Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New tests by Prof. Giulio Fanti show the Shroud of Turin could date from the time of Christ

Further to my post, "New experiments on Shroud show it's not medieval," about the Vatican Insider article on Shroud researcher Giulio Fanti, an engineering professor at the University of Padua, Italy. Prof. Fanti

[Right (click to enlarge): Prof. Giulio Fanti with his new book, "Il Mistero della Sindone" ("The Mystery of the Shroud"): Roberto Brumat]

had carried out three different experiments which showed that the Shroud of Turin could have dated from the first century AD, and could not have been a medieval forgery. Prof. Fanti has submitted his findings to a peer-reviewed scientific journal and has written, with the help of a journalist, Saverio Gaeta, a newly published book in Italian, "Il Mistero della Sindone" ("The Mystery of the Shroud"), about his experiments.

There has since been an explosion of news articles reporting on Fanti's findings. Here are exerpts from some of them, with my comments bold:

"Turin Shroud 'is not a medieval forgery'," Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2013, Nick Squires ... The Turin Shroud is not a medieval forgery, as has long been claimed, but could in fact date from the time of Christ's death, a new book claims. ... Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ. ... The analysis is published in a new book, "Il Mistero della Sindone" or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta, a journalist. The tests will revive the debate about the true origins of one of Christianity's most prized but mysterious relics and are likely to be hotly contested by sceptics. Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud, which is kept in a special climate-controlled case in Turin. ... The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.

According to the Vatican Insider article:

"the dates given to the Shroud after FT-IR testing, is 300 BC ±400, 200 BC ±500 after Raman testing and 400 AD ±400 after multi-parametric mechanical testing. The average of all three dates is 33 BC ±250 years."

This can be summarised as:

So all three tests yield a date range in which Jesus' death (either AD 30 or AD 33) , falls.

The experiments were carried out on fibres taken from the Shroud during a previous study, in 1988, when they were subjected to carbon-14 dating. The late Prof. Giovanni Riggi di Numana, a Turin microanalyst, cut the sample from the Shroud in 1988 for the three radiocarbon laboratories to radiocarbon date. But Riggi kept for himself, with unofficial approval by the then Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Ballestrero, but apparently without official approval by the Vatican, a "reserve sample" of fibres he trimmed from the Shroud :

"Providing further fuel for the conspiracy theorists was the fact that the Turin microanalyst Giovanni Riggi, Gonella's friend and personal choice to perform the actual cutting of the Shroud samples in place of Mme Flury-Lemberg, seems to have had something of a hidden agenda. Instead of cutting off just the sample that was needed by the laboratories, he would cut off twice the amount, halve it, and divide only one of the halves into three for the laboratories, retaining the other. On his discovering that he had made the Arizona portion too small to meet the agreed weight, he snipped off a small portion from the retained piece. Arizona thus received its sample in two parts (for a complete scheme of this apportionment, see fig. 24). It is also little known that he kept the trimmed edges, trimmings that are no longer extant. There is some dispute in Turin concerning whether he did this with official approval, though photographs of the trimmings that I have seen certainly show Cardinal Ballestrero's seal. As for the rest of the retained portion, probably enough to do another carbon dating, whoever may have this and where it is by no means clear, though it is said to be personally held by Cardinal Saldarini." (Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, pp.186-187).

[Above: Sketch of sample cut from the Shroud in 1988 for carbon-14 dating by three laboratories, and showing in red, the `reserve sample' kept by Giovanni Riggi: Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, p.189.]

It is these fibres from the same area of the Shroud as the 1988 carbon-dating, that Prof. Fanti apparently obtained after Riggi's death in 2008 and used in his three dating tests.

Those tests, conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, appeared to back up the theory that the shroud was a clever medieval fake, suggesting that it dated from 1260 to 1390. But those results were in turn disputed on the basis that they may have been skewed by contamination by fibres from cloth that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages. As mentioned in a previous post, the late Ray Rogers, a Los Alamos chemist, in 2005 had shown by an alternative test of age, vanillin residual content, that the linen of the Shroud is "between 1,300 and 3,000 years old":

"The Shroud of Turin is much older than suggested by radiocarbon dating carried out in the 1980s, according to a new study in a peer-reviewed journal. A research paper published in Thermochimica Acta suggests the shroud is between 1,300 and 3,000 years old. ... In the study, he analysed and compared the sample used in the 1988 tests with other samples from the famous cloth. In addition to the discovery of dye, microchemical tests - which use tiny quantities of materials - provided a way to date the shroud. These tests revealed the presence of a chemical called vanillin in the radiocarbon sample and in the Holland cloth, but not the rest of the shroud. Vanillin is produced by the thermal decomposition of lignin, a chemical compound found in plant material such as flax. Levels of vanillin in material such as linen fall over time. ...The fact that vanillin cannot be detected in the lignin on shroud fibres, Dead Sea scrolls linen and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old," Mr Rogers writes. `A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests the shroud is between 1,300 and 3,000 years old.'" ("Turin shroud 'older than thought," BBC, 31 January, 2005).

So these three new tests by Fanti make four different tests of age which show the Shroud of Turin is old enough to have been Jesus' burial shroud, versus only one test, radiocarbon dating, which claimed the Shroud was dated between AD 1260 and 1390, against the overwhelming preponderance of all the other evidence.Mr Fanti, a Catholic, said his results were the fruit of 15 years of research. He said the carbon-14 dating tests carried out in 1988 were "false" because of laboratory contamination. ... Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man's body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. This is an important point. If the Shroud had been forged by a 14th century or earlier artist, modern science would be able to explain how the Shroud image was formed, and modern artists would be able to replicate it. But modern science has been unable to explain, naturalistically, how the Shroud's image was formed, as Philip Ball, former physical science editor at Nature, admitted:

"It's fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever. Not least, the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain deeply puzzling." (Ball, P., "Material witness: Shrouded in mystery," Nature Materials, Vol. 7, No. 5, May, 2008, p.349)
and modern artists have been unable to replicate it.

Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of "exceptional radiation", although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle. See my post "Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ's authentic burial robe" for Fanti's evidence that the image on the Shroud was caused by radiation. He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land. ...

"Shroud of Turin returns to spotlight with new pope, new app, new debate," NBC News, Alan Boyle, New research has found that the Shroud of Turin, a mysterious relic previously believed to date back only to the Middle Ages, was actually created between 280 B.C. and 220 A.D., around the time of when Jesus would have lived and died. ... The claim immediately faced a wave of criticism, including a harsh statement from Turin's archbishop that some say has driven a stake into the book's heart. See below on the Archbishop of Turin's false claim that "there's `no degree of security' as to the authenticity of the fiber samples. ... The new book refers to those past claims, plus a new angle. That angle has to do with single fibers that were purportedly vacuumed up from the shroud during scientific testing. Riggi was also involved in vacuuming "any debris or loose materials from the underside of the cloth" in STURP's ( Shroud of Turin Research Project) 1978 examination and tests on the Shroud:

"Around 10.45 pm on the night of Sunday 8 October [1978] twelve young men arrived at the suite carrying a 5 m long sheet of 2 cm plywood draped with an expensive-looking sheet of red silk. When the silk was pulled back, the Shroud was revealed beneath ... Then, with the aid of Poor Clare nuns, one of the Shroud's sides was unstitched from the backing cloth sewn on to it in 1534, allowing parts of the normally inaccessible underside to be viewed for the first time in four hundred years. This was done to enable Prof Giovanni Riggi and his Italian scientific team to perform their experiments. Given only two weeks' notice that he would be examining the Shroud, Riggi had developed several impressive experiments. .... Riggi's next experiment was to use a special vacuum with sterilized filters to remove any debris or loose materials from the underside of the cloth but little of importance was found in the results." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," 2000, pp.68,70).

Since Riggi in 1988 kept back for himself a significant piece of the Shroud, he presumably also had kept for himself the dust, including fibres in it, from his 1978 vacuuming of the Shroud, and these fibres were also included in those obtained by Prof. Fanti after Riggi's death.

... Fanti's claims drew a quick reaction from Joe Nickell, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry who regularly counters claims from Fanti and other shroud researchers. "As is typical of a religious rather than scientific agenda, their news was shrewdly released just in time for Easter," Nickell said in a blog posting. "That alone casts doubt on the claims, but there is more." Nickell, is the master of the ad hominem fallacy which he employs here. As he would know, having had books published himself, the date of a book's publication is usually determined by the publisher not the author. Besides, it is obviously irrelevant to the truth of a series of scientific experiments, when they are published.

Nickell pointed out that Fanti's tests "involve three different procedures — each with its own problems — which are then averaged together to produce the result." This is also fallacious. Every scientific test (including radiocarbon dating) has its problems. And it is simply false that the three different tests were "averaged together to produce the result." Even without the averaging, each test produced a result: a date range which covered the year of Jesus' death (see above). Besides, the 1988 radiocarbon date range of 1260-1390 was an average of all the tests on the Shroud sample by the three laboratories (see below). If Nickell was consistent (which he isn't) he should reject the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud!

[Above (click to enlarge): Fig. 1 from the paper, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, 1989, showing that the "AD 1260-1390" radiocarbon date of the Shroud was a "Mean", i.e. an average of each of the three laboratories' multiple tests.]

He said that stands in contrast with 1988's mass spectrometry tests, which yielded a date range between 1260 and 1390.The "spectrometry tests" were the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method usued in carbon dating the Shroud. But see above that the "date range between 1260 and 1390" it yielded was an average of multiple tests carried out by three different laboratories. Nickell is either ignorant of that fact (he has no scientific qualifications) or he is banking on most of his readers being ignorant of it. Fanti says those earlier tests were not "statistically reliable," but Nickell and most scientists are sticking with the verdict rendered in 1988. Are "most scientists" sticking with the 1988 1988 radiocarbon date of 1260-1390, i.e. 1325 +/- 65 years? Most scientists are not nuclear physicists specialising in radiocarbon dating and those that are would be unlikely to know much about the carbon dating of the Shroud. A scientist outside his field is just another layman. Besides, even a scientist who was involved in the 1988 radioarbon dating of the Shroud and is today a Director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Laboratory, Dr. Christopher Bronk Ramsey, now has his doubts about that 13th-14th century date, given that "There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow":

"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information." (Ramsey, C.B., "Shroud of Turin Version 77," Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, 23 March, 2008).

As a professional skeptic, Nickell can be expected to voice doubt about the book. But criticism also came from Archbishop Nosiglia. Because there's "no degree of security" as to the authenticity of the fiber samples, the shroud's custodians "cannot recognize any serious value to the results of these alleged experiments," Nosiglia said in a statement quoted by La Stampa's Vatican Insider. The Archbishop is just repeating the false `party line' that started after Riggi gave some of his blood-stained fibres from the Shroud to Mexican-born paediatrician and microbiologist Dr Leoncio Garza-Valdes, in May 1993. After male DNA was isolated from those Shroud samples in 1996, Garza-Valdes faxed his results to Cardinal Ballestrero's successor as Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Saldarini. But Cardinal Saldarini reacted by stating falsely that, "there is no residual material from that sample in the hands of third parties" and therefore, "there is no degree of certainty about whether the material in question ... actually comes from the fabric of the Shroud":

"Following the successful cloning of the three gene segments from the samples of blood on the Shroud, I sent a fax to Cardinal Saldarini, telling him of our success. I received no acknowledgement. The first indication I had of trouble was when I heard that Cardinal Saldarini had issued a statement following `recently published press reports concerning the Holy Shroud'. The gist was that: `... while the Church recognized every scientist's right to carry out research that he feels to be suitable in his field of science, in this case it is necessary to point out that: a) no new sample of material has been taken from the Holy Shroud since 21 April 1988, and, as far as the Custodian of the Holy Shroud knows, there is no residual material from that sample in the hands of third parties; b) if such material exists, the Custodian reminds everybody that the Holy See has not given permission to anybody to keep it and do what he wants with it. The Custodian requests those concerned to give the piece back to the Holy See; c) as there is no degree of certainty about whether the material in question on which these aforesaid experiments have been carried out actually comes from the fabric of the Shroud, the Holy See and the Papal Custodian declare that they cannot recognize any serious value in the results of the alleged experiments.'" (Garza-Valdes, L.A., "The DNA of God?," 1998, pp.75-76).

But as Garza-Valdes pointed out:

"... I had been caught in a political situation in which the words of Cardinal Ballestrero would be disregarded once he relinguished his custodianship of the Shroud to Cardinal Saldarini, as happened in September 1990 ... When I obtained the samples in Turin in May 1993 ... I believed that Riggi and Gonella had the authority to give me the samples. ... Were the samples from Riggi truly from the Shroud of Turin? I have the photograph of Cardinal Ballestrero's seal on the container in which the samples were kept. There is no doubt, as one looks at the samples, that they are from the Shroud. Also, during my conference at the Polytechnic of Turin, where I showed the photographs of the samples, Dr Franco A. Testore, who had actually done the weighing of the Shroud segments, recognized the three trimmings as being from the borders of the segment cut on April 21, 1988." (Garza-Valdes, 1998, pp.76-77. My emphasis).

The archbishop's comments "put stakes into Fanti's work," Vatican Insider reported. This is false. Just because the Turin authorities are in denial that Prof. Giovanni Riggi kept his own private `reserve samples' from the Shroud does not mean that he didn't. It has been well-documented over the years that Riggi had his own `reserve sample' of the Shroud and the Turin authorities must have known it but apparently did nothing about it. Garza-Valdes himself faxed all the details to Cardinal Saldarini in 1996 but he was ignored.

It is bad enough that this current Turin Archbishop is continuing in the telling of a lie about this matter, but it is even worse that he is in effect accusing Prof. Fanti of scientific fraud, as well as giving false comfort to Shroud anti-authenticists like Joe Nickell and his ilk. Somehow I suspect that shroud science is not truly dead ... Indeed. Shroud science is very much alive! It will be this Archbishop of Turin, and not Prof. Fanti, who will come off second-best in this truth-contest.

See also: "Shroud Of Turin Real? New Research Dates Relic To 1st Century, Time Of Jesus Christ," The Huffington Post, Meredith Bennett-Smith, 03/29/2013; "Turin Shroud Going on TV, With Video From Pope," The New York Times, Elisabetta Povoledo, March 29, 2013 & "Rare TV appearance for Turin Shroud, Christianity's famous relic," CNN, Laura Smith-Spark and Livia Borghese, March 29, 2013.

Stephen E. Jones

27 comments:

Finding the Truth about the Shroud said...

Before anyone outside the Shroud community will take these tests seriously, two things need to happen.
1) The means by which Rogers and Fanti got their samples needs to be properly documented. At present it seems that both used samples that were technically the property of the Vatican which probably explains why the Turin authorities have condemned Fanti's findings.
In any case ,as many years have passed between the 1988 sampling and the reception of fibers allegedly from the Shroud, it needs to be made clear where these fibers have been, how they were kept and how one can be sure that they are genuinely from the Shroud.
2) Roger' and Fanti's tests need to be replicated by other independent parties. Until this has been done they have no scientific validity
Rogers' findings suggest that the 1988 sample had later material inserted in it. Fanti suggests that the 1988 sample was genuinely old. Therefore they would appear to be in conflict. This too needs to be resolved.
Until all this happens don't expect anyone outside the Shroud community to take this research seriously.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Finding the Truth about the Shroud said

Thanks for your comment. But I am suspicious about someone who has such a special purpose pseudonym. A Google search on "Finding the Truth about the Shroud" only found 3 hits and neither of those was anyone's pseudonym.

>Before anyone outside the Shroud community will take these tests seriously, two things need to happen.

There are three types of people "outside the Shroud [pro-authenticity] community":

1. The committed Shroud anti-authenticists, like Joe Nickell. Barring a miracle there is probably NO evidence for the Shroud's authenticity that they would accept, including Fanti's three new tests, each of which found that the Shroud dated from a time range which covered the year of Jesus' death. The evidence already is OVERWHELMING that the Shroud is authentic, compared to the ONLY alternative that a medieval or earlier forger created the Shroud's image, but they refuse to accept it. So the position of these committed Shroud anti-authenticists is actually INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE:

"There does remain, nonetheless, a cast of mind which seems peculiarly CLOSED TO EVIDENCE. When confronted with such a mind, one feels helpless, for NO AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE SEEMS TO BE CLINCHING. Frequently THE FACTS ARE SIMPLY IGNORED OR BRUSHED ASIDE as somehow deceptive, and the principles are reaffirmed in unshakable conviction. One seems confronted with what has been called `INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE." (Fearnside, W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument," 1959, p.113. My emphasis).

From the content and tone of your comment I presume that you yourself are in this group.

2. The less committed Shroud anti-authenticists. As I was up to early 2005. Unlike those in 1. above, they might be open to new evidence that the Shroud is authentic. They might have heard that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud claimed that the Shroud was dated "AD 1260-1390 ... medieval". So Fanti's three tests of the Shroud's age, each of which found that the Shroud had a date range which covered the time of Jesus, might cause some of them to seriously reconsider whether the Shroud is authentic after all, and a subset of those might come to accept that the Shroud is authentic (as I did).

3. Those who have no position on the Shroud's authenticity. Some of these, reading about Fanti's three tests, might for the first time take notice of the Shroud and start seriously considering the evidence for its authenticity. As with 2., a subset of those might come to accept that the Shroud is authentic.

>1) The means by which Rogers and Fanti got their samples needs to be properly documented.

I understand, from a commenter on Dan Porter's Shroud of Turin blog who presumably can read Italian, that Fanti has FULLY documented where his samples came from. I therefore presume such full documentation is also in Fanti's paper submitted to a peer-review journal.

But that won't make any difference to those in group 1. above. Their call for more documentation is just a PRETEXT for continuing in their INVINCIBLY IGNORANT state of Shroud authenticity denial.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>At present it seems that both used samples that were technically the property of the Vatican which probably explains why the Turin authorities have condemned Fanti's findings.

No. Since the Vatican did not own the Shroud until King Umberto II bequeathed it to the Pope and his successors in 1983, the 1978 samples which are, apparently referred to by Fanti in his book and paper, but not (from memory) mentioned in the popular media, are not the property of the Vatican, and so the Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Cesare Nosiglia, has not even the semblance of a right to condemn Fanti's findings in respect of those.

And even the 1988 Shroud samples used by Fanti, if they, like the 1978 samples, came from the `reserve sample' of the late Turin Professor, Giovanni Riggi, then Cardinal Nosiglia has no right to condemn Fanti's findings based on them.

Because, as I documented in my post above, according to the evidence of Mexican microbiologist Dr. Leoncio Garza-Valdes, Riggi was authorised by the then Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Ballestrero, to keep his own private `reserve sample', which was held in a container bearing Cardinal Ballestrero's seal (which Garza Valdes has a photograph of).

But following Garza-Valdes in 1995 informing Cardinal Ballestrero's successor as Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Saldarini, that he had isolated male gene fragments from blood-stained threads given to him by Riggi, apparently spooked by absurdly false claims that Jesus could be cloned from such samples, Saldarini created the LIE that:

"a) no new sample of material has been taken from the Holy Shroud since 21 April 1988, and, as far as the Custodian of the Holy Shroud knows, THERE IS NO RESIDUAL MATERIAL FROM THAT SAMPLE IN THE HANDS OF THIRD PARTIES;" (Garza-Valdes, L.A., "The DNA of God," 1998, p.75. My emphasis).

And what's more, Cardinal Saldarini MUST HAVE KNOWN that was a lie (as Cardinal Nosiglia, or at least his advisers, must), because it is well-documented that a member of his own Turin diocese, Professor Giovanni Riggi, had taken and kept his own private `reserve sample' from the Shroud.

Garza-Valdes rejected Saldarini's 1996 demand that he return his samples, on the basis that Riggi had been authorised by the former Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Ballestrero, to keep his `reserve samples' "to be utilized in future `honest' research if they were required":

"The statement [from Saldarini, contradictorily denying there were any samples of the Shroud in private hands and demanding that the samples be returned!], dated September 1995, clearly seemed to be directed toward my research, research I had always assumed to be bona fide, thanks to my samples having been given to me by a person I believed had full Church authority to pass them on. From my understanding of what Luigi Gonella had told me, the samples had been preserved on the authority of Cardinal Ballestrero, to be utilized in future `honest' research if they were required." (Garza-Valdes, 1998, p.76).

Saldarini could have taken legal action to have Garza-Valdes return Riggi's samples, but he didn't. Presumably because Saldarini's legal advisers told him that he didn't have a legal leg to stand on.

The same would apply to Fanti's samples. If they date from 1978 (e.g. Rogers' STURP samples, and Riggi's STURP vacuuming), they were not then the Vatican's property.

And if the remainder of Fanti's samples are from Riggi's 1988 `reserve sample' then, like Garza-Valdes' subset of those samples, they would be covered by Cardinal Ballestrero's authorisation that they "be utilized in future `honest' research if they were required".

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>In any case ,as many years have passed between the 1988 sampling and the reception of fibers allegedly from the Shroud, it needs to be made clear where these fibers have been, how they were kept and how one can be sure that they are genuinely from the Shroud.

See above. My understanding is that Fanti has done that in his book and presumably also in his paper submitted to the peer- reviewed scientific journal.

And as I pointed out on Dan Porter's blog, no one can absolutely prove that the samples the three C-14 laboratories' testing in 1988 were "genuinely from the Shroud." They may have been from the Cope of St. Louis d'Anjou with which they were "suspiciously, almost identical":

"At last Oxford could proceed, burning its samples on 13 July, and hurriedly conducting all its tests in only two days, 20 and 21 July (!) Its dates for `Sample 1' were all safely in the 13th century, and in fact, and suspiciously, almost identical with those for `Sample 4', the threads from the Cope of St. Louis d'Anjou. Oxford dated `Sample 1' at 1229 to 1280, and `Sample 4' at 1227 to 1279. Thus did Oxford locate safely in the 13th Century what Tucson had located in the 14th and 15th centuries! Never mind. None of the dates are anywhere near the dreaded First Century .... " (McDonnell, D.J., "The Great Holy Shroud Dating Fraud of 1988," Eternal Word Television Network, 4 November 2003).

>2) Roger' and Fanti's tests need to be replicated by other independent parties. Until this has been done they have no scientific validity

On that basis the 1988 "radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, which found it was dated "AD 1260-1390 ... medieval," has "no scientific validity" because it has never been "replicated by other independent parties"!

But this is a FALSE MYTHOLOGY of science that to be valid a scientific test needs to be independently repeated. As Broad and Wade pointed out in their book, "Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science" (1982), which was a textbook in the Philosophy of Science unit of my Biology degree, the vast majority of scientific experiments are accepted at face value and not repeated by other scientists.

Reasons include: 1) it is actually very difficult to repeat a scientific experiment exactly. Even if an experiment was repeated "by other independent parties" and they failed to obtain the same results, that would not necessarily mean that the original finding was wrong. It could just mean that the original scientists were more skilful, or they were unable to fully explain within the confines of their scientific journal paper, exactly how they obtained their result.

And 2) modern science is very expensive and scientists usually depend on grants to carry out their experiments. But most scientists would rather use their limited grant funding on their own original research rather on repeating other scientists' original research. And funding bodies would be unlikely to give a high priority to requests for funding to repeat other scientists' experiments. Especially given that failing to replicate the original results would not necessarily mean those results were wrong.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Rogers' findings suggest that the 1988 sample had later material inserted in it. Fanti suggests that the 1988 sample was genuinely old. Therefore they would appear to be in conflict. This too needs to be resolved.

I presume Fanti would have made sure that any contaminating newer fibres would have been separated out.

>Until all this happens don't expect anyone outside the Shroud community to take this research seriously.

See above on your, "Before anyone outside the Shroud community will take these tests seriously ..." You show by your not even waiting until Fanti's paper appears in the peer-reviewed scientific journal that he has submitted it to that YOUR MIND IS CLOSED and that you belong to the INVINCIBLY IGNORANT group 1. of committed Shroud anti-authenticists like Joe Nickell, who will NEVER accept ANY evidence that the Shroud is authentic!

Stephen E. Jones
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Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Bippy123 said...

Hello Stephen nice article. I was doing some googling on the guy rinaldi that wrote the critical review of Fanti's research and it looks like he is part of a skeptic group called Cicap which looks like the Italian version of joe nickells site ciscop.
And if you look through their list of researchers lo and behold a very familiar name popped up on the link here: http://www.cicap.org/new/stampa.php?id=100439

Luigi Garlaschelli, Chimico, Università di Pavia, Responsabile Sperimentazioni CICAP

And they hold something called a world congress of skeptics meetings from an older link I found on nickells site.
This rinaldi is as biased as joe nickell and it seems like he has an agenda against the shroud. Most of the info on him is in Italian.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Hello Stephen nice article.

Thanks.

>I was doing some googling on the guy rinaldi that wrote the critical review of Fanti's research

This is Gian Marco Rinaldi's review mentioned on Dan Porter's blog: "A Critical Review of Giulio Fanti’s New Book: Unreliable Results Because of Inadequacy of Methods" .

>and it looks like he is part of a skeptic group called Cicap which looks like the Italian version of joe nickells site ciscop.

Agreed, CICAP stands for "Comitato Italiano per il Controllo delle Affermazioni sul Paranormale" which Google translates as "Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal." This is clearly a clone of the USA's "Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal"

They call themselves "skeptics" but they are really TRUE BELIEVERS in the Shroud's IN-authenticity!

Since there are ONLY TWO alternatives: 1) either the Shroud is authentic, and so dates from the first century; or 2) it is a medieval or earlier forgery; as even Joe Nickell himself admits:

"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," 1979, pp.51-53.] and Stevenson and Habermas [Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud," 1981, pp.121-129] go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on THIS shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas [Ibid., p.128] even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.' [Schafersman, S.D., "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring 1982, p.42]" (Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 2000, p.141. Emphasis original)

then skeptics MUST believe the latter, that the Shroud "is a product of human artifice. "

But then the Shroud skeptics need to produce a COMPREHENSIVE AND COHERENT forgery theory which PLAUSIBLY explains ALL the major features of the Shroud. That they haven't even BEGUN to do that is a tacit admission by the skeptics that they CANNOT do it.

In my current series, "The Shroud of Turin" I am collecting all the problems of the Shroud forgery theory that I encounter along the way. I will then bring them all together under a section "9. Problems of the forgery theory." As will then be seen, the problems of the Shroud pro-authenticity position are NOTHING compared to the anti-authenticity (medieval or earlier forgery) position.

So all the Shroud skeptics can do is snipe away at details of the Shroud pro-authenticity position while keeping their own anti-authenticity (medieval or earlier forgery) position off the table.

>And if you look through their list of researchers lo and behold a very familiar name popped up on the link here: http://www.cicap.org/new/stampa.php?id=100439
>
>Luigi Garlaschelli, Chimico, Università di Pavia, Responsabile Sperimentazioni CICAP

Well spotted!

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>And they hold something called a world congress of skeptics meetings from an older link I found on nickells site.

Wikipedia has a page on CICAP:

"CICAP (Comitato Italiano per il Controllo delle Affermazioni sul Paranormale; in English Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) is an Italian, non-profit, skeptic organization, founded in 1989. CICAP's main goals are the promotion of the scientific analysis of alleged paranormal phenomena. It is a member of the European Council of Skeptical Organizations. ... History Piero Angela, national convention of CICAP (2001) CICAP was started by the Italian science journalist Piero Angela together with a group of scientists including Luigi Garlaschelli and others. The organization has always worked closely with Italian media to help insure accurate coverage of paranormal topics." ("CICAP," Wikipedia, 15 March 2013).

>This rinaldi is as biased as joe nickell and it seems like he has an agenda against the shroud.

They are Philosophical Naturalists ("nature is all there is: there is no supernatural"). Therefore the Shroud of Turin is their worst nightmare, since it is scientific evidence of the supernatural that won't go away!

>Most of the info on him is in Italian.

Thanks for the information.

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

Thanks Stephen :) , and thanks for the additional info on them. I knew that the European media was influenced by the secular atheists but I never knew the extent of this in countries like Italy.

It's openly stated in Wikipedia that Cicap works closely with the media. Now if this had been a Christian organization instead, the atheists would have been screaming bias at the top of their lungs.

They are not interested in the truth. They are interested in suppressing anything but the truth.
Talk about being dogmatic. Lol

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Thanks Stephen :) , and thanks for the additional info on them.

Glad to be of help.

>I knew that the European media was influenced by the secular atheists but I never knew the extent of this in countries like Italy.

I gather that Europe today is VERY secular and anti-Christian, and particularly in countries like Italy which were formerly strongly Roman Catholic.

>It's openly stated in Wikipedia that Cicap works closely with the media. Now if this had been a Christian organization instead, the atheists would have been screaming bias at the top of their lungs.

Agreed. But, being non-Christian, they are blind to their bias.

Having said that, this morning's One Year Study Bible reading had this warning for us Christians:

----------------------------------
363 APRIL 6 TODAY'S STUDY: LUKE 12:1-2 Jesus had strong warnings about hypocrisy for the Pharisees. They were insulted by what he said. But then he turned and warned his own disciples too. The Pharisees weren't the only hypocrites. His disciples faced the same dangers. It is easy to judge the Pharisees for their blatant hypocrisy, but each of us must also resist pretending to be good people when our hearts are far from God. Sometimes, the only lesson we learn from the Pharisees is how to better hide our hypocrisy. What does a heart look like that's hiding hypocrisy? This sort of heart knows the truth but doesn't care and refuses to live in light of it. This sort of heart protects a self-serving lifestyle by pretending to be interested in others' needs. This sort of heart conforms on the outside but rebels on the inside. Hypocrisy is outward conformity without inner reality. People can obey the details but resist being changed in their attitudes toward God and the truth. "Everything that is covered up will be revealed." What is hidden from others is exposed to God. Look carefully at your life. Each of us must discern our own heart.
----------------------------------

>They are not interested in the truth. They are interested in suppressing anything but the truth.

Actually, being atheist/agnostics they would SINCERELY BELIEVE it IS "the truth" that the Shroud is a fake and Christianity is false.

Therefore, in suppressing the evidence of the Shroud's authenticity, CICAP and their Shroud anti-authenticity ilk, SINCERELY BELIEVE that they are suppressing UN-"truth."

But as Billy Graham once pointed out, one can be sincere, but SINCERELY WRONG!

>Talk about being dogmatic. Lol

We must EXPECT that of atheist/agnostics. What we Christians must be on our guard against is that we do not unconsciously use our opponents' faults to excuse our own faults. Our instructions are clear:

2 Timothy 2:24-25 (ESV): "24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,"

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

Very good points Stephen. This is the area I really need work on as sometimes my passion can get the best of me.

I'm going to sit back and pray to The Lord about this and ask him to supply me with the grace of humility and respect that is needed to be more loving in my dialogue with them.

Throughout the bible God was known for his long suffering patience . I will ask him to open my heart to be more patient in this area. Prayer is our life-line to God.

Hope you had a. Great Easter Stephen and thanks again for the reminder
Bippy123

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Very good points Stephen. This is the area I really need work on as sometimes my passion can get the best of me.

Me too.

>I'm going to sit back and pray to The Lord about this and ask him to supply me with the grace of humility and respect that is needed to be more loving in my dialogue with them.

Great!

>Throughout the bible God was known for his long suffering patience . I will ask him to open my heart to be more patient in this area. Prayer is our life-line to God.

You may not have meant it that way but it sounds like you could be putting all the responsibility on God and none on yourself.

But the Biblical pattern is in Nehemiah 4:9, "And we prayed to our God and set a guard ...", i.e. pray and DO all that you can to help God answer your own prayer:

Nehemiah 4:7-9: 7 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. 8 And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. 9 And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

>Hope you had a. Great Easter Stephen and thanks again for the reminder

Thanks.

Another One Year Bible reading the other day was:

Luke 8:20-21: 20 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and DO it.”
(my emphasis).

Or as Paul and James put it:

Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the DOERS of the law who will be justified.

James 1:22 But be DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

I am writing this to me more than to you.

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

Thanks again for the response Stephen.
Your post reminds me of something my Mom (who has been in a semi-coma for the last 15 months from a massive stroke) always used to say to us in lebanese "oom ya abdi la oom ma'ak) which means get up so I (God)can get up with you .

I need to put that saying to work more.
Please pray for a miracle for my mom Stephen and anyone else reading this post.
God bless
Bippy123

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Thanks again for the response Stephen.

Thanks for your thanks.

>Your post reminds me of something my Mom (who has been in a semi-coma for the last 15 months from a massive stroke)

Sorry to hear that. I can't imagine what it must be like to have a parent in a long coma like that. It must put your life on hold waiting for whatever is the outcome.

>always used to say to us in lebanese "oom ya abdi la oom ma'ak) which means get up so I (God)can get up with you .

Good advice.

>I need to put that saying to work more.

OK.

>Please pray for a miracle for my mom Stephen and anyone else reading this post.

I will. Feel free to keep us informed in the most current post how your mother is progressing.

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

Thank you Stephen, and yes it can bare down hard on me at times, but it has taught me to depend on prayer a lot more. I'm just being there for my dad who in December found out he has prostate cancer that spread to the bones.his PSA count was at 5 when he was diagnosed in December , and has been on hormone shots every 3 months. His latest tests came back and the doctor was amazed that his PDA count is now under 1. I celebrated like a little child :)

When I was younger I used to pray a lot for good things for my friends and family and when they didnt happen I would ask God why he didnt hear my prayer. As I matured I pray first for God's will to be done , and then make my request or plea.

If the end result is heaven does any amount of suffi g we go through in this finite existence even come close?
It's not just the thought of living forever , but the quality of the eternal life, as we know that we will be living our eternal existence with the most loving being in existence.

Sorry for the long rambling
And thank you for the prayers. If you have any prayer requests I will gladly include them in my prayer list.
god bless you
Bippy123

The Deuce said...

Hi, Stephen:

I will then bring them all together under a section "9. Problems of the forgery theory." As will then be seen, the problems of the Shroud pro-authenticity position are NOTHING compared to the anti-authenticity (medieval or earlier forgery) position.

So all the Shroud skeptics can do is snipe away at details of the Shroud pro-authenticity position while keeping their own anti-authenticity (medieval or earlier forgery) position off the table.


I've been thinking about this myself lately, and in particular about the propositions that the anti-authenticity proponents are implicitly committed to, whether they they put their forgery theories on the table or not.

In particular, one fact that recently dawned on me is that until just a little more than a century ago, the Shroud just looked like a piece of linen with some sweat or slight discoloration on it. There wasn't much reason to think it miraculous just from looking at it, except for the witness of tradition stating that it had been the burial cloth of Jesus. The amazing properties of it have only been discovered since then, and would have been impossible for an artist before that time to do intentionally or even imagine. Some examples:

1) The Shroud's photo negative quality, such that the image only becomes fully visible and detailed in negative, with "correct" lighting, was discovered in 1898, and so could not have possibly have been intended by any putative medieval artist.

2) The fact that the image on the Shroud is only 200nm thick was only discovered in the last couple of decades or so, and certainly could not have been intended by any medieval artist.

3) The fact that the image on the Shroud is actually an elevation map, where darker parts correspond to higher elevation on a 3D image of a man, was only discovered, and demonstrated with imaging software, in the past few decades.

4) The fact that the Shroud has an image on the reverse side which is invisible to the unaided human eye was discovered only a little over a year ago, and so could not have been intended by any medieval artist.

The Deuce said...

(Cont.)

And based on these things, we can rule out the major forgery theories pretty quickly:

1) We can immediately rule out for certain that the Shroud was painted, or made with any sort of "2D" method. It would have been flat-out impossible for an artist to paint an image in negative which he couldn't even see, much less paint it as a 3D topography map with intricate detail, much less when he didn't even know about photo negativity. And that's in addition to the fact that the image isn't made with paint, and that it is sub-microscopically thin.

So, to even get off the ground, any explanation for the Shroud must start by acknowledging that it was made with a real 3D object (whether a body or a statue) that was highly detailed, and was "transferred" to the cloth somehow.

2) Next we can rule out that the Shroud was made by burning the image in (eg from a hot statue or something along those lines). There's no way that a burned-in 3D image could only penetrate 200nm into the cloth, uniformly, and also create an image on the other side, but without leaving anything in between. Likewise, we can rule out that it was done with some sort of "powdering" method, as that wouldn't leave any image on the reverse side at all.

And before people try to construct elaborate ways to get around these limitations, it has to be pointed out that the supposed medieval artist couldn't have even been trying to do so. The artist (imagining for a moment that he existed) wasn't trying to figure out how to get the image to only burn in only 200nm. He wasn't trying to figure out how to make an image he couldn't even see on the reverse side without affecting the cloth in between. To the people and technology of the middle ages, a regular burned-in image with low detail would've looked about the same, and been just as good, as the actual Shroud was at that time.

Furthermore, both of these methods have, in practice, resulted in a less detailed image with obvious distortion, and that's despite the fact that the people attempting them have access to modern technology and can "check their work" by looking at it in negative before releasing it to the public, whereas our imaginary artist is supposed to have achieved all this entirely by accident.

3) And then there's all the properties of the Shroud that I didn't mention here: the intricate and post-medieval knowledge of anatomy and hematology on display, the real blood that's on it, the pollen, the match with the Sudarium of Oviedo, and much more.

The Deuce said...

(Cont.)

Here's the bottom line. We have, from the Gospels and the witness of the early Church, eyewitness testimony that Jesus Christ was bodily raised from the dead, that his tomb was found empty with his burial clothes still in it, that he was seen by many, and even conversed with them and ate with them, and that these witnesses were willing to be tortured to death for this testimony.

At the same time that we have eyewitness testimony to this miraculous event, we also have a burial shroud that has long been claimed to have been preserved from Jesus' burial, which has an image of a crucified Jesus on it, and which appears to have miraculous properties itself - properties that we are unable to account for or duplicate using modern technology.

And while there are theories about this shroud being a medieval forgery, they don't help to explain the miraculous properties, because those miraculous properties were completely unknown in the middle ages, and people already believed it was the burial cloth of Jesus before those properties were discovered, based on the historical witness of tradition to it.

In short, the skeptic must hold that a medieval artist, in trying to forge a relic of history's most famous miraculous event, just so happened to imbue that fake relic with miraculous properties of its own completely by accident, which he didn't even know about and which still confound us even today, and that he got everyone to believe that it was the real deal even though neither he nor they even knew about these miraculous properties.

In other words, the skeptic must say that the seeming miraculousness to both the Resurrection and the Shroud are a total coincidence, regardless of whatever forgery theory he tries to endorse. The Christian, on the other hand, can accept the multiple independent testimonies to the same miraculous event as confirmation of that event.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Thank you Stephen, and yes it can bare down hard on me at times, but it has taught me to depend on prayer a lot more.

Adversity does that. When humans have it too easy, they forget God:

Pr 30:8-9 "...give me neither poverty nor riches; ... lest I be full and deny you and say, `Who is the Lord?' or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God."

>I'm just being there for my dad who in December found out he has prostate cancer that spread to the bones.his PSA count was at 5 when he was diagnosed in December , and has been on hormone shots every 3 months. His latest tests came back and the doctor was amazed that his PDA count is now under 1.

Praise God!

>I celebrated like a little child :)

I now have five grandchildren aged from 2 months to 7, and they remind me what it is like to celebrate!

>When I was younger I used to pray a lot for good things for my friends and family and when they didnt happen I would ask God why he didnt hear my prayer. As I matured I pray first for God's will to be done , and then make my request or plea.

God always HEARS our prayers. But His ANSWER can be: 1) Yes; 2) No (e.g. even to St. Paul 2Cor 12:7-9); or 3) Keep praying (Lk 18:1-5).

>If the end result is heaven does any amount of suffi g we go through in this finite existence even come close?

The Bible says no: 2Cor 4:17 "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison"

>It's not just the thought of living forever , but the quality of the eternal life, as we know that we will be living our eternal existence with the most loving being in existence.

Agreed. As someone said, living forever on a feather mattress would Hell. The Greek word for "eternal" aionios is about quality, not just endless.

>Sorry for the long rambling
And thank you for the prayers. If you have any prayer requests I will gladly include them in my prayer list.

My dear wife Rosemary of 41 years has MS and is losing the battle to walk. If you can ask God that she be healed, or at least halt the progression of her MS so that she retains at least some ability to walk, I would appreciate that. Thanks.

I have remembered your Mom in my prayers, that she awakes out of her long coma healed.

Stephen

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>>... As will then be seen, the problems of the Shroud pro-authenticity position are NOTHING compared to the anti-authenticity (medieval or earlier forgery) position.

This is an elementary point which is often overlooked by Shroud pro-authenticists. If Shroud anti-authenticists were required to state their FORGERY ALTERNATIVE when criticising the Shroud's authenticity, it would be obvious that the Shroud pro-authenticity position wins hands down.

>>So all the Shroud skeptics can do is snipe away at details of the Shroud pro-authenticity position while keeping their own ... position off the table.

This is too kind. There actually is NO actual anti-authenticity forgery position.

>I've been thinking about this myself lately, and in particular about the propositions that the anti-authenticity proponents are implicitly committed to, whether they they put their forgery theories on the table or not.

Great!

>In particular, one fact that recently dawned on me is that until just a little more than a century ago, the Shroud just looked like a piece of linen with some sweat or slight discoloration on it.

Agreed. That's why Bishop d'Arcis' memorandum of 1389, claiming the Shroud was "cunningly painted" and that his predecessor Bishop Henri of Poitiers even knew who the artist was, carried so much weight with Shroud anti-authenticists scholars like Ulysse Chevalier(1841-1923) and Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856-1939).

>There wasn't much reason to think it miraculous just from looking at it, except for the witness of tradition stating that it had been the burial cloth of Jesus. The amazing properties of it have only been discovered since then, and would have been impossible for an artist before that time to do intentionally or even imagine. Some examples:

Agreed. As "the witness of tradition" weakened with the passage of time, the Shroud became just another Catholic relic, which were regarded as fake, even by most Catholics.

>1) The Shroud's photo negative quality, such that the image only becomes fully visible and detailed in negative, with "correct" lighting, was discovered in 1898, and so could not have possibly have been intended by any putative medieval artist.

That was the turning point. Not only: 1) was the Shroud discovered to be a photographic negative, and so IMPOSSIBLE to forge by a 14th century or earlier artist who would not even know the CONCEPT of a photographic negative which was not discovered until the early 19th century; and indeed still impossible for an artist to forge today who does know what a photographic negative is.

But also 2) photographs of the Shroud enabled scholars to study the image, with the result that even agnostics like French zoologist Yves Delage (1854–1920) became Shroud pro-authenticists.

>2) The fact that the image on the Shroud is only 200nm thick was only discovered in the last couple of decades or so, and certainly could not have been intended by any medieval artist.

Good point. It would be IMPOSSIBLE for a medieval or earlier artist to even INTEND a 200nm thick image because nanometres (one billionth of a metre) did not exist until 1960. Let alone a medieval or earlier artist CREATING a uniform 200nm thick image, with a medium or method available at that time.

>3) The fact that the image on the Shroud is actually an elevation map, where darker parts correspond to higher elevation on a 3D image of a man, was only discovered, and demonstrated with imaging software, in the past few decades.

Good point.

4) The fact that the Shroud has an image on the reverse side which is invisible to the unaided human eye was discovered only a little over a year ago, and so could not have been intended by any medieval artist.

I have been advised that this `second image' may not be actually there, in a confidential email by a Shroud scientist, therefore I will look into it when I get to that part of my series, probably "8. Major features of the Shroud's Image."

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>Cont.)
>
>And based on these things, we can rule out the major forgery theories pretty quickly:

The very fact that there are forgery THEORIES shows that there is no ONE good forgery THEORY that has convinced all the various Shroud deniers. Wilson made that point 15 years ago and it is still true today:

"Indeed, if anyone had come up with a convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged, they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally. Yet so far this has not even begun to happen." (Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, p.235).

>1) We can immediately rule out for certain that the Shroud was painted, or made with any sort of "2D" method. It would have been flat-out impossible for an artist to paint an image in negative which he couldn't even see, much less paint it as a 3D topography map with intricate detail, much less when he didn't even know about photo negativity. And that's in addition to the fact that the image isn't made with paint, and that it is sub-microscopically thin.

Agreed. This is a HUGE blow to the Shroud anti-authenticity position. Because: 1) painting is the simplest and easiest way for a 14th century or earlier forger to have created the Shroud's image.

And 2) it falsifies the only other (besides the 1260-1390 C-14 date) major plank in the anti-authenticity position, namely Bishop d'Arcis' 1389 memorandum claiming the Shroud was "cunningly PAINTED".

>So, to even get off the ground, any explanation for the Shroud must start by acknowledging that it was made with a real 3D object (whether a body or a statue) that was highly detailed, and was "transferred" to the cloth somehow.

Agreed. Either a real human body or a bas relief/statue of a human body.

>2) Next we can rule out that the Shroud was made by burning the image in (eg from a hot statue or something along those lines). There's no way that a burned-in 3D image could only penetrate 200nm into the cloth, uniformly,

Agreed. And there is no body image under the blood. Therefore the blood had to be on the hot statue first, which would cook it.

>and also create an image on the other side, but without leaving anything in between.

As previously mentioned, if you are referring to the claimed "second face":

"New research into the Turin Shroud has added to the mystery surrounding the controversial artefact. A second ghostly image of a man's face has been discovered on the back of the linen, according to a report published by London's Institute of Physics ... the back surface was exposed during a restoration project in 2002. ... Giulio Fanti, thought he saw a `faint image' in the photographs from this project and decided to investigate it further. `Though the image is very faint, features such as nose, eyes, hair, beard and moustaches are clearly visible,' he said. `There are some slight differences with the known face. For example, the nose on the reverse side shows the same extension of both nostrils, unlike the front side, in which the right nostril is less evident.' Professor Fanti has dismissed claims that the image on the back confirms that the shroud is a fake - with paint soaking from the front to the back. `This is not the case of the shroud. On both sides, the face image is superficial, involving only the outermost linen fibres,' he said." ("Turin Shroud 'shows second face'," BBC, 13 April, 2004).

then this might not be actually there.

Although there is a photo of it on one of Dan Porter's pages: "What is the second face and what does it mean?.

But a "second face" is not necessary to rule out a statue or bas relief as being the method how the UNKNOWN, HYPOTHETICAL, 14th century or earlier forger created the Shroud's image.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Likewise, we can rule out that it was done with some sort of "powdering" method, as that wouldn't leave any image on the reverse side at all.

Agreed, but you are putting a lot weight on the claimed "second face" which might not be there. Have you any further information about it?

>And before people try to construct elaborate ways to get around these limitations, it has to be pointed out that the supposed medieval artist couldn't have even been trying to do so. The artist (imagining for a moment that he existed) wasn't trying to figure out how to get the image to only burn in only 200nm. He wasn't trying to figure out how to make an image he couldn't even see on the reverse side without affecting the cloth in between. To the people and technology of the middle ages, a regular burned-in image with low detail would've looked about the same, and been just as good, as the actual Shroud was at that time.

Agreed. The claimed medieval forger is presumably supposed to have created these post-14th century features (e.g. extremely superficial, photographic negative, 3D, xrays, etc) ACCIDENTALLY!

>Furthermore, both of these methods have, in practice, resulted in a less detailed image with obvious distortion, and that's despite the fact that the people attempting them have access to modern technology and can "check their work" by looking at it in negative before releasing it to the public, whereas our imaginary artist is supposed to have achieved all this entirely by accident.

Agreed, see abovr. The Shroud deniers can prove this wrong by getting a modern artist, even though he/she knows about photographic negativity, and knows what the Shroud looks like, to create the Shroud's negative, 3D, extremly superficial, anatomically and physiologically perfect (see your next), image using only materials and methods available in the 14th century or before.

>3) And then there's all the properties of the Shroud that I didn't mention here: the intricate and post-medieval knowledge of anatomy and hematology on display, the real blood that's on it, the pollen, the match with the Sudarium of Oviedo, and much more.

Agreed. The "and much more" includes the flower (last post) and coin images (next post). It just goes on and on.

Regarding my last post, "The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (4): Plant images," three of the 28 Middle Eastern/Palestinian species of flower images found on the Shroud, Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum, and Cistus creticus are only found together at ONE PLACE on earth, IN AND AROUND JERUSALEM, and are only found blooming together at ONE TIME, between MARCH-APRIL. So if the image was a painting, then the presumably European forger would have to know all that about them, even though his contemporaries wouldn't.

But if the image was not a painting (e.g. statue/bas relief, primitive photograph) then the forger would have to actually GO TO JERUSALEM to obtain the flowers, then HE WOULD HAVE TO CREATE THE IMAGE IN JERUSALEM. When Jerusalem was under Muslim control (see "Main Events In The History Of Jerusalem Timeline".

I am sure the 14th century Muslim authorities then in control of Jerusalem, would not approve (to put it mildly) a European artist setting up a studio in or around Jerusalem and creating a bas relief/statue (since it would be regarded as an IDOL and expressly forbidden upon pain of death under Islamic law). Let alone of Jesus, who the Muslims regard as a prophet.

All this and more I will discuss in my "9. Problems of the forgery theory".

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>(Cont.)

>Here's the bottom line. We have, from the Gospels and the witness of the early Church, eyewitness testimony that Jesus Christ was bodily raised from the dead, that his tomb was found empty with his burial clothes still in it, that he was seen by many, and even conversed with them and ate with them, and that these witnesses were willing to be tortured to death for this testimony.

Agreed. The modern Christian doesn't realise how BULLETPROOF this is. But as Christian philosopher Gary Habermas (who is also a Shroud pro-authentity author), has pointed out, in the 19th century very erudite and highly intelligent German Liberal `Christian' scholars, each proposed their own, mutually exclusive, naturalistic explanation of Jesus' resurrection and attacked all the other naturalistic explanations.

The end result was that each of those German Liberal scholars REFUTED all the others' naturalistic explanations of Jesus' resurrection. So ALL alternative naturalistic explanations of Jesus' resurrection have been REFUTED.

And as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (through Sherlock Holmes) pointed out, "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth":

"`How came he, then?' I reiterated. `The door is locked, the window is inaccessible. Was it through the chimney?' The grate is much too small,' he answered. `I had already considered that possibility.' `How then?' I persisted. `You will not apply my precept,' he said, shaking his head. `How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?' We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. Whence, then, did he come?' `He came through the hole in the roof,' I cried. `Of course he did. He must have done so. " (Doyle, A.C., "The Sign of Four," 2001, pp.42-43. Emphasis original)

>At the same time that we have eyewitness testimony to this miraculous event, we also have a burial shroud that has long been claimed to have been preserved from Jesus' burial, which has an image of a crucified Jesus on it, and which appears to have miraculous properties itself - properties that we are unable to account for or duplicate using modern technology.

Which is AMAZING! Proof that God "able to do FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY than all that we ask OR THINK" (Eph 3:20).

>And while there are theories about this shroud being a medieval forgery, they don't help to explain the miraculous properties, because those miraculous properties were completely unknown in the middle ages, and people already believed it was the burial cloth of Jesus before those properties were discovered, based on the historical witness of tradition to it.

A very good point.

>In short, the skeptic must hold that a medieval artist, in trying to forge a relic of history's most famous miraculous event, just so happened to imbue that fake relic with miraculous properties of its own completely by accident, which he didn't even know about and which still confound us even today, and that he got everyone to believe that it was the real deal even though neither he nor they even knew about these miraculous properties.

The forgery theory is RIDICULOUS and only survives because: 1) those who believe it have not STATED IT IN FULL nor WORKED OUT ITS IMPLICATIONS; and 2) they reject out of hand the ONLY viable alternative, that the Shroud of Turin is Jesus' burial sheet and bears the image of His beaten, crowned with thorns, scourged, crucified, dead, buried and RESURRECTED body.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

Even some (if not most) Shroud pro-authenticists argue about this or that minor point of Shroud pro-authenticity, failing to compare it IN TANDEM with the ONLY alternative, the FORGERY theory.

Indeed, even some Christians, whose minds have been partly captivated by NATURALISM:

Col 2:8: "See to it that no one TAKES YOU CAPTIVE by PHILOSOPHY and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental SPIRITS OF THE WORLD, and not according to Christ."

the philosophy that "nature is all there is: there is no supernatural," which is DOMINANT in modern science, and indeed is the unspoken thought-world assumption on our Post-Christian Western culture's schools, colleges and universities, seek for naturalistic explanations of the Shroud's image.

>In other words, the skeptic must say that the seeming miraculousness to both the Resurrection and the Shroud are a total coincidence, regardless of whatever forgery theory he tries to endorse.

Most sceptics are not Christians and have only a vague idea of what Biblical Christianity teaches about Jesus' bodily resurrection. And that they are not Christians means that their starting point is non-acceptance or outright rejection of Jesus' resurrection.

And most Shroud anti-authenticity have only a vague idea of the Shroud pro-authenticity evidence and arguments, because it takes money to buy the Shroud pro-authenticity books (my latest count is 120 books on the Shroud, both for and against it), and then the time to read them. But few, if any, are going to spend that degree of money and time on what they regard as a fake.

And even those Christians who know what Biblical Christianity teaches about Jesus' bodily resurrection and they accept it, have only a vague idea of what the evidence is for the Shroud and for most of them their starting point is non-acceptance or outright rejection of the Shroud's authenticity.

>The Christian, on the other hand, can accept the multiple independent testimonies to the same miraculous event as confirmation of that event.

Agreed. But in this Post-Christian age there are many confused Christians in confused, and indeed corrupt, Christian denominations.

This and other evidence points to us being in the last days immediately before Jesus' return, when He Himself said He won't find much true Christian faith on earth:

Lk 18:8 "... Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

In my morning One Year Bible reading the other day I was impressed by God's prescribed method of keeping future Israel's kings close to the LORD in thought and deed:

Dt 17:18-19 NLT. 18 "When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 HE MUST ALWAYS KEEP THAT COPY WITH HIM AND READ IT DAILY AS LONG AS HE LIVES. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees."

So it is with Christians today. Unless they read God's Word the Bible DAILY as LONG AS THEY LIVE, they are in danger of failing to "learn to fear the Lord" and of "obeying ... [His] instructions and decrees."

The Deuce. Your long three-part comment has been very interesting but the problem is that if you now respond with another long comment, and I respond to that, I will have less time to prepare my next blog post.

So if you do respond, let it be a final summing up, and please be brief, i.e. no longer than a one page (4096 characters) comment. Thanks.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

There is a new comment on the Shroud's `second face' under my post, "The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (1): Burns and water stains"

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

""My dear wife Rosemary of 41 years has MS and is losing the battle to walk. If you can ask God that she be healed, or at least halt the progression of her MS so that she retains at least some ability to walk, I would appreciate that. Thanks.

I have remembered your Mom in my prayers, that she awakes out of her long coma healed."""

Hello again Stephen, sorry I haven't been on for the last few days. I have just written your wife's name in my notepad prayer list. I will pray for your wife every day with all my heart :)
May The Lord grant our prayers for Rosemary, and God bless you both for 41 years of marriage. A marriage that lone is very rare these days .
Thank you so much for your prayers for my parents.
God bless
Bippy123 (bob)

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

[...]

>Hello again Stephen, sorry I haven't been on for the last few days. I have just written your wife's name in my notepad prayer list. I will pray for your wife every day with all my heart :)

Thanks, but don't feel obligated.

>May The Lord grant our prayers for Rosemary, and God bless you both for 41 years of marriage. A marriage that lone is very rare these days .

Being both Christians helps, but we know some Christian couples who have divorced, although it's rare.

>Thank you so much for your prayers for my parents.

I will try to remember them in my prayers, but I can't promise it will be every day.

PS: As I commented under my post "... 2.6. The other marks (4): Plant images":

---------------------------------
But I am preparing a post, "The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (5): Coins over eyes" in which I show part of an Enrie 1931 photograph which I scanned from Vignon's "Le Saint Suaire de Turin: Devant La Science, L'archéologie, L'histoire, L'iconographie, La Logique" (1939), and enlarged 300%.

It CLEARLY shows an image of a Pontius Pilate lepton with its unique lituus (shepherd's crook) and the letter "A" (part of the inscription "TIBERIOU CAICAROC," i.e. "Tiberius Caesar" who was Roman Emperor at the time of Christ).
---------------------------------

I have been very elated about this since I discovered it. The "A" is crystal clear and it cannot be rationally denied that it is there, in the correct location relative to the lituus, which is also very clear in 300% (or 3X) magnification.

I hope to post it by this weekend.

Stephen E. Jones