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The shroud -- some links and a warning

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    ... I hesitate to enter this fray largely not only because -- as we ve seen before on XTalk and the old Crosstalk -- the subject of the shroud soon spins off
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2001
      John Lupia wrote:

      > > LA:
      > > Excuse me John. For some reason I get a little skeptical when
      > people
      > > start citing scientists speaking out on fields outside of those of
      > their
      > > own expertese, and are said to have reached "scientific
      > conclusions"
      > > that are "apodictic," and now, to have excluded other possibilities
      > as
      > > not just impossible, but "overwhemingly impossible."
      > You somehow must have misunderstood what I wrote. Drs. Danin and
      > Baruch
      > happen to be the world's leading experts on Israeli botany. So, when
      > they
      > find conclusive evidence I for one do not presume I know more they do
      > but
      > instead I listen.
      > >Speaking in terms
      > > of such absolute certainty does not strike me as exactly
      > scientific,
      > > especially with reference to this topic.
      > >
      > > No, I have not read their reports on seed harvest and yields in
      > > Palestine 2000 years ago. I'm sure that they are fascinating, and I
      > can
      > > hardly wait for the movie version. But, I fail to see how their
      > > expertese in this area translates into an expertese that allows
      > them to
      > > pontificate on the "overwhelming impossibility" of contamination,
      > either
      > > primary or secondary, of the shroud by pilgrims who had been to the
      > Holy
      > > land. We don't even know where the shroud was for major periods of
      > its
      > > existence, let alone how isolated it was from such potential
      > > contamination. How do we even *know* that someone didn't carry it
      > to
      > > Palestine itself at some time?
      > > Leon
      > >
      > Well, Leon, the problem is you have not read their reports. Danin did
      > not
      > rely on Max Frei's tapes but took new fresh samples with palynological
      > evidence of G.T. spores. First, this plant is very rare. It only
      > grows in
      > a small isolated area outside of Jersualem as it has for thousands of
      > years.
      > When I say it only grows there I mean it is the only place on earth
      > where it
      > grows. It is a rather unique signature to a small field that is
      > isolated
      > and where people do not go. Second, the image on the Shroud
      > discernible and
      > more easily observable in negatives clearly shows the G.T. stems and
      > leaves
      > like a photograph of the sternum area. Danin, says the image of the
      > photo-like image of this plant on the Shroud cannot be explained as
      > one
      > might argue about the pollen by contamination at some period. Besides
      > the
      > statistical probability of contamination is virtually zero due to the
      > rarity
      > of the plant and its isolation even among the flora of Israel. How a
      > medieval forger could have known all of this as well as produced this
      > photo-like image of the plant on the chest's sternum area is something
      > that
      > precludes forgery.

      I hesitate to enter this fray largely not only because -- as we've seen
      before on XTalk and the old Crosstalk -- the subject of the shroud soon
      spins off from rational discourse into name calling and factionalism and
      I don't want to stir the pot more than it already has been stirred. But
      also because of the fact that even if it could be shown conclusively
      that the shroud is 1st century and Palestinian in provenance, let alone
      the burial shroud of Jesus, it is of **dubious value for reconstructing
      the life and teaching of Jesus**.

      But having said that, I feel it is important to note that it is not
      necessarily the case, as John seems to think, that if one reads the
      reports that John mentions, one **must** come to the conclusions he
      advocates, let alone that the only reason that one could take a stand
      against the reputedly positive evidentiary value of the pollen
      "evidence" is that one hadn't read the reports in question (note the
      implication of his conclusion that the only way Leon could hold the
      views he does is because he [presumably] hasn't read what John has
      read). For there are many who **have** read them and have not come away
      persuaded by their conclusions, since it is felt that the methodologies
      employed were flawed and/or the conclusions drawn were **not** warranted
      by the "evidence" produced.

      I point to one such review by Steven D. Schafersman of the Department
      of Geology of Miami University at Oxford, Ohio that was published in
      _Approfondimento Sindone_ Year II, vol. 2, 1998 that may be found at:

      I also would point people to the review of the evidence, as well as the
      many links on the shroud both pro and con as regards the issue of its
      "authenticity", that may be found at: http://skepdic.com/shroud.html

      With that said, and at the risk of seeming hypocritical on this, let me
      note that if I detect the current thread on the shroud devolving into a
      less than collegial exchange, I will shut it down immediately.


      Jeffrey Gibson
      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
      7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
      Chicago, Illinois 60626
      e-mail jgibson000@...

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