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The Shroud of Turin
Posted: 05 April 2009 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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We’re such a queer species…  One of the main stories on aol is that the knights templar kept and venerated the shroud of Turin for about 100 years.  So half-way through the story there is an aol poll:

Do you believe the shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ?
Yes 61% 
No 39% 

Total Votes: 44,328

Are you freakin’ kidding me???  Am I missing something?  I thought it has already been established that the shroud did not exist until something like the 14th century!  Do these thousands of people know something I don’t? 

On the plus side:

Are you religious?
Yes, somewhat 43% 16,178
Yes, very 37% 14,092
No 20% 7,466

20%?  Really?  Wow.  If that number is close to reflective of reality, there just might be hope for the world.

Anyway, opinions on both the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin and on the growth of the portion of the population that considers itself non-religious would be welcome.

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Posted: 05 April 2009 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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No, the debate continues.

See; Unwrapping the Shroud: New Evidence on the Discovery Channel. Funny it just reaired today.

I think this is the paper they discuss in the show.

http://www.shroud.it/ROGERS-3.PDF

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Posted: 06 April 2009 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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GAD - 06 April 2009 12:11 AM

No, the debate continues.

See; Unwrapping the Shroud: New Evidence on the Discovery Channel. Funny it just reaired today.

I think this is the paper they discuss in the show.

http://www.shroud.it/ROGERS-3.PDF

I’ve read through this.

It is an interesting paper, depending crucially upon the vanillin loss rate from lignin.

Given that these have been done correctly, a fairly large age discrepancy shows itself with the estimate that the shroud is merely 800 years old or so.


Clearly, reliable age indicators are hard to get.

Since radio-carbon as yet shown itself to be the most reliable, one shouldn’t give up on that, hopefully, clearances for new carbon dating analyses will be given.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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‘Since radio-carbon as yet shown itself to be the most reliable, one shouldn’t give up on that, hopefully, clearances for new carbon dating analyses will be given.’

The problem is this-from Wiki

These conclusions suggest that other samples, from a part of the shroud not mended or tampered with, would need to be tested in order to ascertain an accurate date for the shroud. Since the Vatican has refused to allow such testing, the age of the shroud remains uncertain.

Great, the Vatican apparently is afraid of what might be disproven.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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arildno - 06 April 2009 09:39 AM
GAD - 06 April 2009 12:11 AM

No, the debate continues.

See; Unwrapping the Shroud: New Evidence on the Discovery Channel. Funny it just reaired today.

I think this is the paper they discuss in the show.

http://www.shroud.it/ROGERS-3.PDF

I’ve read through this.

It is an interesting paper, depending crucially upon the vanillin loss rate from lignin.

Given that these have been done correctly, a fairly large age discrepancy shows itself with the estimate that the shroud is merely 800 years old or so.

Clearly, reliable age indicators are hard to get.

Since radio-carbon as yet shown itself to be the most reliable, one shouldn’t give up on that, hopefully, clearances for new carbon dating analyses will be given.

If you get a chance you should watch the show, at first it seemed like nonsense but turns out to be pretty interesting and lead the lead scientist to change his opinion, which lead to the paper.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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GAD - 06 April 2009 12:11 AM

No, the debate continues.


The only way such a “debate” could end would be if the shroud were proven to be The actual shroud that was used on Jesus, because no matter how plainly and certainly that might be proven false, a significant number of believers will still come up with bullshit to validate their obstinance in their own minds. It may be bullshit so vapid that any healthy adult intellect would be deeply embarrassed to maintain it openly, but religious faith will further validate the meritless epistemology “supporting” their belabored views.

So yeah, until/unless things go their way they continue the debate, whether or not there’s any valid or even rational basis for doing so.

Just as with creation ID/science.

Byron

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Posted: 06 April 2009 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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SkepticX - 06 April 2009 11:43 AM
GAD - 06 April 2009 12:11 AM

No, the debate continues.


The only way such a “debate” could end would be if the shroud were proven to be The actual shroud that was used on Jesus, because no matter how plainly and certainly that might be proven false, a significant number of believers will still come up with bullshit to validate their obstinance in their own minds. It may be bullshit so vapid that any healthy adult intellect would be deeply embarrassed to maintain it openly, but religious faith will further validate the meritless epistemology “supporting” their belabored views.

So yeah, until/unless things go their way they continue the debate, whether or not there’s any valid or even rational basis for doing so.

Just as with creation ID/science.

Byron

I would tend to agree with you in general but in this case the new evidence lead the lead scientist to change his opinion after 20 years of defending the data against Christians.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I agree with Byron. There is no debate until the Vatican lets the Shroud be officially tested by the most modern Carbon-14 dating process.

After that, let the debate begin, if there even is one to be made.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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First off:

The contention that the shroud of Turin is the shroud Jesus had about him is not a matter of debate.

That is a nonsensical and worthless opinion!

However, there definitely can exist a scientific debate about the dating of that particular cloth, and more interestingly, the appropriate dating techniques for ANY type of cloths!

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Posted: 06 April 2009 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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arildno - 06 April 2009 12:55 PM

However, there definitely can exist a scientific debate about the dating of that particular cloth, and more interestingly, the appropriate dating techniques for ANY type of cloths!


Exactly, and pretty much all interest in the shroud of Bill the cobbler would be limited to archaeological, anthropological and other academic circles. There’d be roughly the same level of interest as in anything else published in Nat Geo—certainly nowhere near the excitement over The Shroud.

IOW the debate isn’t really about the date, that’s just one part of the equation. The debate is really all about whether The Shroud was Jesus’ shroud, the presumption being that if a dude named Jesus really existed at the right time that would prove the whole thing. Reality is very stingy about any kind of genuine affirmation of religious dogma. When something that might be just that is in sight hard core believers can be counted on to make a great and powerful clamor in the effort to secure it and put their label(s) all over it, hopefully obscuring it to all others so that only their labels and claims can be seen.

That “debate” is the one I described above.

Byron

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Posted: 06 April 2009 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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‘However, there definitely can exist a scientific debate about the dating of that particular cloth, and more interestingly, the appropriate dating techniques for ANY type of cloths!’

Agreed. But, Carbon-14 dating is good up to 40,000 years. What is the accurracy range on something about 2,000 years old or less? If, for example the parameters end up being from 1,300-3,000 years old…the dating process will not actually in itself settle anything.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Again with the Shroud? Jaheezus, it really is That Which Will Not Die!

Still, I just don’t get the hoopla over this “new” Templar tale. Even if the Knights Templar were kissing the feet of the image of a man on a cloth, they were doing so nearly 1000 years after the time of Christ. Whether or not the Templars thought this thing to be the genuine burial cloth of Christ is no more to the point than the numbers of people who ascribe to the veracity of the multiple heads of John the Baptist, the variety of Holy Prepuces, or the lumber yard of pieces of the True Cross. All it proves is that the Templars bowed at the hem of some ones dirty old linen.

We know from history that their were numerous cloths that were at one time or another claimed as the true Shroud. The Turin shroud itself was once proclaimed as a forgery. However, there is little evidence to connect this particular cloth with Jesus, and only a tenuous connection with the Templars. And even that connection doesn’t prove that the Shroud that was on display at the Templar’s trial is the same one that eventually ended up a Turin.

(Besides, wouldn’t the Vatican likely have destroyed this thing if they truly believed that was leading people into idolatry?  Or, at they very least, hole it up within their own archives? Why would they let such a contentious object be placed back into the hands of the family of suspected idolaters? ‘Tis truly a thing passing strange.)

Finally, why bring up poor ole’ Ray Rogers? The guys been dead for almost 4 years. I find it rather sad that a man who had a long and distinguished career at Los Alamos will likely be remembered only for his chimerical pursuit of the evidence for the Shroud. The thing is, most of his hypothesis rely on sheer nonsense. For his vanillin hypothesis to be true, one must believe that the STURP members who were in charge of selecting where to cut their samples were so incompetent that they couldn’t identify the “invisible reweaving” in the cloth. Something he claimed “experts” were able to do from photographs! The truth is there is no evidence that the edges of the Shroud were “darned.” The only known patches are to the holes that were burned into the cloth. It also seems that there are some questions about just where Rogers got his samples.

You can read more about the whole vanillin controversy here: A Skeptical Response to Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin

Oh, it seems to me that should also be noted that Rogers wasn’t just a contributor to the journal Thermochimica Acta, but also served on it’s editorial board from it’s inception until his retirement in 1988. Could this be, at least in part, why his article was chosen for inclusion?

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Posted: 07 April 2009 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Thank you, Celsus!

Frankly, I thought that the vanillin dating technique was something uncontroversial that Rogers were using, I didn’t know it was something of his own invention.

Clearly, any new dating technique must be subject to rigorous, controlled testing prior to its application in actual science.

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Posted: 24 April 2009 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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IF the image on the shroud is of someone 6’+ tall, wouldn’t you think this “fact” would have been mentioned somewhere in the NT that this purported son of god was a sight to behold?

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Posted: 26 April 2009 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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exploded-planet-god - 24 April 2009 11:57 AM

IF the image on the shroud is of someone 6’+ tall, wouldn’t you think this “fact” would have been mentioned somewhere in the NT that this purported son of god was a sight to behold?

Also, as an experimemt, why not put a shroud over a corpse for three days and see if an image of the body is transferred to the cloth?  Was Jesus’ tomb some kind of supernatural Xerox machine? 

Also, how does this piece of cloth compare to pieces of cloth from that region known to be 2000 years old?

Also, if Jesus was a real person, whenever you drink a glass of water you are imbibing a number of atoms that were part of his living body, so why all the fuss over a piece of cloth?  (True, you are also imbibing some of Judas’ atoms, but don’t spoil it).

[ Edited: 01 May 2009 12:51 PM by unsmoked]
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Posted: 19 June 2009 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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If I was of a religious turn of mind I’d convince myself that scientific testing couldn’t prove anything about the shroud. This would conveniently render the shroud immune to analysis.

I’d declare that due to the fact that the cloth had been used to wrap Christ’s body it had somehow been altered in some miraculously way. Indeed I’d expect nothing less. This could easily mean that as a result the fabric aged more slowly than normal. Surely the fact that carbon dating indicates that the cloth has only aged by about 700 or 800 years even though it’s 2,000 years old proves that this is the case, does it not?

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