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  • Is the Shroud real? Probably.

    The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus. The carbon dating, once seemingly proving it was a medieval fake, is now widely thought of as suspect and meaningless. Even the famous Atheist Richard Dawkins admits it is controversial. Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Laboratory, thinks more testing is needed. So do many other scientists and archeologists. This is because there are significant scientific and non-religious reasons to doubt the validity of the tests. Chemical analysis, all nicely peer-reviewed in scientific journals and subsequently confirmed by numerous chemists, shows that samples tested are chemically unlike the whole cloth. It was probably a mixture of older threads and newer threads woven into the cloth as part of a medieval repair. Recent robust statistical studies add weight to this theory. Philip Ball, the former physical science editor for Nature when the carbon dating results were published, recently wrote: “It’s fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever.” If we wish to be scientific we must admit we do not know how old the cloth is. But if the newer thread is about half of what was tested – and some evidence suggests that – it is possible that the cloth is from the time of Christ.

    No one has a good idea how front and back images of a crucified man came to be on the cloth. Yes, it is possible to create images that look similar. But no one has created images that match the chemistry, peculiar superficiality and profoundly mysterious three-dimensional information content of the images on the Shroud. Again, this is all published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    We simply do not have enough reliable information to arrive at a scientifically rigorous conclusion. Years ago, as a skeptic of the Shroud, I came to realize that while I might believe it was a fake, I could not know so from the facts. Now, as someone who believes it is the real burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, I similarly realize that a leap of faith over unanswered questions is essential.

Colin Berry: Yes, it’s vitally important to match every tiny detail

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

Inés San Martín, a Vatican correspondent for Crux has written an interesting article: Is the Shroud of Turin real? Some say it doesn’t matter

Therein we find Joe Nickell saying:

Proponents lack any viable hypothesis for the image formation, and have dismissed re-creations that others have found convincing.

and Barrie Schwortz saying:

Despite being the most studied artifact in history … modern science is still unable to explain the image or how it was made.

and also saying:

… no one in the past 40 years has been able to duplicate it or create any image with the same chemical and physical properties.

Well, yeah, duh, to what Nickell is saying. In every case there have been problems with the re-creations. It is all about details. That’s why they have been dismissed.

But then isn’t Barrie’s argument stale. That’s not a criticism of Barrie, it is the situation. Just as…

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I think this was my favorite comment from a reader during 2013

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

David Goulet wrote:

imageThe wise man has more to learn from the fool than the fool from the wise man. Now I’m not saying Colin [Berry] is a fool, nor you. Nor am I a wise man. But the heart of this saying is that the wise man can learn even from something that on the surface seems ‘fantasy’. Why, because the wise man has the ability to discern, to put things in perspective and context. He finds nuggets of Truth amongst a load of B.S.

Here’s a thought experiment, if Rogers (or others of these scientists) was still alive and reading this blog, do you think he would discount Colin’s experiments or theories? Or would he take up the challenge, go back to his instruments to see if Colin was right or if he was talking through his rear end? I believe Rogers would have taken up the challenge…

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Barrie Schwortz: Biggest issue so far seems to be the validity of Fanti’s samples

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageBarrie Schwortz has an excellent article on th new book by Giulio Fanti (pictured right). Picking up part ways in (it’s the first story for Late Breaking News for March 28):

So why all the controversy? The book apparently documents the recent Shroud testing done by Fanti and his research team at the University of Padua and reports the results of some chemical and mechanical tests they performed which they claim “confirms that the Shroud dates back to the 1st century.” A pretty powerful statement for sure, but that is not the major problem. You can find a more detailed report about their research on the Vatican Insider website (in English). Here is an excerpt from their article:

“The research includes three new tests, two chemical ones and one mechanical one. The first two were carried out with an FT-IR system, one using infra-red light and the other using Raman…

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Res ipsa loquitur: The facts speak for themselves.

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

clip_image001[4]This is from a very important posting by John Klotz in his blog, Living Free. Read the whole posting. The following, pretty much the last third of the posting, should give you an idea why:

The Shroud.com story also carries an attack by the Turin authorities on Fanti’s claim that he had carried out tests on a fibers of the Shroud obtained from (ta da) Ray Rogers. The Turin authorities not authorized the fibers to be transferred. The Fanti research was thus unauthorized.

But now the plot thickens considerably. In his 2005, Rogers published a paper in Thermahemica Acta that specifically stated how he had received samples of the carbon related to the carbon dating area of the Shroud:

“[I] received 14 yarn segments from the Raes sample from Prof. Luigi Gonella (Department of Physics, Turin Polytechnic University) on 14 October 1979. I photographed the samples as received and…

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Shroud Encounters of the Wikipedia Kind

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageFrom a recently updated Wikipedia article, one of countless articles being scrutinized by the WikiProject Christianity group. entitled Depictions of Jesus:

The conventional image of a fully bearded Jesus with long hair did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. Earlier images were much more varied. Images of Jesus tend to show ethnic characteristics similar to those of the culture in which the image has been created. Beliefs that certain images are historically authentic, or have acquired an authoritative status from Church tradition, remain powerful among some of the faithful, in Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Roman Catholicism. The Shroud of Turin is now the best-known example, though the Image of Edessa and the Veil of Veronica were better known in medieval times[citation needed].

The image shone here, one of dozens in the article, is described…

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Colin Berry is not Seeing Red

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

Berry: Where did the story of the too-red blood originate? Answer: from Adler and Heller

imageYou may have noted a comment by Charles Freeman.

Well, we just have to disagree on the reality of the human blood. I am an independent scholar, formerly a Senior Examiner of the International Baccalaureate;s critical thinking programme, Theory of Knowledge, and thus used to looking at evidence or asking those who know.

I had the Heller/Adler papers read by a professor emeritus of physiology who said that their claims that this was blood were totally unconvincing. I show the bloodstains to any forensic expert i can find and they all say they have never seen dried blood that red.

So I am not working on the understanding that this is blood.

Why can’t the STURP tests be replicated 37 years on? Have they lost the tapes???

Caption: Robert Downey Jr. telling Charles Freeman that…

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Off Topic Warning: About the Eucharist and Then Some

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageI will certainly be accused of going off-topic. Okay. Yes. But. And then again, I can do it anyway. It is interesting. Many times when I read or hear something profound about the Eucharist, I am reminded of Frank Tipler’s book, The Physics of Christianity. This is one of those times. So, if you can humor me for a bit I’ll try to redeem myself.

On Saturday, the Episcopal Church in the United States elected a new Presiding Bishop (In most other places in the Anglican Communion we would call him an Archbishop). The Right Rev. Michael Curry, the 62-year-old Bishop of North Carolina, was overwhelmingly elected by the Church’s General Convention in a single ballot in the House of Bishops. Curry, who is African American, received 121 votes out of 174 cast. The House of Deputies consisting of priests and laypersons approved the election 800-12.Read Episcopal News…

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Idiotic Paradigm of the Day

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

From CNN:

imageAnonymous Operations members told CNN Thursday their goal was “freedom of information. Any and all information.”

And to achieve this goal they will attack and shutdown the “information systems” of people they oppose. Freedom of information, my ass. It is called cyber terrorism.

Now suppose that a bunch cyber savvy Atheists, tired with buying advertising billboards, decide to attach the sites of church or perhaps a Shroud of Turin website such as this. Or maybe some Christian fundamentalists decide to attack Richard Dawkins blog.

Is this the beginning of a new culture war? Here is the lede to the CNN story:

Computer hackers who support WikiLeaks released a do-it-yourself hacking tool online Thursday so other people can replicate the attacks they say took down the websites of MasterCard and Visa. They say Amazon.com is the target, with the attack due to start at about 11 a.m. ET.

WikiLeaks…

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Comment Promoted: Thibault Heimburger on Rogers’ Discoveries

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

clip_image001Thibault writes in a comment to 50/50 : Colin Berry’s Most Outlandish Proposal. Comments follow by anoxie, Charles Freeman and Colin Berry. Join in there or here. This was just too important a comment to not be at the posting level:

. . . Actually, all of Rogers’ discoveries (the strongly anomalous cotton content, the dye and, last but not least, the vanillin tests) were performed on several threads coming from the Raes sample adjacent to the C14 samples. Those Raes threads were given to STURP (in fact Rogers) on the order of Card. Ballestrero himself. No secret here.

Since the Raes sample and the C14 samples necessarily shared at least some threads, Rogers thought that the entire Raes/C14 corner was not representative of the bulk of the TS. However, as a true scientist, he wanted to verify specifically this point.

Later, he could obtain 2 tiny pieces of…

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Remembering Ray Rogers at the St. Louis Conference

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageYou are going to want to readRemembering Ray Rogers by Barrie Schwortz. This is a short presentation. You can read all of the PowerPoint charts in less than five minutes.

Barrie begins:

In the past few years, I have sadly witnessed a growing number of personal attacks impugning the integrity, character and credentials of the late Raymond N. Rogers, STURP chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Although his research on the Shroud is empirically honest, is published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals and speaks for itself, I believe it is time that the public get some background about the “other” Ray Rogers that he never revealed to the “Shroud crowd” himself. That is the primary purpose of this short presentation.

Barrie rounds out his talk with:

Ray would have welcomed the many critiques of his research that have been published in the ensuing years and would have defended the…

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BBC News Magazine: The Perplexing Image

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

it has to be said that the piece of cloth Pope Francis will venerate
is genuinely and stubbornly perplexing.

imageAppearing online just hours ago: How did the Turin Shroud get its image?

You’ll notice that this says nothing about its authenticity. The Catholic Church takes no official position on that, stating only that it is a matter for scientific investigation. Ever since radiocarbon dating in 1989 proclaimed the 14ft by 4ft piece of linen to be roughly 700 years old, the Church has avoided claiming that it is anything more than an “icon” of Christian devotion.

But regardless of the continuing arguments about its age (summarised in the box at the bottom of this page) the Shroud of Turin is a deeply puzzling object. Studies in 1978 by an international team of experts – the Shroud of Turin Research Project (Sturp) – delivered no clear explanation of how the cloth…

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Radiation Man: A New BSTS Article

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageI wondered if it was possible to model this radiation image forming process with a simple experiment at home and came up with the following idea: coating an Action Man doll [The US version is called G.I. Joe – editor] with luminous paint then sandwiching the ‘exposed-to-light’ model inside a photographic sheet in a dark room and see what sort of image forms

. . . wrote Hugh Duncan in the latest issue of BSTS’s Newsletter (#78), referring to “promising” theory for the image having been formed by “radiation emanating from the body of the Man in the Shroud, which left a physical trace on the surface fibrils of the linen.”

Well, now, you know you must read The Shroud and the Action Man by Hugh Duncan. You will certainly want to comment on it.

I also call your attention to a related posting, Nice Editor Touch. It is the…

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Did Jesus Survive the Crucifixion?

Posted by Dan on 2015

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

The Sudarium provides strong, independent evidence for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. If the Shroud is a fake, then the Sudarium must also be so. This makes the job of any potential forger close to impossible. The two cloths authenticate and validate each other and together they provide a strong case for being the original burial cloths of Jesus.

— Arif Khan


imageThe current issue of The Review of Religions, an international magazine published by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, carries an article by Arif Khan, The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin. The Review is an international magazine published by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. It has been in print since 1902. The current cover of the print edition is pictured.

Here is what the article says about the carbon dating of the shroud:

Section 3 – Dating the Shroud & the Sudarium

The fact…

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Bravo! Wonderful Facelift of shroud.com

Posted by Dan on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

image

From the Late Breaking Website News page of the wonderfully redesigned site, today, on this this sixteenth anniversary of shroud.com:

If you have managed to get to this page and are reading this article, you will have already noticed a dramatic change in the look of this website. After sixteen years online, we have given the website a long overdue “facelift” to make it more modern in appearance and much easier to navigate. I have had many criticisms about the look of the site over the past few years, but some months ago a reader pointed out that the site was difficult to view and navigate, particularly on the smaller screens of smart phones or tablets. Although we have always put more emphasis on content than design, it is hard (or downright stupid) to ignore the fact that over 100 million Americans alone now view the internet on such…

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A Bold Conclusion: the Blood, the Image, the Man

Posted by Dan on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageThat conclusion begins:

The present analysis of available scientific data obtained from the Shroud of Turin and the results of a few experiments allow the conclusion that the best explanation, and a consistent one, for the peculiar pinkish redness of the bloodstains on the Shroud is that authentic acid blood of a dead crucified person stained an authentic Jewish madder-dyed temple mantle during and after an authentic Jewish burial procession of a person whose dead body formed an image on and disappeared from the Shroud in an extremely delicate way before putrefaction. This delicate and timely disappearance of the dead body and the presence of a bloodstained image of what seems to be a first-century Jewish ornament of a Sanhedrin member indicate that this person most probably was Jesus Christ.

This is no small paper; call it a book. That one paragraph, above, is on page 230. The paper is…

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A Guest Posting by Joe Marino: If another C-14 test is ever done . . .

Posted by Dan on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

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…

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The Soap-making Nuns and the Shroud of Turin

Posted by Dan on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageMUST WATCH VIDEO. You are also going to want to read this Fox New article by Lauren Green:

But behind the monastery’s cloistered walls is not only the sisters’ soap-making business, but a mysterious object that’s part of their greater mission. An object that one researcher called the common denominator between science and religion.

A nearly 400-year-old replica of the Shroud of Turin, Jesus’ burial cloth, long stowed away, is now on public display in the monastery’s sanctuary. The shroud was a gift to the sisters from the Monastery of Monte Mario in Rome, as gratitude for their support during World War I.

The shroud replica was one of two commissioned in 1624 by Maria Maddalena of Austria, the wife of Cosimo de Medici. The replica was placed on the original shroud and as such is now treasured and venerated.

Source: Soap-making Nuns Of New Jersey Monastery…

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Les Fredette’s Crucifixion Nail: Why I am Skeptical About It

Posted by Dan on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

Les Fredette seeing what he thinks is a crucifixion nail has inspired me to repost something I wrote in November 2010. It explains, in large measure, why I am skeptical of his claim about a nail and many other such similar claims. For those bored with me repeating myself, don’t read it.

image“I think I see the light coming to me, coming through me giving me a second sight.” Those are words from the song, “I Think I See,” by Cat Stevens, written years before Yusuf Islam, as he is now called, converted to Islam. It was, some said, a metaphor for the promised land.

Maybe!

“And sometimes the light [I think I see] at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey,” Jon Stewart said at the “Rally to Restore Sanity,” not meaning, of course, to criticize Yusuf Islam who was at the…

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Taking Ockham’s Razor to Ockham’s Razor

Posted by Dan on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageThere is a whole lot of wisdom in a brief paper by Massimo Pigliucci over at Rationally Speaking:

. . . Philosophers often refer to this as the principle of economy, while scientists tend to call it parsimony. Skeptics invoke it every time they wish to dismiss out of hand claims of unusual phenomena (after all, to invoke the “unusual” is by definition unparsimonious, so there).

. . . The obvious question to ask about Ockham’s razor is: why? On what basis are we justified to think that, as a matter of general practice, the simplest hypothesis is the most likely one to be true? Setting aside the surprisingly difficult task of operationally defining “simpler” in the context of scientific hypotheses (it can be done, but only in certain domains, and it ain’t straightforward), there doesn’t seem to be any particular logical or metaphysical reason to believe that…

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Scientific truth is a pathway to God

Posted by Dan on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

As the Huffington Post describes him:

imageBr. Guy Consolmagno SJ is an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he has two degrees in planetary sciences from MIT and a doctorate from the University of Arizona. He is a past president of the IAU Commission 16 (Moons and Planets) and past chair of the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (AAS/DPS). Along with more than 200 scientific works, he is the author of six popular astronomy books (most notably Turn Left at Orion, with Dan Davis, and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? with Paul Mueller) and the winner of the 2014 Carl Sagan Medal for Public Outreach from the AAS/DPS.

He has put together an interesting posting for the HuffPo blog:Science, Religion and the Assumptions We Make. He concludes (but do read it from the top)

I…

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