Continuing from part #1, this is the second installment of part #2 of my comments on further news articles about the paper, Barcaccia, G., et al., 2015, "Uncovering the sources of DNA found on the Turin Shroud," Nature, Scientific Reports 5, 5 October. These will be in date order, with the article's words in bold.
"Turin Shroud: DNA and pollen from all over the world found on cloth, new study finds," The Independent, Kashmira Gander, 14 October 2015
[Above (enlarge): STURP's Ray Rogers (L) and John Jackson (C) and Turin's Giovanni Riggi (R) in October 1978, having partially unstitched the Shroud's Holland cloth backing which had been sewn on in April 1534, are the first to look at the underside of the Shroud in 444 years.]
... Scientists have added to the complex and controversial tales of origin surrounding the Turin Shroud, by revealing the myriad locations of the DNA and pollen that are present on the cloth. As per my previous posts (18Oct15, 10Nov15 and 24Nov15), that the plant and human DNA in the interspace between the underside of the Shroud and its Holland cloth backing, which was sewn on in 1534, has "myriad locations" is inconsistent with the 1988 radiocarbon dating claim that, "the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390". Because that would leave less than 3 centuries between the claimed earliest possible radiocarbon date of 1260 and 1534, when the Shroud was then entirely in France and Belgium. In fact, less than 2 centuries between the Shroud's first public exposition in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in 1355 and 1534. But again, it is consistent with the Shroud having had a ~15 centuries history up to 1534, in widely different locations including "Jerusalem... Edessa ... Constantinople ... Athens ... [and] France":
"... the journey of TS [the Turin Shroud] began in Jerusalem in the year 30 or 33 AD. After concealment for years, TS would have been first moved to Edessa (now Şanliurfa in Turkey) and then to Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey) in 944 AD. A burial cloth, which some historians consider the Shroud, was owned by the Byzantine emperors but disappeared during the Sack of Constantinople in 12044. After this event, TS would have been taken by the crusaders and transferred to Athens (Greece), where it remained until 1225. Official documents attest that it was in France at Lirey around the years 1353 to 1357 and then was kept at Chambéry from 1502 to 1578, where passed into the hands of the Dukes of Savoy. From 1578, apart from some brief displacements in an effort to hide it during war periods, TS was kept in Turin (Italy) and later placed in the royal chapel of the city Cathedral inside a specially designed shrine where it has been permanently conserved from 1694 to the present."... The length of linen is highly contentious. Some Christians believe the fabric – which is kept in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin - is the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, dating back over 2,000 years. Again a secular, naturalistic, false dichotomy: "Some Christians" versus "scientific studies." But as previously pointed out, so strong is the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity that non-Christians like agnostic zoologist Prof. Yves Delage (1854-1920), agnostic art historian Thomas de Wesselow and Jewish Barrie Schwortz have become pro-authenticists. However, previous scientific studies have suggested that the cloth, which appears to be imprinted with the image of a man, may in fact be from the 13th or 14th century - centuries after Jesus is believed to have died. The evidence is very strong that this 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" (see above).
Now, a new study by Italian researchers published in the prestigious science journal Nature gives a further insight into the potential origins of the cloth. To make their findings for the paper entitled 'Uncovering the sources of DNA found on the Turin Shroud', the team behind the study sequenced the DNA of pollen and other dust from the cloth. This is doubly misleading (either deliberate or through journalistic ignorance). First, it was not just "DNA of pollen and other dust" but both plant and human DNA. Second, the dust did not merely come "from the cloth" but it came "from the interspace between the Shroud and the Holland Cloth sewn to it as reinforcement":
"In 1978 and 1988, dust particles were vacuumed from the interspace between the Shroud and the Holland Cloth sewn to it as reinforcement ... In this study, we performed DNA analyses to define the biological sources of the dust particles ... vacuum-collected in 1978 and 1988 ... To identify plant taxonomic entities and human genetic lineages, universal plant DNA sequences ... and human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) target regions were amplified and sequenced. This allowed the identification of DNA sources from a wide range of plant species and human mitogenomes belonging to numerous haplogroups. The overall findings were then evaluated to determine whether the geographic areas of origin and distribution of detected plant cpDNA species and human mtDNA haplogroups might provide novel clues concerning the origin of the Turin Shroud."And what even the Nature article omits to mention is the crucially important fact that "the Holland Cloth sewn to it" was in 1534:
"On the night of December 4, 1532, fire broke out in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry, where the Shroud was then kept. ... the cloth itself was only saved by the quick intervention of one of the duke of Savoy's counsellors ... and two Franciscan priests. ... For sixteen months the Shroud languished in a state quite unfit for exposition. Then, on April 15, 1534 ... it [was] sent to the nearby convent of Poor Clares for repair. ... on May 2 the cloth was returned, now backed by a simple piece of Holland cloth of the same size to give it strength. Over the worst of the damage had been sewn fourteen large triangular-shaped patches and eight small ones, all made from altar cloth."Because, as previously pointed out (see 18Oct15), if the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud's linen as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" was correct, then this would leave at most a mere 274 years between 1260 and 1534 (and indeed a mere 179 years between the first undisputed exposition of the Shroud at Lirey, France, in 1355 and 1534), for all this plant and human DNA from "myriad locations" to be deposited on the underside of the Shroud!
To be continued in the third installment of this part #2.
1. Schwortz, B.M., 2005, "In Memoriam: Raymond N. Rogers - July 21, 1927-March 8, 2005, 2005 Website News, Shroud.com; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.68. [return]
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
3. Wilson, 1998, p.111,278; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.222-223. [return]
4. Barcaccia, G., et al., 2015, "Uncovering the sources of DNA found on the Turin Shroud," Nature, Scientific Reports 5, 5 October. [return]
5. Barcaccia, et al., 2015. [return]
6. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.24. [return]
Posted: 30 November 2015. Updated: 2 December 2015.