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  1. Skeptic » eSkeptic » December 28, 2011

    www.skeptic.com › eskeptic › 11/12/28

    Dec 28, 2011 · Chemistry: the Shroud contains red ochre and other paint pigments; Radiometric dating: carbon-14 dating tests showed in 1988 that the Shroud was likely created between 1260 and 1390 CE. In 2008, the hypothesis that this date was distorted by carbon monoxide contamination was tested—and results of the original tests confirmed.

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    The \\"shroud\\" of Turin is a woven cloth about 14 feet long and 3.5 feet wide with an image of a man on it. Actually, it has two images, one frontal and one rear, with the heads meeting in the middle. It has been noted that if the shroud were really wrapped over a body there should be a space where the two heads meet. It has also been noted that there is a space where the front and back of the head meet, and that what appears to be the outline of the back of the head is a water stain. Some have noted that the head is 5% too large for its body, the nose is disproportionate, and the arms are too long. Others deny these claims. In any case, the image is believed by many to be a negative image of the crucified Jesus and the shroud is believed to be his burial shroud. Most skeptics think the image is not a burial shroud, but a painting and a pious hoax. The shroud is kept in the cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.

    It may interest skeptics to know that many people of faith believe that there is scientific evidence which supports their belief in the shroud's authenticity. Of course, the evidence is limited almost exclusively to pointing out facts that would be true if the shroud were authentic. For example, it is claimed to be the negative image of a crucifixion victim. It is claimed to be the image of a man brutally beaten in a way which corresponds to the way Jesus is thought to have been treated. It is also claimed that the image is not a painting but a miraculously transposed image. Skeptics believe that the shroud of Turin is just another religious relic invented to beef up the pilgrimage business or impress infidels. (Another equally famous painting, also claimed to have miraculously appeared on a cloth, cropped up in Mexico in the 16th century, \\"Our Lady of Guadalupe.\\") The case for the forged shroud is made most forcefully by Joe Nickell in his Inquest On The Shroud Of Turin, which was written in collaboration with a panel of scientific and technical experts. The author claims that historical, iconographic, pathological, physical, and chemical evidence points to its inauthenticity. The shroud is a 14th century painting, not a 2000-year-old cloth with Jesus's image. Alberto Carpinteri, a professor of structural mechanics at the Polytechnic University of Turin, has announced that he and a few colleagues \\"believe it is possible that neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the Shroud's [sic] linen fibres, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating.\\"* I believe it is possible that pigs sent from an alien world created the shroud to see what follies humans would engage in. We can all believe what we want about what's possible, but in this case it is important to note that Carpinteri's belief about neutron emissions from rocks is universally rejected by physicists. Carpinteri was the president of the National Institute for Research in Metrology (INRiM) until he was dismissed after two-thirds of the board of directors resigned in objection to his support of piezonuclear fission.* The resignations came on the heels of a petition signed by 1,200 INRIM researchers and staff addressed to Minister of Education Francesco Profumo expressing their concerns about Carpinteri.* Carpinteri's response to his critics was to threaten them with legal action. Profumo's response was to announce that he has no intention of funding piezonuclear research without the backing of the scientific community.*

    It is claimed that the cloth has some pollen grains and images on it that are of plants found only in the Dead Sea region of Israel. Avinoam Danin, a botanist from Hebrew University of Jerusalem claims he has identified pollen from the tumbleweed Gundelia tournefortii and a bean caper on the shroud. He claims this combination is found only around Jerusalem. Some believers think the crown of thorns was made of this type of tumbleweed. However, Danin did not examine the shroud itself. His sample of pollen grains originated with Max Frei, who tape-lifted pollen grain samples from the shroud. Frei's pollen grains have been controversial from the beginning. Frei, who once pronounced the forged \\"Hitler Diaries\\" to be genuine, probably introduced the pollen grains himself or was duped and innocently picked up pollen grains another pious fraud had introduced (Nickell).

    Danin and his colleague Uri Baruch also claim that they found impressions of flowers on the shroud and that those flowers could only come from Israel. However, the floral images they see are hidden in mottled stains much the way the image of Jesus is hidden in a tortilla or the image of Mary is hidden in the bark of a tree. The first to see flowers in the stains was a psychiatrist, who was probably an expert at seeing personality traits in inkblots (Nickell, 1994)

    In any case, the fact that pollen grains found near the Dead Sea or Jerusalem were on the shroud means little. Even if the pollen grains weren't introduced by some pious fraud, they could have been carried to the shroud by anyone who handled it. In short, the pollen grains could have originated in Jerusalem at any time before or after the appearance of the shroud in Italy. This is not a very strong piece of evidence. In short, what we have here is speculation built on speculation. A possible physical event possibly causes a nuclear event that possibly causes an image of a body on a cloth wrapped around the body and possibly infuses the cloth with misleading amounts of carbon-14 isotopes. No mention is made of how this alleged nuclear event transformed body parts into paint, however. Nor is any mention made that if Carpinteri's speculations were true, no carbon-14 dating is reliable because some earthquake at some point in time could have resulted in misleading amounts of carbon-14 isotopes.

    The image is of a man about six feet tall. The size and weave of the cloth have convinced one researcher/believer that the cloth may have been used as a tablecloth for the Last Supper. It could have been used for a lot of other things as well, I suppose.

    To the believer, however, it is not the scientific proof of the shroud's authenticity that gives the shroud its special significance. It is the faith in the miraculous origin of the image that defines their belief. The miracle is taken as a sign that the resurrection really happened and that Jesus was divine.

    Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the shroud of Turin controversy is the way true believers keep bringing up red herrings and the way skeptics keep taking the bait. Danin made his plant image/pollen grain argument in 1998, a follow-up on another plant image argument he made in 1997. He said in the 1998 article that his evidence showed that \\"the Shroud could have come only from the Near East.\\" An AP article by Traci Angel (8/3/99) quotes Danin as saying that the evidence \\"clearly point to a floral grouping from the area surrounding Jerusalem.\\" No doubt, a raging debate will follow (once again!) as to the origin of the plants and pollen gains. As if it matters. Even if it is established beyond any reasonable doubt that the shroud originated in Jerusalem and was used to wrap up the body of Jesus, so what? Would that prove Jesus rose from the dead? I don't think so. To believe anyone rose from the dead can't be based on physical evidence, because resurrection is a physical impossibility. Only religious faith can sustain such a belief. To believe that someone floated up to the sky and disappeared (i.e., rose into heaven) is also not going to be proved one way or the other by these shroud arguments. Finally, no amount of physical evidence could ever demonstrate that a man was a god, was also his own Father and conceived without his mother ever having had sex. Thus, no matter how many brilliant scientists marshal forth their brilliant papers with evidence for images of Biblical ropes, sponges, thorns, spears, flowers, tumbleweeds, blood, etc., none of it has the slightest relevance for proving these matters of faith.

    Dr. Raymond Rogers, a retired chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, claims that the part of the cloth tested and dated at around 1350 was not part of the original shroud. According to Rogers, the labs that dated the cloth to the 14th century tested a patch made to repair damage done by fire. How does he know this, since the patch was destroyed in the testing? According to shroud investigator Joe Nickell, Rogers \\"relied on two little threads allegedly left over from the sampling\\" and the word of \\"pro-authenticity researchers who guessed that the carbon-14 sample came from a 'rewoven area' of repair.\\" According to Nickell, P.E. Damon's 1989 article published in Nature claims that \\"textile experts specifically made efforts to select a site for taking the radiocarbon sample that was away from patches and seams.\\"

    Piezonuclear fission is the notion that \\"compressing solids can provoke nucleus-splitting reactions without emitting gamma-rays or producing nuclear waste.\\"

    Damon, P.E., et al. (1989). Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin. Nature 337 (February): 611615. Schafersman, Steven D. (1998). \\"Unraveling the Shroud of Turin,\\" Approfondimento Sindone, Year II, vol. 2.

    Freeman, Charles. 2012. \\"The Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey\\" \\"When I was researching my book on medieval relics, Holy Bones, Holy Dust, How Relics Shaped the History of the Medieval World, Yale University Press, 2011, I decided to leave out the Shroud of Turin. Relic cults come and go and the Turin Shroud is very much a cult of the past fifty years, not a medieval one. The debates over its authenticity have been acrimonious and inconclusive. However, having been sent a copy of Thomas de Wesselows The Sign, the Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection, Viking, 2012, I had strong reservations about much of the historical evidence presented to provide an narrative history of the Shroud before 1350. Despite many years of research de Wesselow uncritically accepts much of the work of the veteran Shroud researcher Ian Wilson whose latest volume, The Shroud, Fresh Light on the 2000-year-old Mystery, Bantam Books, 2011, is used here. So much has been written about the Shroud that I am unlikely to provide much new material but I hope to clarify some issues by placing the Shroud within the wider context of medieval relics.\\"

    Toro, Hernán. 2004. Las anomalías ignoradas del \\"sudario\\" de Turín. Pensar. Vol. 1 No. 1. Despite the abundance of pseudo-scientific verbiage used by defenders of the \\"shroud\\" as the burial cloth of Jesus, the authenticity of the the images on the \\"shroud\\" cannot withstand a simple logical analysis. The figure is not a negative, the image is not anatomically accurate, no one can say that the wounds of the nails are on the wrists, the spots of \\"blood\\" are but pictures painted with red ocher and vermilion, the supposed corpse has ape-like proportions and adopts impossible positions, and the figure does not satisfy the geometric conditions of contact formation.

    websites Science, Archaeology, and the Shroud of Turin PAUL C. MALONEY General Projects Director Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin

    The Shroud of Turin: The Great Gothic Art Fraud Because If It's Real the Brain of Jesus Was the Size of a Protohuman's! by Gregory S. Paul \\"This note is intended to describe why, from an artistic and anatomical perspective, the shroud image is an embarrassingly obvious fraud committed by a Gothic artist following the standard conventions of his time. The artistic errors are so severe that it is impossible for the shroud to record the image of an actual human bodyunless it was a very seriously pathological person with a brain the size of a Homo erectus.\\"

  2. People also ask

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  3. Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud: New Evidence from Raw ...

    shroudstory.com › 2019/03/23 › radiocarbon-dating-of

    Mar 23, 2019 · Philip Ball, the former physical science editor for Nature when the carbon dating results were published, recently wrote: “It’s fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever.” If we wish to be scientific we must admit we do not know how old the cloth is.

  4. jref - Shroud of Turin -- is it absolutely and definitively ...

    skeptics.stackexchange.com › questions › 1052

    Some contend that the shroud is the actual cloth placed on the body of Jesus Christ at the time of his burial, and that the face image is the Holy Face of Jesus, while others contend that the artefact was created in the Middle Ages, as indicated by carbon dating which placed the artifact between 1260 and 1390.

  5. Blood Splatter Discovered On Shroud Of Turin, Could Belong To ...

    www.beyondsciencetv.com › 2021/07/24 › blood

    Jul 24, 2021 · The biggest focal point for skeptics is a carbon-14 dating conducted in 1988 where a small piece of fabric from the corner of the shroud was sent to labs at the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

  6. Controversial new theories on the Shroud of Turin - CBS News

    www.cbsnews.com › news › controversial-new-theories

    Apr 20, 2012 · The last time the Shroud was on view, for six weeks in 2010, more than two million people saw it, even though in 1988, after a carbon dating test, it was declared a medieval fake - dating from ...

  7. Scientist: ‘When We See the Shroud, We Are Really Seeing the ...

    www.ncregister.com › interview › scientist-when-we

    Apr 24, 2021 · One of the problems with the carbon dating is that the samples were taken from the worst spot on the shroud. I cannot completely blame the scientists for that because the Vatican is very careful ...

  8. shroud of Turin - reader comments -The Skeptic's Dictionary ...

    www.skepdic.com › comments › turincom

    The reason why a fire can't change the apparent date of the Turin Shroud is that to do so, the fire should change the amount of C-14 atoms compared to C-12; to make the date 2/3 younger (e.g. 700 years old instead of 2000 years old) one should add so much modern C-14, that 2/3 of the carbon weight should be modern.

  9. Shroud of Turin | Who You Calling a Skeptic?

    whoyoucallingaskeptic.wordpress.com › 2008/12/09

    Dec 09, 2008 · 7 said this on April 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm. The shroud is real. Research shows that the carbon 14 test they did on the linen could not determine the exact era. The corner of the shroud was handled by many. The shroud also is impossible to make by hand because the “shadowing” of blood spots are only on the microfibers, not the whole fibers.

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