Of Extreme and not so Extreme Anti-Authenticists

imageHow many times can you use allegedly in a single paragraph? Stephen Jones continues with his theory in this latest installment of allegation that Arizona’s Timothy Linick was the alleged hacker who rigged the computerized consoles of all three AMS systems.

As part of my evidence that Arizona radiocarbon laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick(1946-4 June 1989)[7] was allegedly the primary hacker, who: 1) allegedly wrote and installed on Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory’s AMS control console computer a program which ensured that the Shroud of Turin samples’ actual radiocarbon dates would be replaced by dates which, when calibrated, clustered around 1325; and 2) allegedly passed that program on to the KGB, for which he was allegedly working, to be installed by confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch (1965–3 June 1989)[8] on the AMS control console computers at Zurich and Oxford’s radiocarbon dating laboratories; here is my evidence that Linick allegedly leaked Arizona’s 1350 radiocarbon date of the Shroud to the Rev. H. David Sox, an American Episcopalian (sic) priest, teaching at the American school in London[10]. And that Sox in turn leaked that date to the media through Luckett and others, well before the official announcement on 13 October 1988.

Not that it matters all that much, that I can see.

Anyway, Hugh Farey recently and significantly commented about Stephen’s previous posting:

Stop Press: A little while ago Stephen either read this blog, or someone told him of the post above, and he inserted a comment into his latest posting to the effect that he realised his dates and chart with its non-overlapping bands were based on BP dates and needed calibrating. This he has now done, and amended his blog to show a new set of dates and a new chart which, curiously, still shows that the Oxford dates do not overlap either of the others. By using the tiny calibration diagram published in the Nature paper rather than an established calibration program, he has enabled himself to reinforce his convictions. This cannot be allowed to go uncriticised.

It is not clear that Stephen really understands the calibrating process, particularly when it comes to how to deal with quoted errors. Actually anybody can do it by using OxCal, which is online, easy to access, easy to use, and free. Stephen tried to do it using the tiny published calibration chart in the Nature paper, deriving his dates simply by adding and subtracting the error from the mean as published in the Nature paper, and attempting to read off the calendar date.

His results, and those from OxCal (to 95.4% probability) are as follows:

Arizona BP dates: 646 ± 31
Stephen’s calibration: 1290 – 1317
OxCal’s calibration: 1281 – 1396

Oxford BP dates: 750 ± 30
Stephen’s calibration: 1214 – 1266
OxCal’s calibration: 1222 – 1287

Zurich BP dates: 676 ± 24
Stephen’s calibration: 1286 – 1293
OxCal’s calibration: 1275 – 1388

Well, it’s only a few years here and there, what does it matter? But Stephen is a great pains to point out that by his calculation the Oxford dates still do not overlap either of the other two – which of course is untrue, and that the Arizona and Zurich dates only overlap by 25 years, which is also untrue. His finding of a minimum Oxford date of 1214 is grotesquely inaccurate and must surely be a typo, but his even more inaccurate maximum misreading has a serious effect on his later argument – I wonder if it could be deliberate fraud?

Stephen blazes on.  It doesn’t matter. A target date will do nicely. It seems, if I’ve understood Stephen correctly, Linick was not a mere anti-authenticist, he was an extreme anti-authenticist unlike Gove and Hall who were non-extreme anti-authenticists. In other words, Linick was like McCrone who had written (extremely, I guess),  "A date significantly later than the first century would be conclusive evidence the `Shroud’ is not genuine. A date placing the linen cloth in the first century, though not conclusive in proving the cloth to be the Shroud of Christ…":

Linick, you see, said something similar. He said: “If we show the material to be medieval that would definitely mean that it is not authentic. If we date it back 2000 years, of course, that still leaves room for argument. It would be the right age – but is it the real thing?’"

This is evidence, Stephen says. Linick agreed with what McCrone stated eight years earlier. So, because McCrone had theorized that the cloth was painted about 1355, Linick can use that as a target date. Almost. To be more plausible, the date had to be “well before” 1355 to account for harvesting of the flax. 1350 will do nicely.

After this there is a lot of who knew who or talked to who. I’m reminded of the Monte Carlo simulations in the 1960s and 70s trying to prove that every individual in the world was connected to another by no more than six degrees of separation. At one point, Stephen tells us that he has been told privately of a possible connection between three anti-something-or-others, Sox, Luckett and Rose. But he is not free to tell us that. He just did, of course. He just won’t tell you who told him.

In the end he tells us it is an irresistible inference, Linick leaked the 1350 date to Sox. Okay. And the point is?

Stay tuned. There is another installment coming next week.

Until man can explain how the image got on the Shroud using his own technology, he really won’t believe it wasn’t his technology.

imageIt is long:  A Spiritual Analysis of the Shroud by Hannah Michaels. It took me awhile to figure out what to say. I wish I could have been kinder. But then, again, in fairness it is a meditation and I’m not good at reading such things.

It seems a bit strange, as when we read about the carbon dating in 1988 and I began to wonder if this was a Turing Test of some kind. It’s me. I know that. My wife is always saying to me, “Don’t you see the symbolism?”  No, I don’t:

April 21, 1988 – The test begins. This date marks the anniversary of Jesus’ crucifixion and the Second Passover, . . .

April 22, 1988 – The news of the taking of the sample is released to the world. This relates to the crucifixion because symbolically April 21st became “the day as to which you put the sickle to the corn”; and the next morning, April 22, was when the first perfect sheaf would have been presented. This date correlates with birthdates. For example, this is the 40th birthday of the State of Israel – when the Fig Tree officially took possession of the Holy Land in 1948, but would not bear fruit, as Jesus prophesied. This date sets a mark, linking the Roman Catholic Church to the Jewish Synagogue. For some, this may sound far-fetched, but according to Myron C. Fagan’s famous transcript about the Illuminati, it might not be. He said the Grand Sanhedrin instructed Jews to convert to Christianity in 1492, telling them to become doctors, lawyers, Christian clergy, and such, in order to bring the Christian world down. Biblically, 40 is a significant number, such as Israel wandered in the desert 40 years; “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise (Numbers 14:34).” Each-day-for-a-year is a prophetic code, because sometimes the number of days means the number of years. With the Church’s recent clarification of the upcoming 2015 Shroud Exhibition, does this mean that she recognizes the code? Beginning April 19, she will hold the longest exhibition to date, being that of 67 days. Interestingly, this would correspond to one day per the 67 years of the modern State of Israel. It seems they are celebrating the State’s birthdate too, along with John Bosco’s Feast, a priest, popularly known as “Don”, who helped underprivileged boys and poor girls.

I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to the Gospel of Thomas. Is that what it means, that quotation?

But the reality is that there’s a large amount of evidence to prove its authenticity, including spiritual markers, like the thistle. If we were to divide the evidence onto a set of scales, with one side containing evidence of forgery and the other side containing evidence of authenticity; the only item with any apparent weight on the forgery side is the radiocarbon date. Yet, has the balance in anyone’s mind been tipped? “You test the face of the sky and of the earth, and him who is before your face you have not known, and you do not know how to test this moment.” This is a verse from the Gospel of Thomas, a book rejected by the Church, yet is probably the most revealing book into the mystery of being human, and man’s discovery of being more than a body. Perhaps man’s study of the Shroud parallels his desire for knowledge, “because the spirit does search for all these, even the deep things of God”, as Paul put it. (emphasis Michaels)

And what is this?

When things don’t add up, people tend to keep looking for answers. As for the Shroud, there are some who adamantly support the 1988-study, literally putting all their eggs into that radiocarbon-dating basket for confirmation. Surprisingly, the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church falls into this group. Her official statement from John Paul II in 1988 was, “Since it is not a matter of faith, the Church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions. She entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate, so that satisfactory answers may be found to the questions connected with this Sheet (Wikipedia: Shroud of Turin).” This is an oddly-crafted statement, because, wouldn’t all things concerning Jesus touch on faith, especially one that dealt with a burial cloth thought to be His? The pope mentioned “continuing investigation”, but so often the Church has rejected them. . . . With all that’s been presented to the Church about the possibility of it being authentic, she ought to be appreciative, but instead she’s ignored a great deal of evidence. A layman might not expect the Church to play Devil’s Advocate, but this seems to be the case. (emphasis Michaels)

But John Paul II said that in 1998, not 1988. And he was not saying what Hannah said he was saying, at least not as I see it. Read the full paragraph of item 2 in the Address of His Holiness Pope John Paul II on the occasion of a pastoral visit to Vercelli and Turin, Italy, in May of 1998. In fact, read the entire address. And it was not an official stance of the Roman Catholic Church, anyway. Ian Wilson discussed the pope’s message in his 2010 book, The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved.

imageThe many photos of the Pope, in simple white, praying on his knees before the Shroud . . . speak louder than any words that he was far from persuaded by the carbon-dating findings. And the words of his homily reinforced this.

. . . and they do. Read them.

The second sentence in this following quote perhaps saves the day. I think so.

Man keeps trying to explain his existence with unproven hypotheses. Part of him refuses to accept the obvious. And until he can explain how the Image got on the Shroud using his own technology, he really won’t believe it wasn’t his technology that did it.

Anticipating the Conference: Neutrons Released from Resurrecting Jesus?

Robert Rucker  |  11-Oct-2014  |  11:30 -12:30 am


A computer code called MCNP is used in the nuclear industry for analysis and design of nuclear reactors, radiation detectors, radiation shielding, and criticality safety.  In this study, MCNP was used for a detailed analysis of neutron absorption in the shroud.  This study is based on the hypothesis that a very small fraction of neutrons in the body of Jesus were emitted from the body as it disappeared in the resurrection.

[ . . . ]

4.  The Sudarium of Oviedo has been carbon dated to about 750 A.D.  MCNP results indicate that a piece of cloth placed anywhere on 28% of the area of the right or left bench in the tomb would have a C14 date between 700 and 800 A.D.  This would explain the C14 date for the Sudarium.

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.

Anticipating the Conference: Ray Schneider with a Larger Perspective for Dating the Shroud

Raymond Schneider  |  10-Oct-2014  8:00-8:30 am


When the Carbon 14 (C14) dating of the Shroud of Turin result was announced in 1988, the tests concluded that the shroud was woven of flax whose age was estimated to be between 1260 and 1390 A.D. This result flew in the face of many expectations of authenticity but was welcomed by many as revealing the shroud to be simply inauthentic and it was then popularly heralded as a "fake." However, this rush to judgment contradicted most of the science and scholarship previously invested in the shroud. It is perhaps a measure of the respect in which C14 dating is held that the finding tended to discredit the earlier work, yet it is a questionable scientific practice to vest one kind of result with such weight as to completely discount the results of a large body of prior work. The present paper seeks a larger perspective by providing an objective account of as many factors as possible to put the issue of dating in a more complete balance. Both the positive and negative evidence for authenticity from a variety of historical, archeological, religious, and scientific domains is presented.

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.

Conspiracy Theory Part 4

imageStephen Jones has posted another article attempting to advance his conspiracy theory that the carbon dating results were manipulated at all three labs by computer hackers. Over and over he has charged one of the Arizona physicist with being part of a KGB led conspiracy to fake the results and make the shroud appear medieval.

Today is as close as he has gotten to providing evidence: He tells us that a skeptic, Dennis Dutton, in 1986 “predicted that if the cloth ever were to be dated using radiocarbon dating it would be shown to have been from about 1335, give or take 30 years.”  Moreover, Walter McCrone in 1981 suggested that the cloth wasd from about 1355.

And so Stephen writes in a very long rambling posting:

So a hacker would know what date to `give’ the Shroud for maximum effect: shortly before 1335-1355! And, as we shall see, there is evidence that Linick was at least familiar with McCrone’s prediction.

Linick was at least familiar with McCrone’s prediction. No, there is no more yet. Anyway, you might want to read it.

To be continued in part 5, he tells us. I can hardly wait.

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

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.

Hurting People’s Feelings

imageThe questions are always there in my mind: Should I simply ignore webpages that are ridiculously wrong? Do I run the risk of hurting someone’s feelings by not doing so? One fellow shroud blogger has told me that he will not read my blog because of this; I’m mean. He would prefer to be “blissfully unaware” of what I write. No, really! Should I just email him, privately? He has asked me not to. Do I send comments to his blog? He will not allow most comments anyway. From me? As the sign on the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge says, Fuhgeddaboudit.

And another blogger has found that almost anything I say about him or what he writes is an insult. Fuhgeddaboudit? No!

imageI’ve pretty much decided that if someone blogs publically, he or she is agreeing to public criticism. If he or she relies on bad facts, I have a right or duty or pleasure to disagree publically. If he or she expresses incredulous beliefs – personal revelations from God, unique biblical inerrancy, scientism posing as science and whatnot – then it is fair to discuss this publically without fear of being insulting.

These are three quotations from a single recently published posting in OpenTheWord.org: A Bit of Bible, a Bit of Life, a Bit of Politics:

The Catholic church believes the image of Jesus was burned — if you can call it that — into the cloth at the moment of His resurrection.

No. Not true. The Catholic Church does not “believe” this or claim this is so. Some Catholics, some Mainline Protestants, some Anglicans, some Eastern Orthodox Christians and some Non-denominational Evangelical Christians believe this. I suspect it is a minority opinion but there is no way to know. There are no established scientific, historical, philosophical, theological or scriptural foundations for this belief. I’m guessing, but I think that among Christians of all major traditions, including big-C Catholics, few people have even given this any thought or even heard about it.

The latest mystery was unveiled by Gary Habermas at an apologetics conference sponsored by the Southern Evangelical Seminary. Stoyan Zaimov wrote on Habermas’ findings in an article on Christian Post.

Using enhanced photography, Habermas and his team noticed — though the individual’s mouth is closed — his teeth are visible through the skin and beard.

“His skin is intact, his beard is intact, but you are able to see what’s inside coming out, just like you are able to see what’s on the back of a hand,” said Habermas.

This left Habermas wondering if it was the result of a radiation burst, as it mimicked what happens during an x-ray. It would suggest there was a burst of radiation or something similar occurring inside Jesus’ body at the moment He resurrected.

Unveiled? It is not a recent observation. I think people were noticing this before Gary was born. And what is this about Gary’s team? Does he have a team? Using advanced photography? I don’t think Gary has done anything more than look at pictures made by others.

He (and his team) has/have wondered if certain characteristics of the image were the result of radiation? I’d like to know how many years after John Jackson, a physicist, wondered these things did Gary wonder these things. Did he? What did he say? No, really! Look, Gary is a good historian and a fine biblical scholar. He has read a few things and bought into them.

I’m reminded of the waiter in a fancy restaurant who said to me. “I can poach a nice filet of sole for you in some veal stock or I can bake it with a touch of red basil and some house-smoked Hungarian paprika. Or I can grill it in pepper infused Greek olive oil . . . . “ In the kitchen he yells out, “Number 3 dry.”

In early 2013, Padua University conducted a radio carbon test of the Shroud giving it a date of between 280 BC and 220 AD — well within Jesus’ time frame. An earlier carbon test produced a later date.

No, Padua University did no such thing. In fact, no one at Padua University did any such thing. No one at any university did any such thing. No one did. No one. You can trace this sort of error back to science by press release. Think about the announcement for Giulio Fanti’s book.

I don’t want anyone believing the shroud is real because of such nonsense. And thus I may hurt some people’s feelings.