Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Obfuscation: Shroudology's weapon of last resort.

Here's a prime example, but there are more, many more that one could cite, especially from Dan Porter's Obfuscation Central (shroudstory.com).

My italics.

daveb of wellington nz
February 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm
Colin’s insistence that there are few if any signs of the double image before the Shroud appeared in Lirey ~ 1355, is I think fair comment, but only if one ignores the various clues which take some searching to find. 

There are many reasons for this obscurity, dating from the times of the apostles with its Jewish tradition of what was or was not kosher, the many early persecutions of Christianity, the avaricious depredations of tyrants in confiscating church treasures, the need for concealment of things most precious, the history of iconoclasm, the initial reluctance to display Christian imagery, Byzantine superstition and its whole secretive approach towards liturgy in general, the concealment of Passion relics in the Emperor’s palace, Byzantine prudery when it came to displaying nudity, and so on. For example, there was uncertainty in displaying images of Christ for purposes of battle standards; a series of defeats determined that such displays were contrary to the divine will. The Shroud itself displays an abject defeated Christ, and is not the stuff to inspire confidence as a protective device in the defence of cities. Following 12 months of continuous earthquakes in Constantinople, the Image of Camulliana, the Image of God Incarnate, was kept concealed in a box for some hundreds of years, and was only opened towards the end of the first millenium.


Once again, I repeat my challenge to those who dispute that the Turin Shroud is a medieval fake: show just one instance of the 'double man' image in art appearing prior to the Lirey display in 1357 or thereabouts.

Lirey Pilgrims badge, circa 1357. Note the first known appearance in history of the iconic 'double man' image/imprint outlined in white.

Even a written reference will do, but it has to refer to a DOUBLE IMAGE (you know, kind of memorable, dare one say iconic).

This blogger's hunch: the TS was made to seem as if an imprint left by a combination of sweat and blood by the crucified Jesus on Joseph of Arimathea's linen. Quite how that look-alike bodily imprint was made where the "sweat" was concerned is anybody's guess. It could have been thermal (a contact scorch from a heated template) OR maybe thermochemical (incorporating ideas explored by the perceptive Luigi Garlaschelli, using a combination of heat and 'dry' or relatively dry acid).

Postscript: the slide at the top of this post is just one of 19 (the last in fact) from a splendid series under the heading "Misleading Language". There are others there too that may well be deployed in the weeks and months to come, seeing the kind of tactics deployed by diehard defenders of authenticity for whom  sound scholarship is an alien concept, for whom browbeating with a string of irrelevancies or with vague, untestable 'possibilities' is seen as a legitimate debating technique.

Update: 11:00, still 17 Feb

And here's the same gent's latest comment on Obfuscation Central:

in response to Dan:

I have been an expert in a few specialties in my time, I have worked with experts, and I know about experts. They are fine for informing about little known information and for giving expert opinions, but you never put them in charge of anything as they are so narrowly focused that they don’t see the big picture.
An expert demands to see an exact replica of a cloth, most of which have long since perished and no longer exist if they ever did, or the remains of a particular type of treadle loom, as if that were the only way of creating the cloth, or else specific references in historically proven documents which he can tease to pieces and if it suits him show to be false. Any history of court cases will show any number of occasions when experts have contradictory opinions. It is an attorney’s joy to find an expert that will support his client’s case, as it is his opponent’s. Thankfully we don’t rely on experts for verdicts in court cases.
The generalist on the other hand sees an exceedingly complex weave in a carpet of comparable size originating within a 1000 km of Jerusalem, some 500 years beforehand, but it is discovered in a Scythian prince’s grave in Siberia. If that is possible, then it is no less possible that a 3:1 herring bone weave in linen, less complex than any Persian carpet, should be available in 1st century Jerusalem, no matter how it originated, nor how it arrived there. That is not writing a novel, but it is facing the reality of true possibilities.
There are 2nd century and later apocrypha referring to the keeping of the burial cloths, and it needs no relic cult to find a reason for their being so kept. There are sporadic references throughout the first millenium, and there are clues as to their having full body images. How otherwise could iconoclastic Byzantines develop the very concept of crucifixes, icons of the Man of Sorrows, or those of Pantocrator type, let alone epitaphioi?


So it's a complete waste of time addressing the facts, such as exist, since there are always undiscovered facts that one can only guess at?

Adopt that as one guiding principle in research and we'd  still be stuck in the Dark Ages. Generalists v "experts"?  What an arrogant attempt to stick facile labels on people! There's no reason why someone should not wear a specialist's or even "expert's" hat one minute, and a generalist's the next. Does Mr.High and Mighty daveb imagine  that specialists etc are incapable of stepping back, also attempting to see the 'big picture' (whatever that may be - real or illusory) and then generalizing. The difference is that thoroughgoing specialists are usually a lot more cautious with their generalizing than the likes of daveb, they being the first to admit that they may need to modify their provisional ideas, their 'working hypotheses' as we say in science (I can't speak for engineering) in the light of new information. 

The man's arrogance and presumption takes one's breath away. So does that,  albeit watered down, of Obfuscation Central's site owner in choosing to showcase one of his recent comments, a classic of its kind.

Daveb of Wellington, New Zealand, writes:
Whether 3:1 herringbone, Z spun is characteristic of 1st century Palestine or not is irrelevant, in view of trade caravans. The Persians were well-advanced in making large carpets of intricate design by the 5th c. BCE. The Pazyryk carpet is of intricate design, is 2.8m x 2.0m, and dates to 5th c. BCE. If Iranians could produce intricate designs of such size in 5th c. BCE presumably in wool, then anyone else can produce a 3:1 herring-bone weave, 4.0m x 2.0m, Z twist, 1st c. in linen. A doddle, which stretches no-one’s credibility!

My comment: It's not a question of whether Palestininans 2000 years ago living under Roman occupation could or could not have produced a herringbone weave with linen. It's a question of whether they would have wanted or needed to do so, whether the benefit would justify the extra cost and effort.

Carpets are one thing. They are intended to be decorative and long-lasting. They are not just woven wool. They have added knots a plenty that provide the pile. Months, sometimes years of work go into making a single and very costly carpet, especially those with complex patterns.

Linen garments are more utilitarian. They are usually made for everyday use, being cool to the skin. The weave pattern is only one way of adding interest. There are easier and cheaper ways, namely by dyeing,

It's tedious in the extreme to have detailed discussion of specific declared a waste of time by daveb' and his overarching  "big picture". Stick to the specifics please daveb. You are becoming seriously boring, not to say over-bearing.

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