# Shroud of Turin

1. Jan 16, 2007

### baywax

As I remember it this piece of cloth, which now sits in a church in Turin Italy, was carbon dated to around a date between 1200 and 1400 AD. It was also inspected for pollen and other microscopic evidence to determine an origin of the cloth. The official results were that the pollen was from the middle east. There have been several explainations about the shroud that range from religious accounts of a figure radiating their image into the cloth to scandalous accounts of 13th century methods of photography being used to fool the clerics of the time.

http://skepdic.com/shroud.html

2. Jan 16, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
3. Jan 16, 2007

### baywax

I'm sorry I should have guessed this topic would have been covered. What I find interesting is the fact that the cloth is dated to originate from the same period as when Da Vinci was an active inventor. In fact he was in Turin painting the Mona Lisa around the same period the cloth dates from. Da Vinci is noted for inventing the Camera Obscura (no one is perfectly sure, many attribute the invention of the camera obscura to Aristotle) which has been shown to be a possible mechanism in creating a crude photographic negative. And the images on the shroud are negatives. In fact the image of the back of the man on the shroud and of the front of the man are two different people altogether. The man's back is about 4 inches shorter than the man's front image. So, however the images were transfered, they come from two different specimens.

The Camera Obscure became a widely used instrument for artists. Vermeer was constantly sticking his head in one to capture images of his Dutch townships, tracing the inverted images that poured through the pin-hole in the camera.

Here's how it may have played out:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2875430

You can imagine Da Vinci using the Turin morgue's cadavers here. Leonardo had no fear or qualms about handling the dead in order to get a better understanding of the human physiology. Or, to stick it to the church for which he had a fair amount of distain.

Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
4. Mar 22, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23742885/

I think the most striking claim of recent years is that the original carbon dating test was done on a corner of the cloth that had been repaired in the middle-ages - a new section of cloth was sewn in where the original was damaged and missing. This was apparently first noticed by a textile expert who was asked to repair another section of the cloth.

Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
5. Mar 22, 2008

### Poop-Loops

Don't you mean the shroud of Turino?

6. Mar 22, 2008

### mgb_phys

No in engish it would be Shroud of Turin, in Italian it would be Torino

Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
7. Mar 22, 2008

### baywax

Its a marvel how Da Vinci was able to buy 1450 year old cloth to carry out his hoax on the church.

Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
8. Mar 23, 2008

### Schrodinger's Dog

I actually wonder if any so called relics are real, given the huge numbers of fakes from the middle ages. I mean lets face it there are probably about 100 nails from the true cross out there. I wonder if any one of them has passed a scientific dating test?

9. Mar 24, 2008

### CEL

I don't think that iron could be dated. But there are enough pieces of the 'true cross' to build a small house if glued together. And wood can be carbon dated with precision enough to say if those pieces are from the first century CE.

10. Mar 24, 2008

### Schrodinger's Dog

Iron can be dated, the spear that stabbed Christ was proved as a fake by looking at the techniques used to make it, the type of iron and its composition. A nail from the cross would most likely be iron from a local area, with a specific amount of impurities too. We also know the specification of a nail used in the crucifixion of prisoners.

I have the forefinger of Christ himself on ebay.

If you want to get in on the deal for 50% off the ebay price I'll sell you one for $1000 or$8000 for a dozen? PM me if you're interested.

11. Mar 24, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Something that I never realized is that the Catholic Church has never claimed that the shroud is authentic.

12. Mar 24, 2008

### Moridin

13. Mar 24, 2008

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I never had the impression they rush to hasty judgement on these sorts of "artifacts." It really makes no difference to them or their believers if there is an actual artifact in someone's possession, or if it is considered lost for all time...and more harmful if they claim something is authentic that can be proven a hoax. Textiles are so difficult to preserve, while some do survive, such as in Egyptian tombs, it's rare and they need to be in just the right conditions that it's really hard to believe that even if such a thing as the Shroud of Turin existed that it would have survived to modern times to be found.

Similarly, would one really expect a nail from the first century AD to survive until today? And, even if one were found, how would one go about proving it was used for Jesus' crucifixion, and not one of the many other crucifixions of criminals held at that time?

The entire reason ancient artifacts are such a big deal to wind up displayed in museums and to be viewed with awe is that they are RARE.

14. Mar 25, 2008

### baywax

I think the main thing is that the church and its officials recognize that there is a holiness endowed and embodied in a relic even if it is a fake. The fact that 600,000 or millions of people believe something to be a relic of a saint or famous religious figure makes it special and its ok to worship it. Any press is good press said the bishop.

I mean, these are practices that take one book that's been re-written over 300 times to be the truth and nothing but the truth.

15. Mar 25, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23742885/

16. Mar 25, 2008

### seycyrus

You can bash on religion without having to resort to such fallacies. That's like saying the dictionary has been rewritten thousands of times.

17. Mar 25, 2008

### baywax

Yes... I remember seeing a documentary that followed the shroud back through history to Constantinople where it was said to have been presented to Constantine by a man or woman who got it from the Hebrews (and there was a long history to that tale as well).

So, the story of the shroud really extends back to perhaps 2 or 3 hundred years after the Judaea/Roman resistance which is what all the Christian stories seem to document.

It is thought that there were a few of these shrouds up until the time of da Vinci who took this legend as an opportunity to fool the church. And he quite probably used photography to do so... along with a bit of paint, blood etc...

edit: (And let's not forget Victor Mature in "The Robe"... which seems to echo the tale of the Shroud.)

Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
18. Mar 25, 2008

### baywax

Right, the dictionary has "Red Sea" as a body of water parted by a man with a beard.
How often do people "swear" on a dictionary in court?
Is there a dictionary waiting for you in the drawer beside the bed at the Super 8?

I think you're drawing an unfair comparison. Think more along the lines of a fairy tale and how it has changed over the centuries etc.... Some of these tales started as true, legends. Then became what we know today... as fairytales or stories with some social importance. The bible certainly has these qualities... and many good ethical practices have come out of the bible. But, using the bible as proof of what has happened in the past or proof of how the order of the universe is laid out... is like believing everything the Coca Cola tells you about its product.

Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
19. Mar 25, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
You need to provide sources to support your assertions.

20. Mar 25, 2008

### Schrodinger's Dog

The problem with this account is that it does not fit in with the scientific data available, from analysing both thread sources (plant matter) And pollen samples in the thread it is clear that the shroud is dated to the middle ages +/- a certain number of years. So I think this might be wishful thinking more than a valid and scientific study. I've seen documentaries that have clearly debunked it as a clever fake. The Catholic church was not bothered by it being revealed as a fake, because it still draws the faithful to this day. So it's symbolic relic status is still as powerful as it always was, before the exposure of its lack of authenticity. Whether the Church was complicit in the deception or not, which seems unlikely even at the time of its recovery, they did not affirm without doubt it was genuine.

These documentaries claim that the forensic evidence is compelling:

This BBC report claims that it is the subject of much controversy:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3624753.stm

However what isn't compelling or controversial I think is the carbon dating, which is the key evidence. If it is two thousand years old, it's cloth should be dated to 2000 years old, it's hard to overcome that. Is the shroud a shroud from a body made to simulate Jesus death or is it a shroud from Jesus himself?

The BBC's QED program did a series of documentaries on it but unfortunately they don't appear easy to track down.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014