Saturday, November 21, 2009

Faith and proof

The Shroud of Turin is a proven fake. Proven. It's not a coincidence that the face looks like a 14th century painting. That's exactly what it is.

Faithful believers simply cannot be dissuaded from a story they like. No amount of scientific evidence is adequate.

Witness what a thin tissue of bullshit suffices to overturn definitive radiocarbon dating:

[Barbara Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives,] asserts that the words include the name “(J)esu(s) Nazarene’’ - or Jesus of Nazareth - in Greek. That, she said, proves the text could not be of medieval origin because no Christian at the time, even a forger, would have mentioned Jesus without referring to his divinity. Failing to do so would risk being branded a heretic.
This fails on level after level. Frale's opinion of what a forger would do in no way answers to the word proof. A "Princess Bride" rejoinder is tempting.

But even Frale's rationale - fear of heresy - is utterly unconvincing. The forger was concocting a holy relic for, no doubt, profit. He was already a heretic. He was already a mortal sinner. He would have been at great pains to make a convincing forgery. The people he was trying to fool weren't such naifs as Frale; they would have noticed the contemporary usage that she claims a forger would have been too afraid to avoid, and that very usage would have clued them to the forgery.

The press, of course, is ever pleased to purvey more bullshit to the credulous in its audience. They're happy to push Frale as a researcher and only in passing to note that she's a historian, that she has no qualifications to dispute the science.

Click image for details on public domain image.

Update (5/8/2010): Here's a story in much greater detail that shows how obvious the so-called shroud is actually a painting. (h/t Pharyngula)

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