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Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Conspiracy theories Parapsychology Pseudoscience Science Turin Shroud

On the Turin Shroud, 1

‘A love letter from God’

From personal experience I know that, when one is immersed in the dogma of a pseudoscience, the believer swears that it is real science.
A typical believer in a classical pseudoscience, such as the study of UFOs or parapsychology, ignores that there is a litmus test to distinguish between false and true science: the principle of the falsifiability of a hypothesis that Karl Popper devised in The Logic of Scientific Discovery. In short, for a hypothesis to be scientific it has to be refutable. Pseudoscientists follow the opposite methodology: they present their central hypotheses in such a way that they cannot be refuted. A typical case of pseudoscience from the Popperian point of view is sindonology, the study of the Shroud of Turin (Sindonology, from the Greek sindon: the word used in the gospel of Mark to describe the type of the burial cloth of Jesus).
Geoffroi de Charny, a French knight who died in 1356 at the Battle of Poitiers, was the first recorded owner of what later became known as ‘the Turin Shroud’. When in the late 1980s I was immersed in sindonology, I not only read a huge amount of literature on the subject where I learnt about the de Charny story, but contacted the ‘experts’ by mail, some personally. The late Dr. Enrique Rivero-Borrell, the foremost ‘expert’ on the shroud in Mexico, told me something I should mention.
I met him at a meeting of a group of Catholic sindonologists who believe that the image of the shroud is nothing more and nothing less than a late ‘love letter’ that God left behind in the 1st century as proof of the Resurrection for our scientific age!
The meeting with Rivero-Borrell, presided by Faustino Cervantes Ibarrola, a pleasant priest, was held in the aftermath of the carbon-14-dating tests results performed on the shroud in 1988. Rivero-Borrell, president of a sindonological organisation, was very confused. The tests, endorsed by the cardinal of Turin himself, revealed that the fabric dated from 1260 to 1380 CE. Keep in mind that the shroud is exactly about the size of an altar cloth; in no way resembles the several burial cloths used by Jewry. Since the shroud made its first appearance in a town in France, precisely in the times of de Charny, it could not be more significant that science corroborated that the cloth was manufactured in the 13th or 14th centuries.
However, I continued my investigation of the shroud because, at that time, I believed that the image remained mysterious. That was how I learned, a couple of years later that Rivero-Borrell left behind all his previous confusion of 1988. Very enthusiastically, he told me that the latest research had revealed that the carbon 14 tests had come out medieval because a fungus had covered the cloth, changing the molecular chemistry and the results turned out aberrant!
In other parts of the world, other sindonologists said that Jesus’ energy in the resurrection, which they call flash photolysis—the very moment when Jesus was resurrected!—not only left the miraculous imprint on the sheet, but changed its molecular chemistry. That’s why the results had come out medieval instead of the 1st century (a rather clumsy deity was this one who intended to leave behind ‘a love letter’ for us)!
The least absurd excuse among the sindonologists that I heard is that the piece of cloth to which they applied the carbon 14 tests was attached to the shroud; not a part of the original fabric.
All these excuses have something in common: they present us their central hypothesis—that the image of the Turin shroud is the result of a miraculous imprint at the very moment of Jesus’ resurrection—as an irrefutable hypothesis. And it is precisely the irrefutability of the central hypothesis of a field of study the most common feature in pseudosciences.
For example, those who study UFOs say that there is a conspiracy that involves all governments since 1947: government officials who have hidden evidence from the American people of extraterrestrial visitors. This is an irrefutable hypothesis insofar as, when a sceptic requests evidence that an alien ship exists in a top-secret hangar, the believer responds that everything is jealously guarded by sinister instances of the federal government. A massive conspiracy involving all presidencies from Truman to Trump, including the CIA and the FBI, and which continues today, cannot be refuted. Every time the sceptic complains that a massive conspiracy stresses the claim to the breaking point, the believer responds that the sceptic himself is a paid CIA agent! I’m not kidding: some ufologists used to say that about Philip J. Klass, the CSICOP specialist in UFOs, whom I met at a conference.
The same happens in the field of parapsychology. Parapsychologists say that extra-sensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) exist, but that they are such erratic phenomena that it is very difficult to demonstrate them methodically and repeatedly in the laboratory. That is, there is no way to adequately submit the paranormal hypothesis to the protocol of refutability devised by Popper. That does not mean that ESP and PK do not exist (personally I doubt they exist). It means that the parapsychologists, who claim that they have reliable, empirical evidence of the existence of the paranormal, violate the principle of falsifiability by calling their field of study strictly ‘scientific’.
Such a pseudoscientific methodology is what the sindonologists also follow. Take for example the least insane of the above-mentioned excuses about why, according to believers, the carbon 14 tests did not come out of the century they expected: that researchers could have cut a cloth attached to the shroud, not the fabric where the image is.
If the proponents of the authenticity of the shroud were true scientists they would not be lucubrating such things. They would simply ask the Cardinal of Turin to allow another carbon 14 test on the cloth, this time from the area they consider appropriate. Meanwhile, the wise thing would be to suspend judgement until the cardinal approves another series of tests. Instead, what sindonologists do—who after the radiometric 1988 tests continue to claim that image is proof of the Resurrection—is a battery of secondary tests. Most of such tests are unrelated to the dating of the cloth; tests that purportedly show that the image remains mysterious.
That the image is not so mysterious can be seen in the research that Joe Nickell, a sceptic I met in 1994, has made of the shroud. But there is more to Nickell’s research: as we will see in the following entries on the subject.
Before finishing this post I would like to say something else. A white nationalist visiting this site might think that my interest in unmasking the gospels and the shroud buffs is a secondary issue. It is not. A few minutes ago of my writing this paragraph the bell of my house rang. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses gave me propaganda. I wrinkled it in anger and was about to throw it away when I saw the image of these blacks. Then it occurred to me to use it because in the background these neo-Christians put whites in a bucolic world where the races converge.
Christian ethics, so well captured in the propaganda I was given today, is a bigger factor than Jewish subversion, as without such ethics there would be no Jews (or blacks) empowered in the West. Aryans embracing a moral grammar based on the belief of a resurrected Jew is unhealthy, to say the least.

15 replies on “On the Turin Shroud, 1”

The pseudoscientific methodology you’ve mentioned here is exactly what certain White advocates such as Arthur Kemp use – instead of studying history, they are searching for the signs of lost Aryan civilizations (Egypt), or are trying to prove that Aryans are superior in wars (Varangian Guard).
Not that I’m against Aryan-centric history, but I cannot stand pseudoscience devoid of critical thinking. Even though pseudoscience is the way of the world…

You don’t understand the falsifiability principle at all.
First of all, only those who are making scientific claims may or may not be pseudoscientists. Kemp is not a scientist nor he claims to be a scientist but a historian. Those trained in the liberal arts generally do not make scientific claims.
Second, as far as I remember Kemp’s chapter of Egypt, he didn’t say that all Egyptians were ‘Aryans’, only that—and this is a scientific claim—some DNA tests of a few of the oldest Pharaohs revealed a specific white gene, and he backed up this finding with some visual studies of the skulls and apparent red hair of Pharaoh mummies.
If you have something more specific in mind that makes you feel that Kemp is making a pseudoscientific claim, please quote him exactly.

I don’t think the Varangian guard is a bad example of Aryan combat prowess.
They certainly outperformed the common byzantine soldiers and were still unmatched by professional Armenian troops they fought alongside too.

In regards to the post, yes. However I was responding to what Adunathethird had said.

Soberana makes genetic and geographical claims that, if wrong, can be refuted. The same with his racial classification. He reduces the previous subgroups of whites (Nordic, Dalic, Dinaric, Alpine, East Baltic and Mediterranean) to two types of whites (nordids and redheads for short); and supports his claims with genetics, cranium form and a history of the white race that goes back to prehistory, as well as how these two white groups mixed with non-white Armenids and Mongolids to produce the white race we see today.
All these are scientific claims that, potentially, can be refuted. But Popperian falsifiability is not the only criterion of science. Science also uses Occam’s razor. And to detect pseudosciences, scientists also use other criterions to spot them.
E.g., unlike scientists, pseudoscientists place the burden of disproof of their central hypotheses on the sceptics instead of placing the burden of proof on themselves, etc.

You don’t believe in the authenticity of the holy shroud but you believe in the “aryan” “master race” very old debunked propaganda. Go figure.

Indo-Europeans (aryans).haplogroup is R1a- (R1a1a/R1a1), it’s in low levels in Western Europe, around 2-3% in Britain for example, Netherlands around 3,5%, Spain is 0%, Eastern Germans around 20%..
Ukraine is around 50%, Afghan Pashtuns 51%,, Gujarati Brahmins, BengalI Brahmins over 70%.
Western Europe is predominantly R1b, not Indo-European.
More original Indo-Europeans didn’t possess 4.800 years ago, when they arrived in Europe,, the genes for white skin,
They acquired white skin when intermingling with “native” Europeans. Around 5.500 years ago, before the arrival of Indo-Europeans, Europe’s population had fair skin.
Northwestern Europe is not “Aryan” in anyway, except for some amount in Scandinavia and Eastern Germans, both with around 20% of R1a.
It descends mostly from Western Hunter-Gatherers.

Your point…?
And besides, this is not a thread about race, but about the pseudoscience advanced by pro-authenticity sindonologists.

I had posted a link about the shroud, it doesn’t appear in the thread
Right now I have no time.
The shroud “debunkers” claim it was “painted.” It’s childish.

I will not let pass more off-topic comments of yours Sr. Morales.
As to your link, you are not listening to me. Didn’t I say in the other thread that I spent two years reading pro-authenticity literature? You are treating me as if I knew nothing of your claims.

The shroud “debunkers” claim it was “painted.” It’s childish.

Straw man. I have never said that. You’ll see in these series that my views on the should are not that simplistic.

I was reading my pre-conciliar Catholic theological dictionary, and it claims that the shroud is fake.
‘a-‘ means ‘without’ and ‘pisteō’ means ‘I believe.’ ‘Apestivism’ says that faith is – mostly and generally – a bad thing. If a supernatural claim cannot be proven, then it ought to be abandoned. Hitchens’ razor: “That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”
Saint Thomas should be the patron saint of apestivism! Be not believing but faithless, for happy are they who see and who do not believe.

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