Friday, August 24, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI on the Shroud of Turin being "an image that has not been made by human hands"!

I have made contact with an American sindonologist who has kindly agreed to peer-review my paper, "A proposal to radiocarbon-date the pollen of the Shroud of Turin," which I have been working on full-time

[Above: "Icon of Christ `not made by the hand of man' (Christ Acheiropoietos)," Moscow School, 12th c. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. "File:Christos Acheiropoietos.jpg," Wikipedia, 24 August 2005]

(which explains my lack of posting), and had recently completed to first draft stage, although it still needs a lot of `polishing'.

He commented that the Shroud pro-authenticity community had been fortunate in that the late Pope John Paul II believed the Shroud was authentic, but the new Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Cardinal Josef Ratzinger) has been silent about the Shroud.

I replied to him, that there is evidence that Pope Benedict is far from indifferent about the Shroud. See the following quote from a book he wrote in 2000 as Cardinal Ratzinger in which he seems to accept that the Shroud is the Edessa Cloth/Mandylion, stating that "the Turin Shroud" is "acheiropoietos, an image that has not been made by human hands and portrays the very face of Christ, a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing" (my emphasis):

"One development of far-reaching importance in the history of the images of faith was the emergence for the first time of a so-called acheiropoietos, an image that has not been made by human hands and portrays the very face of Christ. Two of these images appeared in the East at about the same time in the middle of the sixth century. The first of these was the so-called camulianium, the imprint of the image of Christ on a woman's gown. The second was the mandylion, as it was called later, which was brought from Edessa in Syria to Constantinople and is thought by many scholars today to be identical with the Shroud of Turin. In each case, as with the Turin Shroud, it must have been a question of a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing. In some inexplicable way, it appeared imprinted upon cloth and claimed to show the true face of Christ, the crucified and risen Lord. The first appearance of this image must have provoked immense fascination. Now at last could the true face of the Lord, hitherto hidden, be seen and thus the promise be fulfilled: `He who has seen me has seen the Father' (Jn 14:9). The sight of the God-Man and, through Him, of God Himself seemed to have been opened up; the Greek longing for the vision of the Eternal seemed to be fulfilled. Thus the icon inevitably assumed in its form the status of a sacrament. It was regarded as bestowing a communion no less than that of the Eucharist. People began to think that there was virtually a kind of real presence of the Person imaged in the image. The image in this case, the image not made by human hands, was an image in the full sense, a participation in the reality concerned, the refulgence and thus the presence of the One who gives Himself in the image. It is not hard to see why the images modeled on the acheiropoietos became the center of the whole canon of iconography, which meanwhile had made progress and was understood better in its wider implications." (Ratzinger, J., Cardinal, "Art and Liturgy - The Question of Images," from his "The Spirit of the Liturgy," Ignatius Press, 2000, Adoremus Bulletin, Vol. VII, No. 10: February 2002).

And that he was also involved as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, apparently supporting STURP's original protocol:

"On 16 October 1984 STURP presented their 177 page `Phase II' project to the Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Ballestrero, in which they proposed a protocol for the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud. They never received any reply. From 29 September to 1 October 1986 Cardinal Ballestrero met representatives of seven laboratories and an 800 page protocol was drawn up naming three controlling authorities: `the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, G. Colonetti' of Turin, and the British Museum. Now eliminate the rivals. Too many supervising authorities and laboratories involved in such a project, of course, would only make it next to impossible to ensure that it obtained the desired result. But Cardinal Ratzinger had been assured that the Pontifical Academy of Sciences would not be excluded. Well too bad about them." (McDonnell, D.J., "The Great Holy Shroud Dating Fraud of 1988," 4 November 2003).

There were more quotes I could have sent him, but I decided to leave it at only two and post the rest here to my blog, giving him the link to this post if he wanted to read the others.

While as Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict's reflection on Jesus' crucifixion, "The Shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure," and His humiliation, "The Holy Shroud of Turin can let us imagine all that in a touching way":

"On Tuesday, April 19 Card. Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope and chose Benedict XVI as his name. The new Pope has always shown his attention for the Holy Shroud, which he also mentioned during the recent Way of the Cross on Good Friday, March 25, in his meditation for the eleventh station, Jesus is nailed to the Cross: `The Shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure'. ["Stations of the Cross," Good Friday, 2005] In Avvenire of April 20, on page 8, we can find the text of a theological reflection written by Card. Ratzinger in 2002 for the Meeting in Rimini; there you can also read: `He Who is the Beauty Itself has let His Face be hit, has let Himself be spat on and crowned of thorns. The Holy Shroud of Turin can let us imagine all that in a touching way. But just in such a disfigured Face the authentic, extreme Beauty appears: the beauty of the love which lasts "unto the end' and which, just in this, reveals itself as stronger than falsehood and violence'." (Marinelli, E. & M., "News," Collegamento pro Sindone, April 20, 2005)

could be interpreted as applicable even if he thought the Shroud was merely a work of art. But, apart from this being ruled out by his statement above that the Shroud was "an image ... which no human artistry was capable of producing" (my emphasis) in the actual meditation below, it seems clear that he regards the "image of pain" on the Shroud to be that of "the suffering Son of God":

"Jesus is nailed to the Cross. The shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure. Jesus does not drink the numbing gall offered to him: he deliberately takes upon himself all the pain of the Crucifixion. His whole body is racked; the words of the Psalm have come to pass: `But I am a worm and no man, scorned by men, rejected by the people' (Ps 22:7). `As one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised... surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows' (Is 53:3f.). Let us halt before this image of pain, before the suffering Son of God. Let us look upon him at times of presumptuousness and pleasure, in order to learn to respect limits and to see the superficiality of all merely material goods. Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation, and realize that it is then that we are closest to God. Let us try to see his face in the people we might look down upon. As we stand before the condemned Lord, who did not use his power to come down from the Cross, but endured its suffering to the end, another thought comes to mind. Ignatius of Antioch, a prisoner in chains for his faith in the Lord, praised the Christians of Smyrna for their invincible faith: he says that they were, so to speak, nailed with flesh and blood to the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1). Let us nail ourselves to him, resisting the temptation to stand apart, or to join others in mocking him." (Ratzinger, J., Cardinal, "Stations of the Cross," Good Friday, March 24, 2005. Adoremus, 22 February 2007).

Brendan Whiting quoted a message sent on Pope Benedict XVI's behalf, to the 2005 Third International Dallas Conference on the Shroud, expressing support for "scientific research on the Shroud and in promoting awareness of its outstanding religious significance" (see `tagline' quote below). While this might not seem much, the very fact that representatives of both Turin and Rome attended, let alone that a message was sent from the Vatican on behalf of Pope Benedict, seems highly significant.

The committment by "the papal custodian" of "the Church's willingness to allow more study of the Shroud when the scientific community determines what new tests need to be carried out, bearing in mind that conservation of the cloth and image" augurs well for the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud's pollen, in that, even if more pollen needs to be taken from the Shroud, it would have little or no effect on the Shroud's "cloth and image."

Stephen E. Jones
My other blog: CreationEvolutionDesign


"The Third International Dallas Conference on. the Shroud The great diversity of parties from around the world with interest in the Shroud has tested relationships in the past, especially when differences of opinion arose over proposals made to the papal custodian of the Shroud to allow new scientific tests on the cloth or on fibre samples taken from it. However, any residual differences of opinions were substantially resolved during the international conference held in Dallas, Texas, 8-11 September 2005. Jointly sponsored by AMSTAR and the Holy Shroud Guild, in collaboration with Italy's Centro Internazionale de Sindonologia, the conference provided an important forum for various experts to express their views about what new tests should be undertaken in the future, having due regard for the safe preservation of the cloth. Speakers included Monsignor Ghiberti, special advisor to Cardinal Severino Poletto, Papal Custodian for the Holy Shroud ... Monsignor Ghiberti responded to the call by affirming on behalf of the papal custodian the Church's willingness to allow more study of the Shroud when the scientific community determines what new tests need to be carried out, bearing in mind that conservation of the cloth and image is the most important requirement. These sentiments echoed those of Pope Benedict XVI, which were expressed in writing on his behalf by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State for the Vatican: `His Holiness trusts that the Dallas conference will advance cooperation and dialogue among the various groups engaged in scientific research on the Shroud and in promoting awareness of its outstanding religious significance. He is convinced that the growth of such collaboration, in complete respect for the autonomy of distinct areas of competence, will contribute to the important pastoral aim of making the mystery of the Shroud better known and enabling its message to touch the hearts of men and women everywhere.' [Letter from the Vatican, 16 July, 2005, to the Most Reverend Charles Grahmann, Bishop of Dallas]." (Whiting, B., "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, 2006, pp.370-371. Emphasis original)

Updated: 21 June 2015.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?: Bibliography

This is the main Bibliography page of my book outline, "The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?" I will add

[Left: Ian Wilson's, The Turin Shroud (1978). Although published nearly 30 years ago, it is still probably the most important book on the Shroud of Turin ever written.]

Bibliography sub-pages for the first letter of each author's surname, as required, hyperlink them to this main page via the "Authors' surnames: A, B, C, ... Z" below, and then over time remove those bibliography references themselves from this page.


THE SHROUD OF TURIN: BURIAL SHEET OF JESUS?
© Stephen E. Jones


CONTENTS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Authors' surnames: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

Barberis, B. & Savarino, P., 1998, "Shroud, Carbon-Dating and Calculus of Probabilities," Neame, A., transl., St Pauls: London.
Barbet, P., 1953, "A Doctor at Calvary," Image Books: Garden City NY, Reprinted, 1963.
Beecher, P.A., 1928, "The Holy Shroud: Reply to the Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J.," M.H. Gill & Son: Dublin.
Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo: New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA.
Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud: Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX.
Brent, P. & Rolfe, D., 1978, "The Silent Witness: The Mysteries of the Turin Shroud Revealed," Futura Publications: London.
Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI.

Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO.
Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD.

Frean, W., 1961, "The Winding Sheet of Christ: Vivid Witness of the Love and Sufferings of Our Saviour," Majellan Press: Wendouree Vic, Australia.

Kersten, H. & Gruber, E.R., 1994, "The Jesus Conspiracy: The Turin Shroud and the Truth About the Resurrection," Element Books: Shaftesbury UK, Reprinted, 1995.
Konikiewicz, L.W., "Turin Shroud and Science," Panorama Publishing:, Chicago IL, 1999

Laidler, K., 2000, "The Divine Deception: The Church, the Shroud and the Creation of a Holy Fraud," Headline: London.
Lavoie, G.R., 2000, "Resurrected: Tangible Evidence That Jesus Rose from the Dead," Thomas More: Allen TX.

Nickell, J., 2000, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY.

Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta.
Picknett, L. & Prince, C., 1994, "Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? : The Truth Behind the Centuries-Long Conspiracy of Silence," HarperCollins: New York NY.

Trenn, T., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin: Resetting the Carbon-14 Clock," in van der Meer, J.M., ed., "Facets of Faith and Science: Vol. 3: The Role of Beliefs in the Natural Sciences," University Press of America: Lanham, MD, pp.119-154.
Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition.

Vignon, P., 1902, "The Shroud of Christ," University Books: New York NY, Reprinted, 1970.

Zugibe, F.T., 1988, "The Cross and the Shroud: A Medical Enquiry into the Crucifixion," [1982], Paragon House: New York NY, Revised edition.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: CreationEvolutionDesign


"So, having been discredited by its apparently fatal blow from carbon-14, the shroud seems to be coming back from the dead. For many, these latest developments only confirm what they have believed all along. There is a vast international Turin shroud culture and industry. It has its own ology - sindonology, the study of the shroud. Shroud.com lists 29 centres of sindonological research and information in the US alone. There are international conferences, journals and newsletters in several languages, and you can buy CDs and CD ROMs, books and videos, and framed prints up to life size. The Catholic church has prayers and liturgy for shroud-related worship, and it even has its own feast day, 4 May.

[Above (click to enlarge): Hungarian "Pray" manuscript (1192-1195) showing inverted L-shaped hot poker burn holes on it that match those on the Shroud, as well as its distinctive herringbone weave, and non-traditional nude Jesus, with no thumbs, 65-68 years before the earliest radiocarbon date of 1260!]

Believers - not all Catholic by any means - point to many features of the mysterious linen that are hard for sceptics to explain:

Shroud enthusiasts come from all walks of life, and all Christian denominations. Those who have written and lectured about its authenticity include professors of archeology, philosophy, history, chemistry, engineering, and surgery, though not sindonology. It is not surprising to find priests in their midst, but more surprising that believers included the controversial liberal Bishop of Woolwich John Robinson, of Honest To God fame. Of course there are conspiracy theorists and far-fetched mystics too, but they seem to be outnumbered by scientists. Judging by the three million who queued to see the linen when it was exhibited in 2000, it seems the average shroud fan is simply an ordinary Christian believer." (Tomkins, S., "Wrapped in the shroud," BBC, 14 April, 2004).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?: 1. Introduction

Here are the headings of Chapter 1, Introduction, to my book outline, "The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?":

THE SHROUD OF TURIN: BURIAL SHEET OF JESUS?
© Stephen E. Jones

CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. What is the Shroud of Turin?
1.2. The available alternatives
1.3. One's philosophical assumptions
1.4. Christianity and the Shroud
1.5. My personal position on the Shroud

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[Above (click to enlarge): "Anatomy of the Shroud,' National Geographic, June 1980, p.737]

As already mentioned, I will next post each heading with brief notes under it on a separate page, and hyperlinking those headings back to this Introduction, which in turn will be hyperlinked to the Contents page.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: CreationEvolutionDesign


"During the last six centuries, millions of words have been written about the remarkable cloth preserved at Turin, Italy. More recently, most of this writing has dealt with the one basic question: is it the true Shroud of Jesus or a man-made object? Is it-could it be-the actual winding sheet of the crucified Christ, bearing an imprint of His body, or is the whole thing a gigantic hoax, a fantastic forgery, of the credulous Middle Ages? Men of learning and renown have lined up on both sides of that compelling query. Unlike so many other relics of the Passion-the Cross, the Robe, the Crown of Thorns-the Turin relic does not call on tradition for corroboration. It bears its testimony on its surface-testimony that can be examined and investigated. Since the sensational photographic revelation of 1898, this examination has been conducted along a number of different lines: history, anatomy, chemistry, exegesis, legal medicine, photography, art history and textile manufacture, to name the foremost. ... Few things can compare with Shroud study in the use it makes of the totality of human knowledge. ... Beyond all this, of course, the relic soars into the realm of religion, where, if it is authentic, its value becomes immeasurable. ... Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever, products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground." (Walsh, J.E., "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, 1963, pp.ix-xii. Emphasis original).

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bogus: Shroud of Turin? #10: The Shroud's blood and pollen closely matches the Sudarium of Oviedo's

Bogus: Shroud of Turin, The Conservative Voice, April 08, 2007, Grant Swank ... But that "bearded face" on that particular cloth did not belong to Jesus of Nazareth. ... Continued from part #9

[Above: Perfect fit of Sudarium of Oviedo (right) to the face on the Shroud of Turin (left), in Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo: New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, p.122]

on my CreationEvolutionDesign blog. That is, I will now continue that series (see previous parts #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 & #9) with this part #10 here on my The Shroud of Turin blog.

As historian Ian Wilson summarised: 1) the Sudarium of Oviedo has a documented Spanish history from at least the "ninth century" and "can with reasonable plausibility be traced back to early first- millennium Jerusalem"; 2) the Sudarium's "blood and body fluid ... stains" are "very compatible with gospel writer John's observation that at the conclusion of Jesus' crucifixion `immediately there came out blood and water' (John 19:34)"; 3) if "the Oviedo cloth's back-of-the-head group of bloodstains" are "photographed to the same scale as their equivalent on the Shroud, and then matched up to each other, there are again enough similarities to indicate … that these two cloths were in contact with the same wounded body"; 4) "Exactly as in the case of the Shroud, whoever bled onto the Oviedo cloth was of the same comparatively rare AB blood group"; and 5) on "the Oviedo cloth" were "found ... pollens representative of Israel, North Africa and Spain, exactly in accord with the cloth's known history" and "among those Israel pollens was" at least one species found on the Shroud, "Gundelia tournefortii" (my emphasis):

"But while the debate over the Shroud's DNA therefore necessarily remains far from resolved, a major new development, also with its own bearing on the Shroud `blood', concerns a relic with its own authenticity controversies, the so-called sudarium of Oviedo. Although this bears bloodstains, like those on the Shroud, with every semblance of authenticity, because these are not accompanied by any similarly meaningful body image I have long shied from taking any interest in them - until a recent development. This was the emergence of a new, serious researcher on the subject, Mark Guscin, a British-born classicist resident in Spain, with an excellent book The Oviedo Cloth … published in 1998. In this he shows that historically the Oviedo cloth's origins can with reasonable plausibility be traced back to early first- millennium Jerusalem, having been moved from there to Spain in the seventh century apparently to keep it safe from the Persian invasions of that period. By early in the ninth century, due to Arab incursions into southern Spain, it had quite definitely moved north to Oviedo, since the cathedral's still extant camara santa or holy room was specially built for it at that time. And in 1075 it was similarly reliably recorded as being taken out of its still extant arca or chest in the presence of King Alfonso VI. Its certain history, therefore, significantly antedates that of the Shroud. It is also free of the early accusations of forgery that so dog the Shroud. But exactly like the Shroud, far more revelatory than the Oviedo cloth's history is its self-documentation. Although it bears no photograph-like `body' image in the manner of the Shroud, Mark Guscin and his Spanish colleagues have very convincingly demonstrated that its `blood and body fluid' stains exhibit shapes so strikingly similar to those on the Shroud that there has to be the strongest likelihood that both were in contact with the same corpse. Two groups of stains particularly indicate this. The first are what I would call the nasal stains, which appear to derive from a nose and mouth soaked in bloody fluids. These are repeated mirror-image-style, apparently because of the cloth having been partly doubled on itself. Forensic analysis indicates that they consist of one part blood and six parts pulmonary oedema fluid. This finding is therefore strikingly consistent with the strong body of medical opinion that the man of the Shroud's lungs would have filled with fluid caused by the scourging. They are also very compatible with gospel writer John's observation that at the conclusion of Jesus' crucifixion `immediately there came out blood and water' (John 19:34), as from the same oedematous fluid, when a lance was plunged into Jesus' chest. In the case of the Oviedo cloth's back-of-the-head group of bloodstains, if these are photographed to the same scale as their equivalent on the Shroud, and then matched up to each other, there are again enough similarities to indicate … that these two cloths were in contact with the same wounded body ... Exactly as in the case of the Shroud, whoever bled onto the Oviedo cloth was of the same comparatively rare AB blood group. ... Dr Frei took sticky-tape samples from the Oviedo cloth, just as he had from the Shroud. What he found was pollens representative of Israel, North Africa and Spain, exactly in accord with the cloth's known history. And among those Israel pollens was, yet again, Gundelia tournefortii." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, pp.77-78,92).

Here are further quotes to support these five points. But

[Left: Mark Guscin shows how a sudarium covered the head of a crucified Jewish victim, The Shroud Report]

first, to understand how the Sudarium of Oviedo complements the Shroud, watch Mark Guscin's demonstration of how it was used on the body of Jesus in the Shroud of Turin Education Project's Streaming Videos.

1) The Sudarium of Oviedo has a documented Spanish history from at least the "ninth century" and "can with

[Above: The Sudarium of Oviedo, Mark Guscin]

reasonable plausibility be traced back to early first- millennium Jerusalem" (my emphasis):

"What exactly is the Sudarium of Oviedo? First of all, it can be said that it is an ancient linen cloth that has been in Spain since the seventh century and venerated in Oviedo for more than 1,200 years. It was originally a white linen cloth with a taffeta texture, now stained, dirty, and wrinkled. It is rectangular, somewhat irregular, and measures approximately 34 by 21 inches [855 x 526 mm]. The principal bloodstains clearly form a mirror image along the axis formed by a fold that is still present. They are fundamentally light brown in color, in varying degrees of intensity. Although the linen has been traditionally called the `Holy Sudarium' or `Holy Face,' there is no visible image of a face on the relic, only blood that is believed to be that of Jesus of Nazareth. The cloth has always been known as the Sudarium Domini, or the Sudarium of the Lord ..." (Bennett, J., "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo: New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, 2001, p.13).

The Sudarium was "Located in Jerusalem until 614" when "it was moved to North Africa and then Spain to protect it from the advancing Moslems" (my emphasis):

"Since the eighth century, there is, in the Cathedral in Oviedo, Spain, the Sagrado Rostro or Holy Face, a face-cloth (83 x 53 cm.) also known as the Cloth of Oviedo (Sudarium Christi d'Oviedo). Located in Jerusalem until 614, it was moved to North Africa and then Spain to protect it from the advancing Moslems. The first historical information we have about it after the year 614 goes back to 1075 when Alphonsus VI of Leon recognized it as one of the relics in the Arca Santa or Holy Ark, a wooden reliquary which had housed the sudarium in Carthage, North Africa, and Monsagro and Toledo, Spain. Franca Pastore Trossello, a forensic scientist from the University of Turin, conducted a comparative study of the fabrics of the Shroud and the Cloth of Oviedo and found them to be of the same weave and texture. Dr. Alan Whanger studied the cloth and is convinced that it touched the face of Jesus. Dr. Max Frei matched at least four pollen on the Cloth of Oviedo with four pollen from the Shroud. Whanger found at least seventy matches between a polarized image overlay of the blood stains of the Shroud and those found on the Cloth of Oviedo. Further computerized comparative studies by Nello Balossino of the University of Turin, indicated that the traces of blood present on the two pieces of cloth matched perfectly." (Iannone, J.C., "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, 1998, p.91).

And from then "The sudarium has been in Oviedo ever since":

"The key date in the history of the sudarium is 14 March 1075. On this date the ark or chest where the sudarium was kept was officially opened in the presence of King Alfonso VI, his sister Doha Urraca, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (el Cid Campeador) and a number of bishops. This official act was recorded in a document which is now kept in the Capitular Archives of the cathedral in Oviedo, Series B.2.9. This is not the original document from the year 1075, but rather it is a copy, which was made in the thirteenth century. The copy is so exact that even the signatures are imitated - the vertical signature of Urraca is clearly legible. ... The document states that even in the year 1075, the chest had been in the church for a long time ... The sudarium has been in Oviedo ever since, kept in a wooden ark. Alfonso VI had this ark covered with silver plating, on which the twelve apostles, the four evangelists and Christ are portrayed. There are inscriptions in Arabic and Latin, both of Christian origin. After the reconquest of the kingdom of Toledo, Christian- inscriptions were often written in Arabic. The Latin inscription invites all Catholics to venerate this relic that contains the holy blood. The silver plating dates from the year 1113, and gives a list of the contents of the ark. One of these items is clearly registered as `el Santo Sudario de N.S.J.C.' These letters stand for `Nuestro Senor Jesucristo', and the inscription means, `The Sacred Sudarium of Our Lord Jesus Christ'." (Guscin, 1998, pp.17-18)

2) The Sudarium's "blood and body fluid ... stains" are "very compatible with gospel writer John's observation that at the conclusion of Jesus' crucifixion `immediately there came out blood and water' (John 19:34)" (my emphasis):

"The image of the back of the man on the Shroud is covered with wounds from the scourging he received before being crucified. The wounds on the man's back are obviously not reproduced on the sudarium, as this had no contact with it. However, there are thick bloodstains on the nape of the man's neck, showing the depth and extent of the wounds produced by the crown of thorns. This crown was probably not a circle, as traditional Christian art represents, but a kind of cap covering the whole head. ... The stains on the back of the man's neck on the Shroud correspond exactly to those on the sudarium." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, 1998, pp.30,32).

3) If "the Oviedo cloth's back-of-the-head group of bloodstains" are "photographed to the same scale as their equivalent on the Shroud, and then matched up to each other, there are again enough similarities to indicate … that these two cloths were in contact with the same wounded body" (my emphasis):

"The most striking thing about all the stains is that they coincide exactly with the face of the image on the Turin Shroud. The first fact that confirms the relationship between the two cloths is that the blood on each belongs to the same group, AB. If the blood or each cloth belonged to a different group, there would be no sense in pursuing the comparative investigation, and little meaning in any further points of coincidence. This test is the starting point for all the others, and the results are positive. Blood of the group AB is also very common in the Middle East and rare in Europe. According to Monsignor Ricci's method of numbering the stains on the sudarium, the main group, corresponding to the liquid which came out of the nostrils, receives the number 13. The length of the nose which produced this stain has been calculated at eight centimetres, just over three inches, which is exactly the same as the length of the nose on the Shroud. In a case like this, it is very easy for sceptics to say that the investigators have just come up with the measurement they needed, but this is not a scientific or rational argument. The only to be expected, if, as seems obvious, both cloths covered the same face. Nobody would be surprised, for example, if we had two gloves that belonged to Napoleon, and the size of the hand that used each one was calculated to be the same. This would be the obvious measurement." (Guscin, 1998, pp.27-28).

In particular, "the most obvious fit when the stains on the sudarium are placed over the image of the face on the Shroud, is that of the beard; the match is perfect" (my emphasis):.

"Perhaps the most obvious fit when the stains on the sudarium are placed over the image of the face on the Shroud, is that of the beard; the match is perfect. This shows that the sudarium, possibly by being gently pressed onto the face, was also used to clean the blood and other fluids that had collected in the beard. Stain number 6 is also evident on all four faces of the sudarium. If stain 13 is placed over the nose of the image on the Shroud, stain 6 is seen to proceed from the right hand side of the man's mouth. This stain is hardly visible on the shroud, but its existence has been confirmed by Dr John Jackson, who is well known for his studies on the Shroud using the VP-8 image analyser. Using the VP-8 and photo-enhancements, Dr Jackson has shown that the same stain is present on the Shroud, and the shape of the stain coincides perfectly with the one on the sudarium. The gap between the blood coming out of the right hand side of the mouth and the stain on the beard is mapped as number 18. This gap closes as the stains get progressively more extensive on faces 1, 2, 3 and 4 while at the same time they are less intense. Stain number 12 corresponds to the eyebrows of the face on the Shroud. As with the beard, this facial hair would have retained blood and this would have produced the stains on the sudarium when it was placed on Jesus' face. There is also blood on the forehead, which forms stain number 10 on the sudarium." (Guscin, 1998, p.28).

In addition to "a notable similarity between both linens in the back part of the head, which match essentially in size, position, and genesis, which means that both contain vital blood" there is another place where "the blood stains on the back of both linens correspond" perfectly and that is "found on the two right and left lower corners on the Oviedo cloth" (it was folded twice):

"Bloodstains. The bloodstains have geometrically compatible sizes and have very similar positions on both linens. The stains are of human blood of the group AB. ... The stains produced from vital blood, those produced by the puncture wounds at the back of the neck, are the same on both linens. Remember that the linen of Oviedo was fastened to the head in the back with sharply pointed objects, perhaps thorns. The cloth fell on the left shoulder and upper part of the back of the person, and wrapped the left part of the face. This entire area that was touched by the cloth was completely bloody before blood flowed from the nose and mouth after death had occurred. There is a notable similarity between both linens in the back part of the head, which match essentially in size, position, and genesis, which means that both contain vital blood, or blood which flowed before the death of the victim. In addition, the blood stains on the back of both linens correspond, found on the two right and left lower corners on the Oviedo cloth." (Bennett, , 2001, p.85. Emphasis original)

In fact "Dr Alan Whanger" using a "Polarised Image Overlay Technique" (PIOT) which "allows comparison of various objects and images with the Shroud images or stains ... image by image, stain by stain" (my emphasis):

"The PIOT methodology (Whanger & Whanger, 1985, 1998) allows comparison of various objects and images with the Shroud images or stains. This affords for confirmation, image by image, stain by stain, painstakingly, of the historical authenticity of the Shroud. Representative observations include: … Sudarium (face cloth) of Oviedo, dated to the 1st century in Jerusalem, kept in El Salvador Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain, since the mid-8th century (Guscin, 1998), 120 points of congruent bloodstains between the Sudarium and the Shroud." (Whanger & Whanger, 1998)." (Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, 1999, pp.6-7)

found that "The frontal stains on the sudarium show seventy points of coincidence with the Shroud, and the rear side shows fifty" (my emphasis) :

"Dr Alan Whanger has studied the points of coincidence and relationship between the Shroud and hundreds of Byzantine paintings and representations of Christ, even using coins, from the sixth and seventh centuries. This was done using a system called Polarised Image Overlay Technique. His conclusion was that many of these icons and paintings were inspired by the image on the Shroud, which means that the Shroud must have been in existence in the sixth and seventh centuries. This coincides with Ian Wilson's theory that the Shroud was `rediscovered' in Edessa just before this. Dr Whanger applied the same image overlay technique to the sudarium, comparing it to the image and blood stains on the Shroud. Even he was surprised at the results. The frontal stains on the sudarium show seventy points of coincidence with the Shroud, and the rear side shows fifty. The only possible conclusion, according to this highly respected scientist, is that the sudarium covered the same face as the Turin Shroud. If this is so, and taking into account that it is impossible to deny that the sudarium has been in Oviedo since 1075, it casts a great shadow of doubt over the results of the Shroud's carbon dating." (Guscin, 1998, p.32).

4) "Exactly as in the case of the Shroud, whoever bled onto the Oviedo cloth was of the same comparatively rare AB blood group." While:

"Caution is needed .... since some researchers have noted a tendency among blood samples more than several centuries old always to test AB." (Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.76)

the point is that "If the blood or each cloth belonged to a different group, there would be ... little meaning in any further points of coincidence":

"The first fact that confirms the relationship between the two cloths is that the blood on each belongs to the same group, AB. If the blood or each cloth belonged to a different group, there would be no sense in pursuing the comparative investigation, and little meaning in any further points of coincidence. This test is the starting point for all the others, and the results are positive. Blood of the group AB is also very common in the Middle East and rare in Europe." (Guscin, 1998, p.27) .

5) On "the Oviedo cloth" were "found ... pollens representative of Israel, North Africa and Spain, exactly in accord with the cloth's known history" and "among those Israel pollens was" at least one species found on the Shroud, "Gundelia tournefortii" (my emphasis):

"The Pollen We have seen that historical testimony fits in with what we know about the sudarium, and there is no reason to doubt the historicity of the few references that exist. Its stay in Jerusalem and its route through the north of Africa can be further confirmed by studying pollen found on the cloth. As is well known, this method of study has also been used on the Turin Shroud, and the pollen found coincides with the historical route of this cloth through Edessa, Constantinople, France and Italy. ... From the pollen found, it is undeniable that the Shroud was in Palestine, Edessa and Constantinople. Most people who have read any book about the Shroud will be familiar with the name Dr Max Frei, the Swiss criminologist responsible for the pollen studies related to the Shroud. Before Dr Frei died, he also analysed pollen samples from the sudarium in Oviedo. The results perfectly match the route already described. He found pollen from Oviedo, Toledo, north Africa and Jerusalem. There was nothing relating the sudarium to Constantinople, France, Italy or any other country in Europe." (Guscin, 1998, p.22. Emphasis original).

Guscin concludes, "There are two irreconcilable conclusions, one of which must be wrong", i.e. Either the sudarium has nothing to do with the Shroud, or the carbon dating was wrong - there is no middle way, no compromise." But then "If the sudarium did not cover the same face as the Shroud, there are an enormous number of coincidences, too many for one small piece of cloth" and so "the carbon dating must be mistaken" (my emphasis):

"Carbon 14, Again We are faced with a choice. There are two irreconcilable conclusions, one of which must be wrong. All the studies on the sudarium point to its having covered the same face as the Shroud did, and we know that the sudarium was in Oviedo in 1075. On the other hand, the carbon dating specialists have said that the Shroud dates from 1260 to 1390. Either the sudarium has nothing to do with the Shroud, or the carbon dating was wrong - there is no middle way, no compromise. If the sudarium did not cover the same face as the Shroud, there are an enormous number of coincidences, too many for one small piece of cloth. If there was only one connection, maybe it could be just a coincidence, but there are too many. The only logical conclusion from all the evidence is that both the Oviedo sudarium and the Turin Shroud covered the same face. As we have already seen from the Cagliari congress, there are also many inherent reasons why the Shroud cannot be fourteenth century, reasons that nobody has been able to disprove, and only one that suggests a medieval origin-carbon dating. Those who believe in the carbon dating have never been able to offer any serious proof or evidence to explain why every other scientific method practised on the Shroud has given a first century origin as a result, most have not even tried. It can hardly be considered rational or scientific to blindly accept what conveniently fits in with one's own personal ideas without even taking into consideration what others say. And after all, carbon dating is just one experimental method compared with dozens of others, and it stands alone in its medieval theory. If both the sudarium and the Shroud date from the first century, then the carbon dating must be mistaken, and it is the duty of those who believe in the dual authenticity of the cloths to show why carbon dating has shown the Shroud to be first century. Those who have attempted this can be broadly divided into two bands, those who think that the particular process of the Shroud's carbon dating was a fake, a deliberate deception by the scientists involved, and those who believe that the whole process of carbon dating is not as reliable as it is made out to be, and is far from infallible." (Guscin, 1998, pp.64-65) .

Likewise, Danin, et al., conclude, "This pollen association, congruence of blood patterning, and probable identical blood type suggests the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to only the Middle Ages... as untenable" (my emphasis):

"The finding of Gundelia tournefortii pollen on the Shroud with its Near Eastern predictive value is a striking observation. That G. tournefortii pollen also occurs on the Sudarium of Oviedo adds to the strong link between these two traditional burial cloths. Independent indication for this linkage has already been established by the presence of about 120 congruent blood stains on the two cloths (Whanger & Whanger, 1998). The blood on the Shroud of Turin is of the group AB (Bollone et al., 1983a, 1983b). Guscin (1998: 56) reported `Dr. Baima Bollone spoke about the blood on the Sudarium (of Oviedo), confirming that it is human blood of the group AB, the same group as the blood on the Shroud.' However, Adler (1999) suggested that ancient blood stains may be hard to interpret. This pollen association, congruence of blood patterning, and probable identical blood type suggests the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to only the Middle Ages (Damon et al., 1989) as untenable." (Danin, A., et al., 1999, pp.23-24).

As Prof. Danin, one of Israel's leading botanists and author of Flora of Online put it at the 1999 XVI International Botanical Congress, "There is no way that similar patterns of blood stains, probably of the identical blood type, with the same type of pollen grains, could not be synchronic covering the same body" and these "similarities ... in the two cloths provide clear evidence that the Shroud originated before the 8th Century" (my emphasis):

"The location of the Sudarium has been documented from the 1st Century and it has resided in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain since the 8th Century. Both cloths also carry type AB blood stains, although some argue that ancient blood types are hard to interpret. What is clear is that the blood stains on both cloths are in a similar pattern. `There is no way that similar patterns of blood stains, probably of the identical blood type, with the same type of pollen grains, could not be synchronic covering the same body,' Danin stated. `The pollen association and the similarities in the blood stains in the two cloths provide clear evidence that the Shroud originated before the 8th Century.' Danin stated that this botanical research disputes the validity of the claim that the Shroud was from Europe during the Middle Ages, as many researchers had concluded in 1988 based on carbon-14 dating tests. The authors do not question the accuracy of the carbon-14 dating test which was done on only a single sample taken from one highly contaminated corner of the shroud, he said. However, their research looked at pollen grains and images from the entire piece of fabric and compared them with a fabric that has a documented history." (XVI International Botanical Congress, "Botanical Evidence Indicates `Shroud Of Turin' Originated In Jerusalem Area Before 8th Century, " Science Daily, August 3, 1999)

Not only is "the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to only the Middle Ages... untenable" in the light of this perfect match between the Sudarium and the Shroud, but so are all forms of the fraud theory. That is because, since "the wounds, facial characteristics, manner of death, pollen, and other evidence on both relics ... match exactly" and "the Sudarium of Oviedo has been in Spain since the seventh century" therefore "the so-called fraud would have had to have occurred twice" but this "would be impossible, since the Sudarium of Oviedo was not removed from its chest in the thirteenth century, not even for kings" (my emphasis):

"There is one more consideration. That is that the Shroud of Turin was supposedly `dated' to the thirteenth century, while the Sudarium of Oviedo has been in Spain since the seventh century. This means, of course, that the so-called fraud would have had to have occurred twice, and that the wounds, facial characteristics, manner of death, pollen, and other evidence on both relics would have to match exactly. This, quite frankly, would be impossible, since the Sudarium of Oviedo was not removed from its chest in the thirteenth century, not even for kings, not to mention the fact that its use was unknown at that time. Blood typing, forensic medicine, pollen identification, the electronic scan microscope, photography, and all of the other scientific means at our disposal today did not exist. Microscopic information cannot be falsified, and it is for that reason that criminals are convicted today on the basis of DNA, fibers, and other evidence, because it is indisputable." (Bennett, 2001, p.89).

See the `tagline' quote below by Guscin, which draws out the implications of Bennett's point above that, "the so-called fraud would have had to have occurred twice," but concludes that "Such a story ... is more incredible than the Shroud's authenticity" (my emphasis)!

I originally intended to continued this series in a part #11: "Coin images minted by Pontius Pilate between AD 29 and 32 cover the eyes of the man on Shroud." But I later covered that topic in "Re: There is compelling evidence it is the burial cloth of Christ, or a man crucified during that time #3 ." So this is the end of my "Bogus: Shroud of Turin" series

Posted: 8 August 2007. Updated: 2 August 2017.


"However, let us suppose for a while that the results obtained from the carbon dating of both the sudarium and the Shroud are accurate, and neither cloth ever touched the body of Jesus. In that case, the following story would have to be true. Sometime in the seventh century, in Palestine, after reading the gospel of John, a well known forger of religious relics saw the opportunity of putting a new product on the market - a cloth that had been over the face of the dead body of Jesus. This forger was also an expert in medicine, who knew that a crucified person died from asphyxiation, and that when this happened, special liquids fill the lungs of the dead body, and can come out through the nose if the body is moved. The only way he could get this effect on the cloth was by re-enacting the process, so this is exactly what he did. He crucified a volunteer, eliminating those candidates who did not fulfil the right conditions - swollen nose and cheeks, forked beard to stain the cloth, etc. When the body was taken down from the cross, he shook it around a bit with the help of a few friends, holding the folded cloth to the dead volunteer's nose so that future generations would be able to see the outline of his fingers. He even stuck a few thorns in the back of the dead man's neck, knowing that relic hunters would be looking for the bloodstains from the crown of thorns. Being an eloquent man, he convinced people that this otherwise worthless piece of cloth was stained with nothing less than the blood and pleural liquid of Christ, and so it was guarded in Jerusalem with other relics, and considered so genuine and spiritually valuable that it was worth saving first from the invading Persians and later from the Arabs. A few hundred years later, some time between 1260 and 1390, another professional forger, a specialist in religious relics too, decided that the time was ripe for something new, something really convincing. There were numerous relics from various saints in circulation all round Europe, bones, skulls, capes, but no, he wanted something really original. Various possibilities ran through his mind, the crown of thorns, the nails from the crucifixion, the table cloth from the last supper, and then suddenly he had it - the funeral shroud of Jesus! And not only that, but he would also put an image on the Shroud, the image of the man whom the Shroud had wrapped! The first step was difficult. Being an expert in textile weaves, (one of his many specialities, the others being pollen, Middle East blood groups, numismatism of the years of Tiberius, photography, Roman whips, and electronic microscopes) he needed linen of a special kind, typical of the Middle East in the first century. Once this had been specially ordered and made, he folded it up before starting his work, as a neighbour had suggested that such a cloth would have been folded up and hidden in a wall in Edessa for a few hundred years, so the image would be discontinuous on some of the fold marks. Leaving the cloth folded up, he travelled to Oviedo in the north of Spain, where he knew that a forerunner in his trade had left a cloth with Jesus' blood stains. On obtaining permission to analyse the sudarium, he first checked the blood group - AB of course, common in the Middle East and relatively scarce in Europe - then made an exact plan of the blood stains (carefully omitting those which would have already clotted when the sudarium was used) so that his stains would coincide exactly. After his trip to Oviedo, he went on a tour of what is now Turkey, forming a composite portrait of Jesus from all the icons, coins and images he could find. After all, he needed people to think that his Shroud had been around for over a thousand years, and that artists had used it as their inspiration for painting Christ. He didn't really understand what some of the marks were, the square box between the eyes, the line across the throat, but he thought he'd better put them on anyway. He didn't want to be accused of negligence, because he was an internationally famous forger and had a reputation to maintain. Once he was back home, he somehow obtained some blood (AB, naturally) and decided to begin his work of art with the blood stains, before even making the body image. Unfortunately, he miscalculated the proportions, and the nail stains appeared on the wrist instead of on the palms of the hands, where everyone in the fourteenth century knew that they had been. `Well', he thought, `it's just a question of a few inches, nobody will notice.' Now, even the omniscient author is forbidden to enter in the secret room where the forger `paints' the image of Christ, a perfect three dimensional negative, without paint or direction. His method was so secret that it went to the tomb with him. After a few hours, he opened the door, and called his wife, who was busy preparing dinner in the kitchen. `What do you think?' `Not bad. But you've forgotten the thumbs' `No, I haven't. Don't you know that if a nail destroys the nerves in the wrist, the thumbs bend in towards the palm of the hand, so you wouldn't be able to see them?' `But didn't the nails go through the palms?' `Well, yes, but I put the blood on first, and didn't quite get the distance right' `Oh, in that case ... and what about the pollen?' `What pollen?' `Well, if this Shroud has been in Palestine, Edessa, and let's suppose it's been in Constantinople too, it's going to need pollen from all those places.' Our forger loved the idea, got the pollen from all the places his wife had indicated, and delicately put it all over his Shroud. And then, the final touch. Two coins from the time of Christ, minted under the emperor Tiberius, to put over the man's eyes. Our man had a sense of humour too - he decided that the coins would be included in the image in such a way that they would only be visible under an electronic microscope. Such a story, even without the embellishments, is more incredible than the Shroud's authenticity." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, 1998, pp.84-88)

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?: Contents

I have decided to largely (but not completely) confine my

[Above: "The Holy Shroud," by Giovanni Battista della Rovere (1561-1630), Galleria Sabauda, Turin]

blogging here to writing an outline of a book, "The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?", as per the following chapter headings.


THE SHROUD OF TURIN: BURIAL SHEET OF JESUS?
© Stephen E. Jones

1. INTRODUCTION
2. HISTORY OF THE SHROUD
3. THE BIBLE AND THE SHROUD
4. FOR THE SHROUD BEING JESUS' BURIAL SHEET
5. AGAINST THE SHROUD BEING JESUS' BURIAL SHEET
6. IMAGE FORMATION THEORIES
7. CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY

This will be, as the name suggests, a systematic analysis of the evidence for, and against, the Shroud of Turin being the very burial sheet of Jesus.

This is similar to what I am doing on my CreationEvolutionDesign blog, where most of my posts will be writing notes for a future book, "Problems of Evolution."

As there, this Contents page will contain the hyperlinks to each chapter, and each chapter in turn will contain the hyperlinks to each section in it. Each section will have its own page. The numbering of sections and even of chapters may change as the book outline grows. I will try to post at least one new section a week, not necessarily in chapter or section order. Because of the limitations of Blogger's format (and my time!), each section will have to be brief. If I make changes to an existing section, I won't post it again, although I may indicate it on a current post. While I will still continue to post here on other Shroud-related issues, including continuing here my "Bogus: Shroud of Turin?" series begun on my other blog), writing this book outline will be my main focus on this blog.

Comments are welcome but as per my stated policy, I no longer have the time or inclination for extended debate, so I will generally respond only once to each comment that appears.

Since I intend to use this material eventually as the basis of a published book , I hereby assert copyright over this page and all "The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?" pages linked under it.

PS: Note that the lead author of the paper in scientific journal, admitting that "The Turin Shroud ... bears" a "remarkable image" which "depicts all the stigmata of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible" (my emphasis), was Harry E. Grove, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester NY, who was the leading figure in the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to the 14th century!

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: CreationEvolutionDesign


"The Turin Shroud is a linen cloth the color of old ivory measuring 4.4 by 1.1 m. It bears the faint front and back, head to head, imprint of a naked man. This remarkable image depicts all the stigmata of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. As a result, it is thought by many to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus. The shroud's known history dates back to about the year 1357 when it was displayed in a church in Lirey, France. The shroud, or some version of it, eventually passed into the hands of the House of Savoy. The shroud was stored in a silver chest in a chapel in Chambery, France and in 1532 a fire raged through the chapel. Part of the chest melted and gouts of molten silver burned through the shroud, fortunately outside the image, in a symmetric fashion due to the way it was folded in the chest. The shroud was doused with water before further damage could occur and the burn holes were later patched. In 1578 the seat of the House of Savoy was moved to Turin, Italy and the shroud moved with it. In 1983 the last king of Italy, Umberto II, a member of the House of Savoy, willed the shroud to the Vatican. It is presently stored in a silver reliquary in a glass case behind the main altar of the Cathedral of John the Baptist in Turin, under the custody of the Archbishop of Turin." (Gove, H.E., Mattingly, S.J., David, A.R. & L.A. Garza-Valdes, "A problematic source of organic contamination of linen," Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research -Section B, 1997, pp.504-507, p.504. My emphasis)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Off-topic: Norton Antivirus froze my computer so I switched to AVG Free

Yesterday my desktop computer running Windows XP Home kept

[Above (click image to enlarge): Screen shot of AVG Free Test Centre, CastleCops]

`freezing,' forcing me `hard-boot' it, i.e. to turn it off at the switch and then turn it on again. I could use the computer, but if I left it for a short time, when I came back I found it was `frozen'. It was as though the computer would not `wake up' from sleep mode, with the screen turned off, and not responding to the mouse or keyboard.

After a couple of hard-boots, with the same problem recurring, I decided to go into Control Panel: Power Options and set System standby and Turn off monitor to Never. But even then, when I came back after a short time from using it, I found the computer again frozen, unresponsive to the mouse or keyboard, but this time with the screen turned on and applications running.

I rang the company that I bought the computer from a couple of years ago and described the problem to a technical support person. He said right away that the cause of the problem was probably either: 1) Norton Antivirus, 2) a faulty power supply; or 3) a faulty motherboard, in that order. Then I remembered that Norton Antivirus had that morning updated itself and that the first time my computer froze was while it was running a Norton Antivirus full-system scan. So I removed Norton Antivirus in Control Panel: Add or Remove Programs and for good measure downloaded and ran the Norton Removal Tool.

I already had a copy of AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition on my laptop (which I had installed earlier in the year when I was having problems with Norton Antivirus update repeatedly saying my copy was not licensed and then deciding, correctly, that it was). I have had no problems with AVG, so I installed it also on my desktop computer and the problem of the computer freezing ceased. So the problem was Norton Antivirus. An added bonus is that Excel spreadsheets now load much faster.

There is however a downside to the free edition of AVG, which is that it does not have all the features of a paid full version. In particular, AVG Free Edition will only do scheduled full system scans, not scheduled quick scans of only key parts of a computer system as Norton Antivirus (and I presume AVG's paid edition) does. However, AVG Free Edition can still do manual scans of selected areas and the scheduled full scans run in the background and can be paused or stopped.

I have decided to share this my experience so that it might help others who have similar problems. I am not claiming that Norton Antivirus has a general problem but just that, after working fine for several years, it suddenly became a problem on my system (although the technical support person was obviously aware of similar problems on other computers). Nor am I claiming that AVG has no problems, although I am not aware of any, and this review of AVG Anti-virus Free Edition, described it as, "the best free anti-virus solution available today":

"AVG Anti-virus Free Edition, by Grisoft, is in our books, the best free anti-virus solution available today. It even out-performs many of the well-known commercial anti-virus packages in terms of effectiveness and ease of use. Its no-nonsense resident shield, low resource usage and thorough scanning engine make AVG Free Edition a must for every home user."

PS: See `tagline' quote below by Christian biologist Dr. R. Gary Chiang that what "Evolution Creation debate" and science and the Shroud of Turin have in common is, that "scientists who have based their faith in Naturalism" (i.e. nature is all there is = there is no supernatural = there is no God) "will never admit to the possibility that the Shroud could have wrapped the body of Christ," i.e. if that entails "a supernatural explanation" since "supernatural explanations are ruled out a priori by those scientists who believe that all of nature must be explained in purely materialistic terms."

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biol).
My other blog: CreationEvolutionDesign


"What do science and scientists have to do with the Shroud of Turin, an old piece of cloth which folklore describes as being the very linen that wrapped the body of Jesus as it laid in the tomb over 2000 years ago? According to the Roman Catholic Church, which is the current owner of this cloth, the answer is `Nothing.' Science had its chance; now it is time for scientists to leave the cloth alone. Why has the church placed a moratorium on scientific study of this cloth? Could it be that the church is afraid that modern technology will prove the Shroud a fake, and hence, seriously harm the faith of millions of Shroud believers? That is unlikely. Instead, the church has come to the very same conclusion about scientists that this book is attempting to illustrate - the prejudices of a scientist determine how that scientist interprets the scientific facts, more so than any overwhelming scientific evidence that points to one theory being more valid than another. Authorities in the church realize that science and scientists who have based their faith in Naturalism will never admit to the possibility that the Shroud could have wrapped the body of Christ. To admit to this possibility is to also support the conclusion that this cloth was touched by a God who became a real human being for a very short period of time in earth's history. That would be a supernatural explanation, and supernatural explanations are ruled out a priori by those scientists who believe that all of nature must be explained in purely materialistic terms." (Chiang, R.G., "Science meets Religion: Shroud of Turin," in "Overcoming Prejudice in the Evolution Creation Debate: Developing an integrative approach to Science and Christianity," Doorway Publications: Hamilton ON, Canada, 2004)