Nearly everyone knows about the Shroud of Turin, a cloth containing the images of a man, and said to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Here it is:
Dating of the cloth has established fairly convincingly that it’s a 14th century fabrication, and its weave was unknown in the first century: a twill weave that didn’t appear until after 1000 A.D. We don’t know for sure, yet, how the cloth was made, but the Vatican still exhibits it as a holy relic.
Now, however SCIENCE has shown that it’s real, at least from this article in The Independent, “Scientists say Shroud of Turin is supernatural.” Science! Here’s the scoop:
After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
“The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
A statement by lead researcher, Dr Paolo Di Lazzaro, said: “If our results prompt a philosophical or theological debate, these conclusions we’ll leave to the experts; to each person’s own conscience,” he said.
Since there were no UV lasers in first century Palestine, the case is closed. What strikes me is the degree of certainty in these scientists, as if they’ve shown enough to close the scientific debate and open the philosophical one.
Only one doubter weighs in:
Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of chemistry at Pavia University, told The Independent: “The implications are… that the image was formed by a burst of UV energy so intense it could only have been supernatural. But I don’t think they’ve done anything of the sort.”
I’ll reserve judgment until I see more than a few excitable paragraphs in a newspaper. In the meantime, consider that an image of toast was found on Jesus in 2008: