Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Obituary (2): Dr. Alan Duane Whanger (17 July 1930 - 21 October 2017)

© Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is part #2 of my obituary of Dr. Alan D. Whanger. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated. As stated in part #1, because this obituary was going to be too long, I split it into two (or more) parts. Also I had added links below to the major headings which will continue in this part #2. See next part #3.

[Points of Congruence] [Instruments and Objects of the Crucifixion]

[Above (enlarge): "Justinian II. first reign, 685-695 AD. AV solidus ..."[2].]

Points of Congruence (PC) [top] Whanger continued with his explanation in part #1:

"To tabulate and describe these similarities, we made use of a system of points of congruence, by which we mean the identity or marked similarity of points between the two images. These were then diagrammed on transparent plastic sheets covering large photographs so that the findings could be tabulated and demonstrated. We were not able to find any statistical method for validating our observations, so we used the forensic criteria for validating images, although this would probably not accurately apply to the type of image comparison we were using. In a court of law, 14 points of congruence between two fingerprints is sufficient to establish same source. For more complicated features, notably the human face, 45 to 60 points of congruence is sufficient to determine the same face or same origin. Therefore, we had a yardstick of sorts to try to understand the significance of our findings"[3].
However, I regret to say that, as congenial as this is to Shroud pro-authenticists (including me who had cited it in the past), Whanger's PC argument has several major flaws (some of which he tacitly admitted above), that invalidate it. Flaw #1 of Whanger's PC argument is that at its core it is subjective. Whanger effectively admitted this when he stated that there was no "statistical method for validating our observations." Mary Whanger has effectively admitted that a point of congruence is what they both agreed was so:
"To do comparisons, Alan would first superimpose two images, using what he came to consider `best possible alignment': eyebrows, tip of nose, and mouth. Then together we would do the comparisons. The first two we did were those of the Shroud face with the Pantocrator face and with the solidus coin face. Using a clear plastic sheet over an eight-by-ten photograph of the Shroud face, every feature that matched was drawn in with a red permanent marker. These features are not just the large structures, but small details, such as the tip of the nose, the shape of a blood stain in the hair, a dot to one side of the mouth, etc. We called these points of congruence (PC). This was carefully and meticulously done, and we did not draw in anything unless we both could see and be certain that it was really there. Then we counted the points of congruence"[4].
So it follows that if anyone else using Whanger's Polarized Image Overlay technique (PIOT) could not see that a claimed point of congruence was really there (for example Ian Wilson - see future below), then it was not a point of congruence!

Flaw #2 of the Whangers' PC argument is their claim above that, "In a court of law, 14 points of congruence between two fingerprints is sufficient to establish [the] same source." First, the Whangers have repeated this claim many times[5], but never, as far as I am aware, provided a reference to support it. Second, in a court of law, the prosecution would have to show photographs of the fingerprints and claimed points of congruence between them for a jury to assess the claim, with a defence lawyer vigorously attacking each claim. But as far as I am aware, the Whangers have never produced photographs of their claimed points of congruence, so that others can see for themselves if they are truly congruent. Third, this claim is an example of the Fallacy of False Analogy[6], in that it assumes that the correspondence of a fingerprint mark to the finger that produced it is essentially the same as a mark on an icon or coin to a mark at the corresponding location on the Shroud. But, for starters, fingerprint marks are so regular and objective that the matching of them can be, and is, computerised[7].

[Above (enlarge): "Classification of fingerprints. Fingerprints have general patterns of ridges that allow them to be classified and compared. All fingerprints are divided into three large groups, based on their ridge pattern"[8].]

Whereas (as we saw above) the Whangers' determination of what is a point of congruence is entirely subjective in that they both had to agree on whether a mark on an icon or coin is a match of a mark at the corresponding location on the Shroud. Whanger even admitted that "the analogy may not be strictly correct" and "the analogy is not fully correct"[9]!

Flaw #3 of the Whangers' Points of Congruence claims is their assumption that more is better. But the more claimed PCs the more the likelihood that some are wrong. In a court of law, a defence lawyer would attack the more doubtful claimed PCs to make them all appear doubtful to the jury. Ian Wilson realised this in his reduction of the original twenty Vignon markings down to a more reliable fifteen:

"In the 1930s Vignon turned his interest away from the scientific aspects of the Shroud, and began to study some of the post-sixth-century Byzantine portraits ... together with many similar pre-fourteenth-century portraits of Christ. He had noticed that in many of these portraits there were certain oddities, certain peculiarities to the Christ face ...Vignon, and after him the American scholar Edward Wuenschel, began to search for other such peculiarities, and found some twenty in all, oddities originating from some accidental imperfection in the Shroud image or weave, and repeated time and again in paintings, frescoes, and mosaics of the Byzantine period, even though artistically they made no sense ... Not all of the twenty markings deduced by Vignon and Wuenschel are acceptable ... But even so, one could still make a reasonable case for the validity of some fifteen ..."[10].
Similarly it would have been far better if the Whangers had produced a much shorter list (say 14 to match their court of law analogy) of their best PCs for each icon/coin and publish side-by-side photographs of those claimed congruent points for others to assess and reach a majority consensus. But with Alan Whanger's passing that seems now unlikely to happen and all we will be left with is the Whanger's assertions.

Flaw #4 of the Whangers' PC claims is the lack of realism of some, which discredits them all. For example, Whanger claimed of the Justinian II solidus coin in part #1 and above, that it had, "145 points of congruence"[11]. But the face of Jesus on this coin, "from the top of the head to the tip of the beard," is only nine millimetres high[12] - less than a centimetre. The Whangers admitted that the die-maker of this 7th century coin could not have seen with his unaided eye much of their claimed 145 PCs:

"How a seventh-century iconographer ever got such detail engraved in so small a space is beyond our understanding. Much of it you cannot even see with the unaided eye. Repeatedly, as we were comparing the photographs projected on a large screen and enlarged to fill the screen, we would have to remind ourselves of the tiny size of the icon, and we would pause and marvel! Surely, the engraver who did that work must have been one of the most skilled of all time"[13].
Magnifying lenses did then exist[14], so it is not impossible that the die maker could have used one. But why would he when those using the coin could not see its fine detail? The Whangers attempted to explain this by claiming that to the Byzantines, icons were the same as Scripture and so this coin's maker, "would no more create an image according to his own imagination than a scribe would ... rewrite Scripture":
"Why such incredible accuracy? Why go to such extraordinary lengths to reproduce with such meticulous care features that most people would never see? The answer has to do with the nature of icons. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, icons had (and still have) the same status as Scripture. Thus the iconographer would no more create an image according to his own imagination than a scribe would casually rewrite Scripture"[15].
But this explanation is self-evidently false, because when the Shroud face is compared with Jesus' face on the Justinian II solidus (below), it

[Above (enlarge): Positive of the Shroud face (left) as this solidus' die-maker would have seen it, and the solidus face (right) as the die-maker depicted it. While the coin was based on the Shroud (as evidenced by it having 11 out of the 15 Vignon markings - see above), the two prominent bloodstains on the Shroud man's forehead being depicted as two tufts of hair alone proves that the coin's iconographer did create the coin's image at least partly according to his own imagination!]

can be easily seen that the coin's die-maker did not meticulously copy the Shroud face as a scribe would have copied Scripture.

Further examples of the Whangers' lack of realism (i.e. failure step back and take a reality-check) in their points of congruence identifications, is their claim that the face of a statue of the pagan god Zeus, excavated from the ancient Syrian city Dura-Europos, and dated AD 31 (i.e. one year after Jesus' death in AD 30[16]!), was based on the Shroud, sharing 79 points of congruence with it:

"We examined in detail ... early depictions from Dura-Europos that were well preserved and of good quality, a relief of the god Zeus Kyrios or Baalshamin of A.D. 31 ... Using the Polarized Image Overlay Technique, we compared the face image of Zeus Kyrios with the face image on the Shroud of Turin and found a very good match of seventy-nine PC"[17].
But as can be seen below in these side-by-side photos of the positive of the Shroud face (which the claimed sculptor would need to have seen)

[Above (enlarge): Positive photo of the Shroud face[18](left)] compared with the photo of the face of the same statue of Zeus[19](right)] in the Whangers' 1998 book[20].]

and the face of the same Zeus statue on page 40 of the Whangers' 1998 book, the two faces have very little in common! The Whangers evidently did not even consider realistically that it would require a sudden and largely complete conversion of Syrian paganism to Christianity in a year (indeed in months because major sculptures take time to plan and create) for it to be true that the Dura-Europos pagans saw the Shroud, were convinced by it that Jesus had risen from the dead, and erected this idol (because that is what it was) with their traditional face of Zeus replaced by the face of Jesus, as seen on the Shroud! But if this had happened we would surely know about it in history but we don't. Wilson pointed out (with typical British understatement), "That the face of Jesus should have been used within two years of the ... crucifixion as a model for a pagan statue of the king of the gods ... put[s] an intolerable strain on our credulity":

"That the face of Jesus should have been used within two years of the earliest likely date for the crucifixion as a model for a pagan statue of the king of the gods is in itself quite sufficient to put an intolerable strain on our credulity"[21].
Moreover, Wilson continued, "the source of inspiration for Dura Europos' Zeus Kyrios was the magnificent ... statue of Zeus at Olympia, created ... in the fifth century BC":
"But in any case what Dr. Whanger seems sadly to have overlooked is the fact that with little doubt the source of inspiration for Dura Europos' Zeus Kyrios was the magnificent chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue of Zeus at Olympia, created by the famous Greek sculptor Phidias back in the fifth century BC"[22].
This alone is sufficient to discredit as unrealistically subjective the Whangers' points of congruence claims, but as we shall see next, it gets even worse!

Instruments and Objects of the Crucifixion [top] The Whangers claim to have discovered on the Shroud images of some of the instruments of Jesus' crucifixion[23]. Mary Whanger described their search for these as an "adventure" and "a treasure hunt" (which is not the right frame of mind to have for an objective, scientific investigation):

"BY THIS TIME, THE ADVENTURE OF looking for images of objects on the Shroud had taken on the excitement of a treasure hunt. Once again, Alan began to study every square inch of the Shroud photographs, up close and at a distance. What he was looking for were areas whose appearance differed in some way from the surrounding area: patterns that do not follow the weave pattern, or alterations in the texture or density of an image, or unusual directions or configurations"[24].
They were using only their "Polarized Image Overlay" technique (PIOT)[25] (see part #1) and thus were vulnerable to Maslow's "Law of the instrument," i.e. "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail":
"The concept known as the law of the instrument, otherwise known as the law of the hammer, Maslow's hammer (or gavel), or the golden hammer, is a cognitive bias that involves an over-reliance on a familiar tool. As Abraham Maslow said in 1966, `I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail'"[26].
Instruments of Jesus' crucifixion that the Whangers claim to have found on the Shroud include a large Roman crucifixion nail[27].

[Right (enlarge): "The images of a large nail with two crossed smaller nails can be seen on the Shroud between a railroad spike for comparison on the left and a drawing of the images on the right."[28].]

From the Whangers' description of its location:

"The first such image found was of a six and one-half inch long spike on the dorsal image half of the Shroud a few inches away from the body on the anatomic right [sic] side at thigh level"[29]
I located this `nail' on the Shroud (except that it is on the anatomical left side - the Whangers were presumably confused by using only Enrie negative photographs of the Shroud[30]), using ShroudScope (see below). But as can be seen in my two versions of the same ShroudScope

[Above (enlarge)[31]: Positive image of the Shroud showing the `nail' outlined in red (left) alongside the same original image autocorrected (right), showing that the sides of the `nail' are part of the weave of the cloth!]

image, and even in the Whangers' photo above, the sides of the `nail' are part of the longitudinal weave of the cloth and therefore this Roman crucifixion `nail' is merely an illusion!

Another image of an instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus that the Whangers claim to have found on the Shroud is that of the spear which

[Left (enlarge)[32]: "The image of the upper end of the shaft of a spear and of part of its head can be seen on the Shroud between a drawing of the spear on the left and a model on the right. The upper part of the image on the Shroud, repres- ented by a dotted line in the drawing, is lost in a water stain. The spear image is compatible with a Roman hasta, or thrusting spear"[33].]

was thrust into Jesus' side to make sure that He was dead (Jn 19:33-34)[34]. The Whangers' further describe this claimed spear image and its location on the Shroud:

"The next object we found on the Shroud was the spear, located on the dorsal half of the Shroud near the edge on the anatomic left. The head or blade of the spear is about level with the head of the man. The upper part of the shaft apparently was made of wood. The upper end of the shaft is rounded. A narrow neck, which is inserted into both the shaft and the head, connects the shaft with the head. The outline of the lower part of the spear head is not difficult to see, but the upper part disappears into a water stain area"[35].
But contrary to the Whangers' claim above that the this spear image is compatible with a Roman hasta, in fact the cross-section shape of the side wound on the Shroud is elliptical[36], which matches a Roman leaf-like lancea[37], not the more pointy hasta[38]. And as can be seen in the ShroudScope negative below (I cannot see it at the equivalent

[Above (enlarge)[39]: ShroudScope Enrie negative with `spear' head outlined in red (left) alongside same original ShroudScope image (right). ]

place on the ShroudScope positive), if enlarge is clicked it can be seen that the head of the `spear' is part of longer diagonal marks (wrinkles or water stains) on the Shroud, and its shaft is part of the cloth's longitudinal weave! So again the Whangers' `spear' is an illusion! Moreover, this is yet another example of the lack of realism in the Whangers' claims. For there to be an image on the Shroud of the spear that a Roman soldier had just used to pierce Jesus' side (Jn 19:33-34), one of the disciples present would have had to ask the soldier to hand over his spear. The Whangers claim is that the centurion present at the crucifixion of Jesus who remarked, "Truly, this man was the Son of God" (Mt 27:54; Mk 15:39), recovered all the items touched by Jesus' lifeblood, and gave them to the disciples to be wrapped in the Shroud[40]. But not only is there no Gospel evidence for this, and it surely would have been mentioned if it had happened; the spear did not have Jesus' lifeblood on it because He was already dead when speared (Jn 19:33-34). And as Whanger concedes it would have been "a capital offence for a Roman soldier to give away his spear":

"It was also a capital offence for a Roman soldier to give away his spear. However, it was an immediate capital offence for a Roman soldier to disobey his centurion. So, if a centurion ordered a soldier to leave his spear in the tomb, it would be done"[41].
But their excuse that "it was ... [a] capital offence for a Roman soldier to disobey his centurion" is surely false in this context, because the centurion's order would have been illegal!

An object that the Whangers' claim is on the Shroud and associated with Jesus' crucifixion is a head phylactery[42] (see below). But as

[Right (enlarge): "Composite showing the face image on the Shroud including a head phylactery on the forehead and the model below"[43].]

can be seen below left, the Whangers' `desecrated phylactery' (see below) is merely an illusion caused by the longitudinal weave of the cloth and horizontal

[Above (enlarge)[44]: The Whangers' claimed `desecrated phylactery' (see below) outlined in red on part of a ShroudScope Enrie negative photo of the Shroud. As can be seen, the sides of this `phylactery' are the longitudinal weave of the cloth and the image of the nose, which both continue past the `phylactery'. An obvious refutation of this being the desecrated "leather" (see below) back of a phylactery is that it would have had to be transparent because the same nose features and weave above and below it can be seen through in it!]

marks which continue across the nose! Problems with the Whangers' `phylactery' include: ■ They admit that "Scripture makes no mention of a phylactery at the time of Jesus' death and burial"[45]. ■ The Whangers explained away that their `phylactery' is not complete as in their photo above by claiming that when Jesus was mocked by Roman soldiers in their Praetorium (Mt 27:57-31; Mk 15:16-20), the soldiers "desecrat[ed]" the "leather" phylactery by cutting the front of it off with "a sharp knife"[46]. But not only is this entirely imaginary, it has the obvious problem (as mentioned above) that the leather back of the phylactery would have had to be transparent because the same nose and weave features above and below where the claimed phylactery was can also be seen through it! ■ They explained away that "the phylactery is too low on the forehead for its normal placement ... It should be close to the hair line" (see below)

[Above (enlarge): "Jewish men wearing phylacteries during prayer at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, 2003"[47].]

by claiming that "it was pushed down by the crown of thorns"[48]. But they did not consider the reality that the final placement of the phylactery, if it existed, would have occurred at burial after the crown of thorns had been removed (since there is no image of it on the Shroud), when out of respect for the deceased the phylactery would have been placed in its customary position - at the hair line.

Leading pro-authenticists Ian Wilson and Barrie Schwortz and "many others who favour the Shroud's authenticity" dismissed the Whangers' identification of instruments and objects of crucifixion on the Shroud as equivalent to seeing "faces in clouds" (pareidolia):

"Dr Alan Whanger ... further reported seeing numerous other objects both on the man of the Shroud's body, and in the cloth's ostensibly plain background. These included ... two desecrated Jewish phylacteries [prayer boxes], one on the forehead and the other on the left arm, an amulet of Tiberius Caesar, a crucifixion nail, a Roman spear, a crown of thorns, a sponge tied to a reed [John 19:29], a large hammer, a pair of pliers, two Roman scourges ... two sandals, a scoop ... two brush brooms, a pair of dice, a coil of rope, several letters on the title or titulus [the `King of the Jews' placard of John 19:19], and possibly partial images of the cloak, the tunic and two more nails'[49]. All of these objects ... Whanger argued ... must have been placed within the Shroud at the time of the man's burial, somehow becoming imprinted onto the cloth in much the same manner as the body ... For such reasons Barrie Schwortz and I, along with many others who favour the Shroud's authenticity, dismissed Alan Whanger's insights as having too much of a `faces in clouds' character ..."[50]
Not only did the Whangers' self-indulgent "adventure" and "treasure hunt" (see above) for images of instruments and objects of crucifixion on the Shroud bring discredit upon them in the pro-authenticity community, it also brought discredit on the Shroud in the Shroud sceptic community. In an article titled, "Scandals and Follies of the 'Holy Shroud'," leading Shroud sceptic, Joe Nickell, likened the Whangers' identification of images on the Shroud as akin to seeing imaginary shapes in a Rorschach ink-blot test:
"Shroud of Rorschach ... a retired geriatric psychiatrist, Alan Whanger, and his wife Mary, former missionaries who have taken up image analysis as a hobby ... visualized ... perceived shapes seen--Rorschach-like--in the shroud's mottled image and off-image areas. These include ... head and arm `phylacteries' (small Jewish prayer boxes), an `amulet,' and such crucifixion- associated items (cf. John, ch. 19) as `a large nail,' a `hammer,' `sponge on a reed,' `Roman thrusting spear,' `pliers,' `two scourges,' `two brush brooms,' `two small nails,' `large spoon or trowel in a box,' `a loose coil of rope,' a `cloak' with `belt,' a `tunic,' a pair of `sandals,' and other hilarious imaginings including `Roman dice'--all discovered by the Whangers (1998) ..."[51].
However, as we shall see in future parts of this obituary, Alan Whanger made a number of other important discoveries which added to the already overwhelming evidence that the Shroud is authentic. Including one discovery which may be the most important of all [see X-rays #22], because it proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ and bears His crucified and resurrected image!

Continued in part #3 of this obituary of Dr. Alan D. Whanger.

Notes
1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. Justinian II - Byzantine Coinage - WildWinds.com ... SB 1249." [return]
3. Whanger, A.D. & Whanger, M.W., "A Quantitative Optical Technique for Analyzing and Authenticating the Images on the Shroud of Turin," in Berard, A., ed., "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, 1991, pp.303-324, 307. [return]
4. Whanger, M. & Whanger, A.D., 1998a, "The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery," Providence House Publishers: Franklin TN, p.19. [return]
5. Whanger & Whanger, 1991, p.307; Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, pp.19, 27; Whanger, A.D., 1998b, "Knowing a Hawk from a Handsaw," BSTS Newsletter, No. 47, May/July; Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, p.6; Rogalski, J., 2007, "Fact or Forgery? Whangers Apply Test of Science to Shroud of Turin," DukeMed Alumni News, 10 November; Whanger, A.D. & Whanger, M.W., 2008b, "Revisiting the Eye Images: What are They?," in Fanti, 2009, pp.134-139, 137. [return]
6. Downes, S., 1995, "The Logical Fallacies: False Analogy," 26 May. [return]
7. "Fingerprint Recognition — FBI," Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013. [return]
8. "CSI'/ Forensics Fingerprint Identification," March 8, 2010. [return]
9. Whanger, A.D., in Meacham, W., 1983, "The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology," Current Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 3, June, pp.283-311, 303; Whanger, A. & Whanger, M., 1999, "The Real Date of the Shroud: The Visual Evidence," in Walsh, B., ed., 2000, "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA, pp.69-77, 71. [return]
10. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised, pp.103-104. [return]
11. Whanger & Whanger, 1991, pp.308, 310; Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.20. [return]
12. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, pp.20-21. [return]
13. Whanger & Whanger, 1991, p.308; Whanger & Whanger, 2008a, p.143; Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.20. [return]
14. "Magnifying glass: History," Wikipedia, 28 October 2017. [return]
15. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.21. [return]
16. Doig, K.F., 2015, "New Testament Chronology: Part IV, The Crucifixion of Jesus" & "The 30 CE Crucifixion," 22 April. [return]
17. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.43; Whanger, A.D. & Whanger, M., 1991, "Evidence of early origin and nature of the Shroud of Turin by image analysis and optical comparison," Shroud News, No 65, June, pp.8-18, 15-16; Whanger & Whanger, 1999, p.73. [return]
18. Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Face Only Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
19. Extract from "Dura Europos - Gods," St. Louis Community College, St. Louis MO, nd. [return]
20. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.40. [return]
21. Wilson, I., 1986, "Dr. Alan Whanger - A New Claim," BSTS Newsletter, No. 13, April, pp.9-12, 10-11. [return]
22. Ibid. [return]
23. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.86; Whanger, 1998b. [return]
24. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.86 (emphasis original). [return]
25. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.88. [return]
26. "Law of the instrument," Wikipedia, 5 October 2017. [return]
27. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.88; Whanger, A.D. & Whanger, M.W., 2015, "Other Images," Council for the Study of the Shroud of Turin, Durham NC. [return]
28. Whanger & Whanger, 2015. [return]
29. Ibid. [return]
30. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, pp.8-9. [return]
31. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
32. Whanger & Whanger, 2015. [return]
33. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.89. [return]
34. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.88; Whanger, 1998b; Whanger & Whanger, 2015. [return]
35. Whanger & Whanger, 2015. [return]
36. Wilson, 1979, p.48; Meacham, 1983, p.290; Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.62; 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.41; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.63. [return]
37. Wilson, 1979, pp.48-49; Meacham, 1983, p.290; Iannone, 1998, p.62; Wilson, 1998, p.41; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.63. [return]
38. Wilson, 1979, p.48; Meacham, 1983, p.290; Iannone, 1998, pp.62-63. [return]
39. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
40. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.58; Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.109. [return]
41. Selinsky, D., 1991, "'Off the body' images - new Whanger research: A report from Duke University," Shroud News, No. 68, December, pp.3-4, 3. [return]
42. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, pp.60-65; Whanger, 1998b; Whanger & Whanger, 1999, p.73; Whanger & Whanger, 2015. [return]
43. Whanger & Whanger, 2015. [return]
44. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
45. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.63. [return]
46. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.63. [return]
47. David Roberts, 2013, "Phylactery: Judaism," Britannica.com. [return]
48. Whanger & Whanger, 1998a, p.64. [return]
49. Whanger, A., CSST News, July 1998. Not online. See Whanger & Whanger, 2015, "Other Images." [return]
50. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, pp.82-84; Wilson, I., 1997, "Very Like a Whale," BSTS Newsletter, No. 46, November/December. [return]
51. Nickell, J., 2001, "Scandals and Follies of the 'Holy Shroud'," Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 25, No. 5, September, pp.17-20. [return]

Posted: 18 December 2017. Updated: 13 March 2018.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too much enthusiasm is enemy of objectivity

Dear Dr. Stephen Jones

I praise such excellent and objective post.
Those who claim you're an non-objective authenticist should shut their mouths after reading this article on congruence points and instruments of crucifixion allegedly seen on the Shroud.
Although we cannot deny that Dr. Alan Whanger's findings corroborate previous Paul Vignon's theory on Byzantine Christ icons his claims are indeed essentially subjective.
I utterly agree with you on the claim of hammer and nails which is a «pareidolia».
Nevertheless he has provided Shroud researchers interesting findings namely his claims on flower images on the Shroud that were confirmed by israeli botanist Professor Danim and its worth to remember a paper he wrote on X-Ray photographs of the Shroud whose findings add more pieces of evidence against the validity of 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud.
To sum up Dr. Alan Whanger will be remembered as a dedicated Shroud scholar and his work will remain as a tool for Shroud researchers.

regards
Antero de Frias Moreira and Maria da Glória Barroso
(Centro Português de Sindonologia)

Stephen E. Jones said...

Antero and Maria

>Too much enthusiasm is enemy of objectivity

Agreed.

>Dear Dr. Stephen Jones

Again, it is plain "Mr".

>I praise such excellent and objective post.

Thanks.

>Those who claim you're an non-objective authenticist should shut their mouths after reading this article on congruence points and instruments of crucifixion allegedly seen on the Shroud.

Thanks again.

>Although we cannot deny that Dr. Alan Whanger's findings corroborate previous Paul Vignon's theory on Byzantine Christ icons his claims are indeed essentially subjective.

Agreed. Whanger should have published photographs of his best claimed points of congruence on each icon/coin for peer review.

>I utterly agree with you on the claim of hammer and nails which is a «pareidolia».

And since the claimed crucifixion nail, spear and phylactery (next) are the Whangers' most prominent examples of instruments and objects associated with Jesus' crucifixion, we may reasonably assume that all his claimed such images:

"Other images found include what we think are a sponge on a long stick or pole (identified as the reed Arundo donax), two small nails, a large hammer, a pair of pliers with curved irregular indentations on the inside upper of its jaws, two scourges (two groups of string-like objects), a trowel or spoon, two brush brooms, an entire sandal, a small coiled rope, a cloak and/or tunic, the title (or part of it) nailed above his head, and what appear to be gambling dice. Also found were a head phylactery, arm phylactery, and a Roman amulet." (Whanger, A.D. & Whanger, M.W., 2015, "Other Images," Council for the Study of the Shroud of Turin," Durham NC)

are dubious at best.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Nevertheless he has provided Shroud researchers interesting findings namely his claims on flower images on the Shroud that were confirmed by israeli botanist Professor Danim

Agreed. I am going to give Whanger credit for that when I get to that part.

>and its worth to remember a paper he wrote on X-Ray photographs of the Shroud whose findings add more pieces of evidence against the validity of 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud.

Agreed. See my "X-RAYS #22" post. Whanger's "Autoradiography" was his most important discovery for which he should be remembered, not his "Points of Congruence."

>To sum up Dr. Alan Whanger will be remembered as a dedicated Shroud scholar and his work will remain as a tool for Shroud researchers.

Agreed. But not for his "Instruments of the Crucifixion" which only held him up to ridicule by sceptics such as Nickell, who used it to discredit Whanger's other work and ultimately the Shroud itself:

"Shroud of Rorschach ... a retired geriatric psychiatrist, Alan Whanger, and his wife Mary, former missionaries who have taken up image analysis as a hobby ... visualized ... perceived shapes seen--Rorschach-like--in the shroud's mottled image and off-image areas. These include `Roman coins' over the eyes, head and arm `phylacteries' (small Jewish prayer boxes), an `amulet,' and such crucifixion- associated items (cf. John, ch. 19) as `a large nail,' a `hammer,' `sponge on a reed,' `Roman thrusting spear,' `pliers,' `two scourges,' `two brush brooms,' `two small nails,' `large spoon or trowel in a box,' `a loose coil of rope,' a `cloak' with `belt,' a `tunic,' a pair of `sandals,' and other hilarious imaginings including `Roman dice'--all discovered by the Whangers (1998) ..." (Nickell, J., 2001, "Scandals and Follies of the 'Holy Shroud'," Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 25, No. 5, September, pp.17-20).

>regards
>Antero de Frias Moreira and Maria da Glória Barroso
>(Centro Português de Sindonologia)

And to you.

Stephen E. Jones
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