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Re: [textualcriticism] Re: The Gospel Hoax - my opinion

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... On which page did I say that the handwriting was painted ? I don t believe that I used the term that is put into direct quotes above. It is fair,
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 23, 2005
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      At 12:37 PM 10/23/2005 +0200, Wieland Willker wrote:
      >I am quite busy, so don't have the time to go into details now, but I think
      >it quite easy to refute most, if not all of Carlson's mini-arguments. Just
      >starting at the beginning: To say that the handwriting is "painted" cannot
      >be maintained. Compare for example with fig 2b. Is this "painted", too? To
      >me the writing of the letter looks quite fluent. I agree that the first two
      >TOU look a bit scribbled, this could be something, but it could also be
      >caused by something else.

      On which page did I say that the handwriting was "painted"? I don't believe
      that I used the term that is put into direct quotes above.

      It is fair, however, to wonder whether my analysis of the handwriting is
      competent. I wondered that too, so I had a professional forensic document
      examiner, Julie C. Edison, review my work. Here's what she wrote to me:

      --- excerpt ---

      Mr. Carlson asked me – a questioned document examiner – to help verify his
      methods for uncovering the truth.

      A professional forensic document examiner since November 1998, I have given
      testimony – both in the courtroom and in depositions – in Maryland,
      Virginia, District of Columbia, Connecticut, and Australia. Currently, I am
      a member of the Independent Association of Questioned Document Examiners
      (IAQDE), and the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI).

      . . .

      However, Mr. Carlson has carefully studied the “bible” of the questioned
      document field, Questioned Documents, authored by Albert S. Osborn in 1910
      and revised in 1929. The text consists of 36 chapters and – with its index
      included – more than 1,000 pages.

      On pages 129 and 365 of Questioned Documents, Mr. Osborn discusses
      “patching” or the creation of letters using more than one stroke. Here, the
      writer uses more than one stroke to construct a letter or letter portion.

      When patching is present, the writing often appears halting and stilted
      rather than natural. And although such strokes would be acceptable for
      elderly or ill writers, Osborn writes, patching is a telltale sign of a

      Mr. Carlson – as well as this examiner – found numerous examples of patching
      throughout the manuscript in question. He accurately illustrates a few in
      Figures 4A, 4B, and 4C of his text.

      Mr. Carlson and this examiner also found numerous examples where what
      appeared to be connecting letters – upon close examination – were individual
      letters carefully constructed together. In this examiner’s own case
      experience, this trait is prominent in documents where fraudulent signatures
      appeared genuine. This examiner has discovered fraudulent signatures that
      were carefully constructed using tiny, overlapping pen strokes.

      . . .

      In my opinion, Mr. Carlson’s research into the questioned document field has
      been exemplary. My advice to him was to use Albert S. Osborn as a guide in
      his quest to disprove the authenticity of this document.

      --- end excerpt ---

      >The joke was basically that the words I put into your mouth, could also have
      >been spoken by M. Smith.

      Thanks for the clarification that it's just a joke. I had connected the
      lawyer's joke playing on the stereotype that lawyers are liars with the
      previous comment that the whole book was written as a lawyer would.

      >Of the arguments you presented, which one do you consider the strongest?

      The case is comprehensive, with multiple, diverse strands of evidence
      all pointing to the same solution. It does not depend on any particular
      argument. The most satisfying part of the case was that I was able to
      account for the anomalies of the script with Smith's own handwriting--
      in Smith's personal copy of Stählin's edition of Clement of Alexandria
      no less. Prosecutors are rarely so fortunate to find a forger's imitation
      lapsing into his own hand because professional forgers are usually more
      practiced than that. However, it is not strictly necessary to the case
      because forgers routinely go to prison without such evidence.

      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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