Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hmmmmm . . .

This one is an interesting one.  People have been looking at the Christian relic "The Shroud of Turin" scientifically for the last 50 years and alternatively poking holes and establishing the credibility in this piece of fabric.

A quick summary:  A shroud is a piece of cloth that you wrap around dead people in ancient times.  This particular shroud is a piece of fabric that bears a faint impression of a man about 5' 7" tall who was crucified.  Wounds appear in the man's head, hands, side and feet as well as lash marks on the back and legs.  Early in the 20th century it was discovered that the image is quite remarkable when photographed and examined as a negative - as if the very essence of the man was projected onto the fabric.  There is really nothing like it - if it is the burial shroud of Jesus, perhaps it shows us the energy that passed through the physical body upon His resurrection.

For decades scientists decried it as a forgery, but early examinations revealed it was not the result of ink or dyes.  Each 'twill' had been affected in some way that went beyond pigment.  However, in 1988 when pieces of the fabric were tested by three independent agencies, it was determined that the cloth comes from the 13th century - not the time of Jesus. But again, there are team scientists who have claimed that the pieces were selected incorrectly and that they tested pieces of the cloth that were sown into the shroud after a fire had destroyed part of the relic.

Hmmmm . . .

So yesterday, imagine the intrigue when the Italian National Agency for New Technologies concluded that the shroud is the result of “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation.”  Some have even gone so far as to suggest that it was something like a hundredth-second 'burst' of laser like like that somehow allowed the cloth to retain the image of a crucified man.

This of course would nullify the 1988 result that suggests it comes from the 13th century.  Unless you think that lasers were the stuff of medieval times.

Not quite something that is conclusive about anything, but definitely something that makes you say, "hmmmmm . . ."

No comments:

Post a Comment