Friday, February 27, 2009

The Shroud of Turin, Redux

A while back I mistakenly subjected myself to to some painful watching of nonsense by the BBC about the Shroud of Turin, in order to properly purge it from my system and do something slightly productive with it I decided to make a quick post on this blog about it.

Well, I was searching something or other involving my name and I managed to turn up a very interesting post, titled When Atheists Act Like Fundamentalists on Shroud of Turin Blog. Wow. I feel so special! Also, apparently Freepers got a copy of the shroud post. You know somebody must have tore the hell out of your post if the Free Republic batted it around. *smirk*

Most of his "corrections" were based on nonsense that I already knew but long since discounted. Some Shroud people in order to "come to terms" with the radiocarbon dating, discount the dating by suggesting it was taken from the wrong place. I already knew that and found it utterly silly. The sections were taken from varying parts of the shroud and simply saying "those parts don't count because they are later repairs to the shrouds" doesn't suffice as evidence that it's older. Other bits were information which I took directly from the BBC piece like the date on the Sudarium of Oviedo.

This was all. It missed the entire point of my post. The entire implied argument had no links to draw the argument. It insisted that because the hood was 5th century or some drawings were from the 1100s that the shroud was from that century; not one lick of that was established.

There are drawings of some shroud said to be burial shroud of Jesus. Therefore this shroud here *MUST* be that shroud. -- That doesn't follow at all. Further because the Bible says there was a burial shroud doesn't imply for a second that the Shroud of Turin is that shroud.

My post was intended to be largely flippant and expose the underlying flaws in the argument. "We have X therefore Y equals X." was the very typical line of argument used in the program. We have "references to some shroud" therefore "Shroud of Turin" equals "that shroud". At every step that was the argument given!

In the end all the evidence is very consistent with a 14th century hoax. Even the pollen dating and other things "Shroud scientists" have come up with remain consistent with that date. The strongest evidence suggests that the Shroud of Turin is a priceless 14th century artifact. However, out of what appears to be sheer desperation people cling to it like it's evidence for anything divine. Even if the evidence suggested it was a first century burial cloth it wouldn't prove anything.

In many ways it reminds me of the archeologists who suppose "10th century BCE finds" each time they make any archeological find in Israel, or how everything from the 1st century is repeatedly tried to be tied into the Gospel story. "This is Jesus' cave... well, actually maybe not... maybe it's Lazarus' cave then!"

Do these people have any idea what kinds of evidence is required to actually meet the requirements to actually be evidence? There's some crazy guy who pretends to find a bunch of great Bible stuff like chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea (not actually even a chariot wheel). Ignoring the fact that even if it were a chariot wheel, there's no end to reasonable explanations how a chariot wheel could end up there without invoking Exodus.

So, I made a perfectly fine post underlying the problem with the BBC Shroud of Turin program in an attempt to underline the clear logical flaw behind the supposed strand running through all the information, but was nothing more than utter nonsense. And somebody on some blog says that I'm "acting like a fundamentalist"? How? Are fundamentalists known for their rants about how crap programs are? Are fundamentalists known for exposing logical flaws?

He disagreed with some of my "facts" that I simply lifted directly from the program itself and that's SOOOOO FUNDAMENTALIST!

"“I am utterly astounded at how many hoaxes people buy into lock stock and barrel.” — I agree. But it can cut both ways." -- Really, what hoax am I buying into? Pfft.


This tool makes a post about "When Atheists act like Fundamentalists" and mostly agrees with all the points I made, except he inserted some other arguments that I already knew and regard as complete crap too, but fail to fit the theme of why this program particularly sucked.


* In the initial version of the original post I did note that I used the wrong dates and rechecked the video. So my version reads "The Shroud of Turin carbon dates to the 1320s. The Shroud of Turin was first seen around the 1360s." whereas the linked version says 1360s and 1325 accordingly.

5 comments:

RedFerret said...

Oooh. Internet infamy (sort of).

I do like this bit from the linked page;

To assert that it is fake in the absence of real evidence takes a leap of faith no less than it does to assert that it is real.

In other words, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Fine, however, then we get this gem;

5. The carbon 14 dating must be wrong! Perhaps some carbon-14 mixed into the linen via carbon monoxide. *tests* -- Nope that doesn't work at all. Still, it's a mystery! - That was a major weakness in the BBC documentary. So far as I know, only John Jackson of Colrado Springs thinks this is a possible explanation. Not a single scientist that I know agrees with him. But, yes, the carbon dating is wrong.

Of course. The scientific consensus states that carbon dating is correct, but the author claims it is wrong. How very fundamental!

TRF

Tatarize said...

The bigger problem with his statement was that to assert that it is fake takes a leap of faith SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than supposing it is real.

It takes a leap of faith just as big to say that stealthy leprechauns ate my knickers than to say they didn't... there's no evidence!

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