Reply to Bailey Packard re her Rez Project video – sadly pseudoscience by any other name…

Far be it from me to rain on anyone’s parade – but I thought I might indulge in some gentle English drizzle instead. I refer to the video fronted by young Bailey Packard (apparently with some help from her dad Derek). She introduces it by saying  she was in search of something  that might hopefully underpin her faith in the Resurrection of Christ. What caught her attention? Yes, you guessed it – the Shroud of Turin (in spite of everything)

But neither she nor her Pa  will have the dubious pleasure of hearing my views, unless they chance on this posting.  These three screen grabs explain why:

Screen grab from current posting on www.shroudstory.com

Screen grab from current posting on www.shroudstory.com. That’s my comment entered into the box at the bottom.

Enlargement, showing my comment, and one from that "cool English dude" David Rolfe already accepted and displayed underneath.

Enlargement, showing my comment, and one from that “cool English dude” David Rolfe already accepted and displayed underneath.

Here's what you see when you hit the "Send Comment" button - a Facebook login

Here’s what you see when you hit the “Send Comment” button – a Facebook login

Sorry, Bailey. I don’t have a Facebook login (having  decided some years ago that being “friends” with strangers on the internet, and being expected to exchange personal information,  is not really for me. (Call me old-fashioned, but I have had some unpleasant experiences with internet trolls, and am concerned about the growing risk of “identity theft”).

Yup, I spotted a Google log-in alternative on the toolbar across the top, but that led to your Dad’s page, and when attempting to log-in on my pre-existing Google account, it was to be greeted by, wait for it –  “Google+”   Note the plus-sign- . Google+ then tried  to extract further personal information before allowing me to proceed further. (Now you know – if you didn’t already – what the plus sign is for – yet one  more Google tentacle – as if there were not enough already from that out-of-control octopus that (incidentally) pays scarcely a penny in UK Corporation Tax while stashing billions of its UK-earned profits away in  Irish and Bermuda bank accounts ).

Yes, I know that lots of complimentary things have been said about your video, Bailey, and I’m sure you have a promising career ahead of you as a communicator. But here’s an unsolicited word of advice: beware of manipulators, especially those who try to sell religion under the guise of something else – like “objective science”.  Try doing a genuine hands-on science project  of your own choosing –  one that does not involve religion. Learn at first hand the nature of the scientist’s modus operandi. Learn to distinguish between science and pseudoscience, between science and philosophy, science and theology, science and religious faith.  Learn to spot subjectivity in all its multiple guises, especially that which poses as objectivity. Have a good and rewarding life.

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About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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