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Re: [XTalk] Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark

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  • Mike Grondin
    ... STM this is only the case if there is a natural hand tremor due to age or infirmity. Such a tremor would probably result in small jags if writing too
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 1, 2006
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      --- Jack Kilmon wrote:
      > The line quality of a hurried hand is good.
      > Quality diminishes the slower the hand.

      STM this is only the case if there is a natural hand
      tremor due to age or infirmity. Such a tremor would
      probably result in small jags if writing too slowly.
      Not having that problem, however, I find the opposite
      to be true, viz. that the more quickly I write, the
      lower the quality.

      Mike Grondin
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Jack, Do you have evidence for this, or is it just your experienced opinion? It seems like an unlikely over-generalization to me. When writing fast, isn t
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 1, 2006
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        At 09:21 AM 11/1/2006, Mike Grondin wrote:

        >--- Jack Kilmon wrote:
        > > The line quality of a hurried hand is good.
        > > Quality diminishes the slower the hand.

        Jack,
        Do you have evidence for this, or is it just your experienced opinion?
        It seems like an unlikely over-generalization to me. When writing fast,
        isn't there a tendency to do fine on the straightaways, but then tend to
        overshoot the hard turns? Or by "line quality" are you only talking about
        the "straightaways"?


        >STM this is only the case if there is a natural hand
        >tremor due to age or infirmity. Such a tremor would
        >probably result in small jags if writing too slowly.

        True, the straightaways will get more ragged if drawn too slowly.
        Seems to me *confidence* would be a bigger factor.
        Bob


        >Not having that problem, however, I find the opposite
        >to be true, viz. that the more quickly I write, the
        >lower the quality.
        >
        >Mike Grondin
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Hindley
        ... From: David Hindley [mailto:dhindley@njassociates.com] Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 9:30 AM To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: Chilton on
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 3, 2006
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          -----Original Message-----
          From: David Hindley [mailto:dhindley@...]
          Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 9:30 AM
          To: 'crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com'
          Subject: Re: Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark

          Ken Olsen said:

          <<It seems that you wish to place the burden of proof on Carlson to prove the non-existence of flow tremors in hurriedly-written 18th century manuscripts. If you wish to falsify Carlson's claims about the tremors, all you have to do is produce counterexamples.>>

          I am not directing this response to you in particular Ken, but if one is making the claim that evidence for tremors almost certainly means forgery (or whatever semantic term we wish to employ for rhetorical effect), and I think Stephen has essentially done so in his book, he *should* include an examination of similar documents for indications of, or lack of, similar tremors. In other words, there has been no control study to compare the manuscript photos against. The fact that a tremor can be an indication of forgery, when other evidence rules out a contrary explanation, does not mean that these tremors prove forgery. This is basic scholarly method, as without controls we are only making allegations.

          I've said it before and I'll say it again, this whole debate about a possible forgery smacks of "advocacy scholarship" and a "will to believe" so strong that almost any argument seems persuasive. What's the argument here, really? "Smith *could* have done it (because he was an evil genius, like the devil himself), so he *must* have done it (because the idea of a Secret Mark, in which Jesus *may* be portrayed as a libertine, is repulsive to our sensibilities)." The unstated assumptions I am picking up are in parentheses.

          Smith might have originally zeroed in on this particular manuscript, in spite of its source (a partial manuscript quotation in a blank book page written in a modern hand), because it could be interpreted to show that a relatively early tradition once existed that supported his already formed opinion that Jesus was a libertine. Yet he ultimately did not press the issue, probably because evidence was not strong enough to really prove anything. He himself noted the letter fragment appeared too good to be true. At best, even if this letter of Clement of Alexandria was genuine, the Gospel which the author quoted may not have been. Remember, it was the supposed Carpocratian version of Secret Mark that said "naked man with naked man", with "Clement" denying that such a passage was in his own Church's version.

          Is it really necessary to kill the messenger to dispose of Secret Mark? It can be disposed of quite nicely on its own merits, without getting ugly.

          Respectfully,

          Dave Hindley
          Cleveland, Ohio USA
        • goranson@duke.edu
          ... Dave, I suggest that your message takes as too small the difference between whether the MS is a copy of a second century text or is a twentieth-century
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 3, 2006
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            Quoting David Hindley <dhindley@...>:

            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: David Hindley [mailto:dhindley@...]
            > Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 9:30 AM
            > To: 'crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com'
            > Subject: Re: Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark
            >
            > Ken Olsen said:
            >
            > <<It seems that you wish to place the burden of proof on Carlson to
            > prove the non-existence of flow tremors in hurriedly-written 18th
            > century manuscripts. If you wish to falsify Carlson's claims about
            > the tremors, all you have to do is produce counterexamples.>>
            >
            > I am not directing this response to you in particular Ken, but if one
            > is making the claim that evidence for tremors almost certainly means
            > forgery (or whatever semantic term we wish to employ for rhetorical
            > effect), and I think Stephen has essentially done so in his book, he
            > *should* include an examination of similar documents for indications
            > of, or lack of, similar tremors. In other words, there has been no
            > control study to compare the manuscript photos against. The fact that
            > a tremor can be an indication of forgery, when other evidence rules
            > out a contrary explanation, does not mean that these tremors prove
            > forgery. This is basic scholarly method, as without controls we are
            > only making allegations.
            >
            > I've said it before and I'll say it again, this whole debate about a
            > possible forgery smacks of "advocacy scholarship" and a "will to
            > believe" so strong that almost any argument seems persuasive. What's
            > the argument here, really? "Smith *could* have done it (because he
            > was an evil genius, like the devil himself), so he *must* have done
            > it (because the idea of a Secret Mark, in which Jesus *may* be
            > portrayed as a libertine, is repulsive to our sensibilities)." The
            > unstated assumptions I am picking up are in parentheses.
            >
            > Smith might have originally zeroed in on this particular manuscript,
            > in spite of its source (a partial manuscript quotation in a blank
            > book page written in a modern hand), because it could be interpreted
            > to show that a relatively early tradition once existed that supported
            > his already formed opinion that Jesus was a libertine. Yet he
            > ultimately did not press the issue, probably because evidence was not
            > strong enough to really prove anything. He himself noted the letter
            > fragment appeared too good to be true. At best, even if this letter
            > of Clement of Alexandria was genuine, the Gospel which the author
            > quoted may not have been. Remember, it was the supposed Carpocratian
            > version of Secret Mark that said "naked man with naked man", with
            > "Clement" denying that such a passage was in his own Church's version.
            >
            > Is it really necessary to kill the messenger to dispose of Secret
            > Mark? It can be disposed of quite nicely on its own merits, without
            > getting ugly.
            >
            > Respectfully,
            >
            > Dave Hindley
            > Cleveland, Ohio USA

            Dave,
            I suggest that your message takes as too small the difference between whether
            the MS is a copy of a second century text or is a twentieth-century
            misdirected
            composition. If historians do not address that difference, whether for fear of
            being charged with "getting ugly" or "kill[ing]" or for some other reason,
            would that seem good to you? Or perhaps I misunderstand your
            recommendation. If
            it is (to skip the fake/forgery/hoax/fraud choice) bogus, shouldn't that be
            shown and known?
            Stephen Goranson
            http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... Actually, in my book, I specifically compared the photos of Smith s MS against three manuscripts from Mar Saba: Sabas 452, 518, and 523 (See FIGS. 2A, 2B,
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 3, 2006
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              At 09:36 AM 11/3/2006 -0500, David Hindley wrote:
              >I am not directing this response to you in particular Ken, but if one is
              >making the claim that evidence for tremors almost certainly means forgery
              >(or whatever semantic term we wish to employ for rhetorical effect), and I
              >think Stephen has essentially done so in his book, he *should* include an
              >examination of similar documents for indications of, or lack of, similar
              >tremors. In other words, there has been no control study to compare the
              >manuscript photos against. The fact that a tremor can be an indication of
              >forgery, when other evidence rules out a contrary explanation, does not mean
              >that these tremors prove forgery. This is basic scholarly method, as without
              >controls we are only making allegations.

              Actually, in my book, I specifically compared the photos of Smith's MS
              against three manuscripts from Mar Saba: Sabas 452, 518, and 523 (See
              FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C, respectively).

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
              Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
              Author of: The Gospel Hoax, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
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