It's Turin-iffic!
(?) August 10th, 1998

If you've been at all tuned-in to the news of recent days, you would know that, on August 3rd (OK, so we're a little late...sue us), all the news media announced that the famed Shroud of Turin was recently re-dated, through pollen sampling, to actually be from before the 8th Century, not around the 13th and 14th, as were the findings of the carbon-dating done in the late 1980s.  All these reporters and anchor people are saying that these new finds show conclusively that the Shroud is the actual burial shroud of Jesus Christ, since it also has blood stains of an AB type.  Well, to quote Flava Flav, "Don't believe the hype."

As should be no surprise to us skeptics, the study is inherently flawed.  Why?  Well, rather than summarize the CSICOP article, we'll excerpt some of it it to make our point...(remember, we didn't write the stuff in italics; it's quoted from the copyrighted article from our friends at CSICOP):

It was reported that pollens on the shroud proved it came from
Palestine, but the source for the pollens was a freelance criminologist, Max Frei, who once pronounced the forged "Hilter Diaries" genuine.  Frei's tape-lifted samples from the Shroud were controversial from the outset since similar samples taken by the Shroud of Turin Research Project in 1978 had comparatively few pollens.  As it turned out, after Frei's tapes were examined following his death in 1983, they also had very few pollens--except for a particular one that bore a suspicious cluster on the "lead" (or end), rather than on the portion that had been applied to the shroud.  (See Skeptical Inquirer magazine, Summer 1994 pp. 379-385.)

The Press just LOVES to miss important details, don't they?  Here's what CSICOP has to say about the blood stains:

The Associated Press reported claims that the shroud bears type AB blood stains.  Perhaps this erroneous information has its origin in other fake shrouds of Jesus, since the Shroud of Turin's stains are not only suspiciously red (unlike genuine blood that blackens with age) but they failed batteries of tests by internationally known forensic experts.  The "blood" has been definitively proved to be composed of red ocher and vermilion tempera paint.

Yep, just as we had thought.  When are these wacky Catholics going to move on?  The Shroud is so obviously a hoax, after all the research that has been done on it, but the Catholic church still clings to the reality of it.  It probably has something to do with the fact that miracles are becoming less and less common, thanks to the enlightenment of science or something.  Ach, it's anyone's guess... 



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Government Stooges
May 13th, 2001