Historian Emmanuel Poulle and the Shroud of Turin

Cazab notes as a comment from Ignorance or Bigotry or PZ Myer-ism « Shroud of Turin Blog:

Among historians, I think it is worth mentioning french historian Emmanuel Poulle who published in 2006 and 2009 two of the most important articles on the Turin Shroud in renowned peer-reviewed journals : Revue d’Histoire de l’Eglise de France and Revue d’Histoire Ecclesiastique( http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18512573 and http://www.rhe.eu.com/pages/rhe195.asp )

I know it is written in French but I cannot explain why he is (almost?) never mentioned by historians such as Scavone.

Outstanding Response to Recent Carbon Dating Paper

imageMark Oxley has spent over three years carrying out detailed research on the history of the Shroud of Turin and on the scientific studies that have been carried out on it. A scientist by training with an avid interest in both classical and mediaeval history, he has used both disciplines to carry out an in-depth review of the current state of knowledge about the Shroud.

Over the years he has followed the scientific debate on the Shroud and particularly the controversy over its radio-carbon dating. It was this controversy in particular and some of the hypotheses that arose from it that eventually led to his decision to carry out further research and write his own outstanding book on the subject of the Shroud. (Amazon.com). It is a privilege to publish, here, his comments on the recent paper discussed below.

With Permission


Dear Researchers

Over the Christmas period I have taken the opportunity to read the recent paper in Radiocarbon, "Investigating a Dated Piece of the Shroud of Turin", by Timothy Jull and Rachel Freer-Waters.   I have also re-read papers by Joe Marino and Sue Benford, Ray Rogers and John Brown that describe examinations of the Raes threads, the area where the radiocarbon samples were taken from and a radiocarbon sample itself from the Shroud that clearly show substantial contamination, as well as the 1989 paper by Danon et al, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin", of which Jull was one of the co-authors.   Finally I also had a look at Bill Meacham’s 1986 paper "Radiocarbon Measurement and the Age of the Turin Shroud:  Possibilities and Uncertainties".

In 2002 Ray Rogers and Anna Arnoldi published a paper "Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin:  A Review" which not only describes chemical characteristics of the Raes threads but also a photographic examination of the area from where the radiocarbon samples were taken.   It also gives very clear and well thought out guidelines to proper scientific thinking.   The paper describes the presence of cotton in a Raes sample (also reported by Jull in his radiocarbon sample) and explains that cotton was almost unknown in Europe until 1350.   This would suggest that if the Shroud material dates to before 1350, as even the radiocarbon dating shows is likely, it cannot be of European origin.   It also describes how Rogers’ examination of the Shroud cloth showed that it had been produced using technology in use before the advent of large-scale bleaching and that this indicated a pre-mediaeval age for the Shroud.   Rogers extended his work to a chemical examination of threads that had been taken from a radiocarbon sample before it was distributed for dating.   He received these from Prof Luigi Gonella, who had taken them at the time the samples were cut from the Shroud.   In his paper "Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin", published in Thermochimica Acta in 2005, Rogers describes chemical characteristics of Shroud fibres which indicate that it is considerably older than 700 years.   He also describes a gum/dye/mordant coating on Raes and radicarbon sample yarns that he says is "easy to observe" and states that the radiocarbon sample has been dyed.   The gum he describes as being water-soluble and easily-hydrolysed and says that it would have been removed completely by the cleaning procedures used on the dated samples.

I personally find Ray Rogers’ work utterly convincing.   He describes in great detail the tests he carried out, the results he obtained and the conclusions he reached.   His findings of impurities on the Raes threads is supported by a microscopic examination of Raes threads by John Brown, a retired research scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.   Brown’s paper "Microscopical Investigation of Selected Raes Threads from the Shroud of Turin", published in 2005, includes photographs that clearly show encrustations on the threads.   Rogers’ work has shown that the Raes threads and the radiocarbon sample had similar chemical characteristics with regard to contamination.

Joe Marino and Sue Benford, in their paper "Discrepancies in the Radiocarbon Dating Area of the Turin Shroud", published in Chemistry Today in 2008, describe the results of an unpublished study carried out by STURP in 1978 as well as further analysis of Raes threads and a radiocarbon sub-sample from the Zurich laboratory, all of which provide additional evidence of contamination of the radiocarbon sample.

Jull dismisses all of this without any explanation and claims that those removing the samples for dating in 1988 were aware of repair material.   As the suggestion that the samples were taken from an area where there was an invisible 16th century patch was only made in 2000, this is hardly likely.   As the suggested patch was specifically made to be invisible to the naked eye, this make Jull’s assertion even more unlikely.

Jull states that his tests were carried out on fibres taken from a fragment remaining from the carbon-14 study in 1988.  He states further that his sample is a fragment cut on the arrival of the Arizona carbon-14 sample in Tucson on 24 April 1988 by himself, and that it has been in his custody continously.    At this point one has no alternative but to query the provenance of this fragment.

Damon et al reported that "Because it was not known to what degree dirt, smoke or other contaminants might affect the linen samples, all three laboratories subdivided the samples, and subjected the pieces to several different mechanical and chemical cleaning procedures."   The Arizona group split each sample (the Shroud sample and the control samples) into four subsamples.   These subsamples were then subjected to cleaning procedures described in detail by Damon et al.   These procedures would undoubtedly have removed the contaminants reported by Rogers.

One has therefore to ask the question, did Jull take his sample before or after the cleaning process?   Has he inadvertently used a cleaned fragment for his tests, which would of course totally invalidate his results.   The complete contrast between his results and those of Rogers, Marino and Benford, and Brown would suggest that this must be considered a possibility.   If his sample was in its original state, then the contrast between his results and those of other, equally reputable scientists defies explanation.   It cannot just be brushed away.

It is my intention to prepare a short paper giving more detail of the work to which I refer above, as a rebuttal of Jull’s paper.   I will post this in due course.

As a final note, it is worth referring to the exact match between the bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo and the image on the Shroud, which was referred to in the documentary The Real Face of Jesus and which is described in detail by G H Moreno et al in their paper "Comparative Study of the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin" presented to the Third International Congress for the Study of the Shroud of Turin in 1998.   As the Sudarium has a recorded history of some 1 300 years, this is further evidence of a pre-mediaeval date for the Shroud.

Best wishes


The Contagious Transcendence: Christmas Truce of WWI

imageSteven and Michael Meloan who wrote, The Shroud (available in paperback and Kindle ebook) have an interesting Christmastide op-ed in The Huffington Post:

A mysterious peace swept across the Western Front on Christmas Eve 1914.

The Western Front, during World War I, was a system of trenches lined by wooden posts and barbed wire, stretching nearly 500 miles from the North Sea coast, south to the Swiss border. Typically, soldiers were only separated by 70 yards of "no man’s land," so close they could hear enemy voices in the lull between sniper fire and artillery rounds. Weather at the end of 1914 was brutal, relentless freezing rain had turned the trenches into a numbing river of mud. The first year of the war had already claimed roughly a million soldiers.

By Christmas Eve, British troops had received "Princess Mary Boxes," tins containing chocolates, butterscotch, cigarettes, tobacco and a picture card of Princess Mary. German troops each received a large meerschaum pipe, and fine cigars for the officers. As darkness fell, fighting along the entire front mysteriously dwindled, until finally there was profound silence. According to letters from soldiers, some German infantrymen had received tiny tennenbaum trees, and began decorating them with candles and placing them on the parapet amid the barbed wire. The British were captivated by the twinkling lights appearing along the trenches. Then they heard faint singing, Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht. The melody was unmistakable. Some of the Brits began to sing along in English. Then Christmas greetings were shouted back and forth. Finally, a few brave soldiers arose from the trenches with offerings of food and tobacco. Before long, no man’s land was filled with soldiers greeting one another, exchanging food, trading buttons from their uniforms, and showing pictures of loved ones. Sometimes a stuffed sandbag served as a soccer ball, and impromptu games began with jackets marking the goals. Festivities and camaraderie lasted all through Christmas day.

Steven and Michael Meloan: Contagious Transcendence–The Christmas Truce of 1914

More on Shroud of Turin Comings and Goings in Books

A reader in Houston wonders:

So is this a measure of controversy or success?

A reader in Argentina disagrees with my spot analysis:

You have misread the effect of the carbon dating. Interest was already in decline. The bottom line is that after STURP public interest was kept alive almost exclusively by Barrie Schwortz and you other webanairs.

And Sean Fitzpatrick observes:

I see three peaks. The run-ups were Pia and Vignon, STURP and SSG. Notice that ‘Shroud of Turin’ replaced ‘Holy Shroud’ as the choice title in the late 1970s.


Shroud of Turin Comings and Goings in Books « Shroud of Turin Blog

Shroud of Turin Comings and Goings in Books

Here we see a plot of occurrences of three different “bigrams” shown as a percentage of all words and meaningful bigrams in a statistically significant sample of books published in English between 1898 and 2008. By 1910 the Secondo Pia excitement of 1898 had faded. STURP was in 1978 and the carbon dating in 1988. The carbon dating of the shroud was being doubted in some quarters by the mid-1990s onward and Rogers’ paper was published in 2005. The data is not available beyond 2008. It will be interesting to see what it shows. Values before 1898 are consistently about zero going back to 1600.


Does this tell us anything or is it just interesting?

Source: Google Labs

Tinfoil Hat Area: It is hard to imagine a more ludicrous Shroud of Turin scenario

I continue to contend that lunatic theories are a bigger threat to the credibility of the Shroud of Turin than any of its skeptics. Now we see another example from someone named Arthur Cristian who welcomes PayPal contributions to “Support The Love For Life Campaign, Kindom (sic) & The Cristian Family.”

He writes on his website to tells us about one of Dr. Joye Pugh most lunatic theories:

imageThe Shroud of Turin, says Joye, is a legitimate artifact from Jesus’ crucifixion and has been used, by modern science, for nefarious purposes. The Shroud is real, says Joye. Carbon dating of this artifact may have been a conspiracy to conceal its legitimacy. Evidence found in the Book of Revelation suggests that the Antichrist is a demonic clone. Clones do not have a soul which makes them the perfect vehicle for demonic influence.

Joye’s research unearths a myriad of clues suggesting that Princess Diana was used by the Royal Family as a "sacrificial lamb" to usher in the Antichrist – Prince William. She believes the Shroud of Turin will eventually be proven legitimate and Prince William’s DNA will match Christ’s DNA taken from the shroud. When it is revealed that Prince William shares the same DNA as Christ (cloned), the public will embrace him as the Messiah. Dr. Joye ties this event in with a staged "alien threat" which, she believes, will frighten the public into trusting Prince (King) William as their leader and protector. Her theory ties in with 2012, the London Olympics, secret excavations in Iraq, ley lines, and HAARP.

Who is Dr. Joye Pugh? Google her to find out. Wear your tinfoil hat.

A Most Embarrassing Book. Why? It mentions the Shroud of Turin

Dear Jason Gardner, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Seagoville, Texas. You asked in your blog:

[W]hat book that you’ve actually purchased with actual money are you most embarrassed to have bought?

And then you tell us your answer. It was Jesus: The Great Debate by Grant R. Jeffrey (1999, available in paperback and Kindle). You went on:

Nothing personal against Mr. Jefferey, but I can’t take seriously these days any book that argues for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.

I’ve never read the book so I can’t comment on it. But what struck me as peculiar about your posting was that you would find it embarrassing to have purchased a book.  I can’t recall ever in my life being embarrassed for having purchased a book. I might not agree with the author. I might not like a book. I may find it ludicrous or distasteful. I might know it is a wacky book before buying it, But why should I be embarrassed. Honestly, I may not want to brag about buying some particular book. But should I be embarrassed?

What struck me as particularly interesting was that you “can’t take seriously these days any book that argues for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.”

I get it. I once felt that way about the Shroud. Could it be real? How ridiculous. How could anyone think it is real: the actual burial shroud of Jesus? The fact that the Shroud of Turin has an image on it, believed to be a picture of Christ, made it seem beyond preposterous.

On a flight from New York to Miami, I was reading Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Thomas Cahill’s book about the apostolic era. Having enjoyed Cahill’s previous best seller, The Gifts of the Jews, I thought I would enjoy his newest book. And indeed I was. Suddenly, with no logical reason that I could see, Cahill introduced the Shroud of Turin. It might have been a treasure of the early church, he thought. I laughed out loud. I laughed so loudly that people on the plane were turning around to see who was creating such a foolish scene.

I remember, at the time, being surprised that I knew so little about the Shroud. Then in my mid-fifties, I had always been an avid reader of history, particularly early church history. I could not recall ever reading anything about the Shroud of Turin. It was so far from being something I cared about that I never paid it any attention. Thus, when in 1979, Walter McCrone, a world renowned forensic microscopist, claimed that he found paint on a few Shroud fibers, I didn’t notice the story. McCrone, having noted that the shroud had suddenly appeared in 1356 in the hands of a French knight who would not say where it came from and that a local bishop soon thereafter claimed that an artist “cunningly painted” it, declared it fake.  Had I noticed the story in 1979, I would have certainly accepted his conclusion. It would have made sense.

A decade later, when three radiocarbon dating laboratories, using carbon 14 dating, supposedly proved the Shroud of Turin was medieval, I didn’t notice. Had I, I would have certainly accepted the conclusion. I trust science. I did then and, more than ever, I do now.

Moreover, I am naturally skeptical about any relic with a historical footprint in medieval Europe. The year 1356 was a time of unbridled superstition in demons, witches, magic, and miracle-working relics.

Well, I’ve come around. I think the Shroud is genuine. My bookshelves are filled with books that argue both sides of the controversy. I’ve read them all. Some I’ve read many times. I am not embarrassed by any of them. Truly, though, I may be disappointed that I spent the money on some of them.

imageMight I not have taken Cahill seriously – it was a wonderful book – simply because he argued for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin? That would have been tragic. Can I not take Gary Habermas seriously because he argued for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin? I’m thinking, in particular, about his wonderful book, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ. What a great book that has been for me.

My question to you sir is why are you so convinced that the Shroud is not real? Why are you so convinced that it would cause you embarrassment to read a book by an author who thinks it might be real? What if the book was otherwise a great book?

Why do you think the Shroud is not real?

Yours truly,

Dan Porter



The Most Embarrassing Book I’ve Ever Purchased | Εις Δοξαν

The Face of God: Another Review

Another review of Paul Badde’s new book, The Face of God: Edward Pentin writes in Zenit News:

imageROME, DEC. 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- "A gripping cultural thriller" is the assessment of the German magazine Der Spiegel.

It’s referring to "The Face of God," a book by the German journalist and historian Paul Badde that recounts his fascinating quest to uncover the truth behind the Holy Face of Manoppello.

He describes it as a kind of "logbook of the discovery from the beginning" — a vivid and engaging account of how he and a small number of experts came to "rediscover" the Holy Face as the authentic cloth allegedly found in Christ’s empty tomb by the apostles Peter and John.

Exhibited in a church in Manoppello, a small town in Italy’s Abruzzo region, it bears the mysterious image of a man’s face on byssus cloth, or sea silk — a fabric so thin and delicate that it’s impossible to paint on. Yet the image of a bearded, almost dreamy face, marked by wounds, is clearly visible from both the front and back. It possesses a luminous quality and an expression that changes depending on the direction of the light. It also has the exact same dimensions as the face imprinted on the Shroud of Turin.

"It can’t be painted, there’s no trace of color on it and yet it somehow looks painted," Badde tells ZENIT in his apartment near the Vatican. "It’s completely inexplicable."

The first person to claim it as the Holy Face was German Jesuit Heinrich Pfeiffer in 1999. His first theory coincided with local tradition: that the image was stolen from the Vatican in the disputed process of the construction of the new Basilica of St. Peter’s, sometime between 1506 and 1606. But since then, he and others believe it disappeared during the Sack of Rome (1527) and found its way to Manoppello. He also believes that the image derived from forces unleashed by the Resurrection — forces which, he says, also cast an imprint of a body on the Shroud of Turin. From the very beginning, both cloths have been classified as "acheiropoietos" — Greek for images "not made by man’s hand."

Recreating the scene

It’s here where the story becomes most fascinating. The discoverers of the Holy Face claim the reason why Peter and John became convinced of the Resurrection was because Peter saw the Holy Shroud (among other cloths, collectively called "othonia" by John) on a raised area on the right side of the tomb. "Separate from these cloths," and therefore probably on the lower, left side of the tomb, was what John called the "soudarion" — the thin veil with the Holy Face. Mary Magdalen was the first to discover the empty tomb and was upset and ran to the apostles. But when Peter and John hurriedly returned in the early dawn, they reacted differently.

Badde poses the question why. "Peter wasn’t smarter, he wasn’t braver, yet she ran away saying they’ve taken him away," he points out. The rediscoverers of the Holy Face claim it was because Peter saw the luminous cloth in the tomb, and not any other object (including the Shroud) in that part of the grave because of such poor light (when Mary Magdalen entered earlier, it was too dark to see even the soudarion). Such a theory is plausible, Badde believes, "if you take the Gospel seriously, take these objects seriously, take the structure of the tomb seriously, and then the hour and the light."

Another, perhaps more crucial point, is if the Holy Face is so pivotal to the apostles immediate realization of the Resurrection, why has it been hardly discussed in the course of history? Badde points out the importance of religious purity to the Jews and that, to them, objects from a tomb are always impure. Had it therefore become public knowledge to the Jews that such an object was being venerated, the apostles would have been hounded out and may not have survived to form the first Christian communities. (Badde recalls that in the Gospels, when Jesus returned to visit their home, they kept the doors locked because, he believes, they were afraid they’d be seen with this image which was "absolutely unbearable" to the other Jews).

No empty tomb

A further key aspect of the Holy Face is its connection with the Shroud of Turin. "The two images fit as one, as a single seal," Badde says, and stresses that the dimensions of the face match exactly – a discovery made by another German researcher, Sister Pascalis Shlömer, an iconographer. "These are the first [Gospel] texts, and they’re complementary texts," he says. "The Shroud talks about the Passion; this talks about the Resurrection."

For this reason, he won’t accept talk of an empty tomb — even from the Holy Father. After the Pope referred to it as such in Jerusalem last year, Badde wrote to him, stressing that John never spoke of an empty tomb because there were items in it.

Benedict XVI visited the Holy Face in Manoppello in September 2006 and is reputed to be a strong advocate of the image and the discoveries. Throughout his pontificate, he has stressed the importance of contemplating the face of Christ, and traveled to see the image despite some stiff resistance in the Vatican – also recalled in Badde’s book. During that trip, the Holy Father talked about the importance of being transformed "by the radiance of his face."

His visit was a direct consequence of Badde’s book, first published in German in 2004 and now updated for its first English edition. "The last time I saw Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope, I was carrying out the rubbish near our apartment, and he said he’d seen my article in September 2004 and congratulated me. We were neighbors," Badde remembers. "After he’d read my book, he decided to visit Manoppello, one of the first trips of his pontificate." Both Badde and Benedict XVI were this year given keys by the mayor of the town, which has been transformed since the papal visit and now receives hundreds of pilgrims from all over the world.

But not everyone is convinced of the findings. Some have dismissed Fr. Pfeiffer’s theories as fiction. Others contend that despite claims of divine origins, the Holy Face is a man-made image in the style of the late Middle Ages or early Renaissance. One writer has even suggested the face is in fact a lost self-portrait by the artist Albrecht Dürer. A further objection is that the image does not bear a familial resemblance to other historical copies of Veronica’s Veil, although Badde refutes the claim in his book by showing illustrations of images made prior to 1608 with facial expressions just like the Manoppello image.

Naturally, he stands fully behind its claims to authenticity. "I am completely convinced," he says, "For me it’s an enormous confirmation of the truth of Jesus and the teaching of the Church." He also sees it as a bridge between Eastern and Western Christianity (Manoppello is located close to Pescara harbor that looks toward Greece) and therefore of ecumenical importance. And he views its rediscovery as providential for modern times. "It really is sensational, especially for the New Evangelization," he says. "Pilgrims will now begin to discover it."

German connection

Another mystery surrounding the image is why so many Germans have been involved in its discovery and promotion. Badde puts it down to divine Providence, possibly compensation for Germany’s role in creating today’s alienated and highly secular society. "We had the Reformation that opened the doors to the last iconoclasm," he says. "Marxism was born in Germany, in Germany they stripped the Churches."

Another German went to visit the image recently. Badde took his friend Peter Seewald, who interviewed the Pope for the new book ‘Light of the World’, and says he was profoundly moved. "He stood in front of the face, turned to me and said: ‘No one told me he’s laughing,’" Badde recounts. "I told him he’s laughing because you came here." After this encounter Peter Seewald dedicated the first Italian copy of his book to the Cappuchin Friars of Manoppello, calling the Face of God the "Light of the World."

Badde is aware some see the image as bland, almost comical — not the high art one would expect if drawn by the divine hand. Badde says he doesn’t reject outright what the skeptics are saying, but highlights the variety of reactions of those who’ve seen it. "Some are immediately struck by it, for others it’s a process," he says. "I’ve seen many tears there, I’ve seen people laughing, some just take pictures with their iPhone — all the reactions are different."
And all the while the mystery of just how this image came to appear on such a fine fabric continues to confound scientists. A few years ago on German television, Badde offered €2 million to anyone who can make a copy of it.

"So far no one has come forward," says Badde. "It’s just impossible to write on the material and also reproduce the liveliness of the image."

The English edition of ‘The Face of God – The Rediscovery of the True Face of Jesus’ is published by Ignatius Press.
— — —
On the Net:  "The Face of God": www.ignatius.com/Products/FAGO-H/the-face-of-god.aspx

Source: Catholic.net – Catholics on the net (I believe that this full posting meets Zenit’s terms for fair use.)

More on Turin Shroud Madness?

Chidambaram Ramesh has responded to my post: Turin Shroud Madness?

imageWhen I first saw the ‘loon alert’ posted Dr. Jim West in Zwinglius Redivivus on my book “The Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition or Quantum Bio-Hologram”, and your endorsement to it, I was a little surprised. How the people like you take the liberty to comment on a book which you know only by its title and not its contents, I wondered.

Still, I consider I am obliged to make my point more clearly and invite constructive criticism and healthy discussion on my book rather than these preconceived destructive comments.

First of all, let me put forth the following:

1. The quantum bio-holographic concept perhaps will seem a ridiculous story to those who read only the title of books; but those who desire may see this truth confirmed if they have recourse to the works of David Bohm (Wholeness and the Implicate Order), Mae-Wan Ho (The Rainbow and the Worm, The Physics of Organisms), László (The interconnected universe: conceptual foundations of transdisciplinary unified theory) Loocke (The physical nature of consciousness), Dr.Mitchell (Nature’s Mind: The Quantum Hologram and What is Consciousness? An essay on the relativistic quantum hologrphic model of the brain/mind, working by phase conjugate adaptive resonance ), Dr.Sue Benford (Empirical Evidence Supporting Macro-scale quantum holography in non-local effcts) and so on.

2. A couple of decades back, Dr.Jackson proposed that ‘the body of the Man in the Shroud became mechanically transparent to its physical surroundings; it emitted radiation from all points within and on the surface of the body. This radiation interacted with the cloth as it fell into the mechanically transparent body thereby forming the body image on the Shroud”. How could a human body become mechanically transparent to its physical surroundings? It is only a bio-hologram, my book explains.

3. My book is not of the nature of a scientific fiction. Rather, it provides concrete evidences to support the theory that organisms, even after their physical death, are capable of manifesting their body contour in its entirety. I have included experimental/observational facts as recorded by men of such high philosophical equipment and analytical ability like Arthanus Kircher, Isaac Disraeli, Sir Thomas Browne, Ebenezer Sibly, Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, Carl Linnaeus, Sir Kenelme Digby – to name a few. On the scientific front, the latest findings of morphogenetic fields (morphic fields as advocated by Rupert Sheldrake), DNA-Phantom effect by Peter Gariaev group in Russia (the findings have demonstrated beyond doubt that the DNA when irradiated with ordinary light generates weak images and is able to form 3-D holographic images of both the bio-structures which make up the organism and of the organism as a whole), Holographic transmission of bio-information as demonstrated by Mae-won, V.Budakovski of Russia, etc.

4. Finally, I have made a detailed comparison of the Shroud image with that of a quantum holographic imprint. Both exhibit light-reversal (photographic negativity), encoding of depth-information, non-directionality, uniformity, optimal viewing distance, Half-tone effect, dehydration of linen fibres due to moderate (not a violent) radiation, double-superficiality etc. If all the unique characteristics of the Shroud image can be satisfactorily explained by one hypothesis alone, must not that solution found on some grains of truth?

Last but not the least, the theory of quantum bio-hologram never contradicts the Christian dualistic dogma of mortal body and immortal soul. The biblical faith of resurrection might outwardly seem to foreshadow physical resuscitation of the material body in ‘flesh and blood’. Jesus Christ Himself has told us that after the resurrection, men shall be like angels, that is to say, they will have immortal bodies, incorruptible, light and luminous without however, losing their corporeal qualities, such as was the body of Jesus Christ after His Resurrection. When the apostle John attempted to touch the body of Christ, found no hardness of flesh, and met with no resistance from it; although he thrust his hand into the inner part of it. The characteristics of the spiritual body viz., the whole will see, the whole will hear, the whole serve as hands and the whole as feet, indubitably refers to the ‘holistic property’ of a bio-hologram. The transparent qualities of the resurrected body, its ability to pass through solid objections, phantom look-alike and luminousness explicitly refers to a bio-holographic image.

The contents of my book run into about 55,000 words. You can hardly make a correct presumption its contents from its title, nor can I be able to explain everything here. I have sent you a copy of the book. I hope it will convince you.

Sir, I promised you that I will read your book. And I understand from you that it has been sent. It is not uncommon for someone to approach any book with bias. It is a complete myth that even the greatest of literary reviewers have completely open minds to a book. This is particularly true in the fields of religion and politics. When I read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, I did not do so with an open mind. Nor did I approach Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great. How could I reasonably be expected to do so.

In a previous post, I wrote:

Is it fair to review a book if you are biased before opening the cover? Yes. The author has been promoting his ideas before publishing. That is common and it welcomes reviews by skeptics (though I think the Shroud is genuine). Let’s just say that this book must be reviewed. It is going to take a lot of  scientific evidence (or something) to convince me of these notions that I don’t think rise to the level of hypotheses that are stated as though they are facts:

  • [Alchemy] Palingenesis (spectral resuscitation of plants out of their ashes), natural magic, quantum physics and the recent findings of morphogenetic fields, he has unequivocally established that all material body of organisms, even if consumed to ashes, retain their selfsame form and figure.
  • 2-dimensional quantum holographic imprints
  • dehydration of linen fibres due to radiation
  • can all be explained with the quantum holographic flux model

You wrote:

I was a little surprised. How the people like you take the liberty to comment on a book which you know only by its title and not its contents, I wondered.

You have it wrong. I actually commented on the title. The title is a turn-off to those who are scientifically minded. I will comment on the contents when I read your book.

Turin Shroud Madness? « Shroud of Turin Blog

The Shroud Codex Revisited

imageJeffrey Mirus doesn’t like Jerome Corsi’s The Shroud Codex. In Catholic Culture he wrote:

Jerome Corsi’s novel The Shroud Codex is a sustained examination of the evidence for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. Unfortunately, this evidence is presented in a work of fiction, so the reader has no way of knowing if the evidence is real or fanciful. This is a dubious way to promote the Shroud, and it is a complete failure as a novel.

I disagree. Too bad that MIrus is just getting around to this. Way, way back in April, I wrote, Big Recommendation as follows:

imageThe Shroud Codex is a novel, but a novel you can learn from. Just as you can learn a great deal of history from well-written historical novels, you can learn a great deal about the Shroud of Turin from The Shroud Codex. If you know everything there is to know about the Shroud, it is still a wonderfully gripping, enjoyable novel. Read it for fun. You will be glad you did.

After writing a review I went to the web to read other reviews. There are not many yet since the book was just released yesterday. But what I found was completely positive. One review said what I had to say so much better than I could do so that I decided to quote from it and throw away what I wrote. Jean Heimann in Catholic Fire wrote:

The Shroud Codex is a compelling and intriguing mystery, which mesmerizes the reader from the very first page. It is a book that is hard to put down, as the reader is driven to learn the truth about the Shroud of Turin and the impact that it has on the lives of the characters.

What seems most interesting and unique to me about The Shroud Codex is the fact that it contains a variety of genres, thus, making it appealing to a wide audience. It could be included in all of the following categories: religion and spirituality, history, science, science fiction, the paranormal, and mystery. Because of this, I believe that it will attract believers as well as non—believers alike who want to learn more about this ancient, fragile, bloodstained cloth, that many believe to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

Read it yourself. Draw your own conclusions:

More on New Conference Proceedings: International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images

Paolo Di Lazzaro, the chair and proceedings editor, was kind enough to send me the full title page and table of contents, reproduced here (with some minor formatting tweaks to accommodate the blog’s peculiarities). Click here for the abstract, cover photo and a link for ordering.

A quick glance at the contents (topics and the presenters) should convince every serious Shroud of Turin scholar that this is a must. Click Here to Order.

Congratulations are in order to Paolo and everyone who assisted him. And a special thanks is in order to all those who took the time to prepare and offer presentations. It is good to see in the list so many friends and members of the Shroud Science Group.

of the
IWSAI 2010
International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images
Paolo Di Lazzaro
Chair / Editor
4 – 6 May 2010
Frascati, Italy
Organized by
Italian National Agency for New Technologies,
Energy and Sustainable Economic Development

vi Conference Committee
vii Foreword
ix Letter by B. Schwortz
x Verse

3 Sub-micrometer coloration depth of linens by vacuum ultraviolet radiation. (Invited paper)
— P. Di Lazzaro, D. Murra, A. Santoni, G. Baldacchini
11 Shroud-like experimental image formation during natural electrostatic discharges.
— G. de Liso
19 A scientific comparison between the Turin Shroud and the first handmade whole copy.
— T. Heimburger, G. Fanti
31 Sight and brain: an introduction to the visually misleading images.
— D. Murra, P. Di Lazzaro
35 Construction of a quantitative image of the Turin Shroud for details recognition.
— G. Fanti, C. Privitera
47 New image processing of the Turin Shroud scourge marks.
— B. Faccini, G. Fanti
55 ShroudScope, a web tool to analyze high-resolution photographs of the Shroud of Turin.
— M. Latendresse
63 Dislocations in plant fibers and in Turin Shroud fibers.
— L.G. Thygesen
67 List of evidences of the Turin Shroud.
— G. Fanti, J.A. Botella, F. Crosilla, F. Lattarulo, N. Svensson, R. Schneider, A. Whanger
79 Akeldama repudiation of Turin Shroud omits evidence from the Judean Desert.
— (Invited paper) D. Fulbright
87 Documenting the Shroud missing years. (Invited paper)
— D. Scavone
95 The “missing years” of the holy Shroud.
— A. Piana
103 Were sixth-century natural disasters factors in the transfer of relics from Palestine?
— D. Fulbright
111 Edessan sources for the legend of the holy Grail.
— D. Scavone
117 An unknown hideaway of the holy Shroud?
— A. Piana
123 Two unpublished letters of Secondo Pia about the 1898 Shroud photography.
— R. Falcinelli
129 Did Jesus give his Shroud to the servant of Peter?
— D. Fulbright
133 Why Jesus did not bring the patibulum but the whole cross.
— C.M. Glori
139 The promise (and threat) of the Shroud. (Invited paper)
— P.H. Wiebe
147 The brightest light of all.
— A. Silverman, N. Kerner
155 The copies of the Shroud.
— E. Marinelli, M. Marinelli
161 Crux mensuralis of Grottaferrata and Shroud of Turin.
— G. Baldacchini, F. Baldacchini, L. Casarosa, G. Falcone
171 The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin. A question of authenticity. (Invited paper)
— J.L. Fernandez Sanchez
181 Medical and forensic aspects of the man depicted on the Shroud of Turin. (Invited paper)
— N. Svensson
187 A medical study of the surface anatomy of the image and a medical forensic evaluation of the
blood marks of the Shroud of Turin in relation to image formation.
— G. Lavoie
197 The Tilma of Guadalupe. (Invited paper)
— J.C. Espriella Godinez
203 The concept of acheiropoietos, the icons of the likeness of Christ and the Veil of Manoppello.
— H. Pfeiffer
209 Properties of byssal threads and the chemical nature of colors of the Veil of Manoppello.
— J.S. Jaworski
217 The face on the Shroud and on the Veil of Manoppello.
— A. Resch
227 The face of Manoppello and the veil of Veronica: new studies.
— R. Falcinelli
239 Can contamination be detected on the Shroud to explain its 1988 dating? (Keynote lecture)
— M. Antonacci
249 A robust statistical analysis of the 1988 Turin Shroud radiocarbon dating results.
— (Invited paper) G. Fanti, F. Crosilla, M. Riani, A.C. Atkinson
255 Production of radiocarbon by neutron radiation on linen.
— A.C. Lind, M. Antonacci, G. Fanti, D. Elmore, J.M. Guthrie
263 Two archaeometric methods for cellulosic textile finds using enzymatic test.
— L. Campanella
267 A critical review of the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin. ANOVA – a useful
method to evaluate sets of high precision AMS radiocarbon measurements.
— R. Van Haelst

New Conference Proceedings Released

imageThe “Proceedings of the IWSAI 2010, International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images,” is now available.  (Paolo Di Lazzaro Chair/Editor, 274 pages, published by ENEA, November 2010.)

ISBN 978-88-8286-232-9

IWSAI Proceedings volumes can be ordered trom ENEA. An order form and other information can be found in the ENEA website. Click Here to Order.


The International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images (IWSAI) was held at the ENEA Research Centre of Frascati, Italy, May 4 through May 6, 2010.

The IWSAI was aimed at promoting a scientific discussion on physical, chemical, biological, forensic and historical aspects of the Turin Shroud, the Tilma of Guadalupe and the Veil of Manoppello, in order to gain a deeper insight into these controversial images. They are controversial, indeed, mainly because, according to tradition, they are acheiropoietos images, that is, "not made by hands" and Science is still not able to fully explain their origin.

There were forty-three presentations by thirty-five speakers from Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Spain and USA. Forty papers were submitted for publication and thirty-five were accepted for publication in this volume after a rigorous peer-review process. The selected papers published in this Proceedings volume offer a multidisciplinary approach to the acheiropoietos images: in fact they face almost all the relevant topics, from the formation of the images to the Shroud dating; from image processing to textile properties; from archaeology and history to iconography; from philosophy to forensic medicine.

The IWSAI has been a peculiar (if not unique) event, from many points of view. It was the first time that the Turin Shroud, the Tilma of Guadalupe, and the Veil of Manoppello were discussed together, in an unprecedented attempt at cross-fertilization of the up-to-date knowledge of them. It was the first time that a top-level Research Centre was the venue of a congress concerned with acheiropoietos images. It was the first time that a genuine fiber of the Shroud was observed and analyzed through the microscope, in person, directly in front of the audience of the Workshop. And it is the first time as well that a Proceedings volume devoted to acheiropoietos images contains only peer-reviewed papers.

Some of the topics include:

  • Badde’s work on Manoppello,
  • the VUV mechanisms of linen coloration,
  • the comparison between the Garlaschelli’s copy and the Shroud,
  • the “mind-matter continuum”, 
  • the Campanella’s method to date cellulosic textiles, 
  • new analyses of the radiocarbon data, 
  • a list of the old copies that were in contact to the Shroud,
  • the new LIST paper, 
  • the Sudarium of Oviedo

Turin Shroud Madness?

Dr. Jim West in Zwinglius Redivivus issues a Loon Alert on Chidambaram Ramesh’s new book “Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram.”

And this one’s loonier than most.  Though quantifying insanity is a dicey matter.

He is probably right. The book title alone may do more damage to the credibility of Shroud of Turin studies than most skeptics have in a long while. I haven’t read the book yet, so we will need to see. Put I’ve posted some of my reservations in the blog. As soon as I read the book, I’ll comment more.

See: Loon Alert: More Turin Shroud Madness « Zwinglius Redivivus

Press Release on New Turin Shroud Book



imageLede:  Chidambaram Ramesh, an Indian author, in his latest book “Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram” has proposed a new theory that the mysterious image of the man on the Shroud is an imprint of the Quantum Self or Bio-Hologram and the effect of heat/light of such macro-scale quantum holographic manifestation of the man on the Shroud could have had a ‘scorch-like’ effect on the Shroud fibres to imprint the mysterious image on it.

Release:  (PRWEB) December 1, 2010

The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the faded image of a man who appears to have undergone physical torture consistent with Roman crucifixion. Preserved in the St.John Cathedral in Turin, Italy, it is widely believed to have wrapped the body of historical Jesus of Nazar and venerated by millions of people. The puzzling image on the Shroud of Turin has mystified the scholars and scientists for centuries and still refuses to yield up its secret to the scrutiny of most subtle and highly expertise technological analyses of hundred of intellectuals and researchers. Chidambaram Ramesh, an Indian author, in his latest book “Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram” has proposed a new theory that the mysterious image of the man on the Shroud is an imprint of the Quantum Self or Bio-Hologram.

imageThe author has attempted to explain the scientific causes of the image on the Shroud under the realm of quantum physics. By drawing a series of evidences from palingenesis (spectral resuscitation of plants out of their ashes), natural magic, quantum physics and the recent findings of morphogenetic fields, he has unequivocally established that all material body of organisms, even if consumed to ashes, retain their selfsame form and figure. Even parts of the body like blood, skin etc., are capable of forming the 3D geometrical structure of the host organism in its entirety, which is a quantum hologram in the modern scientific terminology. He has concluded that the effect of heat or light emanating from such macro-scale quantum holographic manifestation of the man on the Shroud could have had a ‘scorch-like’ effect on the Shroud fibres to imprint the mysterious image on it.

He also explains some of the extraordinary characteristics of the Shroud image like the photographic negativity and the built-in body-to-linen 3-D information in the grayscale of the image. Real image of a hologram is a photographic negative, reversing the sides and inverted depth. 2-dimensional quantum holographic imprints, when subjected to VP-8 Image Analyzer, reveals its 3-dimensioanl encryption. Half-tone pixel effect, uniformity, viewing at a distance, dehydration of linen fibres due to radiation, absence of side images, double-superficiality, etc., can all be explained with the quantum holographic flux model, according to the author.

Published by the CinnamonTeal Publishing, Goa India, the book is internationally available at http://cinnamonteal.dogearsetc.com and http://www.lulu.com


My Comments: The author – who certainly knows I have reservations about his thesis before even examining it in detail — has been kind enough to offer to send me a copy of the book for review. I will read it and I will write a review.

Is it fair to review a book if you are biased before opening the cover? Yes. The author has been promoting his ideas before publishing. That is common and it welcomes reviews by skeptics (though I think the Shroud is genuine). Let’s just say that this book must be reviewed. It is going to take a lot of  scientific evidence (or something) to convince me of these notions that I don’t think rise to the level of hypotheses that are stated as though they are facts:

  • [Alchemy] Palingenesis (spectral resuscitation of plants out of their ashes), natural magic, quantum physics and the recent findings of morphogenetic fields, he has unequivocally established that all material body of organisms, even if consumed to ashes, retain their selfsame form and figure.
  • 2-dimensional quantum holographic imprints
  • dehydration of linen fibres due to radiation
  • can all be explained with the quantum holographic flux model

Another Book Named ‘Immaculate Misconception.’ This time about the Shroud of Turin.

imageNew book or something. 2351 pages sounds like a short story, maybe ten pages long unless the font is really big or the page size is really small. It only seems to be in ebook form. The publisher, Smashword, lists Kindle but Amazon doesn’t have the title for Kindle. In other words it is a PDF file that I am welcome to install on my own Kindle.

Here is the publisher’s description at Smashwords – Immaculate Misconception – A book by Mark Stucky:

The mysterious Shroud of Turin has provoked controversy for centuries. Many believe it is the authentic burial cloth of Christ. Many believe it is a forgery. What if, however, there could be a final proof beyond any doubt that it was genuine? What if that proof went terribly, horribly wrong for us all? If you were told such a story by a barely glimpsed stranger, would you, should you, believe it?

The price is right at $0.99.  If anyone reads it, let me know. If the author wants to send me a copy I’ll read it and write a review. It is not that I’m cheap. I’ve just never heard of Smashword and I’m not excited about giving them my credit card number.

Quote by Thomas Cahill on the Shroud of Turin


image Was this image impressed upon the cloth by the heat or light of new life?  No laboratory will ever tell us, nor can any scientists give such questions a scientific answer.  The questions are important, not because we can ever hope to answer them with human knowledge, but because they lead us to the ultimate question about Jesus:  does his story make sense?

“The bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world,” said the Johannine Jesus. We do not have to adopt the theology of substitution – the theory that God required a spotless victim to make up for human sin – to make sense of the crucifixion … But Jesus’ suffering body is surely his ultimate gift, for it is his final act of sympathy with us…

When they come to Jesus, he seems already dead, so they do not break the bones of this Pascal Lamb without flaw. Just to be sure, however, “one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance, and at once blood and water flowed out” – witnessed, writes John, “by the one who saw it,” the Beloved Disciple. This blood and water, the last drops of Jesus’ wracked body, seem to have flowed copiously, if we accept the visual testimony of that strange Fifth Gospel, the shroud, which may have been a treasure of the church of the Beloved Disciple, the same church that treasured the evolving Fourth Gospel.

— Thomas Cahill
Desire of the Everlasting Hills:
The World Before and After Jesus: 

Thomas Cahill on the Shroud of Turin

Jesus as a Peasant Sage

image This book, “Jesus as a Peasant Sage,” a look at the work of John Dominic Crossan, seems to be quite a monumental study by several contributors and authors, not all who agree with Crossan’s arguments. It is being released in Great Britain this month and in the United States in January of next year. Of, course, you can preorder at Amazon and if you can’t wait you can have it shipped across the pond.

John Dominic Crossan is of interest to those who study the Shroud of Turin because of his controversial theory, endorsed by Marcus Borg, that Jesus was not buried, but left on the cross.

From the publisher, T & T Clark, Ltd:

A look at the work of John Dominic Crossan, known for his work in interpreting Jesus using cross-cultural methods. This volume looks at the work of John Dominic Crossan. Crossan is known for his work in interpreting Jesus using cross-cultural methods. He understands Jesus to be a cynic-like sage who counter-culturally works for a ‘brokerless kingdom’ in which there is ‘open commensality’ among those who follow Jesus’ teachings. He is known for demonstrating the importance on incorporating the use of non-canonical sources in one’s reconstruction of Jesus.

It is expensive at about $110.00.

Interview with Paul Badde

Francesca Maximé, of Currents, the daily Catholic broadcast network, spoke with Paul Badde, author of the new book, “The Holy Face of Manoppello.” They have the video here. Great pictures and graphics to explain the TS connection. Very well done.

The Face of God author on tour

image If you are maybe hoping to meet Paul Badde, an editor for the German newspaper Die Welt, who recently wrote the “Holy Face of Manoppello,” he is on tour in the United States. Currents has a list of cities and dates. Badde argue that the image of the face matches perfectly with the face in the much more well known Shroud of Turin.

Infinity Publishing and Lost at Sea

LinDee Rochelle, the Director of Author Services at Infinity Publishing wrote to me in public comment space and thus I am replying similarly:

Please get in touch with Bernie directly, regarding his excerpt about which you made the comment: "Maybe the publisher isn’t being fair to Mr. Schwindt. ‘Bernie, can you send me something I can understand?’”

We are a First Amendment press and assist our authors in their publishing projects. However, the individual authors are free to create and edit the information, synopsis, bio, and excerpt about his or her book, and post them (at no charge) on our bookstore site. In general circumstances, we do not judge nor censor our authors’ prose.

I understand from communication with Bernie that there has indeed, been a misunderstanding of his intended philosophy. Please work with Bernie to clarify his perspective; and thank you for reviewing an Infinity Publishing book.

I have not been able to understand a single paragraph that he has sent me. You say that you do not judge nor censor your authors’ prose. Do you don’t even look at it? The First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with gibberish. 

Shroud of Turin Mentioned in Not Being God: A Collaborative Autobiography

image Not Being God: A Collaborative Autobiography  of Gianni Vattimo with help from William McCuaig, and Piergiorgio Paterlini is now in reprint (hardback, paper and Kindle)

From Columbia University Press:

Gianni Vattimo, a leading philosopher of the continental school, has always resisted autobiography. But in this intimate memoir, the voice of Vattimo as thinker, political activist, and human being finds its expression on the page. With Piergiorgio Paterlini, a noted Italian writer and journalist, Vattimo reflects on a lifetime of politics, sexual radicalism, and philosophical exuberance in postwar Italy. T. . Vattimo . . . became notorious both for his renewed commitment to the core values of Christianity (he was trained as a Catholic intellectual) and for the Vatican’s denunciation of his views. . . .

This tidbit about the Shroud of Turin caught my attention:

I, however, had my own personal master. Apart from school. A Thomist, an ultra-Thomist: Monsignor Fietro Caramello. A man who thought it was too progressive even to call himself a neoThomist. He used to protest that he was a Thomist period, forget the “neo.” He edited the works of Saint Thomas for the publisher Marietti, and he was the chaplain of the Sindone (the Shroud of Turin), practically a retainer of the House of Savoy. But I don’t believe the Shroud was very important to him. He certainly respected it as a relic, but he would never have undergone martyrdom for the Shroud. He was a philosopher. A philosopher. A master. But also a spiritual director, a friend. Maybe the person who did the most to bring me up, who was immensely fond of me and of whom I was immensely fond.

It was my parish priests who first sent me to him, who knows why. Maybe they thought they had stumbled upon the philosopher’s stone.

After I graduated from university we drifted apart, and it is one of my regrets that he died while I was in America. I was moved recently when I recognized him in a television documentary, where he is seen opening the reliquary and spreading out the sacred fabric.

Does anyone know what documentary?

The Shroud by Harold Robbins now in paperback

According to Publishers Weekly:

image Podrug’s workmanlike fifth contribution to the Robbins franchise (after The Looters) ventures into religious thriller territory. Madison Dupre, disgraced antiquities expert, is scratching out a living in New York City when Henri Lipton, the hated associate who she thought had been killed in an earlier adventure, offers her much-needed cash to help him track down a religious artifact—a supposed painting of Jesus that was buried in His tomb after the crucifixion. Lipton intends to sell the painting to a Russian holy man, Boris Alexandrovich Nevsky. Maddy survives several attempts on her life and has numerous sexual encounters as she races from city to city in an effort to locate the artifact. Even though Podrug employs the Robbins fundamentals—sex, action and exotic locals—the result lacks the primal heat of Robbins’s best. (Oct.)

From what I gather, this book never took off much. I haven’t read it in hardback, was never Kindle-ized or made into a audio book.

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