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Old 6th January 2016, 03:26 AM   #2361
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This is not ananswer. This is a flight of fancy.
It does not seem to me that you are using terms, the meanings of which you understand.

However, at the risk of being identified as a "snarling dog", or an abuser of the helpless:

The worth of the D'arcis memo and the Clement declaration is not that a Bishop, or a Pope, settled the issue by declaring that the CIQ was not "authentic". The worth of the D'arcis memo and the Clement declaration is that, shortly after the very first reliably recorded appearance of the CIQ, it was the subject of consideration; and there is no earlier reliable record of the CIQ's existence. (The "Pray Codex" identification is a bit of pareidolia on par with the Whangers' "coins".)
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Old 6th January 2016, 03:36 AM   #2362
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
No, they do not. They cannot. This is the transgression committed by nearly every fringe theorist, to suppose that some deficiency in arguing for one conclusion somehow affirms another. It begs the question rather egregiously.
Inorite?
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Old 6th January 2016, 03:39 AM   #2363
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Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
An observation: David and Hugh have both been active on shroudstory.com which, on a cursory glance, looked to be a good-natured place where people who have an interest in the Filthy Dishrag got together to discuss it at length. As someone says in response to Dan Porter's farewell


This place isn't like that. Here, the CIQ is just another mundane item that some people thought was supernatural in origin, but has been thoroughly (spectacularly) debunked. The chances of it being c. 2000 years old are so vanishingly small, what's the point of splitting hairs over what a pope said about it.

Here the question is "show us the evidence?" The answer to this isn't, "your debating techniques are ineffective." This response will draw a lot of impolite comments.
I have occasionally participated in Porter's blog. I tryed to defend my anti-authenticity position and I received insults and anathemas and some polite answers by exceptional sidonists such as Porter and Farey (a very particular sindonist, by the way). The rational discussion was an exception and became particulary impossible when I raised some of the contradictions of sindonism that I am suggesting here.
I am amazed because the global disqualifications and the refusing to discuss the same particular subjects is being replicated here.
It is easy to say "you are a X" or "that has already been discussed". It is easy to dispatch the opponent accusing him of "dishonestity" or be "obtuse". It is easy to jabbatise the opponent. It is not easy to respect the rules of a rational discussion, be patient and pay attention to the true position of our antagonists.
The absence of opponents (Jabba is not) is a problem of a forum because it encourage the formation of automatisms and slogans. This is the problem here.
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Old 6th January 2016, 04:00 AM   #2364
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
Fair enough, Jond (#2325), but YSTR the case from some time ago. I would love the Shroud to be authentic, same as I would love the Loch Ness Monster to be authentic (Why not? What fun weird and unlikely things are!),
Well, there are lots of things I would love to be true, but which are not.

Quote:
and like Houdini's search for authentic communication with the dead, I have searched the existing evidence (particularly that which had persuaded me of the authenticity of the shroud before I changed my mind), and carried out some research myself, to try to persuade myself that it is.
Self persuation is not a good basis for objective research.

Quote:
Sadly, I have not, so far, succeeded, although I think there are a few historical grey areas which are so far inaccessible.
Hope of the gaps?

Quote:
However, those "historical grey areas" which do not convince me are compelling to many others, and, coupled to a few other bits of geological and biological evidence, and the easy dismissal of many of the less precise arguments put forward in favour of a medieval provenance, constitute a large body of pro-authenticity support.
Yeah, so we have noticed. That is the result of researching for self-persuation.

Quote:
The Shroud is, I think, an artefact of much wider general interest than almost any other historical object.
Really? Can't say I agree.

Quote:
What's more, it cannot be said that there is any overwhelming consensus either in favour, or against, authenticity.
Really? Then you might venture where Jabba never fared and point oit some pro authenticy evidence? .... Just a little bit?

Quote:
As such, it is a fair topic for debate, and anyone from either side could fairly call themselves 'skeptical' of the opinions of the others. There is a lot to be said for allowing this state of affairs to continue, but it is in the nature of Scientists not only to want to pin down the truth of the matter, but also to achieve at least a majority, if not universal consensus.
Facts are not a matter of consensus. They are a matter of evidence.

Quote:
Those who think the earth is spherical vastly outnumber those who think it flat, and perhaps there is little value in trying to persuade them otherwise, but opinions about the Shroud are far less polarised, which is why discussion about it is as plentiful now as it ever was.
This is silly. Earth is not round from consensus. Even if every human being in the world was thoroughly convinced it is flat, it would still be round.

Quote:
Filippo Lippi (#2326), are you sure you aren't deceiving yourself? If "thoroughly debunked" implies some kind of general acceptance, then nothing could be further from the truth.
Thoroughly debunked means defeated by evidence.

Quote:
I do not think that the aim of internationalskeptics is simply to establish dogma, indeed, as a teacher myself, I think its aim is to educate people in rational exploration and 'critical thinking' (a phrase which occurs 4 times in the JREF mission statement page).
Which is exactly the reason why evidence counts, not opinions.

Quote:
Slowvehicle's last list of "arguments against authenticity" (#2270), which I know have been reiterated many times, and so have perhaps become less than precise more by neglect than intent, are all arguable, and, as we have seen, in some cases simply wrong.
Please list your evidence.

Quote:
For instance, JayUtah claims that "Science can tell us the image is anatomically and gravitationally incorrect." Can it? Can JayUtah point to any comparative measurements that would substantiate his anatomical claim? I have myself attempted comparative measurements, but it is extremely difficult to define specific anatomical points on the Shroud from which to derive measurements to compare to standard, or even non-standard, human dimensions.
Now, I'm afraid, you are speaking against better knowledge. However, I can design a simple experiment for you, which while very easy to perform is still sound, empirical science:

1) Lie flat on the floor (or other firm surface). Cross your hands over your genitals (as depicted on the shroud).

2) Note the position of your elbows: Unless you are a chimpanzee, they will be lifted from the floor.

3) Now relax, as dead persons tend to do (and as the shroud depicts the person to do), and let your elbows rest on the floor beside your chest.

4) Note the position of your hands: They now no longer cover your genitals.

Here you are: Empirical proof of one of the anatomical impossibilities of the shroud.

... You're welcome!

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Old 6th January 2016, 04:12 AM   #2365
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I have occasionally participated in Porter's blog. I tryed to defend my anti-authenticity position and I received insults and anathemas and some polite answers by exceptional sidonists such as Porter and Farey (a very particular sindonist, by the way). The rational discussion was an exception and became particulary impossible when I raised some of the contradictions of sindonism that I am suggesting here.
I am amazed because the global disqualifications and the refusing to discuss the same particular subjects is being replicated here.
It is easy to say "you are a X" or "that has already been discussed". It is easy to dispatch the opponent accusing him of "dishonestity" or be "obtuse". It is easy to jabbatise the opponent. It is not easy to respect the rules of a rational discussion, be patient and pay attention to the true position of our antagonists.
The absence of opponents (Jabba is not) is a problem of a forum because it encourage the formation of automatisms and slogans. This is the problem here.
Praps you might deign to provide actual examples?
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Old 6th January 2016, 04:25 AM   #2366
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
Fair enough, Jond (#2325), but YSTR the case from some time ago. I would love the Shroud to be authentic, same as I would love the Loch Ness Monster to be authentic (Why not? What fun weird and unlikely things are!), and like Houdini's search for authentic communication with the dead, I have searched the existing evidence (particularly that which had persuaded me of the authenticity of the shroud before I changed my mind), and carried out some research myself, to try to persuade myself that it is. Sadly, I have not, so far, succeeded, although I think there are a few historical grey areas which are so far inaccessible.

However, those "historical grey areas" which do not convince me are compelling to many others, and, coupled to a few other bits of geological and biological evidence, and the easy dismissal of many of the less precise arguments put forward in favour of a medieval provenance, constitute a large body of pro-authenticity support.

The Shroud is, I think, an artefact of much wider general interest than almost any other historical object. It never ceases to surprise me, as I review recent publications for the BSTS newsletter, that fictional adventures involving the Shroud as a major part of the plot are published at the rate of about one a month. I do not know if the same can be said of the Mona Lisa, the Pyramids or any other religious artefact, but the Shroud is certainly up there with the best of them. What's more, it cannot be said that there is any overwhelming consensus either in favour, or against, authenticity. As such, it is a fair topic for debate, and anyone from either side could fairly call themselves 'skeptical' of the opinions of the others. There is a lot to be said for allowing this state of affairs to continue, but it is in the nature of Scientists not only to want to pin down the truth of the matter, but also to achieve at least a majority, if not universal consensus. Those who think the earth is spherical vastly outnumber those who think it flat, and perhaps there is little value in trying to persuade them otherwise, but opinions about the Shroud are far less polarised, which is why discussion about it is as plentiful now as it ever was.

Filippo Lippi (#2326), are you sure you aren't deceiving yourself? If "thoroughly debunked" implies some kind of general acceptance, then nothing could be further from the truth. I do not think that the aim of internationalskeptics is simply to establish dogma, indeed, as a teacher myself, I think its aim is to educate people in rational exploration and 'critical thinking' (a phrase which occurs 4 times in the JREF mission statement page). This cannot be done by mere dismissal of the eccentric, and nor can it be done by less than critical thinking on the part of the critical thinkers themselves. Slowvehicle's last list of "arguments against authenticity" (#2270), which I know have been reiterated many times, and so have perhaps become less than precise more by neglect than intent, are all arguable, and, as we have seen, in some cases simply wrong. They are adequate for preaching to the already converted, and more than adequate against the pro-authenticist quarry this thread has been pursuing for so long, but wholly unlikely to educate more informed authenticists, who may begin to visit this site, into critical re-evaluation. Instead of the "I'm right you're wrong" approach of your comment, this thread would benefit from a "Why I'm right and why you're wrong" attitude.

For instance, JayUtah claims that "Science can tell us the image is anatomically and gravitationally incorrect." Can it? Can JayUtah point to any comparative measurements that would substantiate his anatomical claim? I have myself attempted comparative measurements, but it is extremely difficult to define specific anatomical points on the Shroud from which to derive measurements to compare to standard, or even non-standard, human dimensions. Various forensic pathologists have attempted to assess the height of the man imaged in the Shroud, but the range of these (over 20cm) attests to the difficulty of the task. I should be very interested in JayUtah's evidence. By 'gravitational' I suppose JayUtah to be considering the image of the hair (although there are other gravitational considerations), which appears to look more like hair hanging vertically from a standing man than hair falling away from the face on a lying man. However this assumes that the image of the hair is a contact print. If the image were able to form at a distance, then the problem is negated. There seems to be a consensus among internationalskeptics commenters that authenticists are all stupid, and blind to the most obvious objections to their view. This is naive. Many of them, like myself, have spent years considering all the possible factors involved, and differ only in that, unlike myself, they consider that the preponderance of evidence points to authenticity rather than non-authenticity.
I will take this as a long way of saying, "no, there is no evidence in favor of authenticity." Thanks.
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Old 6th January 2016, 04:33 AM   #2367
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Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
-- For now, I think the blood sub-issue is especially important, and I'll address that first. For instance, if you guys could convince me that the stains are probably not blood, I would probably give up the ghost..
Besides the fact that back at the start of the baseball season, Slowvehicle struck you out on the blood claim, there's a question I've asked before and you ignored before. If you were going to try to make a convincing "shroud", would you use blood on it? If not, why not? If so, do you understand why the presence of blood tells us nothing about when it was made and who's blood it is?
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Old 6th January 2016, 04:38 AM   #2368
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Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
-[...]
- For now, I think the blood sub-issue is especially important, and I'll address that first. For instance, if you guys could convince me that the stains are probably not blood, I would probably give up the ghost...
Such temerity!

The presence of blood is not proof of authenticity. It's a simple-minded argument to pretend otherwise.
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Old 6th January 2016, 06:08 AM   #2369
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Some time ago I attempted a new thread on the cultural context of the Shroud, in the Arts forum, but it did not attract much interest. However if I were allowed to start a more investigative thread here, it might attract commenters who wanted to discuss the developments in Shroud research. I hope that over the weekend I might have time to think about it properly.

Responses to my last post here, however, have been disappointing. I have always wondered about the anatomical accuracy of the Shroud, but cannot find good evidence either way. JayUtah's vague comments that the 'arms have always looked wrong' or 'the head has always looked too big' are all very well, but others 'have always' completely disagreed, including various forensic pathologists of some renown. MRC Hans's 'lie-on-the-floor' experiment is irrefutable as it stands, but does depend on the image making 'body' lying flat on a surface. There have been numerous explanations of why that need not have been so. There are a few very detailed comparative analyses, all of them by authenticists, and all of them showing that neither the arms nor the head are wrong - no surprise there. But if one is to claim that these analyses are incorrect, one must produce evidence to the contrary, and I, for one, have found that very difficult, mostly because of the difficulty in making any measurements from the Shroud image itself. It can be argued that the analyses that have been done are unreliable for exactly the same reason, but that does not establish the contrary proposition.

In that statement I agree with JayUtah that dismissal of one set of evidence is not in itself evidence in favour of anything else, but I was careful not to claim that it was. Popular support for one proposition or another is not wholly evidence based, however, and lack of opposition can constitute a powerful reinforcement of belief. In my last few posts I have clearly said that I think the Shroud is medieval, but my opinions, and those of every other non-authenticist, are balanced by at least a similar number of people who think the opposite, and a discussion forum should be able to explore not just what people think, but why people think it. Abaddon is quite wrong to think I am a 'sindonist' (if that means one who believes in authenticity), but it is not failure of intellect if someone on one side of an argument wants to understand the reasoning behind those on the other.

It is true that there is a large body of miraculist belief in the authenticity of the Shroud. The foundations for such a belief are outside the realm of Science, and cannot be discussed form a Scientific point of view. Occasionally Scientists are told that it is unscientific to reject the possibility that wholly supernatural events can occur, which is true. Science is based on the premise that the universe is rational, and there are those who do not accept that premise. However, the correct scientific response is not that the universe cannot be irrational, but that if it is, science cannot investigate it, and so leave it at that. I am not an 'irrationalist', and nor, I think, is the current Pope, who has made it quite clear that for him, God is not a magician who waves a magic wand (I mention this only because I am known as a Catholic, and often accused of recusancy in my relentless rationality, but I'm not going to discuss theology here).

However there are plenty of authenticists who do not think the image on the Shroud breaks any laws of physics, and have been researching possible ways of producing an image from a dead body, in unusual circumstances. These are not all 'contact' hypotheses, and include various forms of action at at distance, such as the chemical action of vapours or various forms of radiation. I don't find any of them convincing, but there are plenty of others who do, and it is relevant to a discussion forum to try to understand why.

Some of Slowvehicle's arguments about the alleged bloodstains are well established, and as they stand it might seem astonishing that anybody could deny them. However they are denied, and have been investigated, in hideous detail. No potassium in the blood? - traumatic haemolysis. First century Jewish burial rites? - Nobody knows what they were, let alone whether they were always adhered to. Iron oxide and 'serum'? - Ah! Be careful! just because iron oxide and a medium are also found in paint is not, of course, evidence that the bloodstains are not blood. Trickles and flows - various forms of transfer, from subcutaneous oozes to pre-mortem dried blood subsequently moistened to post-mortem flows from major punctures. Do I think any of these counter-arguments convincing? No, I don't, but my point all along is that there are plenty of people who do, some of them well experienced in the forensic study of blood residues. All scientists working on any project must continually ask themselves; could my evidence be interpreted differently? And if there is a body of people who think they are wrong, be prepared to engage in discussion towards a resolution. MRC Hans missed the point about my flat-earth analogy, which was not that truth is established by consensus, but that where opinion is fairly divided between two views of something, then it is worthwhile to find out why. This may not be worthwhile if dissent is from an extreme minority, but in the case of the Shroud, where there is substantial opinion on both sides, I think it is.
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Old 6th January 2016, 06:18 AM   #2370
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Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
-
- I'll try to present my evidence for the shroud being ~2000 yrs old.
...
- For now, I think the blood sub-issue is especially important, and I'll address that first.
Do you not get whiplash changing direction so quickly?
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Old 6th January 2016, 06:27 AM   #2371
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
Some time ago I attempted a new thread on the cultural context of the Shroud, in the Arts forum, but it did not attract much interest. However if I were allowed to start a more investigative thread here, it might attract commenters who wanted to discuss the developments in Shroud research. I hope that over the weekend I might have time to think about it properly.

Responses to my last post here, however, have been disappointing. I have always wondered about the anatomical accuracy of the Shroud, but cannot find good evidence either way. JayUtah's vague comments that the 'arms have always looked wrong' or 'the head has always looked too big' are all very well, but others 'have always' completely disagreed, including various forensic pathologists of some renown. MRC Hans's 'lie-on-the-floor' experiment is irrefutable as it stands, but does depend on the image making 'body' lying flat on a surface. There have been numerous explanations of why that need not have been so. There are a few very detailed comparative analyses, all of them by authenticists, and all of them showing that neither the arms nor the head are wrong - no surprise there. But if one is to claim that these analyses are incorrect, one must produce evidence to the contrary, and I, for one, have found that very difficult, mostly because of the difficulty in making any measurements from the Shroud image itself. It can be argued that the analyses that have been done are unreliable for exactly the same reason, but that does not establish the contrary proposition.

In that statement I agree with JayUtah that dismissal of one set of evidence is not in itself evidence in favour of anything else, but I was careful not to claim that it was. Popular support for one proposition or another is not wholly evidence based, however, and lack of opposition can constitute a powerful reinforcement of belief. In my last few posts I have clearly said that I think the Shroud is medieval, but my opinions, and those of every other non-authenticist, are balanced by at least a similar number of people who think the opposite, and a discussion forum should be able to explore not just what people think, but why people think it. Abaddon is quite wrong to think I am a 'sindonist' (if that means one who believes in authenticity), but it is not failure of intellect if someone on one side of an argument wants to understand the reasoning behind those on the other.

It is true that there is a large body of miraculist belief in the authenticity of the Shroud. The foundations for such a belief are outside the realm of Science, and cannot be discussed form a Scientific point of view. Occasionally Scientists are told that it is unscientific to reject the possibility that wholly supernatural events can occur, which is true. Science is based on the premise that the universe is rational, and there are those who do not accept that premise. However, the correct scientific response is not that the universe cannot be irrational, but that if it is, science cannot investigate it, and so leave it at that. I am not an 'irrationalist', and nor, I think, is the current Pope, who has made it quite clear that for him, God is not a magician who waves a magic wand (I mention this only because I am known as a Catholic, and often accused of recusancy in my relentless rationality, but I'm not going to discuss theology here).

However there are plenty of authenticists who do not think the image on the Shroud breaks any laws of physics, and have been researching possible ways of producing an image from a dead body, in unusual circumstances. These are not all 'contact' hypotheses, and include various forms of action at at distance, such as the chemical action of vapours or various forms of radiation. I don't find any of them convincing, but there are plenty of others who do, and it is relevant to a discussion forum to try to understand why.

Some of Slowvehicle's arguments about the alleged bloodstains are well established, and as they stand it might seem astonishing that anybody could deny them. However they are denied, and have been investigated, in hideous detail. No potassium in the blood? - traumatic haemolysis. First century Jewish burial rites? - Nobody knows what they were, let alone whether they were always adhered to. Iron oxide and 'serum'? - Ah! Be careful! just because iron oxide and a medium are also found in paint is not, of course, evidence that the bloodstains are not blood. Trickles and flows - various forms of transfer, from subcutaneous oozes to pre-mortem dried blood subsequently moistened to post-mortem flows from major punctures. Do I think any of these counter-arguments convincing? No, I don't, but my point all along is that there are plenty of people who do, some of them well experienced in the forensic study of blood residues. All scientists working on any project must continually ask themselves; could my evidence be interpreted differently? And if there is a body of people who think they are wrong, be prepared to engage in discussion towards a resolution. MRC Hans missed the point about my flat-earth analogy, which was not that truth is established by consensus, but that where opinion is fairly divided between two views of something, then it is worthwhile to find out why. This may not be worthwhile if dissent is from an extreme minority, but in the case of the Shroud, where there is substantial opinion on both sides, I think it is.
You would profit from careful consideration of the nature of "special pleading"...
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Old 6th January 2016, 06:33 AM   #2372
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Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- I think I'm back.
<snip>
So where's the evidence you claims proves the authenticity of the shroud?
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Old 6th January 2016, 06:55 AM   #2373
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
[...]
Some of Slowvehicle's arguments about the alleged bloodstains are well established, and as they stand it might seem astonishing that anybody could deny them. However they are denied, and have been investigated, in hideous detail. No potassium in the blood? - traumatic haemolysis. First century Jewish burial rites? - Nobody knows what they were, let alone whether they were always adhered to. Iron oxide and 'serum'? - Ah! Be careful! just because iron oxide and a medium are also found in paint is not, of course, evidence that the bloodstains are not blood. Trickles and flows - various forms of transfer, from subcutaneous oozes to pre-mortem dried blood subsequently moistened to post-mortem flows from major punctures. .
So what? If there is blood on it, that doesn't help establish authenticity.
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Old 6th January 2016, 07:05 AM   #2374
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
It really does beggar belief that Jabba would declare an intention to present the evidence for the shroud being 2000 years old, and then promptly raise an issue which has no bearing whatsoever on the shroud's age.

Why? It isn't as if we haven't already seen him repeatedly do exactly that.
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Old 6th January 2016, 07:26 AM   #2375
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You, sir, at least do read the replies to your posts. A nice change compared to some.

Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
*snip* MRC Hans's 'lie-on-the-floor' experiment is irrefutable as it stands, but does depend on the image making 'body' lying flat on a surface. There have been numerous explanations of why that need not have been so.
How else could a dead body lie, other than flat?

Quote:
There are a few very detailed comparative analyses, all of them by authenticists, and all of them showing that neither the arms nor the head are wrong - no surprise there. But if one is to claim that these analyses are incorrect, one must produce evidence to the contrary, and I, for one, have found that very difficult, mostly because of the difficulty in making any measurements from the Shroud image itself. It can be argued that the analyses that have been done are unreliable for exactly the same reason, but that does not establish the contrary proposition.
I have not worked with this. Can you, briefly, explain why it is difficult to measure the image?

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*snip*
However there are plenty of authenticists who do not think the image on the Shroud breaks any laws of physics, and have been researching possible ways of producing an image from a dead body, in unusual circumstances. These are not all 'contact' hypotheses, and include various forms of action at at distance, such as the chemical action of vapours or various forms of radiation. I don't find any of them convincing, but there are plenty of others who do, and it is relevant to a discussion forum to try to understand why.
It is not relevant to undestand why they find it convincing, only if there is some evidence supporting them.

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*snip*
- Ah! Be careful! just because iron oxide and a medium are also found in paint is not, of course, evidence that the bloodstains are not blood.
Blood is a minor matter. There is not probative value in blood, as it can just as easily be found on a fake.

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MRC Hans missed the point about my flat-earth analogy, which was not that truth is established by consensus, but that where opinion is fairly divided between two views of something, then it is worthwhile to find out why.
It may be worhtwhile from a philosophical or religious POV, but from a scientific POV, in search of facts about a given object, it is entirely irrelevant.


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This may not be worthwhile if dissent is from an extreme minority, but in the case of the Shroud, where there is substantial opinion on both sides, I think it is.
And you don't think the pro-authenticy side is an extreme minority?

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Old 6th January 2016, 07:51 AM   #2376
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Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
For instance, if you guys could convince me that the stains are probably not blood, I would probably give up the ghost.
What if we could convince you that human blood was available in the Middle Ages?
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Old 6th January 2016, 07:53 AM   #2377
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
What if we could convince you that human blood was available in the Middle Ages?
You can't prove A negative.
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Old 6th January 2016, 07:56 AM   #2378
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
The head has always looked too big.

And too pointy.
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Old 6th January 2016, 07:57 AM   #2379
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What is blue, with orange stripes; hangs on the wall; smells like roses; and whistles?

I don't know. What is blue, with orange stripes; hangs on the wall; smells like roses; and whistles?

A trout.

...A trout is not blue, with orange stripes!

It would be, if I painted it.

...A trout does not hang on the wall!

It would, if I nailed it there.

...A trout does not smell like roses!

It would, if I sprayed it with air freshener; at least it attar...

...A trout does not whistle!

I believe it might...
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Old 6th January 2016, 07:58 AM   #2380
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You can't prove A negative.


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Old 6th January 2016, 08:03 AM   #2381
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post

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Old 6th January 2016, 08:05 AM   #2382
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
JayUtah's vague comments that the 'arms have always looked wrong' or 'the head has always looked too big' are all very well, but others 'have always' completely disagreed, including various forensic pathologists...
You accuse me of being vague, yet supply only vague claims in return. As I said, before the carbon dating provided a conclusive answer to the cloth's age, the image was always considered misshapen, and this was one of the most discussed aspects prior to the 1980s.

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But if one is to claim that these analyses are incorrect, one must produce evidence to the contrary...
No, that's not how argumentation works. The conductors of these analyses have the burden to show they have a proper basis. Insufficiency, for example, where shown, is a valid rebuttal to an affirmative claim.

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I, for one, have found that very difficult, mostly because of the difficulty in making any measurements from the Shroud image itself.
Your failure to refute claims of anatomical anomaly would be probative only if you have some sort of credential in anthropometrics.

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It can be argued that the analyses that have been done are unreliable for exactly the same reason, but that does not establish the contrary proposition.
The "contrary proposition" has been the prevailing view for years -- that the image does not show an anatomically correct human.

You can't seem to make up your mind whether science applies. You said science can't touch the cloth. I gave an example of where it can. But you waffle between the notion that Very Important qualified scientists support authenticity on the basis of the pictured image, yet backpedal in trying to say that science might not be reliable. You're equivocating.

Quote:
In that statement I agree with JayUtah that dismissal of one set of evidence is not in itself evidence in favour of anything else, but I was careful not to claim that it was.
You claimed exactly that it was. You said your ability to dismiss the flimsier claims of your critics constituted evidence in favor of authenticity. In pretty much those words. That's an egregiously begged question. Nor does the spin that follows correct that. There is no logical basis that allows you to support an affirmative claim of authenticity without affirmative evidence.

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Abaddon is quite wrong to think I am a 'sindonist' (if that means one who believes in authenticity)...
Then clarify what you meant when you said you believed the preponderance of evidence favors authenticity.

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It is true that there is a large body of miraculist belief in the authenticity of the Shroud. The foundations for such a belief are outside the realm of Science, and cannot be discussed form a Scientific point of view.
If you believe that we must rely on miracles to provide proof of claims that the cloth is the authentic burial shroud of the biblical Jesus, then you're quite certainly arguing in the wrong forum. You wouldn't be the first fringe claimant to dismiss all of science with a broad sweeping gesture and then claim his made-up crap constituted a better source of knowledge. Pretending real science doesn't matter is the cornerstone of all fringe argumentation.

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Old 6th January 2016, 08:16 AM   #2383
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Blood is a minor matter. There is not probative value in blood, as it can just as easily be found on a fake.
The sindonist line of reasoning to which you allude embodies the converse fallacy. And the converse fallacy appears to be the popular approach: if they can but discredit their critics' objections, this somehow constitutes affirmative proof of their beliefs.

If the stains purported to be blood are not blood, then it casts doubt on authenticity and supports forgery. Simply put, if they are paint then they cannot be blood. And if it's not blood at all, then it can't be some specific person's blood -- specifically it can't be Jesus' blood.

But the cargo-cult rejoinder is to simply turn the claim around and try to show it is blood -- i.e., simplistically undermine the objection. As noted, the claimants fail to realize that authentic blood does not prove an authentic shroud. As I explained to Jabba, such findings would be necessary but not sufficient. That is, if the shroud is authentic then the stains must be blood. But if the stains are blood, that doesn't mean the shroud must be authentic.
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Old 6th January 2016, 08:53 AM   #2384
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
That is, if the shroud is authentic then the stains must be blood. But if the stains are blood, that doesn't mean the shroud must be authentic.
Maybe it doesn't mean it's authentic, but does it tip the scales ?
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Old 6th January 2016, 09:07 AM   #2385
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Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- I think I'm back.

- I'll try to present my evidence for the shroud being ~2000 yrs old.

- For now, I think the blood sub-issue is especially important, and I'll address that first.

Good morning, Jabba. Welcome back.

Would you please give us a brief explanation of how blood relates to determining age? I don't understand how the shroud can be dated based on the presence or lack of blood. I thank you in advance.
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Old 6th January 2016, 10:01 AM   #2386
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MRC Hans, and JayUtah, thank you. First MRC Hans.

1) Various ideas regarding anatomical irregularities.
a) If the body was in a rigor mortis position established while hanging from a cross, it could have a distorted shape when laid down (head slightly raised, legs bent).
b) If its shroud were laid over such a body, its upper side would follow the contours of the body, while its underside would be flat.
c) If the body were laid on some sort of mattress, such as a pile of straw, spices, a stone 'pillow' or whatever, it would adopt a more bent attitude.
There are various permutations of these, including combinations, all of which have been suggested, and all of which enable the wrists to be crossed over the genitals.

2) Let us say to ourselves that the head looks too big for the body. I can take a photo of myself lying down, and measure the distance from the top of the head to the chin, and maybe from ear to ear. I could then measure the distance across my shoulders, say, or from chin to navel. By relating these measurements to each other I can establish the relationship between the size of my head and the size of my body. If the Shroud head is too big, then similar measurements will lead to significant differences in these proportions. Unfortunately neither the top of the head, the ears, the chin the sides of the shoulders nor the navel are visible on the Shroud. Bummer. A similar problem occurs with almost every measurement one might want to make. How high is the man? We have no top of the head and very distorted feet. As I say, estimates differ by 20cm or so, making the estimation no better than guesswork. Are his legs too long? Pinpointing the middle of the knee-caps, the ankles and the hips is also fraught with sufficient imprecision as not to make it possible to produce ratios to a sufficient level of precision to determine whether they are or not.

3) Does it matter why our opponents are convinced of their beliefs? Well it might. Blind faith will not produce much interest from scientists, but a different interpretation of the evidence might. After all, both sides of the argument are working with exactly the same observations; it is how they interpret them that makes them differ in their conclusions.

4) I was not using the blood as evidence of anything. What I was doing was showing that some of the observations regarding the red stains, such as the apparent lack of potassium, can be interpreted either as evidence that it isn't blood at all, or that it is evidence of severe traumatic haemolysis and the leaking of plasma-borne rather than corpuscle-borne haemoglobin. Similarly, the iron oxide found might be interpreted as red ochre or as the residue of oxidised haemoglobin.

5) In a forum labelled "Religion and Philosophy", I think investigation into why there are such different interpretations of observations is entirely valid.

6) And finally, no I do not think authenticists form a tiny minority. I do not think there has ever been a representative poll, but certainly there are many more published books and papers defending authenticity than there are against it, all of which rely more on scientific than religious arguments for their views. I could not claim that there is a 50/50 split in either direction, but do not believe that the minority, whichever side it is, is negligible.

JayUtah. Thank you too.

1) Carbon dating tells us nothing about anatomical precision. Anatomical precision is determined by measurement of the lengths of various parts of the body, and the ratios of those lengths to each other. Two papers will show how variable assessments of these measurements on the Shroud are. Pro-authenticity: "Computerized anthropometric analysis of the Man of the Turin Shroud" by Giulio Fanti et al., and Non-authenticity: "The Shroud of Turin: The Great Gothic Art Fraud" by Gregory S.Paul. Both are available on the internet.

2) Perhaps this was badly worded by me. In order to show that a reasoned hypothesis is incorrect, you have to produce evidence to the contrary. If you demonstrate that the reasoning is faulty or inadequate, you do not show that the hypothesis is incorrect, merely that it is invalid. As it is, of course, no-one (except possibly myself) has demonstrated insufficiency.

3) "Your failure to refute claims of anatomical anomaly would be probative only if you have some sort of credential in anthropometrics." That's a touch petty, if you'll forgive me. Did you need credentials in anthropometrics to to claim that the head looks big or the arms look too long? If you read the non-authenticist paper referenced above you will find a determined conclusion that the head is in fact too small!

4) "You said science can't touch the cloth." I don't understand this whole comment at all, but I certainly didn't say anything as meaningless as "science can't touch the cloth."

5) "You said your ability to dismiss the flimsier claims of your critics constituted evidence in favor of authenticity. In pretty much those words." No. Follow the advice of MRC Hans and read the comments more carefully. I used the words I did with precision, to mean what they said, not "pretty much" what you think they said. To save anyone having to scroll back, here is the relevant sentence:
"However, those "historical grey areas" which do not convince me are compelling to many others, and, coupled to a few other bits of geological and biological evidence, and the easy dismissal of many of the less precise arguments put forward in favour of a medieval provenance, constitute a large body of pro-authenticity support."
People in favour of authenticity think their views supported by their ability to dismiss the evidence to the contrary. They may be wrong; I think they usually are wrong, but that's what they feel. I suspect that many non-authenticists find support in their easy dismissal of Jabba's authenticist propositions.

6) "You said you believed the preponderance of evidence favors authenticity." Nope. Again, the sentence is:
"Many of them, like myself, have spent years considering all the possible factors involved, and differ only in that, unlike myself, they consider that the preponderance of evidence points to authenticity rather than non-authenticity."

7) "If you believe that we must rely on miracles...." Come on, admit it, you haven't actually read what I said at all, have you? That's quite OK, why should you, but if you want to comment on what I believe, then reading what I post would surely help, don't you think?
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Old 6th January 2016, 11:06 AM   #2387
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
Various ideas regarding anatomical irregularities.
And have you tested any of these hypotheses? What was the finding?

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Does it matter why our opponents are convinced of their beliefs? Well it might.
It matters especially when an argument apparently predicated on belief in miracles is put forward as a rational argument. It definitely means that the two sides do not have a congruent axiomatic basis for discussion.

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In a forum labelled "Religion and Philosophy", I think investigation into why there are such different interpretations of observations is entirely valid.
In a forum labeled "International Skeptics Forum" claimants will be asked for evidence, and those identifying as skeptics will be well attuned to specious methods of argumentation common to fringe theories. Interpretations of observations, toward some particular conclusion, that require belief in unproven premises to affirmative claims will be properly rejected.

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Carbon dating tells us nothing about anatomical precision.
Agreed; I didn't claim it does. My point was that prior to carbon dating, which conclusively established the age of the cloth, the discussion focused more heavily on observations that could be made at the time, such as the anthropometrics of the depiction. While those discussions have fallen into disuse after the eclipsing radiocarbon dating findings, they are still pertinent and still provide areas where science can gain a foothold.

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Two papers will show how variable assessments of these measurements on the Shroud are.
Asked and answered. "It's hard to measure the body accurately" does not reconcile the apparent love-hate relationship with science in your argument. While I appreciate the references, I was led to believe that appropriately qualified professionals expressed their judgment that the image on the shroud was authentic (or, if you prefer, inauthentic). In my mind, such judgment is probative only where such professionals can be seen to act in a professional capacity in supporting their judgment with evidence and general scientific consensus as to the judgments. What you seem to have provided instead is self-published work that purports a form of rigor but without its meat.

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Perhaps this was badly worded by me. In order to show that a reasoned hypothesis is incorrect, you have to produce evidence to the contrary. If you demonstrate that the reasoning is faulty or inadequate, you do not show that the hypothesis is incorrect, merely that it is invalid.
Requiring affirmative disproof of another's affirmative claims is one of the oldest features of fringe argumentation. I'll acknowledge the imprecise wording in this case, but invalidity of the line of reasoning supplied for an affirmative claim is still grounds for rejecting the claim.

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As it is, of course, no-one (except possibly myself) has demonstrated insufficiency.
This is why real science employs the concept of a null hypothesis. It is the claimant's burden to falsify the null. An affirmative claim that the cloth is the authentic burial shroud of the biblical Jesus inevitably generates the null hypothesis that it is not.

In addition there is a variety of affirmative evidence that the shroud is a medieval forgery. It is not necessary to rely solely on the null hypothesis to reject Shroud enthusiasts' claims. One can presume the null, which is that the cloth is not Jesus' burial shroud, or one can affirm the counterargument, which is that the cloth is a medieval forgery. Either one is a "non-authenticist" position, but the former requires nothing more than the inability of sindonists to supply affirmative evidence.

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That's a touch petty, if you'll forgive me. Did you need credentials in anthropometrics to to claim that the head looks big or the arms look too long?
I reported common observations. You, in rebuttal, claimed that a precise determination of anthropometric accuracy was impossible owing to unacceptable uncertainty in the source data. Aside from the references provided in this post, your only support for that conclusion was your claim to have personally attempted to derive usable measurements, which was not successful. If you are unfamiliar with how to do that, or inexperienced, then your failure could be attributed to your lack of expertise, not to problems with the data. The failure is probative of the intractability of the problem only if you have relevant expertise.

As a matter of fact I do have formal training in anthropometrics (though not extensive) and in photographic analysis of the type that would be applicable here, but I did not intend that to be the basis of my statement. I have not personally attempted any anthropometrical analysis of the image.

I cited anthropometrics as a scientific discipline that applies to testing authenticity of the cloth. You seem to have agreed, by your citation of what you propose are scientific treatises in the field.

Quote:
"You said science can't touch the cloth." I don't understand this whole comment at all, but I certainly didn't say anything as meaningless as "science can't touch the cloth."
You seem to suggest that much of what should be taken as evidence of authenticity invokes the supernatural and is thus outside the realm of scientific inquiry. Correct me if I have misunderstood.

As to the rest: yes, I misread your earlier posts. I apologize for the misunderstanding.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:20 PM   #2388
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
MRC Hans, and JayUtah, thank you. First MRC Hans.

1) Various ideas regarding anatomical irregularities.
a) If the body was in a rigor mortis position established while hanging from a cross, it could have a distorted shape when laid down (head slightly raised, legs bent).
If the 'god'-spiel accounts of the crucifiction are to be taken historically, the body would nt have been "hanging from a cross" long enough for the onset of rigor to have affected the muscles of the core, which takes six hours or more to begin developing.

If the historicity of the crucifiction accounts is to be rejected, peripheral rigor demonstrable preceded core rigor; that is, for thee spine to develop rigor such that a curve or foreshortening would be preserved, the arms would have already been fixed in a raised position.

Special pleading, based on a superficial understanding of the process and progression of post-mortem rigor.


Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
b) If its shroud were laid over such a body, its upper side would follow the contours of the body, while its underside would be flat.
Special pleading based upon conjecture, driven by a misconception. If the arms were flaccid enough to stretch down to cover the genitals, they would have been flaccid enough for the elbows to fall to the sides, and the spine would have been flaccid enough to lose the claimed "drawn up" position (an odd thing, BTW, for gravity to do to a hanging spine...). None of which deals with the "strips" of linen said to be said to be "wrapped" around the body...

Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
c) If the body were laid on some sort of mattress, such as a pile of straw, spices, a stone 'pillow' or whatever, it would adopt a more bent attitude.
No evidence of such a "pillow" or "mattress" has been presented, nor is such recorded in the crucifiction accounts.

Raw special pleading, hoping for an unevidenced "pillow" or "mattress" The only reason a "pillow" or "mattress" is proposed is to explain away the inconvenience of the anatomical impossibility of the"shroud slouch".

Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
There are various permutations of these, including combinations, all of which have been suggested, and all of which enable the wrists to be crossed over the genitals.

<snip for focus>
All of which have been proposed as ad hoc solutions; driven, not by the discovery of evidence, but by creative conjecture as ways to explain away evidence in the face of an assumed consequent.

Business as usual...
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:34 PM   #2389
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
No evidence of such a "pillow" or "mattress" has been presented, nor is such recorded in the crucifiction accounts.
Among the description we have of the burial is that it was carried out according to Jewish custom. Did those customs include a pillow or mattress? I'd be surprised...

Quote:
Raw special pleading, hoping for an unevidenced "pillow" or "mattress" The only reason a "pillow" or "mattress" is proposed is to explain away the inconvenience of the anatomical impossibility of the"shroud slouch".



All of which have been proposed as ad hoc solutions; driven, not by the discovery of evidence, but by creative conjecture as ways to explain away evidence in the face of an assumed consequent.

Business as usual...
Yeah, all those "Well it COULD be due to this or that" are baseless. Is there any reason to think there was a pillow or mattress, other than you need that in order to rationalize authenticity? If not? Then baseless.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:43 PM   #2390
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Among the description we have of the burial is that it was carried out according to Jewish custom. Did those customs include a pillow or mattress? I'd be surprised...

Yeah, all those "Well it COULD be due to this or that" are baseless. Is there any reason to think there was a pillow or mattress, other than you need that in order to rationalize authenticity? If not? Then baseless.
Part and parcel with the "patching" conjectures.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:47 PM   #2391
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
Part and parcel with the "patching" conjectures.
Yep. What's the evidence for a patch? Well, it must be patched in order to explain why the 14C dating is wrong...
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:49 PM   #2392
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It's important to note that Hugh Farey is presenting arguments that pro-authenticists frequently use. These are not his personal beliefs (I think).

This should not change anyone's reaction to the argument, but I'm pretty sure that Hugh understands the weaknesses of the arguments he's presenting. I don't think he's presenting the arguments to persuade skeptics that they are valid.

Ward
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Old 6th January 2016, 02:46 PM   #2393
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
I'm pretty sure that Hugh understands the weaknesses of the arguments he's presenting. I don't think he's presenting the arguments to persuade skeptics that they are valid.
That's good to know, and a good reason why I like your suggestion that he start a new thread.
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Old 6th January 2016, 04:37 PM   #2394
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
That's good to know, and a good reason why I like your suggestion that he start a new thread.
A new thread might be a good idea. These 4 threads have much heavy baggage that shows little chance of ever being let-go.
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Old 6th January 2016, 04:52 PM   #2395
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I don't know how often I have to say that I m not convinced by authenticist arguments before it sinks in. Wardenclyffe is entirely correct. My point is not that these arguments are valid, but that they do exist, and that they are convincing to a great many perfectly intelligent, rational people. I am honoured that I count among my friends Barrie Schwortz, a Jew by birth and a scientific photographer by trade, who has become convinced by the evidence that the Shroud is genuine, and flatter myself that he counts among his friends myself, a Catholic by birth and a Science teacher by trade, who has become convinced by exactly the same evidence that the Shroud is medieval. There are, no doubt, non-authenticists who think that Barrie is an idiot, and there are certainly authenticists who think that I am damned, but these are simplistic reductions of what could be a fruitful field of 'religion and philosophy' enquiry.

Slowvehicle raises the issue of "special pleading" which I think is worth addressing. The term suggests some kind of unjustified exemption from the norm, and in order to be adduced, there ought to be a norm from which some exemption can be claimed. The trouble with the Shroud is that it is unique. Whether it is ancient or medieval, it cannot be compared to anything similar. The nature of Second Temple Jewish burial seems almost invariably to have involved moving the remains of the deceased into an ossuary after a year or so, at which time the rotted shrouds, if any, seems to have been discarded. The nature of 1st century Roman crucifixion is attested by one single heelbone with a nail through it. If any crucified person, whether of any religious significance or not, has left us his shroud, then it could only be via an extraordinary, and, self evidently unique, accumulation of circumstances. The term "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances.

Similarly, however, barely a single example of such fine linen survives from the middle ages, and no example at all of an image of two bodies lying in head to head, front and back juxtaposition. There is no evidence that Shroud is in anyway typical of any medieval tradition - but then, since no similar medieval cloths remain to compare it with, the concept of "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances either.

Regarding rigor mortis, its onset, progress and duration are extremely variable, depending on the circumstances and environment of the death. Cadaveric spasm, which occasionally occurs in circumstances of violent death, and is superficially indistinguishable from rigor mortis, into which it develops, is almost instantaneous, and it can continue almost indefinitely. An interesting old article entitled "The phenomena of death in battle" by George L. Kilmer is highly recommended for its observations, although its medical conclusions, being over 100 years old, may have been superceded by more recent information. To suggest that a crucified body might be in a state of rigor mortis when it is entombed does not seem like special pleading in the light of these observations - quite the reverse, in fact. Some pathologists have suggested that Jesus was actually carried to the tomb with his arms outstretched, either as they were on the cross or still fastened to the crossbeam, which were then forcibly brought downwards, and possibly tied at the wrist, to facilitate burial.

Another thing non-authenticists ought to avoid is too much reliance on the King James Bible's account for an accurate description of the events surrounding the suffering, death and burial of Jesus Christ. If John 19:40 (about the burial customs) is an accurate account, then so, presumably is John 20:12 (in which two Angels appear to Mary Magdalene). Why not?

Furthermore, we really have little idea what the burial customs really were, or how they might have been amendable in the case of a) a convicted criminal or b) the imminence of the Sabbath. If they were completed on the evening of Jesus's death, then we must ask ourselves why the women went back two days later, for example. Archaeological evidence is extremely meagre, and written instructions either date from hundreds of years before, or tens of years after, the events of the crucifixion.
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Old 6th January 2016, 04:58 PM   #2396
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
I don't know how often I have to say that I m not convinced by authenticist arguments before it sinks in. Wardenclyffe is entirely correct. My point is not that these arguments are valid, but that they do exist, and that they are convincing to a great many perfectly intelligent, rational people. I am honoured that I count among my friends Barrie Schwortz, a Jew by birth and a scientific photographer by trade, who has become convinced by the evidence that the Shroud is genuine, and flatter myself that he counts among his friends myself, a Catholic by birth and a Science teacher by trade, who has become convinced by exactly the same evidence that the Shroud is medieval. There are, no doubt, non-authenticists who think that Barrie is an idiot, and there are certainly authenticists who think that I am damned, but these are simplistic reductions of what could be a fruitful field of 'religion and philosophy' enquiry.

Slowvehicle raises the issue of "special pleading" which I think is worth addressing. The term suggests some kind of unjustified exemption from the norm, and in order to be adduced, there ought to be a norm from which some exemption can be claimed. The trouble with the Shroud is that it is unique. Whether it is ancient or medieval, it cannot be compared to anything similar. The nature of Second Temple Jewish burial seems almost invariably to have involved moving the remains of the deceased into an ossuary after a year or so, at which time the rotted shrouds, if any, seems to have been discarded. The nature of 1st century Roman crucifixion is attested by one single heelbone with a nail through it. If any crucified person, whether of any religious significance or not, has left us his shroud, then it could only be via an extraordinary, and, self evidently unique, accumulation of circumstances. The term "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances.

Similarly, however, barely a single example of such fine linen survives from the middle ages, and no example at all of an image of two bodies lying in head to head, front and back juxtaposition. There is no evidence that Shroud is in anyway typical of any medieval tradition - but then, since no similar medieval cloths remain to compare it with, the concept of "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances either.

Regarding rigor mortis, its onset, progress and duration are extremely variable, depending on the circumstances and environment of the death. Cadaveric spasm, which occasionally occurs in circumstances of violent death, and is superficially indistinguishable from rigor mortis, into which it develops, is almost instantaneous, and it can continue almost indefinitely. An interesting old article entitled "The phenomena of death in battle" by George L. Kilmer is highly recommended for its observations, although its medical conclusions, being over 100 years old, may have been superceded by more recent information. To suggest that a crucified body might be in a state of rigor mortis when it is entombed does not seem like special pleading in the light of these observations - quite the reverse, in fact. Some pathologists have suggested that Jesus was actually carried to the tomb with his arms outstretched, either as they were on the cross or still fastened to the crossbeam, which were then forcibly brought downwards, and possibly tied at the wrist, to facilitate burial.

Another thing non-authenticists ought to avoid is too much reliance on the King James Bible's account for an accurate description of the events surrounding the suffering, death and burial of Jesus Christ. If John 19:40 (about the burial customs) is an accurate account, then so, presumably is John 20:12 (in which two Angels appear to Mary Magdalene). Why not?

Furthermore, we really have little idea what the burial customs really were, or how they might have been amendable in the case of a) a convicted criminal or b) the imminence of the Sabbath. If they were completed on the evening of Jesus's death, then we must ask ourselves why the women went back two days later, for example. Archaeological evidence is extremely meagre, and written instructions either date from hundreds of years before, or tens of years after, the events of the crucifixion.
How does your friend address the carbon dating?

How does anything in the above paragraphs address the carbon dating?

It's all very well to speculate about the provenance of an apparently medieval cloth for which the actual date is not known.

It's something else for self-professed men of reason to speculate about the provenance of an apparently medieval cloth that has been conclusively dated to the Middle Ages.
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Old 6th January 2016, 05:28 PM   #2397
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
I don't know how often I have to say that I m not convinced by authenticist arguments before it sinks in. Wardenclyffe is entirely correct. My point is not that these arguments are valid, but that they do exist, and that they are convincing to a great many perfectly intelligent, rational people. I am honoured that I count among my friends Barrie Schwortz, a Jew by birth and a scientific photographer by trade, who has become convinced by the evidence that the Shroud is genuine, and flatter myself that he counts among his friends myself, a Catholic by birth and a Science teacher by trade, who has become convinced by exactly the same evidence that the Shroud is medieval. There are, no doubt, non-authenticists who think that Barrie is an idiot, and there are certainly authenticists who think that I am damned, but these are simplistic reductions of what could be a fruitful field of 'religion and philosophy' enquiry.

Slowvehicle raises the issue of "special pleading" which I think is worth addressing. The term suggests some kind of unjustified exemption from the norm, and in order to be adduced, there ought to be a norm from which some exemption can be claimed. The trouble with the Shroud is that it is unique. Whether it is ancient or medieval, it cannot be compared to anything similar. The nature of Second Temple Jewish burial seems almost invariably to have involved moving the remains of the deceased into an ossuary after a year or so, at which time the rotted shrouds, if any, seems to have been discarded. The nature of 1st century Roman crucifixion is attested by one single heelbone with a nail through it. If any crucified person, whether of any religious significance or not, has left us his shroud, then it could only be via an extraordinary, and, self evidently unique, accumulation of circumstances. The term "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances.

Similarly, however, barely a single example of such fine linen survives from the middle ages, and no example at all of an image of two bodies lying in head to head, front and back juxtaposition. There is no evidence that Shroud is in anyway typical of any medieval tradition - but then, since no similar medieval cloths remain to compare it with, the concept of "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances either.

Regarding rigor mortis, its onset, progress and duration are extremely variable, depending on the circumstances and environment of the death. Cadaveric spasm, which occasionally occurs in circumstances of violent death, and is superficially indistinguishable from rigor mortis, into which it develops, is almost instantaneous, and it can continue almost indefinitely. An interesting old article entitled "The phenomena of death in battle" by George L. Kilmer is highly recommended for its observations, although its medical conclusions, being over 100 years old, may have been superceded by more recent information. To suggest that a crucified body might be in a state of rigor mortis when it is entombed does not seem like special pleading in the light of these observations - quite the reverse, in fact. Some pathologists have suggested that Jesus was actually carried to the tomb with his arms outstretched, either as they were on the cross or still fastened to the crossbeam, which were then forcibly brought downwards, and possibly tied at the wrist, to facilitate burial.

Another thing non-authenticists ought to avoid is too much reliance on the King James Bible's account for an accurate description of the events surrounding the suffering, death and burial of Jesus Christ. If John 19:40 (about the burial customs) is an accurate account, then so, presumably is John 20:12 (in which two Angels appear to Mary Magdalene). Why not?

Furthermore, we really have little idea what the burial customs really were, or how they might have been amendable in the case of a) a convicted criminal or b) the imminence of the Sabbath. If they were completed on the evening of Jesus's death, then we must ask ourselves why the women went back two days later, for example. Archaeological evidence is extremely meagre, and written instructions either date from hundreds of years before, or tens of years after, the events of the crucifixion.
Okay, you don't like the term "special pleading" when applied to the unique shroud. I think the method of argument described is still special pleading, but we can call it ad hoc rationalization if you would prefer. The image on the cloth doesn't look the way one would expect a dead body lying on its back to look. Instead of accepting that it may just be an artistic representation, shroud supporters look for reasons to explain the problem away. "Maybe it's cadaveric spasm." Okay, why aren't his arms still outstretched? "Well maybe his arms were forced down and tied over the genitals." Why isn't he leaning forward more (assuming his head fell forward as he died)? "Well maybe he was on a mattress or a pillow."

It all depends on "well maybe..." without any actual evidence.

I have on occasion addressed the Shakespeare Authorship "controversy." One problem Shakespeare-deniers have to overcome is the rather large amount of contemporary evidence that Shakespeare wrote the works attributed to him. For instance, "Venus and Adonis," "The Rape of Lucrece," and many of the plays were published during his lifetime in his name. Shakespeare-deniers have to come up with an explanation for this. "Well, yeah, but the name was hyphenated, so maybe it actually refers to someone else!" The rational response to this is, "Wait, what?" The "well maybe the body was placed on a mattress" argument seems precious little better.

I realize that you are not an authenticist and that these arguments don't represent your personal views, but, whether you want to call it special pleading or not, it is still a fallacious form of argument. In my experience, it's also a never-ending argument. There will always be another "well maybe" or "well perhaps it was this."
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Old 6th January 2016, 05:42 PM   #2398
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
I don't know how often I have to say that I m not convinced by authenticist arguments before it sinks in.
You, like I, tend to write walls of text from which important details don't emerge at first. Not to say you should change your style, but if more than a few people miss important points, consider that not all of them are dense.

Quote:
[T]hese are simplistic reductions of what could be a fruitful field of 'religion and philosophy' enquiry.
This forum may not be what you're used to. It tends more toward testing claims and away from philosophizing. You've been drawn into the slipstream of Jabba's amusing attempts to prove authenticity, which is unfortunate. It may take a bit longer for people to calibrate to your approach, but don't expect too much. Rational skepticism isn't lenient when it comes to claims of the religious or the supernatural. If that comes across as unacceptably simplistic reductions, then you would be happier having your discussion at least in another thread if not another forum.

Quote:
The trouble with the Shroud is that it is unique.
Your reasons notwithstanding, there are ways in which it is not unique. Which is to say, there are ways in which it's simply another claimed relic, ostensibly dating from a time when relic forgery was commonplace. It is merely the most well known of a class of objects purported to have some association with Catholic faith and history. It is a medieval object about which unique and farfetched claims are made. But to take them at face value risks falling into the same pit as UFO claimants: they think the strength of what they attribute observations to bleeds over somehow into the properties of the observation itself.
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Old 6th January 2016, 06:26 PM   #2399
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Gosh. I think I agree with all that!
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Old 6th January 2016, 06:42 PM   #2400
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
I don't know how often I have to say that I m not convinced by authenticist arguments before it sinks in. Wardenclyffe is entirely correct. My point is not that these arguments are valid, but that they do exist, and that they are convincing to a great many perfectly intelligent, rational people. I am honoured that I count among my friends Barrie Schwortz, a Jew by birth and a scientific photographer by trade, who has become convinced by the evidence that the Shroud is genuine, and flatter myself that he counts among his friends myself, a Catholic by birth and a Science teacher by trade, who has become convinced by exactly the same evidence that the Shroud is medieval. There are, no doubt, non-authenticists who think that Barrie is an idiot, and there are certainly authenticists who think that I am damned, but these are simplistic reductions of what could be a fruitful field of 'religion and philosophy' enquiry.

Slowvehicle raises the issue of "special pleading" which I think is worth addressing. The term suggests some kind of unjustified exemption from the norm, and in order to be adduced, there ought to be a norm from which some exemption can be claimed. The trouble with the Shroud is that it is unique. Whether it is ancient or medieval, it cannot be compared to anything similar. The nature of Second Temple Jewish burial seems almost invariably to have involved moving the remains of the deceased into an ossuary after a year or so, at which time the rotted shrouds, if any, seems to have been discarded. The nature of 1st century Roman crucifixion is attested by one single heelbone with a nail through it. If any crucified person, whether of any religious significance or not, has left us his shroud, then it could only be via an extraordinary, and, self evidently unique, accumulation of circumstances. The term "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances.

Similarly, however, barely a single example of such fine linen survives from the middle ages, and no example at all of an image of two bodies lying in head to head, front and back juxtaposition. There is no evidence that Shroud is in anyway typical of any medieval tradition - but then, since no similar medieval cloths remain to compare it with, the concept of "special pleading" can hardly apply in these circumstances either.

Regarding rigor mortis, its onset, progress and duration are extremely variable, depending on the circumstances and environment of the death. Cadaveric spasm, which occasionally occurs in circumstances of violent death, and is superficially indistinguishable from rigor mortis, into which it develops, is almost instantaneous, and it can continue almost indefinitely. An interesting old article entitled "The phenomena of death in battle" by George L. Kilmer is highly recommended for its observations, although its medical conclusions, being over 100 years old, may have been superceded by more recent information. To suggest that a crucified body might be in a state of rigor mortis when it is entombed does not seem like special pleading in the light of these observations - quite the reverse, in fact. Some pathologists have suggested that Jesus was actually carried to the tomb with his arms outstretched, either as they were on the cross or still fastened to the crossbeam, which were then forcibly brought downwards, and possibly tied at the wrist, to facilitate burial.

Another thing non-authenticists ought to avoid is too much reliance on the King James Bible's account for an accurate description of the events surrounding the suffering, death and burial of Jesus Christ. If John 19:40 (about the burial customs) is an accurate account, then so, presumably is John 20:12 (in which two Angels appear to Mary Magdalene). Why not?

Furthermore, we really have little idea what the burial customs really were, or how they might have been amendable in the case of a) a convicted criminal or b) the imminence of the Sabbath. If they were completed on the evening of Jesus's death, then we must ask ourselves why the women went back two days later, for example. Archaeological evidence is extremely meagre, and written instructions either date from hundreds of years before, or tens of years after, the events of the crucifixion.
Much risibility in your post.

I don't care if you, personally, believe the sidonist suite of inventions, or not--if you present them, especially without disclaimer or rejoinder of your own, the arguments are fair game.

You are also a bit misled about what constitutes, in this case, the "special pleading". Look, for instance, at objections to the 14C dating. As an example, consider the multiple contradictory "...[u]patching.../U]" "theories. No person who has ever handled the CIQ, with the opportunity to look at both sides, and examine the weave that way, has ever seen, or alluded to, any kind of "repair" or "patch" in the sampled area. The claims that there "could be", or "must be", or even might be conjectured to be" a "patch (that was, oddly enough, utterly overlooked when the sampling site was selected, and completely consumed in the sampling) are driven not by evidence of a "patch", but by the pre-assumed conclusion that the 14C date must be "wrong", where "wrong" means, "not 1st Century C.E.". It is the argument for the invisible pink unicorn in the garage all over again.

Consider the claims you make about rigor mortis. While the onset of rigor can, in fact, be delayed or advanced by environmental influences, the progress of rigor is well-understood, depending as it does upon antemortem blood circulation, blood chemistry and cellular respiration, and the masses of the muscles themselves. To present a facile conjecture that "rigor may have been different in the crucifiction" is to completely sidestep the idea that if the large muscles of the trunk were in rigor or tetany to the extent that the spine would be immovably flexed, the shoulders and arms would have been in an even more advanced state of rigor, and locked into the supracaudal position of the body depending from them. The same holds for cadaveric spasm, or cataleptic rigidity. If the trunk were in rigor, the limbs would be more so.

As far as "to much reliance" on the "King James Bible", oh, dear--have you been reading the argument?

The Koiné noun "ὀθόνιον (g3608) is rendered as "clothes" in the KJV, but the word means "strips", as in bandages or mummy-wrappings. Further, the Koiné verb, δέω (g1210) means "wrapped", or "bound", not "laid gently upon" (See John 11:44 for comparison, but do use the Koiné, not the KJV). See also (for instance) the NJB for a translation more faithful to the Koiné.

If the 'god'spiel account is not to be taken as authoritative, what price "authenticity"? What doth it profit a sidonist if they gain "sheet" and loose the entire MJ?

Conjecture that the "burial customs of the Jews" might have been superceded begs the question as to why "John" would be said to be said to have used the phrase...or why the levitical injunctions about treating dead bodies might have passed from use. The only reason to claim so is, you guessed it, to buttress up (without evidence) the special pleading that this corpse may have been "different", or treated differently.

And so it goes.
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