And now you have something to do this weekend

I must admit I feel a little sceptical, not based on the evidence, but from
an innate doubt that God would work in this way…


image image Joe Marino uncovered a weekend’s worth of reading and reflection, specifically a blog posting and two papers:

Posting:  The Turin Shroud: fake or genuine? by Eric Hatfield (pictured in white shirt)

Main Paper:  The Shroud of Turin – A Critical Assessment by Atle Ottesen Søvik (pictured in striped shirt)

Supporting Paper:  Excursuses to the Article "The Shroud of Turin – A Critical Assessment" by Atle Ottesen Søvik

Joe’s email to me reads:

Hi Dan,

I came across this interesting article at the "Is there a God" blog (from June 2015): 

http://www.is-there-a-god.info/blog/belief/the-turin-shroud-fake-or-genuine/

It references 2 substantial Shroud articles on academia.edu, one of which Barrie mentioned on his site back in 2014:

The Shroud of Turin – A Critical Assessment by Atle Ottesen Søvik – (This article is a translation of the article “Likkledet i Torino – en kritisk vurdering," published in Teologisk Tidsskrift (Journal of Theology), no 3, 2013: 266-294). The author holds a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion and teaches at MF Norwegian School of Theology. You can follow Atle and read some of his other papers (many in English) on Academia.edu. We have also added a permanent link to the article on the Scientific Papers & Articles and Website Library pages of the site. Here is the abstract:

This article discusses the question of whether the Shroud of Turin is the real burial cloth of Jesus, and it consists of four parts. First I present facts about the Shroud. Then I discuss whether the image comes from a corpse or is artificially produced another way, and conclude that it comes from a corpse. This means that if it is a forgery, a corpse was used to create the image. After that, I briefly discuss whether it may be the burial cloth of an unknown crucified man, and argue that it must be the burial cloth of Jesus or a forgery meant to resemble Jesus. Finally, I discuss the crucial question of when the image was formed: is it a forgery from the fourteenth century or is it the real burial cloth of Jesus from AD 30?

The author of the blog article states:

I was fortunate to come across a 2013 review of both sides of the argument by Atle Søvik, a Norwegian Philosopher of Religion and Professor of Theology. His review is based mainly on published peer-reviewed papers, and is found in a main paper and a supporting paper.

It may be thought that a Professor of Theology isn’t an impartial observer, but I believe this is the most balanced assessment I have come across, because he is an academic, he seems impartial and reliable, it is in a peer-reviewed journal, he is not Catholic and he is likely a liberal Christian who isn’t as strongly biased towards supernatural explanations as a naturalist would be biased against them. I am strengthened in this conclusion after brief correspondence with a sceptical member of his review team.

The link for the "main paper" is what Barrie posted.  However, Barrie apparently didn’t post the "supporting paper," which is actually 2 pages longer than the main paper.  Funny, I don’t even remember seeing the main paper from when Barrie posted it–I must have somehow missed it.  I’m getting more senior moments than I used to.  I did a search on your blog for article name and author and didn’t see anything.  Both articles are impressive.

I GO TO CONCLUSLIONS:  It is a bad habit of mine.  But then I do go back and read. Here is Eric Hatfield’s conclusion from his blog site:

It seems to be a case of the carbon dating vs the rest of the evidence. Søvik cautiously concludes that the evidence for a first century date is slightly stronger, but I think neither side has proved their case or shown the other side to be wrong. The sceptical case relies on a few old papers and a lot of bluster, but the case for authenticity stumbles on the radiocarbon dating. I don’t think we can be confident either way. (I’m sorry to have to sit on the fence.)

I must admit I feel a little sceptical, not based on the evidence, but from an innate doubt that God would work in this way – after all, Jesus refused to use spectacular signs to authenticate himself. I cannot remove from my mind the many other relics, some of which are quite impossible, and some of which (e.g. non-decaying saints) seem quite superstitious.

If only the radiocarbon and vanillin testing could be re-done by agreed best methods, we might get a better answer. In the meantime, both believers and sceptics would do well to avoid making over-strong claims.

Bravo!  I have always had a bit of that gut-over-brain skepticism. 

And thanks, Joe.

Comment Promoted: The Punch Card Chart

imageRobert W. Siefker comments about posting, Available: Critical Summary Version 3.0

Dan, the “punch card chart” is not aimed at being “scientific” analysis. As clearly stated at the top of the chart with the word “judged”, this is TSC’s analysis. We have included only 17 image characteristics because we think that these seventeen, in and of themselves, can be used to evaluate image formation hypotheses that have gained at least some traction through the years. The chart itself does not stand alone. Appendix 1 gives our reasoning for each mark. Again it is judgment and if the image characteristics are indeed true, as we judge them to be, understandable to anyone. We also state that the The fall-through hypothesis cannot be tested or proven. In fact it is a very “unscientific” explanation as we acknowledge in its description and in the Conclusion. It just fits the data. Read it. Think about it in the context of the whole body of Shroud evidence.

Fair enough.  I stand corrected. I was probably unfair. We still need to crawl through the details, however.

Proof that art experts are not always right

imageDramatic Irony Award In Blogging:

It should go without saying that scientists aren’t always right. Neither are art experts. In 1978, chemist Walter C. McCrone, a leading expert on art forgeries McCrone performed radiocarbon tests on the shroud and concluded that the burial cloth wasn’t old enough to be the real thing. But other scientists disagreed. Raymond Rogers, Science Fellow of the University of California, Los Alamos National Laboratory, dated the shroud to the 1st century, saying that the material that McCrone carbon dated was not the original fabric, but rather a part of the shroud that had been rewoven after a fire in the Middle Ages.

Of course, Walter McCrone never “performed radiocarbon tests on the shroud.” Nor did Rogers date the shroud to the 1st century. So it turns out, neither are art experts always write while righting blogs posts about writing wrongs.

Pictured, Walter McCrone looking right.

Available: Critical Summary Version 3.0

A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses
 by Bob Siefker, Keith Propp, Dave Fornof, Ares Koumis, Rebecca Jackson
and John Jackson.


imageClick on the image to the right or type …

 http://goo.gl/RsVUaa 

… to download a copy.  This is big and may be slow so I suggest saving the PDF on your own computer’s drive or to a cloud server. 

Pictured:  Version 3.o in my iPad on a coffee table
downloaded from Google Drive.

Smile You can print the 118 pages.

Smile You can search this document using Chrome, Microsoft’s New Edge browser, etc.

Rolling on the floor laughing I was not able to put the document into Kindle because of its size. Amazon will only load PDF files that are smaller than 50 MB and Critical Summary clocks in at 106 MB. What you can do is print the first 40 pages as a PDF, the second 40, and then the rest of the document. Give different names to each segment and then send them off to Kindle services at Amazon. Think of it as a book in three volumes.

Coffee cup I was, however, able to upload Critical Summary to Google Drive. This means I can read it on an iPad at Starbucks.  Google Drive is pretty fast.  I was able to upload the whole document in less than three minutes and subsequently open the document on my iPad in less than a minute. 

Steaming mad One thing you cannot do (by authors’ choice) is copy and paste.  This is just plain silly.  I use Microsoft Notebook to get around this taboo-like limitation against fair use quoting: how not to win friends and not influence people. 

Here is the preface copied and pasted via Microsoft Notebook:

Preface

The purpose of the Critical Summary is to provide a synthesis of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado ([SC) thinking about the Shroud of Turin and to make that synthesis available to the serious inquirer. Our evaluation of scientific, medical forensic and historical hypotheses presented here is based on TSC’s internal research, Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) data, and other published research.

The Critical Summary synthesis is not intended to present new research findings. With the exception of our comments all information presented has been published elsewhere, and we have endeavored to provide references for all included data. The ratings given to data items presented in the empirical data sections of the Critical Summary are based on TSC’s judgment of what constitutes class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 evidence, as explained in the Introduction.

We wish to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of several persons and organizations. First, we would like to acknowledge Dan Spicer, PhD in Physics, and Dave Fornof for their contributions in the construction of Version 1.0 of the Critical Summary. We are grateful to Mary Ann Siefker and Mary Snapp for proofreading efforts. We also are very grateful to Barrie Schwortz (Shroud.com) and the STERA organization for their permission to include photographs from their database of STURP Shroud photographs. Barrie served as a lead photographer during the STURP expedition to Turin to study the Shroud and today is recognized worldwide as the founder and administrator of the important Shroud research repository site http://www.shroud.com.

imageAll Shroud photographs are ©1978 STERA Inc. unless otherwise noted.

We welcome comments, but we can only consider those that are substantive and that are emailed directly to our website (via the Shroud Data tab).

Thumbs down Oh, and yes. The punch card chart aiming to be scientific analysis showing that John Jackson’s fall through hypothesis is the only workable hypothesis is still in Version 3.0 (on page 73).  Ridiculous.  More on that later.

Messenger The authors want comments but only those “that are substantive and that are emailed directly to [their] website.”  I, on the other hand, think that open no-holds-barred discussion is the only way to go. We’ll do that.

New Book by Mark Antonacci is Available

imageMark Antonacci just sent me a press release for his newest book, Test the Shroud. A copy is included below.

A page on Mark’s website, Books by Mark, provides a summary and two reviews, one by Giulio Fanti and one by Joe Marino. There is also a PayPal button on the page allowing you to order a copy. Here is what the page says:

Mark Antonacci makes compelling arguments about many prominent points in Test the Shroud.  His accurate description of all the unique features on the Shroud of Turin allows him to convincingly argue that this is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ.  He presents a very testable hypothesis that particle radiation emanating from the dead, crucified body wrapped within this burial cloth caused its unprecedented, full-length body images, its still-red blood marks, its erroneous carbon dating and so many other unforgeable features.  He even describes advanced scientific testing techniques that could be applied to this burial cloth and its human bloodstains that could demonstrate whether a miraculous event actually occurred; when it happened; where it happened; the actual age of the burial cloth and its bloodstains, and the identity of the victim.

He contends that we live in a singular moment of history.  These new scientific test results combined with previous unparalled (sic) evidence would prove that the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were actual events in history.

Reviews

Giulio Fanti, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Thermal Measurement, University of Padua, ItalyThis book gives a wide overview of the Shroud of Turin furnishing many interesting details of the most important relic of Christianity, both from the scientific and historical points of view, while reporting results from studies of many scholars.  After clarifying why the body image is not scientifically explainable, nor technically repeoducible (sic), Antonacci furnishes an hypothesis how it could have been formed, based on particle radiation capable, according to him, of explaining both the image we see on the relic and the C-14 enrichment that produced a medieval date during the 1988 radiocarbon dating.

Joe Marino, Theologin (sic), Sindinologist (sic)Test the Shroud is a gold mine of information on the controversial Shroud of Turin.  Antonacci has followed up his 2000 book, The Resurrection of the Shroud, with another scholarly work that is also written with the non-scholar in mind.  Heavily footnoted and lavishly illustrated, Antonacci, with the detailed eyes of an attorney, covers all aspects of the study of the Shroud, including history, theology and science.  The author is petitioning the Vatican to allow new scientific examinations that will test all the latest hypotheses regarding image-formation and problems with C-14 dating.

The home page on Mark’s site adds this information:

This book even lays out a series of sophisticated testing that could be performed on the Shroud linen and blood marks and on limestone from Jesus’ reputed burial tombs.  This testing would provide countless more items of information yet to be acquired from this cloth.  This testing could provide millions of items of unfakable (sic) evidence that would prove that:

  1. the entire Shroud was irradiated with particle radiation;
  2. the amount of particle radiation each part of it received;
  3. the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating is erroneous;
  4. the Shroud is from the 1st century;
  5. the radiating event happened in the 1st century;
  6. the source of the radiation was the length, width and depth of the dead body wrapped within it;
  7. all of the events that occurred to the man happened in the 1stcentury;
  8. the events occurred in Jerusalem;
  9. under all of the surrounding circumstances as described in the Gospels; and
  10. this man was the historical Jesus Christ.

Note:  I normally don’t do sics.  It is snarky and besides I make such mistakes all the time in this blog.  But this was too much. I got carried away.  Google tells me, in 0.24 seconds, that unparalleled is used 36,800,000 times on the world wide web.  Even so, unparalled, the incorrect spelling, is used 408,000 times. And Edgar Allan Poe misspelled the word in a book title, so they say. So I can forgive unparalled. But who can forgive Sindinologist?


Mark sent the press release as an inline, scrunched down, fuzzy image file of an otherwise normal page. I can’t find a better copy anywhere on the Internet, even on Mark’s Test the Shroud website.  I didn’t want to delay getting it to you, so I trimmed the page margins and put it below.

 

image

Numerous Plant Species and Human Lineages Identified. Now What?

imageA caller asked me (please use email or blog comments):

Have you taken a careful look at the two color-coded charts from the Nature paper? Now what?

I don’t know.  I think this paragraph from the paper, Uncovering the sources of DNA found on the Turin Shroud helps somewhat.

DNA extracted from dust particles that were vacuumed from the Turin Shroud shows sequence profiles that identify numerous plant species and correspond to several distinct human mtDNA haplogroups. These results not only confirm that plant fibers and pollen grains are present on TS, as previously reported by optical microscopy, but also reveal that multiple human individuals touched or otherwise left traces of their DNA on the relic linen. The detection of such a variety of DNA sources is extremely valuable in assessing whether there are possible parallelisms between the areas of origin and distribution of identified land plant species and human mtDNA haplogroups and the temporal and spatial paths associated with the two alternative scenarios that have been proposed to explain the TS origin.

Is there more that we can know or assume from this data?

Click on each of these charts for bigger, easier to read versions.

image

image

Coming Soon from Colorado: Critical Summary 3.0

Maybe this time we should crawl through the document, item by item, day by day, pointing back in some cases to discussions we have already had like questioning the validity of the VP8 results, and passing along some suggestions for Version 4.0 someday.


imageI’m hearing that we should see an updated version of A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses: Version 2.1, by Bob Siefker, Keith Propp, Ares Koumis, Rebecca Jackson and John Jackson. The updated version, as I understand it will be Version 3.0.

Based on URL details, it is quite possible that the old version 2.1 will be overwritten. If you want to keep a copy (I have one in my personal cloud space), you should probably go after it now.  I want it so I can make comparisons when the new version pops – DIFFPDF is a great tool for this. The current Google short URL is:

http://goo.gl/RsVUaa

I wonder if that blatantly ridiculous chart of 17 image characteristics versus several image hypothesis will stick around. I imagine it will. What else, maybe?

I wrote what follows in December, last year.  It will be interesting to see what has been improved this time.

A response to the Critical Summary presentation

December 7, 2014

A reader writes:

I was wondering if you were there when Robert Siefker dumped on you and your blog during his presentation in St. Louis. Do you have a response?

I was there. It was no big deal. It was friendly. I do have a couple of things to say, however,

Transcript (Bob Siefker):

If I tell [someone] about the Pray Manuscript or somebody just casually mentions it as evidence for the shroud . . . [he] goes to where to find out? Where would he go? He’d go to the Internet. And how many potential hits will he get on the Internet? When you pull up Google it says I’ve got how many articles related to this inquiry Go do Pray Manuscript.  There’s 2,300,000 different potential sites you can go to or indexes in their database for the Pray Manuscript. . . . Does that tell you maybe there’s controversy?

Two million, what? Going online a little while later, I got the following page counts from Google: 1,340 pages for Pray Manuscript and 3,840 for Pray Codex (with or without Hungarian thrown in). Remembering that the French call it Le Codex Pray, I realized the need to consider other languages. Overall, I got about 5,600 pages scattered among less than one thousand websites. That’s a far cry from 2,300,000. That’s not to say there isn’t controversy. There is. But Google counts are NOT indicative of it. Where did that idea come from? There are, after all, 13,100,000 pages about chicken soup.  Controversy?  Well, yes: noodles versus rice.

But, yes, there is real controversy about the Pray Manuscript. We know this from reading my blog.

Back to the transcript (Bob Siefker):

And then you start drilling down. And then you go to Dan. Forgive me Dan, for a second. Then you go to Dan Porter’s blog and you say oh good, here’s a trusted source. I’ll inquire on Pray Manuscript and you get nine different articles or blog entries, and over 1100  postings, comments. And you start reading them. You’re going to go all over the board. And now you are a shroud neophyte. And now you are a shroud skeptic.  Because you can’t find any answers.

Skeptic? Is that bad? Sad? What? I was a shroud skeptic at one time and I’m glad I was. I remain a skeptic when it comes to many topics pertaining to the shroud, like the claims some make of seeing images of flowers on the cloth. Is that bad?

It should be clear to everyone who reads my introduction in the right-hand column of every one of my blog pages that I think the shroud is probably authentic. Moreover, if you read my postings about the Pray Manuscript you should see that I think it is an artistic interpretation of the burial and resurrection of Christ based on the shroud and the Gospel narratives. As such, I feel that the Pray Manuscript (Codex) is convincing evidence of the shroud’s existence more than a century before its first documented appearance in Western Europe. It is thus, also, convincing evidence that the shroud is older than the earliest date determined by carbon dating. But – and this is very important – in reading the comments of others, it should also be clear that some people disagree. Many who write those comments are well informed and highly qualified. There is a rational basis for their opinions. The fact that there is controversy is something that everyone learning about the shroud should be aware of when they weigh the evidence for themselves.

“Because you can’t find any answers,” Bob wrote as criticism.  Fair enough. Blogs aren’t logical to everyone. They are not like our familiar libraries with their now-electronic old-fashioned card catalogs. They are not like the books that fill those buildings. Nor are they like the online encyclopedias we have come to love and hate. Blogs don’t have the tables of contents or indexes that we are used to. But blogs can be very useful if we use search engines and take the time to read what people are writing.

“And now you are a shroud skeptic,” said Bob.  Really? I give people more credit than that. People don’t become skeptics because they can’t find answers. If anything it’s the other way around; people will believe all manner of things because of a lack of information.

Transcript continued (Bob Siefker):

So there should be a credible way. Dan’s blog provides a tremendous resource for the shroud community and those who have a grounding of some basis, but don’t ever tell a first person that you’ve talked about the shroud, oh go to Dan’s blog and you’ll learn about the Pray Manuscript. You just can’t do it.

imageWell, yes, you can. But it doesn’t happen. The reality of the Internet, like it or not, is that most people will go directly to Wikipedia. Or they may search for “Pray Manuscript” in a search engine and, surprise-surprise, they encounter Wikipedia’s article at the top of the results page. If they are a neophyte, that is where they will most likely begin. They will begin withWikipedia.

It’s illustrative to see what Wikipedia says in the single paragraph that deals with the Shroud of Turin:

One of the five illustrations within the Codex shows the burial of Jesus. It is sometimes claimed that the display shows remarkable similarities with the Shroud of Turin: that Jesus is shown entirely naked with the arms on the pelvis, just like in the body image of the Shroud of Turin, that the supposed fabric shows a herringbone pattern, identical to the weaving pattern of the Shroud of Turin, that the four tiny circles on the lower image, which appear to form a letter L, “perfectly reproduce four apparent “poker holes” on the Turin Shroud”, which likewise appear to form a letter L. The Codex Pray illustration may serve as evidence for the existence of the Shroud of Turin prior to 1260–1390 AD, the alleged fabrication date established in the radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988.  (emphasis mine)

That’s it. And, actually, it is quite accurate and economically informative. It is not, however, sufficiently detailed for a careful evidentiary analysis. Moreover, the phrases “sometimes claimed” and “may serve as evidence” imply uncertainty. The phrase “supposed fabric” addresses a point of controversy with regrettably no elaboration. Indeed, we might say, all three phrases tell us there’s controversy.

There is controversy. That is a fact! Shouldn’t the neophyte know about that? Shouldn’t everyone know there is controversy?  Are some of us so afraid of someone becoming a skeptic that we don’t want them to see both sides of the story? The page about the Pray Manuscript in the Critical Summary suggests that there is no controversy whatsoever.

That, in part, is why I cannot recommend the Critical Summary to someone just learning about the shroud. It is inadequate for the task of introducing anyone to the codex. Don’t get me wrong; this document contains an excellent write up about it. I’m convinced that much of it is correct. But there are points I don’t agree with like Mechthild Flury-Lemberg’s opinion that the painter of the illustration in the codex  must have seen the shroud.

I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to know what others think. I’m sure that I’m not alone in wanting to know more.  The Critical Summary ignores that. The Critical Summary is simply too elementary and too much of a one-perspective proselytizing document. Go back to what Bob said in the first minute or so of his talk.

I didn’t become a skeptic because I couldn’t find the answers. I became convinced of the legitimacy of the Pray Codex and its importance as evidence of the shroud’s earlier provenance only after I examined both sides of the questions about the codex illustrations. The blog helps me do that.

Back to the transcript (Bob Siefker):

Barrie, that’s where you want your people to go next if we haven’t told the story about the Pray Manuscript in our document maybe.

I would like to agree. The problem with Barrie’s site (shroud.com) is that it doesn’t contain many of the latest papers. It doesn’t contain any real discussion about the topic. That is not a criticism. It is a statement about the changing nature of the internet.  Other sites, such as Academia.edu have become increasingly popular with authors because they can self-publish when they want to, revise papers without having to wait for update schedules and use social media. There are discussion facilities and direct connections to Twitter and Facebook.

Many other papers are published on conference sites or in journals.   It would be nice if shroud.com could be the one go-to site because it is a great site. More and more so, it doesn’t really matter where papers are archived.  It is all about how they are found and accessed.

Try this in Google:  <site:shroud.com “pray codex” OR “pray manuscript” filetype:pdf>.  Now try it without the site specific limitation. The counts are 34 and 506 respectively.  Academia.edu has 27 papers on just the Pray Manuscript. Why would you not want to at least consider those? (Note: OR must be uppercase).

There is another consideration. It pertains to peer review and the trend towards better review systems. But that’s a subject for another day.

When it comes to the shroud, I believe that every fact and observation, every ancient picture and document, every hypothesis and speculation, everything we think we know and think we don’t know must be questioned.

On the day after the conference I noted that one of the attendees had written to to this blog:

Dr. Siefker’s chart [in his paper] evaluates ten hypotheses against a short list of only seventeen image characteristics. Dr. Siefker said of his paper [it] was a utility for all of us. No it is not. It is a biased defense of Jackson’s theory and nothing more. Do you think people will find it methodically suspicious that only Jackson’s cloth falling hypothesis matches 100% of all image characteristics and that no other hypothesis comes close?

(click on image to see chart)

I went on to add:

The folks at Colorado Springs want feedback. The second page of the summary states: “We welcome comments, but we can only consider those that are substantive and that are emailed directly to our website (via the Shroud Data tab).” But that tab merely asks people to send comments to an email address, ShroudFacts@gmail.com.

If the goal is progress in our understanding of the shroud, whatever the truth may be, then transparency and open dialog is called for. Today, newspapers, magazines and even highly respected journals welcome online comments in the clear. Authors mix it up with readers and offer clarifications. Readers mix it up with each other and many people benefit from the opinions of others.

If, on the other hand, the objective is controlled marketing of an idea then, fine, we-welcome-comments-but-we-can-only-consider-those-that-are-substantive-and-that-are emailed-directly-to-our-website will work for the authors of this paper.

[ . . . ]

The paper is a locked up PDF so you can’t easily quote from it which is not a good idea for promoting ideas in this day and age. If you want to do some fair use quoting you will need to retype the material or OCR it (Microsoft Notebook works perfectly on whole pages). . . .

For these many other reasons, as well, I cannot recommend the Critical Summary to anyone, particularly “a shroud neophyte.”  But do have a look and try to keep an open mind.

Maybe this time we should crawl through the document, item by item, pointing back in some cases to discussions we have already had like questioning the validity of the VP8 results, and passing along some suggestions for Version 4.0 someday.

News About the Shroud. Pass It On. Well, Most of It.

imageOn October 6th, I posted Breaking News: Sources of DNA on the Shroud of Turin. I was reporting that Nature had just the previous day published Uncovering the sources of DNA found on the Turin Shroud by Gianni Barcaccia, Giulio Galla, Alessandro Achilli, Anna Olivieri and Antonio Torroni.

On October 14th, I followed with Linen from India? after getting a prompting email from a reader.

Now the MSM may be catching on. There is a story here, after all.

Nothing yet in the biggies or on the major news services.

HEADLINES AND LEDES DEPARTMENT: (yes LEDE is the correct spelling), the Daily Mail may have gotten it best. No, really, the Daily Mail:

image

imageONE TRACK MINDS OFF THE RAILS DEPARTMENT:   Stephen Jones, in re-captioning this diagram from Nature, tries to tell us:

… this is further evidence against the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud … and evidence for that the 1260-1390, i.e. 1325 ±65 radiocarbon date was computer-generated by a hacker’s (allegedly Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick’s) program.

Click on diagram to enlarge.

The Amazing Parts

People can see the most updated scientific evidence regarding the Shroud, and then they can make their own reasoned judgment regarding its authenticity.


imageNews from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas (bold emphasis is mine):

“The most amazing part of the Shroud is the majesty of the face.”

That statement from Jim Bertrand, a Shroud expert affiliated with the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, rang true for Benedictine College students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding communities who saw his presentation, along with a life-sized replica of the Shroud, on the Atchison campus on October 8.

[…]

Bertrand has been studying the Shroud for more than 30 years and has been affiliated with the Shroud Center of Colorado since 2014. He talked about the history of the Shroud and the scientific evidence surrounding its authenticity, including new peer-reviewed scientific information regarding the dating of the Holy Shroud, which has been the subject of much debate.

“As a presenter of the Shroud, my mission is to unite Truth with the human heart,” he said. “People can see the most updated scientific evidence regarding the Shroud, and then they can make their own reasoned judgment regarding its authenticity. Whether a relic or an icon, the Shroud is a sacramental, leading us to a deeper relationship with Jesus.”

Bertrand presented a wealth of scientific evidence that supported the Shroud’s existence in 1st century Jerusalem. He noted botanical evidence of pollen from plants native to the area. He talked about geological evidence of soil found around the image’s feet, knees and nose that is of a particular type of rock only found in Jerusalem. He noted the biological studies of the blood stains, including the fact that they are still bright red due to the body’s release of bilirubin caused by a massive loss of blood, which supports Biblical accounts of Christ’s Passion.

He also talked about the 1978 carbon dating that placed the Shroud’s origin around 1250. The section tested turns out to have been from a corner of the Shroud repaired in Medieval times and containing cotton, satin and other fibers not found in the rest of the linen Shroud. There is also resin present that was used to join cotton threads to linen threads.

“It turned out to be the worst possible place to sample,” Bertrand said. He went on to show three other recent datings of the Shroud using chemical and mechanical tests. All three had wide ranges of dates for their results, but they all crossed the 1st century.

Reasoned judgment is fine. It’s the way it should be. But there is a real problem with the most updated scientific evidence.  Much of it is controversial. It is often not updated. And frequently not really so scientific as we make it out to be.  How good is that botanical evidence?  Is bilirubin really why the blood is still red? Was that corner repaired? Are those three other dating methods even valid?

The most amazing parts of the Shroud is how much we don’t know. I can’t make a reasoned judgment on the scientific evidence.

Emanuela Marinelli to receive the International Prize for Catholic Culture

… Emanuela Marinelli fell in love with the Shroud. Tough love: nearly forty years of study. And 17 books, hundreds of articles, thousands of conferences, from Indonesia to Kazakhstan to Burkina Faso: long journeys, sometimes dangerous, always with a copy of the Shroud folded into the suitcase, to go on to explain, the ends of the world.


imageWe learn from the Amici della Sindone (Friends of the Shroud) Facebook page (as automatically translated from Italian to English in Google Chrome):

The International Prize for Catholic Culture will be delivered to sindonologa Emanuela Marinelli (pictured) on October 23 at 20.30, in a solemn ceremony at the Theatre Remondinis of Bassano del Grappa. Professor Marinelli, Roman, takes care of the Shroud for 38 years and has written 17 books on the subject and held hundreds of conferences in various countries around the world; He was also the coordinator of the organizing committee of the World Congress "Sindone 2000" in Orvieto. Recognition Bassano, run by the local Catholic school culture and come to the XXXIII edition, went among others to personalities like Joseph Ratzinger, Krysztof Zanussi, Angelo Scola, Riccardo Muti, Camillo Ruini, Ugo Amaldi, Michael Novak, Divo Barsotti, Cornelius Fabro, Augusto Del Noce …

In 1977, the Swiss botanist Max Frei made public the results of a search on the pollen of which had found no trace on the Shroud: over 58 types, 38 belonged to plants of Palestine that does not exist in Europe. The most frequent pollen were identical to those found in the sediments of the Sea of ​​Galilee. In Emanuela Marinelli, then a young graduate in Natural Sciences and Geology at the "Sapienza" of Rome, the discovery sparked a deep interest. Pollen from Palestine, as a signature on the relic that since 1933 was not exposed to the public. The Marinelli knocked Centre Roman Sindonology Monsignor Giulio Ricci, began to study. He learned that at the heel of the stranger wrapped in the cloth was no sign of a kind of aragonite, the same as that found in the caves of Jerusalem. And Emanuela Marinelli fell in love with the Shroud.Tough love: nearly forty years of study. And 17 books, hundreds of articles, thousands of conferences, from Indonesia to Kazakhstan to Burkina Faso: long journeys, sometimes dangerous, always with a copy of the Shroud folded into the suitcase, to go on to explain, the ends of the world. For this passionate outreach activities Professor receives 23 October in Bassano del Grappa the prestigious International Award for Culture Cattolica.La we meet in a cafe in Rome. Youthful, lively, the way he talks it is clear that falling in love for the Holy Shroud continues, since that distant day when, say, a copy before she found herself without words: "It seemed to me – he says – a Gospel written in blood." But it was 1988, the year of the famous test using carbon 14 on a piece of cloth: the Shroud, or so it was said, to the test of science. From the laboratories of Oxford, Tucson and Zurich came the verdict: the sheet went back to the Middle Ages. A trenchant outcome, which seemed to sweep away centuries of hopes to have, still, a material trace of the passage of Christ on earth. Almost everyone at that point, as he wrote Vittorio Messori, bowed, devout, in "St. C14." Not everyone, however. Emanuela Marinelli: "The angle of the sheet material to be analyzed turned out to have been manipulated, patched, polluted by fungi and bacteria. If the sample was contaminated, the date could refer to the tracks left by dust and manipulation. " They supported him then, moreover, distinguished scholars like Gove. The shadow that science seemed to have dissipated, actually remained.Although, says Marinelli, "he is felt a desire to deny the historicity of the Shroud, regardless of any element emerged from the research. An ideologically motivated denial: perhaps because, as Cardinal Biffi said, if the Shroud is false for a Christian does not change anything, but if the shroud is real, for atheists change many things … ".The ‘truth’ absolute sentenced by Carbon 14 was for Marinelli, who had a degree in Natural Sciences with a thesis on the radioactivity of uranium, a challenge to study again. That was when he published the first of his 17 books, exploring every search, every word spoken on the Shroud. Because much yet, according to her, it was not clear. "The fabric – he says – shows a selvedge and seam details, and is comparable to the tissues found years ago at Masada, and dating back to the first century after Christ. The analyzes show that there is blood in your wound; other analyzes show that a body lay in the towel for 36/40 hours. But there is no trace of the drag that should appear, if the body had been removed. " "He knows what scholars, although atheists and ‘deniers’, admit that the Shroud was wrapped a man? Doctors and artists: the first because they recognize that this is blood, the latter because they understand that this is not painting. The experiment more significant, however, was conducted in Italy, Enea. An excimer laser was focused on a tissue, and the effect is the closest thing we have to the image of the Shroud. The fabric is yellowed, as had been crossed by a fortissimaluce. " The faith does not affect his studies? We ask. Her calm: "No. Pollens, aragonite, the selvage of the fabric, are all facts. Today we can say that the test of carbon 14 is not enough to deny the authenticity of the Shroud. " You can, in your opinion, conduct new tests reliable? "I’m afraid not, because the fire which escaped the cloth closed in a box, in 1532 in Chambéry, it can still contaminated, and this will alter the results of the carbon." The Shroud, then, is it for you? "An image still unexplained, leaving us on the threshold of an enigma. How Arpino wrote: ‘In a world that is bulging of monuments, pyramids, coliseums, triumphal arches, equestrian statues, temples untouched or corroded by mold and neglect, on this planet only a linen cloth, with quell’Orma preserves its mystery ‘. But this, in his poverty, continues to call men. The Shroud is an icon of human suffering. People, when I go to talk, I listen to is everywhere: in the most distant regions of the world, in schools, in prisons. " But one evening an elderly woman, after the conference, got up from the floor. It was modest Southern Italy, with his hands spoiled from family work. "Professor – he said – I did not understand much of the carbon 14, however, one thing I realized. I understand that we must become like the Shroud, we stamparci into the image of that suffering face, to take him to those we meet. " And that time was the teacher, moved, to remain silent.

That doesn’t make sense …

image… writes Andrew, who follows this blog while taking the train into work in the morning. Based on the shroud …

… does Jesus have blond or white hair?  That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if he was Jewish. Although there are no descriptions of what Jesus looked like in the New Testament, I think this would have stood out so much it would have been mentioned.

Maybe. I don’t know. We can only speculate. What are the odds?  This is from the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia under the subject of Hair (there may be something more current):

The true explanation of the existence of Jewish blonds has been the subject of lively discussions among anthropologists. Some believe that it is due to climate and environment (Pruner, Bey, Pritchard, Jacobs), while others attribute it to racial intermixture, particularly to the admission of Aryan blood into modern Jewry (Broca, Virchow, Schimmer, Ripley, and others). Elkind shows that the color of the hair is independent of the cranial index. Virchow’s investigations show that in the eastern or darkest provinces of Germany the proportion of blond types among Jews does not decrease; whereas in the Prussian provinces, which are predominantly blond, the Jews show the highestproportion of brunettes, and in Silesia, where the non-Jewish population is of very dark complexion, the Jews have a high percentage of blonds. The same has been shown by Schimmer to be the case in Austria. Andree ("Zur Volkskunde der Juden," pp. 34-40) points out that the fact that red and blond Jews are found in North Africa, Syria, Arabia, Persia, etc., is proof that intermarriage has had little to do with the production of the blond type in eastern Europe. He is of the opinion that there were blonds among the ancient Hebrews, and that the modern red and blond Jews are their descendants. Luschan agrees in this view. Jacobs attributes the erythrism of the Jews to defective nutrition, and shows that it is present not only among the European Jews, but also among those in Algiers, Tunis, Bosnia, Constantinople, Smyrna, and Bokhara, where the presence of Aryan blood could not be admitted.

Another thought:  Ray Rogers and Anna Arnoldi in, Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin: A Review, wrote:

imageHowever, it has long been recognized that the images of the hair, moustache, and beard are anomalous. Figure 26 (sic, should be 27, shown here) shows a slightly contrast-enhanced view of the area of the face and hair. The density of the image is greatest in those areas. That can easily be explained by the inhibition of vapor diffusion through a mat of hair. Ammonia is first evolved from the lungs; therefore, amine concentrations would have been highest in the vicinity of the nose and mouth (moustache and beard).

Of course, this is assuming a diffusion model or something similar – a natural phenomenon.

Raymond Arroyo’s Special Report from April

Russ Breault, via his Shroud Encounter Facebook page, informs us about an EWTN video, World Over – 2015-04-02 – Investigation the Shroud with Raymond Arroyo that was published on April 6, 2015. I can’t recall seeing this before. Thanks, Russ.

The brief description at YouTube reads, “A look at the mysterious linen thought to be the burial cloth of Christ, the Shroud of Turin. An encore of Raymond Arroyo’s special report: Investigating the Shroud.”

 

Icon With a Capital I

Elizabeth Scalia, writing for the Catholic Channel of Patheos, brings us An excerpt from John Thavis’ new book, The Vatican Prophesies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age:

imageAs one might expect, Pope Benedict, who was often called “the pope of reason,” was much more circumspect on the [Shroud, than Pope John Paul II.] He, too, was interested in the Shroud and had stood before it as a cardinal. As pope he ordered the extraordinary exhibition of the Shroud in 2010. Benedict himself flew to Turin to venerate the cloth and gave a speech in which he described the Shroud as an “icon,” a term that disappointed some of its devotees. In the code language of the Shroud, “icon” denotes just a holy image, while “relic” is the genuine object. But this was an icon with a capital “I” — literally, in the official text of the papal speech — which signaled some support for authenticity. Benedict added that the Shroud was “a winding-sheet that was wrapped round the body of a man who was crucified, corresponding in every way to what the Gospels tell us of Jesus.” That appeared to reject out of hand the theory that it was a medieval artistic creation. The pope then went o to speak of the Shroud in dramatic and poetic language that moved many of his listeners: “The Shroud is an Icon written in blood; the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced The Image impressed upon the Shroud is that of a dead man, but the blood speaks of his life. Every trace of blood speaks of love and of life. Especially that huge stain near his rib, made by the blood and water that flowed copious from the great wound inflicted by the tip of a Roman spear. That blood and that water speak of life. It is like a spring that murmurs in the silence, and we can hear it.”

Maybe the devil made them post this

imageI thought it sounded familiar.* Here was a short paragraph of indisputable wishful thinking. Here it was being quoted in an article without any attribution that I could see, its author being used solely as a straw man to be wishfully disputed:

[…] some of the inexplicable anomalies that the shroud seems to posses: the 3-dimensional quality of the image; the laser-like transmission of the image that is beyond our present technology, etc? Frankly, I can’t explain them. Neither do I care to. Satan has been very good at getting our attention off of God and getting us to waste our time on trivialities. If Satan, as the father of lies, can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), then he’s probably clever enough to provide some trickery in this world. […]

That part of a paragraph is from a short book, The Shroud of Turin: Holy or Hoax, by a fundamentalist preacher named Jon J. Cardwell of Anniston, Alabama. You can get a PDF of the book for free at Academia.edu. There are many little the-shroud-cannot-be-real gems in it like this:

The Hebrew word למרטים (L’Maratiym), which is translated “plucked off the hair,” literally means “to make bald.” Jesus Christ didn’t just have a tuft of His beard pulled out; His entire beard was plucked from His face!

And this:

according to Isaiah 52:14: “As many were astonied at Thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”  In other words, the Christ’s appearance would be disfigured until He was unrecognizable as a human being.

No, I did not forget (sic). Astonished is spelled astonied in the King James version of the Bible.

And this:

A cursory study of the coinage and the sculptures of that day do so inform and testify. By all three cultures, long hair for men “would have been regarded as a token of effeminacy.”

You get the idea! So one wonders, did Cardwell even need to be disputed. Julie LaBrecque and Walid Shoebat think so. In a blog posting, Amazing Discoveries Reveal That The Shroud Of Turin Included The Gospels, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection And The Trinity, they start off with this:

The evidence for the Shroud of Turin being divinely made is overwhelming; not only is it beyond doubt that it is the very burial cloth used to bury Christ, but the Shroud survived throughout the ages from fires and the scrutiny of science and the slander of men it put an end to several hotly debated issues (as we shall see here). The Shroud was no manmade relic, for it possesses attributes that defy science proving it conforms to no known law of physics (more on that later). It even etched the Gospel message putting an end to theological disputes by debunking the iconoclast and the opposition to the veneration of images. It ended the debate whether Christ was crucified on a stake or a cross and it even confirmed Christian theology regarding the Holy Trinity leaving the ardent skeptic with no answer but to slander it by saying that it was made by the devil himself:

Beyond doubt? Really? And … leaving the ardent skeptic with no answer but to slander the shroud by saying that it was made by the devil himself? Tell that to Colin Berry or Joe Nickell.

Okay, let’s see what we have from LaBrecque and Shoebat. There is this over-stretched counterargument :

Is all this denial because God chose that the Shroud be entrusted to Catholics given in succession, and by this the Shroud also proves that God designed an apostolic succession?

Nice try.  What about the Coptics, Greek, Ethiopian, Syriac and Russian Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, the Mar Thoma Orthodox when it comes to apostolic succession?

And, arguably, it was never really entrusted to the Catholics until Umberto II died in 1983.

There is this from LaBrecque and Shoebat (fasten your seatbelts and try to read it all):

It is here that we begin to see what baffles science. In 2004, Dame Piczek, a physicist, became fascinated by the total absence of distortion of the Shroud image, a physical impossibility if the body had been lying on solid rock. Piczek’s work strongly suggests that the image of Jesus was projected as a quantum hologram onto the cloth as His body underwent the process of Resurrection.

Piczek perhaps best known for her study of the Shroud of Turin was baffled “The entire Resurrection process is akin to the Big Bang creation of the universe when something was created from nothing,” explains Piczek. “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.”

She further explains:

“The Body is hovering between the upper and the lower sheet and there is NO TRACE OF GRAVITY. The lack of gravity is also further proven by the Shroud linen. The linen does not fall on top of the Body, but remains in its unnaturally stretched condition at some distance from the body.”

To fathom or even scientifically explain “no time” “no space” “no gravity” is an impossibility:

“According to the nature of event horizons the dead body must have left its image on the two surfaces of the event horizons. At the time of the explosion (when time stopped) of the event horizons these images were ejected onto both sides of the Shroud, with the body hovering parallel to the event horizons. This explains why the image shows a dead man, not the risen body, and also explains why the image is negative (went from a positive body image to the negative image like a camera film negative). This indicates how the image got onto the cloth.”

The complicated physics behind the image on the Shroud explained: “As quantum time collapses to absolute zero (time stopped moving) in the tomb of Christ, the two event horizons (one stopping events from above and the other stopping the events from below at the moment of the zero time collapse) going through the body get infinitely close to each other and eliminate each other.

And why would the devil, who loves death, want known that the transference of the Image to the cloth even speaks of a future resurrection event? …

Me: I’m about as far as you can get from being a fundamentalist or a biblical literalist. Even so, I would put my money on Genesis I with God hovering over the face of the waters and proclaiming, “Let there be light” and then taking a nap on the seventh day before I’d bet on any of Piczek’s ludicrous made-up physics.

imageMaybe the devil made LaBrecque and Shoebat post this piece. How would we know?  I mean, how can you  explain that a certain quoted fundamentalist preacher named Jon J. Cardwell of Anniston, Alabama was never even mentioned by name?  Maybe the devil didn’t want that?

* The devil made me tell a lie. I never thought that paragraph by Cardwell sounded familiar. I had never heard of him or his book. I went a-Googling for the source of that paragraph. 

Linen from India?

imageA reader writes:

Recent revelations in Nature suggesting the cloth now called the Turin Shroud may have originated in India reminds us of the legends about the Apostle Judas Thomas who likely traveled to Muziris on the Malabar Coast in A.D. 52. There he founded several church communities. The story of his sea journey to India reminds us there was active trade with that city and other seaports on the Indian subcontinent. Maybe we should be looking in India for examples of linen cloth similar to the Shroud.

Pictured, the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle in Mylapore, India.

imageI copied the following from Wikipedia.  There is a lot more in Wikipedia that makes for interesting reading. So, yes, indeed, maybe we should be looking harder at India and the entire area of the land and sea routes of the ancient Silk Road:

Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban center in the Malabar Coast (modern day Indian state of Kerala) that dates from at least the 1st century BC, if not before it. Muziris has found mention in the bardic Sangam literature and a number of classical European historical sources.[1][2][3]

The port was a key to the trade between southern India and the Phoenicians, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Roman Empire.[4][5] The important known commodities exported from Muziris were spices (such as black pepper and malabathron), semi-precious stones (such as beryl), pearls, diamonds, sapphires, ivory, Chinese silk, Gangetic spikenard and tortoise shells. The Romans brought money (in gold coins), peridots, thin clothing, figured linens, multicoloured textiles, sulfide of antimony, copper, tin, lead, coral, raw glass, wine, realgar and orpiment.[6][7] The locations of unearthed coin-hoards suggest an inland trade link from Muziris via the Palghat Gap and along the Kaveri Valley to the east coast of India. Though the Roman trade declined from the 5th century AD, the former Muziris attracted the attention of other nationalities, particularly the Persians, the Chinese and the Arabs, presumably until the devastating floods of Periyar in the 14th century.

The exact location of Muziris is still not known to historians and archaeologists. It is generally speculated to be situated around present day Kodungallur, a town situated 18 miles north of Cochin.[8] Kodungallur in central Kerala figures prominently in the ancient history of southern India as a vibrant urban hub of the Chera rulers.[9] A series of excavations were conducted at the village of Pattanam in North Paravur by Kerala Council for Historical Research (an autonomous institution outsourced by Kerala State Department of Archaeology) in 2006-07 and it was announced that the lost port of Muziris was found.[3][10][11] The rapid conclusion invited criticism from historians and archaeologists and started a healthy debate among historians of south India.[12][13][14]

image

What Type of Person Are You?

Tom Hoopes writes in the English edition of Aleteia, That Moment When You Start Taking Jesus Seriously:

There are two kinds of people attracted by the truth. First, there are people with highly attuned B.S.-detectors who want to find rock-bottom truth. They come to Christ through philosophy or scientific discovery or apologetics.

But then there are people who are not necessarily intellectuals but who delight in the “Amazing Faith Facts” side of Catholicism. The Shroud of Turin, the Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma or the blood of St. Januarius bring them in. These, too, thrill to the truth.  (emphasis mine)

And then there are those of us who …

More Carbon Dating and Other Studies of Christian Relics

The unit concluded that shroud was made between 1260 and 1390.

clip_image001Ruth Gledhill reports in Christian Today, in an article titled, Results on investigations into fragments of the True Cross coming soon:

Oxford University has launched a centre to study ancient Christian relics such as bones claimed to be those of St John the Evangelist, John the Baptist and fragments purported to be from the true Cross.

The new centre will be based at Keble College’s Advanced Studies Centre.

Researchers will use radiocarbon dating, genetics and theology to draw together research and findings from around the world to try and establish the authenticity or otherwise of some of the world’s most famous relics.

Some archaeologists already believe they have found pieces of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified

The centre follows advances in science which now allow higher precision radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis that establishes common ancestries and likely geographic origin of individuals.

Oxford has led the field in this area. Researchers used the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit to date the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the burial cloth of Christ. The unit concluded that shroud was made between 1260 and 1390.

Professor Thomas Higham of Oxford also led a team dating six small bone fragments found on an island in Bulgaria named Sveti Ivan, translated as St John, which turned out to be the bones were of a man who lived in the Middle East at the same time as Jesus.

In 2014, the team also analysed remains of a small finger bone attributed to John the Baptist that was associated with the famous Guelph Treasure. The sample from the finger bone was dated to 660-770 AD, which meant it was too young for St John the Baptist.

More recent work has included analysis of remains thought to be of St Luke, St David, and the True Cross, on which Jesus was crucified. The results of these investigations have yet to be published.

And there is more to the article.

Update to shroud.com around November 1

imageBarrie Schwortz lets us know by way of Facebook:

I am currently working on our fall website update, which will go online around November 1st and will include ten more issues of Rex Morgan’s Shroud News. We published the first 18 issues in our last update and will continue until the entire collection is archived online. The publication provides a fascinating view of Sindonology in the 1980’s and 90’s and is well worth reading.

And he provides a link to the page at shroud.com.

Was Jesus’ Body Washed?

imageStephen Jones has just completed a lengthy, ten-installment posting (appearing in chunks over a one month period) that is part of a response to a reader named Daryl, who asks, "Wasn’t Jesus’ body washed before putting it in the grave?"

It is certainly worth taking the time to read since it illustrates how complicated that question can be.  Stephen lists three possible answers that may be held by those who are what he calls “pro-authenticists.”

1) A full washing of Jesus’ body and a later oozing of blood This was the position of the lateFrederick Zugibe (1928-2013), the Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York:

"The body unquestionably would have been covered with blood because the heart pumps about 4,500 gallons of blood through the more than 60,000 miles of large and small blood vessels throughout the whole body each day. Instead of the very exact imprints of the wounds, the Shroud would bear large indistinct masses of blood over the entire image, including the face, arms, hands, feet, and trunk."[2]

But then Zugibe has a problem. If Jesus’ body was fully washed, how does he account for the fact that there is still blood on the Shroud? Zugibe’s unconvincing and inconsistent answer is that after Jesus’ body was washed, blood that was still in the wounds then oozed out onto the Shroud…

[…]

2) An incomplete washing due to shortness of time, leaving some blood on the Shroud This is a possible pro-authenticist position on the washing of Jesus’ body, although I don’t know of anyone who has held it. But as we saw above, since there was insufficient time for the full Jewish burial rites (see below), Joseph and Nicodemus would have postponed the washing of Jesus’ body (if there was to be one – see future) until after the Sabbath. And, as we saw, the bloodstains and dirt on Jesus’ face were not washed, which surely they would have been, even in an incomplete washing. So this second possible pro- authenticist position on the washing of Jesus’ body is also refuted by the evidence.

3) No washing due to shortness of time and Jewish law This is, as I understand it, the majority position held by Shroud pro-authenticists.

I guess I am in the minority or maybe even the group of none ( make that now one). I just don’t buy arguments like “surely they [=the wounds on Jesus’ face] would have been,”  given that we know so little about what really happened, and why so, some 2000 years ago. Moreover, I do find Zugibe quiet convincing for the most part.

Removing Weave Pattern from Images of the Shroud of Turin

Click on the picture to view larger image


imageWilfredo Orozco ( http://espacial.org & https://www.facebook.com/wilfredo.orozco.77 )from from Mendoza, Argentina writes:

With great pleasure I write to you from Mendoza, Argentina. I am the editor of the site "Espacial.org". This site is a scientific magazine with no lucrative aims.

I am sending you an image of the Man’s face of Shroud of Turin. I processed this image using a technique called FFT (Fast Fourier Transform). This technique is used to remove (or  attenuate) repetitive patterns from an image (for example the cloth pattern of Shroud of Turin). The program was written in C++.

More info:

http://espacial-org.blogspot.com/2015/09/imagenes-fft2_28.html

I think the result is very good. I hope that this image is to your liking!

I’m not a believer, but the case of the Shroud of Turin is mysterious and intriguing…

I send cordial greetings.

I’m wondering if the program is available?  Would it be useful to others?

No Closer to the Truth Because of Simony

Despite whatever encouragement we got from Bruno Barberis in St. Louis …

Comment Promoted

imageDaveb tells by way of a comment to Breaking News: Sources of DNA on the Shroud of Turin that us that he perceives a different aspect of the story. There may be a lot of truth to what he thinks.

… I suspect that the good people of Turin may still be locked into a medieval mind-set concerning their relic. It generates tourist dollars for their hotels, cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, tour guides, and even perhaps the occasional Fiat. But only so long as the mystery or enigma remains. Bring in the scientists, let them study the micrographs, and the truth may then be revealed, and it’s no longer the mystery that it was. The fear is that the cloth may be proved to be not what it appears to be. Goodbye to the tourist dollars. Goodbye to the worshippers.

But what if indeed it is the burial cloth of the Christ? We can get no closer to the answer, because of this simony. Millions are deprived of knowing the truth, all because of the lame excuse that the scientists are too disputative, too skeptical, too arrogant or too whatever. So likely as not, so long as the fear remains, we will never know the truth.

Despite whatever encouraging words we might have heard from Bruno Barberis in St. Louis on the future of shroud research, I’m not seeing any reason to be encouraged. Dave may have why.

A year ago, almost to the day, I wrote in "Just the facts, ma’am.":

Therefore, it was refreshing to hear Bruno Barberis, in his paper, The Future Of Research On The Shroud, call for re-examination of factual information. Here are a few of items that I quickly jotted down:

  • Iron concentrations at different places on the shroud, image and non-image areas, bloodstains, etc.
  • Presence of proteins at different places on the shroud
  • Oxidation and dehydration origins and characteristics
  • Aragonite traces
  • Pollen identification
  • Confirm that there is no image under the bloodstains
  • New and expanded analysis of the bloodstains

My notes are inadequate, but you get the idea. Oh, by-the-way, Barberis pointed out that the STURP results should be the starting point. In other words . . .

And Professor Barberis didn’t hold out much hope that this would happen soon. “I’m not the pope,” he said. And he doubted that he would be the next pope.

Your thoughts?

New Posting by Joe Nickell at CFI

clip_image001Joe is up with a new posting at the Center for Inquiry. There is no news in Turin “Shroud” Still a Fake. It is pretty much what we discussed in four postings with a total of 193 on-topic comments:

Now, chemists Marco Bella, Luigi Garlaschelli, and Roberto Samperi have published a paper that concludes (with its title), “There is no mass spectrometry evidence that the C14 sample from the Shroud of Turin comes from a ‘medieval invisible mending.’”

[…]

So once again, attacks on the accuracy of the radiocarbon testing have been discredited. Some shroud believers invoked the supernatural, suggesting that an imagined burst of radiant energy from Christ’s resurrection had altered the carbon ratio. One scientist claimed a microbial coating on the cloth had caused an erroneous date; however, not only had the samples been thoroughly cleansed before testing, but for the date to have been altered by thirteen centuries, there would have had to be twice as much contamination, by weight, as the cloth itself!

CFI, mainly a blog, is a program of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI).