which just goes to show that the “original” might also have been a fake.
Results from carbon dating and other tests done over twenty years ago showed that the fabric likely originated from sometime around the 14th century. For this experiment, researchers looked into exactly how the face effect might have been achieved.
They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face.
The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries.
They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect.
The Catholic Church does not claim the Shroud is authentic nor that it is a matter of faith, but says it should be a powerful reminder of Christ’s passion.
Interesting. But, it’s a piece of cloth that’s caused no end of strife, so they’re probably just covering the bases here. Who knows how much they really know about its origins.
Of course, the truly devout pay no attention to what science comes up with, even if science is dancing around like it’s won. And it kind of has, at least in demonstrating, yet again, that miracles aren’t always miracles. There can be practical explanations for pretty much everything, if the desire and ability to figure it out is there.
That said, I have to agree with Carl from Reasonable Dissent in his complaints about this. The funding for the research came from an atheist/agnostic group in Italy. Was this the best use of their fund-raising? Hardly. They could have put it into promoting the atheist alternative lifestyle instead, host some programs, get some speakers in, whatever.
Research like this probably won’t change many minds. Gloating over research like this isn’t going to endear us to our superstitious friends who do think the cloth is somehow marked by the divine. It wouldn’t matter how many cloths we painted, the first would still be the One and all of ours would just be pale imitations unworthy of note.
Garlaschelli expects people to contest his findings.
“If they don’t want to believe carbon dating done by some of the world’s best laboratories they certainly won’t believe me,” he said.
And that’s all there is to it.