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The Turin Shroud: Evidence of Man or God?


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In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 12:24:48 BDT
Spin says:
Pen: Don't ask me, I'm not a christian. Apparently, the church rejects the carbon-dating result. And, I think, with good reason. That is another reason why a second test is needed. If the second test dates the shroud to medieval times, then the church faces the choice of accepting fact or clinging to fantasy. If a second test dates the shroud earlier, then science must reconsider the validity of its methods and come up with another test to prove the shroud is a forgery.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 12:34:14 BDT
Spin says:
Pen: (1) The image is scorched onto the shroud. A great amount of energy is needed to do that.(2) Contamination can indeed alter the carbon content and trace elements. (3) The first mention of the shroud is in Evagrius', "Ecclesiastical History", Migne, PG, LXXX, vi. 2, 2748-49. (544 AD).

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:08:20 BDT
Pendragon says:
Spin

OK, so you say "the church believes the shroud to reveal the image of Jesus, the image of God. ... who would dare destroy the actual image of God himself" and "the church rejects the carbon-dating result".

You also say "If a second test dates the shroud earlier, then science must ... come up with another test to prove the shroud is a forgery." Why? Science has no interest in proving the shroud a forgery.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:14:30 BDT
Pendragon says:
Spin

(1) I do not believe that "scorched onto the shroud" is proposed by anyone as the method of image formation.
(2) Contamination of the sort you have referred to will not affect the test. Nothing short of adding a further source of C-14 will alter the C-14 content. The trace elements are irrelevant to carbon dating.
(3) Does this source state that a shroud was inundated by a flood in 527? What reason is there to think that the object referred to there is the Turin Shroud?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:21:03 BDT
Spin says:
Pen: Prior to the dating science was objective, true, but Science now has to prove its scientific method is reliable, so it must prove the shroud to be medieval in order to save face. A date contrary to the original date puts the method in question, not only in terms of dating the shroud but in dating any object. Science must prove its method and conclusion were correct. So they must prove the shroud to be a forgery, as the first test indicated.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:27:53 BDT
Very difficult to get the blood flow from a cadaver

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:43:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jun 2012 13:47:05 BDT
AJ Murray says:
Pendragon,

-"Michael will correct me if I am interpreting his post incorrectly, but I think he is referring to the widely (not universally) held view that the sample used in the carbon dating tests had been the subject of a repair."

Okay.

-"If so, the presence in the sample of repair material, being of more recent origin than the original shroud linen, would have resulted in the tests producing a date accurate for the sample, but incorrect (i.e. too recent) for the manufacture of the shroud's original (unrepaired) cloth."

That would follow.

-"In other words, under this idea, there was nothing inadequate about the tests performed by the three labs. The inadequacy was in the sample provided to them, which had been "contaminated" by the repair material."

So what evidence is there that the samples taken were in fact repaired? If you read the report they were careful to avoid any patches or charred areas:

'The shroud was separated from the backing cloth along its bottom left-hand edge and a strip (~10 mm x 70 mm) was cut from just above the place where a sample was previously removed in 1973 for examination. The strip came from a single site on the main body of the shroud away from any patches or charred areas. Three samples, each ~50 mg in weight, were prepared from this strip.'

-"Spin no doubt AJ will have some views on your post..."

Yep, what a load of tripe he is posting.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:44:54 BDT
Spin says:
(1) Proof that the image is a "scorch" was provided by Dr John Jackson, using spectrosopy and micro-densitometer scanning and the image is similar to those scorches found in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
(2)If contamination does not affect the test, why is the sample cleaned?
(3)Whether the account states the facts of the shrouds discovery or not is irrelevent. The point is that the shroud is explicitly mentioned in a text dating to 544 AD. (in this text it is not called the Turin shroud, Turin is its latest home. It resided in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Edessa. A new, radical christian artform displaying the front-view face of Christ began at this time..

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:47:26 BDT
I seem to recall that the threads taken for testing were from a known tear in the fabric that had been repaired. They were taken from their because that portion of the shroud was already damaged and they did not want to take anything from an undamaged section, though perhaps it is time they did (unlike CAS I don't see the need to hand the whole shroud over to those who might rip it apart to prove its authenticity, but have nothing left of it afterwards).

I seem to recall that carbon-dating suffers from higher rates of innaccuracy the more recent the dates attempted. I also recall reading someone who thought that the agreement on the dates from the different sources was too 'neat'. Carbon dating is rarely that accurate and this suggests almost collusion - one group suggesting a particular date and others being redone until they gave the same result (it has been done before and since in other parts of science, sadly).

All in all, historical records suggest that the shroud has a lifespan of at least 1500 years while the carbon dating is closter to 800 years. I have more confidence in historical records than the scientific one in this case (though neither proves that this was the actual shroud of Jesus).

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:55:32 BDT
Actually Pendragon, we should have no problem with destroying the image of God - given that is all it is - an image (we already did the bad bit, destroying God!).

I am sure the Roman Catholics would treat this with more reverence than me, but to me it is a bit of cloth and it matters not that it is the image of Jesus or the image of someone else.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 13:59:26 BDT
richard says:
Thanks Pen,

so when the lab realised they had two distinct threads could they not analysis them? i'm thinking that the only way to know there was a repair was to have original and repair thread in which case could the two not be dated?

so did the lab say 'hang on we've just realised we have two distinct threads here and think this might indicate a repair' at some later date after they had finished their work or did someone from the Vatican, after the results had been released, take a closer look at the shroud and say 'hang on this looks like a repair area' that the sample came from?

if there is still a question over whether the sample was from a repair section of the cloth why has this not been resolved? are the Vatican refusing to allow the cloth to be examined to determine once and for all if a repair has taken place? this would surly be less intrusive than taking a sample for dating and give greater plausibility for it being genuine!

regarding the integrity of the sample and supporting evidence i am still confused by the sample, how does one know from a sample what thread is present in the rest of the cloth? i would have thought that at best all the lab can do is say what threads are present in that sample unless they can date the various threads in which case they would have been able to say that one thread was 12th century and another......1st century! i'm left wondering where the supporting evidence that the sample is a repair comes from?

or can the lab state that one thread has been used to repair the other?

i think if the Vatican were certain that another sample would produce a 1st century date, that is to say if they were certain that the shroud was early 1st century, they would be demanding it's authenticity be proved to the world. and the Vatican would have an absolute field day with it as would other Christian groups around the world. despite the fact that even if first century there's no guarantee it was anything to do with Jesus it would no doubt be offered as 'proof'/evidence that Jesus lived and died according to the gospels etc. it would be a massive boost to Christianity.

i suggest two possibilities;

the Vatican believed the cloth to be genuine offered it up for sampling and

1) the sample comes back with a much later date than expected so the Vatican comes up with a plausible explanation (repair ) and hide the cloth away from further sampling/dating,

2) the sample comes back with a later date and then it's discovered that it was from a repair but are advised that further sampling is not in their best interests (cloth not likely to be or not 1st century anyway) so decide to not allow further testing.

so the Vatican either know the cloth is not 1st century or believe there is an element of doubt and think it better to 'cut their losses' by it remaining a matter of faith for their followers and not risk further ammo for critics of holy relics and embarrassment for the church.

i am amazed that it was offered for analysis to begin with! if i had been in charge i would never have let it be sampled (better to keep it a matter of faith) and just stuck to my guns on that regardless of my faith in it being genuine. i can only think that the church either had complete faith in it or were put into a position where they felt they had no choice but to allow dating to take place. regardless, if i had been in charge i would already have a cover story in place before the sampling was finished.

i still find it hard to believe that something considered to be the shroud Jesus was laid to rest in would be sampled so casually. i understand business situations being 'set up' such that plausible explanations (the fall guy/company) can be offered if things go wrong and once again if i had been in charge i would have looked to introduce doubt somewhere along the line if results were unfavourable. it only makes good sense for anyone charged with protecting the interests of a organisation to provide that protection and a casually taken sample along with suggested repair would provide that.

it's all starting to sound very 'conspiracy theory' but the church, as with any big organisation, has to be able to protect itself and it's interests. i think not allowing another test is doing just that!

the possibility that the church still believe the shroud to be genuine yet don't want it dated just doesn't make any sense to me. if it is genuine 1st century then it might still not be from Jesus but if from a later date then of what use is it to the church as it can no longer be considered a sacred object? is it better for people to revere something that might not be a holy relic than to risk loosing the perceived holiness of that object?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:00:12 BDT
Pendragon says:
Spin

"it [science] must prove the shroud to be medieval in order to save face."

Incorrect.

"A date contrary to the original date puts the method in question"

Incorrect. It would put the 1988 sample in question.

"So they [science] must prove the shroud to be a forgery..."

Incorrect.

"... the shroud to be a forgery, as the first test indicated"

Sigh. Also - incorrect. The 1988 test concluded that the C-14 tests on the sample provided indicated that its plant content had been harvested between 1260 and 1390 with a 95% degree of certainty. It is the interpretation of others that this means the Turin Shroud is a "forgery".

Anyway, what does "forgery" mean in this instance?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:04:39 BDT
Pendragon says:
Spin

(1) Oh come on, now you are simply trolling. "Proof", "by Dr Jackson", "Hiroshima and Nagasaki" - ROFLMAO.
(2) To avoid contamination. But you have, as is often the case, moved the goalposts, again.
(3) "Whether the account states the facts of the shrouds discovery or not is irrelevent". Really? Earlier you claimed precisely that it did. Are you now admitting there is no mention of a flood in 527 after all?

Posted on 15 Jun 2012 14:11:13 BDT
AJ Murray says:
Baldrick: Moving on to relics, we've got shrouds, from Turin; er, wine from the wedding at Cana; splinters from the cross (his finger gets a sliver from one of the splinters); er, and, of course, there's stuff made by Jesus in his days in the carpentry shoppe: got pipe racks, coffee tables, coatstands, bookends, crucifixes, a nice cheeseboard, fruit bowls, waterpoof sandals... (picks up a piece of wood that's partly carved) Oh, I haven't finished that one yet.
Percy: But this is disgraceful, My Lord! All of these are obviously fake!
Edmund: Hah, yes!
Percy: But, but how will people be able to tell the difference between these and the real relics?
Edmund: Well, they won't! That's the point!
Percy: Well, you won't be able to fool everyone! Look (he takes a red cloth from his sleeve): I have here a true relic.
Edmund: What is it?
Percy: (unwraps the cloth) It is a bone from the finger of Our Lord. It cost me 31 pieces of silver.
Edmund: Good lord. Is it real?
Percy: It is, My Lord.
Percy: Baldrick, you stand amazed.
Baldrick: I am -- I thought they only came in boxes of ten.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:13:00 BDT
Spin says:
Pen: You like some others are concerned only with the carbon-dating, an inaccurate method, and defending science. You have no consideration for historical fact. Further, if all the scientific tests prove the shroud to be genuine, but only one, carbon-dting, shows it to be false, then you are refuting all the other scientific methods used to examine the shroud. If you defend the science you must accept the tests which prove the dating to be mistaken. All historical and scientific evidence points the the authenticity of the shroud, except the carbon-dting. A good scientist will thus question the odd one out... But not you guys...You favour the unreliable test at the cost of refuting all the other scientific tests...Why? Because it is the only test which supports your a priori belief that religion is nonsense. Not a very objective or scientific stance, is it?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:18:26 BDT
Pendragon says:
Hi AJ

Some sanity at last!

"So what evidence is there that the samples taken were in fact repaired?"

I am not in a position to do a full answer to this one at present, but off the top of my head the hypothesis is that there was an invisible patch repair, using a technique known to textile workers in the middle ages. This would be a possible reason why it was not noticed in 1988 that the sample was in a patched area.

As for evidence: First, tests on threads from and close by the 1988 carbon dating sample have shown it to contain cotton, a material which is not present in the fabric (made from flax) of the rest of the Shroud as sampled in 1978 by STURP. Secondly, photographic comparison of the sample area and the rest of the Shroud shows it to be of a different composition (using the STURP photos taken in 1978, which therefore include the sample area cut 10 years later). Third, microscopic examination of threads from the 1988 sample (or from the adjacent sample taken in 1973, can't remember offhand which) show features (twisting and splicing, these may not be the right technical words but hopefully convery the idea) consistent with a patch repair.

There may be other categories of evidence I cannot instantly recall.

"Yep, what a load of tripe he [Spin] is posting."

Yep, same old Spin!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:28:00 BDT
Pendragon says:
Spin

"You ... are concerned only with the carbon-dating, ... and defending science. You have no consideration for historical fact. Further, if all the scientific tests prove the shroud to be genuine, but only one, carbon-dting, shows it to be false, then you are refuting all the other scientific methods used to examine the shroud. ... All historical and scientific evidence points the the authenticity of the shroud, except the carbon-dting. ... You favour the unreliable test at the cost of refuting all the other scientific tests...Why? Because it is the only test which supports your a priori belief that religion is nonsense."

Every single aspect of this extract from your post is incorrect.

"Not a very objective or scientific stance, is it?"

No, but since you made it all up, you have it only in your own fantasy world of personal imagination.

"... If you defend the science you must accept the tests which prove the dating to be mistaken."

This is correct.

However, since your posts have now descended into incoherence and 99% manifest error, I can't promise to reply to them any further.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:29:28 BDT
Pendragon says:
Brilliant stuff!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:31:05 BDT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:35:23 BDT
AJ Murray says:
Spin,

-"...you really have no right to pronounce on a subject you know so little about..."

Hasn't stopped you. Ever.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:40:04 BDT
Pendragon says:
Well, Spin, in my above post to you on 15 Jun 2012 14:00:12 BDT I said:

"Spin

"it [science] must prove the shroud to be medieval in order to save face."

Incorrect.

"A date contrary to the original date puts the method in question"

Incorrect. It would put the 1988 sample in question.

"So they [science] must prove the shroud to be a forgery..."

Incorrect.

"... the shroud to be a forgery, as the first test indicated"

Sigh. Also - incorrect. The 1988 test concluded that the C-14 tests on the sample provided indicated that its plant content had been harvested between 1260 and 1390 with a 95% degree of certainty. It is the interpretation of others that this means the Turin Shroud is a "forgery".

Anyway, what does "forgery" mean in this instance?"

Of the four corrections I gave you, the second and fourth were explained. Did you not follow the explanations? I tried to keep them short for you.

As for the first and third, I would have thought it obvious that science does not have to do the things you were claiming it "must" do. What further explanation would you like?

You have not answered my question at the end. Is that because you don't know?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:50:24 BDT
Spin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 15 Jun 2012 14:56:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jun 2012 14:57:39 BDT
Charlieost says:
Since there is no evidence that a Jesus of Nazareth existed the whole discussion becomes academic. Interesting to hear how certain people cling to the most spurious arguements in an attempt to prove that which has been proved not to be.

The Turin Shroud is a fake and is not the winding sheet of Jesus. There is no claim in history of its existence before medievil times simply because it did not exist.

Just another Christian fairy tale.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:56:16 BDT
Pendragon says:
Hi richard, thanks for the reply. You raise a lot of valid observations. I'll try to comment in the order in which they arise in your post.

Neither the labs nor the Vatican raised the idea of a patch repair. The Vatican has refused to allow further scientific access to the Shroud (even though in 2002 the Shroud was the subject of conservation work).

See my post to AJ five below yours for some info on why it is thought the sample included a repair.

The Vatican's position in all this is quite difficult to understand. I think you may well be right that the Vatican was persuaded to allow the carbon dating because it was assured that all the evidence pointed to a 1st century date. If not, why not, again as you say, simply leave the TS intact as an object of veneration? There is no test that can prove that it is the burial shroud of Christ.

I think your suggested explanation 2) is closest to the mark. In particular that the Vatican has been "advised that further sampling is not in their best interests" and they are cutting their losses.

The inadequacy of the sampling procedure (described by some as, eg, "a fiasco") is hard to understand. I think it is probably down to Vatican meddling and indecision.

"it's all starting to sound very 'conspiracy theory' " - several books have been written suggesting precisely that!

In your last para you say "the possibility that the church still believe the shroud to be genuine yet don't want it dated just doesn't make any sense to me."

I have an idea about that which I will have to post later as I have run out nof time for the moment.
BFN.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 14:57:07 BDT
Spin says:
Pen: That was a genuine question? Sorry, I thought it was rhetorical. Usually "forgery" means a man-made object intended to deceive. Of course, the term "forgery" implies that there is a genuine original, so it cannot apply to the shroud, since the shroud is unique. I think the term "forgery" as applied to the Shroud means "Forged" by man, for it cannot mean "Counterfeit".
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  317
Initial post:  6 Apr 2011
Latest post:  2 Apr 2013

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