Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Shroud News - September 2007

Here, belatedly is my Shroud news for September (see also issues Aug-07 & Jul-07). I should be more up-to-date

[Above: Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo, Tesla Memorial Society of New York (see below).]

now that I have, at last, completed my paper, "A proposal to radiocarbon-date the pollen of the Shroud of Turin," and have sent it off for peer-review!

"Shining a light on the Shroud of Turin," OCRegister, Kari Wilkinson, September 6, 2007 ... Fifteen years ago when Sharon Subia of Westminster was referred to Dr. August Accetta as an obstetrical patient, she didn't know that she was about to witness a life-changing event. ...

[Left: Dr. August Accetta and a life-size negative photo (with its positive image) of the Shroud, OCRegister]

Accetta shared with her that for the past few years he'd been studying the Shroud of Turin. The shroud is a linen cloth with the image of a man who some believe is Jesus. Despite more than a century of scientific research, its origin remains a mystery and is a subject of debate. "At the time, he was a fallen-away Catholic," Subia said. "He began studying it from a scientific point of view to disprove it. The more he studied, the more he became enthusiastic in his faith." Every month she saw him, he had new information. Then after years of research and collecting information, images and articles, Accetta was brought back to the Catholic Church by the shroud. "I was overwhelmed by the amount of scientific support for the shroud," said Accetta, of Huntington Beach. ... Throughout the years following the birth of Subia's daughter, their paths kept crossing. In 1996, she returned to Accetta for her ninth child. By that time, he was a changed man. "It affected my life," he said. .... That same year, Accetta opened the Shroud Center of Southern California, a nonprofit scientific research and exhibition center. In 2004, Subia became a docent at the center. The Shroud Center, which originally opened in Huntington Beach in 1996 and relocated to Fountain Valley in 2002, is one of few of its kind in the nation. ... The purpose of the center is to conduct scientific research on the origin of the shroud and to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the image through its exhibits. Accetta, who also owns a medical practice and laser center in Huntington Beach, focuses on nuclear imaging research to better understand how the image was created. Exhibits at the center include a full-size 14-foot replica of the shroud and an image similar to a film negative that displays it in more detail. Also exhibited are photos, maps, enlarged views of pollen and radiographic studies, 3-D evidence, and historical and scriptural references. About 300 to 500 people pass through the center each year. ... [An example of how the Shroud, or rather the image on it, can bring sceptics into a vital personal relationship with Christ. See also my blog post on Dr Accetta, i.e. his "allowing himself to be injected with a radioactive dye and then xrayed" to show that they image on the Shroud has characteristics of an x-ray.]

The Michelangelo Frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Contain Divinely- Encoded Images of the Shroud of Turin, Christian NewsWire, September 13, 2007 ... RALEIGH, NC. ...

[Right: The Last Judgment fresco, Cistine Chapel, Michelangelo, Wikipedia]

A new discovery reveals a "mystery" never before seen. Investigative researcher Philip E. Dayvault, of Raleigh, NC, found in 2003 that the famed Sistine Chapel Ceiling fresco, painted by Michelangelo in 1512 and located at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, is also painted in allegory. Although the central panels of the Ceiling, or "historicals", are illustrated for literal interpretation, they also contain unique symbolic expression. Once decoded, Dayvault discovered that this expression graphically depicts the Shroud of Turin, in full and complete order. .... In addition, Dayvault, through a "divinely-inspired" discovery in 2003, found that the Last Judgment fresco, also painted by Michelangelo in 1541, and a portion of the Chapel Ceiling remarkably portray the encoded Face of the Man of the Shroud, including its distinctive features. ... [Since the Shroud was exhibited at Vercelli, Italy in 1494, and then located at Chambery, France from 1502-1537, which was not far from the Italian border, there is no reason in principle why Michelangelo could not have seen the Shroud, and based his Sistine Chapel frescoes (painted between 1508-1512) on it. But whether he did so, is another matter. I await with interest more details on this. However, I cannot see how it would make any difference to the question of the authenticity, or otherwise, of the Turin Shroud.]

Barrie Schwortz: The man who saw the Shroud, Manila Bulletin, September 22, 2007 ...

[Left: Barrie M. Schwortz with Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini (former Archbishop of Turin and Shroud custodian).]

In 1978 ... the Savoy family under King Umberto II - commissioned a team of international experts to conduct the first in-depth scientific examination of the artifact. Part of that group consisted of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc., (STURP), a team of American scientists and researchers who spent over two years preparing a series of tests aimed to gather a vast amount of Shroud data. The whole process was documented by a man named Barrie Schwortz. Schwortz, who graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1971, admitted that he was hesitant to accept the task. In the earliest stages of my involvement, I wondered whether someone raised as an Orthodox Jew should be a part of such a `Christian' project," Schwortz narrated. ... Schwortz has remained active in Shroud of Turin research. He is the editor and publisher of the internationally recognized website, http://www.shroud.com/, a leading resource on the topic. Schwortz's initial impression of the Shroud was that it was a painting. "Based on the modest amount of information available before 1978, I expected to get to Turin, take one look at the Shroud, see the brush strokes, and come home," Schwortz admitted. ... In 1978, the STURP team spent 120 hours with the Shroud of Turin, performing all possible scientific tests with the technology available at the ... "We came to Turin, to find out how the image on the Shroud was formed," Schwortz noted. "But here we are, 30 years later, and we can tell you that it's not a painting, a photograph, a scorching nor a dust formation. But the mechanism by which the image was formed has still not been determined." The accumulation of empirical data on the Shroud of Turin has led Schwortz to believe the cloth is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus. "There is no singular evidence that can prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. But we have only one existing documentation of a man who was scourged, speared, crowned with thorns, and crucified, and that is the Passion of Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Bible," explained Schwortz. ... [Some Shroud anti- authenticity `sceptics (so-called) like to employ the ad hominem tactic of depicting those who regard the Shroud as authentic, as doing so because they are Christians. But as then Ph.D candidate, now writer, Danusha V. Goska pointed out (see `tagline' quote below), apart from the fact that most Christians are indifferent to the Shroud, a non-religious Jew like Barrie Schwortz, based on "The accumulation of empirical data... believe[s] the cloth is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus" (my emphasis)!]

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


"I wanted to see if self-identified sceptics who had debunked the Shroud had addressed questions like mine. A Google search lead me to Joe Nickell. He says that those who see anything worth studying in the Shroud are `Shroud partisans' and `good Catholics' or `the faithful.' Well, that's what we English teachers call `ad hominem.' In these instances, Nickell is trying to make his case not by adducing evidence to support his point of view, but by discrediting the person of those with whom he disagrees. And then there's the problem of Nickell's accuracy - `the faithful' don't, for the most part, accept the Shroud. Most Christians I have met have barely even heard of it. I was never told of it in Catholic school; I have never heard it mentioned in a Catholic church. I know about it because the research that scientists did on it gained attention in the secular media. Barrie Schwortz runs a website on the Shroud ... Is Barrie Schwortz, as Nickell alleges, a `partisan Catholic' who came into this research believing in the Shroud? Below is Mr. Schwortz's self-description.
In the earliest stages of my involvement, I wondered whether someone raised as an Orthodox Jew should be a part of such a `Christian' project I am still Jewish, yet I believe the Shroud of Turin is the cloth that wrapped the man Jesus after he was crucified. That is not meant as a religious statement, but one based on my privileged position of direct involvement with many of the serious Shroud researchers in the world, and a thorough knowledge of the scientific data, unclouded by media exaggeration and hype (Shroud.com)."

(Goska, D.V., "The Shroud of Turin???," 11 April 2007).

15 comments:

Danusha said...

Hi, in your post, above, you identify me as an English professor at Montclair State University. I am not now and have never been an English professor at Montclair State University, as a check of Montclair State University would reveal.

(I might work there at some point in the future ... but, up to now, December, 2007, I am not and have never been an English Professor at Montclair State University).

The website that identifies me as an English professor at Montclair State University, to which you link, is bogus. I've written to them and asked them to correct their site, and they ignored my request.

I hope that you will correct your page.

Thanks.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Danusha

Thanks for your correction.

I have substituted "English professor at Montclair State University" with "writer".

Congratulations on your excellent 1990s comment to Shroud.com.

Stephen E. Jones

Danusha said...

Thank you kindly for the correction.

And thank you for noticing my comments about the shroud.

Best of luck to you in your work.

Anonymous said...

Bible Code Verifies Shroud of Turin

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

6 Shroud of Turin verifications located near bottom of web page.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Bible Code Verifies Shroud of Turin
>
>http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm
>
>6 Shroud of Turin verifications located near bottom of web page.

Thanks. I am sceptical of Bible codes claims. They seem to me to be a form of post hoc fallacy where something is claimed to be true only *after* the event.

I would be more impressed if a particular Bible code string was:

1) complex enough to be unique, e.g. "Shroud of Turin";

2) predicted in advance, i.e. the phrase "Shroud of Turin" will appear X times in the Y Bible translation; and

3) the claim was *falsifiable*, i.e. if the predicted Bible code string was not found then that particular sub-theory of the Bible codes general theory would be falsified.

However, I admit that I have never studied the subject (nor is it high on my priority list to do so), and I do not rule Bible codes out apriori.

While I think them unlikely (because there is as far as I am aware no verse in the Bible which indicates that we should expect to find such code strings in the Bible), nevertheless I accept that if God wanted to insert codes strings in His Bible, as an additional witness to modern technological man, He could do so.

Whatever, as far as the Shroud of Turin is concerned, it does not *need* Bible codes as evidence that it is the very burial sheet of Jesus!

Stephen E. Jones

Jody said...

Hey all,

I do not profess any great knowledge on this topic but I do have some thoughts.

Have you all read any history from the medieval ages? The Christians bartered with the Muslims for what was thought to be the cross (as if they even had it) and it was agreed to be given to them as a part of a peace agreement.

This is just an example of the plethora extreme obsession, or dare I say worship, of holy relics.

Also, selling "religious artifacts" that were manufactured was huge business back then.

In just looking at the image of the shroud it doesn't look real. A body would not leave that well defined of an image on a piece of cloth. Think about it!

I know I sound pessimistic but we need to use our heads on this deal! I love the Lord and would love evidence but it needs to be legit.

Blessings to all!
-seminarian

Stephen E. Jones said...

Jody

Thanks for your comment.

>I do not profess any great knowledge on this topic ...

I suggest you obtain "knowledge on this topic" before you reject it out of hand.

As I recounted in my introductory post, I was once like you, having read nothing on the Shroud of Turin, but had just dismissed it out of hand as yet another Roman Catholic medieval fraud.

Then one day in 2005, I bought Stevenson & Habermas' "Verdict on the Shroud" (1981) at a secondhand bookshop. I only did that because Gary Habermas is a leading Protestant apologist whose opinion I greatly respected. I was blown away by the evidence they presented of the Shroud's authenticity!

A good modern book on the Shroud is John Iannone's "Mystery of the Shroud of Turin" (1998).

Stephen E. Jones

Danusha Goska said...

I'm attempting to reply to "Jody"'s post.

"Jody" wrote:

"I do not profess any great knowledge on this topic but I do have some thoughts."

I'm a teacher and "Jody"'s discussion style concerns me. It is typical of internet discussion.

First, we don't know who "Jody" is. "Jody" is, as are most internet posters, anonymous.

Can we trust words that have no verifiable source?

No, we can't. There are very good reasons to suspect anonymous comments. Commentators on how the internet is altering our cognitive and information processes have gone on at length on this point.

Second, "Jody" wrote:

"I do not profess any great knowledge on this topic but I do have some thoughts."

This is very, very typical of internet discussion. It could be paraphrased this way: "I don't know any of the facts of the matter, and I don't feel like informing myself of the facts, but the internet is a way to express yourself, so even though I am admittedly ignorant of key information, and even though I lack the commitment to inform myself of key information, I'm going to broadcast my opinion."

For reasons like this, thinkers have authored articles like "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in July/August, 2008.

This article explores how instant internet gratification has short circuited our ability to devote extended thought to any question.

Without devoted, lengthy thought, we can't get past soundbites.

I would like to invite "Jody" to post with a verifiable first and last name. There are good reasons for being willing to associate your name with what you say.

And I would like to invite "Jody" to educate him / her self about the shroud. There are numerous good books and websites that offer full texts of scholarly articles devoted to the shroud.

Then come back and tell us what you think. I look forward to reading that next post by "Jody."

Stephen E. Jones said...

Danusha

>"Jody" wrote: ... "I do not profess any great knowledge on this topic but I do have some thoughts."
>
>This is very, very typical of internet discussion. It could be paraphrased this way: "... even though I am admittedly ignorant of key information, and even though I lack the commitment to inform myself of key information, I'm going to broadcast my opinion."

Thanks for your comment. I agree with your concern that much Internet comment is a glorification of ignorance. It is as though ignorance of a topic is an Internet qualification for pontificating on that topic!

On re-reading Jody' comment, I am amazed at her unthinking arrogance revealed in the following:

"A body would not leave that well defined of an image on a piece of cloth. Think about it!"

Does Jody really believe that neither I, nor the many physicists, chemists, engineers, physicians, historians, artists, etc, etc, who have studied the Shroud over the past century plus and have concluded from the evidence that it is authentic, i.e. the very burial sheet of Jesus, have never even thought about something that Jody thought of just looking at an Internet image?

However, I gave Jody the benefit of the doubt, by: 1) recounting my own story that I once dismissed the Shroud as a medieval fake, despite never having read a book on it; and 2) suggesting to her a good popular book on the Shroud for her to read. Since Jody says she is a seminarian, it may be in her seminary's libary.

Jody, if you are reading this, how about reading that book on the Shroud I recommended and then, as Danusha says, commenting here on whether you still have the same opinion on the Shroud being not "real," i.e. a fake.

PS: Jody might be interested in your own account, Danusha, of why you concluded the Shroud is authentic: "The Shroud of Turin???"

Stephen E. Jones

Danusha Goska said...

Stephen, you wrote:

"Does Jody really believe that neither I, nor the many physicists, chemists, engineers, physicians, historians, artists, etc, etc, who have studied the Shroud over the past century plus and have concluded from the evidence that it is authentic, i.e. the very burial sheet of Jesus, have never even thought about something that Jody thought of just looking at an Internet image?"

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, a thousand times yes.

"I've just noticed this and I will not bother to discover if others have noticed it before me ..." is one of the Ten Commandments of internet debate (along with "remain anonymous -- take no personal responsibility for words you author.")

In my experience, internet atheists follow this commandment with absolute rigor.

"Hey! I've just noticed that the bible says that the world was created in six days! But -- we measure the length of a day using the sun, and the sun didn't exist, at first!"

Of course scholars and lay people have noticed that same aspect of the book of Genesis for thousands of years, and have commented on it. Augustine wrote about Genesis in the fifth century -- 1,600 or so years ago. But, in internet debate, atheists act as if they were the first person to "discover" this, and ignore thousands of years of previous discussion.

Stephen, you wrote:

"why you concluded the Shroud is authentic"

Stephen, i can't say that I conclude that the Shroud is authentic; I can say that I conclude that NO ONE afaik has adequately defined the Shroud.

The questions I ask in my brief essay are, afaik, not addressed by ANY self-identified skeptic or Shroud debunker. Not only do skeptics and debunkers not answer these key questions, they don't even ask them.

"Jody" alluded to the relics market. "Jody is apparently unaware that I mention that very same market in my brief essay.

Given that the relics market, everywhere and at all times, has been so very undemanding -- you can purchase amulets and relics and magical photos in any city in the world, from members of any faith, including the faith of Obama -- people have attempted to sell his hair and food he left over in diners -- and most of these relics are obviously transparent -- given that the relics market is so undemanding -- why would any forger go to such elaborate lengths as EVERYONE who has studied the Shroud -- skeptics and believers alike -- agrees would have been necessary to create the Shroud?

Just one example -- the image is only on the topmost portion of the threads. Why take such care? Why not just use a pigment, if pigment was used, that would saturate the threads?

The list goes on and on. If the Shroud is a forgery of some kind -- and any method to create it has never been described or duplicated -- then why take that care when the relics market is and always has been so undemanding?

But, this is a long post, and internet discussion is often predicated on short attention spans, and my guess is that "Jody" has moved on to other amusements.

If I'm wrong, "Jody," please do respond. I look forward to hearing from you.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Danusha

>Stephen, you wrote:
>
>"why you concluded the Shroud is authentic"
>
>Stephen, i can't say that I conclude that the Shroud is authentic ...

My apologies. I missed that subtle distinction.

But then Danusha, if even you can't say that the Shroud is authentic, then why should Jody bother responding to you?

Jody, you can respond to me. I for one don't sit on the fence. I do say that, on the basis of the evidence, both for any against, that the Shroud of Turin is authentic, i.e. it is the very burial sheet of Jesus and displays the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

The Shroud of Turin had the cut marks around his wrists, his ankles, and holes in both feet and hands. The half life was said to be a few hundred years younger than the actual date god had died. But the carbon dating was actually disturbed. They once had the shroud held in a church, and later on. The church had burned down, which inside fire is carbon oxygen. In which, the flames caused the half life to be off by 500 or more years. It is entirely possible that this REALLY could be Jesus himself.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

Thanks for your comment.

>The Shroud of Turin had the cut marks around his wrists, his ankles, and holes in both feet and hands.

Yes. As per my latest post (Dec 8, 2009) "The Shroud of Turin is the Burial Sheet of Jesus!," there are at least 15 points in which the Shroud matches the Bible's description of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection!

>The half life was said to be a few hundred years younger than the actual date god had died.

I am not sure what you mean by this. The half-life of carbon-14 is ~5730 years.

>But the carbon dating was actually disturbed. They once had the shroud held in a church, and later on. The church had burned down, which inside fire is carbon oxygen. In which, the flames caused the half life to be off by 500 or more years.

Again, the half-life of carbon-14 does not change. What can change, is the amount of carbon-14 in a sample that is carbon-14 dated, due to contamination of the original carbon with younger carbon, e.g. being held by people for hundreds of years (in fact nineteen hundred years if the Shroud is Jesus'); being in a very hot fire in an enclosed casket, etc.

But that is all irrelevant because it now is clear that the sample radiocarbon-dated in 1988 was a medieval patch and not part of the original Shroud. See "Science and the Shroud" section of my latest post.

>It is entirely possible that this REALLY could be Jesus himself.

It is not just "entirely possible." The evidence is overwhelming that the image on the Shroud of Turin IS that of Jesus Himself!

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jones, thank you for this article. I do believe with all my heart that the shroud of turin is as real as the nose on my face. The Bible is true and Jesus is real and very much alive today . Im amazed at how many times satan has tried to destroy this authentic shroud. Also amazed at how many times people have tried to prove its a fake. I pray for all people searching for truth to seek The Lord Christ first and receive the wisdom that He gives with love .

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Mr. Jones, thank you for this article.

I am not sure which article in the 2007 post above you mean, but thanks anyway.

>I do believe with all my heart that the shroud of turin is as real as the nose on my face.

Of course the Shroud of Turin is real. It's in St John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin Italy and has been since 1578. But I presume you are American and by "real" you mean "authentic" or "genuine".

>The Bible is true and Jesus is real and very much alive today .

Agreed.

>Im amazed at how many times satan has tried to destroy this authentic shroud.

Agreed. I believe that Satan was ultimately behind the fires of 1532 and 1997 and that Satan is also ultimately behind attempts to discredit the Shroud, including the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, which falsely claimed the Shroud was "medieval ... AD 1260-1390."

>Also amazed at how many times people have tried to prove its a fake.

I am not amazed by that. It is understandable that anti-Christians will try to prove the Shroud is a fake. But it is their `proofs' that are the fakes.

>I pray for all people searching for truth to seek The Lord Christ first and receive the wisdom that He gives with love .

Agreed.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones
---------------------------------
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