© Stephen E. Jones
This is part #2 of the January 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. See part #1, Editorial and Contents, on this new multi-part format and for other items as they are posted in this issue.
"'Shroud Encounter' coming to Bradenton big screen Jan. 14," Bradenton Herald, January 5, 2016. ... BRADENTON -- The "Shroud Encounter " ... a production of the Shroud of Turin Education Project Inc. , will be presented by
international expert Russ Breault ... Yet another example of Breault's tireless work in promoting the Shroud. The Shroud of Turin is the most analyzed artifact in the world yet remains a mystery. This alone proves that the Shroud is authentic, because if it were a medieval forgery, modern science would have long ago discovered it by working out how it was done. It is a corollary of the Argument from Ignorance, that "if a certain event had occurred [the Shroud was forged in the Middle Ages], evidence for it would have been discovered by qualified investigators," in which case "the absence of proof of its occurrence ... [is] positive proof of its nonoccurrence" [the Shroud was not forged in the Middle Ages]:
"Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (argument from ignorance) ... A qualification should be made at this point. In some circumstances it can safely be assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence for it would have been discovered by qualified investigators. In such a case it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its nonoccurrence."The 14-foot-long linen cloth has been in Turin, Italy, for more than 400 years and bears the faint front and back image of a 5-foot-10 bearded, crucified man with apparent wounds and bloodstains that match the crucifixion account recorded in the Bible. While the Man on the Shroud's wounds and bloodstains are consistent with the Gospels, there is not enough information in them to tell a medieval artist how to forge those wounds and bloodstains. For example, Roman crucifixion had been abolished by the Emperor Constantine in 337 so the hypothetical, unknown, medieval forger of the Shroud "would ... have been the only human being between the time of the emperor Constantine and our own to have been completely conversant with the details of Roman crucifixion":
"A medieval forger would also need to have been the only human being between the time of the emperor Constantine and our own to have been completely conversant with the details of Roman crucifixion."Millions of people over the centuries have believed it be the actual burial shroud of Jesus. With good reason: the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic! The historical trail tracks back through Italy, France, Asia Minor (Turkey) and it may have originated in the Middle East, according to botanical evidence. And also human DNA evidence. See my posts of 18Oct15, 25Oct15, 10Nov15, 24Nov15, 30Nov15 & 04Dec15. A team of 24 scientists in 1981 concluded it was not the work of an artist. That was the 1981 Final Report of STURP. They found no visible trace of paint, pigment, dye or other artistic substances on the cloth. That is, STURP found no "paint, pigment, dye or other artistic substances on the cloth" which comprises the Man's image. STURP did find random flecks of paint on the Shroud, from artists pressing their copies against it to `sanctify' them, and also from frescoes in the Savoy royal palaces the Shroud has been in since 1453 (see 05Jan16). The blood is type AB with human DNA as determined in 1995. The major point here is not that the Man on the Shroud's blood is type AB, which may or may not have been more prevalent in Jews of the 1st century (see "Blood type distribution by country)." It is that the Shroud's bloodstains are blood, which leading Shroud sceptic Walter McCrone (1916-2002) for one refused to accept. Because that (for starters) invalidates a key plank of Shroud sceptic propaganda, the 1389 memorandum of Bishop Pierre d'Arcis (†1377–1395), which claimed that the Shroud had been "cunningly painted" in c. 1355 and that "the artist who had painted it" had confessed. But since the Shroud is not painted, then at best Bishop d'Arcis was mistaken and at worst, he was lying. Skeptics have mounted numerous attempts to show how a medieval artist could have produced the image but all have been inadequate to fully explain how it was formed. Shroud sceptics themselves tacitly admit that, in that they are a rabble of mutually contradictory alternatives, which was Wilson's key point in 1998, and is even more 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.".If the cloth indeed wrapped a corpse, there are no stains of body decomposition. Which is consistent with the body having separated from the Shroud within 3 days, as Jesus' resurrected body did, within 36 hours. The Shroud was largely dismissed in 1988 when three carbon dating labs indicated a medieval origin. The three laboratories, Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, all used the same AMS method of radiocarbon dating, and they each dated one-third of the same sample which had been cut from the Shroud. So one would expect the dates across the three laboratories to closely agree with each other. And they did: for the non-Shroud control samples! The Shroud samples differed markedly across the three laboratories. This was admitted under Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper:
"An initial inspection of Table 2 shows 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"See my post, "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #4" for why this is further evidence that the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud was computer-generated by a hacker's (allegedly Timothy W. Linick's) program. Chemical research published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2005 showed the single sample cut from the outside corner edge may not have been part of the original Shroud material. This is the paper by STURP chemist Ray Rogers (1927–2005). While Rogers provides evidence from the lack of vanillin in the Shroud sample that the Shroud is much older than 1260-1390, his claim in the Abstract that, "... the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin," does not follow from the article itself and moreover is self-evidently false (see photomicrograph below of part of Arizona's sample). In violation of the sampling protocol, only one sample was used for dating and was cut from the most handled area of the cloth, an area that should have been avoided. This is often claimed, but it is not true. At the 1986 Turin workshop pro-authenticist archaeologist William Meacham argued for samples to be taken from different parts of the Shroud but regrettably this was not accepted and so it was not included in the protocol. The sample may have been part of a section that was repaired sometime during the Middle Ages. While there may have been some repairs with dyed cotton, this was only about one percent of the sample, yet it would require about sixty percent of the sample to have been 16th century to shift the radiocarbon date of the authentic 1st century Shroud, 12-13 centuries into the future. This was clearly not the case because Arizona laboratory still has an undated part of its Shroud sample as it came from Turin, and it has "no evidence for either coatings or dyes, and only minor contaminants". See photomicrograph [Left (enlarge) and 16Jul15] taken by pro-authenticist Barrie Schwortz in 2012, of Arizona laboratory's remaining undated part of its Shroud sample. The true explanation of the 1st century Shroud's false "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" is that it was the result of a computer hacking (see my "Conventional explanations of the discrepancy all fail"). Many scientists now believe the carbon dating result is inconclusive. Agreed, but even most Shroud pro-authenticists fail to grasp that: 1) since the Shroud is authentic; 2) the improbability that the first-century Shroud could by chance have a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 (i.e. 1325 ±65) is "astronomical," "about one in a thousand trillion," "totally impossible," and indeed "a miracle," 3) so there had to have been some form of fraud in the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud; and 4) one form of fraud that had not been previously considered but was rife in the 1980s, is computer hacking, which the fully computerised AMS radiocarbon dating system was vulnerable to (see my series, "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking"). Adding more doubt to the carbon dating tests, new chemical and mechanical tests published in 2013 by Italian scientists with Padua University indicate a date range of 280 BC to 220 AD. Indeed! See my post, "New tests by Prof. Giulio Fanti show the Shroud of Turin could date from the time of Christ." National Geographic called it: "One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times." That was in June 1980:
"THEY CALL IT the Shroud of Turin. You may never have heard of it; few had, until recent years, outside of Italy. Yet this treasured strip of linen cloth-an object of veneration by millions-is one of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times."which was ~35 years ago, so considering all the advances in science that could have disproved the Shroud since then, it is even more true today! Shroud Encounter will cover all aspects of the history, science, art and theories of how the image may have been formed.I envy those who can easily get to these Shroud events. But because I live in a suburb of Perth, Western Australia (one of the most isolated cities in the world), I have never met another Shroudie, let alone been to a Shroud conference, nor seen the Shroud, and now because of my wife's MS, I expect I never will.
To be continued in part #3 of this January 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News.
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 it. [return]
2. Copi, I.M., 1953, "Introduction to Logic," Macmillan: New York NY, Seventh Edition, 1986, pp.94-95. [return]
3. Cahill, T., 1999, "Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World before and after Jesus," Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: New York NY, p.292. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.235. [return]
5. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, 613. [return]
6. Rogers, R.N., 2005, "Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the Shroud of Turin," Thermochimica Acta, 425, pp.189–194. [return]
7. Meacham, W., 2005, "The Rape of the Turin Shroud: How Christianity's Most Precious Relic was Wrongly Condemned and Violated," Lulu Press: Morrisville NC, pp.75,86; Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, pp.153, 155, 170. [return]
8. Freer-Waters, R.A. & Jull, A.J.T., 2010, "Investigating a Dated [sic] Piece of the Shroud of Turin," Radiocarbon, Vol 52, No 4. [return]
9. Schwortz, B.M., 2012, "New Photographs of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Samples," Shroud.com, November 21. [return]
10. Weaver, K.F., 1980, "Science Seeks to Solve...The Mystery of the Shroud," National Geographic, Vol. 157, June, pp.730-753, 730. [return]
Posted: 14 February 2016. Updated: 2 April 2016.