If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND THE SHROUD:http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/fake_turin_shroud_deceives_national_geographic_author/
The Turin Shroud is the most famous relic in the world. Millions believe that it is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ bearing his crucified and bloodied image. The cloth is kept at Turin in Italy. The cloth is an enigma. Many say it is a miracle.
Believers in the shroud boast that nobody can make anything exactly like it. But you don't have to! It is enough to make something that has all its scientific characteristics.
There are errors and distortions on the shroud image. Eg the back image is bigger than the front one and there are no side images which you would expect if a body had been wrapped in it. And where there should be distortion there isn't. The man's face for example is too picture-like to have been printed by accident on the cloth from a body. The bloodstains are too tidy and you would expect a lot of smearing and there isn't. And why are they positioned on the body image as if it were a painting? They should not be on the cloth as if they were put there by design. You would expect them to be more disorganised and random. The believers ignore these errors and insist that a dead body lay in the cloth. They rationalise the errors but despite using dummies and corpses they are unable to make any kind of image from them with the blood images for example appearing in similar locations as on the Shroud. They tell sceptics that unless they can reproduce the Shroud they should not be saying it is forged. But they themselves cannot make a print from a body with the image, an image of any kind such as sweat or paint, and the blood positioned as on the Shroud.
All you need to make the shroud is to find a way to make an image that sits on top of linen fibres and that is caused by oxidation. 3D is easy - just use two tones and make what is furthest away darker and what is nearest lighter. The image will also look better when a negative image is taken of it. That is not difficult.
The following website shows how to make an image with all the features of the Shroud that shroud believers pretend to find amazing. It can be done by using a linen cloth and putting painted glass over it. The clean side of the glass is put on the cloth. Then it is put out in the sun until a superficial image appears.
There is no reason to think the blood on the cloth is real. The blood might not have been painted on but rubbed on first. Perhaps it was dabbed on with a tiny sponge and then the image was imposed on top of it. This would explain why there is no image beneath the blood. The makers of the Shroud wanted to give the impression that the blood when on before the image which is what you would expect.
Perhaps the blood being put on by sponges or whatever led to the Shroud being classed as a painting in the mid-thirteen hundreds when it seems to have first appeared. So the various natural theories about how the image was made fit what the sceptical bishops back then said about the cloth being a painting and that they knew the artist. The blood is the most visible part of the image and it would have been daubed or dribbled on and would classify the cloth as a painting.
But we must remember that though there is no image below the blood now that proves nothing. The forgers expected the blood to flake off in time so they had to be careful and perhaps take preventative measures. It could be that the blood contained chemicals that dissolved the image underneath. Another possibility is that the blood was put on when the image had started to form. A chemical reaction could have removed the image under the treated blood. The image under the blood would have been very weak to start with anyway.
The Shroudies object that the image is too vague to be just for display. But what right have they to say that when they don’t know the circumstances in which it was produced? Perhaps the Church stole it from the makers before it was finished. Anything could have happened. And the image can be seen okay if you stand far from it so it sufficed as a display of Jesus. It might have been the best the forgers could do. If it had been too plain to the sight it would have been harder to palm off as a real relic for it would have seemed too much like an artwork or a drawing. The vagueness of the image close up adds to its attractiveness and mystery.
Chemical by-products cause some features but these could have been washed out of the Shroud. Washing the image would have ensured that the strongest image would have been on the surface fibres of the cloth and the weakest would have been underneath and been washed away. It would fade away in time. Time is what makes the shroud a puzzle - nothing else. We cannot replicate the shroud exactly because we cannot know exactly what it went through since its origin.

Some say using a hot metal relief image to scorch the image on is a possibility. The image does not go down further than the top threads of the cloth which suggests to some that it was burnt on by the sun and is a kind of scorch.

It is claimed that burns fluoresce unlike the image of the Shroud indicating that it is not a scorch mark. Plus when the image is so faint it would be hard to tell if the image could or could not fluoresce. It is centuries since the scorch was made and that is not to be forgotten.
Others worry that the scorches on the cloth from the 1532 fire fluorescence while the shroud image does not. This tells against it being a scorch. It is worth noting that the view of some that the image was formed by miraculously caused radiation is nonsense. "No known radiation [is] capable of achieving the shallow penetration of the images" (Christianity in the Light of Science). Again there is no fluorescence which would be there if radiation did the scorching. And the radiation would have to be strong but in that case it would have ruined the cloth. I prefer the view that it might be a scorch but a scorch that is not like the usual kind. The mechanism involved more than heat but also chemical changes. That could explain the non-fluorescing.
It has been proven that images as good as if not better than the Shroud can be made by primitive photography to mention one out of a number of methods.
We must remember that the image of "Jesus" is not the only image on the cloth. There are a few images of creases. If a crease can appear, and nobody suggests God would miraculously make such an image, then the rest of the image is non-supernatural as well. The creases are evidence of man-made intervention to produce the image.

It is agreed that since the back image of the Shroud is not denser than the front that there was no body inside the cloth for a body lying in it would make the back image the clearest due to the pressure of it being on the cloth.

www.shroud.com by Linda Moulton Howe says that the Volkinger Effect, when leaves pressed between the pages of a book for many years leave an image of themselves on the pages, is the same as what happened with the Shroud for a three-D image was made and the characteristics of oxidation are shared by both. Why she does not argue that the image was made by cutting up leaves and making an image of Jesus on the cloth is a mystery to me. She chooses to say that this cannot happen except miraculously with a body and takes a long time while the Shroud man’s image was made quickly. Here she says that a natural explanation is possible and she turns it into a miracle. That is totally against the rules. Her natural explanation proves that the Shroud man is not Jesus Christ. It proves that there was no body in the cloth for the natural and simple possibility comes first.

Later we read that scientists cannot explain the image as if there are no scientists who say they can! Of course there are.

We are told by some cranks and "experts" that the image was produced by sweat oxidising. If so, then why is the image not less uniform than what it is? Did somebody smear it with sweat? Why do parts of the body that don't sweat much if at all clearly show up?
Somebody could have discovered that this can be done by accident and then painted the Shroud with light paint to see what he was doing with loads of sweat in it and years later the image was washed to get rid of the paint and leave only the print. This would have been done in order to make the image seem to hold not only the blood but the sweat of Christ. The result could have been worth a huge fortune. It was worth the effort. The blood was put on according to a diagram of what the result should look like and was put on after the image had formed.
Sweat mixed with streptococci bacteria which exists on the skin could have created the image for pro-shroud expert Professor Stephen Mattingly has created images this way which duplicate all the features of the shroud.  He denies that there is anything miraculous about the image. This bacteria is what makes the yellow marks on the collars of white shirts and the Turin image is yellow in a similar way. But to me the only problem with this is that in his experiments though he creates images they are distorted. Could it be that Leonardo or someone saw how something to do with sweat and the skin could create yellow images and put the sweat and bacteria on linen perhaps by rubbing it on and lay on top of it on the other side to provide body heat to create the image? This would evade distortion. Better still he could have used a willing victim with a fever. In Stephen’s experiments twelve hours would be needed for the image to bond to the cloth. As the intention was to create a fake relic it is likely the artist wanted to use body fluids and emissions. Paint could have been used to get the image made realistic and then washed out leaving only the oxidation caused by the sweat and bacteria behind on the cloth. The cloth was intended to be seen as a relic of the sweat and blood of Jesus Christ and this was inspired by the late legend of the Veronica. According to Catholic mythology, a woman called Veronica wiped the face of Jesus as he made his way to the cross. The towel left a print of his face in sweat and blood.
Joe Nickell created images like the Shroud by rubbing with pigment using a bas relief that avoided distortion and the result had an image that sat on top of the fibres of the linen, had 3-d qualities, and was a quasi-negative like the Shroud that was vague and subtle when looked at in the light of day (page 28, Looking for a Miracle). This could be described as painting in the common tongue so is that is what the bishop, D’Arcis, who first exposed the Shroud soon after its first appearance as a fake in the 1300's meant when he said it was painted by cunning methods to which the artist confessed? Other methods have involved using a bas relief and heating it and laying it in linen. The result in many cases was identical to the Shroud which may also be a scorched image.
In The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal pages 29-31, several points are made that refute the Shroud.
The shroud is a negative image. Such images can be created by bass relief rubbing. The blood has a chemical composition matching paint. The iron oxide used to make the red colour has turned yellow in many places. The irons and proteins found in the “blood” were also available in medieval pigments. Mercuric sulphide used in pigments is also easily found on the shroud image. Sodium and potassium are present in real bloodstains but are absent from the bloodstains on the cloth. The blood is paint.
The weave of the linen was not used in first century Palestine.
Many pathologists and anatomists do not agree with those who say the shroud is consistent with the pathology of crucifixion and with anatomy.
Anybody who looks at the cloth can see that the body is just too elongated.
There is a lot of disagreement about the 3 D data. Many experts say that there is something artificial about it for it would mean that the original cause of the 3 D effect was something distorted not a human body. Bas relief rubbing can result in strange 3 D information because the relief is meant to leave a lifelike image while it may not be very lifelike itself.

The main reason why the Shroud is such a puzzle is that the image was put on it so long ago and it has experienced much contamination from detergents and hands and candle smoke. And it is ageing and needs preservation. If it could be reverted back into the state it was in when the image first appeared, it would be easier to work out scientifically how it was done. But one thing for sure with the reproductions is that all the main features can be replicated. The shroud is not a miracle.
In fact, the position of the bloodstains and the image matter more than how they were created. The believers are unable to use a body or a dummy to create an image of a man and his blood that is similar in appearance and layout. They have tried it. The image is hugely distorted and its measurements differ radically from the shroud image and the blood ends up a mess and does not appear like it does on the cloth. And they still claim there was a body in the Shroud! No matter how the image was made, it did not come from a real body - nobody lay in that cloth.
If anybody could do the impossible and lay out a body so that it makes an image of a man and his blood just like it is on the Shroud, then that person would need to be trying to create an image. But we are told in the gospels that Jesus was put in a shroud for burial and not any other reason. Whatever the origin of the Shroud image is, it was made deliberately and is not the real shroud of Jesus.
Religionists reason that God fixed the distortion miraculously. Miracles can be used as an excuse for hiding the fact that something is not a miracle. But if God had allowed a distorted image an art expert would still be able to make a picture from that of an undistorted image. In the age of computers, that would be easy. And shroudies would be very impressed at how a messy image comes out so well when a computer application is run!
People forget that if even there is a God, the God you worship is still the God you think is there. It is the product of your thinking. The notion of God doing miracles is nonsense because he is not going to have that high of a regard for your religious opinions. He does not adore them as much as you do!
Turin Shroud 'confirmed as fake'

From: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,15693406-401,00.html

See also http://www.physorg.com/news4652.html

From correspondents in Paris
June 22, 2005
From: Agence France-Presse

A FRENCH magazine has said it had carried out experiments that proved the Shroud of Turin, believed by some Christians to be their religion's holiest relic, was a fraud.

"A medieval technique helped us to make a Shroud," Science & Vie (Science and Life) said in its July issue.

The Shroud is claimed by its defenders to be the cloth in which the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped after his crucifixion.

It bears the faint image of a blood-covered man with holes in his hand and wounds in his body and head, the apparent result of being crucified, stabbed by a Roman spear and forced to wear a crown of thorns.

In 1988, scientists carried out carbon-14 dating of the delicate linen cloth and concluded that the material was made some time between 1260 and 1390. Their study prompted the then archbishop of Turin, where the Shroud is stored, to admit that the garment was a hoax. But the debate sharply revived in January this year.

Drawing on a method previously used by sceptics to attack authenticity claims about the Shroud, the magazine got an artist to do a bas-relief - a sculpture that stands out from the surrounding background - of a Christ-like face.

A scientist then laid out a damp linen sheet over the bas-relief and let it dry, so that the thin cloth was moulded onto the face.

Using cotton wool, he then carefully dabbed ferric oxide, mixed with gelatine, onto the cloth to make blood-like marks. When the cloth was turned inside-out, the reversed marks resulted in the famous image of the crucified Christ.

Gelatine, an animal by-product rich in collagen, was frequently used by Middle Age painters as a fixative to bind pigments to canvas or wood.

The imprinted image turned out to be wash-resistant, impervious to temperatures of 250 C (482 F) and was undamaged by exposure to a range of harsh chemicals, including bisulphite which, without the help of the gelatine, would normally have degraded ferric oxide to the compound ferrous oxide.

The experiments, said the magazine, answer several claims made by the pro-Shroud camp, which says the marks could not have been painted onto the cloth.
How Leonardo Did not Fake the Shroud of Turin, Nicholas Legh Allen
Apollonius of Tyana & the Shroud of Turin, Robertino Solarion

Alice and Wonderland and the Shroud of Turin, Isabel Piczek,
This page gives some good factual material but as for its attempt to support the authenticity of the Shroud it is bad and twisted in the extreme. How twisted this Christian fanatic is we shall soon see.

She argues that if the Shroud really shows that Jesus never died on the cross it would not be among us. That is like Mormons saying that if the Book of Mormon was a fake they would not be believing in it. She perversely argues that Leonardo wrote down everything he got and never mentioned the Shroud as if he would!

She says that the creator of the Shroud did not use a camera obscura for though the camera was used by the Romans it was reinvented after the Turin Shroud was made. She should not dare to be so dogmatic. She should be starting with proving the Shroud is not a photograph rather than making assumptions like that.

She says the man in the cloth was laid out with his legs hunched up. Sounds like he was laid out on a soft bed to me. Clearly he could not have been Jesus who was supposed to be too dead to need any medical attention.

The lady knows that the Shroud might not be supernatural for a key in 1896 in Paris was found to have left an inexplicable image of itself like the Shroud though it was in a drawer. It put an image on a photoplate which is impossible without light and yet it did it and attempts to replicate the effect failed.
Adams, Frank O., Sindon; Synergy Books, 1982
Bethell, Tom, "A Challenge to Materialism ," The New Republic, August 1, 1983. Boutakov, N., "The Holy Shroud of Christ" (in Russian), Pravoslavny Put', Holy Trinity Monastery, 1967, pp. 6-47.
Chrysostomos, Bishop, and Hieromonk Auxentios, "The Holy Shroud: the Controversy in Perspective," Diakonia, 1980, Vol. XV, No. 2.
Drews, Robert, In Search of the Shroud of Turin; Rowman and Allenheld, 1984. Finkelstein, Louis, The Jews: Their History, Culture, and Religion, Vol. II; Harper & Row, 1960.
Heller, Dr. John, Report on the Shroud of Turin; Houghton Mifflin, 1983.
Hoare, Rodney, The Testimony of the Shroud; St. Martin's Press, 1978.
Humber, Thomas, The Sacred Shroud; Pocket Books, 1978.
Jennings, Jack, "Putting the Shroud to Rest," The Christian Century, June 1, 1983. Johnson, Paul, Civilizations of the Holy Land; Book Club Associates, 1979.
Kohlbeck, Joseph A., and Nitowski, Eugenia L., "New Evidence May Explain Image on Shroud of Turin," Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August, 1986.
Mackowski, Richard M., Jerusalem, City of Jesus; Eerdmans, 1980
Nickell, Joe, Inquest on the Shroud of Turin; Prometheus Books, 1983.
Rinaldi, Peter M., SDB, "Requiem for the Shroud?" The Christian Century, July 20-27, 1983.
Stevenson, Kenneth E. and Gary R. Habermas, Verdict on the Shroud; Servant Books, 1981.
Tribbe, Frank C., Portrait of Jesus? Stein and Day, 1983.
Wilkinson, John, Jerusalem as Jesus Knew It; Thames and Hudson, 1978.
Wild, Robert A., "The Shroud of Turin-Probably the Work of a 14th-century Artist or Forger, Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April, 1984.
Wilson, Ian, The Mysterious Shroud; Doubleday, 1986.
The Shroud of Turin; Doubleday 1978.