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    It's Time To Put The Shroud Of Turin Back In Its Box
    By Erika Hert | April 10th 2009 11:23 PM | 54 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Erika

    By day I'm a mild-mannered doctoral student, but by night I don my leather fedora, grab my whip and head to the streets to defend the public against...

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    It's spring cleaning time, and while most of us are thinking of packing a way our winter linens and airing out our summer clothes, a historian at the Vatican has decided to drag out another mouldering old bit of cloth to dangle before us. 

    In a well-timed news story that could easily be confused with the plot of a Dan Brown novel, the Vatican newspaper has reported that a historian working in the Secret Archives has uncovered proof that the Shroud of Turin was guarded and venerated by the Knights Templar. The earliest confirmed mention of the shroud, which is believed by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus, was in 1353, when it was put on display in France. It later passed into the hands of the Savoy family, and has been in the Royal Chapel of the Turin Cathedral since 1694.

    The cloth was largely thought to be unremarkable, until photographs in 1898 showed what appeared to be the full body of a crucified man. Efforts to trace the history of the shroud back in time have proven difficult. Before the cloth's appearance in Turin in 1353 there are only sketchy references to other objects that may or may not be the same thing. A cloth with an image of a man on in is mentioned in Constantinople in 1204, and there are vague earlier references to something similar. 

    shroud of turin

    Luckily for us, samples of the cloth were permitted for radiocarbon analysis, and the results of three independent labs showed that the cloth was produced in the first part of the 14th century, which fits in quite well with the historical evidence. So we all went home in our acid wash jeans to tease our hair and listen to Duran Duran and worry about what the Soviets were up to. 'Cause all this happened in the late '80s you see. When it comes to the Shroud of Turin, we've been there, done that.

    But high tops and big hair are back in style, and so too is the Shroud of Turin. The story of the latest archival research in the Vatican has been picked up by dozens of news agencies around the world, many of them reporting the document from 1287 which describes “a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man”. Many of the reports take the angle that this document might provide an explanation for where the shroud supposedly had been hiding, since it was last seen in 1204, but very few of them mention the radiocarbon dates that make it very unlikely that the shroud is an older than AD 1300. 

    But radiocarbon dating doesn't really work, does it?

    Yes it does. 

    No, it really does work, and I would put far greater faith in the workings of radiocarbon dating than I would in the likelihood of relics of biblical or historical characters happening to turn up on our doorsteps. 

    There is a lot of carbon in the world. And it comes in three different flavours. Most of it is plain old boring carbon-12. About 1% of it is carbon-13, which is so boring that we don't even need to mention it. An even tinier amount (0.0000000001%) is carbon-14, which is radioactive, and decays at a known rate. Carbon-14 is constantly being produced in the upper atmosphere by those crazy cosmic rays. As long as you're alive, you're constantly exchanging carbon with the atmosphere (aka "breathing") which means that you have the normal amount of carbon-14 in your body. 

    When something dies, it stops exchanging carbon with the atmosphere, so the amount of carbon-14 in its tissues decreases at a known rate. The older something is, the less C14 it has, and by measuring the proportion of C14 left, we can tell how long ago it died.  

    The dating in 1988 was completed using the then relatively new technique of AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) dating, which was able to count the number of carbon-14 atoms directly. AMS dating made it possible to take extremely small samples sizes, only a few square centimetres of cloth, compared to the then standard technique which indirectly measured the radiation produced by decaying carbon-14 atoms, and which would have required upwards of 500 cubic centimetres of cloth. The results were calibrated by comparing them with the standard graph of tree-ring dates, which takes into account variations in the atmosphere over time, and produced an age that was 95% likely to fall between 1290 and 1360. The farther a proposed date is away from that timeline, the less likely it is to be correct. 

    For each sample that is prepared for dating, they also prepare a specimen of known age, such as animal bones that have come from a historically dated shipwreck. If there was contamination or something wrong with our understanding of radiocarbon dating, the date for the known date sample would come back wrong. Archaeologists did not just test radiocarbon dating once and walk away from it. Every single date is also performed alongside known age samples, so that the method is continually being checked and re-evaluated.

    Every single published dated is double-checked this way, and if the known date sample was off, the entire run would be discarded, regardless of what the dates might have proved.

    There are some people who continue to insist that the radiocarbon dating of the shroud must be wrong, by invoking explanations ranging from the fact that the wrong area was sampled (despite being selected by textile specialists), and that something in the way the shroud was handled or treated could have resulted in contamination. In the original 1989 report, the three different labs that had subsamples of the shroud tried a variety of pretreatment and cleaning methods. No matter what pretreatment method was used, the dates all turned out to be the same. The 1988 analyses were also performed alongside similar pieces of cloth and linen which had previously been dated using other methods. All the dates came out correct. 



    The people who are asking us to accept that the radiocarbon dates are wrong are either asking us to reject radiocarbon dating altogether, or to believe that there is something special about the cloth of the Shroud of Turin that makes it unlike any other material ever dated. The implied assumption is that there is just something inherently funky about Shroud Carbon. After turning water into wine, and curing lepers, doesn't sticking a few extra carbon-14 atoms on a piece of cloth seem pretty easy?

    What's the harm in all this?

    From one point of view, nothing, I suppose. This is how science works, by constantly testing and retesting hypotheses. It is extremely unlikely that that the Shroud of Turin does not date to the middle ages, because it is extremely unlikely that our understanding of how radioactive carbon-14 atoms become incorporated into living tissues is wrong. If it was wrong, it would mean we would have to seriously re-evaluate almost every single radiocarbon date ever performed. The lab that I am familiar with has performed over 10,000 analyses in the last twenty years. The amount of proof that would be required to overturn such an accepted record would have to be extraordinary. The fact that radiocarbon dating can withstand such scrutiny today is proof of its validity, and of the success of the scientific method. So we can say as scientists, go ahead, hit radiocarbon dating with your best shot. And it will withstand the blow, almost certainly. Because if it doesn't, 50,000 years of human history would have to be rewritten, or at least re-examined.

    Every now and then, there are problems with how radiocarbon dates have been performed. Filtering samples ensures that only well-preserved organic molecules or analyzed, but the filters ended up contaminating the samples with modern carbon. These problems were detected by comparison with known-age samples, and the method was fixed. Early on, archaeologists and scientists discovered that the production of C14 hasn't been constant over the earth's history, introducing the added complication of having
    to calibrate all reported dates against a sequence of known-age tree ring dates. 

    So in many ways, I agree with the head of the Oxford lab, who has allowed further tests to be conducted, to determine if sources of contamination were possible. As far as I know, the tests to date have only supported the original date. If people have several hundred dollars to throw around on some spare radiocarbon dates, it's not up to me to suggest that they might have a
    better use for their money. 

    What I do object to is that every time the Shroud of Turin is dragged out of its dusty box and trotted before us, the media fail to take a critical, scientific view. It is not up to us to decide whether we "believe in" the Shroud. It should not be the conversation starter between believers and non-believers that it has been. As Charles Greenia said: "if someone has based their faith in Jesus on the presumed legitimacy of the shroud, then there is something profoundly flawed about their understanding of their faith."

    The first thought that I had upon reading the Vatican report of the knight's account of seeing an object like the Shroud was that it might attest to the fact that such relics were relatively common during the later middle ages. It is not possible that the idea of of a shroud with a picture of a person on it had already been an "urban legend" of sorts by the time that the forgers created the Shroud of Turin in the early 1300s? This possibility has not been considered by any other source. 

    It's time for the Shroud of Turin to go back in the box. There are plenty of other scientific and historical mysteries that deserve our attention, and plenty of other dirty laundry waiting to be aired. 


    References:

    Damon, P.E., Donahue, D.J., Gore, B.H., Hatheway, A.L., Jull, A.J.T., Linick, T.W., Sercel, P.J., Toolin, L.J., Bronk, C.R., Hall, E.T., Hedges, R.E.M., Housley, R., Law, I.A., Perry, C., Bonani, G., Trumbore, S., Woelfli, W., Ambers, J.C., Bowman, S.G.E., Leese, M.N.&Tite, M.S. 1989, "Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin", Nature, vol.337, no. 6208, pp. 611-615.


    Comments

    The Knights Templar were reported to "guard and venerate" a shroud-like icon -- not the shroud (of Turin). There existed several earlier versions of the 'shroud'.

    you talk about the the chemical,carbon dating and say that this negative picture of "CHRIST" is a hoax with implications of complicity with the HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH(,HOW ABSURD),SCIENTISTS CANNOT TELL YOU CONCLUSIVELY HOW BILLIONS OF TONS OF WATER CALLED CLOUDS ACTUALLY CAN FLOAT IN OUR ATMOSPHERE,WITH THE TEMPERATURE EXTREMES OF OUR FOUR SEASONS.NEW EVIDENCE BROADCAST ON THE SCIENCE CHANNEL RECENTLY DISCOVERED{ D.N.A. THE RECOMBINATE} WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE(.SO TO SAY THAT THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD MAY BE INVITING THE WRATH OF ALL THE SATAN WORSHIPERS LIKE YOU) .NOW WHEN THE THE TERRORISTS USE THEIR STOLEN NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON N.Y.C. AND WASHINGTON D.C
    ".CHRIST" THE REDEEMER WILL BE HERE TO SAVE ALL OF THE TRUE BELIEVERS AND YOU ,AND ALL OF YOUR OWN WILL BE LEFT TO BURN IN THE SULPHER AND BRIMSTONE OF HELL ON EARTH ! CAN YOU SAY ,SODOM AND GAMORRAH ?,OR DOES THAT MAKE YOU VOMIT YOUR DISEASED BILE FROM YOUR ALCOHOL SOAKED LIVER?

    Wow. Just Wow.
    You are HILARIOUS!

    Gerhard Adam
    I can definitely appreciate why someone with your venom and attitude has the need for a "redeemer".   Be assured that if you even had the slightest inkling of what it meant to be a Christian .... you should be worried.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gamorrah? What does a giant radioactive flame-spitting flying turtle have to do with any of this? Please cite evidence. My blind faith is being stretched rather thin. Or was that Gammera? Sorry, too much cap-lock, not enough cowbell. You definitely need more cowbell.

    logicman
    Gamorrah? What does a giant radioactive flame-spitting flying turtle have to do with any of this? Please cite evidence. My blind faith is being stretched rather thin. Or was that Gammera? Sorry, too much cap-lock, not enough cowbell. You definitely need more cowbell.

    I don't know how I could have missed that spelling error.  Perhaps I was just too distracted by all the SHOUTING?

    Thanks!  After some statistical analysis, I have now narrowed down our CAPS-LOCK- challenged friend to being one of the approximately 360,000 fundamentalist creationist internet users who can't spell Gommorah, and who are in serious need of a hug-fest.
    Wow! What a shitheaded bigot!

    Anyways, the article was cool. :)

    Hank
    The value of a good title can't be overstated.  I had no idea what this was about but it turned out to be really good.  I am glad I found it due to the bizarre comments (so we have now featured it).   But not only is Shroud stuff not going away (I stuck a Today Show video up there because it is actually a lot more balanced than ones I could find from National Geographic and Discover, which tells you something about how they cater to a common denominator) but people will extrapolate it even further into looniness.  To wit:

    Here is a link between the 'Man on Mars' and the Shroud.  It's especially poignant that the author spells 'Turin' incorrectly.


    Thanks for the changes you made to this piece. It makes it a lot prettier!

    Anonymous,

    Read your post and you might see why normal people think you're insane.

    Quick correction. You don't exchanging carbon with the atmosphere by breathing. Plants collect carbon from the atmosphere, animals get the carbon from eating plants or eating other animals (that eat plants). For all you nutters out there who will start screaming something like “See! The author is completely wrong” No, this doesn't affect the logic of the article at all. Nobody goes around eating hundred year old food. I'm just being picky.

    You're completely right about the "breathing". Plants incorporate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. During this chemical reaction the heavier C14 atoms are discriminated against, in favour of more lighter C12, although the degree to which this occurs depends on the photosynthetic pathway of the plant (i.e. whether it's a C3 plant like wheat, or a C4 plant like maize). This isotopic fractionation adds a whole other layer of complication to radiocarbon dating, which can be corrected by measuring C13/C13 ratios, and applying a correction factor. It becomes more difficult in cases where "old" carbon is being eaten, which was not derived directly from the atmosphere, as in the case of marine ecosystems, where the carbon at the base of the foodchain is dissolved oceanic carbon, and is often ~400 years older than atmospheric carbon.

    Not to mention it doesn't even fit with the description in the bible...

    DaVinci created the shroud. One of the 1st chemical experiments leading to the development of modern photography. It is 3 separate images. Head, torso & legs front, torso and legs back. Hence the incorrect proportions of head to torso and front to back. And just so I'm clear on a previous post - we're now defining insanity as anyone that follows the scientific method and sanity as anyone that takes fairy tales as facts.

    Wow. Lame. How about you squeak "RAAAWK! Polly wanna cracker!" after every blog post? Maybe download the BBC's latest Shroud of Turin documentary and take notes. Oh, wait. That's what you did. That's this post. Thanks for adding positively $0.00 to the overall Shroud discussion.

    logicman
    Until I read the anonymous comment, I was entirely unaware that science has failed to show how a cloud, being heavier than air, fails to fall on my head and kill me.  I have now dropped all of my philosophical investigations in order to pursue this problem.  I have the beginnings of an idea, and I am working on a practical application with a bicycle manufactory owned by two brothers who excel in innovation.   Perhaps one day it may be possible to travel from Calais to Dover in under eight hours.

    Life would be so much easier if we could somehow compensate for the Eternal September effect by installing a StupidFilter.  (Credit to my friend Aitch for drawing my attention to the filter.)
    Becky Jungbauer
    Oh, thank goodness! I was similarly unaware that this large gap in our meteorological knowledge existed and wasn't sure how to proceed without the answer - so I've shut myself in my house until the answer arrives in the Canon via a divinely inspired author, as I don't want a wall of vapor to drop suddenly from the sky upon my unsuspecting head!
    Larry Arnold
    The age is irrelevant to some extent because even if it does come down to us from the first century, we still cannot say who the image was of.

    It is the image of a crucified man, all the rest is a matter of faith. Faith and Science are two different epistemologies, you cannot argue the one by the other.

    Um....

    No?

    People who believe in the authenticity of the Shroud don't believe that radiocarbon dating doesn't work--we know that it does work, hands down. We just don't believe that they dated a "real" part of the shroud... The sample of the shroud that they tested -is- only around 700 years old, but the thing is that they didn't test a sample of the actual shroud. For fear of defiling a holy artifact, the scientists only tested a crappy corner of the sheet. The corner had pigments on it, while the rest of the shroud was pigment-free... It's obvious that the part that they tested wasn't the same as the rest of the shroud.

    Here's the quote from the original paper about their sampling method:

    "The sampling of the shroud took place in the Sacristy at Turin Cathedral on the morning of 21 April 1988. Among those present when the sample was cut from the shroud were Cardinal Anastasio Ballestero (Archbishop of Turin), Professor L. Conella (Department of Physics, Turin Polytechnic and the Archbishop's scientific adviser), two textile experts (Professor F. Testore of Department of Materials Science, Turin Polytechnic and G. Vial of Musee des Tissues and Centre International D'Etude des Textiles Anciens in Lyon), Dr M. S. Tite of the British Museum, representatives of the three radiocarbon-dating laboratories (Professor P.E. Damon, Professor D. J. Donahue, Professor E. T. Hall, Dr. R. E. M. Hedges, and Professor W. Woelfli) and G. Riggi, who removed the sample from the shroud.

    The shroud was separated from the backing cloth along its bottom left-hand edge and a strip (~10mm x 70mm) 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. The samples were then taken to the adjacent Sala Capitolare where they were wrapped in aluminium foil and subsequently sealed inside numbered stainless-steel containers by the Archbishop of Turin and Dr. Tite"

    From the description, it seems very unlikely that an "unreal" part of the shroud was dated. It is likely that the part that was taken was plain, and didn't have any pigment on it, but the pigment would have been, if anything, a potential source of contamination that could have led to an erroneous date (since material containing old carbon could have been used in the pigment).

    I am unclear as to which part of the shroud the proponents of an early date suggest we ought to test. If one is willing to admit that the 70 sq. cm. area is only 700 years old then surely it is not much of an extrapolation to imagine that the rest of the shroud is likely to be of that date as well. Part of the methodology of radiocarbon dating is using small samples to give a date for the material as a whole, and as a result it is the entire sampling methodology of radiocarbon dating that the true believers in the shroud are calling into question.

    Gerhard Adam
    It follows that if a portion of the shroud is only 700 years old, regardless of where it is taken from, then any potential authenticity would have been compromised anyway since it is clear that the shroud was tampered with.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Also, "despite being selected by textile specialists" is total bs; the church would only allow a sample to be taken from the crappy corner that I previously mentioned.

    Only until they sample and test a part of the shroud whose composition is consistent with the rest will I be satisfied with a date.

    Kimberly Crandell
    Very interesting article.  I appreciate the explanation of carbon dating and how it is used.  Regarding the authenticity of the shroud - scientific analysis that does not support that the cloth's origin is around the time-line of Christ's birth and death should not be viewed as a threat against religion or Christianity, or an aggressive attack.   It's simple science.

    And a piece of cloth that is proven to not be the burial cloth of Christ should not shake a person's faith, any more than the discovery of actual artifacts that do prove his death and life should strengthen it.  I don't believe there is any debate whether Jesus the man walked this earth and eventually died.  The Christian faith is based upon the example of his life, and the significance of his death and what came after.  And any physical evidence of his life on earth should neither support nor detract from a person's Christian faith - because after all, it's a matter of faith. 

    And as for the shroud, my personal belief is that the mischievous da Vinci may have had a hand in that.  He'd like nothing more that to still be causing dispute and contention over religions artifacts hundreds of years after his lifetime.

    Happy Easter, everyone.
    rholley
          the mischievous da Vinci may have had a hand in that. 
    Does that make it The Da Vinci Cod?

    (Says he: ‘Is that an absolute bargain - no cod?’
     Says she: ‘I don't know what the fish has to do with it, but I am perfectly sincere.’)

    [Sketch, 1905]
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    For those who want information on the shroud, I suggest they go to http://www.shroud.com/latebrak.htm which is maintained by Barrie Schwortz (one of the original examiners). Since Barrie is Jewish, he maintains a relatively neutral site. With respect to this blog (ie opinion), there are two papers that discuss the problems with the test as it was performed: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/chronology.pdf and http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/addendum.pdf

    Please don't let them put the shroud back in the box yet! I have written a fiction book for kids that will be released in a few months about a boy who thinks he was cloned from the blood on the Shroud of Turin because a scientist who had worked on that experiment is after him. The controversy may help my book, the Peril of the Sinister Scientist, sell better.

    enitsch
    Wow that sounds like an AWESOME story! I wish things like that happened to me in real life! I can't wait to read it!
    Thanks, Erika.

    When the subject of the Shroud comes up, no one ever talks about the vast medieval industry of forging sacred relics. The items presented are extraordinary and often funny. There are many heads claimed to be of John the Baptist for example. If the shroud can be seen in this light it has some interest as an ingenious invention by a medieval entrepreneur-but still needs to go back in the box.

    TODAY APRIL,19,2009 / CBS NEWS PROGRAM "60 MINUTES" BROADCAST THE TRUTH OF AN INVENTION 20 YEARS AGO CALLED,"COLD FUSION".MADE BY A SCIENTIST IN SALT LAKE CITY UTAH. IT WAS SUPPRESSED BY OUR GOVERNMENT TO KEEP THE SUPER RICH OIL CARTELS IN POWER,AND KEEP ALL OF THE ENERGY POOR PEOPLE OF THE WORLD INDEBTED TO THE LIKES OF OPEC AND THE GIANT MONEY GRUBBING U.S.OIL COMPANIES..MANY FAMOUS LABORATORIES AROUND THE WORLD NOW HAVE PROVEN THAT" FREE ENERGY"IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND THAT EVERY ONE OF WILL BE ABLE TO RUN OUR HOMES AND CARS WITH IT.NOT TO MENTION ALL OF THE OTHER USES FOR IT.THIS IS TRULY THE ( :GREEN:) SOLUTION NOW DEMANDED BY THE PEOPLE OF THIS EARTH. THE SAME DEMONS OF SATAN WHO HID THIS GIFT FROM ALL OF US ALSO HIDE THE FACT THAT THE SHROUD OF "CHRIST" CONTAINS THE BLOOD D.N.A. OF A SUPERIOR BEING.(MALE D.N.A.)SUCH AS LIKE THEY HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE ! ...SO AS I QUOTE THE ROMAN GUARD WHO PIERCED JESUS HEART WITH HIS SWORD,.." SURELY THIS MAN WAS THE SON OF GOD" ! IS THIS THE END OF THE WORLD, OR IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF IMMORTALITY FOR ALL MANKIND? . .AMEN BROTHER !

    Holy cow!

    Gerhard Adam
    ... must be a full moon ....
    Mundus vult decipi
    I howl at the moon when I read posts like this, its irrational but that is the only way to react. I am so over conspiracy theories-my view is that collective stupidity is the the balance which processes posts like this, and props up most religious belief.

    enitsch
    Can we start a "Bloggers United Against Caps Lock" group?
    Hank
    I could filter those caps locks snippets out out but I like to use them ironically at times.    There's nothing like a caps lock to let people know you mean faux business.     Plus, that rant was a higher order of non-sensical oddity so I am a lot better off for having read it.  I would have ignored it if it were normal punctuation.
    logicman
    Pure poetry once more from the MAJI SCULE of calligraphy.  Bravo!
    Ms. Hart, falls into the trap of many other psuedo scientists, who fail to take stock that if you're really a "scientist", you examine all the evidence. Good science is founded on examiniation, and then re-examination of the evidence. Otherwise we'd still believe the earth is flat. Dismissing credible evidence because it doesn't fit in ones world view, is anti-science, and make those who practice such willful negligence, anti-scientists. One should look at the evidence that the sample tested is not original. Describing the method on how the wrong sample was taken, is not an answer to the question, WAS the wrong sample taken. The evidence, to those scientist who look, is now persuasive that the sample taken and tested was a reweave of a corner of the shroud that had been removed by relic seekers in the middle ages. However, on the next test, in addition to sampling a core of the fabric, they should also test for silver nitrate to see if this was really a early form of a photo taken of a statute whether by daVinci or otherwise. Either way, I hope the Discovery Channel reports the evidence. By the way, how did Da Vinci cause so little scrutiny of facts and history?

    Didnt anyone read the scientific american discovery of a unique 3 strand dna found on the the shroud.Has any one found a decendant of CHRIST with the same other worldly dna?,such as in the DAVIVCI CODE /? WHY ARE YOU LIEING TO US,ERICA ?

    Sceientific American!!?...A trash Rag! It sold out science for a political agenda long ago!

    Hank
    Their layoffs show that they have lost their way.   But Popular Science has an unreal retention rate for subscribers, so they must still be doing something right.
    HANK HANK HANK,ALL YOU MONKEYS UNCLES HATE JESUS SO MUCH THAT YOU ARE BLIND TO THE FACT THAT JESUS IS CHRIST.YOU IGNORE THE D.N.A. EVIDENCE OF A SUPREME BEING. YOU LIKE THE FACT THAT THE ARAB OPEC CARTELS SQUASHED COLD FUSION.YOU LIKE SENDING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KILL US.IF YOU HAD ANY KIND OF INTELIGENCE AT ALL WOULD YOU NOT AGREE THAT WE ARE BEING LIED TO BY ALL OF THOSE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OUT THERE WHO ARE BEING PAID OFF TO KEEP US ENERGY SLAVES.THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT "FREE ENERGY" IS IN THE WATER , A ENDLESS SUPPLY,GOD GIVEN TO ALL MANKIND.SHAME,SHAME ON YOU AND ALL OF THOSE LIKE YOU!

    logicman
    Moi, je ne suis pas l'oncle d'un singe.

    Mais j'ai une soeur merveilleuse appelée le Gorille.  ;)
    Becky Jungbauer
    I don't know...had it been properly punctuated and not all caps I would have shrugged it off, but since it's in all caps that must mean it's real so now I am a firm proponent of shroud DNA. And surprisingly it just took a few choppy asinine sentences to set me straight. Guess I'll have to start watching Fox news now.
    Gerhard Adam
    Yeah, that's impressive.  Someone that doesn't know how to work the Caps Lock key ....
    Mundus vult decipi
    just the facts,maam.are all of you insane?

    Gerhard Adam
    That's a good one!! :))
    Mundus vult decipi
    So where does superman fit into all of this? Surely, he must be figure in the shroud and hence why there was a abnormal DNA strand found on it. It was in Superman 27 when he went up against the Mega Devil who rode in a 1974 Ford Mustang and spewed fire from his anus. I'd also like to take the time to point out that science is wrong, there's no such thing a gravity. Just ask Jesus, he's over at Bigfoot's house playing poker with Elvis.

    Also, all of this is being covered up by Microsoft CORP. because they have found a way to turn it into a video game yet. I bet Elvis won't let them.

    Amateur Astronomer
    Passion Plays began at the end of the Dark Ages and became very elaborate by the 13th century, including actual crucifixions of actors every year in several different places. The crucifixions continued until about 100 years ago when they were banned. So there were at one time quite a few burial shrouds in existence.

    It seems likely that the Shroud of Turin was produced during a real crucifixion in one of the Passion Plays. Even with that knowledge some followers of the Passion Plays would regard it as genuine.

    Actors volunteered to be crucified. Strangely some of them survived crucifixion and burial for a day and a half, to become venerated men for the rest of their lives, just as their burial shrouds were venerated.

    The shroud was damaged several times, and could have been falsified or tampered with, but the image of a person on it is not visible without enhanced photography of modern times. So the image is probably not a deliberate fake. Much of what we know about crucifixion was learned from the shroud. A lot of old opinions about crucifixion methods were first discredited by the shroud, and later by other sources.

    The shroud shows that crucifixion was a highly skilled art in the middle ages.

    Many people speak in favor of the shroud of Turin. Some people are against the shroud. The Bible bears witness against the shroud and indicates it for false and a fake. This article points out in the light of the Bible that the shroud of Turin is a fake:

    http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/shroudofturin.html

    This is non-sense as much as the rest of the deniers post here. This talks about blood and folding arms...It claims the appostles would have seen the immage!!?. Non-sense!. It was a "Photo Negative " of the shroud that exposed the image. Who in 30 AD or 1200 AD knew abut Photo negatives???! It is NOT blood stains, it is Not paint! Science has already shown that. There is another chance for scientific testing on the actually linen, rather thatn repaired linen taken in the last experiments. Lets wait and see what science has to say.

    The miraculous image on the Shroud of Turin has puzzled the believers and non-believers alike. It is alike a photographic negative, that is light and shades are reversed. More interestingly, it encodes the depth relief of the body. Blood stains found on the linen relates to human (AB group). DNA analysis has revealed that the blood pertains to a male. It has widely been accepted that it can neither be a painting nor be a photograph. No paint particles or cementation of fibres are found. There is no directionality nor any brush strokes. Historical documentation of the shroud has also been now fully established since the period of Jesus Christ.

    After making a through analysis of various facets of these scientific findings, Dr.Jackson surmised that the shroud image might be caused by a three-dimensional body of a man which was transparent to the environment and such transparent body went right through the linen cloth causing the imprint on it. In my recent book "The Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition or Quantum Bio-Hologram", I have advocated a new theory of quantum bio-holographic flux to explain the shroud image. According to this, every organism, even after their physical death, are capable of manifesting its three-dimensional structure which is quantum biohologram. This effect can be explained by phase-conjugate-adaptive-resonance (PCAR).

    Not complacent with advocating a theory, I have attempted to provide sufficient experimental evidences to support and prove it. One example for such bioholographic manifestation of image has been drawn from natural magic. Many ancient literature makes a mention of a wonderful phenomenon called 'Palingenesis'. It is resuscitation of spectral images of plants out of their ashes. A related phenomenon is making a house appeal full of serpents. The images appear in all these phenomenon are nothing but quantum bioholograms made somehow visible to naked eyes. The book will certainly make an interesting reading, I hope.

    I have sufficient faith in both the results of the carbon 14 dating and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and was resurrected from the dead. According to biblical accounts the burial shroud of Jesus was left in the tomb. I do not know what became of that shroud and I believe neither does anyone else. I have believed the Shroud of Turin to be a fake from the time I first heard about. I don’t doubt that a shroud exists, but I very much doubt that this particular cloth with the image of a crucified man existed earlier than the 14th century. The dating of carbon 14 is extremely accurate. No matter how much I hope or wish that the shroud is indeed the burial cloth which covered the body of Jesus will not make it so.

    Hank
    Sure, science is here to explain the world according to natural laws and sometimes that means dispelling errors.  Just because this one thing has been found to be too new is not a test of faith, it means keeping people from believing in false things, just like people would not want to be fooled by an Antichrist. There are lots of relics in lots of churches and some of them are probably real and some are not.