Late addition (July 2019)
Please forgive this postscript, correction, “prescript”, correction, intrusion, added many years later – based on some 350 and more postings here and elsewhere.
That’s including some 7 years of my hands-on investigation into image-forming techniques, chosen to be credible with simple, indeed crude, medieval (14th century) technology etc etc.
(Oh, and yes, I accept the radiocarbon dating, despite it being restricted to a single non-random corner sample, making all the oh-so-dismissive, oh-so-derogatory statistics-based sniping totally irrelevant – a ranging shot being just that me dears- a single ranging shot, albeit subdivided into three for Arizona, Oxford and Zurich).
Sindonology (i.e. the “science” , read pseudoscience – of the so-called “Shroud ” of Turin) can be simply summed up. It’s a re-branding exercise, one designed to pretend that the prized Turin possession is not just J of A’s “fine linen”, described in the biblical account as used to transport a crucified body from cross to tomb.
Oh no, it goes further, much further, way way beyond the biblical account. How? By making out that it was the SAME linen as that described in the Gospel of John, deployed as final “burial clothes”. Thus the description “Shroud” for the Turin Linen, usually with the addition “burial shroud”. Why the elision of two different linens, deployed for entirely different purposes (transport first, then final interment)?
Go figure! Key words to consider are: authentic relic v manufactured medieval icon; mystique, peaceful death-repose, unlimited opportunity for proposing new and ever more improbable image-formation mechanisms etc. How much easier it is to attach the label “Holy” to Shroud if seen as final burial clothes, in final at-peace repose – prior to Resurrection- as distinct from a means of temporary swaying side-to-side transport in an improvised makeshift stretcher !
As I say, a rebranding exercise (transport to final burial shroud) and a very smart and subtle one at that . Not for nothing did that angry local Bishop of Troyes suddenly refer to a “sleight of hand” after allegedly accepting it when first displayed. Seems the script was altered, or as some might say, tampered with! It might also explain why there were two Lirey badges, not just one. Entire books could be written on which of the two came first… I think I know which, with its allusion (?) to the Veil of Veronica… yes, there are alternative views (the face above “SUAIRE” a visual link to the face-only display of the Linen as the “Image of Edessa” or as that on the then current “Shroud” per se.
Face shown (left) on mid- 14th century Machy Mould (recently discovered variant of the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) above the word “SUAIRE” (allegedly meaning “shroud”). Inset image on the right: one version among many of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” image. I say the two are related, and deliberately so, but this is not the time or place to go into detail.
No, NOT a resurrectional selfie, but instead a full size version of, wait for it, the legendary VEIL OF VERONICA , product of inital body contact – no air gaps- between body and fabric, but with one important difference. The Turin image was intended to look more realistic, less artistic.
How? By displaying a negative tone-reversed image implying IMPRINT (unless, that is, you’re a modern day sindonologist, in which case ‘resurrectional proto-photographic selfie” becomes the preferred, nay, vigorously proferred explanation assisted by unrestrained imagination, creation of endless pseudoscience etc etc, with resort to laser beams, corona discharges, nuclear physics, elementary particles, earthquakes etc etc – the list is seemingly endless!
Welcome to modern day sindonology.
Personally, I prefer no-nonsense feet-on-the-ground hypothesis-testing science, aided by lashings of, wait for it, plain down-to-earth common sense.
Start of original posting:
Which single word best sums up the pseudoscientific claims of Shroudologists?
I’ve thought quite long and hard about that question. Today, inspiration finally struck, though it required a resort to a folksy style of English that is arguably more Stateside than the language of Shakespeare. Here it is: hokum.
The Free Dictionary: ho·kum n.
1. Something apparently impressive or legitimate but actually untrue or insincere; nonsense.
2. A stock technique for eliciting a desired response from an audience.
Examples of hokum? We are being blitzed as I speak with hokum from The Other Site.
I could provide a list of Shroudologists – living and dead – who have contributed to the rich vein of Shroudie hokum. Some is almost indistinguishable from science – at least to the casual observer. But your blogger is no casual observer. He is a retired science bod, still possessed thankfully of sensitive antennae, capable of detecting hokum at 100 metres.
“Shroudology is 99% hokum”. Discuss.
PS: See the comments from French Canadian Yannick C. that have appeared on the posting to which I provided a link.
His tomb scenario gets ever more complicated by the day. It’s now a proverbial dog’s dinner, what with blood first clotting and drying, and then mysteriously re-moistening enough to give a near-perfect facsimile by transfer, and then the tightly bound Shroud becoming mysteriously loosened so as to receive a distortion-free image. You couldn’t make it up. Well, you could, but only if you are a 007 Shroudologist with a licence to kill (kill scientific debate, that is, by invoking a never ending stream of new or additional qualifying assumptions all crying out for a deft slice or two from Occam’s razor).
Thank goodness Hugh is mixing it there, attempting to preserve a shred of sanity … You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din…
Addendum: Thursday 13 Dec
Adrie has made a number of points in the comments attached to this posting. One of them concerns an alleged ‘serum halo’ on the bloodstain on the wrist. Here are three images that may assist in resolving the issue.
See comments for my interpretation.