This is a long video. It’s open discussion at the 2014 conference in St. Louis. The topic is important: Future Testing of the Shroud moderated by John Jackson. Add your comments, below.
This list, then, and the complexity it represents, itself becomes a powerful argument
against the position that the Shroud was a painting.
No artist ever painted such a complex depiction of the Crucified.
MUST READ: You are not going to be able to read this in twenty minutes. You can’t even skim it that quickly. This 81-and=then-some page paper, Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation by Paul C. Maloney is too important and two informative to to not be read carefully including the endnotes. Here is a sampling:
It was a dreary, rainy afternoon, April 7, 1980. I should have had the light on in my study but I didn’t because I was in a melancholy mood. Then the phone rang. I recognized that baritone voice on the other end of the line and knew I was talking to Hershel Shanks, founder and editor of the world’s largest circulating biblical archaeology magazine, The Biblical Archaeology Review, calling from Washington, D.C.
Hershel wanted me to write an article on the Shroud for the magazine. “But, Hershel, I don’t know anything about the Shroud of Turin!”
It is important here to insert here that Dr. Gambescia was not rejecting the work of the French physician, Dr. Pierre Barbet; he was actually building upon Barbet’s work. Neither was Dr. Gambescia rejecting the special interpretation of the arms and their attendant blood flows proposed by the late Mons. Giulio Ricci. His proposal, however, does suggest an interpretation different from that proposed for the blood flows for the feet than that offered by Mons. Giulio Ricci. It is this new interpretation that we are introducing for further research by the medical profession to be discussed alongside the earlier discussions for the feet. . . .
Pages 80 and 81:
A List of the Shroud’s Anomalies: Problems with the Painting Hypothesis
Finally, if it is argued that an artist did paint the original Shroud—as this view has most forcefully been argued by the late Dr. Walter C. McCrone in so many of his publications—the Shroud now becomes most unique. We may therefore conclude this paper with a convenient list of anomalies, as they would become if a singular artist painted the original:
1. Artists down through the ages have presented the Crucified wearing a crown of thorns. The Shroud shows the Man of the Shroud with a “cap” of thorns.
2. Artists have always depicted the Man of the Shroud with no rope holding the torso against the stipes of the Cross. The Shroud appears to support the view that a rope pulled the torso back to hold it against the upright (stipes) of the cross.
3. Artists have traditionally rendered the Crucified with nails through the palms of the hands. The Shroud shows them to be through the wrists.
4. Artists have long painted the Crucified showing the arms in a “Y” type of stance. But Mons. Giulio Ricci, who studied this in detail, shows that the right arm was likely bent at a right angle, whereas the left was in the “Y” position.
5. Artists have followed several different paths in rendering the feet. Sometimes they show the feet (especially in crucifixes) with the right foot up against the stipes of the cross, and the left nailed atop the right—all with one nail. At other times they have depicted the left against the stipes with the right atop the left foot—again, all with one nail. And sometimes the two feet are nailed side-by-side on a slanted platform (suppedaneum). This latter view is common in Eastern Byzantine, Greek, and Russian Orthodox crucifixes. Gambescia’s view would require two nails, one going through front of the ankle of the right foot to anchor it directly to the stipes, with the left foot nailed atop the center of the right using a single nail leaving the left foot free to swivel.
This list, then, and the complexity it represents, itself becomes a powerful argument against the position that the Shroud was a painting. No artist ever painted such a complex depiction of the Crucified. Yet, students of the history of art—interested especially in cladistics—can now actually see the Shroud as the beginning of a “tree of descent” where one can study just how the many painted views of the Crucified diverged over the centuries, influenced by various translations of the New Testament in conjunction with markings on the Shroud itself and the heavy pressure of tradition in numerous different geographical locales. But that would be the subject of another paper.
Taking comfort in significant endnotes:
Nevertheless, my request to Dr. Adler was precisely because of my concern regarding pareidolia. In my case, I wanted to be absolutely certain that the features discussed in this paper could be seen easily by the human eye. This problem is well illustrated in Ray Rogers review of Mark Antonacci’s book, Resurrection of the Shroud wherein he states:
With regard to other images on the Shroud, few of us can see them. "I think I can see" is not a substitute for an observation, and observations must be confirmed. When Fr. Francis Filas (deceased) claimed he saw the coins, lituus and all, he was looking at specific photographic prints. He had many prints produced at increasing contrast. Finally, all that was left was strings of dots. It took a numismatist who was familiar with ancient Roman coins weeks to "see" the lituus in those photographs. Your mind tries to make sense out of any "patterns" your eye can see. Psychologists have a lot of effort invested in studying such phenomena… It is dangerous to build a scientific theory on such shaky foundations. Your mind tends to see what it expects and/or wants to see. (Rogers’ review, p. 15, available at: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers.pdf).
The ever present danger of pareidolia and other related issues covered in this extensive endnote (including such problems associated with photo-lithography in the publication process; photo flipflopping [see 13.a below]; cropping, [see 13.a below] etc.) promoted my extreme caution when I asked of Dr. Adler this special favor to examine the Shroud in person in June 1997 to verify whether or not the markings that had been digitally enhanced were there and could be seen without digital enhancement. This footnote, then, not only covers pareidolia, but also other problems that are not technically defined as pareidolia.
Russ Breault writes:
The videos from the St. Louis Conference have all been re-edited for sound. All the original YouTube videos with bad audio have been deleted. All new links have been created. You can watch them either from www.ShroudUniversity.com or from Barrie’s conference page at: http://www.shroud.com/stlouis.htm
Also, all previous videos from the 2008 Ohio State University, 1993 Rome and 1991 St. Louis conferences have all been converted to Youtube as well. So for anyone who had problems streaming these before, you should not have any problems now. Go to www.ShroudUniversity.com to see all the conferences.
The "News" tab on this site now links to Dan Porter’s blog.
Watch for more content in the weeks ahead. I will announce when available.
At the recent St. Louis conference, there was an open discussion regarding future testing of the Shroud, with participation by Prof. Bruno Barberis. Naturally, one of the topics discussed was another possible C-14 dating.
After hearing comments there and after rereading some material, especially Ian Wilson’s chapter "Carbon Dating: Right or Wrong" in his 1998 book The Blood and the Shroud, I’m becoming more and more convinced that another C-14 test would be unwise and moreover, that the Shroud is simply not, and never has been, a suitable item to carbon date.
Wilson points out in his book (pp. 190-191) that in the 1960s, 2 Harwell lab scientists warned Vera Barclay, a British proponent of having the Shroud carbon dated, of pitfalls.
Dr. J.P. Clarke told Barclay,
There appears to be some doubt as to whether the carbon content of the material has remained constant over the years. It would be an assumption of any dating that the addition of something at a date later than that of the fabrication of the Shroud.
P.J. Anderson told her:
The history of the Shroud does not encourage one to put a great deal of reliance upon the validity of any C14 dating. The whole principle of the method depends upon the specimen not undergoing any exchange of carbon between its molecules and atmospheric dioxide, etc. The cellulose of the linen itself would be good from this point of view, but the effect of the fires and subsequent drenching with water . . . and the possibility of contamination during early times, would, I think, make the results doubtful. Any microbiological action upon the Shroud (fungi, moulds, etc., which might arise from damp conditions) might have important effects upon the C14 content. This possibility could not be ruled out
Wilson himself goes on to say:
That such concerns have been far from eliminated by more modern methods is quite evident from a recent booklet by Dr Sheridan Bowman, Michael Tite’s successor as Keeper of the British Museum’s Research Laboratory, in which she lists the sorts of conservation and packing materials that archaeologists should avoid using when sending their samples for processing by a radiocarbon-dating laboratory: ‘Many materials used for preserving or conserving samples may be impossible to remove subsequently: do not use glues, biocides . . . [etc.] Many ordinary packing materials such as paper, cardboard, cotton, wool and string contain carbon and are potential contaminants. Cigarette ash is also taboo.’ It is worth reminding ourselves here of the variety of already listed carbon-containing materials with which the Shroud maintains daily contact, e.g., a sixteenth-century holland cloth, a nineteenth-century silk cover – quite aside from the innumerable candles that have been burnt before it, the water that was thrown over it at the time of the 1532 fire, and so on. And those are merely the events we know about.
One other excerpt worth noting here (pg 193):
Archaeologists, who routinely call upon radiocarbon-dating laboratories’ services, tend to shy from openly criticising the results they receive, even if they do not necessarily agree with some of them, but one who certainly has no qualms is Greece’s Spyros Iakovidis, speaking at an international conference in 1989: ‘In relation to the reliability of radiocarbon dating I would like to mention something which happened to me during my excavation at Gla [in Boeotia, Greece]. I sent to two different laboratories in two different parts of the world a certain amount of the same burnt grain. I got two readings differing by 2000 years, the archaeological dates being right in the middle. I feel that this method is not exactly to be trusted.’ [Italics in original]
Because of such opinions–and keep in mind the above ones are by people who actually used the C-14 technique, it was all the more unfortunate and detrimental that the C-14 test wasn’t at least done as one of many other tests at the same time. Those other tests may have provided overwhelming evidence that the Shroud was from the 1st century, and since it’s not uncommon for C-14 dates to be disregarded in some instances***, there would not be as much ink being spilled on the Shroud C-14 results.
If another C-14 test is ever done, it will take a lot more background study, and hopefully it wouldn’t be done in isolation from other multi-disciplinary testing.
***Rogue dates are common in archaeology and geology . . . Such has been my experience as an archaeologist who has excavated, submitted and interpreted more than one hundred carbon 14 samples from Neolithic, Bronze Age and Early Historical sites. Of these dates obtained, 78 were considered credible, 26 were rejected as unreliable and 11 were problematic. I mention this merely to inform the non-specialist . . . —William Meacham, archaeologist, Centre of Asian Studies,University of Hong Kong, 2000
* * *
Russ Breault tells us on his Shroud University website:
Experts from around the world met in St. Louis, MO for the first US conference on the Shroud of Turin since 2008. Here are over 40 papers covering aspects of science, medicine, art and history. Hear and see the latest research in streaming video.
Frederick Baltz, M.D.
A Galatian Sojourn of the Shroud of Turin? Pollen, Paul, and a Public Portrayal of Christ
The Shroud and the iconography of Christ
Daniel Spicer, Ph.D. and Edward Toton, Ph.D.
Charge Separations as the Mechanism for Image Formation on the
Shroud of Turin
Robert W. Siefker
The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses Version 2.0
Remembering Ray Rogers: A Personal Reflections On The Man And His Work
Rev. Peter Schumacher
Study of Shroud Feature Evidence Using Video and Photogrammetric Analysis Methods
Daniel C. Scavone, Ph.D.
Constantinople Documents as Evidence of the Shroud in Edessa
Charles Mader, Ph.D.
The Raymond Rogers Computer Archive
From the Mandylion to the Shroud
The prodigious painting "From the Impression of Jesus"
Further evaluation of the radiocarbon samples
Flavia Manservergi and Enrico Morini
The hypothesis about the Roman flagrum: some clarifications
Paul C. Maloney
Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation
Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo
About the Second Image of Face Detected on the Turin Shroud
Art Lind, Ph.D. and Mark Antonacci
Hypothesis that Explains the Shroud’s Unique Blood Marks and Several Critical Events in the Gospels
A Critical (re)evaluation of the Shroud of Turin blood data: Strength of evidence in the characterization of the bloodstains
**Due to technical issues we could not capture the conclusion of this talk**
Biophotonic Hypothesis of the Turin Shroud
A Dozen Years of Shroud Science Group
Closing Remarks; End of Conference
Theology of the Shroud (7 Secrets of the Sacred Shroud)
Cesar Barta, et al.
New discoveries on the Sudarium of Oviedo
Prof. Bruno Barberis
Shroud, science and : dialogue or conflict?
Petrus Soons, M.D.
The Halo Around the Head in the Image of the Man in the Shroud
Jeffrey Skurka, P.E.
The Enigma of the apparent age of the Shroud of Turin Give the 1988 Radiocarbon Dating
The Shekinah Glory of the Lord and the Shroud of Turin
Spectroscopic Analysis of Fibers from the Shroud of Turin–What Do They Mean? by Jon Schoonover, Ph.D.
The Alpha-Particle Irradiation Hypothesis: Entering John’s Gospel, Solving the Mystery of the Shroud
Andrew Silverman, M.D.
Natural, manufactured or ‘miracle’?
Most Rev. Michael Sheridan, Bishop of Colorado Springs
KEYNOTE: Science and the Mysteries of the Shroud
Using the Shroud of Turin Website
Raymond Schneider, P.E., Ph.D.
Dating the Shroud of Turin: Weighing All the Evidence
MCNP Analysis of Neutrons Released from Jesus’ Body in the Ressurrection
Joseph Accetta, Ph.D.
Speculations on the 14th Century Origins of the Turin Shroud
Modern Scholarship and the History of the Shroud of Turin
The Mandylion or the story of a man-made relic
Open forum regarding the future of The Shroud research
An Artist Explores The Facial Image of the Shroud of Turin
Diana Fulbright and Paolo DiLazzaro
Earthquake-induced Piezonuclear Reactions and the Inage on the Shroud of Turin: Critical remarks
Science and Semantics
Prof. Bruno Barberis
The Future of research on the Shroud
The Full Length History of the Shroud of Turin
If you know St. Louis, you know the Post-Dispatch. It is one of the country’s leading newspapers, founded in 1878 by Joseph Pulitzer. This morning, the following headline appeared on the front page of the online edition: Shroud of Turin conference draws believers to St. Louis
The article, written by Lilly Fowler, the paper’s religion reporter, is informative, refreshingly accurate and balanced. Here are a few quotes:
Forty experts, scientists and enthusiasts are introducing the latest research surrounding the so-called burial cloth of Jesus at an international four-day conference, opening today at the Drury Plaza Inn in Chesterfield.
Russ Breault, who first became interested in the Shroud of Turin when he wrote about it for his college paper. will deliver the opening talk that will focus on how the pattern of wounds on the man seen on the shroud — markings consistent with a crown of thorns, a pierced wrist and what appear to be blood stains — correlate with what the Gospels say happened to Jesus.
For Breault, the question — “Could this be the burial cloth of Jesus?” — is one worthy of rigorous pursuit.
“This is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the world,” Breault said from his home in Atlanta. “It all comes down to possibility and what that possibility represents.”
[ . . . ]
“The radiocarbon sample has completely different chemical properties than the main part of the shroud relic,” Raymond Rogers, a retired chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, told the BBC News in 2005.
[ . . . ]
The Roman Catholic Church itself has come down somewhere in the middle with regard to the authenticity of the shroud. Although it has not declared the artifact a bonafide relic, since it was willed to the Vatican in 1983, the popes themselves have venerated the object.
[ . . . ]
Breault also says proving the shroud is the burial garment of Jesus isn’t crucial to him. Still, he admits he’s “rooting for the home team, for sure.”
“But again, if it remains an unresolved mystery,” he said. “I’m fine with that too.”
The following press release appears today in Christian Newswire
Experts on the Shroud of Turin Gathering in St. Louis
Contact: Joe Marino, Conference Chairman, 614-477-1480; Mark Antonacci, Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation, 636-938-3708
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 2, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ –International experts on the controversial Shroud of Turin will gather in St. Louis in October to present and discuss the latest discoveries on the burial cloth purported to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. The International Conference, called Shroud of Turin: The Controversial Intersection of Faith and Science, will be held October 9-12 at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield. This will be the first Shroud Conference held in the United States since 2008.
More than 30 Shroud experts from around the world will be presenting information on the latest discoveries about the Shroud. The experts, or sindonologists, represent such diverse fields as archeology, physics, iconography and theology. Conference chair and sindonologist Joe Marino says, "I’m particularly excited that we have many new presenters since the last USA Conference in 2008."
One of the keynote speakers is Bruno Barberis, Director of the International Center of Sindonology in Turin. Another keynote speaker is St. Louis native The Most Reverend Michael John Sheridan, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Renowned Shroud lecturer, Russ Breault, will begin the conference on Thursday evening. Barrie Schwortz, Official Documenting Photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) is currently slated to give two presentations.
Other special presenters include historian and attorney Jack Markwardt, biologist and teacher Kelly Kearse, and artist Veronica Piraccini. A complete list of speakers, and the tentative program can be found at the conference website www.stlouisshroudconference.com.
The conference, sponsored by The Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation and the Salt River Production Group, will begin on Thursday evening, October 9 and conclude at noon on Sunday, October 12. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the Shroud.