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Still Waters

New Shroud of Turin study casts doubt

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Still Waters

A new French-Italian study on the Shroud of Turin throws doubt on what many thought was the definitive dating of the cloth believed by millions to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

This latest two-year study was headed and funded by French independent researcher Tristan Casabianca, with a team of Italian researchers and scientists: 

In 1988 radiocarbon tests on the Shroud of Turin dated the cloth to between 1260 and 1390. The implication was clear: The shroud was a medieval forgery. After a 2017 Freedom of Information (FOI) request, a new team of researchers gained access to the original data used for the 1988 test. The findings of this new team are that the 1988 test results were unreliable.

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-shroud-of-turin-latest-study-deepens-mystery

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papageorge1

I have always heard that the shroud was somewhat damaged in a medieval fire and repaired. If such a sample was used that would explain the results. 

Even with whatever dating there are many mysteries to how the image would have been produced artificially.

I still feel the shroud may well be the shroud that covered Jesus.

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third_eye

The Turin Shroud JC doesn't look Jewish at all... funny that... 

~

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Robotic Jew

Anything to keep the believers believing.

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Not A Rockstar

Well, if one claims to love science over all, the full article sounds as if there are strange deviations in the 1988 study done which diverged from the agreed upon process and may have skewed the results. The doubt that the sample may have come from a patched and contaminated/heavily handled area and not the cloth itself is also fair, if true. Proof for the age of this item has not been met. 

If a scientific date is going to be claimed for it, it has to be correct and withstand the scrutiny of peers the same as any other scientific results must do, not require a FOI to force release 30 years later. It is or it is not scientifically done, it did or did not withstand peer review. You cannot have it both ways.

 

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Troublehalf
Posted (edited)

This is quite an interesting case and if you think about it, there could be lots of strands of spider-web around here. Think about it. Lets say that they did test the shroud and it was 100% Middle-Ages, chances are the Church(s) would be greatly upset at such a result and as we all know have immense political and economical power. Therefore, the results resort to '95%', allowing a small % to allow people to believe it was a mistake (and the results from the original study do not state anything of the sort of concrete evidence). Next, you get issues such as the Church not wanting 'damage' done to the artefact and thus only allowing fringe edges to be tested (whether or not this was agreed upon). Next, you have the Church specifically wanting only the edges tested so that the explanation of the results could be explained as being 'repair work', with the 'main body' of the Shroud not being tested allows a sense of doubt and the belief that it is actually as ancient as people claim and thus it is what they say it is. If they DID test the main body and it came back as medieval, well, that's a major issue and the Church(s) cannot allow that. Thus, the testing is most likely done to please both sides. To please the scientific community who want to test it and the religious community who do not want an artefact damaged nor risk the history of the item ruined, even partially.

Did they test the Shroud? Yes. Did they get a result? Yes. Was the result conclusive? Not fully. Was anything 'hidden' from the public? Not really. The Shroud was tested; unless the original test was meant to test the main body of the Shroud and not the edge... in which case, how did it get past peer review? How did three different labs go 'Well, OK, we'll only do this'. Who got the sample? Did nobody ask/confirm the sample was from a prearranged location? Which links back to my original point that the Shroud sadly has a lot of powerful people behind it and the result pleased both sides. What this article is trying to achieve is, I assume, a retest of a confirmed 'main body' of the Shroud... in which case I find that very unlikely as the Church will likely go 'We already did this and we're not damaging it further'. Is there proof that the part of the Shroud used was damaged and or repaired? That should really be the next part of the process. Remember, money and power is important in the world, yes, even in science and it is easily possible that the sample provided to the labs, unbeknownst to them, was from the edges. Or they could only test the edges due to pressure. Or many other reasons. So there is either a single party who knew of the duplicity before the fact or there is multiple parties.

Sadly I've not read much about this bar some stuff a few decades ago and the details of the test and so on might explain some of the points I put above. Not sure what the solution is.

Edited by Troublehalf
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bison
Posted (edited)

The validity of the medieval date has withstood criticism over the past 30 years. The notion that the date was affected by the sample being more recent than the rest of the shroud, or that the issue of contamination of the cloth had not been properly considered and dealt with, were refuted long ago.  That these same issues are being raised again, now, in a religious, not a scientific, publication should give us pause.  

Edited by bison
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eight bits
8 hours ago, Not A Rockstar said:

If a scientific date is going to be claimed for it, it has to be correct and withstand the scrutiny of peers the same as any other scientific results must do, not require a FOI to force release 30 years later. It is or it is not scientifically done, it did or did not withstand peer review. You cannot have it both ways.

Howdy, NAR.

The target article (the 1988-89 report) was peer-reviewed for publication in Nature. Alas, the new study is behind a paywall, and its free-to-all abstract seems mainly to renew questions that have already been widely discussed during the intervening decades (e.g. sampling representativeness, which I take to be @bison's point above).

I know absolutely nothing about how the British Museum came to be a custodian of the underlying data, and so I am in no position to comment on the legalities of the freedom of information request. Here in the US of A, an FOI request is a pretty routine thing; how it works in the UK, I have no clue.

You may be sure that the current editors of Nature will be attending to any new discussion that is in the recent paper. If there really was a lapse, or something in the raw data that was misrepresented or plainly mishandled in the target article, then they will very probably seek and implement retraction, or some other direct editorial correction.

I wouldn't hold my breath. The quality of review needed to get a paper published in Nature in the first place is withering. The chances that the editors screwed up back then are not great, and Nature runs an honest game. If they did screw up, then they will own up.

 

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DirtyDocMartens
9 hours ago, Not A Rockstar said:

Well, if one claims to love science over all, the full article sounds as if there are strange deviations in the 1988 study done which diverged from the agreed upon process and may have skewed the results. 

 

I trust science over all else, and believe all the details of any study should be made public and available for criticism.  At the same time I expect everyone to accept whatever definitive scientist evidence is produced.

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Imaginarynumber1

The image on the shroud does not appear to resemble a man from the middle east from ~2000 ya, at all. Astounding how some believe this.

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esoteric_toad

The face on the shroud would require that whoever or whatever was wrapped in the shroud would have to have a flat face like a minecraft character. 

The image is not distorted as it would be if it was wrapped around a body. The attached image is an example of how the image should be shaped if it were wrapped around the body.

4-Figure1-1.png

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ScotDeerie
22 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

I have always heard that the shroud was somewhat damaged in a medieval fire and repaired. If such a sample was used that would explain the results. 

Even with whatever dating there are many mysteries to how the image would have been produced artificially.

I still feel the shroud may well be the shroud that covered Jesus.

The very dark marks you see on the shroud (reddish/brown/triangle shapes) are burn marks from the fire. It was folded at the time and got singed at the folds. 

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jowasmus
Posted (edited)

I'm a member of the church, so that tells you where I stand religiously, but I highly doubt that we have any actual artifact that can be proved to be tied to Jesus. Even if a date is stamped on it in stone & the name "Jesus" was carved into it, there's not 1 shred of evidence besides opinion that confirms this shroud or any religious artifact is 100% legit.

Edited by jowasmus
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Calibeliever
19 hours ago, bison said:

The validity of the medieval date has withstood criticism over the past 30 years. The notion that the date was affected by the sample being more recent than the rest of the shroud, or that the issue of contamination of the cloth had not been properly considered and dealt with, were refuted long ago.  That these same issues are being raised again, now, in a religious, not a scientific, publication should give us pause.  

Correct, and such is the nature of scientific inquiry. With the exception of mathematical proofs, it's very difficult to completely close the book on something. The Newtonian model withstood criticism for decades because it was seemingly infallible. When it fell (or rather, was enhanced), It didn't make his conclusions wrong, just incomplete. When we teach science, we don't just read out of a book, we have students do the experiments themselves and reproduce the results. This is to create an understanding of something which doesn't require belief. Einstein has withstood almost a century of intense scrutiny, but we suspect at some point his model will be shown to be incomplete also. It's just the nature of the beast.

Science gets challenged by 'belief' all the time and it should continue to rise to that challenge with solid evidence. The shroud of Turin is still a 'mystery' and as such it will continue to be subject to questions and examination as long as anyone still has an unanswered question, which is awesome... and fun.

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papageorge1
1 hour ago, ScotDeerie said:

The very dark marks you see on the shroud (reddish/brown/triangle shapes) are burn marks from the fire. It was folded at the time and got singed at the folds. 

I was referring to the image itself. Nobody has been able to determine how it was created in a way that makes sense with the scientific analysis.

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ScotDeerie
Just now, papageorge1 said:

I was referring to the image itself. Nobody has been able to determine how it was created in a way that makes sense with the scientific analysis.

Read the article about DiVinci just above your post. If anyone had the technology, he did.

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papageorge1
2 minutes ago, ScotDeerie said:

Read the article about DiVinci just above your post. If anyone had the technology, he did.

I scanned it. There's certainly a ton of conjecture in that article.

And Leonardo lived around 1500AD. There was talk of the shroud well before that even.

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ScotDeerie
Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

I scanned it. There's certainly a ton of conjecture in that article.

And Leonardo lived around 1500AD. There was talk of the shroud well before that even.

There could have been more than one.  There are a LOT of relics floating around. Relics were big business back in the Middle Ages.  And Divinci was born mid-1400s.  Now we're getting closer to the time of the carbon dating. A piece of old cloth could take care of the difference not to mention whatever the actual margin of error is with carbon dating. 

Edited by ScotDeerie
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third_eye

If the shroud is examined just like any other piece of organic material, submitting it to the range of tests, with the kind of forensic technological procedures readily established now, it wouldn't need any debating over, one way or the other...

Problem is, the shroud would end up irreparably damaged, to the degree of devastation in more ways than one. 

~

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spud the mackem

You either believe in its authenticity , or you don't , its no use saying , well it maybe , it either is or it is not. Those who want to believe that it is ...feel free to do so, and those who don't believe its real....feel free to do so . The argument of whether it is real will never be solved as there are no other images of Jesus to compare with . Every image of Jesus painted or drawn comes from the imagination of the author ,of what He may have looked like ,but No One knows for sure.  

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ScotDeerie
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, third_eye said:

If the shroud is examined just like any other piece of organic material, submitting it to the range of tests, with the kind of forensic technological procedures readily established now, it wouldn't need any debating over, one way or the other...

Problem is, the shroud would end up irreparably damaged, to the degree of devastation in more ways than one. 

~

And it has hardly been kept as a pristine specimen for testing. Imagine how many hands have touched it over the years. Where it's been kept. WHAT it's been kept in. The fire. The pollution. Nightmare.

But another reason for not getting extensive testing is that once it is proven not to be the burial shroud then all The Church has is a medieval fake. (And even now they call it an "icon" not a relic so it's like they may suspect...)  It's sort of the same reason that QEII won't let any former kings and queens be studied -- DNA might prove embarrassing to the lineage and their right to the throne. Which, IIRC, has been in dispute since they found Richard III and got to study the body thoroughly. There seems to have been some hanky panky in the line and the people on the English throne today may well be pretenders due to what science coyly calls "a false paternity event". But I digress...

 

And here's an article on Carbon 14 dating and the problems of dating something this old.  (Skip down a bit. It gets more interesting below the first few paragraphs.)  https://www.shroud.com/meacham.htm

Edited by ScotDeerie
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ScotDeerie
3 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

There was talk of the shroud well before that even.

I was thinking about this. I have heard the shroud showed up suddenly and mysteriously around The Middle Ages.  Where is there mention of it earlier?

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papageorge1
8 minutes ago, ScotDeerie said:

I was thinking about this. I have heard the shroud showed up suddenly and mysteriously around The Middle Ages.  Where is there mention of it earlier?

I believe it’s at least Middle Ages before 1500. 

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Calibeliever
3 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

I scanned it. There's certainly a ton of conjecture in that article.

And Leonardo lived around 1500AD. There was talk of the shroud well before that even.

Yup, it seems the first verified written record of it found so far was from 1390 (60 years before da Vinci was born) by a bishop who declared it a forgery. 

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