Update: 6 November: I see that mystery man Dan Porter – someone about whom we know next to nothing despite his years (decades?) of blogging and Shroudie PR – has once again copied/pasted an entire posting of “mine”, well, the re-formatting at any rate to make it more reader-friendly than Stephen E. Jones’s original copy. Not content with his hallmark brand of genteel piracy (when is he going to say something that is not a rehash of someone else’s work or views?) he works in the usual ‘ad hom’. No, Mr. Porter, I do not over-react to criticism and that “squeal” reference is frankly a cheap shot. I welcome genuine criticism of my views on the Shroud and indeed factored it in at the outset of my 9 months blogging on that intriguing artefact, especially as I had ‘pseudo-science’ firmly in my sights. It is ad hominem attacks on an individual – his integrity, his honesty, his character – that I cannot abide. That’s why I no longer comment on your site, since with rare exceptions you allow your true-believer Shroudie regulars and/or occasional snipers to engage in systematic ad hominem comment.
Oh, and my calling Stephen E. Jones a “boil on the bum of the blogosphere” may be a colourful insult, but it is not, repeat NOT, an ad hominem attack. The man’s hostility, irritability, his tetchiness, his short fuse personality are plain for all to see. I am commenting on a characteristic of the man that stands in the way of civilized debate. It may surprise you to know that I once wanted to engage more with him, but instead found myself branded (and reported to Blogspot as a “spammer”!) merely for posting comments after being told I had “exceeded my limit”. His real beef was not just my “boil” comment, but my criticism of his then ‘one-comment only’ policy that denied one the right to reply to his reply, so to speak.
On a different subject – beware incoming self-promotion – have visitors to this posting seen my current one: “Can one bottle a scorch image etc”?
Here’s how “Sir” (my description, but better known as schoolteacher Stephen E Jones) , irritable host of the theshroudofturin.blogspot site, has responded to one “Weaving fan”. The latter had dared to dispute Jones’s claim that the 3/1 herringbone weave, as per Shroud, was virtually unknown in the medieval era.
(I should perhaps say that what follows is not the actual exchange in real time, but “Sir’s” tearing into selected passages from one of Weaving Fan’s comments, but with that caveat is exactly as published on Jones’s site but for a little reformatting).
Weaving fan: ‘A further highly unusual [sic] feature of the Shroud’s linen is the weave itself. … an altogether more complex three-to-one herringbone twill …’
Jones: I regard your putting a “[sic]” in Wilson’s words quoted by me (and therefore my words) as substandard and personally offensive. The only valid excuse would be if Wilson or I made a spelling or grammatical mistake, which we didn’t.
Weaving fan: Ian Wilson, not so far as is known an expert on textiles.
Jones: This is FALLACIOUS. Wilson has spent a LIFETIME studying the Shroud and has met, seen and heard at Shroud conferences, and corresponded with, many “an expert on textiles”. To dismiss what Wilson says about the Shroud’s weave because he is not “an expert on textiles” is also substandard.
Weaving fan: Compare: Gilbert Raes, renowned expert on ancient textiles: … The type of weave [the herringbone pattern of the Turin Shroud] is not particularly distinctive and does not enable us to determine the period in which it was produced” .
Jones: This is also substandard. As I previously pointed out, Raes was talking about not being able to pinpoint the weave of the Shroud TO THE TIME OF CHRIST. He was not saying that 3:1 herringbone twill weave linen was produced in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Weaving fan: There is nothing particularly special about 3/1 weave which is why it is so widespread, even way back in ancient Egypt and still used by weavers today.
Jones: This is merely an ASSERTION by you. It is also FALLACIOUS. That 3:1 herringbone twill weave is “widespread” TODAY and was known “in ancient Egypt” does not thereby mean it was produced in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Weaving fan: Wilson is misleading here. Remember also that Tite had to find a piece of linen that the owners would allow to be cut up to be used as a CONTROL.
Jones: This is FALSE. The amount of linen needed as a control in the 1988 AMS radiocarbon dating was only the size of a POSTAGE STAMP. So it would NOT mean it would have to be “cut up”. The Shroud is of FAR GREATER value than any individual medieval linen and so the Vatican would never have allowed the Shroud to be C14 dated if that meant it would be “cut up.”
The fact is that Tite of the British Museum could NOT FIND a medieval piece of linen AT ALL which was 3:1 herringbone twill and therefore visually identical to the Shroud, so that the C14 dating labs could not tell which was the Shroud. But if medieval European 3:1 herringbone twill linen was so common as you claim it was, it would have been NO PROBLEM for Tite to obtain a POSTAGE STAMP sized sample of at least ONE of them.
Weaving fan: Wilson seems to imply that there were no similar herringbone cloths around in the Middle Ages. This is not true- it is simply that most are in museums (e.g the Victorian and Albert Museum in London) and can not be cut up to provide a control sample.
Jones: This is FALSE. See above.
As I pointed out above, several aspects of your comment I found to be substandard and even offensive, and so according to my policies it should not have appeared (see below). I only allowed it to appear so that I could further refute your argument.
I used to have a policy for those who like to argue and waste my time by reiterating the same false and substandard arguments:
“Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post. Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post.”
This policy was not permanently abolished, but only temporarily relaxed, and is held in reserve by me to invoke whenever I deem it necessary, as I now do.
Therefore you have had your last comment under this post. You are free to comment under other posts on this blog, but if they are similarly substandard they won’t appear.
Stephen E. Jones
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.
November 3, 2012 9:06 PM
Postscript: on the very first occasion I tried to question Stephen E Jones’s grasp of the facts, I was given a brusque dressing-down for exceeding his previous “one comment only per posting” policy. ( I had not spotted the latter, and would in any case have never imagined such a thing existed on a blog site inviting comments, having used Google’s Blogspot myself on and off for some years). When I remonstrated it was to be greeted with another waspish tirade. Being taken aback, I instantly fashioned what I considered an appropriate alliterative response (of which I’m still quite proud) :
“You, Mr. Jones”, I said, “are a boil on the bum of the blogosphere”.
(And if my memory serves me right, it was in a private email – not as a comment)…
His response, then and later, when I tried to submit another factual comment: to report me to Google for “spamming” his site.
Well, having just read the above exchange with the polite and clearly learned “Weaving fan”, I say again to Mr.Stephen E. Jones, a little louder this time:
You, Mr. Uptight Stephen E.Jones, are not just a martinet, but A BOIL ON THE BUM OF THE BLOGOSPHERE!
(I pity those poor pupils of yours in Perth, Australia who have to suffer your touchiness and ill-temper…)
There’s a upside: I gather Mr. Stephen E(rupting) Jones is merely a part-timer who covers for staff absences – what we in the UK call a supply teacher.
Oh, and one final thing: the title of this post makes reference to a “slanted narrative”. Here’s an egregious example from Jones’s current posting, the one that carries the above exchange. I have applied bold format to the last sentence.
“Weave. The cloth’s weave is known as “3 to 1 twill” because each transversal weft thread passes alternatively over three and under one of the longitudinal warp threads. This gives the weave the appearance of diagonal lines which reverse direction at regular intervals to create a herringbone pattern. Such complex herringbone three to one twill weaves are known from antiquity, for example, from Egypt and Syria, but they are not known from the Middle Ages.
“Complex” is a loaded term, needless to say. What’s “complex” about passing one thread over 3 others, then under one, then over three etc and reversing every so often. That’s fiddly, maybe, and a little more labour intensive (while perhaps breaking the monotony for someone at a primitive loom). But it is by no stretch of the imagination “complex”. And even of it were complex, the end-result is more interesting and attractive than a simpler weave, and is unlikely to have been “uninvented” such as to be “not known” from the Middle Ages. There is always a demand for something that is a little different, a bit more “up-market”.
What one reads above is not scholarship. It’s old-fashioned pamphleteering – or mere propaganda to put it bluntly. I for one do not care for propaganda, least of all that which is dressed up as if scholarship, least of all by those who flaunt their university degree and postgrad diploma, but who then turn suddenly and unexpectedly on their critics, seething with ridicule and contempt, indeed near-incandescent with rage it would appear. Not a pretty sight, Stephen E.Jones BSc (Biol), Grad Dip Ed…
There, somebody had to say it.