Stephen E. Jones

Shroud of Turin quotes: Unclassified quotes: February-May 2012

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The following are quotes added to my Shroud of Turin unclassified quotes in February-May 2012. See copyright conditions at end.

[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Jul, Aug, Sep,Oct, Nov, Dec]


Feb [top]
4/02/2012 "Just days before Christmas, a new study has emerged that suggests that one of Christianity's most prized but mysterious relics - the Turin Shroud - is not a medieval forgery but could be the authentic burial robe of Christ. Italian scientists have conducted a series of advanced experiments which, they claim, show that the marks on the shroud - purportedly left by the imprint of Christ's body - could not possibly have been faked with technology that was available in the medieval period. The research will be an early Christmas present for shroud believers, but is likely to be greeted with scepticism by those who doubt that the sepia-coloured, 14ft- long cloth dates from Christ's crucifixion 2,000 years ago. Sceptics have long claimed that the shroud is a medieval forgery, and radiocarbon testing conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona in 1988 appeared to back up the theory, suggesting that it dated from between 1260 and 1390. But those tests were in turn disputed on the basis that they were skewed by contamination by fibres from cloth that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages. The new study is the latest intriguing piece of a puzzle which has baffled scientists for centuries and spawned an entire industry of research, books and documentaries." ("Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ's authentic burial robe," Nick Squires, The Telegraph, 19 Dec 2011). 4/02/2012 "But why, in any case, do we so readily accept the idea that the one thing you must do if you want to please God is believe in him? 'What's so special about believing? Isn't it just as likely that God would reward kindness, or generosity, or humility? Or sincerity? What if God is a scientist who regards honest seeking after truth as the supreme virtue? Indeed, wouldn't the designer of the universe have to be a scientist? Bertrand Russell was asked what he would say if he died and found himself confronted by God, demanding to know why Russell had not believed in him. 'Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence,' was Russell's (I almost said immortal) reply. Mightn't God respect Russell for his courageous scepticism (let alone for the courageous pacifism that landed him in prison in the First World War) far more than he would respect Pascal for his cowardly bet-hedging? And, while we cannot know which way God would jump, we don't need to know in order to refute Pascal's Wager. We are talking about a bet, remember, and Pascal wasn't claiming that his wager enjoyed anything but very long odds, 'would you bet on God's valuing dishonestly faked belief (or even honest belief) over honest scepticism? " (Dawkins, R., "The God Delusion," Bantam Press: London, 2006, p.104). 4/02/2012 "Then again, suppose the god who confronts you when you die turns out to be Baal, and suppose Baal is just as jealous as his old rival Yahweh was said to be. Mightn't Pascal have been better off wagering on no god at all rather than on the wrong god? Indeed, doesn't the sheer number of potential gods and goddesses on whom one might bet vitiate Pascal's whole logic? Pascal was probably joking when he promoted his wager, just as I am joking in my dismissal of it. But I have encountered people, for example in the question session after a lecture, who have seriously advanced Pascal's Wager as an argument in favour of believing in God, so it was right to give it a brief airing here. Is it possible, finally, to argue for a sort of anti-Pascal wager? Suppose we grant that there is indeed some small chance that God exists. Nevertheless, it could be said that you will lead a better, fuller life if you bet on his not existing, than if you bet on his existing and therefore squander your precious time on worshipping him, sacrificing to him, fighting and dying for him, etc." (Dawkins, R., "The God Delusion," Bantam Press: London, 2006, pp.104-105). 5/02/2012 "For me a crucial breakthrough in overcoming this objection surfaced in the 1960s, when I noticed how a sixth- century Greek version of the Abgar story, the Acts of the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus', describes the Edessa cloth as a tetradiplon. In all the corpus of Greek literature tetradiplon is an extremely rare word, and totally exclusive to the Edessa cloth. Yet, because it is a combination of two common words, tetra meaning `four' and diplon meaning `two fold' or `doubled', its meaning is actually very clear: `doubled in four', suggesting four times two folds. This immediately raised the thought: `What happens if you try giving the Shroud four times two folds?' When I tried this, using a full-length photograph of the Shroud, I was dumb- founded by the result - as I continue to be today. There was the Shroud face, front-facing and disembodied- looking on a landscape aspect cloth, exactly as on the earliest artists' copies of the cloth of Edessa. Whenever the Shroud is presented in this manner - and it is a very logical way to present and make manageable a 437 cm length of cloth - its nature as a `shroud' is in fact subordinated to its rather more socially acceptable nature as a `portrait'. And historically such an arrangement finds ready support in the description of the Edessa cloth, on its arrival in Constantinople, as `fastened to a board and covered with the gold which is now to be seen'. It therefore readily explains the many centuries of silence about an image-bearing `shroud' as such. Furthermore, when the man of the Shroud's eyes are viewed on the cloth itself, as the Edessans and Constantinopolitans might have viewed them, rather than on the photographic negative that we tend to be more familiar with today, they appear open and staring, just as if he was alive, thus readily corresponding to this aspect of the Abgar story." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, pp.110-111). 5/02/2012 "And when we further learn that in the tenth century, when the cloth of Edessa was transferred to Constantinople, the Byzantines rewrote the story of the cloth's origins to suggest that it may have been created by Jesus' `bloody sweat' in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44), this also fits. It is just the sort of interpretation that anyone might come to when, ignorant of the Shroud's nature as a shroud, they noted on the forehead watery-looking bloodflows that we, from our perspective, now understand to have been from the crown of thorns.." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, p.111). 5/02/2012 "Clearly a crucial component of this theory is that the Shroud should bear signs of its once having been folded, for some significant length of time, in the 'doubled in four' manner postulated. When the STURP team worked on it in 1978, at my urging they specifically included in their test programme raking light photography to show up as clearly as possible the innumerable ancient and not-so-ancient creases that criss-cross its surface. When Dr John Jackson carefully analysed these creases to gauge whether there were any significant and long- established fold-marks consistent with the 'doubled-in-four' theory, he found that indeed they were there. He even found that the way they fell, with two particularly pronounced concentrations - one at the level of the topmost part of the back of the head, the other just below the crossed hands - indicated that the cloth had at one time been stored so that, if it was pulled upwards, the imprint of the man of the Shroud would appear to rise up from whatever casket in which it was stored." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, p.112). 8/02/2012 "The second sign of the resurrection on the Shroud concerns the body's removal from the cloth. The facts militate against the body being removed from the Shroud by any human means because the bloodstains are intact. As we saw earlier, each bloodstain is characterized by anatomical correctness, including precisely outlined borders, with blood clots intact. If the cloth had been removed from the body, the blood clots would have smeared or broken. This precludes any separation of the body from the cloth by normal means. A moment's reflection will reveal some of the medical reasoning here. When the linen was wrapped lengthwise around Jesus' body, it contacted the shed blood flowing from the head, the open chest wound, and the left wrist, feet, and elsewhere. As the blood dried, the linen would have become loosely attached to the wounds. Removing the Shroud, however carefully, would require both the removal of blood clots and the disturbing of the edges of the bloodstains. Since this did not happen with the Shroud, we may assert the probability that the body left the cloth in some way other than normal unwrapping of the Shroud. The contact bloodstains indicate that the body was not moved, rewrapped, of unwrapped. " (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, 1981, p.156). Mar [top]
22/03/2012 "It is usually stated, and with good reason, that the Shroud is not necessary in Christian faith. Then why has it been so important to so many people for so long? What is it about the Shroud that makes so many people passionately involved, either in support of it or opposition to it? Advocates who are believers seem to find an added dimension to their faith because of the Shroud. Even more powerfully, a look at the face on the Shroud has been for many people the decisive moment when they decided to commit their lives to Jesus. I say `advocates who are believers' because there are some advocates who are not believers, just as there are Christians who are not advocates. Delage is a good example of the fact that one can be an advocate of the Shroud but not be a Christian. D'Arcis is a good example of the fact that one can be a Christian and not be an advocate of the Shroud. Skeptics who deny the authenticity of the Shroud are often atheists, and many of these atheists are in the forefront of Shroud opposition. They are not willing to acknowledge the possibility of the supernatural and find it safer to dismiss the Shroud as a forgery, even when it flies in the face of all the evidence. Quite simply, the reality of the Shroud and its possible ramifications scares them. They know that an authentic Shroud of Turin puts their atheism on shaky ground. A comment by a bishop to one such skeptic really puts the whole significance of the Shroud in perspective. The bishop told him, `If the Shroud turned out to be 2,000 years old, it wouldn't really affect my faith, but it might affect yours'. Thus in a real sense, the Shroud is more important for skeptics than it is for Christians. It penetrates to their deepest philosophical levels." (Marino, J.G., "Wrapped up in the Shroud: Chronicle of a Passion," Cradle Press: St. Louis MO, 2011, p.272). Apr [top]
10/04/2012 "That controversy still rages, but de Wesselow is convinced of the shroud's authenticity from an art history approach. `It's nothing like any other medieval work of art,' de Wesselow said. `There's just nothing like it.' Among the anachronisms, de Wesselow said, is the realistic nature of the body outline. No one was painting that realistically in the 14th century, he said. Similarly, the body image is in negative (light areas are dark and vice versa), a style not seen until the advent of photography centuries later, he said. `From an art historian's point of view, it's completely inexplicable as a work of art of this period,' de Wesselow said.' (Stephanie Pappas, "Did Shroud of Turin Inspire Spread of Christianity?" LiveScience, 5 April 2012). 22/04/2012 "There is yet another way in which these images can be related to the Shroud. Artists have copied certain characteristic details, technically known as Vignon markings, after the scientist who analysed fifteen of them, such as a transverse streak across the forehead of the Shroud image, a V-shape at the bridge of the nose, two curling strands of hair in the middle of the forehead, a hairless area between the lower lip and the beard, and so forth. In some of the earliest copies - those painted before 1260 - as many as thirteen of the fifteen details are discernible, which strongly indicates that these earliest artists were working from the Shroud. Indeed the Sainte Face de Laon has an inscription in Slavonic, contemporary with the icon itself, which reads OBRAZ GSPDN NAUBRUSJE (Obraz Gospodin na Ubruzje) which means `The Lord's picture on the Cloth'." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, 1987, p.58). May [top]
10/05/2012 "The Shroud of Turin Housed in a reliquary on the high altar in the Royal Chapel of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, is a fourteen-foot length of linen cloth known as the Shroud of Turin. Although some forty cloths have been reputed to be the Holy Shroud, the Turin cloth bears the front and back imprints of an apparently crucified man, leading many to believe it is the actual burial shroud of Jesus. At least, it does tap the same acheiropoietos tradition as the Edessan Image. The earliest-known appearance of the `shroud' dates from the middle of the fourteenth century. About 1355, it turned up at a little collegiate church in Lirey, a town in the diocese of Troyes, in northcentral France. Its owner, a soldier of fortune named Geoffroy de Charney, claimed it was the true Holy Shroud, and it was depicted as such on a pilgrim's medallion of circa 1357. While pilgrims flocked to view the cloth-which was reputed to effect miraculous cures-a skeptical bishop named Henri de Poitiers launched an investigation of the `relic.' As a consequence it was hidden away, only to resurface in 1389 to be reinvestigated-this time by Bishop Pierre d'Arcis and again with negative consequences (as we shall see presently) [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.11-13]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.22. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "Eventually, the granddaughter of Geoffroy de Charney, Margaret, used a pretext to gain control of the shroud and took it on tour, where it met various challenges to its authenticity. Finally, in 1453, although she would be excommunicated for it, Margaret sold the cloth to the Royal House of Savoy (later the Italian monarchy). (Authenticity advocates like to say that Margaret `gave' the cloth to the duke and duchess, which is true if we note that in return they `gave' her the sum of two castles.) The shroud was now reputed to have additional powers. According to Ian Wilson: `In the earliest days with the family it was carried about with them on their travels, like a holy charm to safeguard them against the dangers of a journey.' [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," 1979, p.216] In later centuries the shroud would be reputed to provide protective powers over whatever city housed it; yet in the year 1532, came ample evidence that the shroud could not even protect itself: It was nearly destroyed in a chapel fire which resulted in burn marks and water stains that marred the image. In a shrewd political move to relocate the Savoy capital, the shroud was taken in 1578 to Turin, where it has remained ever since." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.22-23). 10/05/2012 "The cloth's modern history begins in 1898, when it was photographed for the first time by Secondo Pia. As he developed his glass plates, Pia was astonished to discover that the image's darks and lights were essentially reversed. Thus, although the shroud's history had suggested it was the handiwork of a medieval artist, proponents were now asking how it was possible that a mere medieval artist could have painted a negative image-centuries before photography was even conceived. One possible explanation is known as the `contact theory,' which suggests that the body was covered with oils and spices that naturally transferred to the cloth. The prominences would thus be imprinted while the recesses would remain blank; this would be the opposite of a positive image in which raised areas (such as cheekbones) are in highlight and the recessed ones (e.g., the hollows of the eyes) are in shadow. However, attempts to produce shroudlike images by imprinting from fully three-dimensional figures-bodies or statues-resulted in grotesque wraparound distortions, the results naturally expected due to the laws of geometry." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.23. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "It was also soon recognized that not all of the features that imprinted would have been in contact with a simple draped cloth. Therefore, shroud proponent Paul Vignon concluded the imaging process must have acted across a distance-that is, it must somehow have been projected. Thus was born the `vaporography' concept- that body vapors (weak ammoniacal vapors from the fermented urea in sweat) interacted with spices on the cloth (which was likened to a sensitized photographic plate) to produce a vapor `photo.' Unfortunately, vapors do not travel in perfectly straight (vertical) lines but instead diffuse and convect, and therefore-as shown by experiments I conducted in 1977-the result will simply be a blur [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.77-84]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.23-24. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "Undaunted, shroud proponents next suggested a miracle, although, of course, they tried to present it in scientific-sounding terms. Some members of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP)-whose leaders served on the executive council of the Roman Catholic Holy Shroud Guild-proposed that the image resulted from `flash photolysis.' This was described as a `short burst' of `radiant energy' such as Christ's body might have produced at the moment of resurrection. In brief, the image was hypothesized to be a `scorch picture.' Yet one STURP scientist later admitted, `I incline toward the idea of a scorch, but I can't think how it was done.' He added, `At this point, you either keep looking for-the mechanism or start getting mystical' [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.85-88]. Reasons for doubting radiation-scorching as a mechanism are numerous. For one thing, real scorches on linen (such as those on the shroud resulting from the fire of 1532) exhibit a strong reddish fluorescence, while the shroud images do not fluoresce at all. In addition, examination of the cloth's threads show the image stain to be confined to the topmost fibrils, and there is no known radiation that-traveling various distances from body to cloth-would act uniformly superficially. Moreover, not only is there no natural source for any such radiation but, even if there were, there is no means by which it could have been focused to produce an image like that on the shroud [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.91-94]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.24. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "Just as claims that the shroud image was produced miraculously are untenable, so are claims that it is an authentic burial cloth. Take its iconography, for example. (Iconography refers to the study of artistic representation.) It is most suspicious that the shroud should turn up after thirteen centuries with its portrait looking just like more contemporary artistic representations of Jesus. Moreover, the shroud seems the culmination of a lengthy tradition of `not-made-with-hands' portraits: From the sixth century came images reputedly imprinted by the bloody sweat of the living Christ, and by the twelfth century there were accounts of Jesus having pressed `the length of his whole body' upon a cloth; already (by the eleventh century) artists had begun to represent a double-length (but non-imaged) shroud in paintings; and by the thirteenth century we find ceremonial shrouds bearing full-length images of Christ's body in death (even with the hands folded over the loins, an artistic motif dating from the eleventh century). Thus, from an iconographic point of view, these various traditions coalesce in the Shroud of Turin and suggest it is the work of an artist of the thirteenth century or later [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.11-21]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.24-25. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "Ian Wilson attempts to put the proverbial cart before the horse by suggesting the shroud and the ancient Edessan Image are one and the same! Although the latter bore only a facial image, Wilson supposes that it was really the shroud in disguise, folded in such a way that only the face showed! To explain how both an Edessan Image and a purported Holy Shroud are mentioned separately on certain twelfth- and thirteenth- century lists of relics, Wilson opines that the `other' Edessan cloth was a copy, made from the genuine- hypothetically folded-shroud!" (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.25. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "In fact, the shroud's provenance (or historical record) tells against it. The New Testament makes no mention of Jesus's shroud being preserved. (Indeed, John's gospel describes multiple cloths, including a `napkin' over the face-a description that is incompatible with the shroud.) In fact, there is no mention of this particular `shroud' for some thirteen centuries; then a respected bishop reportedly uncovered an artist who confessed to having created it. In a letter of 1389 to Pope Clement VII, Bishop Pierre d'Arcis reported on an earlier investigation: `The case, Holy Father, stands thus. Some time since in this diocese of Troyes the dean of a certain collegiate church, to wit, that of Lirey, falsely and deceitfully, being consumed with the passion of avarice, and not from any motive of devotion but only of gain, procured for his church a certain cloth cunningly painted, upon which by a clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man, that is to say, the back and the front, he falsely declaring and pretending that this was the actual shroud in which our Savior Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb, and upon which the whole likeness of the Savior had remained thus impressed together with the wounds which He bore. This story was put about not only in the kingdom of France but, so to speak, throughout the world, so that from all parts people came together to view it. And further to attract the multitude so that money might cunningly be wrung from them, pretended miracles were worked, certain men being hired to represent themselves as healed at the moment of the exhibition of the shroud.'" (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.25). 10/05/2012 "D'Arcis continued, speaking of the earlier bishop who conducted the investigation: Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed. (Emphasis added.)" (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.25-26. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "In response, the shroud's owner, Geoffroy de Charney, was unable-or unwilling-to say how he had acquired the most significant relic in Christendom. As a consequence, Pope Clement judged the shroud an artist's `representation' and permitted it to be exhibited only as such. (As we have seen, however, de Charney's granddaughter would in later years ignore the prohibition, touring with and finally selling the `Holy Shroud' which she unfailingly misrepresented as genuine [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.41-48, 142-143] .) " (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.26). 10/05/2012 "Additional evidence against authenticity is found in the `blood' flows. While shroud proponents argue that they are amazingly accurate, there are critical, fundamental problems. For example, they are decidedly `picturelike,' consistent with an artist's rendering. Dr. Michael Baden, a distinguished pathologist, pointed out that the `blood' had failed to mat the hair and instead flowed in rivulets on the outside of the locks. Another problem is that dried blood, as on the arms, should not have transferred to the cloth at all. Moreover, the stains are suspiciously still red, unlike real blood that blackens over time." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.26. Emphasis original). 10/05/2012 "Anatomical details represent another category of flaws. For instance, the imprint of one leg shows it to be outstretched rather than bent at the knee as it would have to have been to produce the bloody footprint that is also depicted. In addition, the hair hangs down on either side of the face as if the figure were standing rather than reclining. Further, the physique is so unnaturally elongated (resembling the figures in gothic art) that one pro-shroud pathologist concluded that Jesus must have suffered from the rare disease known as Marfan's Syndrome (which is characterized by an excessive length of the extremities)." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.26). 10/05/2012 "Among realistic details supposed to be beyond the knowledge of a medieval artist were flagellation marks on the body image (but medieval paintings depict contemporary flagellations), nail wounds in the wrists rather than the hands (but only one such wound shows and it seems clearly to be located in the base of the palm), and `Roman coins' over the eyes (the result of wishful imagining, say skeptics). `Pollen fossils'-which the late Max Frei claimed he found on tape samples he lifted from the shroud and which supposedly proved the cloth had been in Palestine-failed to appear on another set of tapes taken by STURP scientists, thus raising suspicions about Frei's work [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.57-75]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.26). 10/05/2012 "Instead, what the STURP tapes did show were traces of paint pigments. After the pieces of special sticky tape were pressed to the shther surface materials, they were then stuck to microscope slides and given to Walter C. McCrone, a world-famous microanalyst who served on the STURP team. McCrone conducted a `blind' study which separated the thirty-two tapes microscopically into two groups: one consisting of tapes with red pigment on the fibers, another of tapes without pigment. He discovered that the red pigment appeared on image ('body' and `blood') areas only, not on control tapes (from non-image areas), thus proving the pigment was a component of the image. He identified the pigment as red ocher. " (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.26-27). 10/05/2012 "McCrone also found in the `blood' (which had failed earlier forensic tests) the same red ocher, as well as small amounts of another red pigment, vermilion. He determined the `blood' was actually tempera paint. Two other STURP scientists, John Heller and Alan Adler, challenged McCrone's findings, but their claims were rebutted by forensic analyst John F. Fischer [An apparently unqualified fellow humanist (i.e. atheist) `skeptic' and co-author of books with Nickell-SEJ]. At the 1983 conference of the International Association for Identification, Fischer explained how results similar to theirs could be obtained with tempera paint, and he demonstrated why spectral data were inconsistent with their claims [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.157-160]. As it happens, neither Heller nor Adler is a forensic serologist or a pigment expert, thus raising the question why they were chosen for such important work. Heller admitted that McCrone `had over two decades of experience with this kind of problem and a worldwide reputation. Adler and I, on the other hand, had never before tackled anything remotely like an artistic forgery.' [Heller, J., "Report on the Shroud of Turin," 1983, p.168]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.26-27). 10/05/2012 "McCrone's work answered crucial questions but raised others. For example, he concluded that the image on the shroud was a painting, without explaining why the `body' image areas did not penetrate into the threads as the blood (which soaked through to the back of the cloth) had done. McCrone also discovered that another component of the shroud image is a straw-colored stain which he attributed to a tempera binder, but the samples were taken from him before he had completed his analyses. (McCrone alleges that he was `drummed out' of STURP.) Several scientists-both proponents and skeptics-thought the yellow stain might merely be the result of cellulose degradation caused by the presence of foreign substances." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.27). 10/05/2012 "As an alternative to the painting hypothesis, some two years before McCrone published his findings, I reported the results of my own successful experiments in creating shroudlike `negative' images. The technique involved wet-molding cloth to a bas-relief (used instead of a fully three-dimensional statue to minimize distortion), allowing it to dry, then rubbing on powdered pigment using a dauber-much as one would make a rubbing from a gravestone. This technique automatically yields `negative' images (or rather, just like the shroud, quasi- negative images, since the hair and beard are the opposite of what would be expected). It also produces numerous other shroudlike features, including minimal depth of penetration into the threads, encoded `3-D' information, and other similarities, some of which specifically pointed to some form of imprinting technique [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, pp.95-106]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.27-28). 10/05/2012 "Final proof that the shroud dated not from the first century but from medieval times was reported on October 13, 1988, after samples from the cloth were carbon-dated. Postage-stamp-size samples were snipped from one end and transferred to laboratories at Oxford, England; Zurich, Switzerland; and the University of Arizona in the United States. Using accelerator mass spectrometry, the labs obtained dates in close agreement: The shroud dated from about 1260-1390, and the time span was given enhanced credibility by correct dates obtained from a variety of control swatches taken from ancient cloths of known date. [Nickell, J., "Unshrouding a Mystery: Science, Pseudoscience, and the Cloth of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer 13, Spring 1989, p.296]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.28). 10/05/2012 "But would shroud defenders accept such results? Of course not: they rushed to challenge the carbon-14 tests. `They argued that the three labs had been given pieces of cloth taken from a much handled, much contaminated corner of the Shroud. Since only threads were needed, different parts of the Shroud could and should have been included, such as the `pristine' material next to the charred areas under the patches. Another major objection was that all three labs had agreed to use the same newly developed and relatively untested cleansing solvent. Since the contamination from centuries of handling is the most important obstacle to an accurate C-14 date, this procedure seemed to critics to be extremely careless' [Scaemely careless' [Scavone, D., "The Shroud of Turin," 1989, pp.104-105]. Or so it `seemed' to shroud devotees." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.28). 10/05/2012 "Actually, their numerous criticisms of the carbon dating are little more than sour grapes, given the close proximity of the C-14 dates, the accuracy in dating the control swatches, the fact that the samples were thoroughly cleansed before testing, and other reasons-as I pointed out in an article commissioned by the prestigious science magazine, Science et Vie. [Nickell, J., "Les preuves scientifiques que le Linceul de Turin date du moyen age," Science et Vie, July 1991, pp.6-17]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.28). 10/05/2012 "Not surprisingly, some shroud adherents are again invoking the miraculous to rationalize the devastating results of the carbon-dating tests. They suggest that the imagined burst of radiant energy at the moment of resurrection altered the carbon ratio! Will wonders never cease? I say this response is not surprising because shroudologists have consistently begun with the desired answer and worked backward to the evidence. Lacking any viable hypothesis for the image formation, they offered one explanation for the lack of provenance (the cloth might have been hidden-away), another for the forger's confession (the reporting bishop could have been mistaken), still another for the pigments (an artist copying the image could have splashed some on), and so forth. [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," 1979, p.136; Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud," 1981, p.104; Heller, J., "Report on the Shroud of Turin," 1983, p.212]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, pp.28-29). 10/05/2012 "In contrast, investigators allowed the preponderance of prima facie evidence to lead them to the following conclusion: The `shroud' never held a body, and its image is the handiwork of a clever medieval artisan. The evidence is appropriately corroborative as well. For example, the confession is supported by the lack of prior record, the red `blood' and presence of pigments are consistent with artistry, and the carbon dating is consistent with the time frame indicated by the iconographic evidence. Indeed, skeptics had predicted the results of the carbon dating virtually to the year-a measure of the accuracy both of the collective evidence and of the technique of radiocarbon testing. ]." (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.29). 10/05/2012 "But correlation does not imply causality. For example, in principle at least, the procedure which STURP uses to construct a statue of the 'Man of the Shroud' could also be used to reconstruct a full relief (or statue) from a rubbing image produced by Joe Nickells' method. The fact that they have produced a statue from the Shroud image using the method outlined says nearly nothing about the method by which the image was produced. In particular, the rubbing method, being intrinsically variable and adaptable, can produce a wide range of tonal gradations for a given bas-relief; and can thereby vary the 'three-dimensional' characteristics of the image almost at will." (Mueller, M.M., "The Shroud of Turin: A Critical Appraisal," The Skeptical Inquirer, 6, Spring 1982, pp.15-34, in McDowell, J. & Stewart, D., "Answers to Tough Questions: Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith," Here's Life Publishers: San Bernardino CA, 1980, pp.160-161. Emphasis original). 11/05/2012 "The Shroud proponents set forth various pieces of evidence to support their claims of authenticity. Such pieces of evidence were (1) no brush mark; (2) no image penetration of the fibers (it is purely a surface phenomenon); (3) presence of a powder alleged to be aloes; (4) the "pollen fossils" found on the cloth alleged to be from the time of Christ. Most of the above is answered by a bas-relief image created by Joe Nickell. A picture of the image is found in the Nov.-Dec. 1978 issue of The Humanist and in the Nov. 1979 issue of Popular Photography. Nickell employed a technique using only 14th century material and methods to recreate or duplicate a negative imagery as found on the Shroud. This technique produces a negative. He did not paint his image, but used a bas-relief and applied a wet cloth to it, and when it had dried he used a dauber to rub on powdered "pigment." Nickell used a mixture of myrrh and aloes. It did not leave brush marks. Nickell writes: "My rubbings, even on close inspection, appear to have been created without 'pigment.' I used a mixture of (McDowell, J. & Stewart, D., "Answers to Tough Questions: Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith," Here's Life Publishers: San Bernardino CA, 1980, pp.162-163). 19/05/2012 "Perhaps most compelling of all is a drawing on a page of the Hungarian Pray manuscript preserved in the National Szechenyi Library, Budapest ... [Berkovits, I., "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, 1969, pl.III] Not only do we yet again see the awkward arm crossing, this time, most unusually, Jesus is represented as totally nude, exactly as on the Shroud. Again exactly as in the case of the Shroud, all four fingers on each of Jesus's hands can be seen, but no thumbs. Just over Jesus's right eye there is a single forehead bloodstain. Delineated in red, this is located in exactly the same position as that very distinctive reverse '3'-shaped stain on Jesus's forehead on the Shroud that we noted earlier. Exactly as in the case of the Shroud, the cloth in which Jesus is being wrapped is of double body length type, the second half, as known from other versions of the same scene, extending over Joseph of Arimathea's shoulder. If all this is not enough, the cover of what appears to be the tomb is decorated with a herringbone pattern in which can be seen four holes in an identical arrangement to the so-called 'poker-holes' on the Shroud that we have suggested were sustained during Caliph Mu'awiyah's 'trial by fire' experiment back around 680." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.183-184).

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Created: 4 February, 2012. Updated: 5 February, 2013.