Is It a Fake? DNA Testing Deepens Mystery of Shroud of Turin

Oct 28, 2015

by Tia Ghose

Is it a medieval fake or a relic of Jesus Christ? A new analysis of DNA from the Shroud of Turin reveals that people from all over the world have touched the venerated garment.

“Individuals from different ethnic groups and geographical locations came into contact with the Shroud [of Turin] either in Europe (France and Turin) or directly in their own lands of origin (Europe, northeast Africa, Caucasus, Anatolia, Middle East and India),” study lead author Gianni Barcaccia, a geneticist at the University of Padua in Italy and lead author of the new study describing the DNA analysis, said in an email. “We cannot say anything more on its origin.”

The new findings don’t rule out either the notion that the long strip of linen is a medieval forgery or that it’s the true burial shroud of Jesus Christ, the researchers said.

Long-standing debate

On its face, the Shroud of Turin is an unassuming piece of twill cloth that bears traces of blood and a darkened imprint of a man’s body. Though the Catholic Church has never taken an official stance on the object’s authenticity, tens of thousands flock to Turin, Italy, every year to get a glimpse of the object, believing that it wrapped the bruised and bleeding body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. [Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus]

According to legend, the shroud was secretly carried from Judea in A.D. 30 or 33, and was housed in Edessa, Turkey, and Constantinople (the name for Istanbul before the Ottomans took over) for centuries. After crusaders sacked Constantinople in A.D. 1204, the cloth was smuggled to safety in Athens, Greece, where it stayed until A.D. 1225.

However, the Catholic Church only officially recorded its existence in A.D. 1353, when it showed up in a tiny church in Lirey, France. Centuries later, in the 1980s, radiocarbon dating, which measures the rate at which different isotopes of the carbon atoms decay, suggested the shroud was made between A.D. 1260 and A.D. 1390, lending credence to the notion that it was an elaborate fake created in the Middle Ages. (Isotopes are forms of an element with a different number of neutrons.)

But critics argued that the researchers used patched-up portions of the cloth to date the samples, which could have been much younger than the rest of the garment.

What’s more, the Gospel of Matthew notes that “the earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open” after Jesus was crucified. So geologists have argued that an earthquake at Jesus’ death could have released a burst of neutrons. The neutron burst not only would have thrown off the radiocarbon dating but also would have led to the darkened imprint on the shroud.


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74 comments on “Is It a Fake? DNA Testing Deepens Mystery of Shroud of Turin

  • @OP The new findings don’t rule out either the notion that the long strip of linen is a medieval forgery or that it’s the true burial shroud of Jesus Christ, the researchers said.

    A new analysis of DNA from the Shroud of Turin reveals that people from all over the world have touched the venerated garment.

    The “new findings” are only evidence of the number of mugs conned by the fake relic pilgrimage industry!

    However, the Catholic Church only officially recorded its existence in A.D. 1353, when it showed up in a tiny church in Lirey, France. Centuries later, in the 1980s, radiocarbon dating, which measures the rate at which different isotopes of the carbon atoms decay, suggested the shroud was made between A.D. 1260 and A.D. 1390, lending credence to the notion that it was an elaborate fake created in the Middle Ages.

    That is what is called “evidence”! The fact that various people have pretended the sample may not have been representative of the whole shroud, coupled with the refusal to provide a second sample for checking, suggests an unwillingness to seek the truth of the matter and put an end to the delusional mug-pilgrim trade!



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  • Ah! The wonder of centuries of pilgrim tourism!

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100229231/the-holy-foreskin-the-relic-of-the-true-cross-and-other-wonderful-forgeries/

    The Holy Foreskin, the Relic of the True Cross, and other wonderful forgeries
    Back in the 16th century, John Calvin expressed a certain amount of scepticism over the relics of the True Cross that had proliferated over Europe. “There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it,” he wrote.



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  • I would not bother to consider “the shroud” unless Christians can first prove Jesus had long hair, especially since Paul said in the epistles that long hair was a disgrace. Anything else is circular reasoning. I always find it laughable that billions get on their knees and pray to images of a thousand total strangers when no one knows what Jesus, if existed, looked like.



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  • The strangest thing about this relic is that it has a feature that clearly announces to the world it’s fraudulence, that has never been, as far as I can tell, pointed out by any skeptic. It is something that ought to convince any sober observer of it’s inauthenticity immediately, yet seems not to be noticed by anyone. It is as though the entire world has been mesmerized into a false reality.

    I am talking about the anatomical inaccuracy of the figure. An anatomically normal male, lying on his back with his arms crossed at the wrists in the manner of the image, does not cover his genitalia. One does not need to be any kind of expert to know this, it is easily verified by experiment by any one at all.

    The creator of the image was obviously a medieval artist, following the convention that the holy “wedding tackle” was not to be shoved in the faces of the congregation, and so distorted the body to arrange this, by a combination of shortening the torso and extending the arms.

    Another quite noticeable error is the magnifying of the face, which is commonly done with images of Jesus to create an impression of warmth and approachability. It all conforms to the artistic conventions of the time.

    It seems to me that the failure of uncommitted viewers to notice these things is more extraordinary than the gullibility of the believers, and perhaps could be the subject of a psychological research project.



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  • the holy “wedding tackle” was not to be shoved in the faces of the congregation, and so distorted the body to arrange this, by a combination of shortening the torso and extending the arms.

    Or maybe there just wasn’t much of anything to cover in the first place. Just sayin, the guy wasn’t exactly a chic magnet…



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  • “So geologists have argued that an earthquake at Jesus’ death could have released a burst of neutrons. The neutron burst not only would have thrown off the radiocarbon dating but also would have led to the darkened imprint on the shroud.”

    I know nothing about “neutron bursts” from earthquakes but if this did occur and it was enough to leave a burned imprint on the shroud it seems no one would have survived the blast either to witness it.



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  • And of cause there is no evidence of an earthquake, just a few lines in the bible that have been interpreted as such. Not only is this an example of circular reasoning its claiming supernatural causes that can’t be verified as a reason to discount observable evidence – this is not the way of science!



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  • …and the long wait for a second coming does not reflect well on the poor chap either. It might go some way to explaining his delusions of grandeur, the sort that drive a teenager to hope that they might be adopted and that their real, more glamorous, parent will reappear in their life and restore them to their rightful place of power and influence in the world, or was that just me?



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  • alf1200
    Oct 29, 2015 at 2:42 am

    “So geologists have argued that an earthquake at Jesus’ death could have released a burst of neutrons.

    I think that was YECologists not geologists arguing, and it was a bust of asserted nut-rons’ pseudoscience verbal diarrhoea at AIG!



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  • An earthquake could have released neutrons. Hmm. But has it ever actually done so?
    This neutron burst could have interfered with dating. But has it ever actually done so?

    Let’s redo the dating allowing a believer to select the sample.



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  • Roedy
    Oct 29, 2015 at 8:41 am

    An earthquake could have released neutrons. Hmm. But has it ever actually done so?

    I think this the usual IDiots:-
    “I have made up some crap about an area of science with which most of the public are unfamiliar, so lets see lots people waste their time giving it credibility by discussing it, and then claim they have not refuted my assertion (which had no evidenced base in the first place)“!



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  • Well, where are all these graves, and where did their occupants go? This is back to the “anything is possible unless you can prove it is not possible, and if someone wrote something down a long time ago it must be true” mentality that this superstitious hog-wash always rests on.
    The comments about the position of the hands, and artistic practice of the day is interesting, and I haven’t met that point before. It adds to the doubt, but the thing that is being doubted is only a free-floating idea in the first place, not one with a shred of any supporting evidence. Nice earner, but worn out as any credible icon.



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  • On the Holy Shroud the reason that the arms seem extended is because they were. The arms were pulled completely out of their sockets when the body was stretched on the cross thus making them longer.



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  • mourn
    Oct 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    On the Holy Shroud the reason that the arms seem extended is because they were. The arms were pulled completely out of their sockets when the body was stretched on the cross thus making them longer.

    Do you have a link to some evidence for this crucifixion technique – such as Roman records?

    According to the archaeologists:-

    It is therefore an odd fact that archaeological evidence of this punishment — crosses, for example, or perforated skeletons — has never been found anywhere in the world, with one exception: the stone box containing Yehohanan’s remains. http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-a-stone-box-a-rare-trace-of-crucifixion/
    The position of the stake was evidence of a crucifixion technique that had not previously been known, according to museum curator David Mevorah. In the image of crucifixion made famous by Christian iconography, Jesus is pictured with both feet nailed to the front of the vertical beam of the cross. But this man’s feet had been affixed to the sides of the beam with nails hammered separately through each heel.

    His hands showed no sign of wounds, indicating that they had been tied, rather than nailed, to the horizontal bar.

    That evidence shows that the hands were tied and not nailed to a cross and that the feet were nailed from the side through the heels rather than as shown on the traditional crucifix.



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  • They, the executioners, wanted the maximum suffering, so did He, therefore they pre holed the cross deliberately so that the nails would not reach thus giving the need to stretch His body until all his limbs were disjointed.



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  • mourn
    Oct 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    They, the executioners, wanted the maximum suffering, so did He, therefore they pre holed the cross deliberately so that the nails would not reach thus giving the need to stretch His body until all his limbs were disjointed.

    That is an interesting speculation, but do you have some historical document – say the writings of a Roman historian, where there is some record of this?

    The archaeologist’s report I posted says there is no material evidence of how crucifixions were carried out, so unless there is some contemporary written record on some scroll or monument, your statement is just wild speculation.

    Not only that, but the evidence we do have says that arms were tied, not nailed.



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  • mourn
    Oct 30, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Oh are not millions of women madly in love with Him?

    Who? Elvis? Tom Jones? Buddha? Robin Hood? King Arthur?

    That does not seem to have anything to do Roman history or fake shrouds!



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  • SorryI this was meant f or LaurieB for the chic remark!

    He was nailed, through His wrists. The evidence is on the Shroud as is His blood group AB Negative, very rare, only found in the Galilean region. His hair is light chestnut blond with red highlights and His eyes are sapphire blue. His voice is indescribable, it goes through your being, stopping all sense of time and leaves you enraptured – for weeks. His words, oh His words, are beyond all and every written human effort. I can quote some if you wish.



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  • Why would you do this, mourn?

    Do you know how damaging this account of yours of Jesus is to your cause?

    Do you understand that you have caused damage?

    You look like someone trying to discredit the Christian enterprise with this thoroughly Western Romantic vision.



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  • Oh are not millions of women madly in love with Him?

    Millions of women are madly in love with a 2000 year old corpse? Things are worse than I thought. Call the CDC, and NOW. Call out the CIA, the FBI and Scotland Yard. Get Hillary Clinton on the case and- oh wait…Mourn- I guess you didn’t notice this but check the calendar- it’s halloween!!! It may actually be true here in the US that millions of women are in love with their favorite zombie corpse 🙂

    Hey mourn buddie. What’s the matter? Did I hurt your feelings by pointing out the obvious truth that your favorite zombie wasn’t actually into chics? He wasn’t. He found us women to be annoying. He was a lousy son, either gay or without sexuality at all. There’s no problem with him being gay or asexual but let’s not pass him off as a family man because he wasn’t that at all. Family values are not based on the life of Jesus. Whatever he did with that little thing of his was not to please women. That’s what we know.

    Straight women would do better to find love with men who are actually alive and have a penis that isn’t decomposed.



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  • Hey mourn buddie. What’s the matter? Did I hurt your feelings by pointing out the obvious truth that your favorite zombie wasn’t actually into chics?

    Gold. Presses imaginary LIKE button



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  • i’m afraid that will never happen. You see,, the body of Jesus was eaten by Dinosaurs shortly after being placed in the cave.
    Sorry, no Dna. Just methane.
    (I’m not taking this very seriously today,,,sorry)



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  • His hair is light chestnut blond with red highlights and His eyes are sapphire blue.

    A Palestinian jew with blond hair and blue eyes? I guess his mommy was very friendly with those Northern European crusaders. Don’t feel bad mourn, Those guys had their way with my female ancestors too. Every time I look in the mirror I see the map of Northern Europe written all over me! Yup, I got them blue eyes and white as snow skin. Tall too. I’m just noticing how Jesus and I look very similar. Coincidence…? Those guys sure did get around. Bless their testosterone addled brains 😀



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  • They, the executioners, wanted the maximum suffering, so did He,

    “so did He”

    Oh well then, why didn’t you say so!

    ~pulls on the 5 inch black spike heels and the matching full one piece black rubber suit and mask.~

    Good Christian men take notice. Jesus loved pain. You all know what you need to do next…Where’d I put that horsewhip? Oh, there it is.



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  • Kay, I think you are missing my point. I am not trying to disprove the thing, which we agree is not even worth debating.

    What I am trying to do is draw attention to the fact that this crap has been argued over for years when it is easily settled along the lines I have indicated. Some of the people involved really ought to have known better. I am thinking (for example) of the guys who did radio carbon dating on the thing. This would not be cheap, I am pretty sure, and yet they actually did it rather than just looking at the thing and saying “ah get outta here! – the proportions are all wrong”

    How about from now on, we all respond to claims for the shroud just with “get outta here, the proportions are all wrong you jerk”.

    If we do this and keep it up for a while, I bet they will stop boring us with their crap before long.



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  • 43
    Cairsley says:

    The Shroud of Turin is an intriguing historical curiosity, quite apart from its traditional religious associations, which have accounted for its being kept safe for so long. Since we have nothing of or from the deceased purportedly imaged on the shroud, it will never be possible to prove that it is the shroud that covered the body of the man behind the New Testament Jesus, no matter how closely it can be dated to the time and associated with the place of Jesus’s death.

    Even if it could be shown to be the shroud that covered the slain body of Jesus, that might be one up for the Jesus-historians against the Jesus-mythicists, but beyond that it would provide Christians with no more support for their superstitions than their faith already affords them. This is not to deny, however, the deep sense of joy and comfort that Christians would then feel at being able to look upon a verified representation of the face of their Savior. A new order of contemplative nuns may be founded for the perpetual adoration of the Sacred Face of Jesus, and one can only guess at the heights of ecstasy they may experience as they surrender in all purity to the mysterious charms of God in visible manly form.



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  • The article doesn’t say much that’s new. That’s fine.

    I am sickened about two things.
    One is to be greeted by the website with ”Howdy, John”. I am not a fcking cowboy and this is a juvenile form of address, like ‘dude’ or ‘bro’. Grow up, go away (or two other words to that effect). This shames the website.

    Secondly, I am disappointed by the cheap and silly criticism on here of the Shroud and religion. Yes The Shroud and religion are all a fairy tale, but surely you can do better than the infantile sneers seen on here? Perhaps it’s a US thing – I don’t know. But I suspect it is, given the dumbing down of the US over decades.



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  • John

    First of all, I don’t think you should take offense at the greeting “Howdy”. It’s not the equivalent of “dude” or “bro”. I don’t see anywhere on this thread that someone greeted you like that but you may be referring to another thread entirely. That greeting is standard in some parts of the US and it’s only a friendly, familiar greeting, nothing to get your back up over. Haven’t you traveled to other places in this world where there are all manner of startling greetings? I’ll be the first to admit that my fellow Americans can be, shall we say, rough around the edges at times but that doesn’t follow that they intend hostility. I honestly think that “shame” is not the result of being greeted with “howdy”.

    Secondly, I accept that you are disappointed by the sneers and silly criticism of the shroud and religion. This was probably inevitable the minute you came here. But may I point out that although there may be some off color and lamentably low brow comments from time to time, there are also some very high quality, cutting edge scientific comments to be had as well. Can you not filter the two? Even on this thread there are plenty of comments of substance.

    Sometimes it’s interesting to think about why people take offense at certain lines of discussion. Is this what is going on in your case, just possibly? Perhaps you have strongly held beliefs and a great devotion to Jesus and his story. Perhaps you’ve never been exposed to others who find the whole story to be ridiculous and even insulting and who don’t mind saying so bluntly or in a derisive manner.

    My sneering low brow comments are based on my opinion that Christianity and in fact the big three monotheisms were all a disaster for women in their historical past and up to the present time. They have done us much harm and damage that they refuse to admit or ameliorate. Now when presented with a claim that there is an artifact like the shroud of Turin or any other relic, we, the nonbelievers are expected to react with awe and respect. John, it’s not going to happen.

    If you can’t take the heat in this kitchen then I suppose you will get out and maybe you already have gone. But if you manage to control your shock and horror of the many people (and numbers growing in leaps and bounds) who just don’t respect the strange story that you were indoctrinated into by your own parents and family, then you may develop some flexibility of mind and join in these conversations we have. If you do then I’ll be the the dumbed down American who greets you with good morning and welcome to the discussion!



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  • John
    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Secondly, I am disappointed by the cheap and silly criticism on here of the Shroud and religion.

    I think you are reading this backwards.
    Many of those commenting here have studied religions and religious claims in detail – and those religions and their claims ARE cheap and silly in their denials of reality, and intellectual level of perceptions, but very costly to their followers and others in their communities in the practicalities of life!

    Perhaps it’s a US thing

    Those in some parts of the US do have to put up with some of the sillier and destructive forms of religion, than those living in the developed countries of Europe.



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  • mourn
    Oct 30, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Oh are not millions of women madly in love with Him?

    It is very sad, that some people are so devoid of human loving relationships, that they need imaginary friends and lovers!



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  • I recall only a single demonstration on television of the fact that if you wrap a cloth around a human head and then lay it flat, the outline of the face will be greatly distorted (think of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz).

    This has always seemed to me to be one of the strongest pieces of evidence against the Shroud of Turin being a burial cloth.

    Certainly opinion differs on ranking, but it seems to me that there must be a group of observations that could be called the “top 10” pieces of evidence against the shroud’s use as a biblical era burial cloth that the rationalist community could keep front and center, rather than the always shifting, stream-of-consciousness debate that keeps swirling from topic to topic.



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  • I get it, but still, “howdy” just doesn’t seem to fit here. It strikes me as a bit too “country bumpkin” (rural, pastoral) for this organization. (I can and will tolerate it, however.)



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  • Wayne
    Oct 31, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Certainly opinion differs on ranking, but it seems to me that there must be a group of observations that could be called the “top 10” pieces of evidence against the shroud’s use as a biblical era burial cloth that the rationalist community could keep front and center, rather than the always shifting, stream-of-consciousness debate that keeps swirling from topic to topic.

    Was something like this what you had in mind?

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin
    Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Pope Benedict XVI declared it “the authentic burial robe” of Christ.[1] It is unknown whether this declaration was made while casting +2 Papal infallibility.

    Sindonology is the “scientific” study of the Shroud of Turin. Unfortunately, most of this “science” is directed at trying to prove that the shroud is the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ, making it on par with Lysenkoism in the sense that it is attempting to prove the already falsified.



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  • Egregious nonsense, later in this thread you claim they had to dislocate his arms and legs to fit previously created holes. Is there no end to the religious who think it a virtue to lie for their childish beliefs?



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  • John, IF you expect a rational discussion about a irrational claim, you may be in the wrong place.
    We commonly use satire and humor to discuss a range of topics. That’s to be expected with a discussion regarding religion.
    You seem to have a problem with others opinions. And the cheap “infantile” swipe is not very mature and shitting on the US posters here is insulting.
    So, what is your complaint?



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  • Good day, sir.

    The newsletter I receive from this site begins with “Hi”. Would that measure up to your lofty standards or would you prefer “What cheer”, “How dost thou”, “Good den”, “Good-e’en”, or “Hail to your grace”?

    Before you criticize “howdy (how d’ye)”, it would serve you to study its etymology. From Wiki:

    “Howdy is an informal greeting, commonly thought to have originated as a shortened form of the greeting “How do you do?”. It was first recorded as part of the South England dialect in 1680.” (my emphasis)

    It neither originated from “fcking cowboys” in the US nor is it recent. I have not studied English history well enough to say whether it was a juvenile salutation when it began. “Hi”, by the way, also survives from Middle English.

    Regarding the “cheap and silly criticism”, since you do believe “the shroud and religion” a fairy tale, would you react the same way if jolly was made at the expense of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? If so, are all fairy tales off limits to ridicule? And if not, are all fairy tales not created equal, or does religion continue to irrationally deserve reverence?

    Finally,

    Perhaps it’s a US thing – I don’t know. But I suspect it is, given the dumbing down of the US over decades.

    I reside in the US and I would join you in denouncing the state of general education in these states. However, such broad and false charges levied against a country with 356 Nobel Laureates (the most by any nation by far), the 2015 Chemistry Prize being most recent example, speak more to your possible prejudice, ethnocentrism, sanctimony and, shall we say, jejune opinions. Maturity, puerility and biases dwell across all national borders.



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  • Kay
    Oct 30, 2015 at 9:27 am

    This is back to the “anything is possible unless you can prove it is not possible, and if someone wrote something down a long time ago it must be true” mentality that this superstitious hog-wash always rests on.

    It’s worse than that! “It must be true despite being refuted by solid evidence!”
    The weave of the cloth is from the wrong place and time, the “blood” is red ochre, the image is not the print you would get from a wrapped body. It was the custom to wash bodies before wrapping and burial at that time, dead bodies don’t bleed, The carbon dating says it was made centuries later than claimed, faking relics was a long-standing tradition, –
    BUT believing in the face of strong evidence to the contrary, is a measure of the strength of the FAITH (err delusion), of the TRRrrroo believer!!!!!



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  • alf1200
    Oct 30, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Well Alan, There you have it. The holes were “predrilled”.

    Yep!
    Strangely, not only was the evidence on my link that the absence of nail holes in hands and arms of the skeleton, indicated tying rather than nailing, but that the world’s only confirmed existing exhibit of an actual crucifixion nail in the heel of the victim, has the end bent over by striking an obstructing knot in the wood of the cross when it was hammered in!
    Supernatural drill resistant knots it would appear!!!!!!!!!?? – Another miracle!!!!



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  • True, and it can be claimed by Sweden as well. It was jointly awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar and Paul L. Modrich of Sweden, Turkey/US, and US respectively. The Wiki page (based on the official Nobel website) where I retrieved the number counted Sancar for both Turkey and the US. The Wiki article remains consistent with such multiple counting, as in the laureates John O’Keefe and Michael Levitt, etc. Removing the multiple listings would reduce the tallies for quite a few nations.

    On a side note, Sancar seems to have referred to self as Turkish and “the English people as ‘gâvur’ (i.e. ‘infidels’) who he blamed for stirring problems in the Middle East!” Interestingly, he completed his PhD at the University of Texas, where he might have been greeted occasionally with a twangy “howdy”.

    I won’t quibble. 300 or thereabouts is close enough. Btw, I’m rather fond of “oi!” 🙂



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  • Moderator message

    Ok, a silly initial comment has been paid enough attention now. Please do not allow it to derail discussion on the topic of the thread.

    Further comments on the Turin shroud are welcome. Anything else will be removed as being off-topic.

    Thanks.

    The mods



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  • I’ve long felt that it’s rather ironic that believers (the faithful) need “evidence” (proof) such as the shroud to strengthen (prove) their “faith”. The more “proof” there is, the less “faith” there need be. But less faith is not good.



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  • I very much agree. It’s always seemed to me that the argument that goes, ‘it is clearly an image that was created in a manner which seems unlikely to have been caused by being wrapped round a dead body, is unlikely to have been old enough to have been created in New Testament times, and even if it was that old, could have been an image of anyone who was around at that time…therefore it is the shroud of Jesus and proves that he is the son of God.’ Is so ludicrous that even suggesting it should be a key indicator of insanity. As you say relying on blind faith is a more credible position. I believe it was your namesake, Doug Adams, who put it very eloquently:

    The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
    Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen it to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
    The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
    “But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”
    “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
    “Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed on the next zebra crossing..

    I believe an earthquake may have happened somewhere on the planet that gave rise to a burst of neutrinos that interacted with part of Douglas’s brain and helped create this idea. I have no evidence for it, but I am marketing some tea towels with the event depicted on them…



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  • The earthquake and the zombies walking around Jerusalem after the crucifiction ! There’s nothing quite like religious fiction ! The trouble is they take it seriously.



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  • Mr DArcy
    Nov 2, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    The earthquake and the zombies walking around Jerusalem after the crucifiction ! There’s nothing quite like religious fiction ! The trouble is they take it seriously.

    And none of those meticulous record-keeping Romans noticed at the time!



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  • I would have hoped we had better things to do on this site than pay any attention to such a preposterous article or the premise that a 700 year old piece of much handled cloth collecting dust and a variety of sweaty fingerprints in all that time could possibly “deepen” its non-existent mystery.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich
    Nov 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I would have hoped we had better things to do on this site than pay any attention to such a preposterous article or the premise that a 700 year old piece of much handled cloth collecting dust and a variety of sweaty fingerprints in all that time could possibly “deepen” its non-existent mystery.

    I think the point of the discussion is not so much about an obvious fake relic, but about the mental contortions and dogged denials of evidence that tens of thousands of people perform to maintain the deceptions, and the lengths they will go to, to defend their delusions.
    It illustrates the retrospective processes of myth building from wish-thinking, and religious empire building and funding by deceptions.

    The denials of evidence and invented contradictory slippery explanations from various theists past and present, provide examples of the processes of “faith-thinking” and illustrate the flaws in those processes.



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