Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

Ridiculous Quote for Today

April 24, 2014 3 comments

Though anti-religious zealots insist religious people hate science, you’d never know it watching dozens of shows on the Shroud of Turin or on ancient archeology or almost anything else. They all have scientists, I saw Science 2.0 fave Phil Plait in one about the Book of Revelation. Those shows are all being watched by religious people who are engaging in confirmation bias, no different than organic food shoppers and political party supporters do.

image— From the “NOTES:” of an otherwise interesting article, Kepler – Young Earth Creationist by Hank Campbell published this morning in Science 2.0.

So host Neil Tyson tells us about Ussher and then we fast forward to modern geology and how much smarter we are now. Okay, fine, but was Ussher all that wrong for the time? Was anyone doing better? No.  What they leave out is that a legendary scientist was just as wrong.

Like any good scientist, Ussher interpolated from what he had, in this case the Bible and a historical date for the death of the Bablyonian King Nebuchadnezzar II in 562 B.C. Deriving from that, he back-azimuthed generations to arrive at  the exact day that the Earth must have been created in 4004 B.C. "It was a Saturday," Tyson says, with perfect comedic timing.  And completely wrong, as we now know.

Kepler was just as wrong. Mock him? No, he was a scientist. Fair enough. The criticism is of Neil Tyson who really is a great scientist. His bias does show every now and then but this may just be something he didn’t know about. Who did?

The quote, though, was ridiculous.

Categories: Quotations

Quote of the Year: Al Adler on the Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin

December 17, 2013 2 comments

Joe Marino writes:

I rediscovered an old radio interview with Adler that I forgot I had.  It was on a program called Dreamland and was broadcast in May 1999, as the interviewer mentioned the upcoming conference that was to be held the next month in Richmond, Virginia.  There’s nothing really new in it, but what I found surprising is that it sounds like Adler blamed the C-14 labs instead of the Turin authorities for the choice of the C-14 sample.  But of course the more important aspect is what Adler thought of the sample itself.  The interviewer asked Adler what he thought was at the heart of the problem from his point of view regarding the C-14 test.  He said:

imageI was on the original protocol committee and we demanded that the test be only precise but it be accurate.  Precise is how repeatable a measurement is.  The radiocarbon people did a good job with precision.  But they did not do a good job with accuracy.  Accuracy is how true it is.  And where they screwed up was taking the original sample.  If you’re only going to take one sample, which is all they did, you have to be sure that the sample you take is typical of the rest of the cloth.  Since this is a sample that came from a waterstained, scorched area that showed repairs on one edge, you already have a right to challenge whether it was going to be accurate.  On top of that, you have the infrared work, which shows it doesn’t have the same composition, so clearly there’s no proof that it’s accurate.

The photograph is from Alan D. Adler and The Shroud of Turin, a webpage written by his daughter, Chris.

Was Zugibe deliberately and dishonestly trying to mislead his readers?

December 13, 2013 23 comments

Stephen Jones is up with part 2 of why he prefers Barbet’s hypotheses over Zugibe’s.

  • Part 1 was ‘The nail wound in the hand’
  • Part 2 is ‘The thumbs are not visible because of damage to the hand’s median nerve’
  • Part 3 will be ‘Crucifixion victims died primarily of asphyxiation’

imageEach of Stephens’ reasons have something of a debatable point within them, which in this blog,, are still being debated. In part 1, for instance, do we know the nail wound is in the hand? And for part 2, one might factually state that the thumbs are not visible and recognize that the reason is an open question. Part 3, when Stephen publishes it, will compel us to wonder if crucifixion victims died primarily of asphyxiation; it may be true but is it a known fact?

To Stephen’s credit he finds and presents an abundance of quotations from papers and books. His citations and notes are extensive and precise. Doing so, possibly over-doing so, can lead to narrative battles of the quotes. In what Stephen just wrote we see an example:

Zugibe was well aware that this is what Barbet claimed, because as we saw above, he himself states:

"Barbet made another serious error, claiming that when he drove the nail through Destot’s Space, anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of the trunk of the median nerve was severed." (Zugibe, 2005, p.74. My emphasis).

So again, it is difficult not to believe that Zugibe was not deliberately and dishonestly trying to mislead his readers (as I for one was mislead, until I went back and read what Barbet actually wrote and checked it against diagrams of the hand’s bones and nerves).

From the foregoing evidence of Zugibe’s apparent dishonesty, it is difficult to place any credence on his claim that":

"2) even if it did [the median nerve … pass through Destot’s Space (which Barbet did not claim)] and was injured, there would be no flexion of the thumb."

First, Barbet carried out the experiments and found that there was flexion of the thumbs. So Zugibe was, in effect, calling Barbet either a liar, or incompetent (along with those, like Medical Examiner Bucklin who agreed with Barbet), without performing the experiment himself.

Categories: Other Blogs, Quotations

A Quote You Won’t Want to Use

November 28, 2013 5 comments

imageStephen Jones is analyzing an article , “Pope Francis Does it Again,”  that appeared in the Las Vegas Guardian Express three days ago. In a posting, Pope Francis shows St Peter’s bones to public for first time Stephen tells us:


This is the difference between the Shroud of Turin and other Catholic relics (with the exception of the Sudarium of Oviedo). The Shroud’s authenticity has been confirmed Biblically, artistically, historically and scientifically,independent of Catholic tradition, which is why Protestants like me accept it.

You see, Paul Roy, in the Guardian Express has written:

Through the years however, as new scientific methods are developed to date artifacts and learn more about them, some of these artifacts come closer and closer to being verified as real. The Shroud of Turin for example has long been believed to be the cloth used to bury Jesus in his tomb and from where his resurrection happened. Since its discovery the shroud has been called both real and a fake, yet, each time it has been tested, it is the most tested piece of material in the world, more evidence comes to light showing it is very possible it is authentic and that Jesus, or at least a man was wrapped in it after having been crucified.

Add a measure of enthusiasm or whatever and you get Stephen’s conclusion. I dare say that isn’t representative of the thinking of Protestants I know.

Quote for Today

November 22, 2013 8 comments

imageStephen Jones writes regarding the Vatican exhibition of what some believe are the bones of St. Peter, the Apostle:

There is no way to confirm that these are the Apostle Peter’s bones, but they probably are. However, as per the Vatican’s duplicitous policy of refusing to confirm or deny that any Catholic relic is authentic (including the Shroud of Turin), "No pope has ever stated categorically that the bones belonged to Saint Peter":

Definition: Oxford Dictionaries

Categories: Other Blogs, Quotations

Quote for Today on Carbon Dating

October 23, 2013 7 comments

imageIn archaeology, if there are ten lines of evidence, carbon dating being one of them, and it conflicts with the other nine, there is little hesitation to throw out the carbon date as inaccurate . . .

— Biblical archaeologist Eugenia Nitowski
Founder of the Ariel Museum of
Biblical Archaeology

Hat tip to Stephen Jones from his most recent update to his October News posting.

Quote for Today: Stephen Jones on journalists and their readers

October 21, 2013 51 comments

Given that most journalists and their readers are non-Christians, like Prof. Hall they don’t want the Shroud to be true. Therefore, they will continue clinging like drowning men to whatever straw they can find, so they don’t have to be confronted with the evidence that Christianity is true. But in so doing what St. Paul wrote in2Th. 2:11-12 applies to them, who would rather believe the non-Christian lie than the Christian truth:

imageDoes it occur to Stephen that the statement that most journalists and their readers are non-Christian is preposterous? Does he not realize, too, that countless numbers of Christians don’t believe the shroud is real and that is okay?

One thing that seems to upset Stephen is this:

The exclamation mark [in the picture] indicates that, far from being objective science, these philosophical naturalists wanted the Shroud to be a fake. Indeed, Professor Hall candidly admitted it:

Professor Hall, who heads the Oxford research laboratory in archaeology and the history of art, said he was not disappointed in the result. ‘I have to admit I am an agnostic and I don’t want at my time of life to have to change my ideas.’" (Radford, T., "Shroud dating leaves ‘forgery’ debate raging," The Guardian, October 14, 1988.]

I have a different reading on this. I see Hall as being honest. I think he is saying he would report the truth regardless of his beliefs.

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