Not the Real Face of Jesus

I was annoyed and surprised to learn from a publicist that this weekend the History Channel is airing a programme named “The Real Face of Jesus” that takes a credulous approach to the shroud of Turin. The shroud is a 14th century fake relic, as has been well documented by historical sources and radiocarbon analysis. Here’s a quick machine-assisted translation of a 2004 article I wrote on the subject.


The shroud of Turin, a linen cloth, 4.5 x 1.2 m, with the image of a wounded male body. The wounds are consistent with the New Testament’s portrayal of the last days and death of Jesus of Nazareth. The cloth depicts both the body’s front and back as if it had been folded over the body which then made an instant impression in light brown where it touched the fabric, almost like a photographic film. The body’s sides do not appear as they would if the cloth had been wrapped around a corpse. The fabric has been radiocarbon-dated to AD 1260-1390. This date coincides with the first written mention of the cloth from AD 1357. At the time it was displayed in a small church built for that purpose by Geoffrey de Charny at Lirey in northern France. Subsequently, the cloth has been kept in the Italian city of Turin.

Many have wanted to believe, or even do so still, that the cloth is the shroud of Jesus. The skilfully crafted cloth is in fact a piece of Medieval church art, or, put less favourably, a counterfeit relic. It is based on the same idea as the legend of St. Veronica’s veil, which tells of a woman who dabbed at Jesus’ face on his way to Calvary, whereupon his image appeared on the cloth. This story too inspired Medieval relic makers. Those who believe that the shroud of Turin is Jesus’ shroud assume that it is identical to a shroud that allegedly disappeared in the sack of Constantinople in 1204, and that the cloth was nearly 1200 years old even then. The shroud of Constantinople and other pictorial cloths mentioned during the Middle Ages should rather be seen as members of the same artefact type as the shroud of Turin, that is, as evidence that the shroud of Jesus was an established type among the era’s relic manufacturers. Already upon the shroud’s original display in Lirey the area’s bishop demanded that it be removed because it was in his opinion a forgery.

During the Middle Ages, relics of popular saints could attract huge numbers of pilgrims to a church and thus also generate huge revenues. The most prominent example is Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. The city became one of the Christian world’s main pilgrimages thanks to an unlikely story that Jesus’ scantily documented brother James had been buried there. Perhaps Geoffrey de Charny had similar hopes for his church and its relic. But Lirey remained a small village.


I’ve never watched the History Channel. But I’ve reviewed two pretty poor archaeology specials of theirs (here & here) that they sent me on DVD. And now this: endorsing mistaken beliefs on a long-settled issue. Tell me, Dear Reader – isn’t the History Channel kinda crap?

Update 4 April: Lots of hits and comments on this one! Looking at the reactions, it’s almost as if I had questioned some central tenet of Christianity. Actually, I reject all supernatural tenets of all religions — but there’s nothing about that issue in the above blog entry. It’s about the date of a certain piece of linen fabric. Despite what the History Channel might say (I’m in Sweden and I don’t subscribe to cable), there is no non-religious reason to question the radiocarbon analyses. The samples were not taken from secondary repair threads, and the idea of smoke contamination is a piece of special pleading that professional archaeologists and radiocarbon analysts do not accept. It was the subject of one of creationist Dimitri Kouznetsov’s fraudulent papers. And anyway: even if a person is a devout Christian, they needn’t believe that the shroud of Turin is more than 700 years old. Many large sects within that religion in fact stress the importance of faith without proof. To such a theology, hanging on to the shroud of Turin is a mark of weak faith.

[More blog entries about , , , ; , , .]

Comments

  1. #1 ABradford
    April 3, 2010

    In a phone conversation a family member mentioned this as if it was on the daily news. All I could say was that I hadn’t seen anything about it. I don’t get cable and I didn’t want to get into discussing how someone can trust that a relic is real despite scientific evidence to the contrary, then turn around and trust the “science” on cable television to reconstruct something from the fake.

  2. #2 Michele
    April 3, 2010

    The History Channel has no interest in separating fiction from fact. I first realized this several years ago when they had an entire day of programming on JFK assassination theories. Each one, no matter how absurd, was presented with equal gravitas. They really should change their name to the Maybe/Maybe Not History Channel.

  3. #3 Christina
    April 3, 2010

    Sadly, the History Channel has succumbed to woo. There’s a ton of “Biblical Prophecy” and “2012 Apocalypse” and various other similar stuff on there. It used to be a decent channel, but it has gone far into the woo. I’d be surprised if there’s any decent stuff on there other than, perhaps, the WWII stuff (although, even there there’s a lot of “Nazi occult” type stuff)

  4. #4 Harlan
    April 3, 2010

    The History Channel is rather more authentic when they play their other role: The Military History Channel. That’s about 75% of their programming.

  5. #5 Bruce Kenneth Paulson
    April 3, 2010

    Thanks for the great article. I’m going to forward it to several people on my mailing list and sincerely appreciate your efforts in exposing this myth.

    Bruce

  6. #6 devadatta
    April 3, 2010

    There are many nick names for this channel: “The Hitler Channel”, “The Mystery Channel, “The Pseudo-History Channel” and “The Hysteria Channel”. Although they have made a few good programmes, as for instance “Banned from the Bible I & II”, which probably contains enough intrinsic spectacularity so they don’t have to invent much.

  7. #7 Jerry
    April 3, 2010

    Dr. Martin Rundkvist
    You state, “the shroud is a 14th century “fake relic”, as has been well documented by historical sources and radiocarbon analysis”.

    Before writing such an article you should have first watched the program. No such claim was made. The hours that were involved in the process, and the genius of extracting the image on the shroud was extremely interesting.

    It goes without saying that the face is more realistic than those portrayed by artist in any case.

    You proclaim to be an atheist, so I assume you believe in the proclamations by Darwin, and his theory of evolution made in the 19th century?. One man who beilieved in his own hypothesis, and found many a follower.

    Radiocarbon dating may have some validity, but would you stake your life on it?. Supposedly it can be used to date as far back as 5000 years, and there will always be those who will be subjective to its findings, swallowing it to be fact.

    I admit 5000 years doesn’t seem as far back as millions or billions of years many scientist refer to when describing a time frame for the “creation”, of the universe. The brains of science has not yet revealed to any of us where it first began based on “fact”, or give any explicit detail on where the first energy source for it all came from?……are we to assume that there was always something there?. Can you also argue what created the atom?. Carbon dating is also a science in an of itself.

    Our schools have adopted what they chose to teach for history, especially American history, Early world history, science, and biology have been spun with mis-truths.

    Nat Geo, The History Channel, and the Discovery Channel, The Military Channel, along with Animal Planet are second to none for giving us a window of opportunity to view things from a different educational perspective. To find truths on any given subject we first need to know what we’re researching, and even then if history teaches us anything, without factual documentation, “without being there as an eye witness”, chances are we will never know?.

    The sources that proclaim something to be factual even deserve some scrutiny regarding their resources. Other than this much of what is left, information that cannot be found is left to specualtion.

    We’re learning today that the skeletal remains the Russians have kept under lock an key since WW2 were suppose to be those of Hitler, may be in fact a woman. Years ago they said the facts were in.

  8. #8 L 4 D
    April 3, 2010

    “The brains of science has not yet revealed to any of us where it first began based on “fact”, or give any explicit detail on where the first energy source for it all came from?……are we to assume that there was always something there?.”

    Yes. It has always been here. Energy cannot be created and energy cannot be destroyed. Simple. Basic. Fact.

  9. #9 Wouter
    April 3, 2010

    Fully agreed. And the shows on Discovery World is not far behind in the order of crappyness either.

  10. #10 Calli Arcale
    April 3, 2010

    History Channel has some excellent documentaries and some total crap. Not a whole lot in the middle. They’ve got some great shows like “Modern Marvels” and “The Universe”. They also hosted stuff like “Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives” that was quite good. And then there’s the crap like their Nostradamus programming. The worst programs tend to run during the day, during the timeslots typically aimed at housewives, which makes me embarrassed for my gender. All in all, I wouldn’t discard History just because of this program. They do have some excellent and worthwhile shows. But you definitely need to keep your critical thinking hat on to sort the crap from the gems.

    Jerry — I’d like to respond to your post from the perspective of a Christian. I believe passionately in Jesus, and very much look forward to celebrating His resurrection tomorrow in church. I say this because you seem to have some sort of assumption that science and atheism go hand in hand. They don’t.

    Evolution has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with radiocarbon dating; the former is a biology subject and the latter is physics. Radiocarbon dating works; we know at what rate the carbon-16 isotope decays, and this allows us to date things. It’s actually rather elegant. I have no doubt whatsoever that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval fake; the radiocarbon dating is pretty convincing, but frankly, I was suspicious of it long before. The high medieval period featured a brisk trade in relics, particularly in western Europe, but throughout the rest of Christendom as well. Tons of wood claimed to be from the True Cross. Three Crowns of Thorns (all with documentation supposedly proving them to be legit). Any number of saintly body parts. Christ’s foreskin. (Actually, there’s a church still worshiping that one.) The veil of Mary at Chartres. That one actually has a slightly better chance of plausibility, since the dicovery of a first-century church on the site, but I’m still skeptical. There were so many fakes being passed around (with considerable money being made from them) that I think it is wisest to treat all relics today as fakes until proven otherwise.

    That’s the skeptic in me talking.

    Now the Christian in me will talk.

    What is the *point* of relics, anyway? We are commanded not to practice idolatry, yet people make pilgrimages to these things. They’re not God. They’re not Christ. Building shrines around them and attributing miracles to them strikes me as almost blasphemous, to be perfectly frank.

  11. #11 Gopherus Agassizii
    April 3, 2010

    The worst programs on the History Channel tend to be on religious subjects, which is sad since so much good work has been done in theology. These programs and their claims become useful when people with brains want to bash people with faith.

  12. #12 Krys
    April 3, 2010

    Ha. They resurrect (no pun intended) this story about twice a year. Once around Easter and then again around Christmas. Go figure. I don’t believe that this is “the” shroud, but it does give millions of people hope – even if it irritates me that this this touted as science.

  13. #13 R Wachlin
    April 3, 2010

    If you would have watched the show your article would have been a good argument to your opinion. Unfortunatley your opinion has no sound basis for your belief other than you choose not to believe in the shroud. If you would have watched the show you would have seen that it leaves it up to the person watching as to what you want to believe. The point is well proven that someone was wraped in the shroud. Was it Jesus or someone else is left to be proven. The carbon dating you mention was done twenty some years ago when that type of testing was in it’s infancy. It is possible that the conclusion from that is not correct. Again. You didn’t watch the show.I have seen many shows over the years. Some to prove and some to disprove the shroud. I saw one many years ago with the theory the shroud was a piece of art. Modern technology shows that the shroud is not a painting as some believe. Simply put. We do not today or did we then when it was created have the technology to reproduce the shroud. So my question to you sir. Are you an expert on this subject or just an atheist trying to disprove the greatest story ever told. Watch the show. Then re write your editorial based on what was said. Not by what you think.

  14. #14 Pen
    April 3, 2010

    Why is it that neither of the people defending the History Channel demonstrate even an inkling of literacy? I think the History Channel is extremely amusing. There’s nothing more entertaining than a good pseudo-documentary, watched over a chilli pepper pizza and a decent bottle of wine. I like the ones about ghosts and aliens best.

    So there!

  15. #15 David B.
    April 3, 2010

    History channel has been going downhill for so long. As a fellow archeologist I can say that the Ancient Aliens special makes my blood boil.
    The Shroud of Turin will always be revered in some way not matter what scientists say. It’s unfortunate and obnoxious but some people just don’t and won’t listen.

  16. #16 cgauthier
    April 3, 2010

    Wachlin, I haven’t seen this particular show, but I’ve seen many of them before. People say a long ago church fire fudged its ability to be dated, but I understand the lab techs cleaned the cloth very well, specifically to avoid such things. There have also been more recent investigations than that one in 1988. I believe the last thing I heard was that the “blood” tested positive for chemicals widely used in paint at the time the shroud is dated. This was in the news and is easily found with a flick of the Google.

    The thinking world already knows it is a fake. Just like we know that Noah’s flood was a (very implausible) fiction, humans don’t resuscitate after three days dead and the Hebrews were never an Egyptian slave population.

    And, yeah, the history channel is always leaving it up to viewer to decide. Big whoop. We know a great deal of what happened in history, but every show they run pretty much “leaves it up to the person watching”. As if an opinion settles history.

    Did Hitler survive Tom Cruise’s bomb because he leaned away from it to cut a big fart? Some say historical accounts allow for a flatulent fuhrer, while others claim that just was a crappy movie and that Hitler never farted in it once. What do YOU think?

  17. #17 Dan McClain
    April 3, 2010

    The entire basis of Christianity is based on the so called ‘Resurrection’ of Jesus. But even as a child I remember sitting in Sunday School and in Church listening to the story of this ‘miracle’ and ‘proof’ of the ‘Risen Christ’. My problem with it then and now is that there is no proof. Furthermore, the big rocks that were placed over the cave where his body was laid to rest were supposed to be so big that no one could move them. Even at that young age I thought to myself, ‘If men and horses or whatever was used to put those big rocks to seal off the cave, men and horses could move them, someone take his body and moved it to an undisclosed re-burial. The reason to take his body was not clear to me then but, I didn’t know anything about what being a martyr was about. The ‘Faithful’ will choose to believe anything just as a child believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

  18. #18 Dan McClain
    April 3, 2010

    PS….What I came away from that TV program is that the ‘experts’ that were interviewed and gave their tacit, if not downright belief that it is all true and the Shroud is in fact the image of Jesus. There are big problems I have with that. One is that they used quotes from the bible to prove the bible is correct. The second problem I have is the image is almost identical to every painting or other representation of what Jesus really looked like. No one can know this. No one who wrote one word about the life and time of Jesus was alive during the time Jesus was alive; not for a good 300 years after his death. It’s all based on ‘hand me down’ words and stories.

    I really think that the whole existence of that, and other religions is two fold. One is to ‘control’ people’s mind’s. The other is that the creation of the Universe and life that is in it goes beyond human comprehension. Therefore, religion was invented as something that can be understood thereby making all that is beyond comprehension to become ‘understood’.

    I am not saying God does not exist but, we humans are told through all religions that ‘God’ can do anything. Let me ask a simple question. If God can do anything, can God make a rock so big he can’t move it? You see the paradox.

  19. #19 Mike McMannes
    April 3, 2010

    As a Christian, I often wonder why so many of my faith continue to espouse the need for proof. Just as there is no proof you love your child, there can be no proof that the Lord exists. It’s either faith or no faith. It doesn’t mean that either person is a bad person or a good person and there really shouldn’t be too much arguing about it. If I have faith, I have it – period – and it’s irrefutable despite what anyone says. Just as quantum physics or dark matter or dark energy inspires, there’s something that is causing this to happen (In me or in Space, Jesus or dark matter) and because I ‘know’ it, I believe it and will continue to search for it even more.

    The shroud being real or fake is of no consequence to those of us with faith – it’s a neat story but that’s it, really.
    but to say it’s fake based on carbon dating a small little piece of burned cloth when MRI and laser scans have all but refuted that old carbon dating method, I think is a little unfair to science. Forget the religious aspect, I would think that most ‘scientists’ or atheists would YEARN for more testing to prove more and more one way or the other what the Shroud is.

    Scientists think it’s fake even though it can’t be duplicated in 3D but even those scientists with today’s standards, pretty much dismiss that old RC dating on a piece that was near the fire burns of that time.

    I think the shroud is a neat story and think it would be awesome if it was the cloth of Jesus. But NOBODY will ever KNOW that it’s fake or real. That can NOT be known. As a Christian, I’m okay with that and my faith. If someone wants to call my faith ‘Santa Claus’ or ‘Easter Bunny-ish’ I guess I’m okay with that. People who criticize others simply because they disagree are actually JUST LIKE the shroud itself….insignificant to my way of life and the grand scheme of the things.

    I did enjoy your writing and can certainly see where you’re coming from regarding the Shroud. Hope all’s well.

    Mike in Houston

    There are always possibilities – Spock.

  20. #20 Jason
    April 3, 2010

    History channel’s not crap! It’s also not science. It’s fiction… like all history… that purports some sort of relationship with things that could have happened. Call it speculative fiction with documents and concrete objects.

    Now, what’s crap is believing in things based on the heuristic lens of faith and belief. :) Nice post though!

  21. #21 Pygmy Loris
    April 3, 2010

    But NOBODY will ever KNOW that it’s fake or real.

    But we do know it’s fake. The shroud itself is not old enough for it to be the burial cloth of a man who died in the first century. Science can’t prove something, it can support a hypothesis, and it can disprove an idea. The hypothesis that the Shoud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus has been disproved. You should watch this stuff with a far more critical mind.

  22. #22 Badger3k
    April 3, 2010

    The pseudo-history channel is 100% gullible when it comes to claims on hoaxes like the shroud, or most other religious topics, as well as paranormal claims. They are so bad that the only shows I will watch that channel for are some of the WWII shows, which at least contain some truth and are not filled with cranks (ok, even there you have to be careful). The History Channel is worse than “Syfy” because they pretend to do history while Syfy only pays lip service to reality.

  23. #23 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    So much wrong, so little time…

    Supposedly it can be used to date as far back as 5000 years

    No. Radiocarbon dating is useful precisely because the half-life is ~5700 years — it can date back as far as ten half-lives, or about 57,000 years, before its detectability becomes too low to measure with accuracy.

    —-

    Radiocarbon dating works; we know at what rate the carbon-16 isotope decays

    Carbon-14, not carbon-16. Well, we know the rate that carbon-16 decays at as well, but its natural occurrence is rare enough and its half-life is short enough (~0.75 s) that it is not useful for actually dating anything.

    Say! How about this…

    Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective

  24. #24 booleese
    April 3, 2010

    Jerry: Radiocarbon dating can be used to date objects to as far back as 60,000 years. A 5 second Google search could have saved you from saying that. You can’t accuse people of taking a subjective view of radiometric dating if you don’t understand how it works or what it is. So far as the creation of the universe, atoms, etc. (in case you’re new to this sort of debate and don’t know): When you ask somebody a question to which you know they don’t have an answer, you are not validated by excitedly exclaiming, “GOD DID IT!”, and running off never to be seen again. If your ideas are so valid, present empirical evidence to back them up.

    Calli: It’s actually the decay of carbon-14 that is measured in radiocarbon dating. The amount of 14C is compared to the amount of it’s more stable decay product: Nitrogen-14. Quite a nice, thoughtful post, btw.

  25. #25 yogi-one
    April 3, 2010

    The shroud is most likely a fake. But let’s suppose, for speculation, that there’s some possibility that it’s not.

    Here’s the rub for the those who think the shroud is real: the burden of proof in on you. You are the ones who must prove, beyond any resonable doubt, that the shroud is what you say it is.

    But you don’t do this. Instead you keep waving it in front of the scientific community, playing the game of ‘taunt the bull’ using the shroud.

    That’s baloney. You are the ones that have to supply the proof. I find it funny that while you love to bash science, you turn to science to support your claims (the science turns out to be sloppy, probably the result of people who hate science trying to do it, but nevertheless..) What’s up with that?

    You guys are going to try to prove the shroud is what you say it is, and I am going to sit back with me pizza and beer while you try to do that. When you come back with some good testable material, I will also watch other scientists hack away at your methodology.

    Ironically, you are, at that point, participating in the scientific method you hate so dearly. But that is how it’s supposed to work. Giving you the benefit of the doubt for the moment, by calling your methods science, we can then say that you have a hyptothesis about the shroud, and here’s the testing you’ve done, and here’s what you think the evidence incicates. Then other scientists try to shoot it down. Either it gets shot down, or it survives the counterattack, usually with the result that further testing still needs to be done.

    That’s how you would go about showing the world the shroud is what you say it is.

    So…we’re still waiting for the believers to come forth with their methodology and give the scientific community something real to test. So far there’s been one test. It established that the shroud was less than 1000 years old. You say that the test was bad. The burden shifts onto you to make a more foolproof test and run it, then bring the results out FTW.

    So go do that.

    Simply engaging people in shouting matches is not the correct methodology.

    Go do the work and bring back something solid for the scientific community to properly test. If that is very difficult to do, then right away it indicates a question about the validity of the claims.

    Or you can stand around and shout. But that doesn’t accomplish your objective. In fact, doing that convinces more of us that the claim is false.

  26. #26 Dan L
    April 3, 2010

    Yes, it is the real Face of Jesus.

    Which is to say, it’s a cartoon and misrepresentation at best; at its worst, its a tool, a sham, a con, or a prop, as is the figurative Face of Jesus presented by organized religion today.

    Another Dan upstream made the point that our Jesus stories were written down 300 years after the fact, by people. I suspect that there was a man after whom Jesus was modelled, and that people knew him by name back then, but the needs of an organized hierarchy have formed the stories to fit their needs.

  27. #27 skeptic
    April 3, 2010

    Hey, at least it’s more durable than Jesus’ face on a tortilla! What about that face that appeared on the side of a rusty refrigerator? Will it be revered in the next millenium?

  28. #28 Bob Carlson
    April 3, 2010

    Wouldn’t there be a need for some real evidence that Jesus really existed before there is any point in discussing what the shroud of Turin represents?

  29. #29 Mike Olson
    April 3, 2010

    I am only exposed to basic cable, and on my system we don’t get the science channel. When we first got it, the Discovery channel, the History channel, the Learning channel were all pretty cool. But, now all three do different things that are simply about sensationalism. The Learning channel has the short people, as well as some pretty graphic medical stories…nothing wrong with medical stories but they just seem kind of…pointless. If surgeon wannabes are watching..cool, but I doubt it. The discovery channel now has ghost hunting, as well as arctic fishing, someone has arctic trucking…how does that relate to science and nature…it’s a bit of a stretch. And I mean good grief the history channel? UFO’s, prophecies, all manners of weirdness to pull in the yahoos….

  30. #30 Badger3k
    April 3, 2010

    After reading the comments, I guess people missed the fact that two sets of researchers duplicated the shroud painting recently, one in Italy and the other (which may have been done a while back) by Joe Nickell – who has written much on this subject. The Shroud is reproducible in a variety of ways using techniques and material available to the 14th century (I thought it was 13th?). It is historically innaccurate (herringbone weave, IIRC) and even theologically incorrect (as it contradicts the bible in several places). It’s complete lack of historical trail…heck, even the fact that the Pope of the time (through a Bishop, I believe) investigated the affair and pronounced it a forgery, after obtaining the confession of the painter. Unlike the Inquisition, we have no evidence that the confession was obtained under torture, so we can’t easily dismiss that, especially when it is supported by all the available evidence.

    You have evidence on one side, wishful thinking (ie Faith) on the other. Seems obvious to me which one is correct (hint – it’s not the one that throws out everything we know is real in favor of dreams).

  31. #31 Alessandro
    April 3, 2010

    I’ve never watched the History Channel myself, but that’s not the point. You are engaging exactly in the same behavior you are accusing them of showing.
    There is no point in writing a very short piece based on vague handwaving and hearsay, pretending to make up for the lack of knowledge and objectivity by just filling in the gaps with overconfidence, and contempt for the credulous viewers.
    In fact, the C14 Shroud test has lost ANY credibility, to all those who care to examine all the data at hand, because there is compelling evidence that the cloth fragment dated was for the most part (way more than 50%) a mend, that is, a piece of tissue added to restore a worn out exterior border of the cloth. So the C14 is indeed an important experimental technique, but providing that you test _the actual object_!
    Shroud experts were somewhat unwilling to accept the C14 proposed dates not because the are somehow skewed by their being believers; in fact, many aren’t. But the point is, there are many scientific facts that no one can easily explain about the Shroud of Turin, so that it’s unprofessional to jump to a conclusion just because the C14 was portrayed as the ultimate experiment, while all the other pieces of the puzzle don’t match. You can’t just pick and choose only the experiment confirming your prejudices, while ignoring the critique to that experiment, plus all the other experiments and historical studies.
    There are too many details in the Shroud for a medieval forgerer to be reasonably the culprit.
    We are led to believe that obviously those forgeries were common at the time, so that people were easily duped; yet this anonymous forgerer took the time and effort to include invisible or unknown things, like the serum marks, the different types of blood, a bylirubin rich human blood, every anatomical detail being correct, no signs of painting, and so on, to obtain an image that to the untrained eye is far less impressive (and completely different) than any other relic or icon, and raises a lot of questions, thus suspicion. No forgerer tries to convince easily duped people by adding distracting, weird, invisible or unexplicable details, many of which he had no reasonable way of knowing himself.
    And! How about the image formation mechanism? If that’s so obviously a medieval fake, how come no one is, even TODAY, able to come up with a new “shroud” containing an image with the same characteristics as the alleged fake?
    Sure, many tried, and they even claimed success. But the proposed copies share very little in common with the original. Again: how come Medieval technology is more advanced than ours in producing a fake image?

  32. #32 SM
    April 3, 2010

    I have seen the head of the History Channel UK quoted to the effect that he is running an entertainment channel which just happens to use history.

    I don’t get why some people are so attached to this. There are thousands of fake relics out there, and this just happens to be one of the few which are famous and where the evidence of fakery is especially strong. Nobody is going to change their religion because of evidence that some 14th century painter made his own Shroud of Jesus.

  33. #33 LSD
    April 3, 2010

    In as much as I have not met you, I feel you dont really exist based on the evidence.

    1. I have seen a pic that I am told to believe on faith that is you. Like you I dont believe. It could be any moron.

    2. The words may have your name after them but in light of number one, cant be yours as you ir cant be proven you exist.

    My opinon is, any hack or one thousand monkies could write the tripe you proport. BTW, in your article you claim is yours, its SIX YEARS OLD!!!! You may, as any idiot or good non-existant researcher would do, review the current evidence or God forbid, actually do YOUR OWN HANDS ON RESEARCH instead of criticing others. STOP watching T.V. and get your lazy backside out in the field. Remember what your father told!!!!

    Healthy and correct skepticism is bases on fact.

    Dont Be Such A Lazy Bum.

  34. #34 anti_supernaturalist
    April 3, 2010

    ** what’s wrong — the icon meets our expectations

    Consider the iconography of SoT — an image which “looks like” Jesus? But no one has any idea of what Jesus looked like.

    What pops up in your mind. I see the well-trimmed beard of an almost middle aged caucasian with flowing locks who has nordic blue eyes — that white Jesus of Sunday School fame.

    An early image painted in the Catacombs shows a beardless youthful Roman shepherd with the “lost lamb” draped around his neck. The beardless youth also appears on xian sarcophagi.

    Those icons “can’t be” Jesus. They are so unexpected. The fact that they are icons of Jesus must be defended and explained by art historians. Only Greek philosophers and barbarians beyond the borders of Rome grew beards. Romans shaved.

    Beards got a boost when barbarians destroyed Rome and began to rule in its dismembered remnants. We retain a medieval iconography for what Jesus “looked like”. Jesus had to display his physicality and his right of kingship. A well-maintained and trimmed beard had already come to mean “manly authority”. Jesus had to go with the fashion.

    There are images seared into our memories. They belong to the cultural conditioning we accept from our earliest brainwashers — home, school, religion. Countless repetitions of religious icons never allow these stereotyped memories to disappear.

    To de-deify them requires deconditioning oneself. Not everyone succeeds. Not everyone tries. Some who try are destroyed by authoritarian regimes, authoritarian cultures, authoritarian religions.

    To see Jesus in the SoT is a reflex that can defy our best efforts to secularize every image we were taught was “holy”. SoT meets an expectation created in millions through almost a thousand years of conditioning. That’s what’s so wrong with SoT — it meets our expectations.

    No wonder that a religion built upon rejection of the world, hatred of the intellect, disgust with the body finds SoT beyond criticism. Faith, the trusting suspension of disbelief, has always been theatre of the absurd.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  35. #35 Passerby
    April 3, 2010

    The History Channel is co-owned by Disney, GE and Hearst Corporations. All three have a vested interest in peddling certain moral ideals to their enthusiastic audience. It is ‘soft-fact’ entertainment for the masses, not constrained to objective depiction and appraisal of historical events by academics.

    Christ was a deified prophet. The zeal of the Church in gathering and retaining practitioners and converts to Christianity extended to producing ‘relict evidence’ that is venerated as holy evidence of the ‘true religion’. This ‘proof’ helped bridged the credibility gap between ancient texts and spiritual teachings and the lives of modern peoples, necessary to inculcate blank acceptance of these principles and practices as readily applicable to everyday lives thousands of years later.

    These relics are penultimate advertising that has withstood the test of time, even if there are modern contradictory hypotheses with tests to suggest otherwise.

    Do you really think that these reports of the shroud being fake will be believed by the True Believers?

    In religion, there is a need to suspend rational questioning of the veracity of stories and source of artifacts presented as object truths despite evidence to the contrary, because these belief systems carry widespread societal benefits as core values and ethics that endure far longer than any civilian governance and laws.

    Religious and spiritual practice also requires suspension in the foreseeable future of drudge and toil, sustained hardship from poverty, and periodic upheaval of drought and famine, war, and waves of disease that has historically burdened the lives of our ancestors. Religious belief brings daily dose of hope to offset despair and chronic stress. In the pomp and artful magnificence of worship places and sacred music, regular attendance at church, mosque and synagogue was an important binder that ensured widespread adherence to safe behavioral norms, and it brought dividends in blessed balm to eye and ear in an otherwise drab existence.

    It will not matter how often you wave the banner of Fact, decrying holy objects as being fake. The people who venerate them will not stop their high regard for these relics that serve as an important tactile connection with antiquity.

  36. #36 HIIH
    April 3, 2010

    I believe in evolution. I also believe in God. One is not mutually exclusive from the other at all, I don’t know why people think that way. Did any of you watch the show? It said clearly that it wasn’t necessarily Jesus on it. Furthermore, several interesting things totally grounded on scientific method were examined, among them:

    – The piece of the cloth that was carbon dated was taken from a corner of the shroud. It could have been woven in repair at a later date than the rest of the shroud.

    – It could have been contaminated as not only did the shroud survive fire (smoke can heavily distort the carbon footprint of a material) but humans carried the shroud from corners in processions since the 1200’s.

    – They didn’t question the result of that particular carbon-14 testing on that particular piece of cloth.

    -There is a painting created in 1190 (way before the earliest dates plausible by the results of the carbon 14 test) that shows the same exact burn markings that would have been visible at that time. It also shows a pattern sharply reminiscent of the woven pattern unique to the cloth.

    – Traces of pollen were found on the cloth particular to the region withing a 30 mile radius of Jerusalem.

    – It is firmly established that it is not a painting.

    – If it was recreated with a man that recreated blood stains and tried to imprint himself on the cloth it still can’t be explained how a negative of the picture would be formed (shadows are seen lightly, and light areas are seen darkly) and how the image could be copied onto the cloth without any painting.

    -The image is only on the superficial micro threads of the cloth rendering any known type of imprinting method impossible.

    – The shroud is as if a negative picture was taken of whoever was on the cloth, kind of like a photo negative, which means someone figured out the basic principles of photography 700 years ago. It’s also real human blood on the cloth.

    This is what comes to mind right now. It doesn’t prove the shroud was Jesus’s but it also doesn’t prove it is a fake.

    BTW: there was a cloth that covered an egyptian mummy that was carbon tested and the date was hundreds and hundreds of years more recent than the date of the bones covered by the cloth itself. It was the same cloth used to bury the mummy which dated hundreds of years before, however the cloth as being the outermost layer was found to be bio contaminated, thus altering the results. It doesn’t invalidate the test by all means, nor does it mean that the scientists who partook on the test are bad at their job, it’s just the nature of the test which any child scientist can attest results are ALWAYS subject to the distortion of outside independent variables.

    A true scientist would be open to all these FACTS and continue to pursue a definite answer, even if it means reaching a conclusion that one has to backtrack from and re course. Reluctance to do so is just the same as a person swearing evolution is false. If you ASSERT the entire shroud to be from the 1300’s then you shouldn’t be called a real scientist. You might as well believe in the flying spaghetti monster.

  37. #37 Passerby
    April 3, 2010

    Beg Pardon, editing error in the post above. Should read:

    Religious and spiritual practice also required belief that the foreseeable future of drudge and toil, sustained hardship from poverty, and periodic upheaval of drought and famine, war, and waves of disease that historically burdened the lives of our ancestors had an ulterior purpose. Difficult times strengthened resolve for hopeful continuance through the worst days, and reinforced hopeful belief that a better future lay ahead under the eye and hand of god.

    I add to my post above:

    It is easy to be a nonbeliever in the relatively easy and soft life of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In truth, a lack of testing may be impetus for the booming popularity of atheism in the Modern Age.

    It’s the hard times that prove the character mettle of believers.

  38. #38 anon
    April 3, 2010

    There’s an interesting hypothesis about the method of creating the Shroud at http://www.shadowshroud.com.

    The author is Nate Wilson, son of Doug Wilson of hyperCalvinist fame, but the Shroud article is quite sane nonetheless.

  39. #39 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    In fact, the C14 Shroud test has lost ANY credibility, to all those who care to examine all the data at hand, because there is compelling evidence that the cloth fragment dated was for the most part (way more than 50%) a mend, that is, a piece of tissue added to restore a worn out exterior border of the cloth.

    Citation needed.

    So the C14 is indeed an important experimental technique, but providing that you test _the actual object_!

    I agree. Let’s grab some samples from where Jesus “appears” on the cloth.

    Again: how come Medieval technology is more advanced than ours in producing a fake image?

    It isn’t.

    http://sites.google.com/site/luigigarlaschelli/shroudreproduction

  40. #40 John
    April 3, 2010

    “There are none so blind…..”

    One thing that has not changed in thousands of years is mankind’s gullibility. All religions are based on false superstition. For those “true believers” out there, what religion are you? There are hundreds of religions, most of which bear only one thing in common: their members consider themselves to be believers in the one “true” religion. It is a matter of logic that if Catholics are right, that Muslims cannot also be right, or Jews, or Buddhists, or any other for that matter. So who is right? Since we have no way to discover who has the truth and who is lying, we must assume all are liars. Beg this question: If God is pure love and is good, and is omnipotent, what accounts for the devil’s existence? Since it is touted that God created everything in existence, He must have created the devil (and evil) as well. But then would not God have made a mistake? Oh, Wait, He cannot make a mistake, as He is perfect. Perhaps it is man who has made the mistake.

  41. #41 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    The piece of the cloth that was carbon dated was taken from a corner of the shroud. It could have been woven in repair at a later date than the rest of the shroud.

    “Could have”?

    Have any of these claimers of repair work shown any evidence of this repair?

    Come on. If this “repair” is real, it shouldn’t be that hard to spot.

    There is a painting created in 1190 (way before the earliest dates plausible by the results of the carbon 14 test) that shows the same exact burn markings that would have been visible at that time. It also shows a pattern sharply reminiscent of the woven pattern unique to the cloth.

    Citation needed.

    If it was recreated with a man that recreated blood stains and tried to imprint himself on the cloth it still can’t be explained how a negative of the picture would be formed (shadows are seen lightly, and light areas are seen darkly) and how the image could be copied onto the cloth without any painting.

    Wait, what?

  42. #42 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    Incidentally, when I saw the post title, I thought of this reconstruction of a first-century Judean’s face:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/1282186.html

  43. #43 IanW
    April 3, 2010

    @Jerry –

    >>You state, “the shroud is a 14th century “fake relic”, as has been
    >> well documented by historical sources and radiocarbon analysis”.

    Absolutely correct. According to the best available scientific evidence, as opposed to blind belief, the so-called shroud is a fake. If you have any evidence to the contrary, please publish it in a peer reviewed science journal and let us know when you’ve done this. Your subsequent renown will be beyond the dreams of avarice.

    >>Before writing such an article you should have first watched the program.

    Why would anyone want to watch a show which depicts a fake person being recreated from a fake shroud? If you have any objective evidence that there ever was a Jesus Christ, miracle working son of a god, please publish it in a peer reviewed science journal and let us know when you’ve done this. Your subsequent renown will be beyond the dreams of avarice. Otherwise it’s at best a mistake and at worst an outright lie, isn’t it?

    >> You proclaim to be an atheist, so I assume you believe in the
    >> proclamations by Darwin, and his theory of evolution made in
    >> the 19th century?. One man who beilieved in his own hypothesis
    >>, and found many a follower.

    It’s not a matter of belief. It’s a matter of what the evidence points to. So let’s review the evidence.
    Darwin: Mountains of evidence, quite literally in some cases, all borne out by scientific testing and experimentation and built into a solid scientific theory which has withstood every assault upon it for over 150 years.

    Creation/ID: NOTHING.

    You lose.

    >>Radiocarbon dating may have some validity

    It’s entirely valid. Go read this – a Christian perspective on radiometric dating:
    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html#page

    >>The brains of science has not yet revealed to any of us where it first began

    Wrong! There’s a body of science showing what happened.

    And creationists/ID advocates have offered what science exactly on this topic?

    NONE.

    You lose.

    >>based on “fact”, or give any explicit detail on where the first energy source for it all came from?

    If there was quite literally nothing at “the beginning”, then what, exactly was there to prevent quite literally anything from happening? Answer: quite literally nothing.

    You lose.

    >> are we to assume that there was always something there?.

    There’s really no need to end a sentence with a question mark and a period. Did you learn to do that from home schooling?

    But to address your ignorance – the fact is that we don’t know. Unlike creationists, we don’t leap to the conclusion that ignorance = god. We look for data. In short, we do nothing different form what your fictional Thomas did when told of the resurrection. Are you saying he was misled?

    I know that seeking objective or scientific evidence is utterly alien to blind believers, but its what got you that computer which you evidently use solely to bitch about scientists.

    >Can you also argue what created the atom?

    Sub atomic particles acting within the known laws of physics. Next question?

    >> Carbon dating is also a science in an of itself.

    Absolutely right, whereas creation is…? Anyone? Yes – it’s FICTION!

    >>”without being there as an eye witness”, chances are we will never know?

    Ri-ight – so we should free every single criminal who was convicted without an eye witness because no one was there, therefore we can’t possibly figure out what happened? Goof luck with that philosophy.

    >> The sources that proclaim something to be factual even deserve
    >> some scrutiny regarding their resources

    And you never apply this criterion to your own blind beliefs because…?

    >> Other than this much of what is left, information that cannot be
    >> found is left to specualtion.

    So thrill me with your erudition and scholarship. What evidence do you have for there ever being a god? For this god ever creating anything? For this god raping a young girl to produce a son who could then be killed to save us from an evil your own god created in the first place – and this makes sense how exactly?

    Do get back to us when you’ve assembled the same weight of scientific evidence which cosmology, abiogenesis, and evolution have going for them.

  44. #44 HIIH
    April 3, 2010

    Hey owlmirror, There IS evidence that suggests it is a mended cloth. The fibers were found to be different in that of composition and also because they were died with pigmentation in order to make it look like the rest of the cloth in an attempt to restore it. It doesn’t mean the shroud is NOT a fake, but it doesn’t mean it IS a fake either. It’s just evidence of external variables affecting a possible result, why is that so hard for people to accept when it is so common in the scientific process to achieve results that are not expected? You think your so smart by putting “citation needed” in any parts of post that are not to your pleasing? Go turn on the discover channel and see “Life”. Tell me about the frogs in the amazons and then see how you feel when I say, “citation needed”. ???? Doesn’t make sense. The 1190 painting of the cloth is real, it’s in the hungarian national library and it has the exact same properties of the picture, meaning, it has the same exact position of the burn markings (not the later burns but ones that were there earlier, and show elongated fingers like that of the cloth, no thumbs (how could the artist have known that the cloth has no thumbs)? I guess it is not out of the possibility that he simply didn’t include the thumbs and it’s a coincidence but the fact that I am willing to accept that – that it could be a coincidence is what makes me different from you. You who are so set into believing this is a fake no matter what, are no better than the ones who believe this is real no matter what. I hope you’re not a scientist because that would be lousy to adopt that way of thinking.

  45. #45 dean
    April 3, 2010

    The assertions that the portion tested had been contaminated by fire and this threw off the accuracy of the dating process was first floated by some flunky at the vatican, and has never had any scientific backings to it. it is, so to speak, nothing but smoke without the mirrors.

    the folks who are claiming there is still controversy about this, that there is a chance it is authentic, are free to do so, but they are ignorantly ignoring all of the scientific evidence, simply because it doesn’t suit them.

  46. #46 dave
    April 3, 2010

    Jerry is one of many people whose thought process I just can’t follow.
    They believe that A man was born from a virgin, walked on water, turned water into wine, rose from the dead, etc etc etc, but radio carbon dating is a bunch of nonsense?

  47. #47 Bob Macko
    April 3, 2010

    This guy is completely biased regarding this information. All he believes in is his atheistic ideals. To put it bluntly he’s a first class ass hole.

  48. #48 dave
    April 3, 2010

    Of course I’m biased, biased towards the truth.

  49. #49 Christeen
    April 3, 2010

    Did you not see that the part of the shroud they tested was a repaired corner? People like you make me angry. You’re arrogant and you take things out of context.

  50. #50 matt
    April 3, 2010

    http://www.acheiropoietos.info/abstracts/abstracts.html#A

    In reality there has been quite a bit of argument over the possible contamination during the 1988 dating, and since it is the only dating to have happened on the shroud the debate will rage on this has been stated over and over again. the real issue is to find the truth both sides have to be unbiased….and I don’t see that happening on either side

  51. #51 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    There IS evidence that suggests it is a mended cloth. The fibers were found to be different in that of composition and also because they were died with pigmentation in order to make it look like the rest of the cloth in an attempt to restore it.

    Citation needed.

    You think your so smart by putting “citation needed” in any parts of post that are not to your pleasing?

    No, it means that I would like to see something backing up your claims besides your bare assertion.

    Tell me about the frogs in the amazons and then see how you feel when I say, “citation needed”. ????

    You mean, you are actually interested in the anurans of South America, and would like to read the scientific literature on them? I could find scholarly citations for you, if you really wanted.

    Let’s see now…

    ======

    Austin, J. D., Lougheed, S. C., Tanner, K., Chek, A. A., Bogart, J. P. & Boag, P. T. 2002. A molecular perspective on the evolutionary affinities of an enigmatic neotropical frog, Allophryne ruthveni. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 134, 335-346.

    Cisneros-Heredia, D. F. & Mcdiarmid, R. W. 2006. A new species of the genus Centrolene (Amphibia: Anura: Centrolenidae) from Ecuador with comments on the taxonomy and biogeography of glassfrogs. Zootaxa 1244, 1-32.

    Ford, L. S. & Cannatella, D. C. 1993. The major clades of frogs. Herpetological Monographs 7, 94-117.

    Frost, D. R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R. H., Haas, A., Haddad, C. F. B., De Sá, R. O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S. C., Raxworthy, C. J., Campbell, J. A., Blotto, B. L., Moler, P., Drewes, R. C., Nussbaum, R. A., Lynch, J. D., Green, D. M. & Wheeler, W. C. 2006. The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297, 1-370.

    Pramuk, J. B. 2006. Phylogeny of South American Bufo (Anura: Bufonidae) inferred from combined evidence. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 146, 407-452.

    Wiens, J. J., Fetzner, J. W., Parkinson, C. L. & Reeder, T. W. 2005. Hylid frog phylogeny and sampling strategies for speciose clades. Systematic Biology 54, 719-748.

    (and so on and so forth)

    ====

    Got it? Those are some citations from the peer-reviewed scientific literature on frogs and toads of South America.

    Do you have anything similar for your claims?

    The 1190 painting of the cloth is real, it’s in the hungarian national library and it has the exact same properties of the picture

    That’s more data than before, but I’d like to see what this painting looks like, and how it was dated to 1190. Hence:

    Citation needed.

  52. #52 sheila watts
    April 3, 2010

    Since you are an atheist, I do not expect you to have an open mind about this. I just watched it and thought it very well done and interesting. I believe that the shroud is authentic, and I just bet if the History Channel were airing some show about sex, you would be all over it, but because it is about something good, you have to put it down. We need more good television, since all we see is evil anymore. You can have your beliefs and I have mine. But do not think that you know more than others. May God have mercy on you and anyone else that thinks we evolved from some kind of energy. Time will tell!

  53. #53 Karen Roman
    April 3, 2010

    Any validity to the “claim” that the eyes of the face were covered by coins minted at about 30AD? Also, that the cloth carries vestiges of plants grown only in the Jerusalem area – growing no less – in March or April? What’s the story on that?

  54. #54 Alessandro
    April 3, 2010

    I’m amazed by the sheer ignorance of atheists, surpassed only by their arrogance. It’s true that they often argue with Bible-thumping protestants (often even creationists) that are equally ignorant and obtusely firm on their belief.
    To 39, Owl Mirror: the reference is (not only) Ray Rogers on Thermochimica Acta (peer reviewed): a scientific study disproving the credibility of the C14 Shroud sample.
    As for Garlaschelli’s Italian recent fake shroud, come on. A 4 years old can see the difference between the original and the reproduction by just watching a thumbnail of the whole image, not to mention a magnified detail photo, it’s not even funny. See shroud.com for details, it contains all the articles you want. Including info lots of people here dismiss out of their ignorance, like the fact there is a very reasonable reconstruction of the earlier history of the Shroud, to the point that we can trace the Shroud as the source of icons and paintings of Jesus, and not vice versa; you need to delve deep into the matter to judge for yourself what comes first.
    For instance, this Pantocrator from the XI century: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/images/dafni/resized/mosaic-christ-pd-yorck.jpg
    is one of the images showing the reproduction of a sort of geometric figure between the eyebrows, that is actually an artifact of the image on the Shroud, not part of the image but of the weave of the cloth. People, you can’t ignore facts like this. These facts would never demonstrate anything, of course, but they show you are making fools of yourselves by considering the forgery the most likely explanation. Stop looking down on others just because you don’t want to study and/or accept unpleasant ideas!

  55. #55 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    I believe that the shroud is authentic

    Or in other words, you don’t have an open mind about it.

    but because it is about something good,

    Something depicting someone who purportedly died painfully is “good”?

    We need more good television, since all we see is evil anymore.

    I am not sure what you mean by “good” and “evil”.

    You can have your beliefs and I have mine.

    How very generous of you.

    But do not think that you know more than others.

    Why not? You obviously do.

    May God have mercy on you and anyone else that thinks we evolved from some kind of energy.

    Why would God have mercy or not have mercy on someone because of what they think?

    Time will tell!

    What will it tell?

  56. #56 keith
    April 3, 2010

    “…..Within a few years, those researchers found what they considered damning evidence against the carbon dating: The sample used in 1988, they contended, was from a section that had been woven into the shroud after the 1532 fire. Their research was published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, lending it credence.” 04/02/2010 Salt Lake Tribune.

    Martin, The fact that you’re an atheist steals some of the thunder away from what should have been a scientific and objective article, and as even a 10th grade chemistry student will tell you; not all forms of scientific testing are 100% accurate 100% of the time.

  57. #57 Frank
    April 3, 2010

    I’m a PhD evolutionary biologist AND a devout Christian. I have no doubt the shroud is authentic. First, you can toss out the C-14 dating. It’s now known the sample used came from a mend site, not the actual burial cloth. Second, tell me please how some dude in medeival Europe was able to fake the shroud so well that in the year 2010 we still can’t PROVE how it was made. Further, how does one in medieval times create an image that is a NEGATIVE image rather than a positive? Just how do you fake that? Most impressively, the image is in 3D relief! We STILL don’t have the technology to create a 3D relief image on a cloth via hand painting, blood, sweat, or burn marks — the only potential way the image could have been faked at that time in history.

  58. #58 Ted Williams
    April 3, 2010

    Is it me, or has anyone else noticed something of science over the years.

    Science can only prove what science can prove, any thing above, or beyond that, does not exist. Just as oxygen did not exist, at a time when proving such an entity was yet impossible.

    But, as soon as the means, and drive to prove, or, stumble across the existence oxygen was met, then science hops on the band wagon, and tells all of its blind “lemming” followers, that its now ok to believe that there really is an invisible entity known as oxygen.

    As stated above, science only believes in what science can prove. How limited, and narrow ones means of thinking must be to believe that all there is, is only what science can prove.

    Also stated above, is how energy can neither be created, nor destroyed. We as human beings are nothing but energy, be it kinetic, or potential. And when we die, where does our energy go, since science dictates it can neither be created, meaning it was always there, nor can it be destroyed, which means it goes on forever. Which kind of tells me that we go on after death, not in flesh form, but the energy continues, science dictates this.

    I guess the greatest comfort/satisfaction comes in knowing that, just as believers cannot prove that God exists, …science can not prove that he doesn’t.

  59. #59 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    Ray Rogers on Thermochimica Acta (peer reviewed): a scientific study disproving the credibility of the C14 Shroud sample.

    I don’t think you can be trusted when you can’t even get the title of the article correct.

    As for Garlaschelli’s Italian recent fake shroud, come on. A 4 years old can see the difference between the original and the reproduction by just watching a thumbnail of the whole image

    Of course they are different; one is centuries older than the other, and of a different human being.

    For instance, this Pantocrator from the XI century: […] is one of the images showing the reproduction of a sort of geometric figure between the eyebrows, that is actually an artifact of the image on the Shroud, not part of the image but of the weave of the cloth.

    Where is the evidence that these are the same, and that the shroud’s version is part of the weave?

    People, you can’t ignore facts like this.

    What facts?

    Stop looking down on others just because you don’t want to study and/or accept unpleasant ideas!

    Heh. Have you looked in a mirror lately?

  60. #60 Frank
    April 3, 2010

    I used to think the carbon dating results proved the shroud was a fake until I saw the Hungarian Pray Manuscript evidence. If that’s not a fake and I haven’t seen anything to suggest it is I don’t see how anyone can still believe the carbon dating isn’t seriously flawed.

  61. #61 Ted Preston
    April 3, 2010

    Facts! Strange thing now a days; ask any politician.
    Just because your are paying for two siblings doesn’t mean they are yours. Nothing personal here; just the facts.

  62. #62 DG
    April 3, 2010

    Wow does no one pay attention? They said in the program that the piece of the cloth which was carbon dated was taken from a corner that was restored after the fires in Constantinople in the 11th century. Also this corner has been touched by human hands for hundreds of years. Therefore they concluded that the carbon dating used was invalid.

  63. #63 Balanor
    April 3, 2010

    Expert or not, I find the body structure to be the point that should be addressed.

    The average Jewish male at that time was 5’2″.
    If J.C. is measured at even 6’0″, they’d call him Goliath!

    The main thing is the face…the structure of the head.
    It is not the face of a Jewish man circa 30 C.E.
    That long fine nose is European.

    If the church insisted that this was the face and body of J.C., then they would be confirming that J.C. was European, or perhaps: Roman/Hebrew.

    Even that would not explain the height as the Roman male was not much taller than the average Jew.

    King Edward II of England was called “Longshanks” circa 1033 C.E. because he was a giant in comparison to the average Englishman.
    Recently, his bones were measured with the Queen’s permission.
    King Edward II was exactly 6’2″, which is, indeed, a giant of a man for 1033 c.e.

    Imagine a 6’0′ Jew walking around Galilee in 33 c.e.!

    He might be written about at Yeshua the Giant!!

  64. #64 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    I’m a PhD evolutionary biologist AND a devout Christian.

    Congratulations on your mental compartmentalization.

    It’s now known the sample used came from a mend site, not the actual burial cloth.

    Citation needed. Maybe you can do better than your less scientifically educated co-religionists.

    We STILL don’t have the technology to create a 3D relief image on a cloth via hand painting, blood, sweat, or burn marks

    We don’t?

    http://sites.google.com/site/luigigarlaschelli/shroudreproduction

    ======

    Science can only prove what science can prove, any thing above, or beyond that, does not exist.

    Not “does not exist”, but rather, “has not been shown to exist”. A tautology, basically.

    Just as oxygen did not exist,

    Of course oxygen existed before it was shown to exist. What an inane assertion.

    at a time when proving such an entity was yet impossible.

    It wasn’t impossible to show that oxygen existed before it was demonstrated — it was just difficult.

    But, as soon as the means, and drive to prove, or, stumble across the existence oxygen was met, then science hops on the band wagon, and tells all of its blind “lemming” followers, that its now ok to believe that there really is an invisible entity known as oxygen.

    No, you ignoramus, the means to prove that oxygen exist are the basis for believing that it does.

    As stated above, science only believes in what science can prove.

    Because believing what you cannot prove is not science.

    How limited, and narrow ones means of thinking must be to believe that all there is, is only what science can prove.

    What a lovely strawman you have demolished.

    Science makes no claims whatsoever that only what is proven is all that there is.

    And when we die, where does our energy go, since science dictates it can neither be created, meaning it was always there, nor can it be destroyed, which means it goes on forever.

    It is eaten by microbes and other organisms, and/or dissipates as waste heat.

    Which kind of tells me that we go on after death, not in flesh form, but the energy continues, science dictates this.

    Sigh. I kind of suspect you don’t actually know what “energy” is.

    It is not code for “soul”.

    I guess the greatest comfort/satisfaction comes in knowing that, just as believers cannot prove that God exists, …science can not prove that he doesn’t.

    Why is this comforting or satisfying?

  65. #65 scidog
    April 3, 2010

    if nothing else the shroud is doing now the same thing it did in 14th century, bring in money.this time to the history channel.

  66. #66 Frank
    April 3, 2010

    You’re missing the point regarding the 3D data. In order to fake the shroud the faker would have had to encrypt 3D data into the image in medieval times anticipating that some day, say in the 1970s, we would have the technology to decode the 3D data. See, the 3D data was discovered via computer technology — it is encoded in the image. There is no way to know this without computer technology. And you missed another point: we still can’t reproduce this on a cloth without advanced technological assistance. To believe that a faker could have somehow magically created all of this (i.e., all of the mysteries surrounding the image) anticipating technological advances hundreds of years later is in itself unbelievable. So take your pick – the one-time ressurrection event which would necessarily entail some type of miraculous chemical reaction or some medieval dude with a crystal ball.

  67. #67 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    I used to think the carbon dating results proved the shroud was a fake until I saw the Hungarian Pray Manuscript evidence.

    You do realize that even if this manuscript does depict the shroud as claimed, it does not prove that the shroud is not a fake?

    If that’s not a fake and I haven’t seen anything to suggest it is I don’t see how anyone can still believe the carbon dating isn’t seriously flawed.

    And that even if the carbon dating is flawed, the shroud is not necessarily genuine?

    The mark on the forehead is basically a smudge or a blob. The “poker holes” are going the wrong way on the Hungarian codex.

    But even if genuine, it puts the shroud at at most about a century or two earlier. OK, so?

    How about we carbon-date the thing again? Get a team of the shroud believers to choose which spot to take the cloth from, and how to treat it to remove all possible contaminants.

    It still wouldn’t prove it authentic if the cloth is dated to the first century, but let’s see if that even happens.

  68. #68 justacuriouswatcher
    April 3, 2010

    I think you all should watch that documentary.. It answers most if not all your questions. Perhaps they have citations for their testimonies. It does seem the shroud is unexplainable. And for the record, NEVER EVER cite to me a scientific method that can date a pencil at 1,000,000 years old. Its flawed beyond belief unless there is absolutely NO contamination and this shroud has been handled for ages. And yes.. there were mended parts. That is documented though no i cant give you the citations but it is in the documentary. As well as several other key evidence. The fully well state it cannot fully be proven as the actual shroud.. but the evidence that it is valid is far greater than even the “contraversial” i repeat.. CONTRAVERSIAL method of carbon dating. I have never trusted that system. Too many times it has proven inaccurate and i cant believe you can state it so factually still. Too many flaws to base your trust in a forgery on a such a single test that is not that reliable at all.

    Point is.. dont dismiss it so easily. Check it out for yourself and dont trust in things that prove to be unreliable themselves.

  69. #69 Zee
    April 3, 2010

    Since it bears repeating, from the Daily Mail:

    “To believers, it is the burial cloth of Jesus and miraculously marked with his image but sceptics insist it is a fake. Their argument was fuelled in 1988 when scientific tests found the 12ft-long sheet could not be more than 1,000 years old. One of the scientists who studied it at the time, Raymond Rogers, said shortly before his death that he had come to believe it could be genuine. A video before he died in 2005 showed he conducted his own tests which showed the relic to be much older, dating from 1,300 to 3,000 years ago.

    Dr Rogers said: ‘I don’t believe in miracles that defy the laws of nature. After the 1988 investigation I’d given up on the shroud.

    ‘But now I am coming to the conclusion that it has a very good chance of being the piece of cloth that was used to bury the historic Jesus.’

    He was on the 1978 team that carried out the first in-depth scientific study of the shroud, which examined its underside for the first time in 400 years. After the 1988 carbon dating, Dr Rogers was adamant that the robe was nothing more than a medieval hoax. But speaking shortly before his death from cancer in 2005, he described how he compared the scrap tested in 1988 with other bits of the cloth. He found the 1988 sample was a patch of material woven in to repair the shroud after it was damaged by fire.

    Chemical tests showed that the postage stamp-sized sample contained cotton and had been dyed to match the main shroud, which is made of linen. The shroud has been damaged in several fires since it was first discovered in France in 1357 and it is thought to have been repaired by nuns.”

    Of course I don’t buy the whole raised-from-the-dead thing but there is a chance that this was the burial shroud of a first-century man executed by the Roman Empire. I don’t see the harm in admitting to that.

  70. #70 chris
    April 3, 2010

    You can tell an Atheist’s post on here b/c (s)he attempts to rip every line of another post apart and make that poster look stupid….They try to make themselves look so intelligent and so worthy of being right that they in fact end up appearing completely ignorant and pompous…..

    NO CITATION NEEDED….if so, just read any of OwlMirror’s useless space wasters

  71. #71 justacuriouswatcher
    April 3, 2010

    Something else to add to your note about typical Isrealites at the time. It has LONG LONG been known to Christians that the usual depiction of Jesus by artists was inaccurate. 1) he is stated to be a carpenter. He was NOT thin.. or frail. 2) he is depicted at one point to turning over money changing tables in the temple.. these were made of a heavy stone.. marble if i remember it right. this has been studied for a long while. Jesus was not thin or had any type of petite or frail form.. also it is WELL cited in scripture that he was not comely.. meaning very attractive.. he was a simple man. That in of itself gives me more validity in the shroud that it did not turn out to be an attractive man like we are use to seeing. It makes it much more believable to me as it honors all accounts of him that is written in Biblical texts. Just saying to keep this in mind when you see that. Its VERY interesting i think.. wether you believe him to be the son of god or not historically its interesting.

  72. #72 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    You’re missing the point regarding the 3D data. In order to fake the shroud the faker would have had to encrypt 3D data into the image in medieval times anticipating that some day, say in the 1970s, we would have the technology to decode the 3D data.

    What? No, seriously, what?

    That really is not the point at all. The point is that as a side effect of the faking method, the image appears to be 3D-ish.

    No deliberate anticipation of future tech on the part of the faker is required.

    And you missed another point: we still can’t reproduce this on a cloth without advanced technological assistance.

    The reproduction I pointed to is claimed to have been made using materials and methods available at the approximate time of the putative radiocarbon date, and quite possibly even earlier.

    Do you have any proof that this was not the case?

    To believe that a faker could have somehow magically created all of this (i.e., all of the mysteries surrounding the image) anticipating technological advances hundreds of years later is in itself unbelievable.

    Quite right, and I don’t believe it for an instant.

    I believe that the faker had no idea that the purported “mysteries” would be dreamed up by people who examined his handiwork.

    So take your pick – the one-time ressurrection event which would necessarily entail some type of miraculous chemical reaction or some medieval dude with a crystal ball.

    Good grief. Do you know what a false dichotomy is?

    Do you know that it’s a fallacy?

    Do you know that you just committed that fallacy?

  73. #73 JT
    April 3, 2010

    haha, you atheist and agnostics are so funny….fighting your whole life for something you dont believe in…really quite entertaining….: R Wachlin you hit on the nail buddy!

  74. #74 justacuriouswatcher
    April 3, 2010

    As far as it being a forgery.. what i found to be most interesting is that the image on the shroud only goes to the microscopic fiber level. Its not a painting. it cannot be liquid it would have soaked into the fabric more. Explain that one to me. It ‘barely’ at all is even on the shroud as they found when they studied it. Tell me HOW that was done artificially even 700 years ago.

  75. #75 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    And for the record, NEVER EVER cite to me a scientific method that can date a pencil at 1,000,000 years old.

    What are you babbling about?

    but the evidence that it is valid is far greater

    Citation needed.

    than even the “contraversial” i repeat.. CONTRAVERSIAL method of carbon dating.

    It’s not a scientific controversy. It’s a political one, where anti-science liars claim that there is contraversy.

    I have never trusted that system. Too many times it has proven inaccurate and i cant believe you can state it so factually still.

    Heh. Religion has proven far more inaccurate. That’s why it cannot be trusted.

    Too many flaws to base your trust in a forgery on a such a single test that is not that reliable at all.

    And there is no test at all for religion.

    Check it out for yourself and dont trust in things that prove to be unreliable themselves.

    Right. I don’t trust religion, because it has no reliability whatsoever.

  76. #76 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    You can tell an Atheist’s post on here b/c (s)he attempts to rip every line of another post apart and make that poster look stupid

    Don’t blame the messenger.

    They try to make themselves look so intelligent and so worthy of being right

    Why, thank you!

  77. #77 Chris
    April 4, 2010

    OwlMirror,

    Just like an atheist to quote PART of my sentence and use it for your gain….

    For someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of something, you spend an awful lot of time trying to prove it to yourself and others….It’s just kinda sad really…carry on tho…not many on here are taking you serious anyway

  78. #78 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    Of course I don’t buy the whole raised-from-the-dead thing but there is a chance that this was the burial shroud of a first-century man executed by the Roman Empire.

    Sure, it could be. But there isn’t enough evidence in that direction.

    In fact, one of the arguments I’ve seen against it being from 1st-cent Judea is that there were no full-body shrouds in use in that era.

  79. #79 Justacuriouswatcher
    April 4, 2010

    And for the record, NEVER EVER cite to me a scientific method that can date a pencil at 1,000,000 years old.
    What are you babbling about?

    well i’ll cite you this site. though it is a religious one and will be biased i’m sure in most eyes, it does state some simple facts about carbon 14 dating.

    http://contenderministries.org/evolution/carbon14.php

  80. #80 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    Just like an atheist to quote PART of my sentence and use it for your gain

    Just like a Christian to quote nothing at all and use it for your gain.

    For someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of something, you spend an awful lot of time trying to prove it to yourself and others

    Well, it’s simple. You are wrong. You are wrong in your methods, and wrong in your conclusions.

    Why should I NOT try and prove that to myself and others?

    carry on tho

    I probably will, although I may get tired after a point. I am indeed only human.

    not many on here are taking you serious anyway

    That’s fine. Your failure to take me seriously only proves your own unreasonableness — not mine.

  81. #81 Nora
    April 4, 2010

    I skipped through most of these comments because what is wrong in believing it is the true face of Jesus Christ? Don’t people, Christian or not need something to believe in? Some hope? For me, it brought tears to my eyes to see just how brutalized His body was. The men who ran these tests were very passionate in their work and you could see it in their faces. Most of the “scientific” proof of past, has been “debunked” saying it was a fake. For me, I believe it was something our Savior left behind to give us Christians hope and something to hold onto to ensure us He has indeed risen, is real and is coming back for us. Now you can all call me what you want, and say what you want about me, but that will not shake the faith that I have. In my spirit, I believe this is truly the face of my Savior. A Savior who was thrashed within an inch of His life and then crucified. Most people don’t want to believe this is real because that would be admitting that there was a man out there who was tortured and crucified 2000 years ago, and if they believe that, then they have to do a double take that the Bible is true to the letter and it’s scary for most people who are out there who are either straddling the fence or do not believe at all. Well, let me say this, think and say what you will but mark this day when I tell you, that a day will come when you will see that face once again, either sending you to hell or allowing you to live with Him for an eternity. For me, I want the later. Thanks.

  82. #82 Chris
    April 4, 2010

    OwlMirror….

    1.) I don’t see where I ever claimed to be Christian
    2.) I missed where I claimed ANY side or said anything for you to say “You are wrong. You are wrong in your methods, and wrong in your conclusions.” Kind of ironic when you say that I’M the one who is wrong in my conclusions….you’re 0-2 on that one…great job

  83. #83 justacuriouswatcher
    April 4, 2010

    —In fact, one of the arguments I’ve seen against it being from 1st-cent Judea is that there were no full-body shrouds in use in that era

    Hmm.. ok
    http://shroud2000.com/ArticlesPapers/Article-JewishBurial.html

    Jewish Burial Practices

    One of the more interesting avenues of research is the area of burial practices. Could the Shroud have been a genuine Jewish burial shroud? How can we find out? John 19:40 says, “Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.” What were those burial customs?

    One of the points of confusion with the Shroud is that it was a custom to wash the body before burial. Yet the Shroud seems to depict a man whose wounds were never cleaned. However there appears to be an exception to this custom for those who have died a violent death. Here is an excerpt from The Jewish Way of Death and Mourning by Maurice Lamm (1969):

    “The blood that flows at the time of death may not be washed away. When there is other blood on the body that flowed during lifetime (while alive), from wounds or as a result of an operation, the washing and taharah (purification) are performed in the usual manner.”

    “Where the deceased died instantaneously through violence or accident, and his body and garments are completely spattered with blood, no washing or taharah is performed. The body is placed in the casket without the clothes being removed. Only a sheet is wrapped around it, over the clothes. The blood is part of the body and may not be separated from it in death.”

    “Where blood flows continually after death, the source of the flow is covered and not washed. The clothes which contain the blood that flowed after death are placed in the casket at the feet.”

    Notice how only a single sheet is used. Also, the man on the Shroud is naked because they cast lots for his garments. The reason for this unusual custom was due to the belief that “life is in the blood”. Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

    Another reason why the blood must be buried with the body is because it was considered unclean. To touch a corpse was to touch something unclean and therefore become unclean yourself. One would then have to go through a ritual process of becoming clean again.

    Blood that flowed after the person died is considered “life blood”. This is the blood that makes atonement. It is the trading of that which gives life for that which brings death (sin). It wasn’t just the blood, but the life in the blood that was the acceptable sacrifice.

    Blood that flowed after death was often mixed with blood that flowed before death, this was called “mingled blood”. If there was more than a loss of a “quarter log” of mingled blood, it was considered unclean and must be buried with the body. A log is the content of 6 eggs. A quarter log is 1 ½ eggs. The volume of blood lost from the side-wound must have easily exceeded this measure and is why the man on the shroud is unwashed.

    The Article “New Pollen Evidence from Israel” discussed the presence of pollen and flower images from plants that grow only in Jerusalem and indicate the Shroud’s existence in the Holy Land and probable use in a burial ceremony. The presence of limestone particles unique to the tombs and foothills around Jerusalem is also telling.

    Everything continues to be consistent with the biblical account of the crucifixion and known Jewish burial practices.

    Does that answer your question about that and that there IS evidence that it could very well be the shroud.. or a shroud used in an Isrealite burial?.. going to take a wild guess and say no lol

  84. #84 John
    April 4, 2010

    Alessandro,

    Let me see….Humans are endowed by God with the power of logic which gives them dominion over the animals, then God impregnated a human, who gave birth to a child who became a man who died for the sins of all other humans, but to be saved, the other humans must believe that he did so, and if they choose not to believe they will spend eternity in hell. If you believe this and have the incredible audacity to state that those who choose to use their “god given” logic to arrive at the inescapable conclusion that all this is horse feathers and and are “ignorant” and “arrogant”, it is you, sir, who are the fool, idiot, and total moron.
    Thomas Paine, without whom there would likely never have been a United States of America, soundly refuted the claims of organized religion in his works Age of Reason I and II. I suggest you go and read them, but then, you do have the right to remain ignorant for the rest of your life.

    Oh, and by the way, the claim that 3 dimensional data is contained in the shroud or a 3-d image could not be created is balderdash. Today, using computer technology, 2-D movies with zero stereographic information are being converted into 3-D movies. Interesting that the 3-D version of the shroud also was created with a computer.

  85. #85 Frank
    April 4, 2010

    The image does not “appear 3D-ish”. It has three dimensional data encoded within. The term 3D “relief” means the image has spatial data encoded within. You can paint an image that appears “3D-ish” but you cannot encrypt the accompanying spatial data without modern day technology. When the image is made into a series of pixels, each pixel creates a corresponding value assigned in perfect proportion to the distance from the cloth the image was when the corresponding body part was imprinted. So, we say that three dimensional data is encrypted within the image. If we tried to fake that, I suppose we would meet with some limited success at best — IF we knew we were tryng to encrypt 3D data — but it would, for the most part, be quite messy. Obviously the “faker” knew nothing about encrypting 3D data. The shroud is in perfect 3D relief and that fact is the most compelling of all the shroud’s properties.

    And you’re putting a lot of faith into a fraudulant bogus webpage, I might add.

  86. #86 Tom
    April 4, 2010

    listen i was curious to see what these guys on this program had to say and they found out that the only way to reproduce an image from a body onto a cloth like that is with a modern day scanning machine. so if you’re gonna sit here and write about how some relic maker in the medieval times miraculously had a scanner and used it to make relics then you sir are an idiot.

  87. #87 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    well i’ll cite you this site. though it is a religious one and will be biased i’m sure in most eyes,

    It’s not just biased. It’s actually false.

    it does state some simple facts about carbon 14 dating.

    Except that they are not facts.

    =======

    First, for carbon-14 dating to be accurate, one must assume the rate of decay of carbon-14 has remained constant over the years. However, evidence indicates that the opposite is true.

    Except that there is no such evidence.

    Experiments have been performed using the radioactive isotopes of uranium-238 and iron-57, and have shown that rates can and do vary.

    Citation, or it didn’t happen.

    In fact, changing the environments surrounding the samples can alter decay rates.

    This is absolutely false.

    But the radioactive atoms used in dating techniques have been subjected to heat, cold, pressure, vacuum, acceleration, and strong chemical reactions to the extent that would be experienced by rocks or magma in the mantle, crust, or surface of the Earth or other planets without any significant change in their decay rate.

    Wiens 2002

    The second faulty assumption is that the rate of carbon-14 formation has remained constant over the years.

    This is indeed a problem, but it can be adjusted for.

    So what?

    The great flood which Noah and family survived would have uprooted and/or buried entire forests.

    There was no “great flood”.

    During the flood, subterranean water chambers that were under great pressure would have been breached.

    There was no great flood and no “subterranean water chambers”.

    This would have resulted in an enormous amount of carbon-12 being released into the oceans and atmosphere.

    Because….? Water is H2O. There is no carbon in it, even if the previous claim were not entirely false.

    Repeated testing of the sample may show nine tests that indicate an age of 5000 to 10,000 years old, and one test that shows an age of 65,000 years old. The nine results showing ages that do not conform to the pre-supposed theory are excluded. This is bad science, and it is practiced all the time to fit with the evolutionary model.

    This is a complete lie.

    =======

    Your citation is full of garbage from beginning to end.

  88. #88 kat
    April 4, 2010

    Zee…I liked the last point. I didn’t know that about Ray Rogers.

    I also think that this argument will go on and on. No matter what one side says, the other side will counter.
    It is simple: you either believe in Jesus or you don’t. And that, in my opinion, is separate from science.

    Here’s what I think: if there is a God and he created this world, the science of this world could not comprehend Him. A creator is beyond our own understanding, so how could the basic science of earth and the universe be able to prove something which is above science and completely unlike this world. Yes it sounds absolutely ridiculous and it makes no sense logically if you try to think about it scientifically. But I am saying IF, and IF there was a divine being, he most certainly wouldn’t be able to fit into the science of the world he created. That is logical.
    I am battling my own beliefs and find that being open minded to what everyone has to say is the best way to go about it. I have actually met many more hostile and narrow- minded atheists than non-atheists, which makes me question the intent of most of them in arguments. I see that here in these reviews too.

  89. #89 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    I don’t see where I ever claimed to be Christian

    You attacked me twice for being an atheist; I inferred that you meant to imply that you are not an atheist, and hence a theist.

    Are you in fact a Muslim or Jew? Named “Chris”?

    Or by not claiming to be Christian, do you meant that you don’t believe in anything at all?

    Please, clarify.

    Or don’t.

    I missed where I claimed ANY side or said anything for you to say “You are wrong. You are wrong in your methods, and wrong in your conclusions.”

    Again, you attacked me for asking questions. I inferred that you meant that you already knew what the answers were.

    Are you acknowledging now that you do not? Then on what basis did you attack?

  90. #90 Chris
    April 4, 2010

    Owlmirror,

    So now there are four types of people in the world….Atheists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims….I never stated what I am, but since you like to jump to conclusions at every turn in life based on a few ideas, I’ll allow it..

    That’s where your logic gets too much for your own good…I don’t have to have any reason to attack you…I attack you just b/c of your useless posts…I attack you b/c I find it humorous thinking of you taking the time to line by line edit someone’s post for the mere sake of trying to look MORE correct than someone else…I attack you b/c you have to have the last word at proving yourself or you’ll get upset….the fact that you’re Atheist just adds humor to the situation….

    I don’t believe in UFOs, but I don’t spend hours online arguing with people who are passionate about their encounters…I have more important ways to spend my time…yes, that includes laughing at your attempt to prove how educated you are

  91. #91 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    John 19:40 says, “Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen.

    Which means that the shroud contradicts the bible. A single large cloth is not “strips of linen”.

    “The blood that flows at the time of death may not be washed away. When there is other blood on the body that flowed during lifetime (while alive), from wounds or as a result of an operation, the washing and taharah (purification) are performed in the usual manner.”

    This is confusing, and looks contradictory. The first parts says “not washed”; the second part says that blood is washed.

    Also note that this is not from a book describing first century practice, as far as I can tell.

    Notice how only a single sheet is used.

    Right, again contradicting John 19:40 above.

    The Article “New Pollen Evidence from Israel” discussed the presence of pollen and flower images from plants that grow only in Jerusalem

    That “only in Jerusalem” part appears to not be true.

    Everything continues to be consistent with the biblical account of the crucifixion and known Jewish burial practices.

    Except for the contradictions.

    Does that answer your question about that and that there IS evidence that it could very well be the shroud.. or a shroud used in an Isrealite burial?

    “Israelite”, not “Isrealite”. And whoever it was would have been called a Judean, not an Israelite.

    going to take a wild guess and say no

    What, I can’t ask questions and point out inconsistencies?

    =========

    The image does not “appear 3D-ish”. It has three dimensional data encoded within.

    As in, it represents a 3-D body?

    Obviously the “faker” knew nothing about encrypting 3D data.

    The faker did not need to know anything about encrypting 3D data if he actually used a 3-D body.

    You know, a live human being. Or a dead human corpse.

    The shroud is in perfect 3D relief and that fact is the most compelling of all the shroud’s properties.

    Compelling, how?

    =========

    and they found out that the only way to reproduce an image from a body onto a cloth like that is with a modern day scanning machine.

    The only way they told you about, you mean.

    so if you’re gonna sit here and write about how some relic maker in the medieval times miraculously had a scanner and used it to make relics then you sir are an idiot.

    Excellent. Good thing I am writing nothing of the sort.

  92. #92 Lisa I.
    April 4, 2010

    I would like to challenge any and all atheist to provide unquestionable, sound scientific proof that God does NOT exist. Not theory, not conjecture, not philosophy, not your own beliefs, nothing but scientific proof, if you can.

    You can’t.

    And you might argue that there is no scientific proof that God does exist either. Maybe not, though the inner working of our own bodies would prove otherwise for those who have studied anatomy and physiology.

    So, if there is no proof that something doesn’t exist, and there’s no proof that something does exist, you cannot claim inconclusively that God does or does not exist. And that is where faith comes in. (Personally, I’d far rather believe erroneously that God does exist than to believe that He does not and be wrong!)

  93. #93 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    So now there are four types of people in the world….Atheists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

    You mean, there are at least four types. I am not as illogical as you are.

    And don’t forget people who don’t believe in anything, which does appear to be what you’re going with.

    I never stated what I am,

    Neither did I, hypocrite.

    but since you like to jump to conclusions at every turn in life based on a few ideas,

    Kind of like you did, hypocrite.

    I’ll allow it..

    How generous. I asked you to clarify, and you simply evade the point.

    That’s where your logic gets too much for your own good…I don’t have to have any reason to attack you

    So you attacked me for no reason at all. How nice of you.

    I attack you b/c you have to have the last word at proving yourself or you’ll get upset

    Since it’s obvious you have nothing substantive to add, this will be my last response to you.

    the fact that you’re Atheist

    More hypocritical jumping to conclusions.

    just adds humor to the situation….

    And you find being a troll amusing, of course.

    I don’t believe in UFOs, but I don’t spend hours online arguing with people who are passionate about their encounters…I have more important ways to spend my time…

    And yet, here you are, wasting time being a troll.

    yes, that includes laughing at your attempt to prove how educated you are

    Continued hypocrisy.

    OK, over to you.

  94. #94 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    I would like to challenge any and all atheist to provide unquestionable, sound scientific proof that God does NOT exist.

    What do you mean by “God”?

    And you might argue that there is no scientific proof that God does exist either. Maybe not, though the inner working of our own bodies would prove otherwise for those who have studied anatomy and physiology.

    The argument from design does not prove that God exists — unless by “God” you mean “the process of evolution”.

    (Personally, I’d far rather believe erroneously that God does exist than to believe that He does not and be wrong!)

    Why?

  95. #95 trish
    April 4, 2010

    I would rather live my life as if there is a God,
    And die to find out there isn’t, than live my life
    as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is and throw into hell.
    Maybe it is a Jesus ,maybe not…it is a matter of faith.If one listens to the show they would of herad that the tested peices was that had been mended after a fire in the 1300’s.
    So what would the test results be anything but the 1300’s.They are not allowed to cut into the main clothe.
    Yes ,I am Christain..I claim no religion…for they are of man.But I do claim Jesus.
    I do not beleive in evolution,if we came from a Monkey there would no longer be any more Monkey’s.I do believe in adaptations .We do adapt to our habitat.As our habitat change’s so do we,God made us this way ,to survive as the world as it changed.
    Darwin,in his later life started to doubt his own theory,because of his study of the finch.

  96. #96 Carol
    April 4, 2010

    I think the shroud is the face of Jesus. Too much evidence shows it could be Jesus. I don’t care what others think. I think it has survived all these years on purpose. Why have so many protected it.

  97. #97 John
    April 4, 2010

    I have not inferred that God does not exist. Instead I propose that mankind’s many different beliefs regarding God are organized into religions that have no basis in fact, but are based on superstition and chicanery. Therfore, the existence of the shroud or any other relic is of no consequence. It does not prove the existence or non-existence of God nor of anything else. It just boggles my mind what incredible ideas fools are willing to accept as facts, only because of what someone says or of some euphoric feeling they may experience. Want an euphoric experience? Spend some time with low blood sugar or low oxygen levels.

  98. #98 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is and throw into hell.

    But you’re assuming that there is a hell, and that you know that how you’re behaving now will keep you out of it.

    So what would the test results be anything but the 1300’s.They are not allowed to cut into the main clothe.

    Why not?

    Yes ,I am Christain..I claim no religion…for they are of man.

    Christianity is also a religion of man.

    I do not beleive in evolution,if we came from a Monkey there would no longer be any more Monkey’s.

    This is rather amusingly wrong.

    I do believe in adaptations .We do adapt to our habitat.As our habitat change’s so do we

    That’s more or less evolution in a nutshell.

    God made us this way ,to survive as the world as it changed.

    Except that you don’t need the “God made us” part.

    Darwin,in his later life started to doubt his own theory,because of his study of the finch.

    Every clause of this sentence is false.

  99. #99 Tim
    April 4, 2010

    It is sad to read that a man that doesn’t even have the time to watch the show can stir so many people up in arms over something that could or could not be real. He is silly to profess in things he knows nothing of; example, the content of a show. Just as he can say rubbish to the History channel so can the same be said about this article. He sites an article he wrote 6 years ago. Yet if we use his style of logic once upon a time the earth was thought to be flat so it therefore must still be flat. Right?! There are many fascinating facts about the shroud and many concerning ones. Then again tho isnt that the whole premise behind religion? Not to believe in one thing just because you are told but because you chose to? There you will find the real answer. Not with man.

  100. #100 Rob
    April 4, 2010

    There is doubt as to the veracity of the carbon dating tests and evidence that the portion of the cloth tested was not original but woven in as a repair. I just watched this on the History channel and also watched another documentary on the carbon dating and the evidence given to refute the testing. The bottom line is the evidence either way is likely disputable and in terms of the shroud it comes down to a matter of faith, not science. For those who don’t believe in faith this will always be a faked relic and for those who have faith there is enough doubt in the science and dating to allow the faithful to continue to believe. To state otherwise is to only give credence to the evidence you wish to believe or you prejudice on the question.

  101. #101 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    Then again tho isnt that the whole premise behind religion? Not to believe in one thing just because you are told but because you chose to?

    How would you know to believe something without having been told about it, and told that you were supposed to believe it?

    There you will find the real answer. Not with man.

    What does that even mean?

  102. #102 Lisa I.
    April 4, 2010

    What do you mean by “God”?

    Supreme being who created all things, including you. And don’t try to side step the question. If you don’t know what is meant by God, then how you can argue that God doesn’t exist? You don’t even know what it is that you don’t believe in?

    The argument from design does not prove that God exists — unless by “God” you mean “the process of evolution”.

    There is no “process of evolution.” There is only a “theory of evolution”. That is not scientific proof. Would you like to try again? (And if you have ever taken the time to study the kidneys or any other organ in the body for that matter and examined the structure of just one nephron, you would realize that there is no way that such an intricate filtration system “evolved”. Evolved from what? A glob of slime? That is a bigger stretch of credulity than creation!)

    You asked why I would rather believe erroneously that God does exist than to believe that He does not and be wrong?

    Because, if I spend my life believing in and serving God, and I’m wrong and there is no God, I have lost nothing, though I have gained a life of peace and joy and strength through my belief. But if I deny the existence of God and I’m wrong, I will have lost so very much that I could have had, including my soul.

    Question: Why is that civilizations from the beginning of time which have had no contact with each other feel the need to worship something greater than themselves. There seems to be a fundamental knowledge in humankind of a supreme being, as though it is programmed into our very DNA.

    Atheist are in such a small minority, and they might think they’re “enlightened”, but again, they have no scientific proof that God or a supreme being or whatever you wish to call our Creator, does not exist. They have a 50/50 chance of being wrong, just as believers do.

    I actually feel sorry for atheists; most of them spend so much time protesting against something they do not believe in. If God doesn’t exist, why put so much effort into trying to convince everyone else? What difference would it make? I don’t believe in the Easter bunny, yet I don’t go around proclaiming that it’s not real because it’s inconsequential to me and my life. Could it be that atheists are trying to convince themselves?

    One thing is for certain, sooner or later, we’ll both find out the truth. And again, if I’m wrong, I haven’t lost anything. What will you have lost if you are wrong?

  103. #103 Anonymous
    April 4, 2010

    Posted by John:

    It just boggles my mind what incredible ideas fools are willing to accept as facts, only because of what someone says …

    Are we supposed to hear your incredible ideas and accept them as facts, just because of what you say? From whom did you hear them?

  104. #104 Bill
    April 4, 2010

    If you would have watched the other show on the Shroud’s history itself and not the face of Jesus episode, you would have seen that the carbon dating you are talking about was not accurate because the sample they use was not from the original piece of the shroud. It was from a more recent stitching some time around the 13th century. They combined a different cloth with the original cloth to repair it in the 13th century. So the carbon dating was accurate but not for the original cloth. Even one of the scientist that was part of the original research team admitted this.
    As far as being a fake, even scientist of TODAY with all our MODERN TECHNOLOGY, cannot figure out how this image was made. It is not a painting, they have proven that. There is no paint. The theory is that some high concentration of light energy burned this imagine into the cloth but they don’t know for sure. Some say radiation. To dismiss it as a fake and made in the 13th century is ignorance on the subject. If you want to prove it is a fake, then go make one for yourself and then show the world. Let a science research team scrutinize it to the fullest. Lets see you duplicate one!
    I can’t believe your can be on the top of the search engine of Google and you don’t even have the knowledge on the subject.

  105. #105 John
    April 4, 2010

    Believing in something without information is ignorance. Believing the same thing although logic denies plausibility is stupidity. Stupidity is its own reward.

    Assume you are Christian. What do really believe about the fate of Muslims? Be honest. If you are Muslim there will be no doubt about your opinion as to the fate of Christians. I believe both to be delusional, along with anyone who adheres their belief system to ANY organized religion. This is NOT tha same as being an atheist, it is, rather the result of being a logicalist. Try it, i’m certain you will like it. Your actual creator would be proud of you, should he/She care.

  106. #106 Edward
    April 4, 2010

    Your information on the shroud is way behind the times. One of the scientist who was on the original team to examine the shroud proved that the carbon dating was erroneous due to the section that was tested having been patched in the 12th to 13th century and published a paper on it. If you’re going to decry something as being fake, you should at least try to appear that you know what you’re talking about by not relying on outdated information to prove your point.

  107. #107 raven
    April 4, 2010

    http://www.freeinquiry.com:

    In his paper, Ray Rogers relies on papers that were neither peer-reviewed nor published in legitimate scientific journals for his belief that the radiocarbon date was taken from a patch ingeniously rewoven into the Shroud linen so that its presence could not be detected. The authors of these papers, M. S. Benford and J. G. Marino, claim that a patch of 16th century material with a weave identical to the Shroud’s was undetectably spliced into the 1st century Shroud to give it a 13th century date. But this is nonsense. It is certainly a remarkable coincidence that, according to these authors, their claimed rewoven patch–when combined with “original” Shroud cloth in the proportions subjectively determined by unnamed “textile experts” looking at photographs!–just happens to give an early 14th century date, the same as the date actually measured by radiocarbon dating! Amazing. But in fact the mixture of 16th and 1st century cloth would give a date much younger than the 14th century (about 7th century). The date obtained by the separate university radiocarbon labs exactly matches the date obtained by independent historical analysis, i.e. the early 14th century date when the Shroud first appeared and is believed by Shroud skeptics to be created by a late medieval artist, thus mutually supporting both dates. Benford and Marino submitted their ridiculous speculations in a paper to the scientific journal Radiocarbon, but it was justifiably rejected after peer review. Now, Rogers uses the same mistaken and incompetent speculations to support his conclusions in a paper that was published in a different scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta. I conclude that peer review failed this time for this journal.

    As pointed out by Antonio Lombatti (personal communication), editor of Approfondimento Sindone, the skeptical international journal of scholarship and science devoted to the Shroud of Turin, only after one month of careful study on where to cut the linen samples for dating were the samples removed from the Shroud. This process was observed personally by Mons. Dardozzi (Vatican Academy of Science), Prof. Testore (Turin University professor of textile technology), Prof. Vial (Director of the Lyon Ancient Textiles Museum), Profs. Hall and Hedges (heads of the Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory) and Prof. Tite (head of the British Museum research laboratory). There is no way these scientists and scholars could have made such an error and failed to see that the cloth samples they removed was really from a patch, “invisibly” rewoven or not.

    Detailed photographs of the area from which the sample was removed clearly reveal that there was no patch there. (How could Benford and Marino’s unnamed “textile experts” observe the correct proportions of 1st century and 16th century threads from the “patch” using photographs, while the legitimate experts named above–using both

    The claim that a repaired patch of the shroud was used for C14 dating is a lie started by religious kooks and spread by the same.

    Even the Catholic church doesn’t believe the Shroud is anything but a fake.

    This is what happens when people believe in something that has absolutely no evidence for its existence. They lie a lot.

  108. #108 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    Supreme being who created all things, including you.

    What do you mean by “being”?

    How do you know that there is a being that created all things?

    And don’t try to side step the question. If you don’t know what is meant by God, then how you can argue that God doesn’t exist?

    I’ve argued with a lot of people about religion and belief, and read a bit of theology, and the term “God” can be very slippery to pin down in terms of definition. I’m just trying to make sure we’re using the same definitions.

    There is no “process of evolution.” There is only a “theory of evolution”.

    Evolution is a theory about the change in living organisms over time, which necessarily includes cycles of reproduction, change, and survival over many generations.

    Something that goes in cycles, and changes during those cycles, can be described as a process.

    You see what I mean about definitions?

    (And if you have ever taken the time to study the kidneys or any other organ in the body for that matter and examined the structure of just one nephron, you would realize that there is no way that such an intricate filtration system “evolved”. Evolved from what?

    A simpler structure.

    A glob of slime? That is a bigger stretch of credulity than creation!)

    Why?

    Because, if I spend my life believing in and serving God, and I’m wrong and there is no God, I have lost nothing, though I have gained a life of peace and joy and strength through my belief.

    You wrote above that God is the “Supreme being who created all things”.

    How does believing in that grant you the emotions you describe?

    How do you know that that you’re serving that being?

    But if I deny the existence of God and I’m wrong, I will have lost so very much that I could have had, including my soul.

    How do you know that you have a soul? Why would you lose it by denying that there is a “Supreme being who created all things”?

    See what I mean about definitions? You start out with a single sentence, but your later responses have all these additional implied assumptions that suggest that you mean something else besides what you wrote in that single sentence — something a lot more complicated, certainly.

    Question: Why is that civilizations from the beginning of time which have had no contact with each other feel the need to worship something greater than themselves.

    Not all of them do. And those that do, don’t seem to mean the same thing by “worship” and “greater than themselves” as you do. Which brings us back to definitions, again.

    There seems to be a fundamental knowledge in humankind of a supreme being, as though it is programmed into our very DNA.

    No, that doesn’t seem to be the case. After all, if we all had the same knowledge, wouldn’t all of the definitions be the same?

    But they are not.

    Atheist are in such a small minority, and they might think they’re “enlightened”, but again, they have no scientific proof that God or a supreme being or whatever you wish to call our Creator, does not exist.

    I’m still trying to figure out why you think we have a creator.

    They have a 50/50 chance of being wrong, just as believers do.

    I’m afraid that you don’t understand probability. If you toss an icosahedral die, do you have a 50/50 chance of getting a 20?

    Do you have a 50/50 chance of getting something that isn’t even on the die?

    I actually feel sorry for atheists; most of them spend so much time protesting against something they do not believe in.

    Actually, I spend a lot of time trying to figure things out.

    If God doesn’t exist, why put so much effort into trying to convince everyone else?

    Because I think that truth matters. I realize that may not mean much to you, but there it is.

    If God does exist, then that existence would be true, and would matter. But if God does not exist, then that nonexistence would be true, and that too would matter.

    What difference would it make?

    Of course, on top of that, if a lot of people believe that God does exist and wants people to do certain things or say certain things, some of which may harm others, then figuring out that God doesn’t exist, and therefore cannot want people to do those things that harm others, that is also important.

    I don’t believe in the Easter bunny, yet I don’t go around proclaiming that it’s not real because it’s inconsequential to me and my life.

    Sure, the Easter bunny is inconsequential. Is God inconsequential?

    One thing is for certain, sooner or later, we’ll both find out the truth.

    Not necessarily.

    And again, if I’m wrong, I haven’t lost anything.

    You’ll have lost touch with the truth. Again, that may be inconsequential to you.

    What will you have lost if you are wrong?

    I don’t know. Why do you think I would have lost anything?

  109. #109 Anonymous
    April 4, 2010

    John wrote, “Believing in something without information is ignorance. Believing the same thing although logic denies plausibility is stupidity. Stupidity is its own reward… I BELIEVE both to be delusional, along with anyone who adheres their belief system to ANY organized religion.”

    Ah, so are we supposed to adhere our belief system to what YOU believe? What makes your beliefs any more valid than what I believe? What proof do you have that your belief is the correct belief? Because logic dictates it?

    In case you have forgotten, in the 15th century, logic dictated that the earth was flat. Even earlier scientists postulated that the earth was at the center of the universe. Sooner or later, individuals came along who didn’t believe these “facts” and believed otherwise, even though the logic of the times denied the plausibility of their beliefs. Were they stupid? No, they just believed something different. If no one ever deviated from that absolute early “logic” because they didn’t want to be thought of as stupid (which they would have been by your definition), we would still be believing that the flat earth is at the center of the universe.

    Scientists still do not know everything. Even things that they thought absolute facts even a few years ago have been disproved or improved. So how can we say with any certainty that someone else’s beliefs are incorrect. We can’t.

    I would not dare to tell anyone that their belief system is stupid or delusional, even if they do not believe what I do. What I believe is just as valid as what you believe.

  110. #110 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    In case you have forgotten, in the 15th century, logic dictated that the earth was flat.

    In the 15th century, logic dictated no such thing.

    Even earlier scientists postulated that the earth was at the center of the universe.

    And so did religions.

    Sooner or later, individuals came along who didn’t believe these “facts” and believed otherwise, even though the logic of the times denied the plausibility of their beliefs. Were they stupid? No, they just believed something different.

    Sigh. No. The whole point for acknowledging that the Earth is round (which dates back to long before the 15th century, thank you very much Aristotle), or that the sun is the center of the solar system, is not only based on logic, but rather on logic and evidence.

    You know, the information that you don’t have in addition to not having logic?

    If no one ever deviated from that absolute early “logic” because they didn’t want to be thought of as stupid (which they would have been by your definition), we would still be believing that the flat earth is at the center of the universe.

    It’s a good thing that people can express different ideas — but you can only arrive at the truth of some question about physical reality with both logic and evidence.

    Scientists still do not know everything. Even things that they thought absolute facts even a few years ago have been disproved or improved.

    Very few facts are absolute in the absence of evidence.

    So how can we say with any certainty that someone else’s beliefs are incorrect. We can’t.

    We can point out the lack of evidence, and the incorrectness of logic.

    What I believe is just as valid as what you believe.

    Why?

  111. #111 trish
    April 4, 2010

    believe or not I was never told what to believe or not to believe…I was not raise in the church .didn’t go to church..thought maybe we came from aliens…I didn’t seek out God …God looked for me. I believe what is in my heart not the world..man has turn religion into fighting among our self..this was and is Not God’s plan .There is One God and his son…man’ fighting on how they interpreted the Bible is why there are fighting between people on which God Is God.Evolution is just a theory.nothing more..I have many theory’s right now..but that do not mean they are fact too many holes just like Dawin.
    Charles Darwin was Never Completely Happy with His Theory of Evolution
    Charles Darwin advanced a theory. In 1859 he published his book ‘On the Origin of Species’ in which he SUGGESTED the idea that one species could arise from another, and that the driving force behind this was ‘natural
    selection’ so the individual most fitted to survive would.
    Charles Darwin was a scientist. He was fully expecting his theory to be tested against scientific evidence by other scientists. Further than that he continued thinking about the theory. He was never completely happy with it. To Darwin, the theory on evolution by natural selection did not explain everything to his satisfaction. In the article ‘The Eye’ Darwin’s explanation of the evolution of the eye is mentioned.
    Darwin’s doubts were of many kinds. One of his doubts concerned the mechanism of inheritance. If, as was usually accepted in those days, the offspring will be a blend of the parents, so, for example, a person with one tall parent and one short one will be of medium height, how could taller people evolve?
    In fact, within Darwin’s own lifetime part of the answer was found. Gregor Mendel ( A monk) did some experiments with peas. He found, for example, that if he crossed a tall pea plant with a short one, the offspring was not part way between the two heights. In his first cross all the pea plants of the next generation were tall. Mendel found by further experiments that the ‘short’ characteristic had not been destroyed by being mixed with the ‘tall’ one, but was still there in the plant so it could still express itself in later generations.
    Mendel’s experiments on peas started in 1856, three years before the first edition of ‘On the Origin of Species’ and were published in 1866. (Charles Darwin died in 1882.)Charles Darwin had his own theory of inheritance, the theory of ‘Pangenesis’. It was very ingenious and would explain some things. However, it did not fit well with Charles Darwin’s own theory of evolution by natural selection, but the main problem with the theory of pangenesis is that it was wrong.
    Dawin own doubts kept him from writing for 12 years.

  112. #112 raven
    April 4, 2010

    wikipedia holy prepuce:

    Most of the Holy Prepuces were lost or destroyed during the iconoclasm of the Reformation and the French Revolution.[5] In Calcata, the reliquary containing the Holy Foreskin was paraded through the streets of this Italian village as recently as 1983 on the Feast of the Circumcision. The practice ended, however, when thieves stole the jewel-encrusted case, contents and all.[5] Following this theft, it is unclear whether any of the purported Holy Prepuces still exist.

    wikipedia holy prepuce:

    Per the author David Farley, “Depending on what you read, there were eight, twelve, fourteen, or even 18 different holy foreskins in various European towns during the Middle Ages.”

    Bad news for the faithful. The last Jesus foreskin was stolen. Out of an unknown but large number of god’s foreskins, up to 18. I suppose since god can do anything, he could have 18 penises, but really isn’t that a bit much?

    There was a huge industry in relics in the middle ages. It was very profitable. This was in fact, one reason for the Reformation. Relics are a Catholic thing, Protestants don’t do them.

    Xians relics were profitable because true believers are voluntarily as gullible as is possible. Speaking of which, there should be plenty of pieces of the True Cross floating around. Try ebay. The Holy Grail is still up for grabs as far as I know.

  113. #113 raven
    April 4, 2010

    trish:

    Charles Darwin’s own theory of evolution by natural selection, but the main problem with the theory of pangenesis is that it was wrong.
    Dawin own doubts kept him from writing for 12 years.

    No, not really. What kept Darwin from publishing was mostly fear of xians going berserk.

    Darwin was educated as a xian Anglican minister. He was a wealthy Victorian gentleman of the better classes, an educated man of leisure and learning. Very establishment, very conventional.

    He was also very, very smart. He knew if he published his theory that the Xians would go bonkers, berserk. He probably didn’t fear for his life but today he sure would. It’s been 150 years and some of them are still going berserk. At least one science supporter was knifed to death by a creationist, several have been beaten up, and we all get death threats on a routine basis.

    What kicked him into gear and overrode his fear was Wallace coming up with the same theory independently.

    Copernicus did the same thing. He was a Catholic church official of some sort. He knew claiming the earth orbited the sun would cause him problems. He waited until he was almost dead before publishing his work on Heliocentrism. No fool he. Galileo didn’t wait until he was on his death bed and it nearly cost him his life. Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for claiming the same thing as both those scientists.

    Xians have always had a predictable reaction to anything that threatens their mythology. Kill them. In these secular days it is no longer possible although they do manage to assassinate an MD every now and then. They hate these days.

    Darwin today is honored on the UK 10 lb note and his theory is one of the strongest we have, accepted by more than 99% of all relevant scientists.

  114. #114 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    Evolution is just a theory.nothing more..I have many theory’s right now..but that do not mean they are fact too many holes

    A scientific theory is not the same thing as the colloquial use of the word “theory”, meaning “wild idea” or “vague notion”.

    A scientific theory is a careful, logical explanation based on the evidence in the real world.

    just like Dawin.

    Do you have a theory that Darwin should be spelled without an “r”?

    Charles Darwin was Never Completely Happy with His Theory of Evolution

    If you’re going to copy and paste from somewhere else, it’s considered intellectually dishonest not to indicate that you are doing so. Use quote marks, blockquote HTML tags, italics, or some other markup.

    Or just link to the webpage you think is relevant.

    In fact, within Darwin’s own lifetime part of the answer was found. Gregor Mendel ( A monk) did some experiments with peas.

    Except that Darwin did not read Mendel’s experiments.

    Charles Darwin had his own theory of inheritance, the theory of ‘Pangenesis’. It was very ingenious and would explain some things. However, it did not fit well with Charles Darwin’s own theory of evolution by natural selection, but the main problem with the theory of pangenesis is that it was wrong.

    Yes, we know that Darwin got the mechanism of inheritance of traits completely wrong. This has been known for a century.

    Dawin

    Again with the “r”-less Darwin. And you need an apostrophe and an “s” if you want to indicate a possessive.

    own doubts kept him from writing for 12 years.

    So?

  115. #115 raven
    April 4, 2010

    Lisa:

    I actually feel sorry for atheists; most of them spend so much time protesting against something they do not believe in. If God doesn’t exist, why put so much effort into trying to convince everyone else?

    Actually Lisa, we don’t give a rat’s ass what you believe. UFOs, bigfoot, fairies in the garden, ghosts, jesus, unicorns, whatever. It is a free country.

    We do care a lot when xians try to force their beliefs on other people, assassinate MDs, sponsor xian terrorists, form militias such as the Hutaree to kill cops, sneak their mythology into our kid’s science classes, and try to destroy the US and set up a theocracy.

    Keeping an eye out for xian hate, lies, violence, and killers is simply common sense and necessary for personal and national survival.

    Xians main method for convincing people of their beliefs historically is well known. They simply killed people who didn’t buy it. The crusades, massacres of heretics such as the Cathars and Huegenots, witch hunts, sectarian Reformation wars, the Taiping rebellion, the New World genocides furthered xianity by killing tens of millions of people at least. Up until a few hundred years ago, being a heretic, apostate, or atheist was a capital crime.

    One would think if god was all powerful, he wouldn’t need homicidal maniacs for followers. Without the power of the sword, gun, noose, and stacks of firewood, xianity isn’t doing so great. In the USA, between 1 and 2 million people leave the religion every year and it is on trend to fall below 50% of the population in a few decades.

    We will feel sorry for xians someday. When we are
    no longer are afraid they will destroy us and our country. Poor deluded morons who hate and lie and call that a religion.

  116. #116 tannin
    April 4, 2010

    It’s hilarious how you say that you have not watched the show but “faithfully” denounce it.

  117. #117 Sman
    April 4, 2010

    @ tannin wrote:

    It’s hilarious how you say that you have not watched the show but “faithfully” denounce it.

    Why do you find that funny??? Most with a modicum of intelligence can recognize the subterfuge of idiots with a glance… Curious?

  118. #118 Thomas Beard
    April 4, 2010

    I usually prefer to peruse the comments before leaving my own, but I somehow think that wouldn’t be very time-efficient today. I’ll just go ahead and leave you this: I am a Christian. I’ve spent quite a few years studying Bible and theology, just earning a degree in the field which I intend to use in education. At the same time, I thoroughly enjoy reading the skeptic crowd – Phil Plait, Orac, and Novella are three of my favorites. I believe that God invented science and intends for the universe to run by its rules. I have no problem believing that the universe is 12-14 byo, and I’ve debated that point in public as well as in private. Christianity is about faith in a person, Christ, and not a set of doctrines one plucks from their literary and historical contexts. I’m quite embarrassed about the Shroud of Turin. When someone brings it up I mumble to myself, and I imagine God facepalms when people don’t get the point. Thank you for your informative article. I’ll try to use it as a launching pad for my own rational discussion of the artifact. Grace and Peace.

  119. #119 Martin R
    April 4, 2010

    Tom B, I guess you and me are simply overeducated elitist Pharisees.

  120. #120 keith
    April 4, 2010

    Owlmirror,

    I have read a substantial amount of your comments and have noticed a constant theme; you keep telling others that citation is needed for some of the things they post, yet I see no citation when you reply. I do notice, however, that you have the tendency to rip apart others, even when they do include citations. You ask for something, yet when it is provided you disregard it or pass it off as nonsense. And to call others hypocrites when your own hypocrisy is so evident is. well, very hypocritical.

  121. #121 keith
    April 4, 2010

    ….and I am quite certain you will correct me for the punctuation error in my previous post, but that’s okay, I forgive you for your feeling of self-rightousness and your intellectual vanity.

  122. #122 kat
    April 4, 2010

    At Raven:
    I am apologizing for all the “Christians” out there who have used God to do those horrible things you mentioned.
    Please do not assume that because something kills or hates or lies or cheats in God’s name, he or she is a Christian. Religion has messed up what the basis of Christianity is about. It is about a Man. Simple. Jesus. And if you have any education about the type of person Jesus was, you would know He would never allow any of those horrible things to be associated with His preachings. He spoke of love and service. He called us, as humans to love and serve each other, not to hate or lie or kill. Unfortunately, we are only human, and there are many here who misuse God to get what they want or to justify their own evils. As a Christian, I believe that the one thing God gave us was free will. You can chose to believe or not to believe. We can do whatever we want here on earth.
    I like to hear the many sides of an argument. I like to hear the believer’s side, the agnostic side, and the atheist side. But when it comes down to it, no matter how much I want to give in to my logical scientific side, I can’t. And I can’t explain why. And yes, that inability irritates me. But I can’t. This is one thing I just know, that can’t be proven or shown, but I guess that is what makes it more real to me. I know it sounds awful, for someone from an extremely godless liberal background; and I have tried sooo hard to NOT believe in God, to really jump on the logic wagon. And that’s when I know that science can only go so far. I do not consider myself religious nor do I attend church. This is not about religion. This is something much more personal than that. Its about Jesus. I will never condemn anyone for what they believe or don’t believe, but I know what I do and have experienced.

  123. #123 kat
    April 4, 2010

    At Raven:
    I am apologizing for all the “Christians” out there who have used God to do those horrible things you mentioned.
    Please do not assume that because something kills or hates or lies or cheats in God’s name, he or she is a Christian. Religion has messed up what the basis of Christianity is about. It is about a Man. Simple. Jesus. And if you have any education about the type of person Jesus was, you would know He would never allow any of those horrible things to be associated with His preachings. He spoke of love and service. He called us, as humans to love and serve each other, not to hate or lie or kill. Unfortunately, we are only human, and there are many here who misuse God to get what they want or to justify their own evils. As a Christian, I believe that the one thing God gave us was free will. You can chose to believe or not to believe. We can do whatever we want here on earth.
    I like to hear the many sides of an argument. I like to hear the believer’s side, the agnostic side, and the atheist side. But when it comes down to it, no matter how much I want to give in to my logical scientific side, I can’t. And I can’t explain why. And yes, that inability irritates me. But I can’t. This is one thing I just know, that can’t be proven or shown, but I guess that is what makes it more real to me. I know it sounds awful, for someone from an extremely godless liberal background; and I have tried sooo hard to NOT believe in God, to really jump on the logic wagon. And that’s when I know that science can only go so far. I do not consider myself religious nor do I attend church. This is not about religion. This is something much more personal than that. Its about Jesus. I will never condemn anyone for what they believe or don’t believe, but I know what I do and have experienced.

  124. #124 Anonymous
    April 4, 2010

    The carbon dating has been disproved and there is written proof of the shroud predating what the carbon dating placed it at. For me, there are a lot more compelling reasons to believe than to disbelieve, but in any case, it doesn’t matter if THIS shroud is of Jesus or not. It in no way says anything about Jesus and the Resurrection. You should watch it though. It’s fascinating.

  125. #125 NJ
    April 4, 2010

    The carbon dating has been disproved

    Don’t bother to read (say, comment 106) do you? You assert that it has been disproved because you prefer that. Rather like that woman who asserted she was David Letterman’s wife and broke into his house repeatedly.

  126. #126 Bob Carlson
    April 4, 2010

    Incredible; 123 comments on a piece of cloth that is thought to have been used for the burial of a guy who almost certainly never existed.

  127. #127 Jules
    April 4, 2010

    Extreme hubris and arrogance is to assume that one religion(no matter which one) holds that it is the absolute arbiter of truth and speaks for the rest of the 13.7 billion year old universe which humans have only infintesimal experience with a tiny part of it. This is the failure,myopia and self-absorbed narcissism of fundamantalist religion, because it almost always fails to look at the larger context of life and the universe we live in.

    Many of us are still baised with the human-centric idea that we are the center of everything when a universe of almost incomprehensible proportions surrounds us. Everything we assume is truth has been derived from the isolated perspective of one species on one tiny planet among billions of others in billions of others galaxies.

    In other words we don’t have enough nearly enough data to make the presumption that we know the “truth” whether it be religion or science simply because we can never personally experience ever corner of the universe to make such absolute assertions.

    But at least science in it’s best form keeps searching and revising as more data comes forth while many religions are repressive,static and obstinately refuse to accept that knowledge and life is always changing, evolving just as the universe is based on constant change.

    And the believers who would rather hedge their bets based on fear of future punishment are in my opinion worshipping something that does not appear worthy of admiration or devotion. Why would you rather live a life based on fear? Pretty pathetic and cowardly reason to worship a deity.

    By the way monkeys and apes are still here because they and we evolved from a common anceator and the term “theory” in science is a testable confirmed hypothosis that has a enormous body of evidence to back it up.

  128. #128 Rusty
    April 4, 2010

    Too bad we always want to vilify those who’s views we don’t share. It appears that the discussion has expanded to the greater questions. Of the two mindsets that exist, neither are easily reconcilable with the other because some look at the witness of the resurrection event, don’t understand, but believe. Others look at the witness, don’t understand, and don’t believe. The resurecton does not require understanding, it requires faith. Faith however is not something taken by force of will, it is a gift. There are many who will not accept what they don’t understand or see for themselves. Christ said, “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”, Jn 20,29.

  129. #129 trish
    April 4, 2010

    well I will pray for all here that do not beleive In God nor his Son,and to Owl ,/.';[[],/.';][!@#$%^&*()DaRwin

  130. #130 Jules
    April 4, 2010

    Rusty,

    How many other decisions in your day to day life, I mean decisions that might affect your life or your family would you decide on that type of un-critical faith which you seem to hold in high regard as expounded by the verse from the Bible?

    If your use good critical judgement,careful observation and learning before you make an important decesion in your physical life why is that wise policy to be rejected when it comes to something as obviously important to you as your religion?

    Is it simply fear that would keep you from thinking critically about this subject?

  131. #131 Rusty
    April 4, 2010

    Jules, you raise a very thoughtful question. In thinking about it I would say that I do use critical thinking and judgement, careful observation, and learning for as far as that can take me. If I use that method when deciding whether or not to trust a pilot I don’t know to fly me somewhere, that method will only take me so far. Eventually I have to have “faith” in the piolt. We all place our faith in things every day when we don’t completly understand or have pre-tested for us. I too tried very hard to be agnostic, but I felt that too was a faith position that could not be proved or disproved. All I want to know is the truth. I think we all want to know the truth. We owe that to ourselves. We don’t all believe in the same thing but somewhere there is only one truth.

  132. #132 Bob Carlson
    April 4, 2010

    Kenneth Humphreys apparently had an article discussing the shroud titled “Shrouded in Deceit. He says: “The Shroud article is currently being revised and extended as part of a new section on fraud and fakery.”

  133. #133 skeptical
    April 4, 2010

    What a tempest in a teapot. Just a few comments:

    1) The shroud could be an absolute, complete fake, and that is completely irrelevant to anyone’s particular religious beliefs. If it’s fake, so what? Nothing in Christianity _requires_ the shroud to be genuine. I always fail to understand why Christians will stake their “faith” on something that very well could turn out to be a fake.

    2) There is abundant evidence the shroud is indeed a forgery:
    a) The shroud itself is unknown to history before the middle ages. That the shroud would have existed for over a thousand years and would not have been discussed by any Christian prior to this time is almost incomprehensible

    b) The C-14 dating puts it exactly in the time period (1260-1390) when it first appears in historical records: 1350’s. It does _not_ put it in the time period when it was burned in a fire: 1532. This should put to rest the idea that the testing was done on part of the repair.

    c) The dating puts the shroud precisely in a time period that was rampant with “pious frauds” such as splinters from the “true cross”, the spear that pierced Jesus, etc.

    d) Despite rampant claims to the contrary, most of the features of the shroud have indeed been replicated by modern scholars using techniques available to middle age artisans. This does not mean that any particular technique is definitively the way the shroud was made, but it does mean that unusual features, such as the 3D perspective, do not require any supernatural explanation since most of the unusual features can and have been replicated.

    Taken together, these facts add up to a strong conclusion of forgery. There is also one last fact that should clinch the matter: the figure does not have anatomically correct proportions. The arms are much longer than those of an average human.

    Here’s a test: lay down on the floor flat on your back, feet straight down with your arms at your sides like you are dead. Now, slowly and without raising your shoulders off the ground, try to cross your hands over your groin as the figure has it in the shroud. The vast majority of people cannot do this as our arms are simply not long enough to complete this pose.

    There is an obvious reason why the forger who was so careful in other regards made this error: he did not want to have to paint Jesus’ genitalia.

    This should be the clincher to the other strong evidence of a forgery, albeit a careful and interesting one.

  134. #134 Chris
    April 4, 2010

    OwlMirror,

    How much time are you going to spend on here trying to make logical statements? I haven’t seen anything you posted cause me to agree with you…You say you need citations from people, but most things you reply are just “You’re wrong” or “This is completely false” …How about you throw some citations in there to prove your side if you want others to do the same??

    How is arguing FACT over a FAITH based religion going to make you look intelligent?? You just look like an idiot when you try to throw facts into a religion/situation that is based on faith…Christians cannot 100% prove God exists, but you most certainly cannot prove 100% He doesn’t….It seems like in times of arguments that the one who spends the most time trying to convince himself and others of his own validity is actually the one who is most doubting….

    Good thing you said you are done responding to me…I’ll take you at your word

  135. #135 Jules
    April 4, 2010

    Rusty,

    Thanks of your clarification. The airline pilot is a good example of using faith so to speak in the pilots competence that he or she will safely get you to your destination since you are obviously not in control of such situations.

    The reason I am an agnostic(former believer of various religions including evangelical) is based in part on my previous post above about the context of the universe where humans find themselves in. There is simply no objective way I know of or absolute way we can confirm from this vantage point what is the absolute truth. I guess you would say I believe in provisonal “truths” which are approximations as far as we can go.

    I am not talking about agreed upon values,morals or laws that protect us all as a society, there is a need for some values we can agree on to sustain civilization. In that regard the part of religion that encourages us to be better humans,to serve one another are noble and necessary pursuits. The part of religion which I have trouble with after many years of also searching for truth is when it proclaims itself as the only holder of the keys so to speak.

    I do not think humans have that authority to make that claim given that we only know so little about what other altenatives may exist since we are limited in time and place to a very small part of the totality of existence.

    That does not mean we can not find individual meaning and purpose and to establish some form of pragmatic value system. I think real humility begins with the awesome recognition that we are a part of a much bigger continum of life and processes which we are only beginning to understand. I think that un-critical, un-questioning belief in a particular religion can repress our ability to keep asking questions especially if they are hard and uncomfortable.

    I think science has the best tools for helping us to understand the material universe because it seeks objective evidence. It does not or actually has no way to verify the myriad subjective beliefs of religion and philosophy.

    We are free of course to believe as we wish, the trouble is when one culture or religion insists that they are the right way and all must confirm to that one usually subjective ideal.

    Science has flaws of course because it is a human undertaking, but at it’s best it deals with objective, reproducable or mathemantical facts and presents them as such, not as beliefs based merely on faith.

    For instance just because we have not been around to see macro-evolution take place before our eyes(which it would not anyway becuse it takes vast amounts of time), there is a enormous collection of evidence pointing to that(again provisional)conclusion. These are facts based on enormous amount of collected evidence. There is more to be found, but each time more evidence has confirmed natural selection and our connection to this process of continual adaptation and change. Anything else like ID or creationism is based on a pre-concluded bias that a supernatural cause must be involved. Science has no way(at this time) to verify that assertion because it cannot be tested.

    If data comes forth that could used to verify a supernatural force then probably even hard line atheists like Richard Dawkins would be willing to review the evidence. To this date nothing has been found to prove supernatural forces are in operation.

  136. #136 Max
    April 4, 2010

    The Carbon dating that was done on the shroud was taken from a corner that has been handled for hundreds of years and not a more “pure” section. The testing for blood is positive, and human. Prior attempts to create an image from this piece have failed. The point that was made is simply that this image contains information to reproduce the image correctly which has been deciphered with current technology. Reverse engineering was done in order to “check the math” and found to be correct. Watch the entire special before you comment.

  137. #137 Mike
    April 4, 2010

    wow, you are really showing your huge ignorance of the scientific studies that have been done on the shroud. your analysis on this is infantile and ignorant. why don’t you read up on the subject, then write your agenda-driven opinion. at least come up with some legitimate arguments against its authenuticity.

  138. #138 Alessandro
    April 4, 2010

    I wrote comments 31 and 54 here. In 59, Owlmirror replied to me in a silly way. Stop making a fool of yourself!
    Ok, here you are arguing with various religious types who were (at least some of them) also blatantly wrong in many aspects, but this isn’t changing the fact that you are supporting your ignorance with extreme arrogance.
    You replied me: “I don’t think you can be trusted when you can’t even get the title of the article correct.”
    This is absurd, how can I be accused of getting it wrong when I didn’t write it AT ALL? The only logical explanation to me is that you didn’t understand that “Thermochimica acta” is the name of a journal, not of an article, and it’s spelled correctly, despite your snide remark, because it’s Latin, not English. You know, it’s a nominative plural neuter. Sheesh.
    Stop being lazy and pretending that a random guy replying to a useless random internet article comes up with a lengthy dissertation full of citations to prove his point about the Shroud. A reply to a post is not where you get educated. It’s very dangerous to live in a world where people expect to find ultimate answers in a few hurriedly written lines.
    You could have easily googled based on my suggestions, or perused the scientific papers section of shroud.com.
    You prefer to look down on people by substituting actual knowledge with your imagination.
    “Of course they are different; one is centuries older than the other, and of a different human being.”
    This is your fantasy at work! What’s your excuse for not researching the matter? You don’t have time? Fine, then don’t comment on things you don’t know!
    Read here, lazy boy:
    http://shroud.com/pdfs/schwortzedit01.pdf
    http://shroud.com/pdfs/thibault-lg.pdf
    http://www.sindone.org/the_holy_shroud__english_/news_and_info/00024401_The_Shroud__Make_over___science_or_marketing_.html
    these are just articles debunking Garlaschelli’s reproduction of the Shroud.
    This page is soooo filled with immaturity…

  139. #139 trish
    April 4, 2010

    this blog has turned into Is there a God,not is shroud is real or not.It being real or not has nothing to with Is there a God Or not .I am a Christian,Being a Christian doesn’t mean I have not read Darwin..In Fact I like science…I believe in the Big Bag theory,but Gods Hand..just like I believe the universe is expanding every second..and one day will explode ..the universe will start and end with a big bang.
    my question is why do those who do not believe has to belittle those that believe…we both have our beliefs…..and a belief is a religion

  140. #140 smidget
    April 4, 2010

    Wow, did some website somewhere trot out their idiot brigade to this post? I rarely see such a misunderstanding of basic science coming from posters on this website.

    To the people who believe that the shroud, despite all evidence to the contrary, is real, is your best argument really: “Well, you’re atheist so obviously your science is biased. Also, I have all of these non-peer reviewed posts that some guy made on a website that advocates the shroud as being real! They are totally legit, I promise!”

    Really? Shouldn’t that tell you something?

  141. #141 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    I have read a substantial amount of your comments and have noticed a constant theme; you keep telling others that citation is needed for some of the things they post

    Yes, for some of the things. Not everything.

    I’ve asked for citations for claims that are clearly being made in reference to something which is sufficiently vague and unclear that I have no idea what the exact argument is, who made the original argument, or what they based their argument on.

    Of course, sometimes that came out in later comments, which more or less satisfied me as a “citation”. For example, the claim that the carbon-dated cloth was from a mended area is from Rogers’ 2005 paper in Thermochimica Acta. The claim that there is something from ~1190 which (purportedly) shows the shroud (or something like it) is based on an argument by Daniel Scavone about the Hungarian Pray Manuscript or Pray Codex.

    Once I had that information, I was able to read up on the topic myself, and I stopped writing “citation needed”.

    yet I see no citation when you reply.

    I have cited Wiens 2002 against the creationist lies about radiocarbon dating. Do you want more information about something I’ve said? Please be explicit, if so.

    I do notice, however, that you have the tendency to rip apart others, even when they do include citations.

    Providing citations is no guarantee that the source of the citation is actually correct.

    Note that the “citation” in support of a pencil being dated to 1,000,000 years old does not actually mention any such claim, in addition to being full of creationist lies.

    You ask for something, yet when it is provided you disregard it or pass it off as nonsense.

    Sometimes that’s because it can be disregarded as nonsense.

    Radiocarbon dating really is a branch of science that is consistent with everything we know about chemistry and physics. Everything that creationists write about there being “problems” with radioisotope dating is false or misleading based on everything we know about chemistry and physics. Everything that creationists write about there having been a global flood is false based on everything we know about geology.

    Do you want citations for that, or are you good with accepting the consensus of modern science?

    And to call others hypocrites when your own hypocrisy is so evident is. well, very hypocritical.

    You misunderstood what I was asking for in requesting citations.

    Do you have any other problems with what I have written?

    ….and I am quite certain you will correct me for the punctuation error in my previous post, but that’s okay, I forgive you for your feeling of self-rightousness and your intellectual vanity.

    I’m usually only that pedantic to people who are self-righteous in being consistently wrong. But what the hell, I forgive your punctuation error and your self-righteous judgment of me.

  142. #142 steve challis
    April 4, 2010

    It is a shame that most of the detractors here have neither seen the documentary nor understand the science behind it,
    The makers never claimed that the image is that of jesus christ.They point out that such an identification is impossible.They do however claim that the image is that of a man who showed signs of massive trauma consistent with crucifixion. including scorging and wounds consistent with the crown of thorns. The documentary proves beyond all reasonable doubt that this is not a fake painting or forgery of any sort. That leaves a question of who the man/image is.
    The bible gives us a possibility .The serious doubts over the carbon dating test are sufficient to discount them and certainly would be sufficient for any court to disallow them. the keepers of the shroud have refused permission for further tests. So it comes down to a question of faith. Science has proved this shroud is not a cheap fake,medieval or otherwise.It is a genuine article with an image that so far defies explanation.As for the rest it is up to us to decide,
    Steve c

  143. #143 Martin R
    April 4, 2010

    The pencil thing is probably a misunderstood reference to the fact that graphite contains no remaining 14C. The wood in the pencil does, of course.

  144. #144 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    The documentary proves beyond all reasonable doubt that this is not a fake painting or forgery of any sort.

    Except it does not. Well, it may provide a strong argument that the image is not a painting. But that does not preclude it having been forged in some other manner, such as someone more than a thousand years after the purported crucifixion having taken a male body (living or dead), preparing him to look like he had wounds similar to those claimed for Jesus of Nazareth, coating him with a light layer of paint or dye or other substance that would leave an imprint, and wrapping him in the cloth, and so on.

    The serious doubts over the carbon dating test are sufficient to discount them

    Not at all. As noted @#106, there appear to be serious doubts about the doubts.

    the keepers of the shroud have refused permission for further tests.

    Which is odd, because Rogers 2005 ends as follows:

    A significant amount of charred cellulose was removed during a restoration of the shroud in 2002 [10]. Material from different scorch locations across the shroud was saved in separate containers. The elemental carbon could be completely cleaned in concentrated nitric acid, thus removing all traces of foreign fibers, sebum from repeated handling, and adsorbed thymol from an unfortunate procedure to sterilize the shroud’s reliquary in 1988. In addition, the separate samples would give a “cluster” of dates, always a desirable procedure in archaeology. A new radiocarbon analysis should be done on the charred material retained from the 2002 restoration.

    (where reference 10 is: )

    [10] G. Ghiberti, Sindone le immagini 2002, Opera Diocesana Preservzione Fede — Buona Stampa Corso Matteotti, 11-10121 Torino.

    Given that they have material which has already been removed from the shroud, they have nothing to lose by allowing it to be radiocarbon tested as Rogers himself suggested.

    Science has proved this shroud is not a cheap fake,medieval or otherwise.

    Science has not proved any such conclusive claim.

  145. #145 keith
    April 4, 2010

    | “……and your self-righteous judgment of me.”

    Citation please.

  146. #146 jack
    April 4, 2010

    “BREAKING NEWS” ……. The BIBLE it’self tells us that the … “shroud” … can not be that of JESUS !!! The BIBLE tells us that JESUS was wrapped in a … “HEAD WRAP” and a “BODY WRAP” (not a one piece wrap). True Christians do not need the … shroud … to believe that JESUS rose from the grave.

  147. #147 MadScientist
    April 4, 2010

    @#142: Nonsense. Unless the sample you’re looking at is tens of thousands of years old, you’d need a hell of a lot of contamination to make the date appear more recent. To be more precise, your contamination theory requires that 67% of the sample be modern material – by modern I mean from sources around the time that the analysis was done. If you’re talking about historical repairs, which are very obvious to anyone who looks even at a photograph of the shroud, you need pretty much 100% of the repair material to give such a young age; you are very silly to suggest that the people who performed the sampling and analysis are that stupid. You are only showing your grand ignorance of the carbon dating method. Go learn about it and become a genuine expert before you tell people your silly ideas.

  148. #148 MadScientist
    April 4, 2010

    @steve challis: The “documentary” as you call it is absolute garbage if you claim that it “proves beyond all reasonable doubt that this is not a fake painting or forgery of any sort” because absolutely all evidence points to a medieval artwork. There is no evidence whatsoever for the religious claims. People have replicated the painting just to convince themselves they can do it. The artwork is also a remarkable 2D projection exactly like a painting. If you wrap flat sheets around some 3D object you simply do not get such images. That’s not even bringing in the fact of how corpses were bound with cloth in those days – you can see similar contemporary examples on news reels from the Middle East. Your Jesus would have to be flatter than a halibut to create such a beautiful image. Perhaps a large stone was rolled over him and a ‘rubbing’ was made on the shroud?

  149. #149 JW
    April 4, 2010

    What amazes me about this “argument”, if you can call it that, is the fervent need for non-believers to convince everyone that God does not exist. What does it really matter to an athiest if the majority of the planet’s population believes in God? Why is it that you non-believers feel the need to belittle and mock those of faith just because you do not have any? Does a person of faith threaten you in some way? I fail to understand why some athiests spend so much time and energy trying to dismantle every tenet of religion and deem it false. The argument inevitably shifts to name calling where people of faith are disregarded as ignorant and unable to comprehend the “real science” thus need religion to explain the unexplainable. The bottom line for me is what those of faith have accomplished regarding the poor, weak, and suffering. What other group of people in the world’s history has ever done more good and positive works than those of faith. When is the last time you read the headline, “Group of Athiests Organize Relief for Haiti” or “Athiests Unite in Founding of Homeless Shelter”? The intellectual dishonesty of those loudest in oposition can be deafening, but happily I do have faith in God and no one person or group can change that. My faith strengthens me and I need no relic or proof to supplement it. The “proof” may be intangible to you but I see it’s expression nonetheless in the greatest good deed to the smallest act of kindness. Sneer and look down as you please, it matters not to me; the simple fact remains that people of faith have done more to better humanity than any other group, despite whether organized or not. There is good and bad in every organized group – it has been this way since the beginning. It is easy to find the bad and cite it to the world, but the challenge I believe is to cite the good that religion and faith have meant to the world and the great things accomplished because faith and morality demanded it. It is a choice of those of faith to give in charity, to offer their time to help others, to quietly pray for peace; what will you choose to do and how will that improve the life or lives of others?
    Lastly to “owlmirror”, you might want to read over some of your posts and ask yourself if humility is a character trait that you might be lacking. Despite your “almost militant” attacks against the people of faith who have posted, I pray you find some grace and peace with yourself. It just seems sad to me that your attitude is so oppositional. Science is a gift that God has given humanity and even your gifts, whether you acknowledge Him or not, are a blessing. I hope you use them for good.

  150. #150 Rusty
    April 4, 2010

    Jules, it appears we are off track with the rest of the posts but I don’t mind, this is interesting. Pretty soon someone will comment on our “wayward trek”.

    You make a good point about there being no way we can find absolute truth from our vantage point. Science absolutly has the best tools for helping us understand the material universe.

    Despite the claim of many, religion should not contradict true science if it is based on truth and agreed upon fact. We know gravity is true and religion would be foolish to disagree. We are pretty sure the universe was created by a Big Bang, and true religion should not contradict that or the age of that physical universe because it has been shown with very good reliability to be several billion years old. True science will never contradict true religion.

    The creative force that is responsible for that Big Bang, should it be a consciousness, would not seek to have anyone belive anything other than the truth of that creation.

    That is where the flaws of the religious show themselves also. Just as you say science is flawed when humans get involved, religion too is flawed by the same human involvement. We all carry around our personal agendas and theories while trying to make sure that they are not trodden on by the “unbelievers”. That is when we all can throw away our open minds and close ourselves off from the truth, oh yeah, what is truth again? :-).

    The reason I am no longer an agnostic is that when I came to the end of the science, I still had questions, and I wanted answers, like what is the truth? For me, and I speak only for me, those questions were aswered by Christ when he said “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth, listens to my voice” Jn 18, 37. He also said “I am the way, the truth, and the life”, Jn 14,6. I’m sorry about all the bible verse but I can’t explain what I mean without them. I am fully aware that many will not accept those references because I understand that “the natural person does not accept what pertains to the spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spirtually” 1 Cor 2, 14.

    I relized that the truth is not a thing, it is a person. That person was once a live, historical, natural person that has been mentioned by extra-biblcal sources such that most serious scholars do not question that fact. The question becomes is Christ who he says he is? If he is, wow, what an event! If He is not, then as 1 Cor 15, 17 – 19 says “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain”, and “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitable people of all”. Indeed there are many that view us in this way.

    I know for a fact because I have been on both sides of the fence, you will only have faith if you want it and ask for it but you will never have it if you refuse it. This may seem on the surface to be a self-fulfilling argument, but there is something of a mystery contained in it.

    I think it is logical that if the “Prime Mover”, or the “Creative Force”, behind the Big Bang has a consciousness, that he would want to communicate with the creature he was responsible for. I suppose he could have done that in any way he chose, being the author and all. Unfortunately it will never be proved, one way or the other. It is for us to decide what to do for ourselves, is Jesus who he said he is?

    As you said Jules, there is simply no objective or absolute way we can confirm from this vantage point what is the absoute truth. What is your vantage point? Do we stop where science ends or do we accept some mystery and maybe take a chance and take one step in an un-natural direction and ask for help from a source that we suspect may not even be there? What if there is an answer?

  151. #151 ~
    April 4, 2010

    The show isn’t claiming that the Shroud is the real face of Jesus. That’s why the title has a ‘?’ at the end. It does provide the same information that you are providing in terms of the lack of authenticity. It also points out how the evidence may ot be true, and more on both sides of the issue. The show is more about, from the shroud only, determining an accurate picture of the man it is of.

    However, it must be admitted, no matter what your religion is, that the creation of the shroud is mysterious, as the same researchers who determined it was some 700 years old also said it was not created by any sort of ‘media’, and the blood on it is human blood, not some kind of paint.

  152. #152 The Science Pundit
    April 4, 2010

    When is the last time you read the headline, “Group of Athiests Organize Relief for Haiti” or “Athiests Unite in Founding of Homeless Shelter”?

    Here and here. See, that wasn’t too hard.

  153. #153 Artist-Pat
    April 4, 2010

    I am a believer and I love the show. It was beautiful.
    Their accomplishment was done with dedication and passion.

    Blessings to all of you that want to argue…

  154. #154 brightstar
    April 4, 2010

    The answer for the sceptics and the faithless alike who seek to proof or disproof God and Christ is their plain IGNORANCE of the WORD itself …read it again and again and you will see the answer plainly there is no mention of that type of undertaking on the Word of God, Jesus Christ, so it is spirious to the text of the Bible and to way of the Jews… faith in Father God doesnt require any artifacts, my love for my Father is the love He has for me reflected within my spirit my inner joy and peace each day in gratitude for being re-born into the love of Father God,through Jesus Christ,as a Son and a brother …do you need more proof of Jesus Christ heres proof it is 2010 years since his appearance… not Budda or Mohamed or Krisna or any other living person in history only Jesus Christ…The evidence is overwelming how many books have been written up to 2010 about Jesus Chrit? how many movies up to 2010? how many churches claim to be from Jesus Christ in 2010?… even the mentaly inept ATHEISTS use the name Jesus Christ as an expleative, so as Ive said is simple and easy to follow FACTS straight talk …open your eyes and read about Jesus Christ then open your heart to the truth of Father God say try reading the Book of John and search for ONLY what Jesus Christ has to say… you will not be disappointed ignore religious inventions and drama and READ it for yourself it wont hurt you to be a little wiser then when youve got that far READ it again and again FEEL the differance xxx

  155. #155 ~
    April 4, 2010

    The show isn’t claiming that the Shroud is the real face of Jesus. That’s why the title has a ‘?’ at the end. It does provide the same information that you are providing in terms of the lack of authenticity. It also points out how the evidence may ot be true, and more on both sides of the issue. The show is more about, from the shroud only, determining an accurate picture of the man it is of.

    By watching the documentary, one would be aware of all of this. While it is slightly bias, it makes the point clear that what they are saying is not necessarily fact, and they do provide evidence on both sides of the situation that leave the viewer to an opinion.

    Just watch the documentary before you state your opinion like fact, and make sure you don’t address and contradict the factual parts stated int the documentary. Several of your points, as well as others here, were addressed in the documentary.

    @147 : The documentary covers this. Validification for the shroud’s authenticity is supposedly given in that the head wrap is dated to the 7th century, and the blood stains on it match the blood stains on the shroud.

  156. #156 Joseph Provenzano
    April 4, 2010

    Did you non belivers have a big jerkoff party when you found out carbon dating showed the shroud not to be of the date first thought, you belived it immedeatly, because you so wanted it to be a fake,but just ignor all the scientific research done in 2005 that show the shroud to be much older
    dating back 2000 years,this must be driving you crazy,
    Happy Easter!

  157. #157 Julie
    April 4, 2010

    Despite the science proving anything one way or another people are simply discounting the biggest thing of all, and that’s FAITH… We Christians choose to believe… we choose to have faith. Some of us have had experiences that cannot be explained and therefore for us, faith comes naturally. Others simply choose faith because the thought of an afterlife in darkness is not an appealing one. My brother is an atheist and chooses to believe in nothing… good for him. That’s his choice. Mine is to believe!!
    Happy Afterlife everyone! Wherever you choose to spend it :)

  158. #158 Peter T.
    April 4, 2010

    It is astonishing that no one in the program ever suggested another obvious explanation for the shroud–and only one person here has so far mentioned it: that a living or dead body could have easily been used to mimic the appearance of having been crucified. Wounds could have been made in a recently deceased corpse; or blood could have been put in various places on a living, uninjured body, to mimic crucifiction and flagellation wounds. And this fakery could have occurred at any time prior to the shroud’s discovery. It could have occurred at any time after Christ’s death by well-meaning followers who wanted to create a religious relic for the faithful. And by the way, even if the shroud had actually covered a crucified and flagellated body, that doesn’t mean it was Christ’s body. There’s simply no way to prove it, which makes this “documentary” nothing more than a piece of entertainment, and perhaps an inspiration for those who, like the people who were apparently carefully selected for interviewing in the program, already have a bias toward believing in Christ’s resurrection or, at the very least, a bias toward believing that the shroud covered the dead body of Christ.

  159. #159 Bryan Fisher
    April 4, 2010

    From the Daily Mirror, 03/04/2010, at the end of a piece under the headline ‘The 3Deity’, is a quote from Gian Maria Zaccone, Turin Shroud Museums scientific director;
    “Scientists can’t explain how the image was formed, and we should leave it at that. It’s not important whether or not it’s a fake-the important thing is it encourages faith.”
    WHAT?
    What sort of ‘scientist says “..can’t explain how the image was formed, and we should leave it at that.”

  160. #160 Jules
    April 4, 2010

    Thanks Rusty for your heartfelt sharing about the journey to faith in what is true for you and I admit many millions of others. I accept that there is much about the universe that is a deep mystery and the “why” of life is something to endlessly ponder.

    My vantage point after half a century is that I have become comfortable with the reality that “I do not know” or cannot know all the answers. When I was younger I was very concerned and anxious about finding my purpose as if it was some hidden thing that was destined by the universe as silly as that sounds to me now.

    Since my “conversion” to agnosticsm I have actually been more at ease and accepting of my life as it is. Uncertainty does not scare me as it used to. I find that when I gave up the obsession with pursuing God or spiritual answers that it was a liberating, empowering experience(not free to be immoral) but the realization that I alone am responsible for my life and my actions. For me it was sobering, humbling experience. I acknowldege it has made me more critical and judgemental of those who I feel are not open to seeing beyond the insularity that some beliefs foster.

    I still have frustrations about the problems we all face and most of all the way our species seems to be on a course of ecological suicide. Science and learning though has become my new passion regardless if it cannot answer all the deep philosophical questions and even many physical questions also.

    I think it was my study of astronomy and cosmology that was most influential in shaping my new vantage point because it made me realize how huge the universe is in time and place. It made me realize how provincial and insular we can become when we don’t look beyond the walls we build around our lives and cultures. The larger universe of course for most of us is of little importance to our everyday lives, but when we proclaim that we have found the absolute truth and evangelize to others,I think we have to consider this larger context which is part of reality and so are we.

    An analogy might be if we were a microbe(which has consciousness)in the Pacific ocean. Our “world” only comprises a few centimeters and a few days at most. If we as microbes believed that this small environment we occupied is all there is to reality, then we would be greatly mistaken because we were not aware that a much larger universe existed even beyond the Pacific ocean.

    So too for us a much larger universe exists and we must include it in any statements about absolute realities and truths. Most of us don’t think about this context and see reality as just what happens on this planet or even smaller dimensions. Perhaps this all sounds abstract(or nonsense!) and meaningless, but again I am referring to the problem when any of us try to speak in philosophical absolutes on behalf of a universe that we only know from a very limited vantage point. When we talk of a creator God of the universe we must include how large that universe really is and do we actually know that God, if such a entity exists, takes the forms we have imagined.

    Science no matter how flawed stiil to me has the advantage of being open-ended and revisable so it complememts a universe that could be infinite and is constantly evolving.

    Thanks to Dr Rundkvist for letting us indulge in a discussion that is actually somewhat off topic!

    I will add that I do not know what the Shroud of Turin really is, other than an object composed of atoms as is all matter, but given enough scientific research it’s origin would probably be found. That is the “faith” I have in the scientific method.

  161. #161 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    What sort of ‘scientist says “..can’t explain how the image was formed, and we should leave it at that.”

    Obviously, a religious one who thinks that “faith” is more important than actually finding out the truth.

  162. #162 Kirstin
    April 4, 2010

    Kindly watch the show before you “review” and dismiss it. And please also update yourself on the various studies and evidence that have been done in the last twenty years. The carbon dating IS in question: http://www.shroudofturin4journalists.com/
    This show also presented some other, non-carbon dating pieces of evidence that suggest (but don’t conclusively prove) that the shroud is older than scientists claimed back in 1988. Furthermore, as many have said, the show did not claim that the face was definitively that of Jesus. Who was in the shroud is, obviously, not certain.

  163. #163 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

    I relized that the truth is not a thing, it is a person.

    Rusty, if you feel like it, could you expand on how you came to this “realization”, and what makes you think that it is true?

  164. #164 Kipper Scott
    April 4, 2010

    The history channel didn’t claim it is the real face of Jesus.What is known if you would watch the program is that the original samples taken from the shroud were contaminated by the hundreds of years of handling.There’s no possible way of determining the age.It’s now proven that it’s not any source of an art medium.If you can prove it isn’t the shroud of Jesus.Then let us believers cling to the hope of the all mighty God with or without the shroud.

  165. #165 Rusty
    April 4, 2010

    Jules, It has been a long day and I have enjoyed our conversation even though I believe that we have quite heroically and respectfully agreed to disagree.

    Everyone looks through their own individual lens that has been formed by their own experience. I would agree with you that it helps no one when an individual or group trys to force their reality on everyone else. It is usually diminished by the confrontations it causes. In all cases, freedom to believe or not to believe is of utmost importance.

    I too have a great love of the universe in all its complexity and scope. I think I have a grasp on its shear immensity, although I am sure not to the extent that you may understand it. My oldest son wanted to become an astronomer and physisist. He was a student at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. He spoke of science just as you have just done and wanted to know about all of the things that we have discussed. His dream was to one day teach physics and astronomy as a Norbertine priest, but I don’t belive that he thought that it was the only answer. I think he just felt that he wanted to include all that he understood to be part of reality as he knew it. You may say that “the apple may not have fallen far from the tree” and you may be right because I may have helped “grind” his lens a bit. Anyway, unfortunately his dream was cut short by an unfortunate car / pedestrian accident 11 years ago. Science and God I think will be forever intertwined. He thought that and I suppose you and I would agree on that.

    If you have been around for a half century as you stated, then you and I are contemporaries. I suspect that we actually may agree more than we disagree on, in fact some of my best friends are agnostics :-)

    As far as the Shroud of Turin is concerned, I can’t imagine how it was formed, who manufactured it if indeed it was manufactured, don’t rely on it to prove anything, will follow further study of it with the same interest I follow new discoveries in cosmology, but I also revere it because it demonstrates with extreme sobriety every single detail which I am currently aware of the purported passion of the man called Jesus of Nazareth.

    G K Chesterton is probably not one of your favorite historical figures but he once said “I have heard that in some debating clubs there is a rule that the members may discuss anything except religion and politics. I cannot imagine what they do discuss; but it is quite evident that they have ruled out the only two subjects which are either important or amusing”. Jules, thank you for your patient and respectful conversation, especially in light of what has surrounded us.

    I also want to thank Dr. Rundkvist since I kind of fell into this by chance but have enjoyed the opportunity immensly.

  166. #166 Lisa I.
    April 5, 2010

    Owlmirror wrote in Post 109 in reply to my query, “So how can we say with any certainty that someone else’s beliefs are incorrect.”

    “We can’t. We can point out the lack of evidence, and the incorrectness of logic.”

    So, isn’t that back to where we started when I asked you for proof that God does not exist? You have yet to provide that evidence. Instead you have covered that fact with a plethora of double talk, and even in one case in response to one of my statements, circular logic. (Which I’m sure you will continue to do since you don’t seem to be able to address the simple question that I asked of whether or not there is scientific evidence that God does not exist.)

    Ah, and in response to your question “How does believing in [God]that grant you the emotions you describe?” Because I used to be a very cynical, logical atheist too. It wasn’t until I had an intensely spiritual experience (which is personal, and which I will not post here for you to rip apart) that changed how I believed that I found the peace and joy and strength in knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only does God exist, but that He loves me. Nothing you have written in all of your posts here has changed my faith, and you have demonstrated nothing that I would want to replace my faith with.

    A life without God is like walking through a garden with your eyes closed. You miss so very much that you could be experiencing!

  167. #167 Anonymous
    April 5, 2010

    The fact that you have not watched the documentary invalidates your opinion of it. What weight would your opinion hold of a restaurant that you had not eaten at or a book you had not read. None at all.

  168. #168 Eduardo
    April 5, 2010

    I ve always been intrigued by the shroud and this show brought a lot of new evidence that it could be the image of Christ on it. I agree on the carbon 14 dating could have been wrong for many reasons.

    My best part of the show was when they finaly connected the shroud to the sudarium of oviedo. Ive always known of this cloth existing but I had never seen a show connection them together. And to my astonishment when the blood stains matched with face on the shroud. These to cloths should be studied more closely to each other.

    And the way I see it is: no one person is trying to get credit for prooving the shroud is real but there many nobodys trying to prove that it is not real.

  169. #169 michele bonder
    April 5, 2010

    WIth all due respect, if you watched this amazing program, maybe it would surprise you. Scientists with closed minds are kidding themselves. They aren’t true to their own professed objectivity, and by limiting your outlook, you become everything you profess to despise in others, especially the History Channel. Watch it sometime. Seriously.You may learn something. If you saw the program on the Shroud of Turin, you would be hard pressed to despise it. It may touch your soul in ways unexpectedly.

  170. #170 Guest
    April 5, 2010

    To deny only leads to the one thing you are hiding from… The truth.
    Maybe if you watched the show before you rant, people would “beilive” your side of the story more. All you have is useless facts. And When a Scientist says “…can’t explain how the image was formed, and we should leave it at that.” You should know right then and there that something supernatural has happened. I beilive that it is the imprint of Jesus’ soul. Not a fake. People are to stupid to try and create the Shroud. Get over it. And get a life.

  171. #171 Turuk
    April 5, 2010

    To all who claim the carbon dating evidence is without merit because the sample was from a patch that was repaired in the 1400’s: why then was this particular patch given to be carbon dated in the first place. The claim that the sample was a repaired piece came about after the tests were performed to falsify the results, I mean why would they give a part that was known to be a repaired as the testable sample? And of course, why wasn’t another test prepared since the 1988 one was so bungled? Until another sample is provided and tested, the previous results stand no matter how many after the fact hypothesis there may be as to why it may be wrong. To prove it is wrong you have to test again, you can’t just say the test is wrong, you have to provide contrary evidence derived from a new test, not conjecture.

  172. #172 Owlmirror
    April 5, 2010

    Owlmirror wrote in Post 109 in reply to my query, “So how can we say with any certainty that someone else’s beliefs are incorrect.”

    You were “Anonymous” @#108? OK, I didn’t know.

    So, isn’t that back to where we started when I asked you for proof that God does not exist?

    Not exactly.

    It depends one what you mean by God, which is why I was trying to nail down the definition, or definitions, in comment #107.

    If your definition of God is something that has no effect on reality whatsoever, then of course there can be no proof that this thing does not exist. How would you prove that something that would not have any effect if it were there actually isn’t there? How would you prove with evidence that an invisible intangible elephant is not in your room?

    But I can point out that there is no logical reason to believe in such a thing. Why even call it an elephant — or a being — if it has no features or characteristics that can be demonstrated that elephants — or beings — have?

    On the other hand, if this God does have some effect on reality, or is supposed to have some effect, then we can talk about whether or not that can be disproven.

    Ultimately, it’s up to you to come up with a coherent definition — if you want to discuss this in terms of logic and evidence, I mean. If you don’t, then don’t.

    Instead you have covered that fact with a plethora of double talk, and even in one case in response to one of my statements, circular logic.

    What exactly are you referring to here? I asked a lot of questions that you haven’t addressed. Where is this “circular logic”?

    (Which I’m sure you will continue to do since you don’t seem to be able to address the simple question that I asked of whether or not there is scientific evidence that God does not exist.)

    And you don’t seem to be able to address the simple question of what God is, that there should be scientific evidence that God exists, or good reason to reject the claim of existence due to lack of evidence.

    Can you please address this, if you actually want to discuss this?

    Because I used to be a very cynical, logical atheist too.

    So you would not describe yourself as being logical now?

    That might seem like an unfair question, but I want to understand what you’re saying, or trying to say. If you don’t think that logic matters, then we cannot talk about logical reasons for not believing, let alone evidential ones.

    It wasn’t until I had an intensely spiritual experience (which is personal, and which I will not post here for you to rip apart)

    I understand that it’s personal, and you don’t have to tell me about it, but I hope that you realize that you’re evading the rather important point of how you know that the experience was in fact of God or from God or whatever, and that if you’re not willing to even discuss it, I cannot know how this experience relates to the question of God actually existing.

    that changed how I believed that I found the peace and joy and strength in knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only does God exist, but that He loves me.

    “Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt” is a very strong claim. I mean, that’s a powerful declaration of what certainly sounds like certainty, for something that you won’t discuss what it is you’re certain about.

    But if it’s so strong, why aren’t you willing to discuss what led to it? OK, you said that it’s personal. But would you at least agree that this experience is something that you don’t want subject to analysis, either external or internal?

    Nothing you have written in all of your posts here has changed my faith, and you have demonstrated nothing that I would want to replace my faith with.

    Yes, I’m afraid that I honestly don’t have anything like peace, joy, strength, or love to offer. I certainly don’t have certainty in any personal experience of those emotions.

    But if I haven’t changed your faith, I do seem to have made you defensive of it. Maybe you should just avoid the question of whether or not God actually exists. Questioning the basis of your faith might damage it.

    A life without God is like walking through a garden with your eyes closed. You miss so very much that you could be experiencing!

    I don’t understand this metaphor. Since you claim that you have been both an atheist and a believer, maybe you can give a specific clear example?

  173. #173 Martin R
    April 5, 2010

    The IP numbers show that the two fake comments in Owlmirror’s name were written by Chris. Hey kid, how old are you really?

  174. #174 Micah
    April 5, 2010

    my only arguement against some of this, is just that supposedly they were actually able to pull a blood sample from it, and if all of the people saying it was a work of art or a painting, did that mean they used blood, to paint it with, cause that would have had to be in there somewhere for them to be able to do that. i think its real, but thats just me, i just dont see why some many people have to make such a big deal out of stuff, if you dont believe in it, cool, i dont care. if you do, awesome thats cool too. but why do atheists have to bash everyone else who believe in God. dude if you dont believe in God, i totally respect your opinion, im not gonna shove a bible down your throat. i know some christians are pretty crazy and very biased. but there are some of us who actually care about people and what they think outside of all this crap. oh and for all you people talking about evolution, here is a little quote from darwin for you:
    “In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God” – Letters of Charles Darwin

  175. #175 Abstruse
    April 5, 2010

    they were actually able to pull a blood sample from it, and if all of the people saying it was a work of art or a painting, did that mean they used blood, to paint it with,

    Yes. Would this surprise you? There were more than a handful of foreskins floating around Italy at the time, not to mention finger bones and shin bones and hair and vials of blood.

    but why do atheists have to bash everyone else who believe in God

    Reread the thread. The attacks are being launched from the faithful, not the doubters.

    “In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God” – Letters of Charles Darwin

    Cool, but irrelevant. Darwin’s faith has no impact on the validity of the theory of evolution. Evolution is only mentioned in this thread because it is another aspect of reality that believers find unsavory.

  176. #176 Jules
    April 5, 2010

    Rusty,

    Thanks also for your kind and patient words. Your thoughtful comments illustrate what motivates sincere believers and I am not a stranger to that since I once had similiar feelings. I have enjoyed our brief communication also. Some of my friends are committed believers and I can still have good relationships with them. Most of the time we talk about what we have in common (nature observation) and judiciously avoid getting into heavy debating out of respect.

    I have found on many items of substance, that even as an agnostic, I am still in agreement with believers over much of the values humans have found important to living with love,compassion,dignity,respect and peace.

    My sincere condolances about your son. I think I see what you mean about God and science forever being intertwined. He probably would have been a very inspired scientist.

    As a final note, one of my major concerns about religion, in it’s extremes at least, is that it can become a serous distraction and hinderance to us resolving some perpelexing issues facing all humans because it often puts barriers around us to finding commonality. In some individuals religion can become a convenient way to deny that there actually is a problem(ecologically speaking)or that we have no responsibility to resolving it because the earth is only our temporary home. In any case, in my opinion the physical problems we face have to be addressed using our best science, sound reasoning and most of all the will to cooperate. As more people come to realize that we are seriously compromising the life giving sustainablity of this planet, hopefully more of us no matter what we believe will come together to find the best solutions. We have no other place to escape to.

    Best regards Rusty.

  177. #177 Agrippa
    April 5, 2010

    I sometimes try to imagine what the world would have been like without religion. With every resource used for the advancement of civilization instead of religious wars, persecutions, and rites, we might have already solved many problems facing humans today such as cancer, energy, climate change, and overpopulation. It’s really sad that so much has been wasted on myth, lore, and fear. The opportunity costs cannot be overstated.

  178. #178 Henrik
    April 5, 2010

    To me, the conclusive proof that the Turin Shroud is a latterday forgery is that it portrays a Western European face, thus it cannot be that of the Semite Jesus of Nazareth.

    As for the rest of the debate, I pity those who, for whatever reason, feel that religion and science are mutually exclusive when in fact they are complementary. One deals with spirit/soul and the other with nature.

  179. #179 John
    April 5, 2010

    Lisa I,
    Well, I used to be xian, but no more.
    So you used to be an atheist, but now you are xian but you wish not to share with us the magical transformation. Let us examine that for a moment in the manner of Thomas Paine: Suppose we assume for the sake of argument that God himself appeared to you and called on you to believe. This would have been a “revelation” to you of God. Were you to go and tell others of your experience, the news would most definitely not be a revelation to them, as others would only have your word that it had occurred. As far as others would be concerned, you may have either had a dream, been smoking some herb (As Coptic xians were wont to do), or may be lying. Either way, unless they also had their own personal revelation there would appear to be a great unfairness to have occurred. Why would God reveal himself to you and not everyone else? Is that something a fair and just God would do? I think not. And should you consider it rationally, you would also. But then, we are given the “God works in mysterious ways” that we have heard all our lives while being cajoled into denying our “God given” common sense.

    The bottom line: Go as I have done over my 70 plus years and STUDY as many of the “great” religions as you can (My studies included Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and Deism. Additionally, within Christianity I have spent time looking into Catholicism, Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Methodism, Presbyterianism, Baptists, Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, and even Jehovah’s Witnesses to name a few. I also attended services at all of these . ) and you will ultimately come to the same conclusion as I finally came to: NONE OF THEM MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL! ALL ARE SMOKE AND MIRRORS!
    I entreat all to go and read carefully, Thomas Paine Age Of Reason I and II. Both are on the internet and easily found.
    Looked upon in the light of day, with an open mind, cleared from all the incense, holy water, vestments, architectural wonders of churches and mosques, none of it makes any sense at all. What, PRAY TELL, is wrong with humans that they are so blinded by pretense that they cannot see?

    Incidentally, the shroud is a fake. It’s up to xians to prove it is not. Faith is like hope. Both are totally worthless emotions based on wish, which will never have any effect on outcome.

  180. #180 Mike
    April 5, 2010

    The accuracy of the dating done on the cloth has been called into question. The are that the cloth samples were taken from was an area that had been repaired in the middle ages. Thus the date was the date of the repair not the age of the cloth.

    Also the image was only one or two micro fibers deep. Too shallow for any kind of paint or dye.

    If you would have watched the show, you would know that the face is not that of a western european man.

  181. #181 schnail
    April 5, 2010

    I know what happened. God inculcated Jesus with more carbon-14 than a normal person on purpose, so He would radiate some of that into the cloth, because God knew that someone would do this test in the 20th and 21st centuries. He did it to FOOL us and to TEST OUR FAITH! Just like He fudged the numbers on the DINOSAURS and GEOLOGIC FORMATIONS!

  182. #182 Henrik
    April 5, 2010

    Mike: “you would know that the face is not that of a western european man.”

    *Really*?
    http://radiofreethinker.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/shroud2520of2520turin.jpg

    Folowr3 Master, your people have walked many miles to be with you. They are
    weary, and have not eaten.
    Brian It’s not my fault they haven’t eaten.
    Folowr3 There is no food in this high mountain.
    Brian Well what about the juniper bushes over there.
    Folowrs A miracle! A miracle!

  183. #183 Jules
    April 5, 2010

    Jules, I have no patience for those types of individuals either. They use the banner of religion to promote their political agenda. We need to avoid those hinderances so we can all work together to be good stewards of our planet and creation. There is a lot of work to do. Peace.

  184. #184 Matthew DeWolf
    April 5, 2010

    I dont even consider any claims made on speculation, these have another name, guesses. My question comes down to a very simple one, if people believe the carbon 14 dating was contaminated, then why not retest? Why not allow radiocarbon scientists the opportunity to retest a part of the inner shroud, right near the suppossed image of Jesus? Who cares if youre slightly damaging a “holy relic”? do you really think your god would give a shit about a piece of cloth?
    Think about it, the bible suppossedly promotes non-materialism, and values human life above all else, so if God has our best interest at heart, would it not be in our best interest to sacrifice a tiny piece of linen that was used to cover his sons body to provide the undeniable truth, which in turn would fulfill the desire of God? And that is that we know the truth and in turn believe it?

    If it dates later than 100 A.D., (and that’s being very generous), then it is a fake. Period. If it dates prior, then it may have some validity. But in closing, I have one last thing to say,
    If you have so much faith in the shroud, then what is there to hide? Retest it. If it is real, youre do the work of god, if not it’s a fake, at which point I hope all would seriously examine their faith. Because I gotta tell you the truth, this is the last bastion of Christianity, if the shroud is fake, then there will literally be, no physical evidence to support Christianity.

  185. #185 Michele
    April 5, 2010

    Did anyone actually watch it – I did and thought it was great.

    I have seen many of these shows on shroud – and as science continues to advance, new evidence has been presented.

    If we went with the initial “carbon dating theory” then we would still be living in a “the world is flat” logic.

    This is just not the case, just like people being released from prison, 20 years after they have been convicted of a crime and then found innocent because science evolved, that is the same situation as with the shroud.

    Personally, I don’t know if it is Jesus, however, it is very interesting – and I love what they have been able to do with technology, science, and art to find the face that was embedded into the shroud – whether or not its fake, it is still fascinating.

  186. #186 Martin R
    April 5, 2010

    Michele, the History Channel is not a scientific journal. What they present there is not necessarily peer-reviewed published results, and even if they are, they needn’t reflect the informed consensus among scientists. You need to watch it with a critical eye.

  187. #187 Lisa I.
    April 5, 2010

    John, I feel so sorry for you if you think that faith and hope are worthless emotions. What a sad, sad life – awaiting oblivion without the peace and joy that comes from knowing God. Even if there were no God, that is not a life I would want to lead.

    As for not sharing my experience, I will not have something that is so intensely personal to me subjected to the scrutiny of faithless, hopeless individuals intent on tearing down all that is holy.

    I am not a religious person, and like you, I have studied various religions and beliefs. I haven’t been to church since 2002. I care nothing about incense, holy water, vestments, architectural wonders of churches and mosques. They are man made and have nothing to do with my relationship with my Creator, though I respect those who need them to worship. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.

    Also, God will reveal Himself to any who truly seek Him. I called out to Him, even though I didn’t believe He existed, in a moment of intense emotional pain, and He found me and changed my life forever (and changed it in a very positive way.)

    You studied religions, you evidentially were searching for something, but you didn’t find it in man-made ceremonies and religions. It’s because that’s not who God is. I challenge you to seek God without the man-made religions of this world. Ask Him sincerely to reveal His nature to you. If He’s not real, then you have nothing to lose, do you. And if He is real, then you, at 70 plus years of age, have everything to gain.

    You said, “Looked upon in the light of day, with an open mind, cleared from all the incense, holy water, vestments, architectural wonders of churches and mosques, none of it makes any sense at all. What, PRAY TELL, is wrong with humans that they are so blinded by pretense that they cannot see?”

    I happen to agree with you, but from the other side. Look at the light of day and put aside your own pretense, and your belief that you know all. Be open to the things you do not know. Forget the religions of this world. They are confusing and as you said, many make no sense at all. God is not about religion. He is about changing lives, He is about faith and hope, which are not useless emotions; He is about love. Don’t let bitterness and cynicism steal away what you could have.

    My prayers are with you.

  188. #188 Nomen Nescio
    April 5, 2010

    As for not sharing my experience, I will not have something that is so intensely personal to me subjected to the scrutiny of faithless, hopeless individuals intent on tearing down all that is holy.

    i’m trying to make sense of that paragraph, but the only thing that comes to my mind is this: that you decided to believe in religion based entirely on personal emotional experiences, on some part of your own private emotional life, and you realize that this does not amount to evidence that anybody else can rely on for anything whatever, and you would rather not risk having that fact pointed out to you in a rude or impolite manner, perhaps since such rudeness would interfere with your emotional life somehow.

    which, if true, is perfectly all right by me. humans are very emotional creatures, and we often make decisions — even, sometimes, profoundly important decisions — based on mere emotion with no solid evidence or grounding in objective fact. that’s part of the human condition, for better and worse. just please realize that that is no grounds for trying to convince anybody else to believe also.

    if that is truly how you came to religious faith, good for you, but it renders your faith completely personal and private — something noone else can ever disprove (because how could anyone else ever tell you what to feel?) but also something that will never convince anyone else to join you in belief (since your emotions can never influence anybody else’s mind directly).

    it also puts you squarely at odds with anyone who holds to a skeptical worldview. some of us, even as we realize people are deeply emotional and more rationalizing than rational, still prefer not to trust our emotions that far, but try as best we can to base our decisions on objectively verifiable facts. we will never be impressed by appeals to what feels good, not even if the feeling were our own.

    (oh, and by the way — equating “faithless” with “hopeless” the way you imply is a little bit insulting. it’s also blatantly false. let’s not get me started on the meaning of “holy”; i know a way to define the word, but i suspect you would not like it.)

  189. #189 Owlmirror
    April 5, 2010

    @ Martin R — thanks, again. I suspected that was Chris. It would have been fine if you had edited the “Posted by:” field to reflect that, but either way.

  190. #190 Owlmirror
    April 5, 2010

    What a sad, sad life – awaiting oblivion without the peace and joy that comes from knowing God. Even if there were no God, that is not a life I would want to lead.

    But if there were no God, what is it that you are knowing? Part of yourself?

    The ancient Greeks had a saying: “Know thyself”.

    Why can’t there be peace and joy from knowing yourself, and being willing to acknowledge that it is yourself, rather than a seperate being outside of yourself?

    As for not sharing my experience, I will not have something that is so intensely personal to me subjected to the scrutiny of faithless, hopeless individuals intent on tearing down all that is holy.

    What makes something holy? Why is “holiness” important?

    Either this experience was real, in which case nothing we say can make it not be real, or it wasn’t real, in which case nothing can make it be real.

    The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.

    You sound very certain about what God did, and where God does not live. Was that part of the experience, that God told you all that directly, or is that a conclusion that you came to on your own?

    Also, God will reveal Himself to any who truly seek Him.

    Or maybe if you seek hard enough, part of yourself will pretend to be God, or pretend that it has found God.

    How can we, outside of yourself, know what it is that happened? Maybe if God were real, he would not just reveal himself, but reveal himself in a way that could be demonstrated to people who aren’t you?

    That’s the point of Thomas Paine’s analysis of revelation, in #179. For God to not so demonstrate this is unfair to everyone who isn’t you.

    I called out to Him, even though I didn’t believe He existed, in a moment of intense emotional pain, and He found me and changed my life forever (and changed it in a very positive way.)

    It’s a good thing for you that your life is better, but maybe you’ve moved far enough past whatever it was that caused the pain that you can think a little more carefully about what it was that you experienced, without returning to that pain.

    I challenge you to seek God without the man-made religions of this world. Ask Him sincerely to reveal His nature to you. If He’s not real, then you have nothing to lose, do you.

    It’s interesting that you even offer this as a possibility. Maybe your knowlege of the reality of God isn’t as strong as you claim earlier?

    Would you even have this as an option about a real live human being? “Go ahead and try to talk to Joan. If she’s not real, you have nothing to lose.”

    Would you really say something like that?

    Look at the light of day and put aside your own pretense, and your belief that you know all.

    You don’t have to “know all” to know that something isn’t consistent; something is not logical; something is not fair.

    Be open to the things you do not know.

    You might want to consider how this might apply to yourself.

    Forget the religions of this world. They are confusing and as you said, many make no sense at all. God is not about religion.

    Heh. The religions of the world would probably disagree with you. What makes you right and them wrong?

    He is about changing lives, He is about faith and hope, which are not useless emotions; He is about love.

    And if he’s not real, then those emotions and affects are ultimately from something inside yourself.

    I don’t understand why you think it would be a bad thing to consider that, or acknowledge why it looks that way to someone outside of yourself.

  191. #191 Lisa I.
    April 5, 2010

    Nomen Nescio wrote:(oh, and by the way — equating “faithless” with “hopeless” the way you imply is a little bit insulting. it’s also blatantly false. let’s not get me started on the meaning of “holy”; i know a way to define the word, but i suspect you would not like it.)

    If you read John’s reply to me, he said that hope was a useless emotion. So logically, if he feels that way about hope, he has no hope, hence the “hopeless” remark. It wasn’t meant as an insult, just an observation.

  192. #192 Lisa I.
    April 5, 2010

    Owlmirror wrote: “”The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” You sound very certain about what God did, and where God does not live. Was that part of the experience, that God told you all that directly, or is that a conclusion that you came to on your own?”

    No, that is a verse in the Bible. (Acts 7:48)

  193. #193 Fedor
    April 5, 2010

    Martin Rundkvist you just got your Swedish bitch as OWNED by Jerry!!!!!!!!

    What kind of a fucking idiot talks about a show and DOESN’T WATCH IT FIRST? You’ve been HUMILIATED on your own site. LMAO

  194. #194 Nomen Nescio
    April 5, 2010

    i’m not John, and i’m not even certain of what he meant by hope being “useless”. i rather suspect i would disagree with him — hope can be a driving motivator for effort, achievement and change, which is often useful.

    hoping for impossibilities might perhaps be argued to be much less useful, such as for instance hoping for any “afterlife” — that could even be counterproductively delusional. but John can speak for himself on the matter; he cannot speak for me.

  195. #195 Owlmirror
    April 5, 2010

    No, that is a verse in the Bible. (Acts 7:48)

    So this isn’t part of what you know directly from God, or about God? It’s only second- or third- hand, or even more distant.

  196. #196 Jason
    April 5, 2010

    Dr. Rundkvist,

    You seem to have rejected the shroud more on the basis of your secular fundamentalism than from the latest research. For instance, the radiocarbon dating was flawed, not because the methods failed, but because the sample was taken from a repaired section. This is now established fact.

    You can find the story here:
    http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/brown1.pdf
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/a17.htm

    An example quote:
    “Apparently, the age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole.”

    I don’t know what to make of the shroud (it could be a fake – I don’t care), but I do know that it’s important to examine all of the evidence; otherwise, you’re merely relying on out of date information.

  197. #197 Seifer
    April 5, 2010

    What kind of a fucking idiot talks about a show and DOESN’T WATCH IT FIRST? You’ve been HUMILIATED on your own site. LMAO

    What kind of moron doesn’t realize that a History Channel documentary isn’t a scientific journal. If there was any legitimate evidence that the shroud was real, it would have appeared in a journal first, and not a faith-based-masturbatory-pseudo-documentary.

    And to reductio your argument, You’ve been HUMILATED by your own post. LMAO

  198. #198 NJ
    April 5, 2010

    Jason @ 196:

    Apparently, the age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole.

    So, the sites you linked to have asserted that the scientists who sampled the cloth bungled it in an extraordinarily obvious way, which implies fraud or gross incompetence. This is based solely on Ray Rogers work in a Thermochimica Acta paper, in which he states that fibers he claims are from the samples do not match other fibers from the cloth.

    The provenance of Rogers fibers is unknown, however, and since the the samples removed were consumed in the testing, it is impossible to verify. Conveniently for him.

    So, to summarize: A sample was taken from the cloth and at the time of the sampling, all of the participants agreed (or appeared to agree) it was representative. But when the dates came back too young to suit at least some of them, an ad hoc rationale for discarding the results was developed, one that could not be tested.

    This is called “Moving the Goalposts” and is a favored tactic of creationists. Do you want to place a bet that if a second round of carbon dating is allowed to be undertaken, it would be (in Yogi Berra’s trenchant phrasing) ‘deja vu all over again’?

    This is why they get called Shroudies; they have sunk to the level of cloth worship.

  199. #199 John
    April 6, 2010

    Lisa,

    The bulk of my religious studies took place while I was in my twenties and I have had a very happy and rewarding life, and should my race be run tomorrow, I will have no regrets. Meanwhile, like Rush, “I’m having more fun than a human should be allowed”. I have no clue as to the controlling factor of the universe, and I suspect that only self delusional people believe they have a clue. My complaint in the current discussion is with organized religion, which as Paine described are more interested in power, profit and control than anything else. Then there’s the constant barrage of television evangelists and others entreating everyone to give to God and then give you their address. And to my way of thinking, only Agnostics and Atheists are capable of altruism, since the apparent altruism of the religious can always be traced either to guilt or earning stars for their crown.
    Again, I reiterate that faith and hope are useless emotions. Rather than hoping for something to happen or having faith that it will happen due to prayer, the more realistic approach is to get off your butt and go work for the desired result.
    Here’s a simple example: My garden needs water so I
    “Hope” it will rain, accomplishes nothing. Getting out my garden hose and watering the garden does. So it is with every human endeavor. You must “water” the “garden” with personal effort in order to effect a change. By now you may have determined that one “ism” I believe in is pragmatism. It is this measure that I try to apply to all I am faced with.
    Oh, and By the way, I used to use that tired old, “better off to believe and be wrong, than to reject and be wrong” in religious discussions in my youth. You can save your prayers where I am concerned; if you really believe in prayer, use them to cause world peace, I don’t need them.

    Allow me to describe the way I view organized religion with an example of one: Scientology. Created out of a science fiction author’s imagination and now with many thousands of “converts”, immense churches and training facilities, it has many well known celebrities counted among its believers. The ordinary Protestant or Catholic would consider Scientology to be a pseudo-religion. But when compared to the beginnings of most “real” religions, there is really not much to distinguish one from the other. Now, any individual may form their own philosophy or religious beliefs, but those beliefs belong to that individual alone. Proselytizing others to accept one’s own religious tenets is proposing that someone else should accept your own personal beliefs as their own, which generally would require compromise of some sort for the someone else. As this progresses, any value to the first individual’s beliefs is adulterated. Again, a revelation to you is no revelation to me.
    And, a couple of footnotes:
    “Missing link” found? http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/posted/archive/2010/04/05/scientists-claim-to-find-missing-link-between-apes-and-humans.aspx
    And: Ritual sacrifice of children on rise in Uganda http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iVKJwZGbjcGft_IsyTJWdY6UGlCQD9ESCS900

    Please allow the disjointed composition of the post, as it is late and I am pretty old….LOL!

  200. #200 Dunc
    April 6, 2010

    Tell me, Dear Reader – isn’t the History Channel kinda crap?

    That’s being rather generous… I always refer to it either as “The Hitlery Channel” or “The (Learn Nothing From) History Channel”. It’s utter bollocks, only made worse by its very occasional contamination by something vaguely related to truth. Even the stuff that is technically sort-of accurate is usually presented in a misleading context.

  201. #201 Henrik
    April 6, 2010

    One of the biggest curses of modern society is that “The Truth” is always treated as if it’s somewhere in the middle. If a large segment enough of voters, a.k.a. consumers, believed the Earth to be flat, “The Truth” would be readjusted so as to offend no one. This would be most readily observed in media such as “The History Channel” which, as it relies on viewer ratings, cannot afford to come out and say that those who believed the Earth was flat were nothing but the misguided, delusional fools they are.

  202. #202 Kirstin
    April 6, 2010

    “Michele, the History Channel is not a scientific journal. What they present there is not necessarily peer-reviewed published results, and even if they are, they needn’t reflect the informed consensus among scientists. You need to watch it with a critical eye.”
    Posted by: Martin R | April 5, 2010 2:42 PM

    Martin, true enough, but that does not mean that the History Channel cannot impart scientifically verifiable and credible information. One should watch it with the understanding that its evidence and processes may well require further and more rigorous scrutiny, but that does not mean that everything that is presented on this channel is, fairly, automatically disposable.

    It is obvious from your comments that you yourself are making judgments without fully informing yourself. For someone who is purportedly a man of scientific inquiry, such a stance is really indefensible.

    I hope you will educate yourself about the many advances that have been made in the study of the Shroud.

  203. #203 Martin R
    April 6, 2010

    The problem here isn’t that the History Channel couldn’t impart scientifically verifiable and credible information. Instead, it appears that it simply doesn’t do so. It’s an entertainment channel catering mainly to people with little historical education because they are a fruitful advertising demographic.

    I have a feeling that you may be a little more emotionally invested in the shroud of Turin than what an old piece of cloth deserves. To start with, there’s really no reason to capitalise the first letter of the word.

  204. #204 John
    April 6, 2010

    Brightstar,

    Go read Thomas Paine Age of Reason and you will cease ever again quoting from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all liars, whoever they really were. The PROOF is contained within the scriptures themselves, which if you had ever read them CAREFULLY, you would already have deduced. Please, go get your Bible and with it in your left hand and Paine’s Age of Reason in your right hand and read Paine and note and read the scriptures he references. You WILL be illuminated! Then afterwards, come back here and witness to us your conversion to Deism.

    And Martin R,

    I find you to be a learned, interesting man; I cannot help but bemoan your liberalism. As a staunch fiscal conservative, I would love to have intellects such as yourself see the ruinous effect socialism has on the community of man and join the fiscal conservative side. I thank you for allowing those among us guilty parties to hijack your blog to the extent we have. You are a gentleman and a scholar, albeit liberal one.

  205. #205 Anonymous
    April 7, 2010

    I read an article on the shroud from ‘National Geographic’ back in 1988. At that time after pulling out a three page photo of the shroud and pondering the possiblities I prayed. I have known since that time the shroud is in FACT true, to see the History Channel program use science to prove the reality of the possibility(not the feigned knowledge of some talking head who is an atheist with an agenda)was very exciting.
    There is no greater witness of proof than the Holy Spirit testifying to your soul. This is my testimony to all who read this and I would exhort all faithful christians to do the same. Ponder, pray, and listen. Expect an answer, exercise your faith.

  206. #206 Anonymous
    April 7, 2010

    I watched the show on the History Channel. I’m not sure what to think about the shroud, but I know that when I saw the 3-D rendering of Christ’s brutally battered body and the reaction of the man who did the 3-D graphics, I was very touched. And then when I saw His face, I knew that it was Jesus. I’ve thought about it ever since. It’s really made an impact on my life (for the better, I might add.)

  207. #207 Nomen Nescio
    April 7, 2010

    I have known since that time […]

    never mind what you know; in the final reckoning, that’s really of secondary importance. HOW do you know it?

  208. #208 Martin R
    April 7, 2010

    Yeah, I find it really perplexing to discuss with people who make no distinction between knowing and believing for religious reasons. Guys, you know how many toes you have and whether there is milk in the fridge. Surely you must realise that this is not the same thing as your spiritual beliefs.

  209. #209 pmorgan
    April 7, 2010

    My question is, how much can we rely on carbon dating methods? We know there are many who would rather it not be the Shroud of Jesus because it might be proof of Him and a God Creator.

  210. #210 Martin R
    April 7, 2010

    Radiocarbon has been a valued part of the archaeologist’s toolkit for half a century. The respected academic journal Radiocarbon where methodological improvements are continually published has been issued since 1959.

  211. #211 Dunc
    April 7, 2010

    My question is, how much can we rely on carbon dating methods?

    And how much can we rely on the unverified assertions of 14th century priests?

  212. #212 Martin R
    April 7, 2010

    Don’t knock ‘em, Dunc! Geoffrey, who had the church built for the shroud, wasn’t a priest. The area’s bishop, however, pronounced the shroud as a fake.

  213. #213 Henrik
    April 7, 2010

    @pmorgan & others. WHY do you need proof of, quote, “Him and a God Creator”, unquote? Why do you need miracles “to prove” this or that? What if it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the shroud is a forgery, that Jesus didn’t truly rise from the dead and that the Immaculate Conception are fairytales? Isn’t YOUR faith strong enough to believe in God and the divinity of Jesus’ mission even if he was just a man?

  214. #214 Owlmirror
    April 7, 2010

    By the way, has anyone ever argued that not only does the Turin shroud contradict the bible (John 19:40 says “strips of linen”, not “a single giant sheet”), but that the shroud, as-is, doesn’t look like it conforms to a sensible funerary practice?

    Look at it: It looks like someone took a body (or something shaped like a body), put it carefully so that the head was in the exact middle of the cloth, then folded the other half sharply down, like closing the lid of a scanner or photocopier.

    That’s something you would do if you were planning ahead of time to make exactly the sort of impression that appears on the cloth — not what someone would do while preparing a body that is putatively dead for burial.

    Yes? No? Any experts in funerary practice, of 1st century Judea, or any other place or period, that say otherwise?

  215. #215 Olivity
    April 7, 2010

    I just have one question. If it isn’t real, how did they do it?

  216. #216 John
    April 8, 2010

    If you really think the shroud might be the real burial cloth of Jesus, ask yourself that given the there are provably* billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars, which in all probability have billions of planets, billions of which could support life as we know it, if it would make any sense at all for the son of god to be making billions of appearances on billions of planets to die billions of times for the sins of trillions of people, over and over again (possibly leaving billions of shrouds in the process) . If your answer is no, there is “hope” for you; if your answer is”yes” by definition you must be certifiably delusional. Your choice.

    *If you doubt this, buy your own Celestron C11-SGT (XLT) Computerized Telescope and find a dark night and see for yourself.

  217. #217 Martin R
    April 8, 2010

    Owlmirror, it has been suggested that the artist coated a statue with pigment, wet the linen and draped it over the statue from above.

  218. #218 Anonymous
    April 8, 2010

    Jesus taught of the ‘learned’ man who would not see truth with his eyes nor hear it with his ears. So much like the scribes and pharisees of our Lord’s time. They expected a difficult, complicated answer, because of their haughtiness and puffed up vanity they could neither accept nor perceive that the poor and meek of heart are the heirs of salvation.

    It is beyond their comprehension because they are prideful with their own “wisdom” of the world, and they set themselves above others, just like politicians, lawyers, and judges. Until you humble yourself on bended knee, forget all your suppositions and preconceived notions, consider yourself as less than the dust of the earth, until you do these things you will in no wise find the kingdom of God and therefore you must inherit another kingdom, even that of the adversary where there is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. That IS truth, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit IS knowing, although those who have not found it cannot conceive the reality of it until they themselves experience it.

  219. #219 Anonymous
    April 8, 2010

    John, just because Jesus came to save humans from sin doesn’t mean he made “billions of appearances on billions of planets to die billions of times for the sins of trillions of people, over and over again (possibly leaving billions of shrouds in the process)”

    This planet was created perfect. Man was created perfect. Satan is the one who introduced sin to OUR world when he was cast out of heaven, not necessarily every other inhabitable planet in the universe (if there even are any other civilizations.) WE are the ones who needed a Savior.

    Your statement is just ridiculous and for you to even suggest it shows that “by definition you must be certifiably delusional.”

  220. #220 Martin R
    April 8, 2010

    It’s such a drag when you people break down into preachy mode. Hello, we’re real people here! Converse with us instead of regurgitating religious sound bytes in the hope of getting on the good side of your sky guy.

  221. #221 Diane
    April 8, 2010

    This is addressed to the atheists on this board. Did you know that you are mentioned in the Bible? It’s true! Psalms 14:1 – The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

  222. #222 Martin R
    April 8, 2010

    Indeed, it’s an excellent argument for the truth of every word in a given book that there is a statement in the book itself to the effect that people who don’t believe in it are fools.

  223. #223 Jules
    April 8, 2010

    Anonynous(April 8,2010 3:49 AM)

    How can you possibly speak for what happens in billions of other places in the universe that you obviously have never been too? I know of no reference in the Bible or elsewhere that says anything about that Jesus appeared only our planet because we were the only ones who needed refedemption.

    You and many others unfortunately are still viewing life from a self-absorbed human-earth centered perpective which is an archaic holdover from pre-Copernican days.

    All the stories in the Bible were written in a time when humans knew very little about the larger universe or even the real shape and size of the Earth for that matter.

  224. #224 Jason
    April 8, 2010

    The shroud could be hoax, but it is just silly to call it a mere relic. It is far too sophisticated. Yet most skeptics seem to assume that the hoaxster was trying to fool 21st Century scientists rather than gullible medieval folks who would have been just as happy with a tooth or a lock of hair. Critics don’t take the shroud’s uniqueness seriously enough.

    This is why some have proposed that DaVinci made the shroud. Few people in history had the genius to pull something like this off (knowledge of anatomy, the Bible, Roman crucifixion techniques, and just the complexity of the images and placement of the blood on the body – not to mention the sheer gall!). I would be inclined to think Leonardo had his hand in it myself if the shroud didn’t predate him by several centuries.

  225. #225 Owlmirror
    April 8, 2010

    Owlmirror, it has been suggested that the artist coated a statue with pigment, wet the linen and draped it over the statue from above.

    Thanks — and that does make sense given what we see looking at the shroud (although why a statue and not a human model?).

    But what I was wondering was, when shrouds were put on bodies for actual burials, would it ever have been done so in such a way such that it would look even vaguely like what we see in the shroud image — the head placed in the exact middle; the sheet being folded over just like it is?

    My point being that the thing looking as carefully and artificially staged as it does is yet another argument against its reality.

  226. #226 Diane
    April 8, 2010

    Owlmirror, it has been suggested that the artist coated a statue with pigment, wet the linen and draped it over the statue from above.

    But then how do you explain the fact that the image on the shroud is a negative? Just draping a statue with a pigment coated piece of wet linen wouldn’t cause it to be a negative image. Plus, there is no pigment on the shroud, and the image is only microfibers deep (not fibers, microfibers.) The pigment would have soaked in deeper than just a few microfibers.

    I think you’ll have to do better than that.

  227. #227 Anonymous
    April 8, 2010

    How can you possibly speak for what happens in billions of other places in the universe that you obviously have never been too? I know of no reference in the Bible or elsewhere that says anything about that Jesus appeared only our planet because we were the only ones who needed refedemption.

    And how can anyone assume that just because Jesus appeared on our planet, that He appeared on billions of other planets for the same reason He came here? I know of no reference in the Bible or anywhere else that says that Jesus didn’t appear only on our planet. See, that “logic” can swing both ways.

    And of course I and others are viewing life from a still viewing life from a “self-absorbed human-earth centered perspective.” There is no proof that there even is life on other planets. (Oh, and yeah, folks can believe that little green men exist, but can’t believe in God? That’s totally illogical.)

  228. #228 Anonymous
    April 8, 2010

    It’s such a drag when you people break down into preachy mode. Hello, we’re real people here! Converse with us instead of regurgitating religious sound bytes in the hope of getting on the good side of your sky guy.

    We’re real people too, and it’s a drag when the small minority of the world’s population known as “atheist” try to tear down the beliefs of the rest of us and talk to us as though we’re idiots for believing in God. I have a master’s degree and am a professor at a college. I also have an IQ of 136. I am no idiot, and I’m sure the other individuals replying to this blog who have faith in God (in whatever form they worship Him) are not idiots or delusional either.

  229. #229 Owlmirror
    April 8, 2010

    We’re real people too, and it’s a drag when the small minority of the world’s population known as “atheist” try to tear down the beliefs of the rest of us and talk to us as though we’re idiots for believing in God.

    I’m not sure if you’re idiots, but there’s certainly something wrong with your thinking.

    I have a master’s degree and am a professor at a college. I also have an IQ of 136.

    You intellectual vanity is noted.

    You don’t seem to be intelligent enough to sign a name to what you write. It doesn’t have to even be a real name. Pick something.

    I am no idiot, and I’m sure the other individuals replying to this blog who have faith in God (in whatever form they worship Him) are not idiots or delusional either.

    Your certain faith in your ability to know things that you cannot possibly know is also noted. Do think that you yourself are God? That would certainly make your arrogance understandable.

  230. #230 Nomen Nescio
    April 8, 2010

    (although why a statue and not a human model?)

    easier to experiment with different pigments, &c., and probably also easier to get it to hold dead still. then again, we can’t really tell from the image alone; might’ve been a live model for all we know.

    —–

    I have a master’s degree and am a professor at a college. I also have an IQ of 136.

    last time i bothered testing my IQ, it came out just over 130, also. that only means i’m relatively skilled at taking IQ tests; single abstract numbers like that don’t tell anyone anything useful about who and what i am. so we’re two sigmas north of an average — bully for us; that doesn’t make either of us right about anything, automatically.

  231. #231 Martin R
    April 8, 2010

    “atheist” try to tear down the beliefs of the rest of us

    I personally have no such ambition. But nor will I of course just keep quiet about the issue. Anyway, this is about that linen cloth.

    I have a master’s degree and am a professor at a college. I also have an IQ of 136

    Around here, I think you’ll find that mentioning your MA and your belief in IQ testing will not meet with universal admiration.

  232. #232 Henrik
    April 8, 2010

    It’s always interesting to see when equally convinced people of opposing faiths, in this case Christians and Atheists, clash, both trying to convince the other of how utterly wrong the other’s stance is, neither able to prove anything.

    Where Dr Rundkvist and many other atheists go wrong is that they apply SCIENTIFIC methods and arguments to prove a matter of FAITH. The only thing they succeed in proving is that faith is not subject to scientific proof. An atheist cannot be converted unless truly convinced that something they have personally experienced, witnessed AND tested using scientific methods is a) real, and b) cannot be explained in any other way than divine intervention. Since God rarely bothers to put on a show in order to convince the odd sceptic, the best course of action is to leave the atheist to his own devices – except when he or she interferes in matters of faith.

    Where the people who claim to be religious go wrong is not only that they believe that faith supercedes science. Faith is also a personal matter! Your personal faith has no weight with another person! You cannot force your faith upon another person as faith comes from inner conviction and you will only succeed in alienating the person whose soul you so vaingloriously try to save if you do! The best course of action is to leave the believer to his own devices – except when he or she interferes with science or persecutes others who choose to believe differently.

    Since neither will leave off meddling with things they do not comprehend, just sit back and enjoy the fireworks!

  233. #233 Owlmirror
    April 8, 2010

    it has been suggested that the artist coated a statue with pigment, wet the linen and draped it over the statue from above.

    I wondered just now what a hypothetical statue might have been made of — after all, something carved in stone or even wood would have taken a lot of time and effort to make and then (presumably) destroy.

    But it occurred to me that unfired clay over some sort of framework could have worked, and been easy to dispose of when done with.

  234. #234 Nomen Nescio
    April 8, 2010

    unfired clay, or possibly plaster (i believe that was available in that period), or even mortar. it wouldn’t have had to last, after all, nor stand up to heavy use.

    not that it would necessarily have had to be destroyed afterwards, either. why bother, when it might just as easily have been sold for exactly what it was? if a fake relic could find a buyer, why not a perfectly good religious statue?

  235. #235 Henrik
    April 8, 2010

    Hasn’t a primitive camera obscura, photoreactive chemicals and Leonardo da Vinci been proposed as an explanation? A far, far more likely one in my opinion than the one being forced upon us on the say-so of others…

  236. #236 Martin R
    April 8, 2010

    To my knowledge, Jesus is never depicted in that particular pose in the era’s church sculpture. So the market for such a statue was probably not great. But that’s not too much of a problem if the artist gets a good price for the cloth.

  237. #237 Martin R
    April 8, 2010

    Why Leonardo of all people? The 14th century had perfectly competent sculptors and painters too, most of whose names have not come down to us. There seems to be this idea that the shroud of Turin is such an amazing piece of work that only a genius (or, to the faithful, a miracle) could have produced it. Not true. It’s rare for textiles of that era to survive at all, so we just don’t know how common these things were.

  238. #238 Owlmirror
    April 8, 2010

    unfired clay, or possibly plaster (i believe that was available in that period), or even mortar.

    Or perhaps wax — the sort of wax used for metal-casting.

    not that it would necessarily have had to be destroyed afterwards, either. why bother, when it might just as easily have been sold for exactly what it was? if a fake relic could find a buyer, why not a perfectly good religious statue?

    Well, because such a statue would have been around at the same time as the shroud itself, making it easy to compare the shape of one to the imprint of the other, and thus obvious that the one had been used to make the other.

    I’m guessing that a relic-maker would have wanted to make it seem more likely that the relic was “real” by making sure that such a connection could not be easily made.

  239. #239 John
    April 8, 2010

    Anonymous 219,
    I am most assuredly not delusional, as I am not one who believes fantastic fairy tales from 2,000 years ago to be God’s revelation of himself to man. Rather, I propose that anyone who does so is delusional. If the shoe fits, wear it.
    I sought out and joined a church at the age of 16 (Probably before you were a gleam in your father’s eye) and know exactly the euphoric sense of feeling that comes with the “Jesus enlightenment”. But, as the REAL creator saw fit to give me a brain capable of coherent thought I was finally able to see the truth, which is that ALL ORGANIZED RELIGIONS are false. And, I fortunately was capable of admitting I had previously been mistaken, a trait that seems to be rarer than it should be. You say man was created perfect. Ah, yes, then it is only because of the evil devil (That God also created and sent to bedevil mankind.) that some men rape small children. Some perfection! Additionally, you expect others to believe that the “perfect world” that was created by God only burps its volcanoes and earthquakes to the bane of mankind because someone once was hungry enough to eat an apple????????? Just how simple minded must you be to actually believe the account of creation (actually at least two accounts written by at least two different authors) in Genesis?

    Oh, and anonymous at #228. When last measured by standardized test, my IQ was also at 136. I also have a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois but unlike you actually spent my career in the private sector creating real work product, rather than sitting around trying to impress a bunch of sophomore girls with my erudition. WOW, we are equally smart. Except we are not equally right or wrong. (see Thomas Paine below)

    Henrik,
    Martin is not wrong to use the logic given him by whatever created him to analyze the evidence, which evidence is also provided to him by whatever force that created this world, and reach his conclusions on that basis, rather than accept a mythological story from thousands of years ago as fact. Rather, I strongly suspect that should you ever act upon the doubts you have in your heart, you would reach the same conclusions. Again: Thomas Paine: (For those incapable of using Google)

    http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Paine/AOR-Frame.html

    The shroud is a hoax.

    Oh, and Jules
    At #223: [All the stories in the Bible were written in a time when humans knew very little about the larger universe or even the real shape and size of the Earth for that matter.]
    And, apparently, they knew very little about anything else, as well.

  240. #240 Jules
    April 8, 2010

    John,

    Thanks, I agree that people in that time had little knowledge of how the physical universe worked. Much of the explanations were attributed to myths, magic or supernatural powers.

    Anonymous,

    My post was probably not clear above. What I was trying to imply was not that Jesus may have appeared on any other planets, but that humans from the vantage point of one small planet in a universe that is almost beyond comprehension have no authority to proclaim that they have the corner on absolute truth… simply because we have no way to personally experience what is happening to other places in the universe as a comparison. We don’t know yet if life exists elsewhere or not.

    It is utter arrogance and hubris to speak in philosophical or religious absolutes for the the rest of the universe as if we are the center of it. You may have faith in your certitude, but in reality you nor any religion has the authority to make absolute claims of universal truth.

  241. #241 Anonymous
    April 8, 2010

    Oh, and anonymous at #228. When last measured by standardized test, my IQ was also at 136. I also have a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois but unlike you actually spent my career in the private sector creating real work product, rather than sitting around trying to impress a bunch of sophomore girls with my erudition. WOW, we are equally smart. Except we are not equally right or wrong. (see Thomas Paine below)

    You have no idea where I spent my career. I was a nurse for many years and because I can no longer work as a nurse due to medical problems, I started teaching 15 years ago and have worked my way up the academic ladder to my current position. I’ve never tried to impress anyone, just pass on the knowledge that was once passed on to me in order to equip the next generation with the skills needed to care for the ill and injured.

    But again, I am no idiot, and I am most certainly not delusional.

  242. #242 Owlmirror
    April 8, 2010

    But again, I am no idiot,

    Assuming that you’re the same “Anonymous” that posted before, you still haven’t signed your comment with a name.

    and I am most certainly not delusional.

    How do you know you’re not delusional?

    What is it that you think delusional people do that you aren’t doing, or what is it that you think they don’t do that you are doing?

    Why should we trust your bare assertion on the matter?

  243. #243 Henrik
    April 8, 2010

    @John (#239) At last, someone dares pick up the gauntlet! Now, IF you (generic) use every scientific test and ditto principle of every scientific discipline, soft and hard, you will arrive at the following conclusions:

    1) The Bible lends itself to testing on several points. These tests falsify (see Popper) any LITERAL interpretation as they are in direct conflict with observed evidence. Therefore, the Bible does NOT contain the literal truth.

    2) The Bible was written BY men to whom science, the technology of science and the scientific method were unknown and FOR an illiterate, unerudite humanity. Therefore, what is written in the Bible should be seen as their attempts to explain reality by reference to known phenomenae (constructivism, see Piagét et.al) and the stories told as a mixture of historic accounts, allegories and similes. From this you (generic) have to deduct what is obvious abuse by humans in order to use history and historic events to legitimise the current Order. (Example – look up Sedkia and you will find that his most heinous crime was that he disrespected Jesaja. Therefore, he was a BAD person and as a direct consequence, God punished Israel with the Babylonian capitivity. Lesson/Moral – do not question any High Priest.) What then remains, the bare bones, are eyewitness accounts – true, misrepresented or deliberately misleading. There is circumstantial evidence that supports much of what is written in the Bible, therefore these events must be given a rating of “probable but not conclusively proven”. For the remainder, a verdict of “case not proven either way” must be returned because of a lack of evidence.

    3) Jesus I, the man. There is not one shred of hard evidence that proves there ever lived such a man, but again, there is no proof that he did not! The consensus, based on circumstantial evidence, seems to be that the Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, actually may have been a living man, born of woman.

    4) Jesus II, the Son of God of the Bible. The only evidence we have are four compilations of eyewitness’ accounts, some through intermediaries some first hand and the motives of the authors in writing these accounts are definitely not free from objection. Yet, there is little reason to disbelieve the historic account of his mortal life and death because it is entirely plausible and consistent with what we know of human nature and of the times. However, as soon as the apostles deviate from pure reporting and add interpretation there is EVERY reason to disbelieve them, the reported miracles and even more so the origin as divine! Unfortunately it cannot be proven, even if the chance appears to be the most perfect zero ever observed.

    5) God as in “a deity”. An entity (or entities!) described by that word would be so unfathomable to us that it would be presumptious to the 11th dimmension to even try to define It, should It exist. HOW would such a being manifest itself or give a hint of its existance? Neutrino emmission? A singularity? Basic mathematic principles? A string with an inscription “I am your God” if we ever could devise a microscope powerful enough to read it? HOW could we even begin to design a repeatable scientific experiment to prove or disprove the existance of such an entity that yields the same result every time irrespective of who conducts it when we have no clue what to look for? We cannot, it is as simple as that. We can neither prove nor disprove the existance of a deity.

    Therefore, Martin’s and other atheists’ credo is NOT based on scientific proof but on BELIEF! I for one respect their belief, but do not give them any right whatsoever, based as it is on their belief alone and NOT ON SCIENTIFIC PROOF, to dismiss the possibility of Deism. For themselves, if they choose not to be scientific about it. For others, never.

    I’ve been there, I’ve read the book, I’ve seen the movie. 42 to you all!

    PS. The shroud of Turin deserves but one word – fake.

  244. #244 Owlmirror
    April 8, 2010

    We can neither prove nor disprove the existance of a deity.

    Parsimony.

  245. #245 Nomen Nescio
    April 8, 2010

    Henrik, you’re basically saying that religion (you only speak of the bible — why? there’re any number of other holy books just as unfalsifiable and self-contradictory as that one) cannot be falsified. your implication is that us atheists shouldn’t get to call it false, therefore.

    but i can think up any number of notions every bit as unfalsifiable; and with only a slight bit of effort, i can make them internally consistent, quite unlike most religions. should i not get to call them false, either, even though i dreamt them up out of nothing but my own fantasy? even if i went to some lengths to make them just as ridiculous as religious ideas are to me?

    noone can disprove the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or for that matter Bertrand Russell’s teapot in solar orbit. that doesn’t mean we can’t call them false. you might call yourself undecided on the question of whether the Invisible Pink Unicorn (pbuhh) exists or not, but i won’t.

  246. #246 randy
    April 8, 2010

    make no mistake no matter what you beleive ( jesus christ is the son of god )

  247. #247 Owlmirror
    April 8, 2010

    To my knowledge, Jesus is never depicted in that particular pose in the era’s church sculpture.

    I was thinking a bit about the psychology of religious art.

    Jesus on the cross (and various crucifix-based art) represents his sacrifice, and helps reinforce the guilt-trip that the Church lays on its adherents. The shroud represents the resurrected Jesus, leaving an empty chrysalis behind, purportedly “seared” with an image of the moment of resurrection — something that inspires awed hope in the Church’s adherents, as we see in their fervent repetitions and protestations of dogmatic faith in their creed, and often in the shroud being what they think it is.

    But a statue of Jesus in the position shown on the shroud would depict Jesus naked, vulnerable, entombed, and dead, in that uncertain state prior to the purported resurrection. I suspect that the emotion such a statue would invoke would be deep religious anxiety (and perhaps even doubt). Which might explain the general absence or rarity of such imagery.

    Or so it seems to me at this point in time.

    /armchair psychology

  248. #248 'fonz'
    April 9, 2010

    The sceptic will never be convinced because his/ her mind is already closed to the subject. It takes no ‘genius’ to find God, just a true desire. Testimony of one’s faith for all you supposed intellectuals is the most sincere form of truth (and love for fellow man)from someone who only wishes to share the good news that they have found, such as the men who wrote their ‘testimonies’ in the bible (not fairy tales as some deflective rebel rousers have suggested). For those who haven’t found it and still desire I would suggest that you start with that early childhood feeling of a ‘conscience’ that you had when you were alone and about to do wrong and felt a warning to your inner core, because that IS actually the Holy Spirit, reconnect with that if your desires be true, expound in your prayers on that notion. God bless all of you especially Dr. Martin Rundkvist and his family!

  249. #249 Nomen Nescio
    April 9, 2010

    The sceptic will never be convinced

    until you show them convincing evidence, no. have you got any? nb: appealing to emotions isn’t evidence to anyone but yourself, and should arguably not be held as convincing by itself even then.

  250. #250 Owlmirror
    April 9, 2010

    Let’s see, now. If I repeatedly talk to myself and tell myself that I want for my compassion and conscience (and other parts of my mind) to be a person, I will eventually become convinced that my compassion and conscience (and other parts of my mind) indeed really truly is a person.

    Yeah, that makes loads of sense. I mean, that’s so incredibly convincing. Wow, how can I have been so blind to the simple fact that confirmation bias is Holy Almighty God, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnibenevolent Creator of the Universe?

    Pft.

  251. #251 Henrik
    April 9, 2010

    No Anonymous (a.k.a. Nomen Nescio), I am not saying that. What I am saying is:

    a) To dismiss any literal interpretation of “Holy Scripture” is not only “Common Sense”, it is both scientific and wise.

    b) Anyone who dismisses the possibility of deism and lauds him- or herself as being scientific in the process is a knave and a hypocrite to boot since there is no scientific way to prove his or her case, hence the judgement is based on their own BELIEFS ONLY!
    (Yes I shouted. Did the message get through?)

    The reason I used the Bible is because I am more familiar with it than any other example of “Holy Scriptures” – as is my reader. If you so wish, we can take a look at the Quran and how Mohammed went into the desert without water for days until Allah spoke to him and how the fact that Mohammed himself doubted that it was Allah and thought the voice that of a djinn being used as proof it was indeed Allah and how voicing doubts over the divine origin in this case carries the death penalty.

    The use of Bertrand Russell’s teapot in solar orbit is a particularly daft example as we know it’s a manmade construct to prove a philosophical point.

    @ Randy (#246), very true – as are you, I and Dr Rundkvist to mention a few. By the way did Jesus himself make any claim of personal divinity, or can we ascribe that to his followers?

  252. #252 Nomen Nescio
    April 9, 2010

    why should i not dismiss deism? it is unfalsifiable and has no evidence for it. i can easily invent dozens of ideas just as unfalsifiable and unevidenced as deism, on the spot — should i take them all seriously, too?

    why do you dismiss Russell’s teapot? you cannot falsify it. yes, it was invented specifically to make a point — but you cannot prove that jesus christ was not also. or deism, for that matter.

    The reason I used the Bible is because I am more familiar with it than any other example of “Holy Scriptures”

    are you perchance familiar with any evidence that its fundamental, supernatural claims are true? that, i would consider relevant and useful. if not, bringing the bible up at all seems to me something of a red herring.

  253. #253 Henrik
    April 9, 2010

    There Nomen Nescio, you have just proved that you are just as much of a hypocrite as the people who demand we believe in God/Jesus their way “or else”, whom you ridicule! You just don’t get it – science cannot be used to prove or disprove divinity because you do not know which questions to ask nor what to look for! How can you test and identify something which by its very definition transcends the Universe and is not subject to the physical/mathematical laws of the Universe It supposedly created…

    Now, let’s do something simple. Prove to me your own existance! Unless you can produce irrufutable mathemathical evidence that clearly identifies, distinguishes and separates your being (and I do not mean physical body) from mine, I am entirely justified in refusing to accept that you even exist. But I’ll give you an option that may be easier – show me one of your thoughts! Do not describe it using words, I want to see it with my own eyes and if you can, I’ll accept it as proof that you do exist and are not a phantasm of my own imagination!

    Prove to me the existance of dimmensions 5 – 11 that science says make up the Universe! I will only accept hard, physical evidence that I can experience myself and play around with, not some fancy maths you’ve made up just to impress everyone else with what a clever fellow you are.

    Oh yes. While we’re still at it I’d like to see one of those strings scientists say make up matter and energy with my own eyes.

    Being outmatched intellectually isn’t a nice feeling is it? Perhaps you will show a bit more compassion towards those you so obviously feel are inferior to yourself. Yes, they are delusional and overbearing in their fervour but demonstrably, so are you too!

  254. #254 Nomen Nescio
    April 9, 2010

    you have just proved that you are just as much of a hypocrite as the people who demand we believe in God/Jesus their way “or else”, whom you ridicule!

    where in this discussion have i ridiculed anybody? i’ve poked gentle fun at some ideas, i’ll admit, but not (unless i badly misremember) any people. and how exactly have i been hypocritical here? it’s possible i have been, but i can’t think of where and how.

    Prove to me your own existance!

    this i usually do with a hammer. get within my arms reach, would you please…?

    While we’re still at it I’d like to see one of those strings scientists say make up matter and energy with my own eyes.

    which science is that? judging by the physics bloggers i’ve been reading (no, not exactly peer-reviewed literature, but i’m no theoretical physicist to grasp the real sources) string theory is still more of a hypothesis than a theory. last i heard it still hadn’t made any easily testable predictions.

    and why insist on seeing it with your own eyes? that clause is a little silly, i think. do you doubt the germ theory of disease, too, since you’ve never seen a bacterium with your own eyes? you don’t have microscopes for eyes, after all.

    Being outmatched intellectually isn’t a nice feeling is it?

    it rather wasn’t, the last time it happened, no. as i recall, anyway; that was quite some time ago, i must confess.

    (my apologies for succumbing, in this comment, to the temptation to poke fun at a person instead of merely at ideas. i can’t resist such obvious targets, though.)

  255. #255 Diane
    April 9, 2010

    God is real. Jesus is real.

    My very life is proof. My mother was told by nine different doctors that she would never have children because of a brain tumor on her pituitary gland which caused her to have acromegaly when she was 19 years old. Her hormones from her pituitary were so abnormal, that she never had the normal female cycle that is necessary to get pregnant. Doctors urged my parents to adopt. But Mom did not give up hope. (Yes, HOPE, John.) She had faith in God (Yes, John, FAITH), and she prayed daily for a baby. After 13 years of marriage and 12 years after the tumor and onset of acromegaly, Mom got pregnant. Doctors would not even believe her and refused to do a pregnancy test because it was impossible for her to get pregnant. Two months before my birth, she had to go to the doctor for a kidney infection, and when the doctor saw her, he was shocked. He thought she had a tumor in her abdomen, so did an x-ray and there I was. Mom went on to also have my brother two years later. (Her case was written up in a peer-reviewed medical journal, by the way.)

    You will never convince me that God does not exist. I am alive because of my Mom’s faith and prayers and God’s divine intervention.

    I have seen other miracles throughout life as well. In 1979, my father had an accident at work and had a massive blood clot on his brain which caused a stroke. He was paralyzed on his entire left side, unable to walk, use his arm, or speak clearly. During a service at our church a few weeks after he was released from the hospital, Dad was prayed for and was instantly healed. He had no trace of paralysis or speech problems left. His neurosurgeon was astounded as the damage dad sustained was severe and irreparable, and yet he had made a total recovery. (Dad’s 80 years old now and still in perfect health for his age.)

    You are WAY too late to try to tell me God does not exist. That’s the biggest bunch of nonsense I’ve ever heard.

    By the way, there are other things in life that can’t be proven, yet they still exist. Love, for instance. You can see the result of love, the actions of love, but you cannot see love itself, nor can you prove that it exists or does not exist. And yet, we know that it is real. Just as God is real.

  256. #256 Henrik
    April 9, 2010

    “and why insist on seeing it with your own eyes? that clause is a little silly, i think.”

    Because this is what you demand of people with faith, that they present proof of God that is subject to scientific testing on your terms, else you dismiss it as delusion. In short, what you demand is a miracle performed for your benefit. What I ask of you on the other hand is eminently reasonable and well within the framework you recognise as verifiable truth by verifiable methods.

    As for the rest, it’s pretty obvious you did not understand or chose to be obtuse: – “this i usually do with a hammer. get within my arms reach, would you please” – when I had SPECIFICALLY stated “and I do not mean physical body”.

    If this had been an examination, the examiner would quite likely have summed your performance up as follows – “Eloquently answered. Unfortunately, you did not answer the question put to you. Grade F”. But since I am of a generous disposition, I’ll give you as much time as you need to collect the evidence. Call me when you’re ready! :)

  257. #257 'fonz'
    April 9, 2010

    I’ll say this, you atheist skeptics sure do like to ‘gloss over’ the finer points of finding God. Like I said, the simpleness of the way doth counfound the wise and prudent, as to the wisdom of the world that is. How is it that every scientific finding has always been a mathmatical equation? Do you actually believe that one day someone ‘invented’ math and just by mere chance it seems to always unlock the mysteries of not only our world but the universe itself by and by? Wouldn’t you as a fair-minded scientist or academic acknowledge the real possibility and conclusion that there has to be an author even if as of yet it hasn’t been proved (actually figured out)? You have thoughts, can you prove that the thoughts you have are what you articulate? That is rhetorical of course because you know it cannot be done, however it no less disproves to you that those thoughts in fact are true. Such is the Spirit of God and knowing Him. Also an open mind is not a skeptic, or pre-admitted atheist, you cannot in any way disprove the existence of God anymore than you can prove it, so to draw a conclusion now is the meaning of ‘closed-mindedness’. Heavenly Father IS the perfect science behind all creation, He knows, he can balance it because He is perfect and can see all things, every possible outcome (equation). The beautiful thing is that He gives us the free will to choose, His most precious gift to us. Oh by the way I have a 10th grade education as to the wisdom of men. I’ve in no way ‘forced’ anything on any of you, I only posed some questions that I hope you will ponder with intellectual honesty. God bless you my brothers, that is to say may you have good fortunes in your lives and find the truths that are there to be found.

  258. #258 Nomen Nescio
    April 9, 2010

    this is what you demand of people with faith, that they present proof of God that is subject to scientific testing on your terms

    those are the same terms that anything else which actually exists can stand up to. anything from galaxy clusters to neutrinos, if it is truly physically real, can be detected and evidenced through similar empirical means. why, exactly, do you wish to commit the fallacy of special pleading in the instance of a deity?

    (of course, there are other meanings of the word “real”, too. integer numbers are “real” in a non-physical, non-empirical sense, for instance. but it’s a very rare religious believer who seriously thinks their god is real in no more tangible a sense than that, and most believers would consider them to be heretics for it.)

    As for the rest, it’s pretty obvious you did not understand or chose to be obtuse: – “this i usually do with a hammer. get within my arms reach, would you please” – when I had SPECIFICALLY stated “and I do not mean physical body”.

    what then is it you wish me to demonstrate the existence of, if not my physical being? why do you think i have any other form of existence to demonstrate? i certainly have never presumed that YOU have any such thing, after all.

    (although, here we come perilously close to drifting into tetrapyloctomy. does the moving automobile “have” 120 km/h to demonstrate to us? how would it do so? in what sense of the word can the functioning of a mechanism be said to be the “property” of the mechanism, exactly? we’d need to do a lot of quite abstract semantical work, i think, to avoid speaking at cross purposes.

    suffice it to say that i’m not convinced we know what consciousness is, but i’m quite convinced it is fruitless to try to demonstrate the existence of something one cannot adequately define. there is a quorgle, but i will not tell you what a quorgle is, except possibly in terms too vague and hand-wavey to be useful to you, nor will i tell you precisely what i mean by “is” in that statement. is there a quorgle?)

  259. #259 Bob Carlson
    April 9, 2010

    @ fonz (#257)

    The beautiful thing is that He gives us the free will to choose, His most precious gift to us.

    You are the product of your genes and your environment, and you have no choice in the matter. You feel like you have the will to choose, but that feeling is merely an illusion. In fact, Susan Blackmore calls consciousness itself the grand illusion.

  260. #260 Owlmirror
    April 9, 2010

    You can see the result of love, the actions of love, but you cannot see love itself, nor can you prove that it exists or does not exist. And yet, we know that it is real. Just as God is real.

    If God is human confirmation bias, then God really is human confirmation bias.

    ========

    I’ll say this, you atheist skeptics sure do like to ‘gloss over’ the finer points of finding God.

    You credulous believers sure do like to gloss over the simple fact that you are making up an imaginary friend, and making ridiculously illogical arguments to defend this make-believe as not being make-believe.

    Wouldn’t you as a fair-minded scientist or academic acknowledge the real possibility and conclusion that there has to be an author even if as of yet it hasn’t been proved (actually figured out)?

    No, because everything we know about how our own minds work require that laws of logic and math and physics and so on precede those minds. Even the suggestion that an “author” has to precede those laws is a violation of logic, based on everything we know.

    so to draw a conclusion now is the meaning of ‘closed-mindedness’.

    So it follows that you, who have drawn a conclusion now that God is real and that you know exactly who God is and what God does and what God wants — you are convicted of being closed-minded by your own criteria, and are therefore also a hypocrite.

    Oh by the way I have a 10th grade education as to the wisdom of men.

    Well, at least you got that far. What keeps you from going further?

    I’ve in no way ‘forced’ anything on any of you, I only posed some questions

    No, of course you haven’t “forced” anything on us — you’ve just demonstrated your lack of reasoning. And you’ve made quite a few absurd assertions, too.

    Well, we’re not “forcing” you to realize that you’re using false arguments to reach an unwarranted and unjustified and unsustainable conclusion. Only you can do that.

  261. #261 'fonz'
    April 9, 2010

    ‘Owlmirror’, thank you for your bias demonstrated. Your thinly diguised misspeak may confuse some people but you are clear to me. Once again you glossed over the ‘method’ of finding God, and ‘Owlmirror’ if once you’ve found something to be true it no longer is a matter of close-mindedness, it’s when you quit looking before you find the answer. In the swirl of disconneted ramblings that you have stated I remember hearing other such ‘babblings’ once before from an avowed satanist who was trying to talk me out of my beliefs, he made the mistake of thinking they were only beliefs and not written in my heart. He left unsatisfied and confused. I’ll pray for you, it matters not whether you think you need it or not, I do it out of love of which You cannot disprove either, as someone else quite beautifully stated earlier.

  262. #262 'fonz'
    April 9, 2010

    My discussion is done, I’ve said what I wanted to, the rest is up to the individual. The same formula for finding God works on matters of truth as well once you know Christ (see my original post* on how I came to know the truth of the shroud of Turin).

    *[April 7, 2010 12:37 AM]

  263. #263 Jason
    April 9, 2010

    Bob (#259)

    So, if freedom is but an illusion, being the product of our genes, then it follows that there is no moral right and wrong other than whatever value we as indivuals choose to place upon them – with even that choice also being illusive.

    Do you realize the implications of that?

  264. #264 Rey4U
    April 9, 2010

    The shroud of turin that was subjected to carbon dating was not the actual shroud of turin. Although it was on film from taking of the sample to the testing process, there was a glitch in between where a church official replaced it with a fake.

  265. #265 Jules
    April 9, 2010

    Jason,

    The implications is that human minds created the moral values of right and wrong. They did not materalize out of nowhere;they were formulated over eons by the neurological workings of an evolving organism that we call human beings. They are no more illusive then we are. We don’t need deities to enforce the common sense ideas and ideals that humans live together effectively when we have common ground rules to make our existence workable.

  266. #266 NJ
    April 9, 2010

    (see my original post* on how I came to know the truth of become totally suckered about the shroud of Turin)

    Fixed that for ya there, ralphmalph.

  267. #267 Diane
    April 9, 2010

    By the way, dear atheists, how do you explain documented near-death experiences in which the person goes to Heaven and returns with a descriptions of incredible beauty, of colors which don’t exist here on earth, of seeing family members who have died before them, and of a Being of light and love? (And also those individuals who go to Hell and return horrified by what they experienced, and grateful to be given a second chance.)

    These people aren’t delusional. Yes, I’ve heard that some scientists have at times recreated the most rudimentary experience of tunnels and lights, but they have not recreated the vivid experiences these people have at a time when they are brain dead (which means their brains are not functioning and there is absolutely no electrical activity from thought or any other physical process, which rules out that “it’s all in their head.”)

    There are cases where the person very accurately relates conversations which took place between doctors or loved ones in other rooms and even across town when they were clinically dead. One lady who had been blind for years was able to describe her doctor and the activities which went on in the room where they were trying to resuscitate her, even down to the color of of the necktie the doctor had been wearing, when she returned to her body. There are thousands of these documented accounts which have been collected and studied by cardiologists, hospice doctors and nurses, scientists, and other professionals.

    Many of these people say that one of the things they learn through their experiences is that God is not interested in our religious ceremonies and rituals. Instead, He wants to know if we have learned to love.

    God is real, whether you believe it or not.

  268. #268 Jason
    April 9, 2010

    Jules,

    Actually, Bob’s views as written do imply that morality is an illusion. But let’s discuss what you wrote.

    You are throwing around phrases such as “common ground rules,” “common sense ideas,” and “live together effectively.” But who should decide these things? The majority in society? If yes, please explain how well this has worked in history and how it works today. If no, then what criteria is to be used? In other words, who gets to decide and why?

  269. #269 NJ
    April 9, 2010

    Dear Diane:

    These people aren’t delusional.

    Asserted without evidence.

    As actual study has demonstrated (http://www.skepdic.com/nde.html discusses and provides refs), it is not clear what if anything is going on. It isn’t at all surprising that in cultures with well-known religious traditions that people might superimpose their prior knowledge/beliefs on a clearly traumatic experience.

    What you have done, though, is installed a filter in your brain: Information that fits your preferred beliefs can get through, and everything else is blocked or challenged. This is demonstrated by how you phrased your post – you didn’t say that ‘some of the information suggests NDEs may be real’, which would be an honest appraisal. You simply took the stories that you liked and called them proof.

    This is why you are considered credulous, independent of the truth or falsity of any religious beliefs. You simple believe in some things because you want to.

  270. #270 John
    April 10, 2010

    Henrik,
    You are pretty damn good with logical analysis, and I suspect that all that you and I disagree on are moot points of specificity, as we both agree on the shroud being a fake and upon much of what you express @243.

    I do take issue with your following statement
    [“Therefore, Martin’s and other atheists’ credo is NOT based on scientific proof but on BELIEF! I for one respect their belief, but do not give them any right whatsoever, based as it is on their belief alone and NOT ON SCIENTIFIC PROOF, to dismiss the possibility of Deism. For themselves, if they choose not to be scientific about it. For others, never.’]

    After going from Christian to Deist to Agnostic to Atheism, I accept the proposition that God of the Bible (nor of any other religion) does not exist, not because I BELIEVE in atheism, but because the conclusion that such a god does not exist is infinitely more logical than that He/She/it does exist based on the evidence presented to us of the real world and universe.
    To put it in a box with a bow, we have some evidence that the universe began with a big bang, and may or may not end with a big collapse. There is and likely will never be any way to determine if another big bang would occur again or if there was a previous collapse. Ergo, perfect data will never exist beyond that point in either direction.

    Now inside our little box with a bow, is a smaller box with a smaller bow: the question of survival. It seems obvious to me the biggest part of the genesis of every religion had a lot to do with the question of survival in some form after death.
    If the answer is that there is no survival, organized religion fails as a useful enterprise. With the notable exception of Hinduism, religions reserve souls to humans, excluding animals. With the recent scientific discovery of DNA and the fact that humans share much DNA with other primates and even with yeast, the conclusion a reasonably sane person must accept is that humans are animals, merely loquacious ones. Additionally, we humans are at core, our personality, which is the product of our genetic inheritance and the sum total of our environmental experience, including that of our own bodies. The point being, if you assume that there is some sort of survival, who would any of us BE without our bodies and physical senses? And since as we age, our personalities change as we learn and experience life, which of our personalities would persist? The one we were when we were 16 or 30, or 90? My personal observances of family members and friends who, as they aged, became senile and stricken with loss of mental faculties due to Alzheimer’s or some other brain syndrome, convinces me that in order to be who we are, we need our bodies and brains to exist. The conclusion inescapable for me is that when the brain ceases, whether slowly or suddenly, the personality is also irretrievably lost.

    A third box within the other two contains the question “What then accounts for existence, and what caused the beginning?”
    If you want to call that god, or the intangible X or dark matter, or simply the force that holds subatomic particles together, it matters not much. I know that there are always those who want an answer to the unanswerable, and that is why television evangelists will always make a nice living. If you are wondering where the bow is on the smallest box, there isn’t any. Not everything can be tied up neatly.

    Fonz,

    Ye who are without a closed mind cast the first stone.. As noted before, I was xian, probably before you were born. At that time, my mind was closed. As far as I was concerned “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
    And that was that. But as time passed my mind began to open due to inconsistencies I saw between passages in almost every book of the bible I studied, and had to accept the proposition that what I was being taught just might not be the whole truth. So with a now OPEN mind I began my search in earnest, which took me about ten years of study. BTW, the elitist “I know more than you and I am going to heaven, whereas you fools are all going to hell” not so subtly hidden behind the “I will pray for you” that you xians hurl at us is not going to add any stars to your crowns.

    Now, for any who wish to contemplate reality, consider the following:

    Think of the existence of the physical world in a split instant of frozen time. Now move to another adjacent split instant in time, much like moving from one motion picture frame to the next.

    I postulate that in the first instance, nothing in existence, whether alive, dead, or moving or at rest, can be in any state but the state it is in, because we have frozen time. Now move to the next frozen instant. I further postulate that everything that exists in the second frozen instant is completely and entirely DEPENDANT on the existing state of everything that previously existed in the first instant, including continuation of any process or motion that were in process during the first instant. Taken to the next step, I must conclude that the state of reality that exists in the second instant is in effect preordained by the state of existence in the first. As by design, the processes noted would include thought processes in all our brains, and we can see the current situation as being inevitable at this time. That includes each of our positions in the ongoing discussion. One could then claim that it is not their fault that their opinions are irrational as they are undeniably preordained to be so…….

    Diane,

    I have “died”. Right in the emergency room at CMC. I “saw” a bright light that then dimmed to darkness and peace. Then the light became bright again and became the light above me in the operating room. No more, no less. The stories told and believed by many who describe near death experience are pretty easily explained by the hallucinogenic effect of the brain being deprived of oxygen. Basically, these people had dreams, the content of which were the result of past memories and expectations.

  271. #271 Jules
    April 10, 2010

    Jason,

    Who gets to decide is a collective effort over time; our species has worked out through suffering, trial and error and the “golden rule” so to speak what rules and laws work to protect ourselves and to live in what most of us have recognized as civilized societies. These time tested rules work for the benefit of all of us to protect,property and foster respect. Because life is always changing, evolving we are in the process of incorporating more ideals and protective laws that cover all of us, especially minorities
    and other species. This is the ongoing process of our cultural maturity and enlightened thinking.

    In history there have been tyrannts, kings and bodies of governments that have abused human rights and done evil things to others,but the remedy to these extremes need not come from a unverifiable supernatural source. They come from the higher aspirations of culturally evolved humans who have realized that it is our own best interest to have laws and ethics that protect each other and to respect the dignity and freedom of each of us. Some places in our world have not fully recognized that, but on the whole I see human society progressing toward those goals, even if there have been obstinate willful ignorance by people who fear change,setbacks, wars and misery along the way.

    If you are a Christian, aren’t you implying that it is your value system that supposely decides who makes the rules? So what gives your particular religion the right to decide for all us?

    Christianity has brought some good ideas to the table in the effort to instill values in us, but these ideals require no alliegance to a supernatural power. They are good ideals because most of them work for the better good of the community. They are self-evident. They are checks and balances to curb the excesses and wrongs that we humans have always unfortunately committed usually to our regret and self-destruction.

    As I said before these rules did not just appear magically; they and the supposed deities that demand we obey them are evolved creations of our mortal minds.

    Giving up the archaic,fearful and nonsenical beliefs that we are ruled by supernatural deities makes us totally responsible for our actions, as it should be. That is a authentic state of real maturity for our species and for the individual.

  272. #272 Jason
    April 10, 2010

    Jules,

    Much of what you said regarding human societies could just as easily be applied to a pack of wolves. They too do what is best for the pack. But sometimes the pack decides to leave the sick and wounded, or allows a mother to eat her young. Point being, if the collective whole decides it’s best to, say, dispose of people over age 65, is this right or wrong? Based on what you wrote you will likely say it’s clearly wrong to do so – as you should. But why? Is it wrong merely because it might cause the society as a whole to become more unkind to one another, or is it wrong because it’s just plain wrong to dispose of humans for a reason such as this? Tell me, do humans have inalienable rights? If so, where did they come from? If from society, can’t society just as easily take those rights away thus making them alienable?

    You might say that humans have evolved past such behavior, so that we care for the elderly, and protect the weak and vulnerable in society. It is true that humans have far more compassion than other animals, but at times humans have also been the most violent, leaving destruction far greater than any other animal species – and this is true even today amongst supposedly highly-evolved intelligent people. Sometimes the collective whole makes decisions that you would disagree with, even calling them “evil” decisions and actions (you did use the word “evil”). Again, what criteria are you using to determine what is evil and what is good? Is it appropriate for you to criticize another culture’s values when they have collectively decided it works well for them?

    The bane of atheistic thought based on naturalism is that it cannot account for objective moral absolutes. All that is left is societal ideals and individual preference.

    As atheist William Provine honestly put it:

    “Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.”

  273. #273 Bob Carlson
    April 10, 2010

    Jason (#263)

    I am in agreement with Jules (#265). In a recent book concerning the evolution of empathy, Frans de Waal leads off his discussion of morality on page 8 of the book with:

    If morality comes from abstract principles, why do judgments often come instantaneously? We hardly need to think about them. In fact, psychologist Jonathan Haidt believes we arrive at them intuitively.

    de Waal goes on to briefly discuss Haidt’s experiments with humans, and then devotes many pages discussing his own studies and those of other primatologists. He also draws on studies of other animals. The last chapter of the book ends with the statement:

    To call upon this inborn capacity can only be to any society’s advantage.

    But Darwin realized this when he wrote The Descent of Man, and de Waal provided a quote from the book:

    Any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts…will inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well developed, or nearly as well developed, as in man.

  274. #274 Nomen Nescio
    April 10, 2010

    The bane of atheistic thought based on naturalism is that it cannot account for objective moral absolutes.

    this flaw would be more fatal if you could point out a moral absolute or two, and explain just why they are objectively absolute.

    don’t get me wrong, objective moral absolutes would be nice to have around. they would simplify ethics and life in general considerably. i’ve just never encountered any, nor have any of several philosophers far smarter and wiser than i over centuries of pondering the issue.

  275. #275 Martin R
    April 10, 2010

    The bane of atheistic thought based on naturalism is that it cannot account for objective moral absolutes. All that is left is societal ideals and individual preference.

    That’s not a “bane” at all. Morals are collectively negotiated and enforced constructs. It works fine since mentally healthy people are basically decent by nature and have a strong innate capacity for empathy and solidarity.

  276. #276 Jason
    April 10, 2010

    Bob,
    You had said earlier that human choice was an illusion, since it is but the product of nature and nurture. It follows that human responsibility is also but an illusion. The same goes for moral right and wrong. There are clear implications of choice being illusive. There’s no getting around this.

    I’m not saying that individuals and societies cannot have a good understanding of right and wrong, good and bad. Humans do have an innate sense of right and wrong. We don’t have to sit and ponder if kidnapping and killing a child is wrong. My problem with most atheistic or naturalistic understandings of ethics and morality (and I don’t exactly your stance) is that they can only hit on the surface of the issue. The intuitive argument only goes so far. For many an individual, and a community of individuals for that matter, has decided after much thought to do something many other individuals would consider heinous. Let me illustrate:

    There are two tribes, A and B. Tribe A is composed of hunters and warriors; however, within the community itself they are loving and caring to one another. Tribe is B is composed of farmers and gatherers; they are peaceful and loving to one another. Tribe A decides that Tribe B has some things it wants, so it attacks. Tribe B is decimated; men killed, women raped, children either killed or brought in as slaves.

    Is Tribe A wrong? If they have no remorse, or no feelings of guilt toward the brutality, perhaps it’s because they didn’t know them and were more concerned about their own needs. What do you do with these types of situations?

  277. #277 Jason
    April 10, 2010

    Martin,

    You wrote: “Morals are collectively negotiated and enforced constructs. It works fine since mentally healthy people are basically decent by nature and have a strong innate capacity for empathy and solidarity.”

    And what do you do when metally healthy people do bad acts? Many a society of intelligent people would gladly kill us for what we have, or for what we believe – even today in our ‘highly evolved-ness.’ If morals are “collectively negotiated” then explain how you would answer the Tribe A and B illustration @ #276

  278. #278 Nomen Nescio
    April 10, 2010

    Is Tribe A wrong?

    depends on who you’re asking. tribe B likely thinks they’re wrong, but how would you convince a member of tribe A that they were?

    see, you’re setting yourself up to trip over your own logic. to most of us, wars of conquest like you describe are “wrong”, and that’s the answer you want us to give. but just as plainly, such wars are things human beings commonly do, always have done, and if the societies that indulge in them truly believed they were doing something “wrong” at the time, they’d have had much harder times working up that good old martial fervor than is typically the case. ergo, it must be quite possible for entire societies to disagree with you about such acts being “wrong”. where then is moral absolutism?

  279. #279 Jules
    April 10, 2010

    I do not know how to answer Jason’s thoughtful and perplexing questions about where we find moral certainity and absolutes. Perhaps there are none. Since I and others(I know we are in the minority especially in the USA)view all religions and gods as another human construct, then we are still at a quandry about who has the ultimate authority to proclaim itself the keeper of the laws exclusively.

    I think on the whole humans would be better off if we gave up worshipping supernatural forces since for one reason there is so much disagreement on whose God is the correct one. I think these beliefs limit our capacity to grow and resolve so many pressing issues we face. The nonsense idea of original sin actually has become a self-fullfilling injunction. We believe we are basically condemned, corrupt,sinful beings and live up to our expectations!

    On a practical level those ideals that promote peace,safety,compassion freedom,dignity and respect for all humans is the one that I think most of us would choose especially at this time in our species history. Not all us pursue those ideals yet, but in the aggregate humans are progressing toward those nobler ideals and more.

  280. #280 Owlmirror
    April 10, 2010

    Once again you glossed over the ‘method’ of finding God

    Once again you glossed over the “method” being talking to yourself and fooling yourself.

    ‘Owlmirror’ if once you’ve found something to be true it no longer is a matter of close-mindedness

    Then I’ve found it to be true that your methodology is indistinguishable from fooling yourself, so I am indeed not close-minded by your new redefinition.

    it’s when you quit looking before you find the answer.

    Or in your case, finding the answer that you want to find so badly that you pretend that anything and everything you look at is the answer that you want to find, and that if something contradicts that answer, you redefine it, or just don’t look at it. And then you quit looking because you think you’ve found the answer, and ignore anything that even hints at it not being the answer.

    In the swirl of disconneted ramblings that you have stated I remember hearing other such ‘babblings’ once before from an avowed satanist who was trying to talk me out of my beliefs, he made the mistake of thinking they were only beliefs and not written in my heart.

    “Avowed satanist”? Good grief. Satan is the result of exactly the same confirmation bias as God, only going in the other direction.

    He left unsatisfied and confused.

    Your desire to fool yourself is kind of confusing. It’s certainly not satisfying to someone who isn’t you.

    I’ll pray for you

    You mean you’ll talk to yourself about me. Oh, how so very thrilling.

    it matters not whether you think you need it or not

    Why would I need a stranger to talk to themselves about me?

    I do it out of love of which You cannot disprove either

    I indeed cannot disprove that you love yourself. Why would I want to?

    My discussion is done,

    OK, goodbye.

    The same formula for finding God works on matters of truth as well once you know Christ (see my original post* on how I came to know the truth of the shroud of Turin).

    Yes, fooling yourself, and calling that “truth”, uses the same formula for external things like the shroud, as it does for internal things like the part of yourself that you talk to when you think you’re talking to “God”.

  281. #281 Diane
    April 10, 2010

    I have “died”. Right in the emergency room at CMC. I “saw” a bright light that then dimmed to darkness and peace. Then the light became bright again and became the light above me in the operating room. No more, no less. The stories told and believed by many who describe near death experience are pretty easily explained by the hallucinogenic effect of the brain being deprived of oxygen. Basically, these people had dreams, the content of which were the result of past memories and expectations.

    John, it’s impossible to have dreams when your brain has stopped functioning and has “flatlined”. Even the remotest glimmer of thought would be picked up on an EEG, let alone the vivid details that these individuals experience. Also dreams do not explain how an individual who is dead can relate details of conversations and activities which are going on in other parts of the hospital or even at their own homes miles away.

    I myself had a NDE. I was having surgery at the same time that my mother was in a comma in another hospital. In my NDE, I was standing at the edge of a dark tunnel looking out into an area of bright white. I couldn’t see anything in the light area, as the light was too bright. In the tunnel with me was my mother. We were talking for awhile, then Mom told me I had to go back and she had to go on soon, but that she’d see me again someday. After my surgery, I remembered that experience. Ten days later, my mother passed away. (By the way, just in case you were going to say that what I experienced was a dream, studies have shown that you don’t dream when you’re under anesthesia. The medications that they use prevent dreaming.)

    And just to satisfy NJ, some of the information in various scientific studies suggests NDEs may be real.

  282. #282 Owlmirror
    April 10, 2010

    Also dreams do not explain how an individual who is dead can relate details of conversations and activities which are going on in other parts of the hospital or even at their own homes miles away.

    Actually evidence of these supposed events does not exist.

    I’ve read Mary Roach’s Spook. There are lots of anecdotes and stories, but nothing more than that.

    There’s also at least one report of a Hindu NDE, where someone claimed to have seen a Hindu god after dying. Does that mean that Hinduism is as true as Christianity?

    In the tunnel with me was my mother. We were talking for awhile, then Mom told me I had to go back and she had to go on soon, but that she’d see me again someday. After my surgery, I remembered that experience. Ten days later, my mother passed away.

    And did your mother confirm having this alleged conversation?

    (By the way, just in case you were going to say that what I experienced was a dream, studies have shown that you don’t dream when you’re under anesthesia. The medications that they use prevent dreaming.)

    Obviously false. Very weird things can happen inside of the brain while under anesthesia, including hallucinations. The brain and body are not as well understood as you pretend, with everything known fitting into a neat box marked “natural explanation” (thus allowing you to claim that anything that doesn’t fit in that box is a miracle from the Christian God).

    When Terry Pratchett was under anesthesia for heart surgery, the surgeons told him that he kept trying to sit up, and — again, still under anesthesia — told the doctors that there was a man in the corner of the operating room who had sandwiches.

    A “near-sandwich” experience, eh?

  283. #283 NJ
    April 10, 2010

    A “near-sandwich” experience, eh?

    Must have had bacon on it. Bacon is a miraculous experience AFAIK.

  284. #284 GIJoe
    April 10, 2010

    It doesn’t matter if it’s accurate or not. It’s how accurate you think it is.
    In either case you’ll eventually see Him in person and hope and pray you’ll see Him for eturnity.

  285. #285 Nomen Nescio
    April 10, 2010

    It doesn’t matter if it’s accurate or not. It’s how accurate you think it is.

    well, see, what we like to call “objective reality” is the set of places and situations where that approach of yours doesn’t work well at all in the long run.

  286. #286 Nathan C
    April 10, 2010

    First of all the documentary never claimed that the face they created was the ‘Real Face of Jesus’. Even the title of the program had a question mark in it…

    Secondly the documentary was more about the process of creating the face than anything else, which was the actual interesting part of it

    Thirdly I see no reason why these comments always turn into religion vs science debates, when it’s quite obvious to me that IF and I say IF there is a God then they clearly created science along with everything else…If there isn’t a God enjoy your pointless life and stop harressing people over their beliefs. If there is a God then we’re all screwed…

  287. #287 Diane
    April 11, 2010

    Owlmirror, you obviously have not studied the topic of NDE (and just reading one book on the subject by one person giving their opinion and not finding any evidence for or against NDEs hardly qualifies.) There are many, many documented cases of NDE studied by reputable doctors and scientists using accepted scientific methods for gathering information. Even a review of the book you mentioned states that, “As any scientist will know, it is damn near impossible to prove a negative: finding no evidence for something is NOT the same as finding evidence against it.” (That near-sandwich experience was pretty funny though! LOL!)

    The brain and body are not as well understood as you pretend, with everything known fitting into a neat box marked “natural explanation” (thus allowing you to claim that anything that doesn’t fit in that box is a miracle from the Christian God).

    You know, the same could be said of the world we live in. The world is not as well understood as you pretend, with everything known fitting into a neat box marked “scientific explanation” (thus allowing you to claim that anything that doesn’t fit in that box, such as God and spiritual experiences, are delusions or non-existent.)

    Oh, but wait, I forgot. Anything that goes against what you believe obviously can’t be true. What an arrogant, narrow mind you have, closed against that which does not fit in your rigid ideas of what is and what is not and closed to the possibility that science is not all there is.

    Has it ever occurred to you that there may be things in this world or outside of it that we are not yet advanced enough to even be aware of or know how to scientifically study and that perhaps someday we can prove that God is real, but we haven’t gotten to that stage in our development to be able to do so yet?

    A baby in its mother’s womb is not aware of her as a person, though its life depends on her. It moves about in its own little world, naively believing that its world is all there is. Not until the baby is born and has grown and matured does it know the personhood of “mother” and that there is a larger world outside of the womb.

    Like that baby, we are in this world, thinking this world is all there is, believing that our puny scientific excursions into our world have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not exist because there is no proof as we define it with our limited knowledge and abilities. However, to think that we know all there is to know on the subject is arrogant and ludicrous. After all, as high as the Heavens are above the earth, so high are God’s ways above our ways and God’s thoughts above our thoughts.

  288. #288 Lisa I.
    April 11, 2010

    I think it’s so funny how people here can say with absolute certainty that the Shroud of Turin is fake or real when even the scientists who have personally examined and studied the shroud for decades can’t make that determination. Congratulations! As “armchair” archeologists you’ve managed to accomplished, without ever touching the shroud, what the experts couldn’t. I guess they can all go home now and find something else to study. This case is closed.

  289. #289 John
    April 11, 2010

    Diane,
    I rather suspect that you are fooling yourself into believing that your “dreams” were real. Everyone living has had “real” or almost real dreams even when healthy. And how do you or anyone attempting to measure brainwaves know for certain that as oxygen deprivation occurs in the brain and brain cells begin to die that the expiring synapses do not produce “dreams” or false memories? And your contention is flawed: You state that under anesthesia or in an NDE, that dreams cannot occur. But then you state that you remember talking to your mother. If you cannot dream, you certainly could not remember a conversation. You are trying to have it both ways here and that is irrational.
    And where on earth did you get the total crap idea that people under anesthesia do not dream? As a child, I was anesthetized twice with ether, once for setting a broken arm and once for a tonsillectomy. Funny thing is, the entire time I had the same most horrible nightmarish dream of my life. My personal experience proves to me that you know absolutely nothing about dreaming under anesthesia. And I am also wondering what kind of “comma” your mother was in at the time of your fantastic dream.

    As I have suggested ad infinitum, ad nauseum, go and read “Age of Reason”, and try to refute the arguments dissecting the bible therein. You will fail miserably. I rather suspect you would be better suited to reading books by Edgar Cayce.
    After a lifetime of reading and listening to charlatans of every description, from Ernest Angley to the Pope, go on spewing the most inane illogical drivel they can conjure, I am left with complete bewilderment at the collective stupidity of mankind that so many are convinced by the continuous flow of crap they emanate. Yeah, and I’m afraid that would include you and everyone else in awe of a faked burial shroud and who are incapable of applying common sense to the subject of religion.

    Now, ask me what I really think….

  290. #290 Owlmirror
    April 11, 2010

    There are many, many documented cases of NDE studied by reputable doctors and scientists using accepted scientific methods for gathering information.

    That sounds so very sciencey, except that it isn’t entirely true. NDEs are reported by patients, and some of these reports have been collected. Well and good.

    However, your extraordinary claim that an “individual who is dead can relate details of conversations and activities which are going on in other parts of the hospital or even at their own homes miles away” is not supported by any scientific methods.

    At least, not any that I’ve seen. Do you have anything that actually backs this extraordinary claim up?

    Even a review of the book you mentioned states that, “As any scientist will know, it is damn near impossible to prove a negative: finding no evidence for something is NOT the same as finding evidence against it.”

    PARSIMONY. If you find no evidence for something, why would you think that claims for that thing have any validity whatsoever?

    (That near-sandwich experience was pretty funny though! LOL!)

    I hope that your amusement does not prevent you from realizing that it is a falsification of your claim about anesthesia.

    Or are you going to argue that God runs an afterlife delicatessen?

    You know, the same could be said of the world we live in. The world is not as well understood as you pretend, with everything known fitting into a neat box marked “scientific explanation” (thus allowing you to claim that anything that doesn’t fit in that box, such as God and spiritual experiences, are delusions or non-existent.)

    Ah, but it doesn’t allow you to claim that God and spiritual experiences aren’t delusions.

    And on my side, I have parsimony.

    Which is the simpler hypothesis? That there exists an entity that refuses to speak in plain language or demonstrate knowledge or power to anyone, but occasionally does incredibly subtle things that benefit people or make them feel good — or that the people who are making the claims of experiencing benefit or that emotional state are misinterpreting natural events as being the result of the action of an entity?

    Hm, hm, hmmmmm.

    Like that baby, we are in this world, thinking this world is all there is, believing that our puny scientific excursions into our world have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not exist because there is no proof as we define it with our limited knowledge and abilities.

    Sigh. No. Our scientific excursions have failed to demonstrate the existence of an entity that can honestly be called a God, therefore we reject the hypothesis of the existence of such an entity.

    However, to think that we know all there is to know on the subject is arrogant and ludicrous.

    And yet, you arrogantly and ludicrously claim to know that God exists and has done favors for you

    After all, as high as the Heavens are above the earth, so high are God’s ways above our ways and God’s thoughts above our thoughts.

    And you use the fallacious argument of special pleading, as well.

    Sigh.

  291. #291 Owlmirror
    April 11, 2010

    I think it’s so funny how people here can say with absolute certainty that the Shroud of Turin is fake or real when even the scientists who have personally examined and studied the shroud for decades can’t make that determination.

    Why isn’t the fact that the shroud contradicts the bible — John 19:40, to be exact (strips of linen versus a single large sheet) — sufficient to demonstrate that it must be fake?

    Are you going to argue that the bible must be false?

    Congratulations! As “armchair” archeologists you’ve managed to accomplished, without ever touching the shroud, what the experts couldn’t.

    I’m not sure that the experts are that uncertain about it not being real, either.

    I guess they can all go home now and find something else to study.

    And who has said that they ought to? I think that as an archaeological artifact, there are plenty of things that might be discovered about it.

    And actually, part of the problem is that the experts aren’t being allowed to continue studying. Rogers (2005) suggests doing another radiocarbon dating from material that was removed from it during a recent restoration. So far, those who hold the shroud, and the removed material, have not allowed this to happen.

    Well, what are scientists supposed to do in that case?

  292. #292 'fonz'
    April 11, 2010

    Hey, we all know how “sound” science is anyway right? Why now it’s global climate change because the temperatures didn’t rise expediently like the ‘scientists’ said they would. And back in the early 70’s we were warned by many of the same scientists that we were headed for a “global ice age”. There is no proof beyond natural earth climate change (of which we know very little overall, kind of like the ocean’s floor and all the new data being collected that disproves earlier scientific beliefs). When I hear a phrase such as “The consensus of scientists agree that global warming is real…” that just floors me. Look up the definition of ‘consensus’ if you don’t know it, it’s meaning is ‘opinion’, the antithesis of science and scientific facts that do eventually bear out when approached with intellectual honesty. Presenting science as fact with no facts, just a computer model which has already been shown to be inaccurate, and then to say because you believe a computer model program that it somehow ‘proves’ anything is ludicrous. So a common sense, aware person knows that most science today is tainted by bias and high-mindedness. I think that the only reason some of you supposed intellectuals speak is just to hear your own head’s roar. You have no proof that the shroud is fake, the piece of cloth carbon dated was a corner piece that has historically been represented through numerous paintings of the showing of the cloth, to be the one spot that was always held when displaying the cloth to the masses. Hmmm, I wonder why scientists would use a piece of the shroud to carbon date that had so many different DNA samples from history on it that it in fact would deem the test invalid, the actual one place on the shroud that any detective would deduce had to be purposely chosen (because of course these were scientists and not some naive janitor named Willy testing it). Why does a two dimensional cloth have 3 dimensional data encoded in it? Oh that’s right you “fair-minded” scientists, atheists, and academics didn’t even watch the program, once again showing your predetermined bias and haughtiness. Oh, and what of all the science currently exploring and calculating on the existence of another dimension in space where molecules vibrate at such a different intensity that they can co-exist within our earthly realm, that would in no way spark any interest in possibly connecting that to the spiritual plain of which so many men of faith have come to know exists through God (and testified of as well), possibly the place where the false spirits that tempt us all (especially ‘Owlmirror’) dwell? This is a revision, I changed my mind and decided to comment again although I’m sure ‘Owlmirror’ would say it shows I have an ‘unsound’ mind and just imagined that I was going to comment again.

  293. #293 Owlmirror
    April 11, 2010

    Hey, we all know how “sound” science is anyway right?

    Well, look who’s back after saying “my discussion is done”? Not much for being consistent yourself, eh?

    And you have a lot of nerve complaining about science while benefiting from and using the results of science.

    And back in the early 70’s we were warned by many of the same scientists that we were headed for a “global ice age”.

    No such warning happened. A popular magazine article took an example scenario and hyped it up.

    (of which we know very little overall, kind of like the ocean’s floor and all the new data being collected that disproves earlier scientific beliefs)

    What are you blathering on about?

    When I hear a phrase such as “The consensus of scientists agree that global warming is real…” that just floors me.

    Hah! This, from one who thinks that talking to yourself can get you to truth!

    Good grief, would you have believed if they had said that in addition to the scientific data, they prayed real hard and God said it was true, so now everyone has to shut up and believe them?

    Look up the definition of ‘consensus’ if you don’t know it, it’s meaning is ‘opinion

    A scientific consensus is the considered, evidence-based opinion of a group of scientists who have carefully studied the available evidence of some particular subject. “Opinion”, in this instance, is something based on an understanding of the evidence — to refer to the dictionary, “the formal expression of a professional judgment”.

    There’s also a scientific consensus on germ theory — are you going to drink cholera-infected water because you don’t think germs are real? There’s a scientific consensus on the way gravity works — will you jump off a building because you disagree?

    the antithesis of science and scientific facts that do eventually bear out when approached with intellectual honesty.

    What a ridiculous miscomprehension of science you have there.

    Presenting science as fact with no facts, just a computer model which has already been shown to be inaccurate, and then to say because you believe a computer model program that it somehow ‘proves’ anything is ludicrous.

    Presenting that you know that there are no facts is ludicrous.

    Presenting that you understand the computer model is ludicrous.

    Presenting that you know that science is wrong when you obviously know nothing about the science or how science works it really ludicrous.

    So a common sense, aware person knows that most science today is tainted by bias and high-mindedness.

    Nicely hypocritical argument from complete ignorance, there. You are ignorant, biased, and arrogantly high-minded, so you accuse everyone that you disagree with of being just like you, only worse.

    I think that the only reason some of you supposed intellectuals speak is just to hear your own head’s roar.

    LOL! This, from one who thinks that the roar of their own head is GOD! You just can’t stop with the hypocrisy, can you?

    You have no proof that the shroud is fake

    Are you going to argue that the bible — John 19:40 — is wrong? I keep asking the question, and no-one I ask answers.

    Oh, and what of all the science currently exploring and calculating on the existence of another dimension in space where molecules vibrate at such a different intensity that they can co-exist within our earthly realm,

    What are you blathering on about?

    possibly the place where the false spirits that tempt us all (especially ‘Owlmirror’) dwell?

    What are you blathering on about now? Oh, wait — let me guess. You talked to yourself about me, and the roar in your head told you that, so it must be true!

    What a ludicrous method of determining “truth” you have!

    This is a revision, I changed my mind and decided to comment again although I’m sure ‘Owlmirror’ would say it shows I have an ‘unsound’ mind and just imagined that I was going to comment again.

    I just called you inconsistent for changing your mind, which is hardly a huge deal in itself — but talking to yourself and listening to the roar in your head, and thinking that that roar is GOD… that’s definitely a sign of an unsound mind.

    Get help from a competent mental care provider.

  294. #294 Lisa I.
    April 11, 2010

    Why isn’t the fact that the shroud contradicts the bible — John 19:40, to be exact (strips of linen versus a single large sheet) — sufficient to demonstrate that it must be fake?
    Are you going to argue that the bible must be false?

    Actually, if you look at other translations of that verse, such as Young’s Literal Translation or the New International Version, it’s not “strips of linen”, it’s “linen cloths”, which better fits the shroud. Also, in the documentary, it showed how a long strip along the edge of the shroud had been ripped off and then reattached at a later time, and also showed how that long strip was probably used to to bind the body in the position that it is in (the crease mark under the chin and the way the legs and arms are rather pulled together show that something was used in that fashion.)

    Oh, and when I said that all the scientist could go home because the case was closed, I was being sarcastic. I’m sure there is a lot more that could be learned from the shroud. I just wish they would allow it to be examined and carbon dated again.

  295. #295 Owlmirror
    April 11, 2010

    Actually, if you look at other translations of that verse, such as Young’s Literal Translation or the New International Version, it’s not “strips of linen”, it’s “linen cloths”, which better fits the shroud.

    Not really — it’s still a plural, while the shroud is a single large piece of cloth.

    The Greek word, I see, is “οθονίοις”, which is translated as “small pieces of cloth” in the Apostolic bible. No, this is not consistent with the shroud.

    Also, in the documentary, it showed how a long strip along the edge of the shroud had been ripped off and then reattached at a later time, and also showed how that long strip was probably used to to bind the body in the position that it is in (the crease mark under the chin and the way the legs and arms are rather pulled together show that something was used in that fashion.)

    That is not consistent with what we see, either. The hands are neatly and modestly positioned over his crotch, one hand over the opposite wrist (and it actually looks like the hand is gripping the wrist 1); the elbows and arms are carefully angled out so as to maintain that positioning. If the arms of a body are actually bound to the body, the arms would either be at the sides, or more awkwardly shoved closer together above the chest (forcing the hands further down so that they no longer completely cover the crotch, and are certainly no longer in that comfortable gripping position).

    ____________________________
    1: Think about what that would involve with an actual corpse: taking the hand, wrapping the thumb under the wrist, and carefully placing the joined hands on top of the genitalia.

  296. #296 Leisa
    April 11, 2010

    its a pity those making claims for the shroud being fake chose to only pay attention to carbon dating tests back in the 80’s which they rebuffed at some later time when they realised that the sample cloth fragment was most likely from the repairs made at the convent following the fire… the cloth repairs were woven delicately to replace the missing edges. It should be noted that the scientist now working hardest on the shrouds authenticity was one of the ones that made that call all those years ago. He realised they had made a mistake. The face cloth that has been carbon dated to at least as far back as the 7th century is an identical match for the blood stains on Jesus face, proving that carbon dating has its flaws.

    The most important find by all the scientists who were in agreement is that they have no clue how the cloth was made, only that it is most likely an imprint caused by radiation or light as it permeates only a hairsbreath of fibre that could be removed easily by simply scraping.

    To those of you who don’t believe in Jesus or the shroud, no proof would ever be enough for you – no matter what they found you would only continue to hold your own belief, or it would feel like giving up a part of yourself, because your opinions are so strongly part of what and who you are.

    For those who already believe in Jesus and/or the shroud, no proof is necessary.

    Ultimately it matters not whether you believe in Jesus or not, because he believes in you, and you will be called home when you finally surrender to the complete and utter love that he is…..

    It would be pertinent to remember that it is foolhardy to comment on anything you didn’t watch anyway.

  297. #297 Owlmirror
    April 11, 2010

    The face cloth

    How could there have even been a “face cloth”, given that the shroud purportedly shows Jesus’ face?

    that has been carbon dated to at least as far back as the 7th century

    Or in other words, to several centuries after Jesus allegedly died. So?

    is an identical match for the blood stains on Jesus face

    We do not have the blood stains on Jesus’ face to compare to, so there cannot be any such “identical” match.

    proving that carbon dating has its flaws.

    I think you need to explain a little better what this “proof” of flaws is.

    To those of you who don’t believe in Jesus or the shroud, no proof would ever be enough for you

    Would any disproof ever be enough for you?

    For those who already believe in Jesus and/or the shroud, no proof is necessary.

    Or in other words: “you would only continue to hold your own belief, or it would feel like giving up a part of yourself, because your opinions are so strongly part of what and who you are.”

    To quote somebody or other.

    It would be pertinent to remember that it is foolhardy to comment on anything you didn’t watch anyway.

    Plenty of people seem ready to comment on the story of Jesus, asserting that it is absolutely true, without having watched it.

    Hm.

  298. #298 Walker
    April 11, 2010

    Owlmirror, if you had actually watched the show, you’d know “what facecloth.” How about you watch it so you’ll know what the heck you are talking about and not sound like a blooming idiot. Then maybe you can converse with the rest of us on an intelligent level. And by the way, the way you dissect what everyone else says is extremely annoying! Have you no thoughts of your own or is ripping apart other people’s posts all you can come up with?

  299. #299 Owlmirror
    April 11, 2010

    Owlmirror, if you had actually watched the show, you’d know “what facecloth.”

    Oh, I know that what was being referred to was the supposed sudarium of Oviedo. But I have seen nothing that explains how this is supposed to have been consistent with the shroud.

    If the facecloth was on Jesus under the shroud, how did the image get on the shroud and not on the facecloth?

    If the shroud was already wrapped around Jesus, why would another cloth be put on his face? Is an external extra wrapping something that would make any sense at all in this context? And if so, why call it a facecloth if it had no actual contact with his face?

    Did the show discuss that at all?

    How about you watch it so you’ll know what the heck you are talking about and not sound like a blooming idiot.

    Plenty of people commenting here sound like blooming idiots despite having watched the show, so I’m not so sure that would help.

    More seriously, the show can only have been a review of material published or written about elsewhere, so that material has to be around somewhere, and stand on its own.

    And by the way, the way you dissect what everyone else says is extremely annoying!

    I’m sorry you feel that way.

    Oh crap, I’m still doing it, aren’t I?

    Look, every sentence is an expression of thought; either the thoughts are coherent, or they aren’t. I have this habit of analyzing thoughts and responding to them, one by one, looking for incoherence and contradictions and inconsistencies. And, I have to admit, being snarky when I find them.

    Because that sort of thing is what I find extremely annoying.

    Have you no thoughts of your own or is ripping apart other people’s posts all you can come up with?

    Most of my thoughts are about logical coherence, methodological naturalism, and empirical epistemology. This tends to limit how I am going to respond when people are logically incoherent, and defend their own bias (or defend the defense of this sort of bias) as being undeniably correct while contemptuously and hypocritically accusing anyone who doesn’t agree with them of being biased and wrong.

    A lot of the people commenting here are just preaching; they have no interest in discussing the matter, only in dropping their personal splatters of asserted claims to knowing the “truth” of their religious beliefs, and attacking everyone who doesn’t share those beliefs, which sets off my habit of rhetorical analysis. It’s a weakness.

    And I hope that you will note that I don’t do it all the time. Maybe you could pay attention to that instead of only to the comments that annoy you — or do you have your own weakness?

  300. #300 Faye
    April 11, 2010

    If the facecloth was on Jesus under the shroud, how did the image get on the shroud and not on the facecloth? If the shroud was already wrapped around Jesus, why would another cloth be put on his face? Is an external extra wrapping something that would make any sense at all in this context? And if so, why call it a facecloth if it had no actual contact with his face?
    Did the show discuss that at all?

    Actually, yes, the show did discuss this point. Supposedly, the cloth was used to just blot the blood from Jesus’ face before he was wrapped in the shroud. It wasn’t left on his face. And yes, the blood stains did line up with those of the face on the shroud.

    It was a very interesting show. Whether the shroud is real or not, it was interesting to watch as they were able to convert the face and body of the person in the shroud into a 3D image. That really took a lot of skill and innovation. The man who did the actual computer work seemed to be very emotionally affected by the injuries inflicted on the man in the shroud. He compared it to a car accident and said that the beating the man took was just savage.

    It was also interesting to see more of the history of the shroud from one of the scientist who was on the original team that examined it. I’ve heard a lot of it before, of course, but there was quite a bit I hadn’t heard.

    I would not even begin to presume that I know if the shroud is or is not the burial cloth of Jesus. I’ll leave that to the experts who have studied it for over 20 years. But the show was very well done and interesting, even if just from the angle of seeing how they turned the image into a 3D image.

  301. #301 Owlmirror
    April 12, 2010

    Actually, yes, the show did discuss this point. Supposedly, the cloth was used to just blot the blood from Jesus’ face before he was wrapped in the shroud. It wasn’t left on his face.

    OK, thanks.

    And yes, the blood stains did line up with those of the face on the shroud.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but was it not the case that the only way they “lined up” was by putatively being of the same blood type?

    I would not even begin to presume that I know if the shroud is or is not the burial cloth of Jesus.

    Well, I have an argument, which I hinted at, perhaps unclearly, above. I don’t know if you’ll find it convincing, of course. It’s not based on any issue of dating or locale per se, but on the physical appearance of the shroud.

    Consider the scenario: Someone you know has died; someone you care about and feel great sympathy for. You have a large piece of linen to wrap this person in. You don’t know that this person is supposedly going to resurrect in a flashy miracle that will imprint on the linen.

    When you put the linen on this person; this person who was very important to you — are you going to wrap the linen so that the face is the last part covered; the last part you see? Something a little like tucking someone in to bed, for the very last time ever, of course.

    Or are you going to fold the linen over them so that their head is in the middle of the linen, and the last part of them that you see is their bare feet, which maybe stick out the bottom of the linen a bit? Something a little like tucking someone into bed backwards, so that the face is smothered.

    The former is certainly how I would do it, and how I suspect that almost anyone who was in that situation would do it.

    The latter is how the shroud appears.

    Just something to think about.

  302. #302 Faye
    April 12, 2010

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but was it not the case that the only way they “lined up” was by putatively being of the same blood type?

    Actually no. According to the show, the pattern of the bloodstains are what matched up, not just the blood type (they didn’t mention the blood type at all.) And it looked like a perfect match.

    As to how the shroud was put on the body, if it were a forgery, you would think that whoever did it would have created it using a more “conventional” shroud arrangement, such as what you described. That is rather an odd type of shroud, though there is a very old painting that they found (from the 4th or 5th century, I believe), which shows them taking Jesus from the cross and placing him on a shroud that looked exactly like the Shroud of Turin and in the same orientation with his head in the center of the long piece of material.

    The show demonstrated how the shroud was put on, and it actually, once you see it done, makes sense. If the open end were at the top by the head, it would be more difficult to keep that end closed as the shoulders are wider than the feet and the shroud could gape or fall open. With the open end at the bottom, you can fold the open end up (or down) and secure it with the strip of cloth that they mentioned was taken from the edge of the shroud. Plus, you wouldn’t want it all bunched up at the head with the folded over part covering the face, or at least I wouldn’t want it that way,

    Again, I’m not qualified to determine who might have been in the shroud or if it’s fake or real, but the whole show was very interesting. If you get a chance (and want to), you should see it. There was a lot of good information presented.

  303. #303 Faye
    April 12, 2010

    I need to make a correction to my above post. The painting I mentioned was from 1192-1195 A.D., not the 4th or 5th century as I first said. (I guess I should have researched that a bit more before I hit the POST button.) It came from the Hungarian Pray codex. The painting shows Jesus in the exact position that the shroud shows, and the weave of the shroud and the burn holes in the shroud are depicted too.

    You can see this paiting at this link: http://theshroudofturin.blogspot.com/2009/12/shroud-of-turin-is-burial-sheet-of.html

  304. #304 Faye
    April 12, 2010

    Oh, I found this article from August 15, 2008 from a presentation given at Ohio State University by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) chemist, Robert Villarreal, regarding the 1988 carbon dating of the shroud.

    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

  305. #305 Jason
    April 12, 2010

    To be honest the shroud of Turin is quite disconcerting to me.

    If it’s real, we are seeing something incredible.

    If it’s not real, this is also disturbing. For what is often missed is that the faker would only need to produce an image that would fool his (or her) contemporaries. Yet the complexity of the shroud is subtle and cannot be easily detected even with modern equipment. In other words, medievel people would not have been able to appreciate the shroud because most of its secrets cannot be seen by the naked eye. And in reviewing the evidence, it is no easy task to produce such a fake in all of its complexities – even by modern artists. So why is this disconcerting? Because of who would do such a thing? How? And most disturbingly, why?

    My hunch is that the shroud is not the burial cloth of Christ, but there’s a bunch of unanswered questions about that make me take pause.

  306. #306 Martin R
    April 12, 2010

    I would be very interested to read papers about new research into the shroud of Turin in respected mainstream academic journals. Watching a History Channel special about it, not really.

  307. #307 Owlmirror
    April 12, 2010

    According to the show, the pattern of the bloodstains are what matched up, not just the blood type (they didn’t mention the blood type at all.) And it looked like a perfect match.

    Given what I can find about it, this “perfect match” appears to be the investigator finding exactly what he wanted to see.

    As to how the shroud was put on the body, if it were a forgery, you would think that whoever did it would have created it using a more “conventional” shroud arrangement, such as what you described.

    Not if the forger specifically wanted to create an image as we see on the shroud.

    The painting I mentioned was from 1192-1195 A.D., […] It came from the Hungarian Pray codex. The painting shows Jesus in the exact position that the shroud shows, and the weave of the shroud and the burn holes in the shroud are depicted too.

    The “exactness” claimed isn’t quite that close. Note that the wrists in the Pray codex are loosely crossed, while the shroud itself has one hand gripping the opposite wrist. I see no correspondence whatsoever between the weave of the cloth and that odd angular design in the codex depiction, or the little crosses also in the codex. The circles that show up in the codex are odd, but note that the burn holes in the shroud are near the figure’s thighs, not as far down the body as appears in the codex.

    Something to consider is that even if there is a connection between the shroud and the Pray codex image, it might go the other way — someone who had seen the codex might have been the one who created the forgery, and added the burn holes only because the codex depicted them.

    As an additional point, consider that the four books of the Gospels don’t mention a marvelous image having been left behind on a shroud as evidence of Jesus resurrecting, in addition to the point of contradiction that John says that Jesus was wrapped in strips of linen, not a single large cloth. Neither does Paul at any point remark on this shroud-image, in any of his letters.

    Why would all these religious writers keep silent about a miracle relic that supports the religious claims being made?

  308. #308 me
    April 12, 2010

    As we know from the recent global warming scandals – science is not 100% rational – this is a myth that is perpetrated by scientists – but it is far from the truth – Just look what happened to James Watson when he made an offhand (but scientifically based) comment about why he thought Africa had so many problems.
    Look at all the conflicting data about food- if you’re in the US – our own FDA at one time banned stevia as a dangerous supplement (it was, very dangerous to the profits of nutrasweet) .

    Lastly, science will continue to amaze us – the ‘truths’ of one generation will be thrown out by the next.. Newtonian physics, for example has been superceded by realitivity…and quantom mechanics threw yet another monkey wrench in that world view.. but in many ways, much of science is still stuck in ‘clockwork universe’ thinking…

    Personally, I believe in God and Jesus, but I do not put my faith in any object – so if the shroud were fake …or real it would not matter one way or the other…

    However, those who are claiming that Jesus is a ‘fairy tale’ or like the “easter bunny’ are equally as ignorant as they claim creationists are (for the record book i am not a ‘creationist’ )…
    I would suggest reading it’s an 800 + page scholarly work on the historical Jesus…
    The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3)

  309. #309 me
    April 12, 2010

    Xians have always had a predictable reaction to anything that threatens their mythology. Kill them.
    Raven are you actually claiming this to be true? And you claim that Christians believe silly things?

    why is it these sort of hyperbolic statements always foam out of the mouths of atheists who claim to be ‘rational’ and embracing’ reason…?

    and actually Raven as you no doubt know, Christians were killed by Communist Atheists specifically for their beliefs. They also destroyed thousands of Churches, and close to 200,000 clergy ( a fact which no doubt warms your heart)

    This was done, specifically, to wipe out a belief in God – and this was done by Atheistic communists to advance atheism – that is indisputable.

  310. #310 me
    April 12, 2010

    As an additional point, consider that the four books of the Gospels don’t mention a marvelous image having been left behind on a shroud as evidence of Jesus resurrecting, in addition to the point of contradiction that John says that Jesus was wrapped in strips of linen, not a single large cloth. Neither does Paul at any point remark on this shroud-image, in any of his letters.

    Have you actually read Paul’s letters – other than snippets in “Christianity Sucks” type books? because, gosh you know he also didn’t comment the location of Jesus’ grave, or the price of wheat in Damascus… Paul was not concerned with relics or “magic’ or anything of the sort, he was concerned with the spirit of the church (little c)

    but I assume that you believe the gospels were written by the early church leaders, correct (many atheists or agnostics don’t) if so, why would be concerned with Jesus’ burial garment when they whole-heartedly believed in the resurrection and promise that death will be conquered?

  311. #311 Owlmirror
    April 12, 2010

    As we know from the recent global warming scandals

    Which are perpetrated by science denialists with an agenda.

    science is not 100% rational

    The scientific method is the only rational way to approach reality.

    What else do you recommend? Making stuff up and believing it because it makes you feel good?

    - this is a myth that is perpetrated by scientists

    Your false equivalence is noted.

    Just look what happened to James Watson when he made an offhand (but scientifically based) comment about why he thought Africa had so many problems.

    Except that it was sloppy and biased; the opposite of “scientifically based”.

    Lastly, science will continue to amaze us – the ‘truths’ of one generation will be thrown out by the next

    Science approaches truth; what is “thrown out” is only that which is falsified by actual evidence.

    Personally, I believe in God and Jesus

    Good for you. You are free to believe what you wish, as long as you don’t make your beliefs mandatory for others, or harm others based on those beliefs.

    I would suggest reading it’s an 800 + page scholarly work on the historical Jesus…
    The Resurrection of the Son of God

    The number of pages in the work do not mean that Jesus existed, or if he did exist, that he resurrected or was the putative son of a putative God.

    ====

    This was done, specifically, to wipe out a belief in God

    It was done, specifically, because the clergy was thought to be corrupt and a threat to Bolshevism.

    The Communist Party eventually came to an accord with the Church.

    this was done by Atheistic communists to advance atheism

    It was done by Bolshevists to advance Bolshevism.

    ====

    Have you actually read Paul’s letters – other than snippets in “Christianity Sucks” type books?

    I’m surprised to see that you think that Christianity Sucks. I guess you’re not as much of a Christian as you pretend, or perhaps you have some suppressed self-loathing.

    Paul was not concerned with relics or “magic’ or anything of the sort, he was concerned with the spirit of the church (little c)

    I’m surprised to see that you consider the shroud to be “magic”, rather than a (putative) miracle from God. Many devout people distinguish miracles from magic, claiming them to be different things. I’m not sure how or why, but there it is.

    And of course, Paul was indeed deeply concerned with miracles.

    1 Corinthians 12:7-11

    Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

    And of course, 1 Corinthians 15, the entire chapter. It’s all about the miracle of the resurrection; the spirit of the church in fact being based on that claimed event. He even talks about how God is supposed to go about resurrecting the dead who aren’t Jesus.

    And yet, not one single word of the image of Jesus created on his shroud at the moment of the resurrection.

    If he considered the resurrection a miracle, why would he consider a putative shroud-image to not be a miracle, and not to be discussed?

  312. #312 Owlmirror
    April 12, 2010

    but I assume that you believe the gospels were written by the early church leaders, correct (many atheists or agnostics don’t)

    I certainly believe that they were written by early Christians.

    if so, why would be concerned with Jesus’ burial garment when they whole-heartedly believed in the resurrection and promise that death will be conquered?

    Because they were trying to convert people who did not already believe. Why wouldn’t something which appeared to be evidence of the resurrection be useful in converting people? And, for that matter, reassuring themselves — as many Christians who claim to whole-heartedly believe do with the shroud now.

  313. #313 me
    April 12, 2010

    Owlmirror It was done by Bolshevists to advance Bolshevism.
    this is a complete denial of reality – central to communism’s was atheism – they didn’t kill clergy because they thought they were corrupt- and you accuse people of making up facts??
    Communists specifically killed people for refusing to renounce Christ.

    Communists, and the Frankfort school for that matter (the root of modern day “pc” ) thought that belief in God and religion were false comforts that prevented ‘the people’ from adapting communism.

    Therefore, atheistic communists, were specifically killing people because of their beliefs..

    Except that it was sloppy and biased; the opposite of “scientifically based”.
    There is a considerable amount of research about race and I – but you’d rather not touch that one, eh? Easier to go picking on creationists than going after the people who are really oppressing science – and thought – which is the multicultural left. What James Watson said is literally a punishable offense in many European countries and canada – i can say god does not exist with impunity – but suggest that there are differences between races and you can and will be prosecuted.

    You call it sloppy – here is what he said “Watson was quoted as saying “[I am] inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa [because] all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really.”

    – this is why i have no respect for people like you or Richard Dawkins – you set yourselves up as defenders of truth but cower away from any real controversy. If you knew anything about genetics you’d know there is plenty of scientific justification for his statement..

    The number of pages in the work do not mean that Jesus existed,
    nor did i say it does, nor do i expect that it will ‘ convert’ anyone, but its’ a scholarly referenced work – if you haven’t read it..it’s kind of like not knowing about about current scientific data and thinking, living and arguing based on 19th century biological science.

    Why wouldn’t something which appeared to be evidence of the resurrection be useful in converting people
    Well they succeeded in converting plenty of people without it – and simply showing a blood stained burial shroud is not evidence of the resurrection -

  314. #314 Nomen Nescio
    April 12, 2010

    central to communism’s was atheism

    um, no. it really wasn’t, no matter what you mean by “communism”.

    Karl Marx decried religion as the “opiate of the people”, but he wasn’t railing against religion; his beef was with the social injustices inherent in unrestrained capitalism, and he objected to religion mainly because he saw it as a roadblock on the path to the communist revolution which he considered necessary and inevitable in order to resolve those injustices. religion was a secondary issue to him.

    Stalin persecuted the clergy, but he didn’t care one whit about social justice; he was after them because he saw anyone with a power base independent of his own as a threat to his own tyrannical rule. this may have played a part in his starting a personality cult that ended up in some part becoming the unofficial state religion of the USSR. yes, he mistrusted the church; he mistrusted anything and everything that might in even the slightest way oppose him, because he wanted absolute power, not because he wanted atheism specifically.

    they didn’t kill clergy because they thought they were corrupt

    indeed they didn’t. in fact, if the communist rulers of the USSR really had believed the clergy to be (sufficiently) corrupt, they may well have tried to merely subvert the church instead. but insofar as the clergy was honest and independent, it was seen as a threat, and therefore had to be eliminated — like any other independent, not easily corruptible power base. atheism had nothing to do with it — if it had, the personality cult would have never got started, just for one obvious example.

  315. #315 Owlmirror
    April 12, 2010

    this is a complete denial of reality – central to communism’s was atheism – they didn’t kill clergy because they thought they were corrupt

    Oh, indeed?

    The attitude of the Bolsheviks towards the Orthodox Church was conditioned not only by the materialist basis upon which Marxism stands but also by the special role played by this Church in Tsarist Russia. It had been not only one of the greatest landowners – it owned 7.5 million acres and had an annual income of 150,000,000 rubles. It was also a tool, and a willing tool, of Tsarism. With the growth of the revolutionary movement towards the end of the 19th Century the Russian clergy asked to be allowed to cooperate with the Tsarist Secret Service in tracking down revolutionaries and many played no small role in this respect.

    After the massacre of the St. Petersburg workers by the Tsar’s troops on Bloody Sunday (January 1905) the Holy Synod (the governing body of the Church) issued a proclamation denouncing certain “evil-minded persons” who “lead others into useless death without repentance, with bitterness in their hearts and curses on their lips”. “Our enemies,” stated the Synod, “wish to shake the foundations of our orthodox faith and the autocratic power of the Tsars… Fear God, honour the Tsar…submit to every power ordained of God… Toil according to God’s ordinance in the sweat of the brow.”

    Source: Religion in the Soviet Union – Part One

    Communists specifically killed people for refusing to renounce Christ.

    Nonsense. You are indeed making up stuff.

    Communists, and the Frankfort school for that matter (the root of modern day “pc” ) thought that belief in God and religion were false comforts that prevented ‘the people’ from adapting communism.

    And the clergy had actively worked against communism.

    ====

    Easier to go picking on creationists than going after the people who are really oppressing science – and thought – which is the multicultural left.

    You’re such a pathetic hypocrite. Climate science you don’t like is “biased”; creationist pseudoscience that you don’t care about doesn’t matter to you; racist pseudoscience that you do like must be true.

    Feh.

    but suggest that there are differences between races and you can and will be prosecuted.

    So you’re a racist, and you have a persecution complex?

    You call it sloppy – here is what he said “Watson was quoted as saying “[I am] inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa [because] all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really.”

    Which is indeed sloppy.

    this is why i have no respect for people like you or Richard Dawkins

    And in turn, I don’t respect racists.

    If you knew anything about genetics you’d know there is plenty of scientific justification for his statement..

    If you knew anything about genetics, you would know nothing of the sort. But then, you wouldn’t be a racist if you didn’t think you knew something about genetics.

    ====

    if you haven’t read it..it’s kind of like not knowing about about current scientific data and thinking, living and arguing based on 19th century biological science.

    They have no more evidence for the truth of the claim that they have in the title than people in the 19th century did, so it certainly does not argue for their honest assessment of the facts that they assert it so blatantly.

    Well they succeeded in converting plenty of people without it

    Sure. Which means that the best explanation is that it didn’t exist back then.

    And simply showing a blood stained burial shroud is not evidence of the resurrection

    I agree, of course.

    But while a blood stained burial shroud is not evidence of the resurrection, one with a purportedly miraculous image of the one resurrected might well be perceived as evidence by unclear thinkers.

    Indeed, why the market for relics at all, if they are not perceived as being evidence?

    Ironically, the church has put the shroud back on display, prompting visits by thousands of devout pilgrims. I wonder why they’re all going?

  316. #316 me
    April 12, 2010

    well well, owl you label ‘racist’ science you don’t like… and you honestly think YOUR beliefs won’t bias your opinion?

    How do you know I am a racist? did i say I believe these things?? I just said there is plenty of evidence.. it always amuses me that people who believe in evolution can’t accept the idea that after 100,000 years of natural selection -that humans would be exactly alike – or the that we’re only different in skin color…

    ps – you can call me all the names you’d like it’s pretty much a sure sign that you’re losing the argument… a racist, as the saying goes, is someone winning an argument with a liberal…

    You seem oblivious to the idea that the current pc environment supresses thought and free expression – and yes, biases outcomes or accepted theories in science… one of the race/iq scientists was ‘investigated’ in Canada for his research – do you honestly think we can have unbiased science in such an environment?? well we get a clue by what you linked to:

    You link to ‘in defense of marxism’s site to back up your claim that Communists killed clergy because they were corrupt..corrupt like whom Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna?

    you seem to be whitewashing the crimes of communism – justifying them in fact, are you a marxist??

  317. #317 me
    April 12, 2010

    Lenin called the struggle to disseminate atheism ‘the cause of our state’ [52][53].

    The tenth CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) congress met in 1921 and it passed a resolution calling for ‘widescale organization, leadership, and cooperation in the task of anti-religious agitation and propaganda among the broad masses of the workers, using the mass media, films, books, lectures, and other devices.[37][38]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USSR_Anti-Religious_Campaign_%281921-1928%29

    not even wikipedia can get away with white washing atheistic communism’s persecution of Christianity

    Thank you Owlmirror, you’re a living, breathing walking demonstration of how self -proclaimed ‘clear thinker’ ‘bright’ atheists can be in complete denial of reality.. it’s at the very least, amusing..

  318. #318 Nomen Nescio
    April 12, 2010

    Lenin called the struggle to disseminate atheism ‘the cause of our state’

    and East Germany called itself a “democratic republic”. your point?

  319. #319 Owlmirror
    April 12, 2010

    How do you know I am a racist?

    It’s a parsimonious inference.

    did i say I believe these things??

    You’ve hinted at believing them. Do you deny believing them?

    I just said there is plenty of evidence.

    Right, the evidence that you like because you’re a racist. The evidence you don’t like — that, you feel free to ignore. Because you’re a racist.

    a racist, as the saying goes, is someone

    … being a racist.

    You seem oblivious to the idea that the current pc environment supresses thought and free expression

    You seem oblivious to the simple fact that racists are allowed to freely express their racists thoughts.

    You link to ‘in defense of marxism’s site to back up your claim that Communists killed clergy because they were corrupt..corrupt like whom Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna?

    you seem to be whitewashing the crimes of communism – justifying them in fact, are you a marxist??

    Oh, not at all. Indeed, I repudiate the actions of the Bolsheviks in their mass-murders; I only point out what they claimed as motivation and justification.

    Do you repudiate what racists claim? I’m guessing not.

    Thank you Owlmirror, you’re a living, breathing walking demonstration of how self -proclaimed ‘clear thinker’ ‘bright’ atheists can be in complete denial of reality.. it’s at the very least, amusing..

    You mean that you’re a living breathing walking demonstration of hypocritical racist Christianity in complete denial of reality.

    And I don’t think you’re funny. You’re pathetically disgusting.

  320. #320 Nazorean
    April 14, 2010

    Recent discovery by Vatican researcher Dr. Barbara Frale indicates that the shroud contains the imprint ‘Jesus the Nazorean’ and not Jesus of Nazareth. Of course the Church quickly changed the meaning to Jesus of Nazareth. Of course there was no city, town or anyplace called Nazareth during the life of Jesus. The shroud also contains traces of Aloe and Myrrh two herbal remedies used by members of the Essene to revive and treat the ailing Jesus after the crucifixion.

    So, you see even if the shroud was real, it does not mean that the Jesus story in the Bible is true. For this reason the Church has never took a stance on the authenticity of the shroud. Christian scholar Barbara Thiering raised eyebrows for a time with her pesher of Jesus account of the crucifixion.

    As for persecution, I think Christians should do their homework. If they did they would soon find out why so many people hate them. You see the Christians knew a thing or two about persecution, like the Inquisition, the Witch trials which persecuted members of the Wicca faith, the massacre of the Gnostic Christian, Cathars, not to mention constant persecution of the Jews which eventually led to the death camps in Nazi Germany.

    To learn more about how the Romans usurped the ancient scriptures of Yeshu and the Nazorean religion and proclaimed them the revelations of their godman Jesus Christ visit: http://www.nazoreans.com

  321. #321 Nomen Nescio
    April 14, 2010

    Aloe and Myrrh two herbal remedies used by members of the Essene to revive and treat the ailing Jesus after the crucifixion.

    ailing? ailing?! e’s stone dead. e’s only standin’ upright because ‘e was nailed to the bloody stick! e’s passed on. this nazarean is no more. ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible! THIS IS AN EX-MESSIAH!

  322. #322 Owlmirror
    April 14, 2010

    Beautiful plumage, the Nazarean Jew.

    ‘E’s pinin’ for the fords. Of the Jordan River, that is.

  323. #323 Ryan
    April 15, 2010

    I used to watch History Channel all the time, but recently i haven’t find much interest in watch all these new superstitious stuff they are showing now.

  324. #324 laura
    April 16, 2010

    I noticed, Dr, that you are both an athiest and a “lefty liberal”. Too bad you and most of the others here don’t know or believe in the greatest liberal ever, Jesus Christ, who took care of and helped the “undesirables” of society. I hope I never become as cynical and cold as many seem to be, concerned only for knowledge and “science”. It’s ironic that many “educated” people have no problem believing the lastest scientific theories, of which some end up being proved inaccurate, but then laugh at those of us who choose to believe in something they lack knowledge of. I’ve graduated from the school of hard knocks, and in turn am equipped with compassion, TOLERANCE, forgiveness, and many other qualities, not earned by a doctorate. As far as Christians persecuting others, a true Christian would not. Anyone can call themselves a Christian, but that kind of behavior is against Christianity. What about bad doctors, lawyers, etc? Does that make THEM all bad, because of the actions of a few?

  325. #325 John
    April 17, 2010

    Laura,

    You believe you are “equipped with compassion, TOLERANCE, forgiveness, and many other qualities, not earned by a doctorate.” This may in fact be true. Sadly, you seem never to have acquired and semblance of common sense, a trait I developed many years prior to attaining my lowly master’s degree.
    I challenge you this: whatever force is responsible for the creation, it made man different from other animals in one respect: the power of reason, the power to think for themselves. Why, then would this creator hold any human to task for exercising this trait and coming to the conclusion that men of many generations before him were in error in their opinions of religious truths? Is there any common sense or other reasonableness test that would explain this? If not, then the house of cards of ANY organized religion, whether Christian, Islam, Hindu, or any other must fall.

    Go and read the Age Of Reason by Thomas Paine, and attempt to find fault with his reason. You will fail, and if you continue to ascribe to the ancient superstitions you now hold dear, it will be because of the irrationality of the kind that keeps “end of world” predicting cults to become stronger in their belief even after the dates they predict come and go and no end has occurred. Some people just cannot admit how irrational they have been in the past. The question is, in the face of truth, can you? Even in the midst of friends and family pressures, would you have the strength to resist? The fact is, most atheists and deists are hypocrites, in that they “go along” with family and friends on the surface while being self convinced of the falsity of organized religious dogma, because it is the easy way out.

    Oh, and for the record, I am a far right conservative, with the notable exception of religious views. And as you point out, there are good and bad people in every walk of life. But my beef with organized religion is twofold: 1. All the pain, suffering, and death caused by religious differences throughout history, all perpetrated by “good” people believing they were on the side of god, and 2. The absolute fantastic incredible load of garbage all organized religions foist upon their followers as truth, when a simple cursory analysis would prove the falsity of the claims.

  326. #326 me again
    April 17, 2010

    Just so everyone here knows, this blog is censored by the supposed fair and open-minded academics who run it, I had numorous posts that have been removed, so this is not an ‘open’ dicussion, once again it’s just another place for talking heads to hear themselves, pat themselves on the back, and extol the virtues of how great they are because they hold a degree and can speak in words seldom used by reasonable people.

  327. #327 Martin R
    April 17, 2010

    (I’m just leaving that comment in to create a false impression of fairness and openness.)

  328. #328 NJ
    April 17, 2010

    this is not an ‘open’ dicussion

    So says the character who made seven posts in five days, each of which was shredded for their lack of valuable insight.

    I’m sure those ‘missing posts’ had the perfect replies that would have silenced all critics, ended the recession, provided peace and love to all humanity and brought a World Series victory to the Cubs.

    Let us all bemoan their loss…

  329. #329 Martin R
    April 17, 2010

    Actually, I’ve only deleted three non-spam comments lately. Two had fake signatures attributing them to Owlmirror (what is that behaviour called?), one was full of abuse against him/her.

  330. #330 John
    April 19, 2010

    I am disappointed to see this blog “die on the vine” as I was so looking forward to Laura’s capitulation after having perused the writings of Thomas Paine. Oh. Well, just when it was beginning to be fun!

  331. #331 Jupiter
    April 30, 2010

    Relic worship is Catholic Idolatry IMHO, whenever created.
    As many have said, the shroud has nothing to do with the bible.

  332. #332 Jesus
    May 1, 2010

    there has been another aproach on the real face of jesus.
    using images of real people from around the globe:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC1GyB6Id4Y

  333. #333 333
    May 12, 2010

    Everything that we know is an invention of our own minds. What is time? It was nothing until someone realized it. Giving something a name and inventing a definition for it does not make it what it really is. What we do know or think we know about the “universe” is only what we have fabricated in our minds. Over “time” we have built upon what people in the pas have imagined. Take evolution for example. It’s a theory. There is no proof that creatures evolve. And so many people believe in it as if its been proven true. Have you ever seen something evolve? Have you ever removed the water from a fish tank and then the fish grew legs and climbed out? What we do is we think about things until it makes sense and say its what happened or its whats true or what might be true. I know this doesn’t have much to do with the true face of Jesus and I don’t care. Get over it.

  334. #334 Johns
    May 16, 2010

    Well, now, 333 is 1/2 of 666! To start with, dipshit, There IS proof of evolution. Humans, including you, share dna with MOLD. Explain that without claiming that it is the same as god planting dinosaur bones just to confuse us. I have on my bookshelf a gastropod (A large snail, in case you have a limited vocabulary of labels assigned to things by man) made of stone that I personally dug out of a hillside in Missouri some 50 yers ago. Only an idiot would suggest that this could have been fossilized in only 6,000 years. You need to “get over it”. By definition, evolution is a process that occurs over eons ,ergo, one person is unlikely to “see” it happen, but there is ample evidence of it surrounding us. Ignorance is curable, stupidity is not. For your sake, I hope that you are only ignorant, and not stupid. To find out, do some real research on evolution (try actually reading “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”). If you still think that evolution is balderdash, there is little hope for you. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, regardless of however idiotic it may be.

  335. #335 Dave
    May 23, 2010

    The rancor and insults expressed above betray arrogance and personal emotional bias in what should be an objective treatment of the information presented in the Shroud of Turin video.

    This kind of emotional bias and arrogance can only diminish the credibility and moral authority of its bearer, and shows no interest in discovering truth, only in disclosing oneself.

    I am reminded of a Proverb of Solomon:

    “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Proverbs 18:2

    Where is wisdom to be found?

  336. #336 Johns
    May 25, 2010

    Dave,
    Arrogance, perhaps, but if so, earned by dealing with the absolute utter STUPIDITY of humans in their reliance on superstition as a basis of truth when such basis is totally false. Look at current events: Protesters in the UK waiving crosses and signs in their ignorant denial of the right of anyone to have an abortion if desired. Look at Iran and their desire for nuclear weapons so they can first eradicate Israel because of their demented faith, then use this power to advance their religious beliefs throughout the world. Look at the Catholic Church, waffling and dodging hundreds of years of sheltering pedophiles. Ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    As for you, sir, you expose yourself as no discoverer of truth in your quoting of a biblical verse attributed to Solomon, that is completely nonsensical in and of itself, likely because of the vagaries introduced via translation and the FACT that we have no idea who actually wrote the words. You accuse me of being emotional? Emotional I am, as it really pisses me off when someone like you reaches into the bible for a quote to support their argument. You have no idea who wrote the bible or any of its verses. Think you do? Research the Council of Nicea and become enlightened.

    Regarding my desire to discover truth, I have already done so many years ago, likely before you were born, and that is this: All religions are false. The persona (personal identity) is dependant on the physical health of the individual’s brain. When the brain dies the persona is gone forever. Alzheimer’s should be enough to convince you of that, especially if you have a family member so afflicted. Once you die, you are gone forever, and are just as you were before you came to life. There is NO survival beyond this mortal coil, so wasting ones life screwing around with religious institutions is wasting one’s life and resources. Of course, some religious institutions do serve mankind through their charities, but the toll they extract on the psyche is enormous. Look at the strife and war and pain and suffering religion has caused mankind. It has not and will not cease. Religion is evil in and of itself, if not for actual evil deeds but in fogging the minds of millions of people with total claptrap.

    Now for a lesson to you: This media is for the expression of opinions. You have expressed an opinion denigrating me. You are completely within your rights to do so. Now I will denigrate you. You sir, are an ignorant, but possibly salvageable human. You have been soiled by the brainwashing of religion. Go and do some REAL research and read the works of Thomas Paine and Samuel Clemens on religion, and while you’re at it take a close look at Richard Dawkins writings.

    “Where is wisdom to be found?” Certainly not in anything you espouse.

    As Pope expounded:
    “A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
    There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
    And drinking largely sobers us again. “

    Here’s your first sip:

    1. Assume god exists.
    2. Assume god has a special caring for mankind.
    3. Assume that special caring resulted in our capacity for reason.
    4. Assume humans are the only creatures with the capacity for reason.
    5. Then why on earth would anyone want to cast aside the capacity to apply reason and logic to anything about the world, especially with regard to religion?

    IF you agree with 1 through 4 above and still disagree with number 5, then as I have said many times in the last 50 years: “ignorance is curable, stupidity is not”.

    I notice that you are not the same “Dave” that has previously posted on the subject. This means that you have not previously posted any comment re the shroud, yet you will not deign to provide any “objective treatment“ of the shroud video which you seem to want to take me to task for.

    The shroud is false. And for good measure so is the “Noah’s Ark” on Mount Ararat. Instead of scratching around for support for irrational religious beliefs, look at the real world with a discriminating eye. You may not be happier, but you will be an asset to the advancement of mankind.

  337. #337 JJ
    May 25, 2010

    I have just watched the show and was saddened by how viciously the reconstructed body had been treated, being tortured and crucified I mean. I was as shocked as the guy on the show appeared to be.

  338. #338 Johns
    June 2, 2010

    Don’t you just love it when someone posts a random thought without (obviously) not having read and thought about any of the prior comments? But then, emotion always trumps common sense and logic. “There are none so blind…..”

  339. #339 Nemanja
    June 11, 2010

    Science isn’t infallible. Every theory – Newtonian physics, relativity, evolution – is a MODEL of the real world. It can never be 100% accurate, and it would be silly to expect that. The nature of the universe is to blame. Everything affects everything else, and we simply can’t account for everything. However, we have had scientific research for how long now? And in this time, how much scientific progress have we witnessed? Miracles – human miracles – that we take for granted because we’re surrounded by them all the time. The history of science is a history of self-improvement. How often has religion looked back upon its own history with a critical eye? I don’t understand these religious types who attack tried and tested scientific discoveries because they go against their beliefs, and perceive them as personal attacks. You know what, I don’t like being told that I’m wrong either, but sooner or later I have to accept the fact. Or live in ignorance. And this has nothing to do with compassion, tolerance or communism, people! Evolution is a reality. There is proof of that. The world wasn’t created several thousand years ago. There is proof of that, too. There never was a “great flood” at the time some claim it happened. Guess what? That can be proved as well. And this specific shroud doesn’t date back to 2000 years ago. What’s so terrible about accepting that? Is it that important to you? Does it undermin your hope in something? I don’t get it.

    You can’t believe everything some book written centuries ago tells you. Do you even know who wrote it? Do you even know who chose what to put in it? Who translated it? Why trust this book over some other book written in some other part of the world? And why would I ask someone to tell me if it’s raining outside when I can look out the window myself? It’s bewildering, really, how some people don’t want to open their eyes.

  340. #340 Zantiago
    June 27, 2010

    The comments are very entertaining as one should look at any TV programming or talk radio. The world has gone to a point where it is more important for people to dispute for the heck of it to show that one’s intelligence cannot be conned. Following someone or a belief, is a sign of weakness. Everyone wants to take credit to show they are leaders. The relationship with God is a personal one and not connected to the common practices, traditions and beliefs. We are equally wise and foolish in the eyes the Lord, or for those who do not share the belief of a creator, no one is wise and foolish, for life begins and ends here. Nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t matter whether for one there is a God or not. What I know is that he loves you anyway. Move on in peace.

    Great discourse!

  341. #341 Johns
    July 4, 2010

    Zantiago,
    Following a RELIGIOUS belief is not a sign of weakness, it is rather a sign of one of several possibilities: Either one has been brainwashed by family and peers to accept on faith without question a particular dogma (It matters not which religion is in question), or the individual simply has not had the sophistication or intelligence to think for themselves how idiotic all religious dogmas in fact are, or some personal life experience inadvertently parsed has convinced them of the truth of a particular dogma.

    I recently attended the funeral of a dear friend, a christian, one of many christians I count as close friends, and listening to the minister preach a sermon of christian belief, i could not help but wonder at the collective ignorance of the flock accepting the incredible claims proposed that the deceased was “with christ in heaven” when there is no conceivable evidence that such is even possible.

    A very good description of the irrrationality of religious groups is made by studying the activities of “end of time” belief groups, who, after predicting the end of the world at a particular date that comes and passes with no end and do not leave the group. Rational beings of such a group would disband and give up such belief, but in actuallity these groups begin programs of proslytization and just pick a new date. I personally and I am certain other atheists such as me are continually amazed at the mental processes of otherwise sane humans in persisting in the irrationality of any religion.

    I propose that you do the following: Write down on paper the fundamental religious tenets you claim to believe. Then write down WHY you believe each point, supporting each reason with any evidence you think pertinent. Then examine what you have written and ask yourself if any of it actually makes any sense at all. Lastly, if your beliefs are held only by “I believe because i believe”, you have lost the argument. Such a statement is on the face of it, irrational. Fact: ALL religions are irrational. One can believe whatever one chooses, but one should understand, that believing does not guarantee truth.

    This is illustrated by the “believers” placing their belief in such religious icons as the shroud as support for their irrational philosophies, in the face of irrefutable evidence that the shroud is a fake. And, in addition, the “belief” that there is an “Ark” on mt Ararat that “proves” the great flood. There is not enough water on the earth even if all the polar ice were melted to submerge Ararat or Everest. Would that the human race could grow up and cast aside religion and get down to the business of mankind in earnest.

    Does my “belief” that religion is a fraud make me any smarter than you? No. It does demonstrate that I am more enlightened than you are. Your own enlightmenent is up to you. To become enlightened, you must research. Thomas paine, Age of Reason, and Samuel Clemens Letters from the Earth and Reflections on Religion might be a good start. Take care, though, because as “Eve” was to learn, a bite from the fruit of the tree of knowledge can bring great burdens. Example one would be a muslim who loses hs faith and allows it to become known would surely be killed. A christian would likely be shunned. Nothing learned anew comes without risk. Good luck.

  342. #342 Paul Da Vis
    July 7, 2010

    Do you notice it is always the Atheists that have to explain things, such lengthy dribble. When fortified and comfortable in their higher intellect they cannot dwell long in the unexplained, their ravings, border on in areas like the shroud of Turin on the paranoid.
    You only have to go back and read some to see how desperate they are to explain the unexplainable, like it is a defence of their position. Yes scientific principle is the bastion of the citadel of logic. But life cannot be contained in a formula, a box or the God particle.
    But in the case here of the Shroud, certainty is the space between the fibers of that wonderful linen. Commitment, duty, wonder, faith and sacrifice are what bound that mutilated and tortured body crucified and suffering. Can you give yourself over to the understanding of pain suffered by Jesus that after such abuse, before dying even if it was one of us what strength would you have to hold on to. That there is something else better.

  343. #343 Johns
    July 16, 2010

    Paul Da Vis,

    Desperate I am not, enlightened I am. You alone are responsible as to whether you become enlightened or remain ignorant for the rest of your life. As I have noted before, whatever power was responsible for this existence, there are two differences between humans and every other living thing: An opposable thumb and the power of complex reason. Those like you who maintain that God endowed these attributes to humans so that they would be “special”, always want to ignore reason and logic in supporting your superstitious religious beliefs. A cursory examination of DNA and the components of which humans share with various other living things (Including YEAST) should be indisputable evidence of evolution being truth and the corollary proof that biblical (et. al.) versions of creation are wrong. (If you disbelieve in DNA, then alas, you may be irredeemable)

    Now, exactly what part of the above argument amounts to raving? Consider this as a start: Whatever religious dogma you accept as being the truthful word of God, Can you possibly understand that had you been born of Muslim parents in Saudi Arabia what would be the chances that Mohammed would figure importantly into your religion, or had you been born in India of Hindu parents that reincarnation would be a central belief of yours, or should you have been born in Utah, of Mormon parents, that Joseph Smith’s Golden tablets would mean more to you than Mathew, Mark, Luke, or John? I bet your answer would be that eventually you would be drawn to the TRUE religion that you now aspire to…To which my reply is Balderdash!

    Basically, every religion seeks to provide assurances that there is a survival of our lives once we have died. On the face of it, this is a desirable outcome, at least for those that meet the requirements of whatever religion is pertinent to them for a pleasant survival as opposed to a very unpleasant one.

    My contention and belief is that the essence or soul of a person is dependent on the condition of the person’s functioning brain. In brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, or in physical injury to the brain, as the brain physically deteriorates, so does the personality. Put simply, as your brain deteriorates, so do you. Once your brain is dead, you no longer exist. If you should spend some time thinking open mindedly about this, it may become clear to you. Especially should you have had firsthand experience with a loved member of your family who has been so afflicted. Once it is clear that survival is unlikely, the fear that the tenets taught you by your religion are false becomes real.

    You indicate that you believe that atheists provide lengthy discourses on the reasons for their disbelief, which you describe as “dribble”. Please specifically point out any “dribble” in any of my posts in this thread.

    I will delineate for you exactly what is in your post that I consider to be “dribble”, and that would be this sentence of yours: “Commitment, duty, wonder, faith and sacrifice are what bound that mutilated and tortured body crucified and suffering. Can you give yourself over to the understanding of pain suffered by Jesus that after such abuse, before dying even if it was one of us what strength would you have to hold on to.”
    In fact there is not even a coherent thought expressed in that example of “dribble”.

  344. #344 Aliena
    July 18, 2010

    Shroud of Turin= Real shroud of a dead person
    Shroud of Turin as the Shroud of Jesus= Cannot be proven by anyone on the show which was clearly and again repeated a few times by the researchers
    Forget carbon dating or trying to prove the truth about the shroud…
    But can someone here please explain how the image came to be when they explained regarding how the lights travel? Since the image could only be created by light, unless in the 13th century an idle artist who had got nothing to do spends his life away painting with a strand of camel hair?

  345. #345 NJ
    July 18, 2010

    Since the image could only be created by light

    {citation needed}

    There is a reliable history of the shroud placing its origins in the Middle Ages at a time when the business of fake relics was booming. {Current Anthropology, Volume 24, No 3, June 1983.}

    There is reliable scientific dating of the shroud placing its origins in the Middle Ages. {Nature, Vol. 335, Oct. 20, 1988, p. 663}

    There is reliable examination of the shroud, indicating the method by which it was created in the Middle Ages. {Judgment day for the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, N.Y., Prometheus Books, (1999)}

    There has been a modern-day duplication of the shroud by methods easily available in the Middle Ages. {http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE5943HL20091005}

    There are also people like yourself, who when presented with evidence, move the goalposts back in order to protect their fragile beliefs. So, Aliena, ask yourself why you need so desperately for this piece of cloth to be something it clearly isn’t.

  346. #346 JKG
    July 19, 2010

    If you are basing your opinion entirely on the radio carbon dating, as you appear to be, then you are a fool. And if you truly are an archaeologist and still basing your opinions entirely on radio carbon dating then you are an even bigger fool because radio carbon dating is highly problematic as you should very well know.

  347. #347 Darrell B
    July 19, 2010

    The original carbon 14 dating of the shroud is believed to be the most bungled carbon 14 test ever performed. That conclusion is reached by Los Alamos chemist Robert Villarreal. Villarreal pointed out that “the [1988] age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole.

    Villarreal, disclosed startling new findings proving that the sample of material used in 1988 to Carbon-14 (C-14) date the Shroud of Turin, which categorized the cloth as a medieval fake, could not have been from the original linen cloth because it was cotton. According to Villarreal, who lead the LANL team working on the project, thread samples they examined from directly adjacent to the C-14 sampling area were “definitely not linen” and, instead, matched cotton. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case.” Villarreal also revealed that, during testing, one of the threads came apart in the middle forming two separate pieces. A surface resin, that may have been holding the two pieces together, fell off and was analyzed. Surprisingly, the two ends of the thread had different chemical compositions, lending credence to the theory that the threads were spliced together during a repair.

  348. #348 Nayagam
    July 19, 2010

    Lets stop looking at old facts of the age of shroud and see the new facts .
    I saw this documentary..
    Questions yet to be answered by scientist and atheist people..
    1)the material of the art it self is unknown.
    2)How could a 2 D art contain PRECISE 3d info ,what sort of artist can do this?
    3)Why the materials containing a unique pollen from Jeruselam?

  349. #349 Johns
    July 23, 2010

    Nayagam,

    Interesting that you refer to Atheists and scientists together. Remember that a “scientist” is one who follows the “scientific method” in order to explain natural phenomena. The four steps of the scientific method are:

    1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

    2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

    3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

    4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

    An atheist is one who has become convinced by some reason, which may or may not have a scientific basis, that God as described by any religion does not exist.

    Now as to one of the points you question: “How could a 2 D art contain PRECISE 3d info ,what sort of artist can do this?” And many times the claim has been made that 3d images cannot be created from a 2d photograph. I suggest to you the following: First, the 3d image produced of the shroud was created using Bryce software, a complex computer program. Second, not only can 2d photographs AND pictures be “converted” to 3d, there are currently many movies
    being released as 3d that were shot in 2d and converted via computer software.

    Additionally, one can take any 2d picture, from Mona Lisa, to the shroud of Turin and manipulate it via conputer software to produce a 3d image. Of course, details such as the length of Mona’s nose could be a bit off.

    Ergo, you can discard #2 from your 3 question list.

    BTW, if you want to try the 2d to 3d conversion yourself, and you are handy, just research “2d to 3d conversion” on the WWW.

  350. #350 mfm
    August 6, 2010

    Every test that has been performed on the shroud showed that it is not a medieval fake. The blood has been proven to be real, composed of hemoglobin and gave positive for serum albumin and from the AB blood type — confirmed by numerous tests. No medieval paintor had the technology to create a negative image from a human face with real blood. The Institute of Physics in London found out through mathematical enhancement technology discovered a faint image of a second face ont he back of the shroud. The shroud has been examined under every x-ray, ultraviolet spectometry, infrared spectometry, thermography, microchemical testing everything and everything shows up that there is absolutely no evidence of paint, dye or stains, the color is a caramel-like substance product of amino/carbonyl reaction, there is no image content between the two superficial image leyers which indicates that there was no soaking to create the image and I can go on and on with all the tests that support the fact that the shroud is not a painting. The reality is NOBODY can explain how these images were made and this has been confirmed by many scientist that have studied the shroud, in fact, many agree that the shroud simply doesn’t make sense. The only test from the millions of tests done that dates the shroud to medieval times is the Carbon 14. ONE test out of hundreds is what you are using to determine that the shroud is a medieval fake. To say that it is a medieval is like saying that Christopher Columbus went to the moon a back with a ship. Illogical. How somebody during medieval times could alter the chemical properties of the carbohydrate coating to create the color with such artistical precision to do it in both sides of the cloth? Nobody in those days had the technology or knowledge to come up with the shroud. If you don’t believe in it is ok, you can believe is not real, but don’t come and say that it is a medieval forgery done by an artist because that argument is totally lack of sense. Nobody know its origin and that is the truth.

  351. #351 mfm
    August 6, 2010

    BTW yeah a scientist recreated it:

    “Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.

    They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face.

    PIGMENT, BLOODSTAINS AND SCORCHES

    The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries.

    They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect”

    This is the work of a man, professor or Organic Chemistry, from the twenty first century who went to a University studied Chemistry with the knowledge and technology available only in the twenty and twenty first century.

    Let’s use common sense in this: how many people during medieval times, with the knowledge available to medieval people, under the circumstances of the medieval times where people were highly supersticious and they did not have a notion about what it was going to happen centuries later, and with the ignorance from those days, would have come up with this “tecnical” way of forgery? I don’t think anyone. Why doing a complicate mix of blood, etc., if you can paint it? I mean do you think they knew that today we were going to have the technology to discover when something was not painted? How they knew that photography was going to be created and they had to come up with a forgery as a negative? They could have had the materials but they didn’t have enough knowledge to know that centuries later we were going to have such advanced technology to discover from the type of blood to the negative image.

  352. #352 John
    August 7, 2010

    mfm,

    Well, regarding your claim that “Every test that has been performed on the shroud

    showed that it is not a medieval fake. The blood has been proven to be real,

    composed of hemoglobin and gave positive for serum albumin and from the AB

    blood type — confirmed by numerous tests.” you are apparently in error, according to

    the researchers who actually did the tests. Please see:

    http://www.factsplusfacts.com/shroud-of-turin-blood.htm wherin the following

    appears:

    ” Ray Rogers (see curriculum vitae summary below) responds to the question:

    “How do you know that there is real blood on the Shroud?”

    Alan Adler was an expert on porphyrins, the types of colored compounds seen in

    blood, chlorophyll, and many other natural products. He and Dr. John Heller,

    MD, studied the blood flecks on the STURP sampling tapes [Heller and Adler,

    Applied Optics 19, (16) 1980]. They converted the heme into its parent

    porphyrin, and they interpreted the spectra taken of blood spots by Gilbert

    and Gilbert. They concluded that the blood flecks are real blood. In addition

    to that, the x-ray-fluorescence spectra taken by STURP showed excess iron in

    blood areas, as expected for blood. Microchemical tests for proteins were

    positive in blood areas but not in any other parts of the Shroud.

    Several claims have been made that the blood has been found to be type AB, and

    claims have been made about DNA testing. We sent blood flecks to the

    laboratory devoted to the study of ancient blood at the State University of

    New York. None of these claims could be confirmed. The blood appears to be so

    old that the DNA is badly fragmented. Dr. Andrew Merriwether at SUNY has said

    that “… anyone can walk in off the street and amplify DNA from anything. The

    hard part is not to amplify what you don’t want and only amplify what you want

    (endogenous DNA vs contamination).” It is doubtful that good DNA analyses can

    be obtained from the Shroud.

    It is almost certain that the blood spots are blood, but no definitive

    statements can be made about its nature or provenience, i.e., whether it is

    male and from the Near East.”

    Now, mfm, please try not to make claims so easily to prove wrong when engaging

    in a discussion such as this. As a matter of fact, you should go to the site

    linked above and read it carefully and you may actually have more information

    to justify your position. You certainly would become better informed about a

    subject that you currently are not.

    Here’s the “acid” test of the shroud’s authenticity: If it is really the

    shroud of Jesus of Nazrath AND if he is the son of God and actually Lord,

    whose blood can wash away all sins, it surely should have the power to heal.

    This test would therefore determine the truth: Allow a thousand terminally ill

    blind and deaf patients to touch the “blood”. If all 1,000 are immediately

    and completely healed, then the authenticity of the shroud could be claimed.

    Anything less would indicate fraud.

    Now as to your further claims regarding Luigi Garlaschelli’s “shroud” image. All of the materials he used were easily obtainable by artists in the Middle ages and, in fact, were often used by artists. The “negative” image has nothing to do with the invention of photography. The phenomenon of “negative” and “positive” are facts of physics, albeit arrived at in by different methods.

    It is quite possible that the shroud indeed does show the image of a crucified human, but even if that is so, there is no way other than the “acid test” to prove that it is the burial cloth of Jesus. It would be interesting to see the results of a test wherein currently expired humans would be similarly covered in linen cloth for three days and then see if an image would appear years later on the cloths. I personally also would be intrigued should dna ever be successfully gleaned from the blood on the shroud, to see it compared with the dna of hereditary lines of claimed descendants.

    Again, see my earlier posts regarding the nonsense of survival beyond physical life. Without proof of survival, nay, even without logical argument showing likelyhood of survival, all religious dogma falls to ground as false and the whole subject becomes as moot as moot can be.

    As far as your bible is concerned, again, I must direct you to “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine. I have said many times over the last 50 years that the most miraculous thing about christianity is that anyone could still beleive in it after reading Age of Reason

  353. #353 hannah
    August 8, 2010

    I actully watched the face of jesus. I thought it was prety creepy but, it was so fake i Guess cause it didnt seem true. Plus dated age of it says it all.

  354. #354 crystal
    August 19, 2010

    the reason the carbon dating does not date back to Jesus time is because they took pieces from the part that had been exposed to the fire that occured in the year of its carbon testing result. they had not taken a piece from other parts that were not exposed or less exposed because they did not want to ruin it.

  355. #355 Johns
    August 20, 2010

    Crystal,
    By your comment you have admitted that you have not read all the above posts. It would not matter if the carbon dating fixed the age of the cloth at 2010 years old, it would prove nothing. Religion is supersition. Anyone with a lick of common sense who has also studied the worlds major religions will eventually come to the inescapable conclusion: All religions are false. You may wonder how all the people in your life that you consider wise can express belief in your religion, but consider the geography of religion. Had you been born in Saudi Arabia, you would be Muslim. If India, you would most likely be Hindu. Ad Nauseum, ad Infinitum. Go and read Age of Reason by Thomas Paine and then come back and discuss the Bible as a “revelation” of god’s word. The shroud may well be that of a crucified man, but even if it is, it is of no consequence.

  356. #356 Gustavo
    September 16, 2010

    It’s amazing on how many people find a surmountatble amount of excuses or theories on how and why they are non-believers. But what non-believers and believers dont realize is that evidence is there and yet do not believe. There are a ton of non-believers who believe in the supernatural, ghosts and such that catch and strikes their curiosity. They believe in Ghost, they dont see them but let them make a noise and, or experience something unexplained and the tables turn. If you believe in Ghost’s which are supernatural, then you must understand that GOD exist for HE is SUPERNATURAL. Believers we sometimes say we believe but have many doubts because we listen to others that do not believe, or seem to make a point that changes our minds. GOD does his work for those who choose to listen and have an open sometimes the answers are right in front of us, but refuse to embrace the thruth. Therefore making excuses to why it cannot be true. As far as Carbon Dating goes, watch the show and they themselves will tell you that the piece of shroud that was taken to test it was inconsistent. Because they picked up a piece that was not of the original shroud.

  357. #357 Johns
    September 17, 2010

    Gustavo,

    You really need to review the rules of logic, specifically as to major and minor premise and the need for there to actually be a connection between them and the conclusion. For your elucidation, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

    You posit that if one believes in ghosts (which I do not) that God must exist. I have not seen a flimsier argument with less intellectual support since I was in the first grade. In fact, look at your use of the word “supernatural”. The FACT is that something either exists or it does not. If it exists, it is natural. “Supernatural” is impossible, only ignorance of what naturally exists explains what one might call “supernatural”.

    Once again we see a post from someone who has neglected to read the entire thread prior to exposing his ignorance by suggesting that we should believe in the rantings of mortals who knew not of the existence of germs, believed in all sorts of magic and wondered who had hidden the sun every night.

    Again as I posted just above at 355, ” The shroud may well be that of a crucified man, but even if it is, it is of no consequence. ”

    Read the whole post at 355 ( better yet, read the entire thread) and tell me where you were born and the religion of your parents and I will tell you your own religion with 99% accuracy. Just consider: how in the world could your parents and everyone else you know and love be so stupid as to believe in a god that does not exist in any form posited by their religion. Then consider the fact that out of an estimated 6.5 BILLION humans on earth, only about 39% claim to be Christian. Gee, isn’t that a little lopsided after only 2,000 years? My belief is that ALL religions are false. Compare the beliefs of the major religions and you will see that they are not reconcilable, which is due to the fact that all of them began with superstition. If Christanity is the one true way to salvation (Whatever that is), then your god has done a crappy job of salesmanship.

  358. #358 Lisa I.
    September 23, 2010

    Wow, I haven’t been on this site for months, and I come back to find the discussion still going.

    For those atheists who don’t believe that Jesus existed, check out this article:

    http://www.leaderu.com/theology/burialcave.html

    At the turn of the century, an archeologist discovered coffins of first-century Christians in Jerusalem. Many of these stone coffins (ossuaries) were engraved with a cross and the name “Yeshua”, Jesus. In addition, many of the names on these coffins were people who were mentioned in the New Testament – Lazarus, Mary, Martha, Simon Peter, etc.

    These people were real. They lived and died. So, if Jesus didn’t exist, why would they have His name and the sign of the cross on their coffins? Because He did exist. They knew Him, walked with Him, listened to His teachings. He made an impact on them and changed their lives, just as He is changing lives today.

    Think about it. When Jesus was arrested, stood trial, and was crucified, his disciples scattered and hid. Not one of them stood with him, not one dared brave death to defend Him. Even Peter, who was one of the closest to Him, denied that he even knew Jesus, not once, but three times. They were left confused and doubting because their Teacher had been killed, the one they thought was the Messiah who had come to save them.

    And yet, weeks later, this same terrified, confused band of people are boldly preaching about Jesus on the streets. What changed? There certainly wasn’t any personal gain; in fact, quite the opposite. They knew they faced certain imprisonment and death for even speaking His name. So why would they do that? Because they knew the truth, and the truth set them free!

    Early Christians faced horrible prosecution for their beliefs. They were tortured and murdered. If you and your entire family (children included) were facing death and had any doubt that Jesus did not live and did not die and did not rise again, you would recant your beliefs to save your lives. But they knew the truth because they were there and saw the miracles that Jesus did. They saw the empty tomb. They had first hand knowledge that He is who He said, the Son of God.

    You need to face the facts. You’re being blinded by Satan, who doesn’t want you to see the truth. Jesus exists. God exists. Get your head out of the sand and repent while there is still time. Jesus’ return is imminent. It’s time to get right or get left behind.

  359. #359 Martin R
    September 23, 2010

    Jesus’ return is imminent.

    If we’re to believe the Gospels, that’s what the man himself said 2000 years ago. I think that qualifies as a falsified prophecy.

  360. #360 Mia
    September 23, 2010

    If we’re to believe the Gospels, that’s what the man himself said 2000 years ago. I think that qualifies as a falsified prophecy.

    One day is as a thousand years with the Lord. And just how long have you been studying Biblical prophesy?

  361. #361 Lisa I.
    September 23, 2010

    As far as your bible is concerned, again, I must direct you to “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine. I have said many times over the last 50 years that the most miraculous thing about christianity is that anyone could still beleive in it after reading Age of Reason.

    To me, the most miraculous thing about atheism is that anyone could still believe that God does not exist after reading the Bible!

    The Age of Reason is one man’s opinion, as he himself states from the very first sentence. It’s not truth, and it’s not fact. Undoubtedly, Mr. Paine’s opinions were highly influenced by his experience with organized religion and the abuses that he witnessed.

    Please note, there is a huge difference between organized religion and a personal relationship with God. Even Jesus decried the organized religion of His day, condemning them for their injustices and hypocrisy.

    There are many who go through the motions, who adhere to the rituals and rules of their religious organizations and think that it is enough. However going to church or cathedral doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a Cadillac.

    Mr. Paine’s ramblings are those of someone who has become disillusioned by his religion (as are yours, John). The problem begins when you look to man for answers and put your faith and trust in priest, ministers, pastors, preachers. Men will fail, and men will fall. God will not.

  362. #362 Lisa I.
    September 23, 2010

    I need to correct an error in my post #358 above. The discovery of the ossuaries of the early Christians and St. Peter in Jerusalem was in the 1950s, not the turn of the century. Sorry about that!

  363. #363 John
    September 24, 2010

    Lisa, I never said Jesus did not exist. I propose that even if he was a real person, that he was no more the

    son of god than I or any other man, or in your case, the daughter of god. And if you want to understand the

    problem with believing anything in the bible is the word of god, then you really should research the Council of

    Nicaea, and become enlightened. Now you bring up satan. Since your so called god is the author of all that

    exists, then he/she must have created satan as well as everything else. What’s that? you say? satan turned

    against the perfect creator that can do no wrong? That god created satan with the possibility that satan

    would turn against him? Only an idiot could believe that ton of crap. You can’t have it both ways: God is

    perfect, but satan, whom he created is, evil. Balderdash! Oh, but yes! you profess to believe in one god, but

    then speak of God, Jesus, and the holy ghost which, if you were paying attention, are three separate gods. Regarding satan, please familiarize yourself with Samuel Clemens “Letters From the Earth”.

    And Mia, if you have REALLY studied biblical prophecy as you would like us to believe, rather than just

    accepting the crap your preacher feeds you every Sunday, you would know that the “prophecies” that are

    noted in the bible that supposedly foretold Jesus coming, were all fulfilled long before he was born and had

    nothing to do with Jesus himself.

    Back to Lisa: I read the bible cover to cover in the fashion of a novel 13 times straight through over 50 years ago. I also studied many biblical reference books, including Moody’s. Not stopping there, I also studied the Veda, the Koran, the Analects, The Avestas, Purvas, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, and even the book of Mormon and the texts of various other Christian related sects, and this is just a partial list of my studies. How many of these have you studied? My guess is that you stopped with the old and new testaments.

    Lisa you claim not to look to man for answers, but men wrote the bible as they also wrote all of the other texts I referenced above. Your “personal” relationship with god is a figment of your imagination. Of course, you can look at the stars and feel wonder. Of course you can have an “epiphany”, but you can have the same experience if you suffer from a lack of oxygen. There is no personality without life, and once dead, you are gone forever. You will enjoy only the non existence you had prior to your birth.

    You state that your god will not fall. He already has: see above re: the creation of satan.

    Oh, and Go and read the texts I listed above, and you will begin to recognize that most of them read much like your bible, and are as likely to be believable to someone whose experience is limited to that point of view alone, but you will also see that all have a very different view of god or gods as the case may be. How do you know you have the “right” one? (Remember, lack of oxygen can result from hyperventilation).

    I must again postulate: all religions are false. And from your last comment above separating “organized religion” from personal religion, I detect that you are beginning to arrive at that conclusion yourself. You just need to make the next step. I should warn you, however, that publicly identifying yourself as a non- believer will have severe consequences (though not as severe as if you were denouncing islam). You would find out very quickly just how “christian” some of your friends and family are as they distance themselves from you.

    You could call me a hypocrite, but I have many christian friends who have no idea of my personal beliefs. I can say many blessings, know the words to many hymns, and christmas remains one of my favorite holidays, but for reasons other than religious ones. I decorate a tree every year and enjoy it immensely, even though I know in my heart that once I lay down for the last time that my race will surely be done. But until then, life is good.

  364. #364 Lisa I.
    September 25, 2010

    Well, John. Tell you what. You enjoy your Godless, hopeless life and your non-existence after you’re dead. I hope those work out for you.

    As for me, I’m enjoying my life of peace, joy, hope, and love that comes from knowing God, and I’m definitely looking forward to an eternity spent with Him and my loved ones.

    To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t trade my beliefs for yours for all the riches of the world!

  365. #365 John
    September 25, 2010

    Lisa,
    I must disagree with your assessment of my life. I am in my 70’s and have had so far a wonderful life. I have enjoyed my life immensely and have gleaned the most enjoyment from my family and friends, but especially charitable work, with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, an organization with deep roots in profession of faith in god, but that is no obstacle to one who believes in the intrinsic value of any organization that teaches self reliance and leadership skills. As far as happiness goes, I have known many highly religious folks who were very unhappy.

    Just think about the big picture: We have very good evidence that it is likely to the point of near certainty that there are not just thousands, but millions or even billions of stars like our sun with planets like ours that most likely support life of some form. Only a closed minded dolt would reject the near certainty that intelligent life must have evolved on millions of these earthlike planets. One must wonder what god they might worship. If one ascribes to your version of god and jesus and the big spook, then jesus must have been very busy travelling from planet to planet millions of times, getting his divine self crucified over and over. Now there’s something to ponder……

    Or are you one of those fanatics who believes that dinosaur bones were placed around the earth by satan in order to confuse us????? If so, you have already sipped the koolaid….

    But then, as far as trading beliefs goes, you also have already exhibited that you are one in whom the seeds of doubt have been growing for some time by your veiled indictment of “organized religion”.

    As before, It is most likely that the shroud is a fake, but even if it is not, it is of no consequence, as all religions are false.

  366. #366 Lisa I.
    September 26, 2010

    John, God did not create evil, as you claim. Evil is not a “thing” that it can be created, like a tree or a mountain or a flower. Evil is the absences of good, just as darkness is not a thing in itself, but is the absence of light.

    Yes, God created Lucifer, an angel of light. He did not create him (or us either) to be an automaton, blindly following orders, without a choice. Instead He gave him (and us) a free will because He wanted him to choose to serve Him freely, just as we have that choice.

    When Lucifer decided that he wanted to be above God, he was removed from Heaven and removed from God’s presence. Evil entered into Lucifer because evil is the absence of good. Evil is the absence of God!

    As for the universe, I don’t know that there is life on other planets or not, and neither do you. (You claim not to believe in God or ghosts, but you believe in aliens?) Perhaps there are other intelligent life forms and perhaps there aren’t. (I happen to think that there very well may be.) If there are, it is rather ludicrous to assume or to even suggest that their civilizations and experiences would mirror our own. Earthlings sold out to Lucifer and needed redemption. That doesn’t mean that all life forms in the universe did.

    I’m sincerely glad that you have had a wonderful life. And just as sincerely, I pray that you decide to have a wonderful afterlife as well.

  367. #367 john
    September 27, 2010

    Thank you, Lisa. Sincerely, may you have also a happy and enlightened life.

  368. #368 Becky
    December 26, 2010

    I just watched this program – nowhere in it did the researchers claim that the Shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus. It was perhaps implied but not explicitly stated. Religious commentarians concluded that it was – but Ray Downing who was the main animator on the project was simply extracting an image from the cloth. It was fascinating to watch the process. Am I believer in God? Yes I am. But this documentary didn’t make me believe. There are tons of questions regarding the authenticity of the shroud. Do I believe it is the burial cloth of Christ? I am not sure. But the process that was used to create the image was certainly educational.

  369. #369 Buyers Beware
    December 26, 2010

    NO THIS IS NOT THE REAL FACE OF JESUS

    Here is what you have discovered instead.

    You have created an image of a Semite, Turkish, and Edomite etc., archetype instead. THIS IS NOT THE IMAGE OF JESUS (YASHUA).

    When you have read the Bible and write articles about it and the original bloodlines on earth as I am, what glares at me is that this image you created is modeled after a Semite, Turkish, Edomite Archetype who are also connected with the Hyksos, Apiru, Indian Adams. This dark hair dark eyed people group bred with the Scandinavian populations in Israel and southwestern Russia to become the Ashkenazim, Sephardic Jews also known as the Khazar and Zionist Jews.

    JESUS WAS NOT A JEW. If you actually DO YOUR HOMEWORK you will realize that Jesus was born and bred a Nazarene and Mary was from Migdal, both groups are associated with the Magdalénien Era in southwestern Europe before and during the last ice age. The Nazarenes were a SCANDINAVIAN TRIBE.

    It is no surprise that the Knights Templar had this artifact, which makes it suspicious in and of itself.

    Today the AshkeNAZIM, Sephardic, Zionist Jews are busy “Copy Pasting” Jesus (Yashua) into their bloodline in many different ways. They are doing it in the Holy Grail series as well. They are part of the Serpent Bloodline who are still misleading the public as to who Jesus (Yashua) really was. Hitler was an AshkeNAZIM Jew who was busy creating his own version of the blonde blue-eyed Aryan Race. The Bible, as misleading as it is, clearly describes Jesus (Yashua) as a Nazarene from Nazareth who was hated and killed by the Jews who never thought of him as their messiah.

    Wherever this artifact came from, it is not a depiction of Jesus, whether it came from human or other worldly sources. It is a scam. It is part of what Jesus referred to as the “End Time Deception of Mankind.”

    Buyers Beware

  370. #370 Ita
    December 30, 2010

    Watch the program, then judge.

  371. #371 Brian Derby
    January 5, 2011

    Dear sirs;
    I think I have a good explanation for the image on the shroud of Turin!
    The image is detailed like a photograph, a 3-D image of a body and milimeter-deep on the surface of the cloth.

    This seems to me to represent alpha-particle damage of the cellolose tissue. Perhaps the body was embalmbed then covered in radio-active mud ( or oils), and then the image appeared due to the radioactivity over time.

    Has anyone covered a mold in a radioactive paste then covered it with linen to see if a superficial image appears??

    Rgds
    Brian Derby

  372. #372 John
    January 10, 2011

    Brian,

    Why don’t you get some “radioactive paste” and perform the experiment yourself? Now, before you go and irradiate yourself, allow me to explain to you why your experiment is unnecessary. First (and last) the shroud most certainly DOES NOT contain a 3-d image. It has a 2-d image. The process whereby a “3-d” image was produced is much the same as the process by which 3-d movies are created from 2-d movies ( See http://www.technewsdaily.com/how-hollywood-converts-2-d-silver-into-3-d-gold-0194/ ). By making assumptions based on guessed depth measurements, it is possible to create a 3-d image out of ANY 2-d image, even if the image is only stick figures. In addition, should anyone supply irrefutable evidence that there is no personality survival of humans beyond death, the entire dogma of all religions proposing afterlife would be demonstrated to be false superstition, and theories about such relics as the shroud would have only curious interest.
    Here is such irrefutable proof: The human personality emanates from thought processes in the human brain which in fact are electrical signals within the brain within nerve synapses. This is proven scientific fact. Severe damage to the brain and the circuitry that determines one’s personality, whether by mechanical damage or from disease, such as Alzheimer’s necessarily affects one’s personality which may range from constant melancholy to rage to reduced consciousness. This is also proven scientific fact. Thus, it is proven that the personality, that which defines us as individuals, is dependent on the functioning of the physical brain. You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to understand the impact that this fact has upon the concept of survival of death. The above logic proves that, there is no survival of physical death, hence all religions that include afterlife as a tenet fall to the ground, along with any argument that the shroud could possibly have been wrapped around the earthly body of God, who spends most of his time being a magic man in the sky.

    By the way, stories of faith healings, reincarnation, ghosts and other such drivel abound in all religions, and are oddly provable in none.

    I challenge anyone to refute my logical argument above without expounding on the Bible or any other book of man being a book of God, or by referencing “faith”, which is belief in something without any credible evidence that it is so.

  373. #373 Kim Costanzo
    January 12, 2011

    Although not strongly stated in the documentary, the carbon dating that was done that (proved?) that the shroud was from the middle ages was not a true test. The reason being that the shroud had been damaged and nuns of the middle ages weaved material from that time and that was the piece that was used in the test which made the test totally wrong. The material of the shroud and the pollen found on it were scientifically proved to be from the time of Jesus. It is also true of carbon dating that archeological finds in the nineties had the result that carbon dating is not only wrong, the process involves conjecture and opinion at certain points and that makes it useless.

    After reading some of the posts (sigh) I wish they would read the Bible and see for themselves that there is real joy in having a relationship with Jesus our Saviour and that atheism is the perspective of the lost. While here, there is hope.

  374. #374 Martin R
    January 12, 2011

    Hope for what? Most atheists I know are pretty cheerful and optimistic. Except that they don’t expect to be conscious after their brains shut down at death. But then, as Epicurus pointed out over 2000 years ago, if you’re not conscious you can’t be conscious of any problems. Kim, your faith will be snuffed out along with your conscience one day, just as it is every night when you fall into dreamless sleep.

  375. #375 MJ
    January 25, 2011

    Darwin’s theories don’t explain where matter came from…evolution while remarkable, is only a set within a set…
    The shroud can be dated by multiple other means. You show that your efforts in the area of the shroud are at best superficial.
    If you live to 100 years of age thats only 5200 weeks. You forget your first five years, and most people die in there 80’s. You probably really only get 4200 weeks of life. Thats 4200 Saturdays and Sundays…Enjoy your weekends…..

    Best of luck in your atheistic theories.

    Well studied reluctant Christian.

    :0)

  376. #376 John
    January 28, 2011

    :0), Would you please include a coherent thought in your next post, because the one above lacks any. Darwin described a theory based on observable facts that are observable by anyone who chooses to repeat his work. He did not endeavor to explain matter, for the best theories regarding that immense subject, you need to consult the work of Albert E. and S. Hawking. Oh, and please read the entire above thread before demonstrating your ignorance regarding the actual reported work by those who have personally examined and attempted to date and determine the origin of the shroud. And so sorry to burst your bubble, but ALL religions are false, there is NO survival of this mortal coil, and you have been had by lies of biblical (I couldn’t help myself) proportion by everyone who has infected your psyche with the promise of everlasting life. Grow up and cast aside those childish fairy tales upon which you have already wasted much of your intellectual life. Now the best to you in your enlightenement.

  377. #377 Joy
    January 28, 2011

    Well well well…the guy who apparently knows everything….then why don’t you explain the blood found on the shroud if its fake??

  378. #378 John
    January 28, 2011

    Good grief, Joy! I’ve bled many times in my 72 years, often getting blood on cloth. If the shroud were created as a fake claiming to be an authentic relic, would not the faker be intelligent enough to add blood in appropriate places? Or even if the shroud was faked by using real crucified corpse, would not there also be blood on it? And lastly, should in the most inconceivable case that the shroud did wrap the body of some poor soul named Jesus who thought he was the son of a virgin, would not there be blood upon it? But even if the last of this list were true, it is not proof of deity of either someone named Jesus or the god of the old testament or new testament, for that matter. Additionally, you might become aware via close scrutiny that these two gods (old and new testament) have been endowed with completely different personalities.
    Now you insultingly describe me as “the guy who knows everything”, a claim I have never and will never make for myself, as in my view it is the superstitious fools who cling to ancient religions in the face of provable facts* that claim to know “everything”. [*For example, the earth has been shown scientifically to be 4,500,000,000 years old, not the 6,000 according to the bible, which majkes the bible wrong by a factor of 750,000 to 1.]

    Now, Joy in order to help you avoid appearing inattentive, I direct you back to my post #352 above wherein I posted the link
    http://www.factsplusfacts.com/shroud-of-turin-blood.htm in which the actual examiners the shroud speak to the “blood” issue.
    Now I state the following: I have strongly held opinions regarding religion, survival, and death. These opinions have resulted from independent study over many years, with not only scientific provability being important, but also what I call the “smell” test. I believe in those things that appear to be most likely, based on the evidence at hand. Using that criteria, all religions stink to high heaven, because to believe in them one must abandon common sense. Please explain a single important tenet of your religious belief that passes the smell test and does not require you to ignore the most likely evidence at hand. Let me help you again: you can’t.

  379. #379 Lisa
    February 4, 2011

    For proof that we exist after death, read some of the over 2500 near death experiences documented at http://www.nderf.org, particularly the ones at the bottom of this page: http://www.nderf.org/archives_1998_2001.htm and this one experience in particular in which there is physical proof of the experience (many of them have physical proof, but this is a good one): http://www.nderf.org/mary's_NDE.htm

    There is life after after death. Even atheist who have had these experiences have changed their beliefs. They’re amazing and fascinating experiences that medical science cannot explain, though they lamely try to. I challenge you to read them. They’ll change your life and how you view death, religion, and God.

  380. #380 John
    February 6, 2011

    LISA,
    Regarding the “red sticker” as proof of everlasting life, what we have here is a story told by someone of a “revelation” that they may have had. We have no affidavits of the event from the perspective of the nurses and others, who are presented to us without names (as is the central character). While I agree that there are many coincidences and happenings that seem to be beyond explanation, such stories as this one appear in almost every religion, many of which are in total disagreement with Christianity.
    Going back to Thomas Paine with paraphrase, even if this “lady” did indeed receive a revelation from god, it is not a revelation to anyone else who has not had the same experience. Hearsay evidence of such matters is no evidence at all. According to my logical approach to the matter, which is more likely of the following possibilities?
    1. The story describes the events exactly as they occurred and is true.
    2. The story resulted from a lady’s excruciatingly painful experience which easily could have left her believing the events that flowed out of her subconscious imagination. In her semiconscious recovery period she may have even dreamed of having convinced the nurse to get a ladder and climb up it to see the red sticker.
    3. The entire story was made up out of whole cloth to be used as a tool to convince witless dunderheads of the belief in everlasting life.
    There are many other iterations possible from the proposition given but these three should suffice for an analysis. Now which of the three appears most likely? Number one is the least likely, given the lack of specifics as to names, dates, and the great leap of illogic that is required to believe it. Number 2 is possible, much more so than number one. As we have discussed earlier, when under severe stress, the mind often conjures illogical concepts as a result of stress induced dementia. I have seen dementia first hand in people and I can testify that they really believe their hallucinations to be true. But given the way the story reads, it most reminds me of the fraudulent emails that clog up the internet, most of which begin by claiming to be “true” and confirmed by Snopes, which of course they are not. Applying my “most likely” smell test, the “red sticker” story is most likely a bald faced lie and is not “evidence” of anything but the gullibility of those who choose to believe it because it parallels their own personally held, but not logically examined beliefs.

    Reading through the other source you cite ( NDERF (1998-2001) ) I am left with the same impression: A nice list of personal testimonials reminiscent of the 19th century advertisement for the drink Postum, wherein the fan claims “I could digest a brick if only I had my Postum to drink with it”. This list is a collection of claims by people who may or may not have experienced what they claim. In fact, I could produce many even more convincing personal testimonials by people who claim to have been kidnapped by extraterrestrials.
    And then, I am reminded of my own NDE: With a bladder bursting with jellied blood from a botched TURP my Blood pressure dropped to zero as I faded into blackness and then became aware of a bright light above me that appeared as the sun at noon and as my body responded to the blood being transfused into my arm and awareness became less foggy, I realized that the bright light beckoning to me from above was the electric flood above the operating table upon which I then reposed. Perhaps the difference between my NDE and those you cited is that as an atheist, i had no expectations of angels or goblins beckoning me.
    My considered opinion of the “evidence” you present, is “Balderdash”.
    But then, it is good to hear from you again, my friend!

  381. #381 Lisa I.
    February 9, 2011

    John, a lot of things in life are just stories that other people are telling that we are expected to accept “on faith”. For example, how do we know that things in history actually took place. Because the books tell us they do? We weren’t there to witness these occurrence, so how can we be sure they really happened? Columbus sailed across the ocean or so we’ve been told. But how do we know? We weren’t there. How do we know that there was a battle at the Alamo? Because someone wrote about it in a history book? Newspapers every day relate stories that were written by people we don’t know. How can we be sure we can trust these unknown people and what they are saying? All we can really do is take what they are saying on faith.

    It’s odd how no one questions these individuals as to whether or not their “stories” are true when we actually should because, according to your logic, we didn’t experience what they are telling us.

    There are almost 3,000 near-death experiences recorded at the website I cited above. Some of these experiences happened to small children, several of which who were not raised in a religious home and had no preconceived ideas of God or the afterlife, some happened to atheists and agnostics, some happened to people of other religions. If you read them, you will start seeing similarities in these occurrences which span all religions, all beliefs (or non-beliefs), all cultures, all ages.

    I too am very familiar with the rambling hallucinations of dementia(my mother passed away because of that horrible disease, Alzheimers, in 2005.) None of her hallucinations were so detailed. None of them followed any type of logical chain of events. They were rambling, there was no order to them, her thoughts were chaotic, and they did not change her life, as these accounts changed the lives of those who had them.

    Read some of these accounts, particularly the ones at the bottom of that page I cited. I’ve read almost 200 of them so far. If even one of them is true, just one, then our lives do not end at death. And I, for one, sincerely hope it does not.

    Oh, and it’s good to hear from you too. And I truly mean that. :)

  382. #382 John
    February 10, 2011

    Lisa,

    The reason that we accept as true, historical records, such as Columbus’ journey to the new world are because in most instances, there is corroborating evidence that the occurrences happened. In addition, most such things written by people we don’t know may be accepted on “faith” if they appear reasonable and we have no reason to suspect that they are not out to misinform us. Regarding the battle of the Alamo, there were many people who wrote about it and it was “news” at the time. Additionally, many books written about the battle include references to exhaustive research, both into the lives of those that died there and also historical records put down by those who were the immediate victors. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who was the leader of the Mexican forces that won the battle left copious notes on the campaign. With the attention given the event at the time by hundreds of journalists and historians, in addition to the 200 to 300 dead Texan defenders of the fortress, it would seem most likely that the event occurred. Yes we do accept those accounts on faith, but not without considering their believability along with corroborating evidence.
    It does not, however appear likely that Jesus mother was a virgin and that his father was the god of all existence, when in the common beliefs of the day almost any unusually adept hero was claimed to have been sired by Zeus or Jupiter or some other fantastic story (See Leda and the Swan). Nowadays it is uncommon to believe in so many heroes being sired by gods, along with whittling of the number of gods down from multitudes to three.
    As an example, suppose you have a sister, and though unmarried, she was to present herself pregnant, and told you that she had an epiphany, the result of which was her impregnation by god. Would you believe her? If not, then why would you believe the same story told of a girl becoming pregnant in the same manner some 2,000 years ago? Because it is written in a book that crusty old men tell you is the word of god? Now in all fairness to Mary, or whatever her real name was, a close study of history strongly suggests that she never made that claim herself, but it was written as an accoutrement to the story of Jesus several hundred years after the event.
    I must say that I am sorry that your mother endured the curse of Alzheimer’s, and even more sorry for you, who most assuredly suffered more than she because you had to watch your beloved mother’s personality disintegrate before your very eyes, where as her cognizance of self deteriorated, her personal suffering was muted. My sister-in-law’s mother-in-law as well as her ex- husband both died with the affliction, and though the old lady became violent and dangerous towards the end, she had no sense
    of self at all. My father had a brain embolism after a broken hip that cause senile dementia that progressed steadily for four years until he passed. My mother suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage as a result of hitting her head in a fall which cause progressive dementia as well. The last years of both my parents’ lives were spent in a nursing home as they slowly entered the deepening fog of lost sense of self.
    As much as anything else the loss of mental capacity that occurs in most of us as we age, especially in those with some type of dementia, or with a brain injury (as in my own case with the intracerebral hemorrhage due to acute hypertension that I suffered some 17 years ago.) convinces me that for the personality to exist, the brain must be healthy. As regards survival of this mortal coil, with your beloved mother in mind, what would she be like on the other side? Completely healed? As she was at age 40? At age 20? Age 10? What age would she choose to spend eternity? Please tell me anything on this subject expounded upon by those supposedly in the know (preachers) that passes the simplest smell test you can devise. You probably will hear some crap like “We are not allowed to know everything” and “The Lord will provide the answer after we die” or “You mustn’t worry yourself with minor details such as that” or finally, “Don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain”.
    Three thousand NDE testimonials are not a revelation. Again, we don’t know who these anonymous people are or if they are telling the truth as they know it or if they have embellished their stories for effect. But we do know that their stories are fantastic. And as noted before, pilots who experience oxygen deprivation (altitude sickness) often have hallucinations similar to NDE’s. When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, brain cells begin to die. The neural effects of this process are not evident unless the blood flow is restored and he person regains consciousness. Then we are regaled to learn of the fantastic voyage the individual has experienced into the nether regions and back again. You mentioned the commonality of the stories told by the victims. This is no argument for the validity of the story, but rather evidence of the effects of hypoxia.
    Now, here’s a site for you to read: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html
    Please read all of the argument, it may take a couple of hours, but every word is important.
    Now using your ability to think, disassociate yourself from emotion for ten seconds and consider the arguments for and against the idea of NDE’s being actual evidence of survival. Applying logic and the smell test of what is most likely, given what is known to be actual fact or at least reasonable, form a hypothesis as to the most likely explanation, that of the NDE proponents, or that of the opponents.
    Now defend your decision. (Even given that I am certain that you desperately wish NDE’s to be evidence of survival, I’ll bet that even if you choose the NDE side that you will be less certain of your choice).

    Reiteration: I postulate that there is no survival of death, ergo, whether the shroud was wrapped around Jesus body or not is irrelevant as is the shroud itself.

    All the best to you and yours, Lisa.

  383. #383 Kate
    July 10, 2011

    A lot of these posts would have been posted if people had watched the program.

    A lot of unbiased research has been done on the shroud, years before the documentary was even conceived – 32 scientists over 5 days.

    The question about carbon dating has been refuted by art historians who point to images of the shroud with its exact markings in paintings that pre-date the carbon dating. Please note that I wrote “question” in the first sentence because that was how it was presented in the documentary – as a question. Similarly, art historians point to many images wherein the cloth is held in the same section where the carbon dating sample was taken. The carbon dating sample was taken from the worst possible area of the cloth. So who wants to take it from the middle now?

    Regardless of authenticity, the part that struck me most about this documentary was the brutality of the act of scourging and crucifixion. What happened to Jesus is significant because it represents one of (one of) the most horrific acts that has happened to a human being.

    According to the written account Christ was slowly, brutally murdered by a mob. Think about that for a second. That is the man who so many people say is God. What exactly did that man go through? How has the retelling of that murder again and again served to make people stop and think? A story like that in the consciousness of humanity cannot be a bad thing. It is helpful to know what we are capable of. The story of the crucifixion is shocking and that alone has the power to make us stop and ultimately, has likely saved many lives.

    If this is the artifice of human beings or the true artwork of God, I don’t care. It proved its point.

  384. #384 John
    July 21, 2011

    Kate,

    Did you actually read your comment before posting? Please excuse me for pointing out that as a whole, your comments make no sense whatsoever, especially your beginning sentence. And what makes you think for a moment that a man named “Jesus” actually existed, and even if he did, and even if he were “scourged” and crucified, that his suffering even approached that of the victims of Vlad the impaler? ( I would bet that you never heard of him or his favorite torture method.) And the most fundamental question of all, why do you think that a man could also be God?. And please spend 15 seconds reflecting on the total absurdity of God the creator of the universe causing himself (as Jesus) to suffer for the “sins” of the miserable humans that arose from his creation accounting for the fact that if it were true, that the resulting sinful nature of man was the result of “God” having made the fatal MISTAKE of also creating Lucifer and giving him and man free will. You seem to lament that some posters above neglected to see the program. I lament the obvious fact that you have neglected to read the entire thread before exposing your incomprehensible point of view.

  385. #385 Kate
    August 6, 2011

    John, what a cracker jack you are! I didn’t see it before. Your intellectual preeminence is intimidating. I like how mean you are. Why didn’t I think of Vlad the Impaler before? I see it now. The suffering that Vlad the Impaler gave to his victims is surety that Jesus’ suffering means nothing. That is completely logical. Your intellectual superiority is dizzying. I understand now that you are too smart for faith. Forgive me.

  386. #386 troll
    August 10, 2011

    Jesus saves.

  387. #387 John
    August 14, 2011

    Kate,
    My point is this: Even IF Jesus was God (or one of three gods) that created the universe, (and remembering that if there be a GOD, then ALL things existing in said universe were created by he/she, including evil and the devil, should he/she also exist) then said god deciding to “save” mankind from the hell he created for nonbelievers, decided that 1/3 of he/she should come to earth and live as a man, then die by crucifixion (A death likely less painful than millions of women have endured by dying in childbirth) that a death via crucifixion could in no way atone for the “sins” of all mankind. Think just how ludicrous it all is! This scenario is completely illogical. What a complete doofus we must be to have ever believed in such a scam, even in the days that most people thought someone was hiding the sun every night.

    You sarcastically accuse me of intellectual preeminence. Compare my logical beliefs with all of your superstitious balderdash, and you may be more right in that accusation than you now think.
    Now you probably believe that you will spend eternity in heaven with god and all your friends. But you likely also believe that cows and monkeys and snakes will not, because they are mere soulless animals. But the one thing that distinguishes humans from animals is the capability of higher learning, i.e. logic.

    But your beliefs are illogical. Mine are not. If you ever decide to think for yourself, and honestly reflect upon everything I have said throughout this thread, you could not escape reaching the same conclusion I did when I was a young soldier.
    My belief:
    1. There may or not be a god. In the absence of testable evidence, I believe it is more probable that there is not.
    2. There is no survival of death. There is no real testable evidence of survival. Reported NDE’s are not provable and ARE explainable.
    3. All religions of man are false. This I believe to be true whether or not I am wrong about number one above.
    4. It is more likely than not that there is life on other planets. It is equally likely that there is intelligent life outside of our world as well. Most religions have no accounting for this likelihood.
    5. Without survival of death, and given the complete lack of intelligence exhibited by all organized religions, the importance of the shroud of Turin is less than what I had for dinner tonight.
    6. And, Oh, by the way, I forgive you. But please think for yourself. What you hear from me is worth what you pay for it, but IMHO is worth a trillion times what you will hear from preachers, mullahs, or rabbis.

    And To the self identified troll: Shalom, and Allah Akbar!
    1. Def. Urban Dict.: Troll-One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

  388. #388 EB14
    USA
    July 14, 2012

    I watched the re-run of this documentary today and read the wiki page for the Shroud of Turin. You seem to characterize the circumstances surrounding the Shroud of Turin as a straight forward case of forgery motivated by religion from a 14th century artist. But you pay little attention to the controversy surrounding the scientific investigation of this artifact. What about the fact that no pigmentation has been found in the shroud? Or the fact that scientists have been unable to reproduce this artifact using artistic methods from the 14th century? What about the fact that scientists have discovered pollen and earth samples that are unique to the Jerusalem and Constantinople areas? To this day, Scientists have not been able to conclusively determine how the shroud of Turin was produced. So to dismiss this compelling evidence, to characterize the Shroud of Turin as a simple case of medieval forgery is not only bias on an intense level but is also a mockery to responsible and open-minded scientific inquiry. I do not claim that the Shroud of Turin is provable by any means. But that does not mean that it can be so easily dismissed either in the face of evidence that speaks to the contrary.

  389. #389 John
    Charlotte, NC
    August 7, 2012

    EB14,

    It is woefully apparent that you have not read all of the prior comments on this thread; otherwise you would not be professing your ignorance in such obvious innocence. To wit, it matters not whether the shroud was draped across Jesus body or not, there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus was divine. Christianity is as much a superstition as any organized religion extant in the world today and as such along with all the rest deserves to be relegated to the dustbins of history. There is no survival of this life, when you die; you are the same as a dead dog, gone forever. As a result, the shroud is of no consequence whatsoever except in the minds of #/&%¤}s such as yourself. Go back and read the entire thread and then comment, should you have the cojones to once again expose your ignorance.

  390. #390 Kaelan
    February 16, 2013

    Well, if you think it is a fake from the 14th Century, think of this, when they took the sample for the carbon dating, they cut a piece from the corner, where dozens of hands have touched that exact same spot for display to the public. So, in theory, the carbon dating tests just simply showed the last time it was held in that area. If they took it from an area that hasn’t been handled, then they probably would have gotten the correct date for when Jesus, the Savior and Son of God had ascended into Heaven. Plus paintings that show a very long cloth with the shadow and features of a body have been found that predate the carbon dating test results by hundreds and maybe a couple of thousand years. So, the moral of my comment is, if you are going to rant and rave saying that something isn’t real, do checking and research to verify it. Because not only is the Shroud of Turin real, but Jesus is the real Savior and Son of God.

  391. #391 Martin R
    February 16, 2013

    Actually, I think you’ll find that there is no God, no Hell to be Saved from, no Saviour, and that Jesus simply died like everybody else and did not reappear.

  392. #392 Jon G
    February 19, 2013

    What is the point of arguing? You can lead a sheep to water but you can’t make it drink. No matter what is really true, If you don’t believe it, no link or tv show will make “YOU” believe otherwise. This arguing is just for the sake of arguing. Anyone who reads these posts that disagrees with you will not agree with you no matter how badly you want them to. Worry about YOU. If you believe in something then you deserve it. Go for it. Why argue about beliefs?

    be·lief
    /biˈlēf/
    Noun
    An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
    Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
    Synonyms
    faith – trust – confidence – persuasion – credence

    For example, I know that a lot of the world is corrupt and things don’t go our way where as a person who has lead the easy life would think I was a fool and obviously going to the wrong bar. We each have 4200 or whatever weeks to live “OUR” lives. We all believe what we believe because that is where our lives have taken us. To say you know all is to sound ignorant and foolish. I would rather have scholars argue these facts in front of me then you random fingers. I’ll stick to finding out what I am interested in knowing and keeping an open mind about everything. I am only human and unlike you people, I hunger for more knowledge everyday. All this is can be equated to human drivel. You might as well be drooling out words as far as I’m concerned. Athiests crying because people believe in God. Religious buffs crying because their athiest sister in law is a bitch to them about God. An athiest who thinks that the world revolves around him or her will never accept the fact that a higher power exists. They are the bees knees. They have that cocky smirk like your stupid and they are insanely smart. A lot of people who believe in a higher power on the other hand seem to be more saddened folks with problems. The thought that someone loves them no matter what is comforting. All I see when I witness athiests try to disprove God are cocky prick bullies that should basically find a new hobbie and worry about their wonderful lives. It is so pathetic. I mean really….Hit the gym. Read a book. Watch some History channel. Throw the pigskin at some Christian. I mean seriously. The cocky smiles and all. I know your feces are a delicacy in Spain and Portugal but really…For years now I have never been so amazed at a group of people. If I want to believe that Captain planet is real and I was going to be a planeteer until my urine tested positive for pot then I am entitled to believe just that. None of you have any proof as to what you speak. You just look for “keywords” that supposedly prove your side and post it. A lot of the things you people are saying actually hold no bearing to me in 2013. The most recent post stating an opinion is about as useless as the horse he rode in on. Die and come back and tell me what happens after you die. Until then I think you should leave it to the experts or risk sounding foolish again. Thank you.

  393. #393 jfkjax
    USA
    March 5, 2013

    MR — You might want to take a look at the studies accomplished by Ray Rogers concerning the validity of the tests on the shroud. Any statement or absolute conclusion of the true date of the shroud based on the noteworthy C14 date tests taken on the corner sample of the shroud do not provide or negate the “validity” of the shroud or otherwise. What the tests do prove is that the material used to patch the shroud was from around the year 1300 — period. Ray Rogers, the most avid of those defenders of the original C14 tests, exposes the errors of the investigation, of which he was part, in his final paper. Do some reading — it will help you understand.

    What is more confusing to logical thought is how you get to your statement that there is “no God … no Saviour … ,” etc. How one would assume a logical derivative from carbon dating of a verified 14th century patch of this shroud to such an absolute statement that, “there is no God,” is not at all logical or scientific.

    Therefore, what is it exactly that you are trying to say here?

  394. #394 John
    Charlotte, North Carolina USA
    March 13, 2013

    Jon G Well, there certainly is no dearth of animus towards atheists in your belief system! You claim to have an open mind but then proceed to trash atheists as “pricks”. In fact it seems from your post that you are really pissed off at everybody. It is true that everyone is entitled to their own stupid opinion, but the problem with religionists it that they constantly try to enforce their stupid opinions on the behavior of everyone else. Leaving out totalitarians, which exist in every category, atheists, for the most part, do not. As regards the feelings of most atheists towards believers in any religion, not just Christianity, we mostly are as dumbfounded by them as you would be meeting someone above the age of 21 who fervently still believes in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy. And should you think that such a meeting would be unlikely to ever occur, there are those today who do believe in leprechauns, ghosts, Bigfoot, and Voodoo, and many who truly believe that they were abducted by aliens. From this point on, I have assumed that you are Xian. If that is incorrect I apologize in advance. Those who believe in a literal interpretation of the Christian Bible, a many times over translated book written by men, swear that the earth is only 6,000 years old in the face of immensely strong scientific evidence that Homo Sapiens was walking around on earth at least 100,000 years ago and equally strong evidence that the earth is at least 4.54 billion years old. That’s 6,000 to 4,540,000,000, which puts the bible in error by a factor of seven hundred and fifty six thousand six hundred and sixty seven. (756,667). Of course, there are the backsliders who pick and choose the parts of the bible or whatever other religious writing they ascribe to that they profess to believe and ignore the other not so easy to believe parts. Here is the problem: If you could ever clear your mind enough to actually study the religious dogmas of just the main world religions (Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist) with focus on beginnings and early history and central tenets you will begin to understand how all grew out of superstition about magic gods that live in the sky. But it is likely that you never will undertake such a task, not only because of the effort and time required, but mostly because of the rift your new understanding would cause between you and your family and peer group unless you hypocritically hide from them your discoveries. If you do not undertake the task, you will be choosing to remain ignorant for the rest of your life. If you in fact have the courage to question that your opinion of atheists might be mistaken, I would suggest careful reading of Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” parts I and II. Be sure to have your Bible handy while doing so as well. Then understand that in the time of Paine, while vilified by believers for claiming to be a Deist, his treatment would have been far harsher had he claimed atheism, which in fact is a first cousin to Deism.
    jfkjax,
    Do some reading yourself. Start with Paine. Read a few National Geographic magazines. Next time in church really listen to what the preacher says and compare it what you see in your daily life, things like computers, airplanes, television, iPhones, the internet, all of which are the result of science, which religion has tried to suppress for ages and now finds itself becoming as irrelevant as buggy whips.
    Kaelan,
    Your assignment for today is to research and explain to someone else the omnipotence paradox. Hopefully there are not too many syllables there for you to wrap your mind around. If you are able to achieve that assignment, then read “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. Thirdly reread your post here and grade your own paper.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.