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Holy Shroud:The essence of religion meets human science
Vatican Insider ^ | March 26, 2013 | GIAN MARIA ZACCONE

Posted on 03/28/2013 7:02:22 AM PDT by NYer

The Holy Shroud

The Holy Shroud

An analysis by the scientific director of the Holy Shroud Museum in Turin

Gian Maria Zaccone *

Rome

Discussing the Shroud without the risk of misinterpretations and dashed expectations is a complex affair. The relic (which is preserved in the Northern Italian city of Turin) has been the focus of deep devotion and huge interest but is also at the centre of a heated debate. This debate is innate to the Shroud itself: the reference to the figure of Christ and his incarnation which is linked to the signum contradictionis.

 

As is the case with the oldest recorded images which aimed to depict the face of Jesus, true God and true man, the so-called acheiropoieta – icons which are said to have come into existence miraculously and not created by a human painter – the Shroud has been the focus of debates and disagreements ever since its discovery. In a way it is a faithful portrayal of the outcomes and legacies of the thousand-year old question of Christian iconography, spanning eras in which the relationship between religion and society and reason and faith has been through some really rough patches. The Shroud’s religious essence and the form imprinted on the cloth which forms a link with the human sciences, make it exemplary.

 

The positions adopted in the modern and post modern world in relation to the Shroud, are certainly more complex and varied than in previous eras. Many consider it to be the most important relic marking Christ’s presence on Earth, it containing the real and unique effigy of the Saviour, made even more precious by his blood. Some go dangerously further than this, searching for physical traces of His glorious resurrection on the cloth.

 

Others underline the importance of an object which is undeniably linked to the Passion of Christ and therefore a unique object from a religious point of view; an object which has enormous pastoral and spiritual potential but is also able to attract the interest of scholars of all disciplines.

 

Others still, reject it as a more or less old fake which is of no interest whatsoever or, at best, could be worth displaying in a museum dedicated to history’s great tricks.

 

The positions adopted in relation to the Shroud have necessarily been broken down into categories here but in reality they are easily interwoven, compared and contrasted, proving that the one thing that is certain about the Shroud is that no one is indifferent to it.

 

In this sense, the scientific research into the Shroud, begun at the start of the century, has contributed to making today’s debate even more fascinating and more heated. This is because although most of this research has not led to any concrete conclusions about how the figure on the Shroud was formed, all studies seem to exclude the possibility of a man-made image, given that the Shroud has been dated back to the medieval period.

 

Until the end of the Nineteenth century, research into the Holy Shroud had focused above all on the historical and to some extent theological aspects of the relic, but the problem of its so-called “authenticity” – which has been the main focus of scientific research – was limited to scholarly debates which were not of much interest to the wider public.

 

Historically, it was the devotional aspect of the Shroud that emerged as most important, attracting the interest of ordinary people who travel for miles to attend solemn ostentations. It is not intellectual curiosity in the Shroud’s origins, or their search for material grace that attracts the masses but their drive to search for something – a face, a figure – and their anxiousness to find out something that forms part of the deepest, innermost feelings of the human soul. Mgr. Ghiberti rightly underlined the fact that man’s encounter with the Shroud (especially if he or she is a faithful) is pre-scientific. Surveys carried out on pilgrims who attended the ostensions which took place between 1978 and today reveal that very few of them were drawn to Turin because of the question of the Shroud’s “authenticity”. So this is not a core part of their relationship with the relic. Instead, many were interested in the Shroud as a “sign” that becomes a “mystery” and “speak of violence and injustice,” “an image of peace, a sign of suffering.” But a suffering that goes beyond mere suffering: for believers, meditating on Christ’s death cannot be separated from the joy of Easter and vice versa: the Shroud therefore becomes a “symbol of life and resurrection.”

 

This is why the Holy Father and the Church in Turin wanted to give all the people of the world the chance to come face to face with the painful image imprinted on the Shroud, leaving the scientific question aside for once; the chance to set their eyes on "the one they have pierced” (John, 19:37), on Holy Saturday, the day of great silence of which the Shroud is an icon. An icon which illustrates the deep reflections of Benedict XVI, who was among the pilgrims to visit the Shroud in 2010.


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: shroud; shroudbroadcast; shroudofturin; shroudvideo

1 posted on 03/28/2013 7:02:22 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Shroud Video

Ping!

2 posted on 03/28/2013 7:03:14 AM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer

Whether you believe the shroud is the genuine article or not, you should still find it a most fascinating relic.


3 posted on 03/28/2013 7:06:43 AM PDT by ZX12R
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To: NYer

Rub your face with paint or colored powder and wrap a towel around your head, as like a shroud.

Unroll the towel. Look. Does it look like you appear when looking at yourself in a mirror or photograph?


4 posted on 03/28/2013 7:09:45 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: ZX12R
Whether you believe the shroud is the genuine article or not, you should still find it a most fascinating relic.

So true.

I've seen this shroud. It is aMAZing!

5 posted on 03/28/2013 7:13:20 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: NYer

Just the fact that this is a 3D representation of a dead body on a 2D piece of cloth should quiet the skeptics. But it hasn’t. And it won’t.


6 posted on 03/28/2013 7:13:23 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: laweeks

Skeptics will be skeptics - Thomas had to put his fingers in the wounds. The simple fact remains that no one knows how the image on the Shroud was made - and even with today’s advances in technology, that image cannot be duplicated.

Faith, of course, does not depend on proof; quite the opposite. But the mystery of the Shroud is fascinating, and inspiring.


7 posted on 03/28/2013 7:19:24 AM PDT by karnage
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To: laweeks
A two dimensional painting from the perspective of a viewer at a distance. Not from the perspective of a 3D blanket wrapped around a 3D head. Here:


8 posted on 03/28/2013 7:22:11 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: karnage

Once when reading an article on the Shroud I had my four year old daughter look at it’s picture. I asked her “Who do you think this is?” “Jesus” she said and went back to playing.

Faith as a child...


9 posted on 03/28/2013 7:26:11 AM PDT by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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To: laweeks

Yep. I understand doubt. Every thinking person should be critical and discerning. However some people can be so inconsistent. They can reject christ’s resurrection or something like the shroud yet believe 9/11 was an inside job.


10 posted on 03/28/2013 7:29:10 AM PDT by plain talk
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To: longfellowsmuse

Thank for that story alone gives me faith in our future.


11 posted on 03/28/2013 7:31:59 AM PDT by yobid (Catastrophic failure is the only solution)
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To: NYer

Relics are destructible and there are so many destroyers around.
Put it away.


12 posted on 03/28/2013 7:33:36 AM PDT by HomeAtLast ( You're either with the Tea Party, or you're with the EBT Party.)
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To: Nea Wood

Ping for later


13 posted on 03/28/2013 7:44:16 AM PDT by Nea Wood (When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.)
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To: cloudmountain

http://www.haltadefinizione.com/en/the-shroud.html

You can now get Sindone2.0 (the Shroud in HD)


14 posted on 03/28/2013 7:48:27 AM PDT by HomeAtLast ( You're either with the Tea Party, or you're with the EBT Party.)
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To: ZX12R
What science tells us about the shroud

The cloth was woven in the Middle East in the 1st century

It came into contact with a man who was whipped, beaten, had puncture wounds consistent with a crown of thorns on his head, a side wound and puncture wounds on his wrist and legs consistent with Biblical story of the Crucifixion.

It was very unusual to whip a crucifixion victim and the story of Jesus was one of the few recorded instances in the historic record. The reason for this was because it caused a too speedy death with too little suffering

Interestingly, the puncture wounds on his arms go through his wrists and not hands which is contrary to long held assumptions but was consistent with forgotten historical facts on Roman Crucifixion.

The flower pollen was consistent with flowers used in Jewish Burial rites in the 1st Century . Some of the flowers were only present in Israel and the pollen documents an early spring time frame constant with Passover and Easter.

The blood is human blood from a person subjected to great trauma.

The image on the cloth is a 3-D Negative that cannot be duplicated by hand art.

No one can tell how the image was applied to the cloth.

The technique seems to be similar to the also unexplained image of the Virgin Mary given to Juan Diego at for Guadalupe.

A re-sewn section seems to have been used to bind the body and shroud.

Do the probability analysis

15 posted on 03/28/2013 8:34:55 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: NYer
Others underline the importance of an object which is undeniably linked to the Passion of Christ
Ah, like global warming is undeniable? Just believing something doesn't make it true.
The shroud is scientifically fascinating, but no one will ever be able to positively link it to Jesus Christ.
16 posted on 03/28/2013 9:02:58 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: mbarker12474
Rub your face with paint or colored powder and wrap a towel around your head, as like a shroud.

Unroll the towel. Look. Does it look like you appear when looking at yourself in a mirror or photograph?

Your simplistic comment denigrates the scientists and scholars who have spent countless hours investigating the Shroud. It is the single most research object in science. In over 115 years, with an array of very sophisticated equipment, THEY have not been able to show it's not an true image. It is NOT a contact image and your idea that a shroud was "wrapped" like a towel is contrary to fact and 1st century Jewish burial customs. Learn the facts before you so blithely dismiss something so ignorantly when you literally don't know what you are talking about.

17 posted on 03/28/2013 9:15:28 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: NYer; Alamo-Girl; albee; AnalogReigns; AnAmericanMother; Angelas; AniGrrl; annalex; annyokie; ...

Shroud of Turin PING!

If you want on or off the Shroud ping list, Freepmail me.


18 posted on 03/28/2013 9:17:36 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: oh8eleven
The shroud is scientifically fascinating, but no one will ever be able to positively link it to Jesus Christ.

What if Jesus returns by stepping right out of the shroud and stands before us? That would do it for me.
19 posted on 03/28/2013 9:22:35 AM PDT by ZX12R
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To: rdcbn
A re-sewn section seems to have been used to bind the body and shroud.

There is no "re-sewn section". This is a theory put forward by a textile "expert," Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, who was responsible for the disastrous 2002 restoration of the Shroud in which the Shroud, under her direction was vacuumed, washed, and stretched! There is a folded over section that has been sewn sometime in antiquity for strengthening when displayed horizontally.

20 posted on 03/28/2013 9:29:59 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: Swordmaker
Your simplistic comment denigrates the scientists and scholars who have spent countless hours investigating the Shroud. It is the single most research object in science. In over 115 years, with an array of very sophisticated equipment, THEY have not been able to show it's not an true image. It is NOT a contact image and your idea that a shroud was "wrapped" like a towel is contrary to fact and 1st century Jewish burial customs. Learn the facts before you so blithely dismiss something so ignorantly when you literally don't know what you are talking about.

Like I said: Rub your face with paint or colored powder and wrap a towel around your head, as like a shroud.

Unroll the towel. Look. Does it look like you appear when looking at yourself in a mirror or photograph?

Yeah. It is an image. But it ain't no wrapped-around-anybody's-head shroud.

21 posted on 03/28/2013 9:31:13 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: oh8eleven
The shroud is scientifically fascinating, but no one will ever be able to positively link it to Jesus Christ.

The Shroud has been dated to at least the first century, and pollen indicates a location near Jerusalem. The image, which is in 3d and no traces of ink, strongly indicates something supernatural caused it. The image contains blood stains in a pattern exactly as would be expected of someone who had been, first severely whipped, and then crucified.

If it isn't the image of Jesus, then who? Some other person who was crucified and then bodily resurrected? Now THAT really would blow the top off of Christianity!

22 posted on 03/28/2013 9:39:12 AM PDT by HerrBlucher (Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation)
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To: oh8eleven
The shroud is scientifically fascinating, but no one will ever be able to positively link it to Jesus Christ.

It can never be definitively identified as Jesus. There is a lot of evidence that suggests the two are linked.

23 posted on 03/28/2013 9:43:45 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: mbarker12474
A two dimensional painting

Really? Try to do this with any other "painting".


24 posted on 03/28/2013 9:45:34 AM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: ZX12R
Hey, that works for me ... but until then, it's just a scientific enigma.
25 posted on 03/28/2013 9:47:04 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: HerrBlucher
If it isn't the image of Jesus, then who? Some other person who was crucified and then bodily resurrected?
Your question is as intriguing as the shroud.
26 posted on 03/28/2013 9:49:27 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Former Fetus

>> A two dimensional painting

> Really? Try to do this with any other “painting”.

Several software vendors offer products that turn a 2D flat image into a 3D computer model or 3D printing.

In any event, the original image on the Turin shroud or on a canvas or on a photographic print was not made by pressing the shroud/canvas/paper against the head/face, but from the perspective of an artist/photographer from a distance.


27 posted on 03/28/2013 9:51:24 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: rdcbn
Interestingly, the puncture wounds on his arms go through his wrists and not hands which is contrary to long held assumptions but was consistent with forgotten historical facts on Roman Crucifixion.

With regard to puncture wounds in wrists, rather than palms:

(1) The hand couldn't support the weight of the body via a single nail, and

(2) as it turns out, IIRC in Koine Greek, the definition of "hand" included the immediate wrist area with it, rather than associating the wrist with the arm (like we do in our culture).

Thus, the Shroud appears to be logically consistent with what would be expected.

Sauron

28 posted on 03/28/2013 9:51:29 AM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: Future Snake Eater
There is a lot of evidence that suggests the two are linked.
I don't disagree, but you can never get to a final conclusion.
Like trying to get to zero by cutting a number in half again and again. You can get reeeeeal close, but not all the way.
29 posted on 03/28/2013 9:54:54 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: mbarker12474

I understand that they’ve done it with paintings and, somehow, it does not come out just like the shroud. As for the “pressing” the shroud, the evidence seems to suggest that it was kind of loose, maybe waiting for proper anointing of the body? The best explanation is that the shroud was just laid over the body, no pressing, no wrapping like we read Lazarus was wrapped...


30 posted on 03/28/2013 9:57:28 AM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: karnage
Faith, of course, does not depend on proof

Which is why my faith in Jesus Christ would not be shaken one iota if the Shroud is proven to be a fake nor would it increase my faith if it appears geniune.

Science will never be able to prove that the Shroud is the burial garment of Jesus Christ but it could disprove it.

31 posted on 03/28/2013 9:57:53 AM PDT by CommerceComet (Obama vs. Romney - clear evidence that our nation has been judged by God and found wanting.)
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To: ZX12R

He did exactly that with the shroud wrapped around him at burial. And even stepped out of the tomb without rolling the stone away, stepping into some ‘other’ where/when that we are not yet privy to. There is ome possibility that he also stepped from Mary’s womb into our air world, but that is grist for another mill.


32 posted on 03/28/2013 10:06:01 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: CommerceComet
Science will never be able to prove that the Shroud is the burial garment of Jesus Christ but it could disprove it.

There are only three options, its a fake, its the image of Christ, or its the image of someone other than Christ. The first can be true and it does not at all affect Christianity. The second affirms Christianity. The third....well...yikes!

33 posted on 03/28/2013 10:08:43 AM PDT by HerrBlucher (Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation)
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To: CommerceComet

We can’t possibly know what science may be able to prove in the future. Do you think Galileo believed man would ever walk on the moon?


34 posted on 03/28/2013 10:09:48 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: laweeks

Because the skeptics will have to answer the question on WHO is on that shroud.


35 posted on 03/28/2013 10:10:26 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: ZX12R; oh8eleven
What if Jesus returns by stepping right out of the shroud and stands before us? That would do it for me.

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
John 20:25

While it is true that, scientifically, to make a dna link, one feature that stands out is the crown of thorns. However, the blood stains match those of the Sudarium of Oviedo, the head covering placed over the victim's head, like the following image.


36 posted on 03/28/2013 10:31:55 AM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: ilovesarah2012
We can’t possibly know what science may be able to prove in the future. Do you think Galileo believed man would ever walk on the moon?

Okay, I'll grant you the first point. I should have added "in the foreseeable future" to my statement that science can't prove that the Shroud was Christ's burial garment.

It wouldn't shock me if Galileo believed, given enough time and enough technological innovation, man would walk on the moon one day, despite the seemingly impossible challenges.

37 posted on 03/28/2013 2:00:29 PM PDT by CommerceComet (Obama vs. Romney - clear evidence that our nation has been judged by God and found wanting.)
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To: CommerceComet

I’m sure Galileo imagined all sorts of things, as did others who were so far ahead of their time. My point is mere humans have made discoveries that their ancestors would never have believed could happen. When my grandmother was born, there was no such thing as airplanes, much less the internet. So you just never know.


38 posted on 03/28/2013 3:20:53 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: sauron
This is consistent with the original Greek, but pretty much all artists and sculpture over hundreds of years depicted punctures in the palms of the hands which we now know would have torn through in practice.

In fact, the reason it is now universally accepted that Jesus would have been nailed to a cross comes from forensic analysis of the Shroud in the last 30 years, which corrected the historical record.

It was not really until an examination of the shroud showed the punctures through the wrists that historians investigated this.

They found that first off, nailing people to the cross was very rare, They usually were tied to the cross because this method prolonged the length of the suffering, often for several days, which the Romans felt was more effective form of punishment and more effective lesson and deterrent to the people who witnessed the Cruicfiction .

They also found that piercing the wrists was the procedure actually used, not through the hands as has been universally depicted in paintings and sculpture.

The significance of this is that if some medieval forger were to have faked the shroud, the person almost certainly would have painted the piercings as being located in the palms of the hands as was pretty much universally assumed for hundreds of years.

39 posted on 03/28/2013 5:22:26 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: CommerceComet

The Shroud’s authenticity or fraudulence has nothing to do with the Truth of Jesus. The best science has been able to do so far is say what the Shroud isn’t. As you said, they’ll never be able to prove it was once wrapped around our Savior...


40 posted on 03/28/2013 10:43:23 PM PDT by karnage
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To: mbarker12474
Like I said: Rub your face with paint or colored powder and wrap a towel around your head, as like a shroud.

Repeating a specious statement or ignorant one does not make it any more true. Shrouds were not "wrapped around" the head. Using that as an example for any purpose about the shroud, positive or negative is both specious and ignorant. Why say it, much less repeat it?

41 posted on 03/28/2013 11:13:30 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: mbarker12474
A two dimensional painting from the perspective of a viewer at a distance. Not from the perspective of a 3D blanket wrapped around a 3D head. Here:

No, it's not a painting and it's not a 3D image either. It's a two dimensional image with a terrain map encoded into it by analog variation of the color density of the image. It is not, therefor, a photograph, having not been created by reflected light, in that there are no light artifacts observed. Nor are there any pigments, so it is not as you characterize it, a "painting."

42 posted on 03/28/2013 11:23:41 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: mbarker12474
Several software vendors offer products that turn a 2D flat image into a 3D computer model or 3D printing.

No, they cannot do what the Shroud does by mere conversion of intensity of light. Sorry. You are wrong. You are grasping at straws.

In any event, the original image on the Turin shroud or on a canvas or on a photographic print was not made by pressing the shroud/canvas/paper against the head/face, but from the perspective of an artist/photographer from a distance.

There you go again with you assumption of a Shroud being pressed against the body/face. Anyone who has studied the science and scholarship of the Shroud knows that was not the case. You keep repeating that mantra. The image on the cloth is so diffuse it cannot be seen close up... One has to be farther than fifteen feet away to discern it. No artist standing close enough to "paint" it could do so. . . especially to paint in the totally unknown concept of negativity . . . and perfect three dimensional perspective. By hand. Right. Sure. An art style never seen before or since and impossible to be duplicated even today.

43 posted on 03/28/2013 11:39:43 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: Former Fetus

Looks just like Jesus.


44 posted on 03/29/2013 4:30:28 AM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: mbarker12474
This was covered in another thread: the problem with the software is twofold.

First is that it is merely the *appearance* of depth, with the aspect ratio of the 3-D detail to the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the image highly dependent on the settings used in the software; and the other issue is that nobody had software back when the Shroud was created -- nor when it is falsely accused of having been forged, either.

"If we had bacon, we could have bacon and eggs, if we had any eggs."

Cheers!

45 posted on 03/30/2013 8:21:55 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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