Talk:Shroud of Turin/Archive 1

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Order of 2nd and 3rd Paragraphs

The second paragraph presents negative arguments as to the 'validity' of the Shroud. The third paragraph presents positive arguments as to the 'validity' of the Shroud. As the significance of the Shroud owes itself to the positive arguments -- its argued associated with Jesus -- shouldn't those come first and the negative arguments second? From an objective standpoint it seems odd to say 'why it may not be' before 'why it may be.'


What is 14C?

Carbon-14: an isotope of carbon with an atomic weight of 14; used in radiocarbon dating. --Brion VIBBER
Is 14C a valid way of referring to it? I've heard of Carbon 14, but never of 14C. -- Zoe
As a superscript (14C), I believe this is proper scientific jargon. However, I suspect it's a little esoteric for this article; if no one objects, I'm changing it to "carbon-14". -- Brion

Yes, (14C) is the proper form for an isotope in chemistry. However saying "14 carbon" doesn't make much sense. Leave it as "carbon-14." Crucible Guardian 20:58, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Vatican Position

What's the position of the Vatican on the shroud? The speech I linked to seems to suggest that he believes it's a matter for the science to determine the origin, and if the science concludes it's from the middle ages it's fine by them. However, confirmation by somebody fluent in Catholicese would be helpful.--Robert Merkel

The speech itself contains some sentences that might seem a quite enthusiastic approval by the pope. As for vatican habits, they are really very explicit in considering it as Christ's linen, no doubt seems to be left after these words. In this sense, I don't read in it that the Church is really waiting for scientific investigations: whatever might scientists say, the Shroud is a religious symbol, and it will remain a symbol even if it will eventually reveal of different times.
Looking into the "icon", as the Shroud is always defined as an "image", "inside it" and not "in it" are the religious meanings of this figure, so the Church sweetly invites scientists "to act with interior freedom and attentive respect for both scientific methodology and the sensibilities of believers". This latter element is a quite clear invitation to avoid intensively looking for solutions that could break believers' illusions, and please note that the Church itself, as the owner of the reliquia, selects allowed scientists to examine it... ;-) --Gianfranco
The British Government won't let any scientist touch their mummies, I fear, either. (Even though Egyptians claim the mummies are theirs). So your argument is, you will let me say, quite biased and unjust. Pfortuny 06:51, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Hear hear. The same could be said for scientific instruments such as SOHO, supercolliders, etc.; only one that has shown true belief by submission to the baptisms and catechisms prescribed by the priesthood gains entree to the sancta of the new cathedrals. And see the ashes made of the careers of heretics. Contrariwise, should just any jobbo off the street consume HST time, "clean" and "restore" the Sistine, or rip swaths from the shroud? How can this necessary filtering ever be done objectively? Kwantus 19:44, 2005 Feb 7 (UTC)

The official possition is that the origin is unknown. However, as with any other relic of dubious origin, personal devotion is not officially prevented or encouraged. The Pope (the present one) is clearly devout to it, but you have to take into account that the present Pope is Eastern, and so he is very devout of Icons, and the shroud can be seen as one (and one especially gifted). Pfortuny 09:59, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Pfortuny's comments (above) are perfect examples of "adding apples and oranges". British possessiveness of the mummies in their museums is in no way analogous to the Catholic Church's habit of preventing critical investigation of the Turin shroud. The age and origin of the mummies in British museums is not in question. They've already been examined. If a question should arise regarding the authenticity of one or more of these mummies, and the British government refuses to allow an investigation, or allows only an already-biased group (equivalent to STURP) to do the investigating, then will be the time to criticize the British government for not allowing scientists to examine the mummies closely enough.

This Pfortuny has got to go. What is meant by "The present Pope [I take it this post dates from the reign of John Paul II] is Eastern, and so he is very devout of Icons"? Just because a Catholic is from an eastern European country doesn't make him "devout of icons". Polish Catholics, unless they belong to a Uniate jurisdiction, don't employ icons in their worship any more than French or Italian or Irish Catholics do. Nor do other non-Uniate Catholics. The ones who are "devout of icons" are the Orthodox, not Catholics ("eastern" or otherwise). True, most Orthodox churches are in eastern Europe or the Middle East, hence they're often called "Eastern Orthodox", but it's an incredible folly to confuse them with Polish Catholics. tom.amity129.93.17.63 03:56, 30 November 2006 (UTC)


Was this a BBC documentary? When was it broadcast? I can't find any refereence for the BBC broadcasting this programme, but I can references to it being broadcast by the National Geographic channel. Mintguy 10:43, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Fraud etc

"Many people believe it is the cloth that covered Jesus of Nazareth when he was placed in his tomb and that his image was somehow recorded on its fibers at the moment of his resurrection. Skeptics contend it is a medieval hoax or forgery. Scientists, theologians and historians continue to debate where, when and how the shroud and image were created." ....The Shroud of Turin has so much to teach us— about human nature, about cult and the victim, about the weighting of evidence, about the psychology of fraud and the psychology of belief, about the value of pilgrimages in the medieval economy, about the nature of revealed religion itself. None of which is wikipediable. The tone of this entry is Wikipedia at its most craven. Any effort here is in vain.User:Wetman

NPOV dispute about "origin"

User Eloquence removed phrase "Its true origin remains uncertain", claiming NNPOV. But no statement could be more NPOV. Even if one belives the shroud is a hoax, the manner, region and year of its production are still matters of total speculation. Thus the uncertainty of its origin is a simple fact. Of course, a great many serious and credentialed researchers have cast grave doubt on the accuracy of the 1988 Carbon-14 dating, which has so far been the only potentially empirical basis for declaring the shroud a hoax-- so any honest appraisal of the debate would have to use the term "uncertain" at least until a more rigorous radiocarbon test is done. JDG 07:34, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This is a POV phrase, both from the point of view of believers and skeptics, and it is completely unnecessary. Believers think they know what the shroud is and when it was created, skeptics think they know that the shroud is a hoax (they consider its origin, i.e. how it was created, to be certain). Whether you, personally, think that there isn't enough data for either belief/claim is completely irrelevant in terms of NPOV. It matters only what the two sides argue, and the simple fact is that both fervent believers and fervent skeptics would disagree with the claim that "its true origins are uncertain", so it is not an NPOV claim. See also Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial.
This becomes more evident by attributing the claim: "Some have argued that the true origins of the shroud remain uncertain, and that it should be further investigated." (Don't do this: Wikipedia:Avoid weasel terms - instead attribute it to specific individuals.) This makes it clear that the statement is, in fact, a third point of view, namely the one in between the two extreme ones. NPOV is not about the "middle ground". It is about attribution of controversial statements. --Eloquence* 09:31, Apr 16, 2004 (UTC)
I didn't see this explanation before undoing your delete. If most folks agree with you, I'll stop re-inserting the phrase. Unfortunately your explanation doesn't strike me as convincing. Really, it boils down to semantics. You are predicating "origin" on the question of hoax/non-hoax while I am including additional issues like method of production, region of production, etc.,. But even within your framework, "uncertain" is the correct word. As the article states, even the nuclear physicist who designed the c-14 methods used by the 1988 testing teams now has his questions about the reliability of their conclusions... I happen to be an atheist, but I value honesty in debate for its own sake. The debate on the shroud is still very active and many of the silver bullets the skeptics thought they fired off didn't quite pierce the target. To be an honest summation, this article needs the phrase "uncertain origin". In fact, anything else is POV. JDG
I have rewritten a couple of sentences with your permission :). I do think the "debate" ought to appear, as otherwise it seems that both parties are closed to the other's oppinions (which is not the case, by the way). Pfortuny 10:03, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
My apologies for so many edits in such a short time. I am happy with the present introduction, if I want to change it, I'll speak before and act later :)Pfortuny 10:09, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I like your intro sentence, but Eloquence probably won't. I think to him it's probably on the order of the Modern Science vs. Flat Earthers "debate"-- in other words, a debate not really worth mentioning... It takes a certain species of intelligent intuition to understand what one is looking at when one views the shroud. Some folks with much intelligence and intuition generally seem to lack this particular aptitude. It's a bummer because unless you can look at the image and _see_ what is so unusual about it, you really won't understand why the debate is so strong and unresolved. JDG

Unique properties of the shroud, quality...

Moved this to talk:

To understand the long and impassioned debate surrounding the shroud one must understand the unique properties of the image. It is like no other religious relic or work of art dating from either ancient or medieval times. Its sheer haunting visual realism is the primary reason efforts to show it is a forgery have needed to be so strenuous and oft-repeated. The shroud has occasioned an about-face to the usual Reason vs Faith scenario, for here the faithful have something tangible, visible and compelling to hold up while it is the scientific skeptic who must argue from the intangible and invisible. Only an individual with scant appreciation for the challenges of the graphic arts could view the image on the shroud and feel there is nothing remarkable about it: if the image was not miraculously formed, the forger possessed nearly miraculous talent and technique.

It's certainly not agreed that the image is particularly "haunting", "remarkable", or "real", nor does carbon-dating seem particularly intangible. It's also fairly clear that "impassioned debate" arises not from the qualities of the image, but from passionate disagreements over its subject matter. - Nunh-huh 09:01, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'll let your deletion stand until we get some commentary on it here. If the balance of commentary is in the paragraph's favor, I will restore it. By my lights, you're apparently one of those with "scant appreciation for the challenges of the graphic arts". It is an amazing image, and most of those who have approached it from a scientific perspective feel that way too. By cutting out this element of the debate you are detracting from the reader's gut understanding of what all the fuss is about--especially younger readers... And c-14 dating is tangible? How many carbon atoms have you had tea with? Physicists can't even agree on an objective representation of atoms--do they look like mini solar systems, do they have string-like properties, etc.,. The point is, they are real yet individually intangible. There is no visceral reaction to them like there is to incredible cinematic image on the shroud. JDG 09:22, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Of course, you have no knowledge whatsoever of my ability or inability to appreciate the graphic arts, though that fact apparently does not prevent you from forming an opinion on the matter, and visceral reaction is no test of tangibility. - Nunh-huh 09:26, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
But I do have knowledge of your appreciation for the challenges of the graphic arts. You have stated there's nothing particlulary "real" or "remarkable" about the shroud image, and, sorry, but only someone with a serious deficit in aesthetic understanding and perception would make that statement. I know it sounds arrogant, but I prefer not to mince words. The shroud image is mind-blowingly realistic, with a three-dimensionality and heft far beyond the reach of all known image formation techniques prior to the advent of photography. I've read many statements to this effect by people from all over the spectrum, from artists to physicists, from skeptics to devoted Catholics. You need to step back from the debate and from your own conscious, semi-conscious or unconscious agenda and _look_ at the image. JDG
You should read more carefully. I wrote that those things were not agreed, and they aren't. I didn't state my opinion. So spare me the ad hominem argumentation. -- Nunh-huh 11:00, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Mistaking forthrightness for ad hominem attack is understandable. And what constitutes "agreed"? What percentage of involved people must hold varying views on a question for an observer to conclude disagreement characterizes the situation? An overwhelming majority of all those who have spent some time looking into the shroud question, regardless of which side of the hoax question they're on, have felt the image is remarkable. This point is made repeatedly by Barrie Schwortz, proprietor of and member of the 1978 STURP investigation. Have you done some sort of survey indicating otherwise? JDG 18:26, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Then state who it is who asserts these things are remarkable, rather than declaring it as fact. Attribute that point of view rather than claim it's a universal truth. (I have not confused "forthrightness" for "ad hominem" argumentation: I have used the latter term correctly.) - Nunh-huh 20:54, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
No, you take things too personally. One can comment on someone's relative aptitude or level of attention in a narrow area without making a broad statement on character and overall ability, and that's what I'm doing. You do no less yourself when you say something like "you should read more carefully". As for attributing the point of view, I think in this case that's just the doorway to weaseldom. Maybe some statement to the effect that aesthetic judgments are always at least partially subjective is in order, followed by a statement describing how nearly all researchers and general viewers have been struck, and often awestruck, by the unique properties of the image and the attendant level of genius a forger would have needed to produce them. JDG
What you say you're doing is pretty much the definition of an ad hominem argument. And attributuion is key to NPOV. - Nunh-huh 22:39, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
If I may add a comment, I think JDG's words far above "haunting" etc... refer to the technical quality, not to the artistical one. So, they may be too "adjectivy", but they are not about "how beautiful", "how impressive to my feelings", or whatever. On the contrary, they mean "how remarcable if this was hand-made", etc... Just 2c. Pfortuny 10:14, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. JDG
Saying that the shroud "is like no other religious relic or work of art dating from either ancient or medieval times" is pretty strong. Such an absolute and universal claim needs some evidence to back it up - it's not the sort of thing you can just throw out there. - Andrew1729

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE: could you both either

  • a) Stop arguing about the definition of ad hominem in this talk page?
  • b) Cool down BOTH of you and discuss more interesting matters?

And in any case, could you please use your personal talk pages to continue the discussion?

No offence intended, just that I noticed the air was getting warmer here and... well, errr, I prefer a cool environment. Pfortuny 08:04, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Chill out, Pfortuny. This is what Talk pages are for. In a project like this, people _will_ butt heads. Having these little wars in Talk pages helps defuse edit wars in the article themselves... Besides, the discussion above is actually very relevant. A section dealing with perceptions of the shroud's "remarkableness" as a realistic image would get to the core of the debate more than anything presently in the article. JDG 14:35, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"Only someone with a serious deficit in aesthetic understanding and perception would make that statement" is an ad hominem attack, plain and simple, and it's unacceptable tone around here. JDG, we all know by now how you feel about the image. That is of no relevance whatsoever to the actual article, as artistic perception is by definition inherently POV. You can make people believe that a black dot on a green background is "haunting" and "remarkable", it's simply a matter of marketing. So when we talk about art (if you want to see the Fraud of Turin as art) we always have to attribute beliefs and opinions. See also Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial.--Eloquence* 23:09, Apr 18, 2004 (UTC)

Nope-- not ad hominem. I wasn't rude, used no abusive language and was making no broad statement about the user's intelligence or character. I was questioning his aptitude in a very narrow area. This is to be expected in an intensely collaborative project like Wikipedia-- I've been on the receiving end of it a few times and knew better than to cry "ad hominem"... I've seen a fair amount of complaints about your actions as a sysop and I'm beginning to understand why. Your comments are just unhelpful, almost purely agenda-driven and often obfuscating. In particular, you have a penchant for calling the very aspects of an issue that are most relevant irrelevant. The qualities and properties of the shroud, particularly the 3D realness of the rendering, are the #1 reason it has been the focus of so much debate. Your dismissal of it as simply a matter of marketing and random subjective opinion is an approach that immediately kills any honest and interesting treatment of the question. Take a breath and understand that it is your deep hostility to organized religion that is talking here, then make an effort to deal with the facts as they actually are. JDG 06:13, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
More ad hominem. JDG, you are on the fast track to arbitration with your behavior on this page.--Eloquence* 13:23, Apr 19, 2004 (UTC)
Threatening arbitration is not a good tactic. My tone in this Talk page, though a bit aggressive, is nowhere near cause for a ban, and you know it. I'm pretty sure any arbitration would turn into a referendum on your status as a sysop, so I would advise you to put away the idea. I've made what I consider some pretty good contributions to W (including primary authorship of two featured articles). This is no way to treat a solid contributor involved in a relatively mild spat. I can understand some annoyance, I can understand the literal conception of what constitutes ad hominem attack-- but this is way over the line.JDG
Before you complain about how you are treated, maybe you should take a second look at how you treat others.--Eloquence* 14:41, Apr 19, 2004 (UTC)
I recently re-read this Talk page, and ended up feeling as I originally did about it: the nature and effect of the image is central to the article; there is broad consensus among researchers/general viewers that, however it was created, the image is a remarkable one; a user here deleted my paragraph on the issue while denying the existence of this broad consensus; I questioned his ability to _see_, from a graphic art standpoint, the unique qualities of the shroud image; he took offense. In a literal understanding of "ad hominem" I indeed went "to the man" when I began discussing his aptitude in this area. In a practical understanding of "ad hominem", which requires an intent to broadly insult the other's intelligence and/or character, my comments were not ad hominem. A literal approach is not workable for W. The level of knowledge, level of attention to detail and possibility of blind spots in the writers will be legitimate concerns. After this experience, I suppose I will look for more politic ways of saying things, though it goes against the grain. As I say in my main user page: "Mincing words is a terrible time waster." JDG
Erik, you are right to be annoyed, but calling it the Fraud of Turin won't help the discussion (and will probably hurt more people than help). But I am with Erik here, JDG: those adjectives are not precisely NPOV (especially the haunting) because they assume that a reaction is produced in the observer, and this assumption is just as oppinionated as the contrary. Pfortuny 08:04, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I agree 'haunting' is probably out of place, but 'realism' or 'realistic' certainly is not. There _are_ basically objective statements that can be made about pieces of art, or art-like entities-- not everything is purely subjective opinion. If that were the case, the NPOV policy would have to prohibit any assertion whatsoever on aesthetic issues. The properties of the image, especially the near photographic properties, are core to this debate. Even if one disputes the nature of the effect upon the typical observer, there is still the basically objective question of image formation technique. Maybe you should take a swing at a paragraph on this point. JDG

I could not find a more appropriate section for this so... In the 'second image on back of cloth' section, the writer claims that the image on the back of the cloth would make the "photographic theory impossible." Supposing that the photographic theory is correct, why couldn't the technique just have been used twice, or perhaps used on the back as on the front of shroud? The validity of this statement is very questionable, or at leeast warrants an explanation. I'll delete it in a few days. --XAdHominemx 01:58, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


Just to have a comparison for the "unparalleled artistic quality" claims, here's a random Fayum mummy portrait from ancient Roman Egypt, grayscale and blurred, positive and negative:

File:Shroud-compare1.jpg File:Shroud-compare2.jpg


Which one has the greater artistic quality? Which one provides more detail? The answer to that question is inherently POV. These mummy portraits were a commodity, by the way, they were not in any way unusual. In fact, the best artists of the time probably produced even more photorealistic images, but none survived the Dark Ages. They didn't just rot away -- many of the greatest works of art were deliberately destroyed, as Christianization brought with it iconoclasm, a curious trait of religious fundamentalism that would be revived by the Taliban many centuries later. --Eloquence* 02:42, Apr 21, 2004 (UTC)

A curious thing about the shroud pic above is that if you bung it into Photoshop and invert it, it is difficult not to think the pic above is not a negative, but a positive. FWIW. Moriori 03:06, Apr 21, 2004 (UTC)
In topics like this, Wikipedia's NPOV policy is in many ways an endlessly circular trap. If one wants to be Chomskian about it, there is literally nothing that can be said which is supportable as anything other than POV, including all statements about what is and isn't POV. To me, the above images aren't even comparable in "fidelity to life", although the viewer must have the patience to let his eye rest on each for a good while and come equipped with a certain kind of discernment which is not given to all. Assuming this patience and aptitude, the shroud image, despite its grainy media, pulls far ahead of the Roman portrait in verisimilitude, heft and dimensionality, despite the portrait's superior media (and, in this case, a better digital capture). I have long admired early Roman portraiture and never cease to be annoyed at the common statement that, in comparison to the ancient Greeks, the Romans were inartistic oafs distinguished only by their military and engineering skills. But even though the portrait above is a good representative of some of the most realistic pigment images ever made, the sheer depth of visual information in the shroud is so far beyond it that it must be classed differently. Maybe the easiest way to see this is to concentrate for a moment on the "blood stains" in the forehead area of the shroud, which, even if they are blood rather then pigment, are functionally equivalent to pigment as an applied liquid medium that has dried. Let your eye sit on the forehead stain that looks like an inverted number 3. Then slowly shift your focus to just below the inverted 3. If you have the aptitude mentioned above you will get a sensation almost like vertigo, due to a sort of drop-off from a 2D object to a 3D object. If the inverted 3 were placed on the Roman portrait it would simply look like a badly misapplied brushstroke and this exercise of slowly shifting focal point would produce no sensation... When I say the shroud image is dimensional I'm not just trying to use an impressive word. It's dimensionality has been quantified by NASA's VP8 Image Analyzer (see and is objectively of a different nature than all pigment images as well as all photographs. An eye wired to a brain sensitive to this kind of embedded dimensional information will pick it up on the shroud and a deep intuitive sort of feeling will come to that person. He will "know" this image is qualitatively different from both the positive and negative ofthe Roman portrait... BTW, no one claimed an "unparalleled artistic quality" for the shroud. In fact, if the shroud image was produced by some strange happenstance it can't be described as "art" at all. We have been talking about unique physical properties, not aesthetic properties per se. JDG
The entire comment above (which would benefit from paragraphs, by the way) is entirely subjective. It's your opinion and as such relevant to this talk page. It's acceptable to have such opinions in the article if they are properly attributed. It is not acceptable to claim that they are uncontroversial, generally accepted facts, which they are not.
My entire problem with the style of the article as it was and to some extent still is, is that it presumes objectivity where there is very little. The points you make are at the very center of the debate about the shroud. The Skeptic's Dictionary article gives a very good overview of the arguments from the other side, including the response to the alleged unique "three-dimensionality", which is in fact to be expected for any symmetrical image (it's morbidly amusing that shroud lovers cite 1976 image processing research, that's a little like citing medical research from 1920).--Eloquence* 00:50, Apr 22, 2004 (UTC)
It so happens I read the Skepdic shroud page just last week. Rarely have I seen such a sorry excuse of an analysis. If this is the sort of thing that strikes you as "a very good overview"...(sentence unfinished). Let's look at just one of its statements: "Most skeptics think the image is a painting and a pious hoax." This isn't even a decent representation of what most skeptics think (at least slightly informed ones), it is also flat-out ludicrous and false. The images on the shroud were conclusively shown by electronmicroscopy in the late 1970s to be the result of discoloration of the flax and cotton fibrils from some chemical and/or heat event that caused a selective darkening of the material itself. Application of "paint" was entirely, utterly, ruled out, except for the purported bloodstains. The shroud, according to _all_ scientists in the last 30+ years, is simply not a coloration, it is a discoloration. Yet Skepdic skips blithely on and says "the image is a painting" (for obviously the Skepdic writers are skeptics and they are describing their own views here). This alone disqualifies the article from serious consideration. But there are many more hooters in it and, if I find time, I'll be back to share them. BTW, I saw no discussion of the dimensionality issue. Your assertion that dimensionality is expected for any symmetrical image makes no sense. I don't even know what you're trying to say by this. Symmetry has nothing to do with ordered depth. As for your problem with research from 1976, if you'd read the link above you would have seen it primarily describes work done in 1997 with a retooled VP8...(Added 5 minutes later) I suppose I should not have said _all_ scientists above, because McCrone, in the face of almost a dozen peer-reviewed science articles all categorically disproving his beliefs, continues to claim the shroud is "a watercolor in a tempera medium". What can one say about an individual who is uninfluenced by repeated physical proof and unanimous repudiation by his peers? I don't even think of him as a scientist. JDG
McCrone: Speaking of McCrone, the current treatment of him (which you wrote, JDG) is blatantly POV. I hope to find time this weekend to try to fix this and several other POV passages. Meanwhile, I suggest you identify the researchers you rely on and present their credentials. We'll leave it to the reader to judge whether those credentials are indeed "as impressive or more impressive." JamesMLane 03:47, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
James, please don't fall into this POV mantra so many others use as a catch-all. Looking back on that statement on McCrone in the article, it certainly is unsupported and should be worded differently. I saved in haste. I'll change it. JDG
I'm not using it as a catch-all. That the current passage is unsupported is one problem. The POV is a separate problem: If you add support in the form of information about other scientists' credentials, that would be good, but if you leave in the conclusion as to whose credentials are better, that conclusion, even though now supported, would still be a POV.
Yet another issue is that scientific disputes aren't really resolved by comparing credentials. Some very eminent and respected scientists have been proven wrong by upstarts and interlopers. The whole "issue" of credentials isn't really central to this article, which is getting long anyway. One approach would be that someone does a separate article on McCrone (I'll volunteer), someone else does an article on any scientist taking an opposing position, and a reader who wants to know about credentials can just click through and read about them. What would you think of revising the passage that way? JamesMLane 09:30, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds good. And I agree credentials don't resolve scientific disputes, but in certain cases it may be instructive to refer to them. McCrone is doing a real disservice to research by doggedly propping open questions that have been closed. The fact that paint was not used to create the shroud image in no way rules out the possibility of forgery or of a natural formation of the image. It's an unproductive use of time and energy to keep going back and arguing points that are really beyond argument. McCrone has attracted a lot of animosity among researchers for doing this, not excluding those who tend to believe the shroud is not miraculous. JDG
Oh, and if you do the separate piece on McCrone, please don't forget to mention his stellar work on the Vinland Map ( ) JDG
I read the Yale link you gave and the Wikipedia article on the Vinland map. Neither of them seems to me to suggest that McCrone's work on the subject shows him in a bad light, which I assume is your interpretation (taking your "stellar" to be sarcastic). By the way, some of the information from that Yale article ought to go into our Vinland Map article. JamesMLane 01:47, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I'm having an extremely sarcastic week, for some reason. The Yale article, being Yalian, is quite understated. It uses the phrase "The map's validity was first seriously questioned...(by McCrone)". In fact, McCrone declared it a forgery and was exultant in 1990 when both the Vinland Map and a fullsize reproduction of the shroud were showcased in a British Museum exhibition entitled "Fake". The title of the Yale article is "Vinland map ruled authentic". Connect the dots. For a less circumspect treatment, see this article: . JDG
Whatever! What I am trying to say is that the caption to the pic on this page says "a negative rendering of the face portion of the shroud". Right then, print it on clear film (whatever) and use that as a negative to print a photographic pic. Do you get a positive print? I wish I had a darkroom, so I could try this, but I haven't, and I don't think so. Moriori 08:50, Apr 21, 2004 (UTC)
Um, I was addressing Eloquence, not you (would have been indented one step more if I had been)... If I understand what you're asking, what you would get if you "use that as a negative to print a photographic pic" would be a positive print, but of course it would be a black and white positive without the straw color of the original. JDG
I feel nobody listens to me :/ (joking). But may I ask (to clarify): is the b/w jpg a digital image of the negative taken by the Italian photographer? Just in case I missed something. Pfortuny 09:56, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Sorry Pfortuny, that big paragraph wore me out and I had to check in to dreamland before writing anything else... I believe the image here is not the one by the very first photographer, Italian Secondo Pia, in 1898. I believe it's from the 1930s by somebody named Enrie or something similar. It's a B&W negative, basically a negative of a negative.JDG

Questions (mainly to JDG, bc I am at a loss)

  1. What does the "realism" in your sentences mean? Because I see different meanings in it. (in some sense, the above pictures are more realistic than the shroud, in some sense they are less).
  • Please see answer to Eloquence above comparing shroud with Roman portrait.
  1. The shroud AFAIK is made of linen. Is it possible that "that realistic effect" (whatever the meaning) is more difficult on a linen cloth than, say on a jar (clay-made), or canvas, or whatever? (I have not the faintest idea, that's why I am asking).
  • The shroud is mostly linen (flax) with some cotton. If you're talking about the usual ancient/medieval methods of image formation, using linen would not be ideal if the objective was the greatest possible realism. In the case of semi-liquid pigment, linen would tend to absorb it in ways difficult for the artist to control. In the case of something like chiaroscuro (a woodcut technique), the linen would tend to shed pigment grains in unpredictable ways. In the case of something like chalking, you'd have the same problem with grain shedding. And, generally, the weave of the linen gives an underlying grainy effect that would undermine most people's idea of "realistic"-- so, yes, canvas or baked clay would be better... Of course, linen turned out to be ideal for the way the image was formed on the shroud. Whatever or whoever the agent of image formation was, it/he/she used selective discoloration of fibril surfaces to produce the overall effect. This is partly what enabled the embedding of all that weird dimensional data-- the discolorations are at different distances from fiber tips and occupy varying lengths along entire fibers. The control needed for this is almost unthinkable (much more likely it resulted from some odd happenstance), and, no, it could not have been done on canvas or baked clay, as those surfaces force all image "information" onto a thin plane at their surfaces. JDG

Maybe those questions are related and related to the discussion, but I dunno. Answers are appreciated from anyone :) Pfortuny 07:03, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC) Fayam portrait Here's my POV as an Art Historian who is familiar with Fayam mummy portraits. To say that this is a "random" Fayam mummy portrait is a subtle excercise in wool-pulling! This is no "random" portrait. It is one of the finest and most expertly-handled, most three-dimensional and beautiful of all the known Fayam portraits. These portraits were painted by artists who undoubtedly specialised in creating these life-like images. Unlike Leonardo, their output probably ran into hundreds or thousands of portraits in a productive lifetime. Some of them were very very (POV, POV!) skilful at achieving a lifelike and 3D face. And they brought to life the dead body at which they were looking, fleshed it out and gave it "soul" as expertly as the most expert modern forensic sculptor. But, (and this of course is a value judgement, made for the benefit of those who are not familiar with this particular artform) this Fayam portrait goes well beyond the average in depiction of that which is lifelike. The writer has, I suspect, selected the finest example he could locate in order to make the point, whatever the particular point is..... ON THE VINLAND MAP - On this topic, Pfortuny is as usual immoderate. The Vinland map was "declared authentic" by a conference whose sole purpose seems to have been the discrediting of McCrone with the aim of upping the authenticity of the shroud of Turin. Nobody took this conference seriously, except the advocates of the Turin shroud for whom it's just about their favorite conference in the world. The interesting thing about this conference is that its organizers DIDN'T INVITE McCRONE, which is extremely odd since he's the one who did the work on the Vinland map to begin with! Whom do they think they're kidding? Tom.amity129.93.17.63 04:12, 30 November 2006 (UTC) --Amandajm 06:34, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Length of article

This article is beginning to become one of those one starts to read eagerly and at the middle of it one says "oh, if it were simply a bit shorter I would read it completely". Mmmhhh.... Pfortuny 09:47, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I mostly disagree. I don't think encyclopedia articles should be "good reads" in the sense, say, popular magazine articles are. One usually comes to an encyclopedia for a thorough treatment of topics, backed up with a lot of facts and citations. It's more common for a researcher or student to zoom in on a few aspects of a topic and extract what he/she needs in the context of his/her own work than it is for someone to sit down, light a pipe and read articles for pleasure. Somebody recently rearranged this article so that General Observations immediately follows the Overview, and History was moved down. I think that was a good move which lets a more casual reader pick up the core issues right away, yet retains the exhaustive detail for those who will need it. The new tables of contents throughout Wikipedia also help to maintain readability without skimping on thoroughness-- the user can so easily jump around to whatever is of interest... But look at the comments in the Featured Articles page for my nomination of this article-- one guy insists there should be more information on a variety of sub-questions... JDG
I had thought about moving the section on Sindonology to a separate article, but decided that the article that remained would be woefully incomplete. Maybe it would still work if the removed material were replaced by a few well-worded summary paragraphs. (The trick would be to have these new paragraphs do justice to the issue, and not creep back into a large section.) This may yet need to be done at some time in the future. I could easily imagine that many people wishing to get just the basic facts about the Shroud will be overwhelmed by the section that Sindonology is becoming.Johnstone 01:50, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I like your idea except for the suggested title. One of my earlier edits, which JDG eliminated, was to point out that the term "Sindonology" is used almost exclusively by Shroud proponents. It's not NPOV. Pragmatically, many people wouldn't think to go looking for an article on that subject. If we were going to split the stuff off, we could have a separate article on "Shroud of Turin controversy." The main article could have extremely sketchy mentions of the subject areas that are in dispute, with a link to the "controversy" article. An example of this approach is the existence of separate articles on Senator Rick Santorum and on the Santorum controversy that arose from his denunciation of gays. Of course, that was a specific incident rather than an ongoing debate. If people don't like "controversy" because it suggests an incident, then "Shroud of Turin dispute" or "Shroud of Turin debate" would also work. JamesMLane 02:01, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Hey, I wasn't the one who eliminated your "Sindonology" comment-- don't know who did. JDG
Whoops, sorry, my mistake. After my edit -- which, allowing for oversimplification, could be called anti-Shroud -- you and an anonymous user each made changes in response that could be called pro-Shroud. It was the anon who deleted my comment. BTW, s/he was also the one who inserted the cryptic reference to the Templars. If this is supposed to be some sort of evidence that the Shroud came from the Middle East, then it should be explained, otherwise eliminated. I would just eliminate it myself but I don't want to censor pro-Shroud arguments just because I consider them weak. If I did that, no one would be worrying about the page's length. :) JamesMLane 18:51, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It's amazing how often skeptics talk (and write) as if, just by dint of their being skeptics, their pronunciamentos carry more weight, reason, detail, balance, strength, level-headedness and overall virtue than the statements of believers. You guys need to quit resting on your (imaginary) laurels and start coming across with some real arguments. If this article is top heavy with seemingly pro-Shroud material it's because those who are not convinced it's a hoax have taken the time to craft detailed statements, unlike certain laurel-resters who like best of all to shout POV! when something that doesn't toe the skeptic line appears. JDG
You're reading a lot into one passing remark, JDG. Uh, did you notice the smiley? I don't think wisecracks are a substitute for argument, but they can liven it up. As for shouting POV, there's obviously a huge amount of stuff in this article that "doesn't toe the skeptic line," yet which no one has tried to delete. As I understand the Wikipedia approach to balance, one doesn't balance an article by deleting valid elements but by adding the countervailing elements. I've done some of that, and I hope to do more. I agree with you that the current imbalance results from greater activity by pro-Shroud contributors. JamesMLane 01:27, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Point of View

Given my positive experience with other wikipedia articles, I was surprised to find this article on the Shroud of Turin to be presented in such a non-neutral manner. The piece is filled with unsupported and unsupportable editorial comments, presents very questionable claims as uncontested fact, and generally presents the religious view of the Shroud as the only credible alternative. (

You mean, you don't think that "neutrons released at the time of the Resurrection" sounds like serious science? ;-) --Zero 13:59, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Zero, why do you characterize the neutron statement as something the article itself is promoting? Isn't it obvious the article is merely enumerating beliefs held by various groups? JDG
As I noted in my last comment, back in April, the Shroud proponents have been much more active here than the skeptics. (My impression is that this is somewhat true even beyond Wikipedia. It's the True Believers who have the incentive to keep coming up with new arguments and superficially reasonable scientific points, while most scientists seem to have accepted the verdict of 13th-century origin and moved on.) Nevertheless, I don't think this article is so bad as to call for the "disputed" notice. I hope other contributors will add scientific evidence and correct some of the worst NPOV violations. (I've done some of this, but I confess that my energy for the project flagged after a while.) JamesMLane 10:10, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Agree the disputed notice should be removed. The article is quite balanced when one doesn't start from a knee-jerk skeptic POV. I happen to be atheist, but I don't let that blind me to the remarkable qualities of this image. Those qualities get their due in this article, as they should... Skeptics by nature are supposed to be anti-knee-jerk, they're supposed to apply fresh reasoning to all they encounter. A cursory reading of this Talk page shows how often that is not the case. What you get are people just as reflexive in their anti-religion "thinking" as many proponents of religion are in theirs. On top of that, they seem to have a much greater tendency to cry "POV!" when something that questions their unexamined "skeptical" assumptions appears... Will delete disputed notice in a few days absent any non-knee-jerk response here. JDG 06:09, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
This article is in serious need of NPOV wikification, and I will be spending some time doing so during the next few weeks. Until then the disputed notice should remain. I expect JDG to act more maturely and professionally than he has toward Eloquence and others.--FM 19:41, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

There has been a lot of use of the phrases "pro-Shroud" and "anti-Shroud", as if these were the only possible positions. Anti-Shroud is clear enough - it's the position that the shroud is a hoax, probably medieval - but what are we to understand by pro-Shroud? Presumably the pro-Shroud viewpoint is that the cloth really is the grave-wrapping of Jesus, but this leaves the question of whether the image was produced by natural or miraculous means. Lumping both answers to that question into one "side" of the debate confuses things greatly.

My personal belief (if anyone cares) is that the cloth was indeed used to wrap the body of Jesus - who was after all a historical person. While most genuine relics have probably been lost, it's not inconceivable that one may have survived, and all the scientific evidence seems to point that way (with the exception of the carbon-dating which has been called into question in any case). I don't beleive in miracles, though, and I attribute the image on the cloth to a rare but explicable chemical and physical process. I remember being shown at school a video of a documentary about the shroud, in which they embalmed a body in the same way as practiced in the 1st century and left it in a cave for three days. Afterwards, the cloth had a recognisable image on it. Smudgy and blurry, and nothing like the detail of the Turin shroud, but enough to show that the idea of a natural "printing" is a possibility. --Pete

Now a truly excellent article

Nice reorganizing/rephrasing, James M. Lane. As a result of these and other recent improvements this article is truly top-notch. The foremost but unheralded star was an anonymous user (68 dot something) a few months ago who contributed really excellent material in the "Theories of Image Formation" section. In fact, I wonder if the anon user may have been Dr. Rogers of Los Alamos himself... Sadly, the cadres of reflexive skeptics that dominate Wikipedia, led here by Eloquence and Wetman, cannot abide a balanced article on a topic like the shroud, so even though the fineness of detail and quality of writing exceeds 90% of those in Featured Articles, it will never be promoted to that list. JDG 18:21, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

While it seems churlish to disagree with someone who compliments me... I'm afraid I don't share your overall evaluation of this article. I personally wouldn't support it for FA in its current form. Nothing's happened to change my opinion of a month ago: The article is tilted toward the pro-authenticity POV, a tilt caused by the greater energy devoted to it by Shroud proponents. The imbalance should be corrected, not by deleting the lengthy presentation of one side's arguments, but by energetic research and writing about the skeptical side. The problem is that skeptics have less incentive to do that. (Even Joe Nickell seems to be devoting less attention to the Shroud these days, in favor of other subjects.) Therefore, the current situation isn't likely to change soon. JamesMLane 05:29, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Pardon me if I once again sound aggressive, but I think you and a few others are missing something here: pro-authenticity and pro-hoax are not the only alternatives. The third option is that the images were formed, as the article now puts it, by "an extremely rare but entirely natural happenstance" (leaving, of course, the possibility of a supernatural invocation of a natural process as a matter for separate analysis). I know this option doesn't feed into the skeptics' delight in making believers look like clowns nearly as well as the forgery/hoax option, but it is at least as plausible and the article now gives it its due. Honestly, if you're with people like Eloquence who fail to see what's so unique about the shroud images and therefore assume it is the production of a clever con artist, you'll never be happy with an article that takes other possibilities seriously. One reason we haven't seen much from the purely skeptical side is that the shroud itself is maddeningly confounding to those who like their debunking quick and neat. Look at Eloquence's attempt above to equate a Fayyum mummy portrait with the shroud. To him and those like him it's almost self-evident that master artists are capable of creating realism equal to the shroud. When they find their convictions just don't wash with most folks (because most folks at some level are able to intuit what is so different about the shroud) they just feel stymied and/or impatiently dismissive and give up. JDG

Rearrangement of Controversy section

Hi. It seems to me that the problem with the "controvery" section isn't necessarily the content but the layout and organization. The non-skeptics deserve to have their opinions stated; but with the present mixed-up arrangement the article does seem rather unscientific. Furthermore, there is a lot of cart-before-the-horsing: rebuttals before the argument they're rebutting; micro-analysis before macro-analysis. So, although I don't know enough about the issue to rewrite it, here's my proposed layout for the section:

  • Scientific description of the cloth and weaving-patterns
    • Various interpretations of these data
  • Scientific description of the markings
    • Various interpretations of these
  • Attempts to radio-carbon date the shroud or the markings
    • Rebuttals to the radio-carbon dating.
  • Conclusions:
    • Scientific consensus
    • "The science is generally accurate but the dating is faulty and it's a natural imprint of Jesus' body"
    • "The science has been misled by a miracle"
    • Alternative explanations (Michaelangelo photography, etc.)
    • etc.

This seems like a far more logical order to put things in. Data should come before possible conclusions; right now the article has the reverse arrangement. Doops 20:18, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

How thick is this carbohydrate layer?

"This chemical layer, which is about as thick as the transparent scratch-resistant coatings used for eye glasses (about 600 mm thick)"
That's over half a meter. Is it supposed to be 600 nm? If I knew I would change it.--Vsmith 17:16, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I found the article on the web where that came from, and it is nm. -- Mpolo 14:33, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

New version, trying for NPOV, addressing objections

I have put together a new version of the article at Shroud of Turin/temp, attempting to produce a more neutral tone and reorganizing the material at a few places. I may have put too many "subheadings" in -- I personally hate reading huge blocks of text with no visual cues of where I am...

I have added some amount of material myself, but almost all comes from the original article here. There are two points in the text where I have indicated a lack of references with HTML comments embedded in the edit text. Otherwise, it seems to be pretty-well documented. Note that I found a couple of paragraphs to be copied verbatim from various websites, so I have literally rewritten everything, so as to remove all trace of copyright violation (hopefully). Have a look. The other unresolved objection would be the photo, which someone suggested might be a copyright violation.

Ideally, the main image here should be a positive image, with the negative occuring along side the discussion of the negative image. It might be good to also get an image of the whole thing, with both images, to put elsewhere in the article. -- Mpolo 14:33, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

Looks very interesting. I don't have time for a good read today but hopefully will in the next few days. JDG 21:11, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I have uploaded new images (with explicit permission from Barrie Schwortz of He thinks that the current image is Copyright 1931.
"Thank you for writing. The concern of your editors is valid. ALL photographs of the Shroud are copyrighted and none are in the public domain. The current negative facial image in the Wikipedia article was made by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931, and, although it is frequently used without permission on the Internet, it is without question a copyrighted photograph."
"I would be happy to let you use my Shroud photographs taken from my website as you requested, as long as an appropriate copyright credit line appears adjacent to the images. That is typically: (c)1978 Barrie M. Schwortz"

This article still argues way too strongly in favor of the 'religious' view that the shroud really is Jesus's burial cloth, despite the fact that the known history begins in 1357. → R Young {yakłtalk} 08:48, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Are there any objections to bringing the new page "live"? -- Mpolo 09:28, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)
Do you mind holding off for at least a few hours? I will be making some edits and/or suggested changes in the next few hours, and it might be good to see some response to these changes before the switch. JDG 14:35, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

List of edits by JDG to /temp

Mpolo, it looks like I'll be making quite a few changes. Rather than doing a lot of separate saves, I'll bunch the changes into a few saves and use the list below to catalog my reasons for each edit.

First round of edits:

  • Remove "dating from at least the fourteenth century" in opening sentence. I feel the simplest possible description of the shroud is best for the first line.
  • Fixed Wiki link for Cathedral.
  • "fibres" to "fibers" (most of article already in American English).
  • "Sceptics" to "Skeptics".
  • "properly-proportioned" to "well proportioned"— original emphasis was on how hale the man was and I think it's an interesting emphasis.
  • "reliable" to "uncontested" ("reliable" makes it sound like earlier reports are more dubious than not, but they are simply not well documented).
  • "presumed to be blood" to "either blood or a substance meant to be seen as blood". This is a little more exact I think.

Second round of edits:

  • Rewrite Pia paragraph using best elements of different versions. The importance of the negative cannot be overstated. May deserve a separate article.

Third round:

  • Object to "Shroud proponents have generally not accepted these results as conclusive". The odd thing is that plenty of researchers with a basic orientation against miraculous explanantions are among those finding fault with the 1988 C-14 tests. Changing to "Shroud proponents, and even a fair number of undecided researchers and scientists, have generally not accepted these results as conclusive."
  • Changing "Those supporting image formation by miraculous radiation" to "Those supporting image formation by miraculous means". Radiation is only one of many proposed mechanisms.
  • Rewriting remainder of this sentence for clarity: "Those supporting image formation by miraculous means point out that a singular ressurection event could have skewed the proportion of Carbon 14 in the cloth in singular ways."
  • Editing "The argument involving bacterial residue" paragraph for clarity and grammar.

Fourth round (moving backwards to "Theories of image formation" section):

  • Replacing "In a peer-reviewed paper" paragraph with the version from the currently live article. This para was written by a very knowledgeable anon user (my suspicion is it may have been Dr. Rogers himself) and should be retained. Your rewriting, Mpolo, is generally excellent but in this case the original is better.

Well, I've got to quit for now (unfortunately I was recently diagnosed with a serious illness and cannot keep at it too long). If most of these edits are retained I have no problem with the /temp version going live (understanding, of course, that the normal Wiki process will be ongoing). Nice work, Mpolo. JDG 16:36, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't see any major problems with your changes. Some of them are clearly better, and some are a judgment call. The anon paragraph is good, but may lean too much toward the acceptance POV.... We'll have to see what Eloquence and the others have to say. Thanks for taking a look! -- Mpolo 16:51, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

Message from User:JDG to User:Wetman's talk page

"Despite your gibes and sneers it looks like Shroud of Turin is on its way to FA, as Mpolo's rewrite is meeting with approval from most of those who have objected. A small victory for genuine freethinkers. I wouldn't go quite so far as to suggest you change your username to AllWetMan. Yet, anyway." JDG 00:20, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC) (In fact I supported Shroud of Turin as a Featured Article, because it is quite characteristic of a certain aspect of Wikipedia. "Free"thinkers indeed! Wetman 00:29, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC))

I'm glad you find me so quotable, Wetman. I'm onto you and as long as I'm healthy enough to tap keys Wikipedia will have an antidote to your brand of lockstep, partyline, irrationally reductionist rationalism. "There's more in heaven and earth, etc.". First up, your precious statement about McCrone in shroud/temp. "Sindonophiles", indeed. They mention him all over the place. They are delighted to have a debunker who has been so thoroughly debunked! JDG 00:39, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Length of article

I'm feeling guilty every time Wikipedia complains about the article being 41 kb long. Any ideas about what could go into a sub-article. I was thinking the History section would be the likeliest candidate, though that would remove the single strongest "skeptical" argument from the main article (it would be mentioned in the summary paragraph, but necessarily in abbreviated form). The "Controversy" has to stay because that's really the main point of the article. Other sections are too short to do much good. Or maybe we defy the 32kb "limit" -- How hard is that limit these days? -- Mpolo 10:55, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

Personally I don't agree with the 32kb "limit". I think scrutiny should begin at something like 48kb. But that's just me... An article like this, I believe, is best the way it is. Breaking whole sections into sub-pages would be a net minus. JDG 10:50, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
One of the reasons for the 32k limit is that some older browsers cannot edit long pages. A lot of these problems are solved simply by editing sections, which provide less than 32k of text for the user to edit, and the article is quite well sectioned. I believe this is a good example of an article that should break the 32k limit — the article works very well as a whole, and to split it would likely detract from its quality. --PJF (talk) 01:15, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Doubting : many examples of ancient textiles that were gravely misdated by radiocarbon testing

(William M. Connolley 10:49, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)) The article says:

The argument involving bacterial residue is perhaps the strongest, since there are many examples of ancient textiles that were gravely misdated by radiocarbon testing. Most notable of these is mummy 1770 of the British Museum, whose bones were dated some 800–1000 years earlier than its cloth wrappings. Proponents also point out that the corner used for the dating would have been handled more often than other parts of the shroud, increasing the likelihood of contamination by bacteria and bacterial residue. Bacteria and associated residue (bacteria by-products and dead bacteria) carry additional carbon and would skew the radiocarbon date toward the present.

The "many examples" would benefit from linking to some of them. Googling for mummy 1770 turns up only shroud-related stuff: is this an urban myth?

Some links found by Googling: Textiles from Qumran falsely dated (unfortunately weak on details) and Shroud-based article refering to quantitative tests of C-14 errors. I can't find anything non-Shroud-related about Mummy 1770 either. Mpolo 13:20, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 13:56, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)) If all this stuff comes from the pro-shroud community, then I think the text on the page needs a warning round it.
I'm going to try an email to the British Museum. Maybe they can confirm or deny the story. Mpolo 16:35, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 17:35, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)) Good idea. I tried the BM website but its more pretty than useful.
The only fact stated is that the bones were hundreds of years earlier than the cloth wrappings. Assuming that turns out to come from a reliable source, it's still not enough. The guy died, and was wrapped, and over the years something happened, maybe a tomb that was supposed to be sealed got unsealed when someone screwed up, and the wrappings were damaged so the mummy had to be re-wrapped. A mere difference in dates doesn't show there was an error in the dating unless the expert Egyptologists all say that no such scenario is possible. JamesMLane 17:27, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
O.K. I have sent the email, in the meantime, I have this from William Meacham, an archeologist:
"In the first few years of C14 dating, a serious discrepancy was observed with samples from early Egypt, in that the C14 "ages" were too young by several hundred years, at least according to the established chronology of dynastic history. There were those in the radiocarbon field who argued that it was the chronology that "had to be wrong" as it was more subjective and more open to interpretation than C14. Later, it was confirmed that, lo and behold, the chronology *was* correct and C14 dates needed calibration."
That would seem to be enough to make what is said in the article at least probable. (Hopefully the British Museum chooses to answer my inquiry as well.) Rodger Sparks, a radiocarbon expert (and one who believes that the radiocarbon tests on the shroud were accurate), responded to this:
"Meacham has, as on previous occasions, listed several reasons why 14C dates need to be obtained, and interpreted, with caution. Much of what he says I can agree with in principle, but although these views are presented in the context of the Shroud, if taken at face value they imply that all radiocarbon dates are unreliable. This is not so. Most of the intensive labour that occurs in a radiocarbon laboratory is directed at avoiding the traps pointed out by Meacham - plus a raft of others as well."
W. Wolfli, director of one of the centers that C-14-tested the Shroud, said,
"The C14 method is not immune to grossly inaccurate dating when non-apparent problems exist in samples from the field. The existence of significant indeterminant errors occurs frequently."
These citations are taken from a Usenet (alt.turin-shroud) discussion between Rodger Sparks, a carbon dating expert from New Zealand, and William Meacham, archaeologist and Shroud researcher from Hong Kong from February 1998. I'm going to add a note about the general accuracy of C-14 (if it's not there already), while leaving the possibility for error open. Mpolo 18:46, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)

New 2nd Paragraph

I object to the new 2nd paragraph and will delete it if no one makes a strong argument for it here. One of this article's virtues was that it presented facts and history before jumping into the controversy. The new paragraph jumps right into it before the reader has the basics. JDG 09:31, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In the FA discussion, there was some concern that the lead paragraph didn't summarize the article sufficiently. This is the reason for the new paragraph. If you can find a way to keep the balance (see Wikipedia:Lead section), feel free to do so... (By the way, I hope that your health is better. Welcome back!) Mpolo 10:12, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the good words, Mpolo. Unfortunately my health will be an ongoing issue. I was diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer in mid-September (pretty hard luck at age 42), and it's already getting difficult. I was never an extremely active W contributor but it's getting tough to maintain even a moderate involvement... I'll have a go at satisfying the FA suggestion with less violence to the flow... BTW, kudos again for your work on this article. Your overhaul was very comprehensive and fair. There are so many articles on W that would benefit from an Mpolo-style makeover. JDG 15:11, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I nominated this in Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates. Muriel G 13:30, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Moved from Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates

This is a very nice article, well written, good references, the paradigm of npoviness. So nice that I'm translating it for the Unfortunately, sorry for being a spoil sport, its a bit messy due to heavy mixing of fact and interpretation. Moreover, the pursue of describing all possible points of view goes to the extreme of dilluting what is actually important. I understand that it needs to be comprehensive but big, gentlemen, its not always the best (mind the joke). To conclude, i would suggest some cutting and organizing under the principles of less is more. Cheers, muriel

  • This is a recently promoted article (October 19), which the instructions on the page say not to list here. Mpolo 14:55, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC) -- Object to removal Mpolo 17:16, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)
  • Object to removal. A finely crafted article with a wealth of detail. Encyclopedia articles aren't meant to be "a good read" in the tradition of popular magazine pieces or newspaper stories. The more you can put out there for the student or scholar the better, so long as it stays on point, which Shroud of Turin does. JDG 08:30, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • As you like it... Anyway, if you are very keen to write a monography on the subject, maybe it would be worth mentioning the Catholic Encyclopedia position on this. Its interesting. Cheers, muriel
    • By the way, i understand the need of protecting recently promoted articles from harassment but... how am i supposed to know that this was a recent? And what constitutes recent? muriel
      • The easiest way to see when an article was promoted would be to check the talk page, and see when {{FAC}} was changed to {{featured}}. Now, I'm the one who wrote the rule, for the reason you give, plus the fact that it seems to me that recently promoted articles should reflect our standards (which tend to change over time). As for what constitutes recent - I'd probably say that if it was promoted less than a month ago, you shouldn't be listing it here. →Raul654 12:27, Oct 31, 2004 (UTC)
  • Object to removal: it is pretty much the same as it was when it was promoted (and in any event, it could just be reverted, no?). -- ALoan (Talk) 12:10, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Suggestion (Leonardo)

I think there should be a copy of the self portrait of Da Vinci on the Da Vinci made the shroud bit.

When compared next to one another, the likeness is remarkable, you think "oh my god. Im looking at a photograph of Leonardo Da Vinci" CheeseDreams 22:33, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

So add it. Let the reader decide whether the resemblance is "striking", which is definitely a POV term (despite the fact that I agree with you). I can't think of a good way to NPOV-rewite your recent addition, though. PhilHibbs 12:05, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • His name was not "Da Vinci" (this is a misconception due to the popularity of the "Da Vinci Code." All references to "Da Vinci" should be replaced with either "Leonardo" (as all art historians call him) or "Leonardo da Vinci." Also, I added a disclaimer about Picknett & Prince, since their Templar Revelation and other works are not considered scholarly. Another problem is the assertion that Leonardo was "non-Christian." This comes from the conspiracy theories by Picknett & Prince and repeated in the Dan Brown novel. This is also rejected by art historians of Leonardo, he died a Catholic and there is no evidence that he was a secret pagan or heretic (this is supposition by Picknett & Prince). Source: [1] Paraforce 17:43, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Missing Pic

Hey Mpolo-- what happened to the Pia face image, do you know? It's getting reported as missing. JDG

Undeveloped negative

Surely this is wrong - you wouldn't be able to see anything in a negative until it had been developed? Pretzelpaws 01:31, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Details of crucifixion technique

The piercing of the wrists rather than the palms goes against traditional Christian iconography, especially in the Middle Ages, but many modern scholars suggest that crucifixion victims were generally nailed through the wrists, and a skeleton discovered in the Holy Land shows that at least some were nailed between the radius and ulna; this was not common knowledge in the Middle Ages.

Where in the "Holy Land"? When used alone like this, I don't think Holy Land is clear as Christians' label for the area, and the term should be replaced with an objective label. 119 04:52, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Also, regarding "this was not common knowledge in the Middle Ages" — can we get this more specific? Is it known that there were at least some who knew this, or do we have no information at all as to whether this was known in the Middle Ages? Does everyone who mentions crucifixion claim the nails went through the wrists, for example? Were there only artistic depictions of this, or also more scholarly descriptions? JRM 20:49, 2004 Dec 25 (UTC)

Re: nails in wrists v. hands: A recent documentary on National Geographic Channel featured scientists who are now convinced that the metacarpal bones in the hands would support a crucified body; this based on empirical data. The general acceptance of this thesis needs to be investigated, and the article updated accordingly. 19:48 18 Aug 2005 soverman

I have looked at hundreds of images of the crucifixion and of Christ with the wounds of the crucifion. I don't know of a single image that has the nails or the nail holes through the wrists.

I think that we can say with absolute certainty that is was "not common knowledge in the Middle Ages" that the victims were nailed through the wrist rather than through the hand. If it were "common knowledge" then artists would have depicted it. They did not.

I must say here that of the artworks that we have from the Medieval period, perhaps we must presume that the majority, or at least a large part were executed by illiterate craftsmen plying a trade, rather than artists with education and prestige. But we must also assume that the vast majority of those who commissioned works of art for significant churches, abbeys and cathedrals were well educated, particularly in matters of faith, religious tradition and the Bible. These bishops, abbots and priests devised complex artistic schemes of decoration to be carried out by the artists. They were rigorous about getting the iconography "correct". Had a body of clergy known that the crucifixion was actually performed in a different manner to the way in which it was depicted, then it is highly unlikely they would have failed to put the record straight. You cannot underestimate the importance placed on works of art as a means of educating the illiterate in religious matters.

One is led to conclude that either, if it were a fact that, in general, crucifixions were performed in this way, then both memory and any readily-available written record of that fact was lost, or else it was not a fact at all, and that crucifixions were regularly performed with the nails through the palms, as they are depicted.

--Amandajm 15:45, 22 July 2006 (UTC) 15:42, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Lower/upper face ratio

I've added a brief note under the "Analysis of artistic style" heading about the ratio of top/bottom of face. The basic concept is from an old visual arts textbook I no longer remember the name of (which used the shroud of Turin as an exmaple of how _not_ to do portraits), but the measurements are my own. I'm terribly sorry if this is irrelevant or should fall under another heading. Spazzm 10:53, 2004 Dec 25 (UTC)


During the fourteenth century, the shroud was often publicly exposed, though not continuously, since the bishop of Troyes, Henri de Poitiers, had prohibited veneration of the image. Thirty-two years after this pronouncement, the image was displayed again, and King Charles VI of France ordered its removal to Troyes, citing the impropriety of the image. The sheriffs were unable to carry out the order.

um, shouldn't there be a reason as to why the sheriffs where unable to carry out the order?

Project2501a 20:57, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)


An anonymous user added this comment about Image:Shroud positive negative compare.jpg:

(In fact, neither of these images is a negative of the other. Try it with an image-editing program).

Is he right? I don't know much about photography, but i know there's a difference between a photographic negative and the digital negation of an image file. -℘yrop (talk) 23:21, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

I deleted the anon user's statement before seeing your question here. You're right, a chemical photographic negative will not have the same hue/saturation as a digital negation of the same positive, mostly due to the typical color spaces used by image editing software. The positive/negative shown in the article comes directly from Mr. Barrie Schwortz, who took the photo himself and vouches for accuracy. JDG 21:23, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Leonardo portrait

About the Leonardo portrait, check this URL [2] It says that that is not a Leonardo portrait.

Not only does it seem that the alleged portrait is not Leonardo's, this entire paragraph:
Skeptics have proposed many means for producing the image in the Middle Ages. Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince (1994) proposed that the shroud is perhaps the first ever example of photography, showing the portrait of its alleged maker, Leonardo da Vinci. According to this theory, the image was made with the aid of a magic lantern, a simple projecting device, or by means of a camera obscura and light-sensitive silver compounds applied to the cloth. However, Leonardo was born a century after the first documented appearance of the cloth. Supporters of this theory thus propose that the original cloth was a poor fake, for which Leonardo's superior hoax was substituted, though no contemporaneous reports indicate a sudden change in the quality of the image. However, the resemblance between the shroud image and Leonardo's famous self-portrait has been described as striking by many. In addition to the similarity between the self-portrait, and the shroud image, the Turin Library, which houses the shroud, also contains the only known self-portrait of Da Vinci in this manner. Da Vinci was widely known as a man with a sense of humor, and could very well have instilled his own image onto the shroud (whether authentic or otherwise). It is also a theory that he was commissioned by the royal family, with whom he was friends, to have done this to bring back to Turin what was lost from them so many years prior to this. Da Vinci, whose belief system was non-Christian, would not have found such an action to be blasphemous. However, there are many things in the shroud that probably couldn't have been faked even by Leonardo.
is so chock full of unsubstantiated or simply unclear claims about Leonardo that much of it should be edited unless the author comes up with some sources. In addition, I will check the Leonardo discussion page, but I think that "Leonardo" is the prefered way of refering to him, as "Da Vinci" is simply where he was from. Zerobot 14:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree entirely with Zerobot. I think that it would be wise to give a little information about Ms. Picknett and Mr. Prince if you are going to use them as references. They are two people with absolutely no qualifications to speak on the subject. One of their latest books is entitled The Stargate Conspiracy: The Truth about Extraterrestrial life and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, which supports the theory that the gods of the Egyptians were actually aliens who will be returning any day now. They are also discredited not by serious historians (particularly art historians) for their attempting to make Leonardo into some type of Rennaisance esoteric guru, despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever for these claims. (I imagine that they probably see the hand of Leonardo in cropcircles as well). In other words, these two are occultists and using them as a reference is not appropriate since these are the crackpot ideas of two New Age "thinkers". In addition, in the paragraph entitled, "Photographic image production", if you are going to say that Leonardo's, "belief system was non-Christian," could you possibly provide a reference for this since it appears to be based on the Da Vinci Code hype rather that any presentable factual evidence. Massimo377 15:58, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Picknett & Prince are not scholarly sources. They are debunked many places, but here is an example [3]. Thus it should be pointed out that their theories, while interesting, are not generally accepted and so are only "possibilities." Also, the name is "Leonardo" or "Leonardo da Vinci" (or his full name), not just "Da Vinci." This is incorrect, unless we're quoting characters from Dan Brown's book. Paraforce 17:43, 21 June 2006 (UTC)


I've removed the link from "Avigliano", although not the placename itself. All the other places in that list are in Piemonte, but the two towns named Avigliano in Italy, Avigliano (PZ) and Avigliano Umbro, are nowhere near here, there are no other sizable towns by that name (and by sizable, I mean down to the village/hamlet level, I'm looking at a detailed atlas of Italy that frequently indexes places with no more than 100 inhabitants); and I find no record as to which, if either, Avigliano the Shroud might have been in. Frankly, I suspect a typo for Avigliana, which at least has the merit of being in Turin province, and thus in the Piemonte as well. Bill 12:52, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Slight bias in favour of McCrone?


Fantastic article. It gives fair and equal time to all positions, neither favouring claims of the Shroud's falsehood or its authenticity. Nevertheless, and I might add that this is understandable given the past 20 years of Shroud debate, McCrone appears to be exempt from the scrutiny applied to the findings of other scientists. One final paragraph dismisses a scientist's findings on the basis that some of his samples might have been damaged or spoiled. Given that no peer-reviewed article has supported McCrone's findings in 18(or so) years, and that several others have rather concluded his research was based upon spoiled specimens and thus clearly invalid, paragraphs discussing McCrone's analysis might have a similar disclaimer. All the same, this is a fantastic article and one the supporters and readers of Wikipedia should be proud to have.


Actually, the work of McCrone is given rather short shrift in the article. I've read his book and another based on it, and both are quite well argued and illustrated with photos of microscopic enlargements of the areas he examined. It should also be noted that it took McCrone's critics a considerable amount of time to come up with the speculation (which they later stated as a fact) that McCrone's samples were spoiled. The initial complaints were that McCrone was "tampering with the faith of simple believers" and so on. Indeed, McCrone himself, as shown in the notes reproduced in his book, assumed that the colored areas were bloodstains, but after examining them microscopically he noted "I have never seen blood behave like this before." They did, however, seem to him to look and behave like paint pigments. It's true that nobody else has reached similar conclusions, but then nobody else has conducted a similar analysis. Based on his conclusions, McCrone predicted a carbon-14 dating consistent with a 14th-century origin, which is what the subsequent carbon-14 test did in fact come up with. I'm trying to see the merit in the idea that the test must have been flawed, or that the results are contaminated with extraneous matter, but I can't see how the latter could be the case unless the contaminations were in excess of the bulk of the shroud itself. Certainly the archbishop of Turin accepted the findings (and was retired before his time by order of the Vatican). Initially, so did most of those who later denied the validity of the test. All this is of importance, and perhaps a refutation of McCrone's findings should have been included in the article.

Tom Amity129.93.17.66 03:45, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


I removed the following:

The Carbon-14 dating, which was intended to settle the issue conclusively, and did so for many scientists, has not quelled speculation about the possible authenticity of the shroud. Some scientists call for more radiocarbon tests of areas of the cloth containing the image, which the Holy See to date has refused. Given their expressed concerns about the destructive nature of current testing methods, it is unlikely that this resistance will change in the near future. Skeptics hold that the Vatican simply wants to avoid definite proof of forgery.
Devotion to the image of the Man of the Shroud has made argument about this issue particularly heated. Because of the deeply held beliefs touched by this piece of cloth, complete resolution of the issue may never be reached to the satisfaction of all parties. If the hypothesis that the man of the shroud might have been in a state of coma is considered, the only hypothesis which allows a fully natural explanation for the formation of the image, the controversy even increases, because this touches the foundation of traditional Christianity.

Every bit of this content is mentioned earlier in the article. I think that conclusions are very un-wiki. State the facts. State all the facts. No need to restate them. No need to analyze them. The purpose of this article should not be to draw a conclusion about the Shroud but merely to present all the facts and history allowing the reader to make their own decision. Moreover, concluding with this section has the effect of shifting the tone of the article to an argument between scientific and religious theories about the Shroud, which wikipedia is not the place for. There is no concluding statement for each side. Repetition be destroyed, savidan(talk) (e@) 20:26, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

This raises an interesting question. Is the purpose of an encyclopedia to inform or to simply report? The same question is asked of dictionaries. Some people use "infer" as a synonym for "imply". Therefore some dictionaries report that "infer" now is a synonym for "imply". The same holds for this article. The shroud is a hoax. We know that. The statements that support its miraculous origin have been refuted over and over again. And yet, this is a featured article because it does not pass judgment, but simply reports. Just as dictionaries now report that "infer" means the same thing as "imply". I'm not trying to answer the question I raise. I'm just asking -- does NPOV require that all strongly held beliefs be given equal weight. Does, for example, the article on the Holocaust give equal weight to those who strongly believe that the Holocaust never happened? Rick Norwood 23:32, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

The Orthodox faith as a mere Catholic offshoot??

I was reading the article on the shroud and its proper ownership when I read the following incredible passage:

"However, it should also be remembered that the Eastern Orthodox and Russian Orthodox denominations took their origins from schism from the Catholic Church, and therefore, strictly speaking, owe their allegiance to the Pope anyway."

I'm sure this offends every single Orthodox Christian and it is my opinion (though I am not an Orthodox Christian) clearly a Catholic bias. The historical division between Western (Latin) and Eastern (Greek) Christianity was a long process in which a dogmatically unified faith begins to split into it two divergent paths EVEN starting at the close of the Early Christian era (c. 500/600) even though the official split is dated at 1054.

Perhaps most notable affirmation of union between east and west is at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, where Constantinople and Rome stood united against other eastern, oriental faiths such as Nestorian and Monophysite Christianity. But the division has due with linguistic social, political and theological differences of the two sides, including the nature of papal authority. And it should be noted the a cultural division between a Greek East and a Latin West was even the case for an earlier Roman empire, and aids in explaining the the eventual division of the Mediterranean wide Christian Church into its western and eastern halves.

Many Orthodox would see the above comment in the reverse--it is Catholicism that is the splinter group and it was the blatant assertion of papal authority in the later Middle Ages that was the problem, notably in emeding the Nicene Creed by unilaterally asserting the filioque clause. This was felt to be in violation of the ecumenical spirit in which the creed was made (in this case, the first two Councils: Nicea I and Constantinople I)--something established by an Ecumenical council could only be changed by a another such council and not by one part of the Church, viz., the Roman see, unilaterally.

Part of this relates to the nature of Apostolic sees in the Western vs. Eastern Mediterranean: the West just had one: Rome. The East had four: Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria (though the latter three would come under Muslim dominance after the seventh century). Thus the east tended to regard Apostolic authority in a more collegial light compared to western Europeans who saw Rome as THE Apostolic See. Likewise, the political authority of the papacy in the west was naturally much greater as it filled a power vacuum owing to the collapse of WESTERN, secular Imperial Roman authority in the fifth century. No such thing occurs in the Eastern Church as Roman Imperial authority survived in the person of the Byzantine emperor and as the Eastern Roman Empire evolves into Byzantium, a continuation of the Roman world into the Middle Ages.

The book to read on this, among others, is Peter Brown's, The World of Late Antiquity (1971; 1989). Another is Roger E. Olson The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform (1999).

But the idea that Eastern Orthodoxy is nothing more than an "eastern Protestantism" is really preposterous. Historically, they should be better seen, in my opinion, as two equivalent branches of an earlier faith without necessarily seeing one as subordinate to the other. The above comment ought to be scrapped.

Likewise, for the sake of argument on both historical and ethical grounds, IF the shroud is the one identified with Edessa (and a big "if") and thus was stolen from the east then it belongs to the east and the appeal to Papal authority in my mind is odd way to just a theft, let alone a sacking of venerable city, Constantinople (which John Paul II apologized for).

Latin ink on the pages of the Codex unexplainably changes

It appears that this edit has changed the external link appropriately but has incorrectly quoted what is actually written on the pages of the Codex. --Rednblu 17:53, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Posterior image

I removed the sentence that said, to effect, that when the backing of the cloth was removed in 2002 and it was photographed "a posterior image of the figure" was revealed on the underside of the cloth. The deleted material was confusing because the "posterior image" ie "the back view" of the figure has always been visible when the cloth was displayed. tThe cloth shows both front and posterior, lengthwise.

The term "posterior" usually refers to a figure. In this case it was the backside of the cloth that was revealed, not the backside of the figure. One might presume that if there was an image on the reverse of the cloth, it would mirror that on the front of the cloth, perhaps fainter. I would like to insert the appropriate sentence to make up for that which I have deleted, but cannot do so as I am unfamiliar with the report and, to my recollection, have not seen a photo of the underside of the cloth. Would it be possible to say that a mirror image was revealed?

--Amandajm 06:04, 22 July 2006 (UTC)


OK! I'm old and ignorant of 21st century practices.... but please will one of you explain to me why, within this article, a ratio is expressed as 1:1 and then the next ratio/proportion (well is it a ratio or what?) is expressed as 0.75 or 0.90 or some such. Are these decimal quantities supposed to mean the same as 1:75 and 1:90? Or do they really mean 0:75 and 0:90? Or do they mean 100:75 and 100:90? Or perhaps 25:75 and 10:90?

I have no doubt that you know what you mean. But just let's have some consistency and some consideration for the mathematically challenged!

--Amandajm 13:01, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

It means 1:0.75 or 1:0.9 - what would be expected with thought.

-- 11:18, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Controversy section - original research?

Another problem with the validity of the shroud according to some is that the image of the supposed Jesus does not match with biblical accounts. They say that the Bible says that Jesus was flogged so severely by the Romans that his face no longer looked recognizable and it was so disfigured that it did not even look human. This would be consistent with the severity of Roman torture as outlined by authors such as Livy, Titus, and Julius Caesar. So if the Biblical account of Jesus' beatings are accurate then the image that we would see on the shroud would be near impossible to identify as a human let alone the face of Jesus. However, this argument is without merit. This text does not occur in the Gospels. The reference is rather to the "Song of the Suffering Servant" in the prophet Isaiah (52:14), written eight centuries before Christ, which is used in the Liturgy (e.g. on Good Friday) as a prophecy of the sufferings of the Messiah. It is decidedly not an eyewitness description!

Are there any objections to my deleting this passage, which strikes me as a pretty obvious example of Original Research?--CJGB (Chris) 15:28, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Delete Bad grammar, and it's analysis (original research)... it's completely off topic, if nothing else. /Blaxthos 23:38, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Who dated the Shroud?

I should be grateful if editors from here could look at Edward Thomas Hall. Can you source, or disprove, the claim that he helped to date the Shroud, please? BlueValour 23:12, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

See the article. The peer-reviewed papers exposing the error are considered conclusive. It's all very simple: somehow the testers were daft enough to take all their samples from one tiny portion of a corner of the shroud which had been patched due to fire damage in 1532. So, they were measuring carbon-14 decay in a medieval patch! Sometimes the blockheadedness of scientists is truly amazing. JDG 05:31, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

mention of photographic negative in 1st paragraph

Codex, I apologize for clashing with you a bit here, but I feel quite strongly that this clause ("Some believe it is the cloth that covered Jesus of Nazareth when he was placed in his tomb and that his image was somehow recorded on its fibers as a photographic negative at or near the time of his proclaimed resurrection") should not be in the intro paragraph and in fact is misleading anywhere in the article. First, there are many image modes that people believe in that have nothing "photographic" or photography-like about them (see the sections on impressions from sculptures or bodies and image formation by bas-relief, amongst others). Second, most of the more advanced "Shroudies" and almost all scientists coming from imaging backgrounds believe the idea of the photographic negative is understandable in this case, but usually misleading. Thy believe the image is probably a negative of something, but certainly not a photographic negative and not even directly analogous to a negative photo. One must bear in mind that it is the modern photographic negative that revealed tremendous detail on the Shroud, but this is quite distinct from concluding or arguing that the Shroud actually is a photographic negative. See this paper by Peter Schumacher for a good explanation: [4]. Thanks JDG 04:32, 21 November 2006 (UTC)... BTW, I was an original author on this article way back-- not that I'm asserting ownership or anything, but just so you know I'm not swooping down out of left field. JDG

Sorry, but this is a crucial viewpoint, it belongs in the intro and suppressing this fact seems like... well... suppression. The belief that it is a photo negative is the singular most thing that makes the shroud distinctive in the minds of many, please note that the phrase is not concluding or arguing that it actually "is a photographic negative", but only that many (perhaps even with sound reason) believe it to be one. Shouldn't the article on photo negatives at least be allowed to be linked to from this article? Of course, and might as well get to it in the intro, since that is the core of the matter. If you censor this, it seems like an attack on this belief. NPOV requires that all significant viewpoints be represented neutrally, which this line is careful to do; so why are you attacking the representation of a highly significant viewpoint? Reverting, and will continue to dispute the suppression of this significant point if necessary. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 13:38, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Codex, I'm afraid you're confused about the distinctions that need to be made here. I'm not up to tussling over it right now, so I'll leave your edit in place. But I'll be back, hopefully in a week or two, and then let's try to bring in a few others to clarify and perhaps decide the issue. JDG 23:38, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to chip in like this, but I believe the dispute is specifically over the use of the phrase "photographic negative". The word "photographic" implies that the image was produced through the action of light, not any of the other possible mechanisms such as some kind of miraculous process or a chemical reaction caused by decomposition gases. Therefore JDG is correct to question the use of this phrase in the introductory paragraph, since most of the main theories do not entail a "photographic" process (i.e. there was not thought to be any light involved in the formation of the image). In fact the main theory which involves photography is one that disputes the authenticity of the shroud (i.e. the assertion that it was some kind of medieval photography)!
From the wikipedia entry on photography:

"Photography is the process of making pictures by means of the action of light. Light patterns reflected or emitted from objects are recorded onto a sensitive medium or storage chip through a timed exposure. The process is done through mechanical, chemical or digital devices known as cameras."

If the phrase had been "something similar to a photographic negative" or something like that, there would be less problem with the phrase. That would not necessarily imply the action of light, merely an analogy with a photographic negative - although I'm sure there must be a better way of saying it!! If it is truly believed to be the result of a genuinely photographic process (i.e. caused by light) then this should be elaborated on in the "Theories of image formation" section, and a more general term (covering most of the theories propounded by believers in its authenticity) should be used in the introductory paragraph. Sorry to be so pedantic over the use of the word "photographic"; but this is, after all, an encylopedia, where pedantry is to be encouraged for the sake of accuracy!
Missdipsy 14:03, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
To repeat what I said above: The belief that it is a photo negative is the singular most thing that makes the shroud distinctive in the minds of many, please note that the phrase is not concluding or arguing that it actually "is a photographic negative", but only that many (perhaps even with sound reason) believe it to be one. Shouldn't the article on photo negatives at least be allowed to be linked to from this article? Of course, and might as well get to it in the intro, since that is the core of the matter. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 15:07, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


References in the article are a complete mess: some with {{note}}, some with inline links, and some with <ref>. Any objections against converting them all to <ref>? --Tgr 12:02, 25 November 2006 (UTC)