Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

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Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby Kurieuo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:50 pm

People here wanted the evidence for the Shroud summarised in an easily digestible manner. Bippy like us all is busy and pre-occupied with life, nonetheless we no doubt all appreciate his contribution on this issue in highlighting to all of us as Christians, who were once very skeptical of the Shroud, the actual strong evidence that exists for its authenticity. Rather than continue that already very long thread, I thought I'd start one afresh.

Thankfully, I came across a series of YouTube videos with the sole purpose of exploring the question: Is Christianity True? In this series, he goes into verifying part of the very early Christian creed (YouTube video) found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

    that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
in order to verify that:
    1) Christ died
    2) Christ was raised
    3) The Scriptures attest to such
So then he covers historical texts, respected scholars and the like, but then when looking at scientific evidence, veers off into evidence for the Shroud of Turin across four videos. These summarise much of the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, I think. So, I thought it good to share here:

Enjoy!


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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:00 am

If there is other evidence not covered in those videos, then by all means add it in below. The videos give a good overview I believe of what we do have, but I know much more was covered in the other thread.
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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby hughfarey » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:40 am

Thank you so much for bringing these videos to my attention, as I was not previously aware of them. I originally associated myself with Godandscience because of my study of the Turin Shroud, in the hope of pursuing some of the discussion that went on in the wonderful but now extinct blog Shroudstory.com, (the evolution thing is a bit of a side interest!) so I shall post some controversial repudiations of these videos here shortly, and look forward to receiving an educated barrage of contrary evidence in return...

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby Philip » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:41 am

The one thing I've seen of many who at least initially have posted against the Shroud, is that many of them go beyond not believing it to be authentic, to appearing to almost HOPE it's not. If it's not authentic, it's not. But every Christian should A) believe that such a shroud once did exist, and B) have reasonable hope and an open mind that this might well be the real thing. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this IS the Lord's burial/resurrection shroud???!!!

The other thing we've seen prolifically is that people who have not carefully sifted the extensive scientific analysis first try to shoot it down with supposed evidences against it that have long been repeatedly debunked. This is such an astonishing artifact that if one wants to credibly debunk it, they have to answer not only HOW such an amazing artifact could have been produced by an ancient, but also WHY - why would anyone go to the level of detail that they couldn't have known about, in a pre-scientific age, so as to fabricate things they would have had absolutely no clues about - like negative imagery that produce a positive image, about three-dimensional spacial imagery, about the correct microscopic pollens unique to the right place. Weaving and threads correct to the era. No paint. Imagery that the blood is not clotted and then broken away from. So, a credible debunking must explain the how an ancient would even know to do these things, much less have the technical ability. All of this, when a mere transference from any random blood-soaked corpse that was asserted to be the burial shroud of Christ would be more than sufficient to fool the original intended audience of believers. This, during medieval and pre-medieval times that many churches supposedly had artifacts connected to Christ - wood from the cross, his dried blood in vials, cups from the Last Supper, etc. The audience this all of this would have been created for was a simple, pre-scientific age one. So, why AND how???

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby hughfarey » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:33 am

Philip wrote:The one thing I've seen of many who at least initially have posted against the Shroud, is that many of them go beyond not believing it to be authentic, to appearing to almost HOPE it's not.
I don't know that this is true. I don't know many non-authenticists personally, but those I do know have wished the Shroud was authentic, but are convinced by the evidence that it's not.
If it's not authentic, it's not. But every Christian should A) believe that such a shroud once did exist, and B) have reasonable hope and an open mind that this might well be the real thing. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this IS the Lord's burial/resurrection shroud???!!!
Yes, indeed it would.
The other thing we've seen prolifically is that people who have not carefully sifted the extensive scientific analysis first try to shoot it down with supposed evidences against it that have long been repeatedly debunked.
I hope this won't happen here.
This is such an astonishing artifact that if one wants to credibly debunk it, they have to answer not only HOW such an amazing artifact could have been produced by an ancient, but also WHY...
Yes. That's a sensible beginning to a question.
...why would anyone go to the level of detail that they couldn't have known about, in a pre-scientific age, so as to fabricate things they would have had absolutely no clues about - like negative imagery that produce a positive image, about three-dimensional spacial imagery, about the correct microscopic pollens unique to the right place. Weaving and threads correct to the era. No paint. Imagery that the blood is not clotted and then broken away from.
But this is not a sensible continuation of the question, as it assumes within itself that all the factors mentioned are both true and accurate.
So, a credible debunking must explain the how an ancient would even know to do these things, much less have the technical ability.
This doesn't mean anything. You're letting your stream-of-consciousness passion get on top of you again.
All of this, when a mere transference from any random blood-soaked corpse that was asserted to be the burial shroud of Christ would be more than sufficient to fool the original intended audience of believers.
This is a very good point. Possibly the best so far.
This, during medieval and pre-medieval times that many churches supposedly had artifacts connected to Christ - wood from the cross, his dried blood in vials, cups from the Last Supper, etc. The audience this all of this would have been created for was a simple, pre-scientific age one. So, why AND how???
Why and how indeed. Good things to explore...

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:14 pm

There is a very easy way to debunk the shroud, the easiest way possible:

Make one, one that has the same qualities and characteristics, ALL OF THEM, that the shroud has.

Science is, after all:

Repeatable
Falsifiable
Verifiable
Testable
Observable

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby Byblos » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:51 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:There is a very easy way to debunk the shroud, the easiest way possible:

Make one, one that has the same qualities and characteristics, ALL OF THEM, that the shroud has.

Science is, after all:

Repeatable
Falsifiable
Verifiable
Testable
Observable


This type of argument just doesn't work. It is akin to asking a chef to replicate McDonald's secret special sauce. He can make educated guesses based on taste, smell, and consistency. But unless he has the same ingredients, exact measurements, exact cooking time and flame intensity, there is no way he can duplicate the sauce.
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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:46 pm

Byblos wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:There is a very easy way to debunk the shroud, the easiest way possible:

Make one, one that has the same qualities and characteristics, ALL OF THEM, that the shroud has.

Science is, after all:

Repeatable
Falsifiable
Verifiable
Testable
Observable


This type of argument just doesn't work. It is akin to asking a chef to replicate McDonald's secret special sauce. He can make educated guesses based on taste, smell, and consistency. But unless he has the same ingredients, exact measurements, exact cooking time and flame intensity, there is no way he can duplicate the sauce.


I disagree.
If something can be stated factually as fake or forgery then it can be replicated.
That is the whole point.
If it is fake, if it is mad mad, then make it.

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby hughfarey » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:26 pm

It's a common challenge, but fairly facile. You don't need to make an exact replica of something to show how it was done. However you are correct that if the Shroud is not supernatural, then it should be possible to determine its mode of manufacture. There have been many such attempts, both from a 1st Century "cadaverous emanations" and a 13th Century "artificial depiction" point of view, none of which have been satisfactory, although several have led to sensible hypotheses about further experimentation. It's an ongoing study.

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby hughfarey » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:36 am

Here we go then. I have looked at each Video, and compiled a commentary on each one. They are not entirely comprehensive and leave lots of room for counter-dispute, but together they amount to such a long post that it might be more than the site will accept, so I'll post them in installments. Here is my review of Video 1. People who are unfamiliar with the material will have to refer to the video or other sources to check things, I expect.

Video 1 challenges the radiocarbon date of the Shroud on two grounds, scientific malpractice and its depiction on the Pray manuscript of 1195. Neither of these holds water.

Scientific Malpractice. While there is no doubt that successive versions of the protocol debated among the laboratories involved were largely ignored, that in itself does not invalidate the process of dating the samples, nor the accuracy of the findings. The better appeal, that the sample was not representative of the material of the Shroud, prompts the questions of how it was unrepresentative, and whether it was unrepresentative enough to distort the date from the 1st to the 14th centuries. This has been extensively debated, and while various possibilities have been suggested, none have been sufficiently well-founded as to make a conclusive case, and most have been refuted absolutely.

The Pray manuscript. This shows the dead Christ lying on a sheet, in line with the Gospel accounts. He is shown with his wrists crossed over his groin, similarly to the Shroud. He has no beard and no wounds. The picture below is a more conventional depiction of the visitation of Holy Women to the tomb on the day of resurrection. It shows the tomb itself, decorated with small crosses, the lid of the tomb, decorated by a number of zig-zag shapes, and the shroud lying in a crumpled heap on the top. An angel stands on the lid of the tomb.

While it cannot be said to be impossible that the top picture is derived from the image on the Shroud, the fact that the face looks nothing like it, and the complete absence of wounds, are evidence which contradicts that conclusion. The iconography of the crossed hands is far from unique, and has led some to suggest that all such depictions must be derived from the Shroud, but this is impossible to establish - it as as likely, on this evidence alone, that the Shroud image conforms to an earlier convention, itself derived from medieval burial practice. Numerous burials in the same style have been discovered. As for the second picture, its claim to represent the Shroud rests almost entirely on the two groups of circles shown on the box and lid of the tomb, one of which resembles the pattern of four holes found repeated four times on the Shroud (the other has five circles and looks nothing like it). While the relevance of these circles is certainly not obvious, it cannot be assumed that they are representations of the holes on the Shroud,especially as they are on the tomb, not the cloth. Attempts by Mechthilde Flury-Lemberg and others to compare the zig-zag patterns on the lid of the tomb to the weave of the Shroud - and thus to claim that the lid is actually the Shroud itself - are too far-fetched and unsupported to be credible.

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby DBowling » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:57 am

Here is an interesting video I saw a few years ago. It demonstrates how the radiocarbon date results for the Shroud are the result of French reweaving of 16th century cloth into the Shroud at the location where the single radiocarbon sample was taken.

Discovery Channel — Unwrapping The Shroud of Turin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au-YZlNjq4w

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:37 am

Yes, the C14 dating seems to me such flimsy evidence considering how it was done. More so than when stacked against the range of other evidences for an earlier date, especially if the miraculous isn't out of the picture (which it shouldn't be for Christians since our hope is based upon the resurrection) given the features of the image. All evidence can be challenged, there is no such thing as absolute proof epistemically speaking.
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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby Philip » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:03 pm

K: All evidence can be challenged, there is no such thing as absolute proof epistemically speaking.


The question is, what degree of proof seems reasonable to qualified, informed people who have extensively researched an issue - ya can't really go beyond that - which will always have naysasyers. Really, I could even prove K is married to his wife - maybe he just threw a big scam wedding with a fake minister. Maybe he's a plant by the Russians and his "wife" is just a KGB co-spy? y:-? How could you scientifically PROVE he's married?

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby hughfarey » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:58 pm

DBowling wrote:Here is an interesting video I saw a few years ago. It demonstrates how the radiocarbon date results for the Shroud are the result of French reweaving of 16th century cloth into the Shroud at the location where the single radiocarbon sample was taken.
It does nothing of the sort. It is a triumph of wishful thinking over evidence. It is based on the idea that some 16th Century threads are intermingled with some 1st Century threads in such a way as to distort all the 12 different radiocarbon sample readings, but appear completely invisibly mingled to the eye or microscope. This is wholly unsupported by the evidence.

The story begins at 25:15, and a shot of one of four 'quad mosaic' images, made by the STuRP team in 1978. "Look here," says Sue Benford, "nowhere else is there this definitive, intentional dark green." The area in dark green is the bottom left hand corner of the quad mosaic picture, covering the place where the radiocarbon sample was cut from. However, what is not pointed out is that there are four of these images covering the whole shroud (covering about one square metre each) and that all of them show a dark green area in their bottom left hand corners.

Next, from 25:28. the narrator says "Benford noticed something strange about the area where the carbon dating samples had been taken. The herringbone weave, that is so consistent throughout the main body of the Shroud, seemed misaligned - off axis." This is demonstrably untrue. Now that we all have access to Shroud 2.0, we can all see that the entire Shroud is not at all consistent across its entire surface. The radiocarbon corner is wholly unexceptional. What's more, the implication drawn from this non observation is also demonstrably untrue. Here is Joe Marino, from 25:44. "Our theory is that there is a mixture of 16th century cloth and 1st century cloth, and the data that we're finding on the cloth matches that theory." The main thing wrong with this is that if the two sides of the 'axis' were different ages, then results from one side would have come out as 1st century, results from the other side would have come out as 16th century, and only results from pieces containing the axis would have come out between the two. This is not what happened. All 12 results were medieval.

A 'history' for the reweaving hypothesis begins at 26:05. Narrator: "According to this theory, cotton from the 16th century was invisibly woven into the linen fibres of the Shroud, a fixer was applied to the patched area, and the repair was expertly dyed so that it would be invisible to the naked eye. It is a craft they contend was called "French Reweaving." [...] Sue Benford: "The ends are unravelled in the main cloth, the ends are unravelled in the patch, they are spliced together, and the threads are connected and interwoven, so you see literally an interweaving such that you have old and new on both sides of the equation." Not only is this not a description of French Reweaving, which is far from invisible, but it describes a wholly impossible process. Consider taking a piece of cloth, say a handkerchief, and cutting a small rectangle about half an inch wide and three inches long from one corner. Then bring in a "patch" of about the the same dimensions, and unravel sufficient of its threads to enable them to be 'spliced' together. Or rather, don't just consider it, actually do it. Hold a thin strip of cloth, with fine threads - 1/3 of a millimetre wide - and attempt to unravel some, with the object of 'splicing' them to another piece similarly unravelled. Of course it's not possible, and has never been used as a method of mending torn cloth. French Reweaving, which was, and still is, used to mend expensive cloth, is completely different; a very clever way of mending so that the mend is extremely hard to detect from one side, but it is easily visible from the other.

I could go on to analyse the rest of the video, and poor Ray Rogers's desperate but ultimately fruitless attempts to justify the interweaving hypothesis microscopically, and will if I'm asked, but this will be enough for now, I guess.

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Re: Shroud of Turin - Summary of Evidence for its Authenticity

Postby DBowling » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:47 pm

hughfarey wrote:
DBowling wrote:Here is an interesting video I saw a few years ago. It demonstrates how the radiocarbon date results for the Shroud are the result of French reweaving of 16th century cloth into the Shroud at the location where the single radiocarbon sample was taken.
It does nothing of the sort. It is a triumph of wishful thinking over evidence. It is based on the idea that some 16th Century threads are intermingled with some 1st Century threads in such a way as to distort all the 12 different radiocarbon sample readings, but appear completely invisibly mingled to the eye or microscope. This is wholly unsupported by the evidence.

What is wholly unsupported by the evidence are your assertions.

Here is what the French reweaving evidence does explain.
- How there was cotton in the radiocarbon sample when the Shroud itself is made of flax.
- How there was pigmentation on the radiocarbon sample when the Shroud itself has no pigmentation.
- Why the different dates from the different labs get progressively larger as you go from one end of the sample to the other.

I could go on to analyse the rest of the video, and poor Ray Rogers's desperate but ultimately fruitless attempts to justify the interweaving hypothesis microscopically, and will if I'm asked, but this will be enough for now, I guess.

And of course you are wrong here as well...
Ray Rogers wasn't trying to justify the reweaving hypothesis. Initially he thought it was ridiculous and he thought he could easily disprove it... until he examined the evidence.
That was when he realized he was wrong, and he wrote a peer reviewed article on his findings which were published in Thermochimica Acta.
"Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the shroud of turin"
http://www.shroud.it/ROGERS-3.PDF


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