Believers gotta believe: The Shroud of Turin and its falsification

PSI Blog 20180801 Believers gotta believe: The Shroud of Turin and its falsification

In the 14th Century, the Catholic Church in what is now Turin, Italy fell short of funds. It was left to some Einsteinian-type genius to come up with some way to get folks to renew the faith and fill the coffers. This was achieved by preparing a shroud, or cloth upon which was impressed an image remarkably similar to the one imagined by many and seen in artwork of the time. Ever since, this “Shroud of Turin” has been visited by the devout and prayed over as if it actually was Christ’s burial cloth.

The debate over authenticity was finally settled when a tiny piece of the cloth was carbon dated at between 1260 and 1390 A.D., falsifying the authenticity of the shroud and proving it was a fake.[1] That did not end the debate. There are many “scientists” who have continued to root for authenticity. There is even one fellow who claims that carbon dating is not valid—this despite the fact that we have thousands of C-14 dates nearly identical to dates obtained in other ways. For instance, redwood trees with 2000 rings began growing about 2,000 years ago according to C-14. Believers gotta believe and the church in Turin continues to call the shroud “holy” and to display it occasionally, presumably to benefit financially from the miseducation of the gullible.

Recently, the shroud has entered the news again, with an analysis of some of the stains that make up the image.[2] Once again, the conclusion from the new investigation is that it is indeed a fake. That, of course, will not satisfy those who wish with all their heart that it wasn’t so. Believers gotta believe.[3]

For those opposed to the current cosmogony, there is a clear lesson here with regard to the nature of falsification. Because the universe is infinite, scientific theories cannot be completely proven, although they can be falsified. That is, it only takes one observation or experiment (like C-14 dating) to prove a theory false. To save a theory from such reprehensible collisions with reality, we often invent ad hocs, which are exceptions that, if included, help the theory fit the data at hand. The ad hocs eventually may prove to be valid—infinite universal causality being what it is, one can always include an additional factor that might just do the trick. More likely, they just make the theory more cumbersome, challenging Ockham’s razor and often stretching believability. Still, believers gotta believe.

We see this with regard to the Big Bang Theory, which is founded on the interpretation that the universe is expanding. That is based on Einstein’s Untired Light Theory, which is based on eight ad hocs[4] needed to explain why the imagined light corpuscles did not behave like the classical particles falsified by Sagnac[5] and by de Sitter.[6]  These particles, subsequently called “photons,” are truly miraculous. They are massless, always travel at the same velocity, do not collide with each other, never take on the motion of the source, etc. Unlike other particles, photons supposedly travel for billions of years through the idealist’s completely empty space without losing energy, in violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Nothing we know of, whether particle or wave can travel from point A to point B without losing energy. That, of course, is what we observe with the cosmological redshift—light waves become longer as they lose energy. And yet, regressive physicists assume the increase in wavelength is due to the “Doppler Effect” or the assumed “expansion of empty space” and the resulting assumed galactic recession. They are not bothered by the violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Believers gotta believe…

[1] Damon, P. E. and others, 1989, Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin: Nature, v. 337, no. 6208, p. 611-615. [https://doi.org/10.1038/337611a0].

[2] David, Ariel, 2018, CSI Study of Shroud of Turin Proves Again: Jesus Relic Is Fake, Accessed 0719 [http://go.glennborchardt.com/shroudofturin2018].

[3] For an extensive review of the fiasco, see Wikipedia, 2018, Shroud of Turin.

[4] Borchardt, Glenn, 2017, Infinite Universe Theory: Berkeley, California, Progressive Science Institute, 325 p. [http://go.glennborchardt.com/IUTebook].

[5] Sagnac, Georges, 1913a, The demonstration of the luminiferous aether by an interferometer in uniform rotation: Comptes Rendus, v. 157, p. 708–710.

Sagnac, Georges, 1913b, On the proof of the reality of the luminiferous aether by the experiment with a rotating interferometer: Comptes Rendus, v. 157, p. 1410–1413.

[6] de Sitter, Willem, 1913, An Astronomical Proof for the Constancy of the Speed of Light (English translation): Physik. Zeitschr., v. 14, p. 429. [http://go.glennborchardt.com/desitter13light].


George Coyne said...

I fully agree with your contention that a "photon" would lose energy while interacting with objects throughout its journey. Here's how a regressive physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign attempts to explain the problem of photons not losing energy. Notice his answer assumes that space is a complete vacuum and hence the photon does not lose energy because it does not interact with anything.


Glenn Borchardt said...

This from George:

Hi Glenn:

I completely agree with your logical and rational argument. Physicists claim that photons have zero rest mass, yet admit that it is impossible to prove this experimentally. If there is no mass present, then is there really a particle that exists?
Here's how a regressive physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign attempts to explain the problem of photons not losing energy:


The physicist’s attempt at an explanation requires having the assumption that space is a complete vacuum, which is defined in physics as "space devoid of matter." However, if one uses the Borchardt definition of “space” as being a type of matter, then there is never an actual vacuum anywhere in the universe.

Glenn Borchardt said...

From Rick:

Clicking through channels, I happened upon a priest and a Catholic "scientist" on EWTN (Extra Weird Television Network). They were discussing the infamous shroud. Their entire spiel was that the team doing the carbon dating was so stupid that instead of dating the shroud material, they dated a piece that was part of a Medieval patch job. Glenn, you're correct that there is no arguing with true believers, whether they have a high or low IQ. The intelligent believers will come up with all kinds of fancy rationalizations to "prove" their precious beliefs. It's no different when you run into a physicist talking on TV. Sometimes I gotta wonder if the stork dropped me on the wrong planet

Glenn Borchardt said...

Right. Beam me up Scotty!

Glenn Borchardt said...

From James:

I'm not hostile to religion, but I like to point out to those who put their faith in the shroud of Turin, that if they're really believers, their faith should be in the Gospels and according to the Gospels, Jesus was not dressed in a shroud when he died, but had strips of cloth wound around his body, not unlike an Egyptian mummy.