Thursday, August 27, 2015

"H": Turin Shroud Dictionary

Turin Shroud Dictionary
© Stephen E. Jones


This is the fifth and final installment of page "H" of my Turin Shroud Dictionary. If I add to it in future I will split this page into "Ha-Hm" and "Hm-Gz," etc. For more information about this dictionary see the "Main index A-Z" and page "A."

[Index] [Previous: "Gr-Gz"] [Next: "I"]

[Habermas, G.] [hacker] [Hall, E.] [Haralick, R.] [Hedges, R.] [Heller, J.] [Hebron] [history] [hoax?] [hologram] [Homs vase] [hot statue]

[Above (enlarge): Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory staff and Rochester laboratory's Prof. Harry Gove (second from right) around the AMS control console computer terminal[2], after, or before it had, on 6 May 1988 displayed the alleged hacker's bogus radiocarbon age of the Shroud, "640 years"[3], which was then calibrated to the `too good to be true' date "1350 AD"[4]. The alleged hacker, Timothy W. Linick, is in the black shirt[5]. See future entry "hacker"]

Habermas, Gary R. (1950-). Gary Habermas is a Professor of Christian Apologetics (defence of Christianity). Habermas has coauthored books on the Shroud: "Verdict on the Shroud" (1981) and "The Shroud and the Controversy" (1990), with STURP's Ken Stevenson. Habermas [Right: Ratio Christi] included a section on the Shroud in his book, "Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus" (1984); and also in Habermas, G.R. & Miethe T.L., ed., "Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?" (1987), as well as in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology" (1990). Search "Shroud" on Habermas' website,, for his many articles on the Shroud. Also Google "Habermas Shroud" (without the quote marks) to find his Shroud articles and videos, including a brief online video, "Could the Shroud of Turin really be the actual burial garment of Jesus?" I already had a number of Habermas' works on Christian apologetics, and I knew him to be a sound, evidence-based, evangelical Christian philosopher, when in 2005 I found his book, "Verdict on the Shroud" in a secondhand bookstall. Which is why I set aside my Protestant prejudice that the Shroud was just another fake Roman Catholic relic, and bought and read it. And having read it, I accepted then provisionally, and later fully, that the Shroud is indeed the very burial sheet of Jesus, bearing His crucified and resurrected image! See my first introductory post to this blog.

hacker. In 1988 three radiocarbon dating laboratories, Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, all using the same AMS method, dated a postage stamp sized sample of the ~4.85 m2 Shroud a combined calibrated average of "AD 1260-1390". But: 1) the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic; 2) the probability that the Shroud being 1st century yet has a 1260-1390 radiocarbon date, is "astronomical," "one in a thousand trillion;" "totally impossible'" and "a miracle"; 3) The midpoint of 1260-1390 is 1325 +/- 65, which 'just happens' to be about 30 years before the the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in Lirey, France, in c. 1355. Therefore some form of fraud is the only viable explanation. However, conventional fraud such as the laboratories switching the Shroud sample for a 13th-14th century control sample are highly implausible. Not only were the laboratory leaders honest, they already believed the Shroud to be medieval, and the Shroud's distinctive weave meant that any substitution would be readily detected. But there is a type of fraud that was rife in the 1980s, particularly in then poorly secured universities, in which the three

[Left: The alleged hacker, Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick, who was found dead of suspected suicide on 4 June 1989, a day after German hacker Karl Koch's burnt body was publicly identified as his by German police on 3 June 1989!]

radiocarbon dating laboratories were: computers hacking. The AMS radiocarbon dating process at the three laboratories was fully under computer control. Also there was a agreed common system of identifying Shroud and control samples across the three laboratories. Moreover it was announced well beforehand that only three AMS laboratories: Arizona, Zurich and Oxford would date the Shroud. So a hacker (allegedly Arizona laboratory physicist and AMS computer expert, Timothy W. Linick), could have installed a program on each of the three laboratories which checked if a sample was from the Shroud and if so, substituted its date with a computer-generated date, which when combined and averaged across the three laboratories, would yield a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390, i.e. 1325 +/- 65. Evidence that the Shroud samples' dates were computer-generated is contained in Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper where it is admitted that:

"the agreement among the three laboratories for samples 2, 3 and 4 [non-Shroud control samples] is exceptionally good. The spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the Shroud] is somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted." (my emphasis)
That is, the three laboratories closely agreed with each other on the dates of the control samples, but disagreed significantly on the dates of the Shroud samples. But this is impossible if the Shroud samples were real, because at each laboratory Shroud and control samples were on the one ~26 cm (~1 inch) carousel wheel and irradiated together by the one caesium beam. If there were problems with the dating at a laboratory, its Shroud and control samples would wrongly agree together. That the control samples across the three laboratories agreed closely showed that there were no problems with the dating itself at each laboratory. So the unexpectedly wide spread of the Shroud samples' measurements between the three laboratories can only be explained by the Shroud samples' dates not being real but computer-generated, by a hacker's (allegedly Linick's) program. See future entries "Koch," "Linick" and "radiocarbon dating." See also my three series starting on 23Jul15; 02Dec14 and 24May14.

Hall, Edward T. Edward (Teddy) Hall (1924–2001) was the founding Director of the Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory, having established it in 1955 with his own considerable inherited private wealth. In 1953 Hall confirmed by X-ray fluorescence that Piltdown Man's skull and jaw had different ages and therefore was a scientific fraud. In 1988 Hall's Oxford AMS radiocarbon dating laboratory, together with its counterparts at Arizona and Zurich, radiocarbon dated the Shroud. Hall, together with Dr Michael Tite of the British Museum and Oxford laboratory's Dr Robert Hedges, on 13 October 1988, in front of a blackboard on which was written, "1260-1390!" announced at a press conference in the British Museum that the three laboratories' combined average date of the Shroud was 1260-1390. [Right] Hall (falsely) told reporters present that:
"There was a multimillion pound business in making forgeries during the fourteenth century. Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it."
On 16 February 1989, the science journal Nature carried a paper, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," of which Hall was a signatory. Hall later admitted that as an agnostic, he was relieved that the Shroud dated medieval, as "I don't want ... to have to change my ideas," i.e. become a Christian:
"Professor Hall, who heads the Oxford research laboratory in archaeology and the history of art, said he was not disappointed in the result. 'I have to admit I am an agnostic and I don't want at my time of life to have to change my ideas.'".
Doubtless this was true of almost all those who did the radiocarbon dating, so they would be easily duped by a computer hacker (allegedly Timothy W. Linick) in their midst, who `confirmed' what they, as agnostics/atheists, wanted to believe. In not wanting "to have to change" their "agnostic ... ideas," they forgot Feynman's "first principle" of good science, "you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool," and so fell victim to "cargo cult science":
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists"[6]
Haralick, Robert M. (1943-) is Professor in Computer Science at the City University of New York (CUNY) and one of the leading figures in computer vision, pattern recognition, and image analysis. In 1977 Jackson, et al. reported that they had discovered using a VP-8 Image Analyzer, in three-dimensional relief, images of two button-like objects, one over each eye of the man on the Shroud. Presumably they were coins placed over the eyes of the dead man to ensure they remained closed, a practice common to many ancient peoples, including Jews, as coins found in first century Jewish skulls attest. They were the same size and shape as a Jewish lepton coin (the "widow's mite" - Mk 12:41-44, Lk 21:1-4 KJV), which were only struck during the reign of Roman Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate (r. AD 26–36), who had sentenced Jesus to death (Mt 27:24-26; Mk 15:15; Lk 23:23-25; Jn 19:14-16) in AD 30. Jackson, et al. realised that if the coins were Pontius Pilate leptons, they would be a unique way of dating the Shroud to the time of Jesus. In 1979 Fr. Francis L. Filas (1915-85) [see "Filas, Francis L."], had identified on an enlargement of a high quality copy of one of Giuseppe Enrie's 1931 photographs of the Shroud face, the tiny letters "UCAI" on the `button' or disc over the right eye. Filas theorised that the letters were a variant misspelling of the inscription, "TIBERIOUKAICAROC" ("of Tiberius Caesar") on a Pontius Pilate lepton. Soon after Pontius Pilate leptons with the "UKAI" misspelling were found. Filas also identified on the image of the right eye's disc a prominent central lituus, or astrologer's staff, which was only ever on coins struck during the reign of Pontius Pilate. Since the letters were in the correct angular rotation, proportion and position relative to the lituus, and the improbability was then about 1 in 6.2 x 1042 that they were just random quirks of the weave, Filas therefore claimed that the image over the right eye was a Pontius Pilate lepton. And that was proof beyond reasonable doubt, that they Shroud was the very burial sheet of Jesus! Moreover, while Filas was unable to identify letters on the disc over the left eye, he was able to identify on it a a simpulum (ladle) and a sheaf of barley ears, which was uniquely the design of the Julia lepton, struck only in AD 29 in honour of Tiberius' mother who died that year. In 1983 Filas commissioned Haralick, then Director of the Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, to do a computer image analysis of Filas' Enrie photographs. Filas also gave Haralick a Pontius Pilate lepton [Left [7]] and a 1978 STURP colour photograph of the Shroud. After about 6 months of carrying out a variety of digital enhancements to the photographs, in 1983 Haralick published his findings in a 66-page report, "Analysis of Digital images of the Shroud of Turin." This included (my emphasis):
A number of digital enhancements were performed on imagery digitized from the 1931 Enrie photographs of the Shroud and a 1978 S.T.U.R.P. photograph taken by Vernon Miller. The enhancements provide supporting evidence that the right eye area of the Shroud image contains remnants of patterns similar to those of a known Pontius Pilate coin dating from 29 A.D.

... Thus, in the enlargement of the right eye image we find supporting evidence for a bright oval area: a shepherd's staff pattern as the main feature in the bright area; and bright segment patterns just to the side and top of the staff pattern, which in varying degrees match to the letters OUCAIC.

... This evidence cannot be said to be conclusive evidence that an image of the Pontius Pilate coin appears in the right eye of the Enrie Shroud Image ... however, the evidence is definitely supporting evidence because there is some degree of match between what one would expect to find if the Shroud did indeed contain a faint image of the Pilate coin and what we can in fact observe in the original and in the digitally produced images.
Haralick thus gave independent, expert support to Filas' identification of the image of the disc over the right eye of the man on the Shroud as a Pontius Pilate lepton, minted in AD 29!

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.176H. [return]
3. Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
4. Ibid. [return]
5. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E. , 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
6. Feynman, R.P., 1985, "Cargo Cult Science," in "`Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!': Adventures of a Curious Character," Unwin Paperbacks: London, Reprinted, 1990, p.343. [return]
7. Iannone, J.C., 2015, "Summary of Scientific and Historical Evidence on the Authenticity of the Holy Shroud," NorthStar Production Studios: Nashville, TN. [return]

Posted: 27 August 2015. Updated: 31 August 2015.

No comments: