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What is bigger: The Shroud showing in Turin or the History Channel in the US?

April 3, 2010 6 comments

The Daily Mirror in the UK is telling us that attendance at the Shroud of Turin exposition in Turin, April 10-May 23, 2010, may reach four million – that is the latest estimate. Wow!

But, the article goes on to stay that this is not the big story. The big story is the History Channel presentation in the U.S. of “The Real Face of Jesus” in which Ray Downing attempted to produce a 3D rendering of Jesus from data on the Shroud.

The Mirror goes on to say:

Attempts to date the relic have been inconclusive. A 1978 study found no evidence that the shroud was a fake and concluded it was "a mystery". But it was condemned as a forgery in 1988 after carbon-dating tests by researchers in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, estimated it was made between 1260 and 1390.

In 1999, another group put a 7th century date on it. And in the same year a Jerusalem botanist reported that pollen grains on the shroud were from plants found only in the Holy Land.

In 2005, American chemist Dr Raymond Rogers, considered a shroud authority, claimed it was between 1,300 and 3,000 years old and argued earlier tests were inaccurate because they were carried out on patches of material added to the sheet by nuns in the Middle Ages.

Actually there is a mistake in the last sentence above. The writer is confusing the theoretical repair proposed by Rogers and others with the crude patches sewn on by nuns following fire damage.

Other than that one mistake, this a good story in the Mirror.

Breaking News – Two Hour Special on the History Channel: The Real Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin

March 22, 2010 1 comment

PRESS RELEASE from History (History Channel)

THIS EASTER HISTORY(TM) ENTERS UNCHARTED TERRITORY – WILL MODERN TECHNOLOGY AND AN ANCIENT CLOTH REVEAL THE REAL FACE OF JESUS?

Premieres Tuesday, March 30, 8-10pm ET/PT

Premieres Tuesday, March 30, 9-11pm ET/PT (Corrected Time)

New York, NY, March 18, 2010 – On Tuesday, MARCH 30, 8-10pm ET/PT, HISTORY(TM) will premiere a very special two-hour event, a quest no one has ever before attempted – come along for this thrilling journey as a team of graphic experts seeks to bring to life the image contained on the holy relic many believe to be Jesus’ shroud. Will the team’s work reveal THE REAL FACE OF JESUS?

For the devout and curious alike, this documentary feature may bring us the closest we have ever come to seeing what Jesus actually looked like.

Science and religion join together, bringing cutting-edge computer technology to an ancient stretch of fabric, and creating a living, moving 3D image of the man many believe to be Jesus Christ.

The starting point of this journey is an ancient 14-foot linen cloth known as the Shroud of Turin, believed by millions to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Imprinted on the fabric is a faint, ghostly image of a crucified man. The question of whether this man is or is not Jesus has been debated for centuries. But when 3D computer graphics artist Ray Downing decided to use today’s most sophisticated electronic tools and software to recreate the face of Jesus, the Shroud of Turin is the first place he turned.

While there have been many documentaries about the shroud, most have centered on the shroud’s authenticity. HISTORY’s THE REAL FACE OF JESUS? presents something very different: an attempt to reveal the image embedded in the fibers of the fabric, to turn the faint, unfocused, two-dimensional image into a living, moving, 3D creation – if they are successful, this may be the most accurate depiction ever made of the man many believe to be Jesus Christ.

HISTORY worked with CG artist Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth to attempt this reconstruction. Downing and his team are not strangers to CG resurrection – they brought back the person of Abraham Lincoln using CG reconstruction techniques for the Lincoln bicentennial. However, in recreating Lincoln Downing had the luxury of working from over 100 photographs, while the Shroud of Turin is a single faint image on cloth, covered with blood, dirt, water stains, burn holes and other distortions.

As the starting point for a 3D model of Jesus, the Shroud provides an amazing advantage: the image of the man is mysteriously encoded with three-dimensional information. An astonishing discovery was made in 1976, and a property no other painting or artwork has — “The presence of 3D information encoded in a 2D image is quite unexpected, as well as unique,” says Downing. “It is as if there is an instruction set inside a picture for building a sculpture.” But can today’s technology and man’s skill in using it build this sculpture, resurrecting the man in the shroud for all to see?

The encoding of 3D information onto an ancient piece of cloth has fascinated believers and skeptics alike, not least among them John Jackson, a professor of Physics at the University of Colorado. In 1978, Jackson led a team of American scientists which was given exclusive access to the cloth for five days of intensive scientific examination. Jackson has continued his analysis of that data until the present time. In late 2009, Downing and HISTORY traveled to Jackson’s Turin Shroud Center in Colorado to learn more about the science of the cloth from the man who has studied it first-hand. But despite decades of intense scientific investigation, the mechanism underlying the mysterious encoding of this three dimensional data within the Shroud remains elusive. Against the background of Shroud history and information, HISTORY’s team is seen grappling with the faint Shroud image to wrestle out the hidden face within.

Coaxing the image from the cloth proves to be no easy task. After months of work, a breakthrough: Downing focuses on the fact that the cloth would have been wrapped around the face of the man buried beneath. (The Mona Lisa would look quite different if DaVinci’s canvas had been wrapped around his model’s head.) In THE REAL FACE OF JESUS? Downing is able to account for that distortion in the image and remove it, leaving an accurate, undistorted, never-before-seen, moving 3D portrait of the image presented on the Shroud of Turin.

Finally, HISTORY is ready to present to viewers a face both hidden and preserved in time. But for Downing, there are two stories here. “There is the story of the Shroud which, artistically and scientifically, is the story of a transition from two dimensional to three dimensional. But there is as well the story of the man in the Shroud, and a record of His transformation from death to life”, Downing observes, “The two stories are intertwined, they seem to be one and the same”.

Permanently stored and out of public view, this year The Shroud of Turin will have its first public exhibition in 10 years. Between April 10 and May 23, 2010, millions of people from all over the world are expected to visit it at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. According to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the Shroud on May 2, 2010.

THE REAL FACE OF JESUS? is produced by Left/Right in conjunction with Studio Macbeth for HISTORY. Executive Producer is Ken Druckerman, co-Producer is Ray Downing. HISTORY Executive Producer is Carl H. Lindahl.

HISTORY(TM) and HISTORY HD(TM) are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network’s program offerings are hit series such as Ax Men, Battle 360, How The Earth Was Made, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and The Universe, as well as acclaimed specials including 102 Minutes That Changed America, 1968 with Tom Brokaw, King, Life After People, Nostradamus: 2012, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and WWII in HD. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy(R) Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network’s latest initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY web site, located at http://www.history.com, is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games, podcasts and more.

The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery – Exciting New Book

March 8, 2010 6 comments

image

From the pen of Robert K. Wilcox, author of Shroud published by Macmillan in 1997, we now have a new book, The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery. The scuttlebutt is that it is well-researched, accurate and easy to read. Published by Regnery Publishing, Inc., the countries leading publisher of conservative books, this 262 page book should be a non-fiction bestseller, if not the 2010 bestseller, among Shroud of Turin books.

It is available at 1) Amazon, 2) Barnes & Noble, 3) Borders and 4) bookstores everywhere. The good news, too, is that it is in stock and available for next-day delivery if you order online.

More good news is that you can get the book for your Kindle and other electronic book readers as well.  The bad news is that you must wait until tomorrow, March 9 for the Kindle edition. I ordered it from Amazon for my iPhone but must wait until after midnight tonight to start reading it electronically.

The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery

  • $16.95 for trade size (6×9) 262 pages. In stock everywhere.
  • $9.95 for Kindle and iPhone and Apple iPad. (March 9)

Likely Shroud of Turin Bestseller

March 4, 2010 4 comments

imageFrom the five-times New York Times bestselling author, Jerome R. Corsi, whose book The Obama Nation was #1 for a month and on the New York Times list for ten weeks, comes a novel about the Shroud of Turin: The Shroud Codex. Published by Simon & Shuster (available April 13, 2010), this book is certain to be another bestseller.

From a Simon & Shuster press release:

After a priest suffers a near-death experience, he is given a new purpose in life—to unravel the codex hidden within the Shroud of Turin.

A horrific car crash puts Father Paul Bartholomew’s life in jeopardy, until he is given a second chance at life – but not without a divine sine qua non. He must endure three years of intensive rehabilitation before being given thirty days to bring the message behind the Shroud of Turin to humanity. While saying Mass on the first day that he is well enough to return to his church, Father Bartholomew experiences what can only be described as a stigmata. Soon thereafter, he begins to look remarkably like the figure of Jesus Christ on the Shroud of Turin.

As word of the priest’s supposed miracles spreads, the Vatican launches an investigation to make sure the astounding transformation isn’t an elaborate hoax. Soon, Father Bartholomew is being examined and analyzed by Dr. Stephen Castle, a prominent New York City psychiatrist and atheist who has built an international reputation arguing that religion is a figment of human imagination that causes all war and suffering. He is aided by a religious researcher and a chemist who has made a career of debunking supposed miracles. Yet even the team of researchers and experts must admit there are things they can’t rationalize. As the investigation widens to include origins of the Shroud of Turin itself, each man is forced to face mysteries of faith that cannot be explained by sheer reason alone.

Inspired by his lifelong interest in what is surely the most famous of religious relics, Jerome R. Corsi delves into the history and science of the Shroud and takes believing and non-believing readers on an unforgettable journey of possibilities.

The hardcover edition will retail for $26.00, however, you can pre-order the book at Amazon.com for $17.16. Do so.

As soon as possible, I will provide a review of the book.

krissthesexyatheist trying to debunk the Shroud of Turin by faith

March 1, 2010 1 comment

Kriss, I have no issue with your atheism or agnosticism when it comes to the historical existence of Jesus. On these matters I respectfully disagree. What I do have a problem with is your use of facts.

You wrote:

According Gary Vikan carbon 14 dating shows, “it could not possibly have come into contact with the historical Jesus (if there ever was a historical Jesus-I’m agnostic on that).”

You might want to review the science on this matter. It is now widely recognized that the carbon dating must be considered invalid. Ray Rogers, who had accepted the carbon dating, decided to disprove a crazy explanation from what he called the lunatic fringe. The crazy idea was that the Shroud had been mended and the samples were from that mending job. What Rogers discovered was that the crazy idea seemed to be right. He concluded that the sample used for carbon dating was not representative of the cloth. It was chemically different. Moreover, one of the chemical differences, the amount of vanillin, provided a new clue about the cloth’s age. Samples from the main part of the cloth, unlike the carbon 14 sample area, did not contain any vanillin. If the shroud was only as old as the radiocarbon date, it would have plentiful vanillin.  The Shroud was at least twice as old. It might be 2000 years old. After a lengthy peer review process, his findings that the carbon dating was wholly invalid were published in the scientific journal Thermochimica Acta.

Rogers’ published work showing that the carbon dating is invalid has been confirmed by John L Brown, a forensic materials specialist at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia and by Robert Villarreal and a team of nine scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The Shroud first appeared in 1357 and was in possession of French nobleman Geofrey de Charnay. Bishop of Troyes, Henri of Poitiers, believed it to be a fake, why, because the artist that claimed to make it told him so.

There is not a single shred of historical evidence other than the claim by Pierre d’Arcis that Henri of Poitiers ever thought so. No 30 years passed. You can’t write history this way and you should know better.

30 years pass, and in 1389 Henri’s successor, Pierre d’Archis states, “The Shroud is a product of human handiwork.” Although the Pope at the time allowed the Shroud to be displayed, he did so with caution and only if a priest were present to acknowledge that the Shroud is Not the true burial cloth of Jesus.

The consensus of many historians is that Pierre d’Archis was referring to a painted copy then on display. Many other papers at the time (historians need to consider all sources) dispute the Bishop’s claim. You are resorting to cafeteria style pick and choose history. Actually the claim was a forger had painted the shroud, not merely that it was handiwork, which brings us to the next point. You wrote:

Walter C McCrowe, in biblical Archaeology Review (Nov/Dec 98), “I concluded in two papers…that the Shroud was painted in 1355.” Other papers confirmed the results with X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray determination and carbon dating. The Shroud was produced around 1355.

You have all this wrong. The “X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray determination” you mention as well as visible and ultraviolet spectrometry, infrared spectrometry and pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry, laser-­microprobe Raman analyses, and microchemical testing show no evidence of pigments or media. Even McCrone’s own employees proved McCrone wrong. See Didn’t Ray Rogers provide a definitive answer about paint?  BTW: Carbon dating can’t tell us if McCrone’s claims of inorganic compounds (paint) exist.

You wrote:

Rev. Lino Otero, “Our search for the truth is guided by faith.” And that is the problem. Faith is has already come to it’s conclusion. Conformation bias will skew the results because of preconceived beliefs. Where is the scientific method and the search for the truth? It is nowhere if faith is the guide.

Good grief. Faith is not incompatible with scientific method or the search for truth. Faith, of course, does not provide observations, facts or measurements in the pursuit of science, but it can be a guiding principle. Don’t confuse faith with blind faith.

He went on to write:

One million tickets have been sold for the April 10-May 23 viewing of the original Shroud in Italy.

No. Wrong again. The tickets are free. The showing of the shroud will be very costly for the archdiocese of Turin.

The Vatican has not taken an official stance on whether the Shroud is authentic or not; but I’m sure that they do know that pilgrimages will bring in big money-for the original Shroud and its replicas. Why do believers still flock to see an unauthentic icon that has been debunked several times over, from a church that has lied and hurt society several times over-cognitive dissonance.

Because the debunkers have been debunked and so far have not been able to produce scientifically or historically sustainable arguments. Your arguments seem to be guided mostly by your faith.

See krissthesexyatheist: Debunking the Shroud of Turin, Again.

Shroud of Turin exhibition committee Video

March 1, 2010 2 comments

The video HERE from the Shroud Exhibition Committee is being billed at YouTube as a response to another video, Restauración de la Sábana Santa (2002) & M. Flury-Lemberg. In reality, it is a defense of the very controversial 2002 restoration. Archaeologists, chemists and other shroud researchers have condemned the restoration for being potentially destructive to the cloth and particularly to archaeological and scientific studies of the shroud.

For a comprehensive criticism of the restoration see William Meacham’s book, The Rape of The Shroud. I agree with Meacham. I think the restoration was reckless. I think this video, while interesting, does nothing to justify Flury-Lemberg’s actions. I believe she was well intentioned, but unprofessional.

YouTube – interviw with Flury Lemberg.

Categories: 2010, News & Views, Science

A Green Shroud of Turin Exhibition

February 26, 2010 Comments off

Note the green, bold text below in this story by Chiara Santomiero of Zenit News (Zenit.org):

TURIN, Italy, FEB. 24, 2010More than a million pilgrims have made reservations to view the Shroud of Turin when it is displayed this April in the city’s cathedral.

The shroud — believed to be the cloth Christ was buried in — will be on display April 10-23 at the Turin Cathedral. The last time it was displayed was 10 years ago.

Nearly a million reservations have been made by Italians alone. Other reservations have come from Argentina, Burkina Faso, Japan and Russia.
 
Some 4,500 volunteers are currently training to help with the logistics. “Those who collaborate in this event do so for free,” said Maurizio Bardello, director of the Committee for the Exposition of the Holy Shroud. The organization “has been guided by criteria of sobriety and expected costs. A wide use of recyclable material is planned.”

The director added that some permanent renovations are under way, such as a remodeling of the Chiablese Palace, where pilgrims will be able to attend Eucharistic Adoration and receive the sacrament of confession.

Planning green

In addition to the use of recyclables, other environmentally friendly plans are being made.

“To reduce the effect on the city of the arrival of close to 20,000 expected buses, each one will be asked for a contribution of €30 destined exclusively to plant new trees,” said Bardello.

 

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