Friday, April 25, 2014

Of Pro-Authenticists and Anti-Authenticists: My response to Dan Porter

This is my response to Dan Porter's latest post about me. As before, Porter's and my quoted words are in bold.

[Above: Carl Sagan's reputed quote, "It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out"!]

Of Pro-Authenticists and Anti-Authenticists
April 24, 2014

Hi Stephen,

I do hope everyone will carefully read your latest blog posting (April 18th), My response to Dan Porter. Certainly, that is what you want. You posted it.
Of course I want people to read my posts, and again I thank Porter for the free publicity. But unlike Porter (who regularly boasts about how many readers his blog has), it is not the highest priority to me. To me my highest priority is bearing witness to the truth that, as my blog's masthead states:

"...the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ and bears His crucified and resurrected image."

If I wanted more readers I would go down the popular `gossip column' route that Porter has chosen and also allow unrestricted comments.

I just want to make a couple of points. You write:

My personal observation is that Porter has, over the years, drifted from a pro-authenticity to an anti-authenticity position, perhaps without realising it. On his blog Porter bent over backwards to be favourable towards anti-authenticists but was unfavourable towards unequivocal pro-authenticists like me.
I think of myself as open-minded. And I think the majority of people who participate on the Shroud Story blog are open-minded, as well. Porter confirms that he thinks that open-mindeness itself is a virtue. But as Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton pointed out, "the object of opening the mind ... is to shut it again on something solid":
"But I think he [H. G. Wells] thought that the object of opening the mind is simply opening the mind. Whereas I am incurably convinced that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." (Chesterton G.K., 1936, "The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton," The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, p.212).

And as the atheist Carl Sagan is reputedly to have quipped, "It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out."

And in fact having a permanently open mind, as Porter has on the Shroud's authenticity, is self-contradictory because it means he is close-minded towards the arguments of those, like me, who have, after considering the evidence, shut our minds on the "something solid" of the Shroud's authenticity.

Indeed, it means that Porter is against those, like me, who argue strongly for the Shroud's authenticity. The reason I left commenting on Porter's blog is that he allowed me to be continually defamed, without him lifting a finger to moderate the defamers. Either Porter enjoyed seeing me being defamed, or his `open-mindedness' created a blind spot preventing him even seeing that I was being defamed. Personally I believe that both are true.

Some of us, like me, think the shroud is authentic; others do not. That "like me, think the shroud is authentic" is not Porter's stated position:

"Is the Shroud real? Probably. The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus.

And as I pointed out, on the test of:

"Don't believe what people SAY, only believe what they DO"
Porter is effectively anti-authenticity.

We may even be biased. But most of us, I think, are open to solid evidence. Porter's own self-image may be that he THINKS he is "open to solid evidence" of the Shroud's authenticity. But the fact that he has been reading "solid evidence" of the Shroud's authenticity for many years yet still has not found any evidence that persuades him that the Shroud IS authentic, means that he must have a philosophical and/or psychological problem of committing himself to either a pro- or anti-authentic position on the Shroud.

[Above (click to enlarge): Porter's "About me" self-description on his "The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ," 13 June 2010]

This is borne out by Porter's own self-description on his "The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ"

I am a Christian. ... I am not a biblical literalist. Nor to I have any issues with science. For instance, I have no problems with evolution, none whatsoever ... I do find the notion of a fine-tuned universe fascinating and compelling, but I don't think of it as scientific evidence of a creator ... I don't have problems with those who propose multiple universes to explain the fine tuning paradox. Nothing in science troubles my faith, not evolution ... It is not that I reject or nuance science. I don't. I simply don't find any conflict with my faith. For me, the Shroud of Turin is irrelevant when it comes to my beliefs. It doesn't affect my faith. As much as possible I try not let my religious beliefs influence what I think or believe about the Shroud. I am uncomfortable with those who claim that the images were miraculously formed and then turn around and claim that this is somehow is evidence of a miracle; specifically, the Resurrection. My experience with those who are scientists and do primary research on the Shroud is that many of them feel the same way. I think that most scientists who study the Shroud think, as I do, that the images are probably some unexplained natural phenomenon." (my emphasis).

As can be seen above, Porter has "no problems with evolution, none whatsoever" (my emphasis). But the "Evolution" which rules the scientific world, is "the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from other forms of life, but God had no part in this process" ("Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design," Gallup, May 2012).

Moreover, Porter says "I don't have problems with those who propose multiple universes to explain the fine tuning paradox" but that is the atheistic alternative to there being a Creator.

Porter then admits he is "uncomfortable with those who claim that the images [on the Shroud] were miraculously formed". This contradicts his "open minded" claim. Porter, by his own admission, is against any pro-authenticity position which claims the image on the Shroud was supernaturally caused. This explains why Porter allowed me to be continually defamed on his blog without him moderating the defamers. My position is that the images on the Shroud were caused by Jesus' resurrection, but that made Porter so "uncomfortable" he was happy to see me be defamed so that I would leave commenting on his blog.

Porter continues: "...and then turn around and claim that this is somehow is evidence of a miracle; specifically, the Resurrection." So by his own admission, Porter is close-minded to any evidence of a miracle, up to and including "the the Resurrection" of Christ.

Because of the above and Porter's un-Christian attitude towards me while I was a commenter on his blog, I stated in a comment on my blog:

"... I don't regard Dan [Porter] as a fellow Christian, but one of the `many' whom Jesus warned THINK they are Christians but aren't because Jesus doesn't know them PERSONALLY:
Mt 7:22-23. "22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"

I hasten to add that it is OK to be a non-Christian in the Shroud discussion. Barry Schwortz and Thomas de Wesselow are two non-Christians who think the Shroud is authentic. But according to Jesus' words above (which Dan will probably dismiss as a mere "metaphor"). it is not OK to be a non-Christian and especially a non-Christian who THINKS he is a Christian, when he isn't.

Can you offer any specifics to show how I favor certain people because they think the shroud may not be real? By permitting them to continually defame me on Dan's blog, for starters. I have stated that I am not going to read comments on Dan's blog again, so I can't go in and copy those defamatory comments and paste them to my blog. But Dan, unless his blind spot is even greater than I realise, would KNOW what I say is true.

You call yourself an “unequivocal pro-authenticist.” That almost sounds like the chap who goes about saying, “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” Surely you don’t mean for us to think that. No. By "unequivocal pro-authenticist" I mean that I state without equivocation that I am persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud is authentic. It is interesting and significant, that Dan thinks that for me to have considered the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity with an open mind, and then to have been persuaded by that evidence that the Shroud is authentic, is the equivalent of, "My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts"! But that I am persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud is authentic, does not mean that I don't continually consider what evidence there is for the Shroud's non-authenticity.

“I have figured Porter out,” you write:
. . . He is not against the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval … AD 1260-1390" per se. He is against any closure of any issue, pro- or anti-authenticity. That way he can have endless debate, maximising the views and comments to his blog, which he regularly boasts about.
Good statistical results are good news for all of us who want to see open-minded discussion about the shroud. This month, alone, in just the first 20 days , 49,419 people viewed 98,798 pages. There have been over a thousand comments. Frequent new content and quality back and forth comments makes for readership. As I said, the Apostle Paul criticised those who endlessly debated without converging on the truth as:
"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2Tim 3:7 (KJV)

If Christianity is true and the Shroud is authentic, then endlessly debating about the Shroud is not a neutral activity. Jesus Himself stated the principle, that the more one has been given, the more will be required:

Lk 12:48. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more" (my emphasis).

According to that principle, Jesus warned the unrepentant cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida the inhabitants of whom witnessed first-hand His miracles, but didn't believe in Him, that the judgement on those Jewish cities would be greater than that of the wicked pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon:

Mt 11:20-22. 20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 `Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.'"

If Jesus caused His scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified and speared in the side image to be imprinted on His burial sheet and then has preserved it against all the odds down to this day, then it is highly likely (to put it mildly) that He expects those who become aware of His image on the Shroud, to repent and believe in Him and His death on the cross to pay for their sins. So those who become aware of the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, yet refuse to believe in Jesus and His death for them, will, like Chorazin and Bethsaida receive a more severe judgment than if they had never heard of the Shroud.

When I wrote, “Why absent fraud? Why not other possibilities?,” you responded:

Proving my point. Porter is not interested in converging on the truth, only in debating endless "possibilities".

But then you admitted that your hypothesis is “tentative.”

So, as Porter KNOWS, my claim has ALWAYS been TENTATIVE that . . . was the computer hacker, or one of the computer hackers, who according to my proposal duped the three radiocarbon dating laboratories at Arizona, Zurich and Oxford by modifying the program in each of the three AMS control console computers, so as to substitute the Shroud’s first or early century radiocarbon date, with bogus dates which, when calibrated, clustered around 1325, only ~25 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in the 1350s. And absent a "smoking gun," such as an admission or confession by someone in a position to know, my claims that: 1) there was a hacker (or hackers); and 2) that . . . was that hacker (or one of the hackers), might always have to remain tentative.

What is Porter's "But" for? There is no contradiction between my criticism of Porter for him not being interested in converging on the truth, and my wanting to converge on the truth that there was a hacker (or hackers) and that the hacker (or one of the hackers) was Timothy W. Linick, but being at present, and perhaps forever, being unable to do so because of the lack of conclusive evidence.

In the spirit of debating endless possibilities, I must ask (somewhat tongue in cheek, I must admit and apologize for): Did hackers also change the results of the Tuscon, Toronto and recent Madrid carbon dating of the Sudarium? I will ignore Dan's red herring about the Sudarium, as an example of him not wanting to converge on the truth but only in "debating endless possibilities" which he admits.

I have already stated that the hacker (or hacker) would have had to hack into the three laboratories' (Arizona, Zurich and Oxford) AMS control console computers either online or manually. It will be part of my argument that Timothy W. Linick was the hacker (assisted probably, but not necessarily by Karl Koch) because he obviously would have no problem altering Arizona's AMS control console computer program to replace the Shroud's raw radiocarbon dates with dates which when calibrated would yield the `too good to be true' date of "1350 AD ... the time its historic record began":

"The first sample run was OX1. Then followed one of the controls. Each run consisted of a 10 second measurement of the carbon-13 current and a 50 second measurement of the carbon-14 counts. This is repeated nine more times and an average carbon-14/carbon-13 ratio calculated. ALL THIS WAS UNDER COMPUTER CONTROL and the CALCULATIONS PRODUCED BY THE COMPUTER WERE DISPLAYED ON A CATHODE RAY SCREEN. The age of the control sample could have been calculated on a small pocket calculator but was not-everyone was waiting for the next sample-the Shroud of Turin! At 9:50 am 6 May 1988, Arizona time, the first of the ten measurements appeared on the screen. We all waited breathlessly. The ratio was compared with the OX sample and the radiocarbon time scale calibration was applied by Doug Donahue. ... At the end of that one minute we knew the age of the Turin Shroud! ... Based on these 10 one minute runs, with the calibration correction applied, THE YEAR THE FLAX HAD BEEN HARVESTED THAT FORMED ITS LINEN THREADS WAS 1350 AD-the shroud was only 640 years old! It was certainly not Christ's burial cloth but DATED FROM THE TIME ITS HISTORIC RECORD BEGAN. " (Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," p.264. My emphasis).

I have since found documentary evidence of how Zurich and Oxford's AMS control console computers could have been accessed remotely by Linick (with the help of Koch who confessed he had hacked for the KGB) and their programs changed, yet them never having been connected to Arpanet or the Internet. And that would explain why Koch and Linick unexpectedly `committed suicide' within days of each other.

Stephen, I am not a pro-authenticists or an anti-authenticists; never have been and I hope I never will be. Thanks to Dan for proving my point!

I was once skeptical of the shroud and changed my mind based on evidence. HOW has Dan changed his mind? By his own admission, he is "not a pro-authenticist". He might as well be an anti-authenticist. And as I pointed out, since he is against unequivocal pro-authenticists like me, Dan is effectively an anti-authenticist.

I may change my mind again but that seems unlikely. We agree on that at least!

No one benefits more than me from this blog. That is why I do it. Again proving my point. Dan enjoys debating diverging endless possibilities, and not converging on the truth. That is why he is against those like me who see debate only as a means of converging on the truth and don't allow in my blog's comments the "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" that pagans (1st and 21st century) so enjoy, but for which they will be judged by the One whose image is on the Shroud when He returns in the near future.

I mean think about it, why would I go to all this trouble if not to learn and give back in the process. What actually has Dan learned about the Shroud that matters? After years of "ever learning" Dan still has not been "able to come to the knowledge of the truth" about the Shroud, because his stated position still is:

"Is the Shroud real? Probably. The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus.

To Dan his blog is a secular hobby, but to me my blog is a Christian ministry!

6 comments:

The Deuce said...

Does Dan's Christianity include belief in the Resurrection as an actual historical event, or is that part of what he doesn't take literally?

Does the witness of the apostles to the Resurrection make him uncomfortable as evidence of the Resurrection? If not, why would the idea of the Shroud as evidence of the Resurrection make him uncomfortable? And if so, how can discomfort with the idea of evidence for the Resurrection in general indicate anything other than discomfort with the idea of the Resurrection itself?

And if someone believes that the Resurrection really happened, and if they also believe that the Shroud really was Jesus' burial cloth, then wouldn't the most likely explanation for the unexplained and seemingly miraculous features of the Shroud be that they are in some way a product of the Resurrection miracle? Surely it would have to be strongly in the running at the very least!

The only explanation I can see for that attitude is a reflexive commitment to naturalism, which can't be squared with any Christianity that is more than nominal.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>Does Dan's Christianity include belief in the Resurrection as an actual historical event, or is that part of what he doesn't take literally?

I suspect the latter. He once said that he assumed the angel rolling away the stone from the tomb was a "metaphor". He also had said previously that other supernatural events in Scripture, like Jesus' warning of judgment in the Parable of the Weeds (Mt 13:30-42) was just a "metaphor for tolerance."

Porter admission above that he is: "unomfortable with those who claim that the images were miraculously formed and then turn around and claim that this is somehow is evidence of a miracle; specifically, the Resurrection" suggests that he is "uncomfortable" with the "Resurrection" itself.

>Does the witness of the apostles to the Resurrection make him uncomfortable as evidence of the Resurrection?

Presumably.

>If not, why would the idea of the Shroud as evidence of the Resurrection make him uncomfortable?

Exactly!

>And if so, how can discomfort with the idea of evidence for the Resurrection in general indicate anything other than discomfort with the idea of the Resurrection itself?

Agreed. See above. Porter's slide from authenticity to non-authenticity to eventual anti-authenticity is presumably being paralleled in his Christianity.

>And if someone believes that the Resurrection really happened, and if they also believe that the Shroud really was Jesus' burial cloth, then wouldn't the most likely explanation for the unexplained and seemingly miraculous features of the Shroud be that they are in some way a product of the Resurrection miracle? Surely it would have to be strongly in the running at the very least!

Agreed. Jesus is only Person in history of whom there is overwhelming evidence that He was physically resurrected from the dead. And His claimed burial shroud uniquely has the image of His dead body on it. Yet the latter was not caused by the former??? It doesn't compute!

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

>The only explanation I can see for that attitude is a reflexive commitment to naturalism, which can't be squared with any Christianity that is more than nominal.

Agreed. Porter's "My experience with those who are scientists and do primary research on the Shroud is that many of them feel the same way" is evidence of that.

Modern science is dominated by the philosophy of Naturalism (nature is all there is-there is no supernatural). Most scientists by their prior inclination and reinforced by their training and career prospects in science are naturalistic in their thinking.

From my over a decade 1994-2005 debating creation/evolution I discovered that even Christian scientists are infected by naturalistic thinking, and they typically survive in both spheres by separating their Christianity and Science into two separate compartments. Christians on Sundays and in their private life and Naturalists at work.

Jesus warned of the problems of trying to serve two masters in Mt 6:24 & Lk 16:13 and Paul warned Christians of the danger of them being taken "captive by philosophy ... not according to Christ" (Col 2:8).

Scientists who are Christians are probably not even aware that they have a problem. The inbuilt arrogance that science breeds in our science-based culture and that scientists have a higher intelligence than the average churchgoer and minister makes it harder for them to realise that they do have a problem of naturalistic thinking when it comes to Christian things.

I speak from personal experience as a Christian who has always been interested in science from my childhood, who fulfilled his lifelong dream of earning a BSc at age 63, and who, but for the poverty and dysfunction of my single parent background, would probably have become a working scientist.

I was an outspoken atheist before I became a Christian in my late teens and I have always had to struggle against naturalistic thinking in my own Christian life.

So Christian scientists' attempts to find naturalistic explanation for the Shroud's image should be seen in that context.

Especially Christian scientist who are actually against the Shroud's image having been formed supernaturally. If they are hostile to a supernatural explanation of the Shroud image, and heeding Jesus' warning in Mt 7:22-23 that there will be "many" on the Day of Judgment who will discover too late that they thought they were Christians but never were, it is not unreasonable to assume that they are, tragically, in that category.

The bottom line is that it can't be ruled out that the Shroud's image is the result of naturalistic processes that uniquely came together in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (as Vignon thought). But no naturalistic explanation has yet satisfactorily explained the major features of the Shroud's image.

Stephen E. Jones
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The Deuce said...

He also had said previously that other supernatural events in Scripture, like Jesus' warning of judgment in the Parable of the Weeds (Mt 13:30-42) was just a "metaphor for tolerance."

Oh brother. So he's basically a typical loopy post-modernist projecting our shallow modern political obsessions onto 2,000-year-old Christian doctrine. It's weird that he'd attack the Vignon markings, or your hacker theory, or anybody's position on anything when his concept of objective truth is that tenuous. But, of course, it's impossible to function as a subjective relativist about *all* truth, and PoMos inevitably apply their subjectivist "interpretation" only to those facts they don't want to believe.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>>He also had said previously that other supernatural events in Scripture, like Jesus' warning of judgment in the Parable of the Weeds (Mt 13:30-42) was just a "metaphor for tolerance."

>Oh brother. So he's basically a typical loopy post-modernist projecting our shallow modern political obsessions onto 2,000-year-old Christian doctrine.

I wouldn't have put it that way, but yes.

Porter is just another theological liberal, who as George Tyrrell (himself a Modernist) observed of the German liberal historian Adolf von Harnack, that his view of Christ was just the dim reflection of his own 19th century face:

"The Christ that Harnack sees, looking back through nineteen centuries of `Catholic darkness', is only the reflection of a Liberal Protestant face, seen at the bottom of a deep well."

Or as As Archbishop William Temple (1881–1944) observed of Liberal Protestantism's `Jesus', whose preaching boiled down to "the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man," why would anyone have bothered to crucify such an inoffensive `Christ'":

"The [search for the historical Jesus] process reached its climax in the so-called 'Liberal Jesus', a somewhat inoffensive teacher proclaiming 'the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man'. It was, of course, possible that their nineteenth-century background might have enabled these scholars to see Jesus more clearly than their predecessors and to remove layers of misinterpretation that had accumulated during preceding centuries. But the test of whether a historian's presuppositions help him to a better picture of a historical figure is simply whether they explain the evidence more adequately. It could certainly be argued that the pre-critical picture of Jesus produced a docetic figure who had little real connection with his Palestinian environment, a divine messenger who appeared as an alien in this world. But the Liberal picture fared no better, though for different reasons. The most damning criticism came from the pen of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, who said quite simply, 'Why anyone should have troubled to crucify the Christ of Liberal Protestantism has always been a mystery'. [Temple, W., 1945, "Readings in St John's Gospel," p.xxiv] The Jesus of Liberal Protestantism simply fails to explain the evidence of the Gospels; he could never have been the founder of a new religion." (Marshall, I.H., 1977, "I Believe in the Historical Jesus," p.113).

>It's weird that he'd attack the Vignon markings, or your hacker theory, or anybody's position on anything when his concept of objective truth is that tenuous.

That is Porter's very problem. His tenuous concept of objective truth means that he is opposed to anyone, like me, who seeks and then espouses objective truth, i.e., what is true whether it is believed or not.

>But, of course, it's impossible to function as a subjective relativist about *all* truth, and PoMos inevitably apply their subjectivist "interpretation" only to those facts they don't want to believe.

Agreed. One thing a subjective relativist must insist upon is the objective absoluteness of subjective relativism!

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

I am wondering what would happen if my hacking proposal was confirmed as true, e.g. by a `smoking gun' item of evidence or an admission or confession by someone in a position to know. No doubt Porter would then claim that he never was actually against my proposal (although see below).

That would be true, because Porter is not actually against anything. Not against "evolution". Even though the scientific meaning of evolution is that "God played NO PART in this process." Not against "multiple universes". Even though the theory of multiple universes is the atheist attempt to explain away the fantastic level of fine-tuning of our only known universe to permit life and in particular humans life to exist:

"The concept of other universes has been proposed to explain how our Universe appears to be fine-tuned for conscious life as we experience it. If there were a large (possibly infinite) number of universes, each with possibly different physical laws (or different fundamental physical constants), some of these universes, even if very few, would have the combination of laws and fundamental parameters that are suitable for the development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, stars, and planets that can exist long enough for life to emerge and evolve. ... Thus, while the probability might be extremely small that any particular universe would have the requisite conditions for life (as we understand life) to emerge and evolve, this does not require intelligent design per the teleological argument as the only explanation for the conditions in the Universe that promote our existence in it." ("Multiverse: Anthropic principle," Wikipedia, 29 April 2014).

Porter is only against those, like me, who seek to close off endless "possibilities" by discovering the truth of what actually happened.

A case in point. Porter promoted to a post on his blog and then ridculed, a comment of mine, reversing an anti-suthenticist Tom Chivers' claim by: "The Turin Shroud is authentic. Get over it!"

By the way, in that post I had forgotten that the `open-minded' Porter dismissed, without even waiting to see my full statement of evidence, my `ridiculous computer hacker hypothesis'! So I will remind Porter of that if my computer hacker proposal is confirmed as true.

Also, Porter claims to be "in awe of science" but in fact, just about every major scientific advance was thought to be "ridiculous" when it was first proposed. Scientists actually grudgingly admire those who propose a bold hypothesis which accounts for a large set of facts in surprising and unexpected ways, even if they turn out to be wrong.

What scientists despise are the cowards who sit on the fence and so "are not even wrong":

"Not even wrong ... The phrase not even wrong describes any argument that purports to be scientific but ... CANNOT BE FALSIFIED by experiment (i.e. tested with the possibility of being rejected), or CANNOT BE USED TO MAKE PREDICTIONS about the natural world. The phrase is generally attributed to theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking ... `a friend showed Pauli the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli"s views. Pauli remarked sadly, "It is not even wrong".' ... Physicist Arthur Schuster in 1911 said `We all prefer being right to being wrong, but IT IS BETTER TO BE WRONG THAN TO BE NEITHER RIGHT NOR WRONG'. " ("Not even wrong," Wikipedia, 5 April 2014. My capitalisation).

Stephen E. Jones