Shroud of Turin: It’s Fake, Get Over It!
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 7, 2009
Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised one bit by this piece of news: there is yet another piece of evidence that the much revered Shroud of Turin is a fake. But don’t tell the “Shroudies” – those who emphatically maintain that it is the “holy cloth” which covered the body of a crucified Jesus in his tomb – because they’re likely to engage in some rather interesting mental gymnastics via special pleading & cognitive dissonance.
This latest research on the Shroud definitely counters the criticism among the Shroudie-true-believers: that there is no known man-made technique which can accurately replicate the features of the Shroud. That is because the scientist in question, Luigi Garlaschelli, has perfected a method of replicating the Shroud!
“We have shown that is possible to reproduce something which has the same characteristics as the Shroud,” Luigi Garlaschelli, who is due to illustrate the results at a conference on the para-normal this weekend in northern Italy, said on Monday.
A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, Garlaschelli made available to Reuters the paper he will deliver and the accompanying comparative photographs.
The Shroud of Turin shows the back and front of a bearded man with long hair, his arms crossed on his chest, while the entire cloth is marked by what appears to be rivulets of blood from wounds in the wrists, feet and side. …
… But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth.
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.
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.
Of course, skeptics have known for quite some time that this supposed “holy relic” was most likely a complete fake. Scientific investigations have been conducted on the Shroud, and they have yielded embarrassing evidence which challenges the authenticity of the Shroud. These lines of evidence include the results of radiocarbon dating, done independently by three different labs – Oxford University, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – which all agree & reveal the year of origin of for the Shroud to be somewhere from 1260 to 1390. This was, incidentally, during the same period of time in European history where many charlatans were pawning off a variety of “holy relics” – from supposed body parts of Saints to splinters of the True Cross – upon the faithful & gullible for money.
In any case, when these results came out, the Shroudies began to come up with some really lame excuses. One example of these is well outlined at the Skeptic’s Dictionary entry on the Shroud…
The shroud allegedly was in a fire during the early part of the 16th century and, according to believers in the shroud’s authenticity, that is what accounts for the carbon dating of the shroud as being no more than 650 years old. To non-believers, this sounds like an ad hoc hypothesis.
According to microchemist Dr. Walter McCrone,
“The suggestion that the 1532 Chambery fire changed the date of the cloth is ludicrous. Samples for C-dating are routinely and completely burned to CO2 as part of a well-tested purification procedure. The suggestions that modern biological contaminants were sufficient to modernize the date are also ridiculous. A weight of 20th century carbon equaling nearly two times the weight of the Shroud carbon itself would be required to change a 1st century date to the 14th century (see Carbon 14 graph). Besides this, the linen cloth samples were very carefully cleaned before analysis at each of the C-dating laboratories.”*
Interestingly, when presented with these iron-clad scientific findings, the Catholic Church tries to have it both ways. The Catholic Church does not claim the Shroud is authentic nor that it is a matter of faith, but says it should be a powerful reminder of Christ’s passion. So, in other words, they don’t want to look like they’re encouraging people to act in a superstitious manner when they’re encouraging people to act in a superstitious manner.