “Shroud of Turin” into a Google search of Stephen’s archives is important because Stephen also collects quotations that promote creationism, etc. in the same place.

Instructions:

  1. Copy and paste:  site:members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/ "Shroud of Turin"
  2. Add a single space and your search words (e.g. nose knees dirt – don’t use quotes)

Recent versions of browsers will let you enter this in the URL entry field if you have established Google as your default search engine.

BTW:  Stephen welcomes use of these archives but asks that you give him credit. Do so, please.

image

Categories: Quotations Tags:

Stephen Jones Wants BSTS to Remove Hugh Farey as Editor of the Newsletter

August 13, 2014 76 comments

that is, the British Society for the Turin Shroud

imageClearly angry, Stephen Jones responds to comments by Hugh Farey, who is pictured here as the editor of BSTS Newsletter.

1) First read what Hugh wrote in Around the Internet in the newsletter.

2) Then read Stephen Jones’ blog posting, My reply to the anti-authenticist editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, Hugh Farey 

Hugh’s comments are correct.  If you want to understand more about what Stephen is thinking, read all of his blog entries for April of this year although the above mentioned posting should be enough. If you want even more and want to see what I and others have been saying, read A String of “Jones” Postings in this blog.

As for the Vignon Markings discussion mentioned by Hugh. You might want to start with Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #2 (Vignon markings) in Stephen’s blog. Then read the following postings in this blog:

Stephen wraps up with a call to have Hugh Farey removed:

In my opinion the British Society for the Turin Shroud should remove the anti-authenticist Hugh Farey from being Editor of its Newsletter, or else he will use it as a vehicle to promote his anti-authenticism, as he is doing in this attack on me. The BSTS has always been open to having non-Christians in its membership, and even its leadership, like the late Rodney Hoare, a BSTS past Chairman, who believed the Shroud was authentic but that it shows that Jesus was taken down alive from the cross. But the BSTS has in the past rejected anti-authenticists like David Sox from having a leadership role. It is a contradiction, which I predict will prove fatal if it continues, having an ANTI-authenticist Editor of the British Society FOR the Turin Shroud!

Stephen unfortunately sees the world in pro-authenticity and anti-authenticity terms; you are a good guy or a bad guy. you wear a white hat or a black hat. Whatever happened to being pro-truth whatever it may turn out to be?  If the BSTS should be so foolish as to listen to Stephen it would have no credibility at all.

From where does Stephen’s pro-authenticity thinking stem? Try this out from January 2 of this year:

So I for one do not believe that the Risen Lord Jesus, who sits at the Father’s right hand and controls everything (Mt 26:64; Mk 14:62; Lk 22:69; Acts 2:33, 5:31;7:55-56; Rom 8:34; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3; 10:12; 12:2; 1Pet 3:22) would allow such a convincing fake as the Shroud would then be, to exist. . . . I look forward to what the Lord has in store for us Shroud pro-authenticists in 2014?

Checking in on Stephen Jones’ Blog

August 10, 2014 2 comments

imageInterspersed with his seemingly ever-evolving conspiracy theory (eight parts so far and counting) that the radiocarbon laboratories had been hacked by agents of the KGB – or something like that – it seems, too, to be an inside job, at least in Arizona – Stephen Jones is writing a Shroud of Turin encyclopedia in his blog.

Unwilling, it seems, to broach any controversy or dispute whatsoever he tells us that the image contains x-rays of bones and teeth, flower and plant images, images of coins over the eyes and many, many other things. These are observations that many people dispute, including me.

He tells us, also, that the d’Arcis’ memorandum, the 1988 radiocarbon dating and claims that the image contains artistic errors have been discredited. I’m less skeptical, here, but there are still a lot of unresolved issues:

Treating all this as undisputed facts allows him to write in the first and so far only article in his new encyclopedia:

Conclusion Since there is overwhelming evidence that the Shroud is authentic, and no remaining evidence that it is not, then the Shroud of Turin is the very burial sheet of Jesus Christ!

What more is there to discuss?

Another Segment of Stephen Jones’ Conspiracy Theory

July 22, 2014 2 comments

imageIt is part 8. If you are interested CLICK HERE.

Stephen, in bold, banners text that reads:

EVIDENCE THAT KARL KOCH INSTALLED LINICK’S PROGRAM ON ZURICH AND OXFORD LABORATORIES’ AMS COMPUTERS

He then presents no evidence that I can see; none whatsoever. By-the-way, what Linick program? So far, Stephen has only hinted at this.

Well anyway, you can learn something about Karl Koch. And you can wonder why Stephen makes a splashing point that Koch is not essential to his theory.  He’s got that right.

Stephen Jones Continues his Computer Hacking Conspiracy Theory

July 5, 2014 5 comments

imageStephen is now trying to convince us that Timothy Linick, did indeed, hack the AMS computer consoles when the Shroud of Turin was carbon dated in order to fake the results and thus prove that the shroud was not the authentic burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth.

Linick was, Jones tells us, 1) an extreme anti-authenticist, 2) was the leaker of Arizona’s carbon dating results, 3) was found dead ‘under unclear circumstances’ within a day’s time of the death of a KGB agent named Karl Kock, 4) was involved in AMS measurements and 5) had sufficient time to prepare. None of these things, of course, may be true except the coincidental date of his death which is not evidence of any kind of connection whatsoever. And if there was any real truth to any of this, so what?

If this isn’t enough for Stephen, we now have Hugh Farey who is (drum role) an ant-authenticist acting like the editor of a newsletter should act:

Arizona’s Prof. Jull’s and Oxford’s Prof. Ramsey’s misleading and false responses to my hacking proposal A copy of a comment I made on Dan Porter’s blog, proposing that the radiocarbon dating laboratories may have been duped by a computer hacker (at that early stage I did not claim it was a theory) was sent without my permission to Prof. A.J. Timothy Jull, Director of the Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory.and to Oxford’s Prof. Christopher Ramsey, by the anti-authenticist Editor of the BSTS Newsletter, Hugh Farey[44] and then posted by Porter to his blog[45] .

Stephen finds this suspicious.

Note to Stephen: If you comment on my blog, it is a public statement. Hugh Farey does not need your permission to send your comment to anyone.

Note to Stephen #2:  You are stating that professors Jull and Ramsey made misleading and false statements.  I hope you can prove that.

Note to Stephen #3:  All of this is pure conspiracy theory of the worst kind.

Dissent of the day: I’ll say one thing for Jones

May 25, 2014 79 comments

imageA reader from New Hampshire writes:

I’ll say one thing for Jones, no one has done a better job of debunking the Marino and Benford reweave theory than him. He damned the quad mosaics with Marino’s own words.

As you pointed out, Jones did make two mistakes with historical evidence, the fake emperor’s letter and the Russian-style crucifix footrest. The rest of the evidence he presented is formidable. I am convinced by it.

Jones wrote, “it would be a miracle if the Shroud being first century `just happened’, by a combination of chance factors, like contamination and medieval repairs, etc, to have a radiocarbon date of 1325 +/- 65, only 25-30 years before the Shroud’s first appearance in undisputed history.”

Is that no obvious to everyone?

Stephen Jones: The KGB allegedly executed both Shroud of Turin Hackers

May 24, 2014 6 comments

It is not even good conspiracy theory

imageHe tells us in a new blog posting today that each AMS control console – that would be at Oxford, Zurich and Tucson – was hacked. This was done so that an elicit software routine could replace first century or earlier date measurements with dates that ‘cluster’ around 1325.

He specifically tells us:

The hacker was allegedly Arizona laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), who with self-confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch (1965–1989), were both allegedly working for the KGB to hack the laboratories’ AMS control console computers, and the KGB allegedly executed them both to prevent them talking, within days of each other, if not on the same day.

Stephen then waffles a bit. It’s not a fact, he tells us, but a theory. And he might need to abandon his theory should new information arise.

How does he arrive at this? Well so far it is this:

  1. He claims to have proven the shroud is authentic by historical means. It doesn’t matter that others might disagree; I certainly do. He has used flimsy arguments such as The Letter from Alexius Comnenus and The Slanted Footrest of the Orthodox Cross. He is convinced and that’s good enough for him.
  2. He disagrees with any and all possible explanations as to why the 1988 carbon dating of the shroud could be wrong. He can’t think of anything else. He assumes, therefore, that it must be fraud. Moreover, he assumes it must be hacking.

For many weeks now he has been saying that Timothy W. Linick and Karl Koch are the hackers. I assume that he will present us with some evidence someday. It is not up to anyone else to provide new information that might lead him to abandon his theory. It is up to him to provide supporting information. Until then this is amateurish rumor-mongering. It is nutty.

Categories: Hacking, Other Blogs

Dear Stephen Jones

May 19, 2014 3 comments

imageA reader after reading Stephen Jones’ latest posting asked, “What is a pro-authenticist?” My reply was that it was someone who is not an anti-authenticist. But then, of course, there is everyone else.

Wiktionary defines an authenticist as a person who espouses authenticism. Don’t you just love dictionaries. It defines authenticism as a belief in the superiority of the authentic over the inauthentic. Don’t you just love dictionaries. So now I’m confused. What is the definition? And what of everyone else? Is objectivity a good thing?

Categories: Uncategorized

Stephen Jones’ New Discovery

May 19, 2014 11 comments

clip_image001He is up with a blowup of a part of the picture on the right, as described thus in Wikimedia Commons:

Abgar with the Image of Edessa. Photo of 10th century icon at St Catherine’s monastery, Mount Sinai. This is a wing of a triptych, the missing central panel of which presumably showed the Image. “Abgar” resembles portraits of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, in whose reign the Image was brought to Constantinople in 944; the icon probably dates to soon after this. It is the earliest surviving representation of the Image or Mandylion.

CLICK HERE to see Stephen’s blowup as it is displayed in his blog space at Blog Spot. He wonders in his own interrogatory-styled caption of the blowup of the face of Jesus if this is “the most significant Shroud discovery since the Pray Codex?”

Maybe!

A few inches down the page in his posting he tells us that “According to a leading Shroud pro-authenticist who does not want his name to be mentioned, this is, as far as he is aware, a new discovery by me.” (me = Stephen)

What was discovered? That the picture within a picture has reddish mark where the reversed 3-shaped bloodstain is found on the Shroud of Turin and 13 of the 15 Vignon markings.

I agree with the anonymous “pro-authenticist. This may be a new discovery. I don’t recall it being mentioned before. And Stephen can use my name. The only thing is I don’t see many of the Vignon markings yet.

Don’t worry if you don’t see them, either. Stephen has a better picture that he just obtained permission to use and he will show this to us later, in his next posting. He probably didn’t need to get permission (but maybe so in Australia) because a U.S. court has ruled that a “slavish” photograph of flat art that is in the public domain is not protected by copyright. Read this interesting story by Bernard Starr in HuffPo.

The important thing is to see the  better picture. Why not show it now?

imageI don’t think issues regarding the Vignon Markings are resolved. See Vignon Was Wrong But We’ll Carry On. There are 53 comments on that posting. It is too bad that Stephen refuses to read comments because there is a lot of valuable information from very knowledgeable people in those comments.

There is also: A Guest Posting by O.K. – Even in China They Know Jesus’ Characteristic Features

As for quoting from Stephen’s blog, he is attempting to impose a limitation of his own making on how much can be quoted. I always apply fair use principles as defined by U.S. Copyright Act. I think that this should suffice.  Keep in mind that I am publishing my blog in the United States. Here are the guidelines as they are stated on the WordPress site:

There aren’t hard and fast rules when it comes to defining fair use. However, the Copyright Act sets out four factors for courts to consider:

1. The purpose and character of the use: Why and how is the material used? Using content for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is usually fair. Additionally, using material in a transformative manner, that is to say, in a manner that adds new expression, meaning, or insight, is also more likely to be considered fair use over an exact reproduction of a work. What’s more, nonprofit use is favored over commercial use.

2. The nature of the copyrighted work: Is the original factual or fiction, published or unpublished? Factual and published works are less protected, so its use is more likely to be considered fair.

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: How much of the material is used? If the “heart” (the most memorable or significant portion) or the majority of a work wasn’t used, it’s more likely to be considered fair.

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work: Does the use target a different market/audience? If so, it’s more like to be fair use. It’s important to note that although criticism or parody may reduce a market, it still may be fair because of its transformative nature. In other words, if the criticism of a product influences people to stop buying the product, that doesn’t count as having an “effect on the market for the work” under copyright law.

It should be noted that Stephen quotes more than anyone I have ever encountered in blogging. In fact, he will often copy almost every paragraph of a news story into his blog and inject commentary between sentences. One example is his criticism of an ANSA English News service article, “Holy Shroud to be exhibited April 19-June 24 2015.”  I could list dozens of examples or anyone may click here for a representative list of your quotation-loaded postings.

Categories: Art, History

Some Advice from Stephen Jones

April 25, 2014 36 comments

imageYou might want to read the whole thing. I wish I hadn’t encountered this in the morning. Coffee isn’t strong enough. A couple shots of 100 proof Virginia bourbon would help with the reading of this.

Stephen warns:

If Jesus caused His scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified and speared in the side image to be imprinted on His burial sheet and then has preserved it against all the odds down to this day, then it is highly likely (to put it mildly) that He expects those who become aware of His image on the Shroud, to repent and believe in Him and His death on the cross to pay for their sins. So those who become aware of the evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity, yet refuse to believe in Jesus and His death for them, will, like Chorazin and Bethsaida receive a more severe judgment than if they had never heard of the Shroud.

Stephen writes mostly about me:

[Because] Mt 7:22-23. "22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"

I hasten to add that it is OK to be a non-Christian in the Shroud discussion. Barry Schwortz and Thomas de Wesselow are two non-Christians who think the Shroud is authentic. But according to Jesus’ words above (which Dan will probably dismiss as a mere "metaphor," it is not OK to be a non-Christian and especially a non-Christian who THINKS he is a Christian when he isn’t.

Whether it is metaphor or poetic hyperbole or a prophetic vision understood literally, the interpretation is nutty.

Stephen is also closing in on evidence that the carbon dating results were fraudulently changed by computer hackers. (I continue to leave out the names of people he blames but you can read them on his blog):

I have since found documentary evidence of how Zurich and Oxford’s AMS control console computers could have been accessed remotely by [so and so] (with the help of [another so and so] who confessed he had hacked for the KGB) and their programs changed, yet them never having been connected to Arpanet or the Internet. And that would explain why [the so and so and the other so and so] unexpectedly `committed suicide’ within days of each other.

I have asked Stephen for examples of how he was defamed on my blog – that is one of his complaints about me. He explains that since he no longer reads the comments about him he cannot do so.

Categories: Other Blogs

A Gift to the Shroud of Turin Blogosphere from Stephen Jones

April 12, 2014 3 comments

thank you, Stephen

imageStephen writes in a posting titled, The Shroud of Turin: A gift to our proof-demanding era?

Today I came across a reference to this 1973 article by Ian Wilson in the Catholic Herald. I could not find it webbed as text anywhere, even by the Catholic Herald. So I decided to laboriously convert it from images to text for my own use. But then I thought I might as well post it on my blog!

If we wanted to read Ian Wilson’s article in the Catholic Herald, “A gift to our proof-demanding era?”, before Stephen converted it for us, and we still can by clicking here, we would soon come to the first new paragraph of the second column in linotype:

In the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace is an unusual icon, itself not more than three centuries old, but expressing in pictorial form a legendary story of considerable antiquity. The centre-piece, a likeness of Christ’s face seen imprinted on a cloth, at first sight bears a remarkable resemblance to our familiar Veronica.

As the inscription tells us, however, this is the Holy Mandylion, a reputedly miraculous piece of linen first brought to the Syro-Turkish city of Edessa (now Urfa) during the very first century of the Christian era. It was instrumental in the conversion of many of Edessa’s chief citizens, including the petty king or toparch, Abgar V, an authentic contemporary of Christ. reigning from AD 13-50. But persecution broke out and shortly after the cloth disappeared. its whereabouts remaining unknown until the sixth century AD when it was discovered sealed inside a niche in the city’s walls.

Without hesitation it was hailed as the miraculously created true likeness of Christ and so coveted by the emperors of Byzantium that in 944 a bargain was sealed with Edessa’s Arab masters for the relic’s transfer.

It is easy, however to read the full article on Stephen’s blog by reading his posting, The Shroud of Turin: A gift to our proof-demanding era?

Note: Click the icon above for a larger version.

thank you, Stephen. I know how laborious this can be.

image

More on the Y from Stephen Jones

April 6, 2014 9 comments

imageStephen Jones has posted a very good analysis on his blog: Shroud of Turin depicts a Y-shaped cross? This is the hypothesis being advanced by Matteo Borrini and Luigi Garlaschelli that has been seen considerable press attention lately. Stephen has done some careful research. He usually does and I’m glad to see it.

This I agree with:

First, it would not affect the authenticity of the Shroud, or indeed the truth of Biblical Christianity, if Jesus was crucified on a Y-shaped cross. The Gospels do not describe the shape of Jesus’ cross. But having said that, the evidence is against Jesus’ cross having been Y-shaped.

And this I certainly agree with:

But a medieval forger would have depicted the traditional Roman cross (†) not a non-traditional Y-shaped cross, amongst other things:

"The forger working in France or thereabouts around or before 1350 would have to have been either an overzealous monk whose piety got the better of him or an arrogant swindler who wanted to make a bundle in the underground relic market. Both of these possibilities strike me as unlikely, since the portrayal of Jesus on the shroud is nontraditional, non-European; details like the cap or miter of thorns, the nails through the wrists instead of through the palms, and the nakedness of the loins would not inspire the devotional or artistic sensibilities of fourteenth-century Europe; rather they would have gotten the forger burned at the stake. Moreover, the accuracy of details like these would not be common knowledge to a potential forger for centuries to come." (Wilcox, R.K., 1977, "Shroud," pp.170-171).

Categories: News & Views, Other Blogs

Stephen Jones is even questioning my beliefs about the Resurrection

April 6, 2014 18 comments

imageI normally ignore such things. But this time I am going to respond. Stephen has decided to use his blog to blast me.  He is, of course, entitled to do that. But he goes a little over the top this time. He does so by answering a comment from one of his readers. He writes and writes and writes three long comments worth. I’ll just deal with some of the highlights.

He seems to have been particularly upset when I edited one of the comments he made in this blog. I removed the name of an individual he was inferring was a computer hacker who thus, deliberately, in an academic and scientific environment, cheated and faked carbon dating results. Because he had no evidence, I found it despicable and removed the name.

That will not do. He states early in his three part long expanded comment:

If a hacker had modified the program to convert the Shroud samples’ dates to dates which clustered around 1325, then all but the hacker would be none the wiser.

In my next post I will provide evidence that [ . . . name omitted by me . . .] was the hacker.

And, then he warns me (and I guess several of us):

I told Dan and his commenters that the Holy Spirit had been prompting me to warn both them and Dan that they who personally attack me, a Christian who is only seeking to serve his Lord, that Jesus will, if they don’t repent, avenge their attacks on me[.]

Stephen tells us he is basing this on Romans 12:19, ye olde Vengeance is mine admonition.

But that is not enough. He says of me:

Dan is himself close to being a secularist. In the past he has said he has `no problem with evolution’. But the "evolution" which rules the secular scientific world is that "…God had NO PART in this process."

Secularist? Being an Episcopalian, let me quote from Wikipedia on how Anglicans view this:

Anglicans (including the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the Church of England and others) believe that the Bible "contains all things necessary to salvation," while believing that "science and Christian theology can complement one another in the quest for truth and understanding." Specifically on the subject of creation/evolution, some Anglicans view "Big Bang cosmology" as being "in tune with both the concepts of creation out of nothing and continuous creation." Their position is clearly set out in the Catechism of Creation Part II: Creation and Science.[18] In an interview, the [former] Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams expressed his thought that "creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it’s not a theory alongside theories… My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it."[19]

The Catholic position is not very different (IMHO). It should be noted that (still quoting from Wikipedia):

Under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the International Theological Commission published a paper accepting the big bang of 15 billion years ago and the evolution of all life including humans from the microorganisms that formed approximately 4 billion years ago.[28]

It should also be noted (Wikipedia still) that

the National Council of Churches USA [representing most mainline Protestant denominations] has issued a teaching resource . . . . This resource cites the Episcopal Church, according to whom the stories of creation in Genesis "should not be understood as historical and scientific accounts of origins but as proclamations of basic theological truths about creation."[17]

If I’m close to being a secularist, I’m in good company. But then again, so what?

Stephen continues:

Dan also has said he has no problem with there being multiple universes, but the Multiple Universe Theory is the Atheistic attempt to explain away the fantastic level of design evident in the laws and constants of the one and only Universe that science can detect.

Does God not exist if there are multiple universes?

The best quote on the subject of the multiverse to appear in this blog was by MouseIntheHouse who wrote:

imageaccording to Frank Tipler of Tulane [pictured at blackboard]there are an infinate number of [Turin] shrouds but they are in different universes.

Just for fun read in this blog from 2011:

Now we get to the good stuff. Stephen writes:

Dan . . . even seems to think the resurrection was not physical: one instant Jesus body was in the tomb, and the next instant it is resurrected, with nothing in between.

What is not physical about this?  What is supposed to be in between? Granted, if this may not be very scientific, for what change of state occurs in this world without a process? None that I can think of. But what I said in my next instant explanation is completely biblical.

John 19:41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

John 20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

— NSRV

What happened between the last verse of John 19 and the first verse of John 20? Now, it is true that the accounts in the four gospels vary significantly (Here is a good chart on that) but where is there something in between?

Here is a clue to what Stephen is thinking:

So Dan is against John Jackson’s theory that the Shroud’s image was caused by the cloth’s collapse into the field of radiation where Jesus’ body had been.

That is close to, if not actually Gnosticism, the super-spiritual position that was already a problem in the New Testament letters and became a major problem in 2nd century.

Gnosticism? What super-spiritual position did I advocate? I happen to believe in a physical resurrection. I just see it differently. And even then, I’m just wondering if it might be so.  But when and why, anyway, is what I consider or believe all that important when it comes to studying the shroud?

Here is what!!!

They (and Dan) fit the description of the Apostle Paul: Tim 3:5: "having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

But was Paul thinking about blogs?

Stephen wraps up:

. . . I am preparing a post, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: The evidence for [so and so] being the hacker." . . .

I strongly believe that Jesus is going before me in this and that He will progressively reveal what REALLY happened in the C-14 dating of His Shroud.

If Jesus is for me, who CAN be against me! (Rom 8:31).

Stephen E. Jones

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Stephen Jones’ Revised Hacking Theory Part I is Available

March 29, 2014 24 comments

Darn. Stephen left out two of my favorite historical items:
1) The Hymn of the Pearl and 2) The Mozarabic Rite. 

clip_image001Stephen Jones is up with Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #1.

. . . this is part #1 of my revised proposal that the three radiocarbon dating laboratories, Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, which in 1988 dated the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval … AD 1206-1390," may have been duped by a computer hacker.

Well, there is nothing so far to justify the speculation of a computer hacker. It will be interesting to see where he goes with it, now being forced to revise his thinking after seeing emails to Hugh Farey from two of the three lab directors.

Has he determined if the AMS Control Consoles at all three labs had programmable computers that could have been hacked to conceal real carbon dating results from the scientists. We’ll see.

Anyways, Stephen has provided us with some historic information to consider.

Nice new picture of Stephen.

Stephen Jones Persists with the Hacker Theory

March 8, 2014 26 comments

imagePosting yesterday, Stephen tells us:

Further to my three-part series, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" (part 1, part 2 and part 3), I have decided to post a one-page summary of my argument. I have inserted "dating" between "radiocarbon" and "laboratories" in those posts to make the wording more accurate and also to help my three posts, and this post, to be found by a search for "radiocarbon dating."

[ . . . ]

The hacker who Stoll caught,Markus Hess, was a KGB agent in Germany who hacked into university computers in the USA, and from them he gained unauthorised access to 400 military computers. The KGB then had a section called "Seat 12" which conducted "a disinformation campaign of communist propaganda during the Cold War to discredit the moral authority of the Vatican." Clearly a 1st or early century C-14 date of the Shroud would increase enormously the moral authority of the Vatican and Christianity in general. So it is not an unreasonable proposition that a KGB agent hacked into the AMS system control console computer  at each of the three C-14 labs and inserted a program which, when each test was run, replaced the Shroud’s 1st or early century C-14 date, with dates which when calibrated, would yield years clustering around AD 1325, just before the Shroud’s appearance in undisputed history in the 1350s. Then after each university completed its C-14 dating of the Shroud, the hacker would delete his program, leaving no trace of his activity. And it did not have to be the KGB. It could have been anyone with the requisite computer skills, even a university student hacker testing his ability, as Cornell University student Robert Morris, author of the Morris Worm, did in 1988.

• I am hopeful that now it is out in the public domain, my proposal that the C-14 laboratories which dated the Shroud were duped by a computer hacker will elicit confirmation, whether from an ex-KGB defector, a former university student, etc. However, in the final analysis it is not the Shroud pro-authenticists’ problem to work out what went wrong with the 1988 C-14 dating of the Shroud. . . .

So it is not an unreasonable proposition?

Operation Seat 12, if there was such a thing as it was only alleged by one person and never confirmed, was a disinformation campaign in the 1960s to suggest that Pope Pius XII was a Nazi sympathizer. It has nothing to do with computers or hackers. It may have produced an off-Broadway play called The Deputy. Or not.  To suggest that an alleged 1960s disinformation campaign is even suggestive of the possibility that the KGB would plot to undermine the Shroud of Turin C14 tests is the worst type of conspiracy theory irrelevancy.

AMS system control console computer ?

Stephen speaks of the AMS system control console computer? Was it a computer, a programmable, digital computer? If not, was the console possibly connected to a computer? If so, was the computer connected to maybe NSFNET or ARPANET (precursors, in a sense to the modern Internet)?  It was 1988, remember. There were about 60,000 computers on ARPANET, the network that was that year hacked with the first network “worm.”   Hardware existed, such as the PDP-11, System 7, Series/1 for digital instrumentation measurement and control, but was it being used as part of the AMS systems and were they networked such that it could have been hacked? There is no reason to assume any network connection in 1988 or even a dial-in capability.

These are important questions. If the capability wasn’t in place, in Arizona, Oxford and Zurich, then the the hacker conspiracy theory goes right down the drain. I’m sure Timothy Jull could tell us. Any volunteers?

I don’t see the word computer in this zoom, but what is there? Networked or accessible with dial-in modems?

image

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Jones: The Turin Shroud is authentic. Get over it!

March 2, 2014 32 comments

imageStephen Jones clearly does not want more testing. First, he quotes a single sentence from an English language story in ANSA. Then he responds:

ANSA:

That has led to calls for more testing, which the Vatican has consistently refused.

Jones:

I agree with the Vatican in this. The evidence already is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic, so the sceptics should accept that it is authentic. And to radiocarbon date the Shroud again, this time properly, would require representative samples from every major area of the cloth, which would rightly be unacceptable to the Vatican. And because of the deeply contaminated state of the Shroud’s linen, it is unlikely that new tests would return a radiocarbon date of the first century (although it would be early). But if the new radiocarbon dates of the Shroud were anything but first century, Shroud sceptics would then claim that it showed the Shroud to be a fake!

So the Vatican’s answer to Shroud sceptics (and even Shroud pro-authenticists) who want another go at carbon dating the Shroud, should be: `The Turin Shroud is authentic. Get over it!’ (with apologies to Tom Chivers).

Of course, what Tom Chivers, an assistant comment editor at The Telegraph, said was:

The Turin Shroud is (almost certainly) fake. It makes no difference to anything. Get over it.

Sadly, in his latest blog posting, Stephen continues to push his ridiculous computer hacker hypothesis:

So it is a reasonable hypothesis that the University of Arizona’s radiocarbon dating laboratory (and those of the other two laboratories at Zurich and Oxford) were all interconnected and insecure, and were the unsuspecting victims of a computer hacker, who replaced the Shroud’s first (or early) century radiocarbon dates coming from each laboratories’ Accelerated Mass Spectrometer with 14th century dates, either as a practical joke by university students, or as a deliberate attempt to discredit the Shroud. That the very first date was the too good to be true date "1350 AD" and they all meekly accepted it, even those who thought the Shroud was authentic, adds weight to my `the laboratories were duped by a computer hacker’ hypothesis.

“And they all meekly accepted it.”?

Stephen, this hacker thing of yours, in my humble opinion, is pure conspiracy theory: imagination run wild. Get over it.

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Part 3 is up: Did Stephen Jones make the case?

February 22, 2014 11 comments

imageRead Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (3). Did Stephen Jones make the case?

He didn’t intend to:

So it would not be surprising if the atheistic Soviet regime of the 1980s would see it as a legitimate target to discredit the Shroud, and through that Christianity, by one its agents hacking into each of the three radiocarbon dating laboratories’ computers, and replacing the actual radiocarbon dates of the Shroud that the laboratories’ accelerated mass spectrometers were determining, with bogus dates which when calibrated would cluster around 1325 +/- 65 years.

I have presented this proposal as a question, "Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" because in the nature of the case, barring a belated confession, my proposal is unlikely ever to be confirmed as correct, even if it is correct. The hacker would be unlikely to admit it because he would be prosecuted and gaoled for breaking into government computers, as Hess was. And the laboratories would be unlikely to admit they had been duped by a hacker, even if they realised they had been. Whatever evidence there was in the laboratories’ computers, the hacker would almost certainly have deleted it, and even if he didn’t, it is most unlikely that it would still exist in the laboratories’ 1988 computers.

Anyway, in the final analysis it is the Shroud anti-authenticists’ problem to find a explanation for what went wrong with their carbon dating of the first-century Shroud to the 13th-14th centuries. As Thomas de Wesselow pointed out, we Shroud pro-authenticists don’t need to find an explanation of what went wrong with the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud. We can just dismiss it out of hand as a "’rogue’ radiocarbon date" as archaeologists routinely do when a radiocarbon date is contradicted by the majority of the other evidence:

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Jones

January 10, 2014 14 comments

imageStephen Jones is starting a new “mini-series of posts, setting out the case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud . . .”

This is the last paragraph of part 1 of Stephen’s series:

. . .  I cannot prove that there was scientific fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, although I firmly believe that to be only viable explanation. All that I can do is to set out the evidence for: 1) what went wrong in that dating; 2) the bias and dishonesty of those involved in the dating; and 3) suggest various ways that scientific fraud might have occurred in that dating. And then leave it to the `men and women of the jury’, my readers, to make up their own minds, based on that evidence.

The preceding paragraph in Stephen’s posting is a quotation by Richard Feynman from his book, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty – a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid-not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, And how they worked-to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can-if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong-to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it … the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another … I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. (emphasis here is by Stephen)

But are we talking about fraud? Stephen is:

What do I mean by "fraud"? By "fraud" in this context I mean at least the definition of Broad and Wade [right in their book, Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science], of "making results appear just a little crisper or more definitive than they really are, or selecting just the `best’ data for publication and ignoring those that don’t fit the case": (bolding by Stephen)

This ‘mini-series’ sounds promising. Stephen isn’t joking and the title of this posting, being as it is a play on the title of Feynman’s most famous book, is meant as a full-throated compliment to Stephen, assuming he pulls it off.

What did Stephen Jones just say?

January 2, 2014 21 comments

clip_image001

Stephen Jones is also commenting on Rep. Rebecca Hamilton’s article 2013 Favs: New Tests Date the Shroud from the Time of Christ in Patheos. Stephen writes:

But as I wrote in my post, "Shroud of Turin News, October 2013:

"But if the Shroud is a deliberate fraud, then it would almost certainly be a work of Satan, and no Church that calls itself Christian should be promoting a deliberate fraud (much less a work of Satan)!"

So I for one do not believe that the Risen Lord Jesus, who sits at the Father’s right hand and controls everything . . . would allow such a convincing fake as the Shroud would then be, to exist.

So 2013 was a great year for the Shroud. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for us Shroud pro-authenticists in 2014?

“So I for one . . . ” is clearly the most profoundly interesting  Shroud of Turin quotation for 2014, so far.

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