Other Evidence 8/23/10

(The text below, and in the following pages, is made up of quotes from the sources below. The color of the text matches the color of its source.)

Turin Shroud Center of Colorado (8/6/10) http://www.shroudofturin.com/shroud.html
Wikipedia (7/12/10)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin
Thoughtful skeptical inquirer (7/16/10) http://www.skepticalspectacle.com/
Skeptics Dictionary (7/17/10) http://www.skepdic.com/shroud.html
Story Guide 2010 (7/19/10)http://www.shroudstory.com/
Shroud Mania (7/30/10) http://blog.ecso.org/2010/04/shroud-of-turin-mania/
9News.com (8/9/10) http://www.9news.com/rss/article.aspx?storyid=146967
Center for Inquiry (4/6/10)



  1. Other Evidence

    1. In 2000, fragments of a burial shroud from the first century were discovered in a tomb near Jerusalem, believed to have belonged to a Jewish high priest or member of the aristocracy. The shroud was composed of a simple two-way weave, unlike the complex weave of the Turin Shroud. Based on this discovery, the researchers stated that the Turin Shroud did not originate from Jesus-era Jerusalem.[86][87][88]
    2. According to textile expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg of Hamburg, a seam in the cloth corresponds to a fabric found only at the fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea, which dated to the first century. The weaving pattern, 3:1 twill, is consistent with first-century Syrian design, according to the appraisal of Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology in Belgium. Flury-Lemberg stated, "The linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin does not display any weaving or sewing techniques which would speak against its origin as a high-quality product of the textile workers of the first century."[89](100)
    3. One theory devised by the Jacksons [John and Rebecca of the Turin Shroud Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado] was based on a collaboration between their own heritages. Rebecca Jackson, who was raised Jewish, converted to Christianity three years before meeting her husband, John. Rebecca's faith in existing research told the shroud once covered a middle-eastern Jewish man who had been crucified. However, her Jewish traditions suggested there might be a deeper story to the shroud. Simply put, it was the type of fabric that makes up the shroud that led the Jacksons to believe it was once used as something other than a burial shroud.
      "[The idea] comes from consideration of the liturgy [as well as] the mass as it's celebrated throughout the world," John Jackson said. "Interestingly, [Communion] is celebrated on a linen cloth called a corporal in the Roman Rite, which is understood to be the burial shroud of Jesus. That's exactly what we study."
      John Jackson led an expedition of scientists to research the Shroud in 1978. However, John had not met Rebecca at that time, and their collaborative theory about the Last Supper had not cross John's mind. He now looks at a collection of suspect spots and food stains as possibly being from the Last Supper. However, he has not had access to the Shroud since his first trip more than 30 years ago.
      "If it is authentic, and if this idea is, in fact, truth, it would touch the cornerstone belief of Christianity, namely the resurrection of Jesus himself," Jackson said. "This cloth would have been a witness to [the Last Supper, death and resurrection of Christ] simultaneously. Not that the Shroud should replace faith. It shouldn't do that. But it could bring us to a sense of scientific inquiry to help us perhaps understand what the events of these three days really were and what they were like." (105)."
    4. In 1999, Mark Guscin investigated the relationship between the shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo, claimed as the cloth that covered the head of Jesus in the Gospel of John[20:6-7
    5. The Sudarium is also reported to have type AB blood stains. Guscin concluded that the two cloths covered the same head at two distinct, but close moments of time. Avinoam Danin (see below) concurred with this analysis, adding that the pollen grains in the Sudarium match those of the shroud.[90] Skeptics criticize the polarized image overlay technique of Guscin and suggest that pollen from Jerusalem could have followed any number of paths to find its way to the sudarium.[91]
    6. In 2002, Aldo Guerreschi and Michele Salcito argued that many of these marks on the fabric of the shroud stem from a much earlier time because the symmetries correspond more to the folding that would have been necessary to store the cloth in a clay jar (like cloth samples at Qumran) than to that necessary to store it in the reliquary that housed it in 1532.[92]
    7. Joseph Kohlbeck from the Hercules Aerospace Center in Utah and Richard Levi-Setti of the Enrico Fermi Institute examined some dirt particles from the Shroud surface. The dirt was found to be travertine aragonite limestone.[93] Using a high-resolution microprobe, Levi-Setti and Kolbeck compared the spectra of samples taken from the Shroud with samples of limestone from ancient Jerusalem tombs. The chemical signatures of the Shroud samples and the tomb limestone were found identical except for minute fragments of cellulose linen fiber that could not be separated from the Shroud samples.[94]

    8. In 1997 Avinoam Danin, a botanist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, reported that he had identified the type of Chrysanthemum coronarium, Cistus creticus and Zygophyllum whose pressed image on the shroud was first noticed by Alan Whanger in 1985 on the photographs of the shroud taken in 1931. He reported that the outlines of the flowering plants would point to March or April and the environs of Jerusalem.[104][105] In a separate report in 1978 Danin and Uri Baruch reported on the pollen grains on the cloth samples, stating that they were appropriate to the spring in Israel.[106] Max Frei, a Swiss police criminologist who initially obtained pollen from the shroud during the STURP investigation stated that of the 58 different types of pollens found, 45 were from the Jerusalem area, while 6 were from the eastern Middle East, with one pollen species growing exclusively in Constantinople, and two found in Edessa, Turkey.[107] Mark Antonacci argues that the pollen evidence and flower images are inherently intervowen and strengthen each other.[108] (100)
    9. Palestinian pollen on the Shroud. This goes back to Max Frei, who had also declared the forged Hitler diary to be authentic. The pollen clearly show as fresh under the microscope, and do not show the kind of aging one would expect after 2000 years.
    10. For example, in 1981 a freelance criminologist named Max Frei claimed to have found traces of an ointment containing aloes, one of the aromatic spices mentioned regarding Jesus' burial (John 19:39-40); this was just in time for Easter. Actually, not a speck of aloes was ever found on the shroud cloth. Neither were there pollens on the linen that placed the cloth in Palestine as Frei also claimed-except for a single specimen that appeared to have been doctored.
    11. Skeptics have argued that the flower images are too faint for Danin's determination to be definite, that an independent review of the pollen strands showed that one strand out of the 26 provided contained significantly more pollen than the others, perhaps pointing to deliberate contamination[109] and that Frei had overstated evidence in a separate matter that did not involve the shroud.[110][111]

    12. In 2008 Avinoam Danin reported analysis based on the ultraviolet photographs of Miller and Pellicori[112][113] taken in 1978. Danin reported five new species of flower, which also bloom in March and April and stated that a comparison of the 1931 black and white photographs and the 1978 ultraviolet images indicate that the flower images are genuine and not the artifact of a specific method of photography.[114]
    13. Palestinian flowers on the Shroud. Very imaginative. Such pictures compare to patterns we appear to detect in clouds or tapestry and spring from our imagination and tendency to detect patterns even if there is nothing there.

    14. In November 2009 Vatican scholar Dr. Barbara Frale announced that she had "managed to read the burial certificate of Jesus the Nazarene, or Jesus of Nazareth." imprinted in fragments of Greek, Hebrew and Latin writing, together with the image of a crucified man on the cloth. She asserted that the inscription provided an "historical date consistent with the Gospels account" and that the letters, not obvious to the human eyes, were first detected during an examination of the shroud in 1978, with others since coming to light. As with the image of the man himself Frale reports that the letters are in reverse and only become intelligible in negative photographs. Frale further asserts that under contemporary Jewish burial practices, within a Roman colony such as Palestine, a body buried after a death sentence could only be returned to the family after a year in a common grave (though the gospels report that Jesus was buried in a tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea), therefore a death certificate was glued to the burial shroud, usually stuck to the face, to identify it for later retrieval.
    15. Other scholars have argued that the writing originates from a reliquary in which the cloth was housed during medieval times. Frale disagrees on her assumption that a medieval Christian would not have referred to Jesus as "the Nazarene" but rather "Jesus as Christ" since the former would have been "heretical" in the Middle Ages, defining Jesus as being "only a man" rather than the Son of God. Frale's reconstruction of the text reads:"In the year 16 of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius Jesus the Nazarene, taken down in the early evening after having been condemned to death by a Roman judge because he was found guilty by a Hebrew authority, is hereby sent for burial with the obligation of being consigned to his family only after one full year".
    16. Frale further argues that the use of three languages was in line with the multi-lingual practices of Greek-speaking Jews in a Roman colony.[167]

    17. NASA researchers Jackson, Jumper, and Stephenson report detecting the impressions of coins placed on both eyes after a digital study in 1978.[130] The two-lepton coin on the right eyelid was presumably coined under Pilate in 29—30,[131] while the one-lepton coin on the left eyebrow was minted in 29.[132] Greek and Latin letters were discovered written near the face (Piero Ugolotti, 1979). These were further studied by André Marion, professor at the École supérieure d'optique and his student Anne Laure Courage, graduate engineer of the École supérieure d'optique, in the Institut d'optique théorique et appliquée in Orsay (1997). Subsequently, through computerized analysis and microdensitometer, other writings were found, among them INNECEM (a shortened form of Latin "in necem ibis"—"you will go to death"), NNAZAPE(N)NUS (Nazarene), IHSOY (Jesus) and IC (Iesus Chrestus).[133] The uncertain letters IBE(R?) have been conjectured as "Tiberius".[134]
    18. Some claims, sometimes presented to try and establish the cloth's authenticity, are just not evidentiary. For instance, claims of barely perceptible images of Roman lepta coins over the eyes of the man are flimsy and so far lack scientific confirmation.
    19. Imprints of Roman coins on the Shroud. Very imaginative. Such pictures compare to patterns we appear to detect in clouds or tapestry and spring from our imagination and tendency to detect patterns even if there is nothing there.

    20. And speculation, sometimes touted as theory, that the images were formed by radiation released from a miraculous resurrection event, is scientifically preposterous. We need not debate resurrection or cerebrate on the physical nature of a miraculous resurrection. That work belongs to philosophers who might wonder if God, in performing miracles, might leave bits of sub-atomic particles lying about in all the right places, in just the right measures, at just the right time, to imprint, on purpose or by accident, an image on the cloth?
    21. Radiation, almost certainly, could not have formed the caramel-like substance that makes up the images: not electromagnetic radiation; not ionizing particles such as protons, electrons, and alpha particles; and not non-ionizing particles such as neutrons. Enough energy to induce a chemical change in the super-thin film that holds the image would have visibly altered the characteristic molecular arrangement, the fibrillar structure of the flax fibers. That did not happen.