|SCIENTIFIC TESTING OF RELIGIOUS OBJECTS:
by Mark Antonacci, President
The Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation
April 5, 2012
Scientific research on the Shroud of Turin has unlimited potential. This burial cloth, approximately 14 feet 3 inches long and 3 feet 7 inches wide (4.34m x 1.10m), actually contains unique and sophisticated evidence throughout every location on the linen. All of this evidence is objective and independent coming from numerous branches of the fields of science, medicine and archaeology. This evidence actually began to accumulate at the dawn of the 20th century with the initial application of modern scientific technology to the Shroud. Yet, as scientific technology advanced and was applied to this burial garment, it yielded far greater amounts of evidence that was not just unprecedented, but was unfakable. This evidence has been acquired by some of the finest scientists from some of the most prestigious institutions in the world and continues to accumulate to this day. Thousands of scientific tests and experiments have now been performed on the Shroud and on various samples removed from it that yield a remarkably consistent set of evidence. In fact, only one scientific test result among thousands is inconsistent with the Shroud being the burial garment of the historical Jesus Christ.
Since an erroneous result is misleading, it is much worse than no result at all, especially if this result is perceived as exclusive. For almost the last quarter of a century the Shroud’s medieval radiocarbon dating has caused all of the sophisticated and corroborating evidence indicating the cloth’s authenticity to be ignored by the vast majority of people throughout the world. If this one aberrant result was scientifically refuted it would open thousands of scientific test results, along with hundreds of medical and forensic findings for the world to analyze. The Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation, a tax exempt, non-profit corporation, has been sponsoring scientific tests and experiments that could stunningly bring about such a result. These tests and experiments would not only refute the Shroud’s medieval radiocarbon dating, but would allow scientists to calculate the actual age of the cloth.
If the tests and experiments sponsored by our non-profit corporation only refuted the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating results, they would have enormous historical value. Yet these tests and experiments in combination with all the previous scientific and medical examinations would also indicate that an unprecedented, miraculous event occurred to Jesus’ dead body. Decades of scientific and medical analyses consistently indicates that the Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images resulted from radiation. Our previously sponsored research demonstrates that one particular form, particle radiation, not only creates C-14 isotopes within the molecular structure of linen, but that this additional C-14 will not be removed by stringent pretreatment cleanings, which routinely occur prior to radiocarbon dating. Nor is it removed by aging or by the application of heat up to temperatures that would discolor the cloth. Moreover, particle radiation would create new isotopes that virtually do not exist in nature. These new isotopes would also be created within the cellular or molecular structure of the Shroud’s linen. These new isotopes can only be created by particle radiation. Their presence above their infinitesimally small natural levels would not only demonstrate the Shroud was irradiated with particle radiation, but that many additional C-14 isotopes were necessarily created and still remain within the linen today. This would necessarily invalidate the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating.
Many other medical and scientific findings from the Shroud clearly demonstrate that it wrapped a tortured, crucified corpse, whose unprecedented frontal and dorsal body images resulted from radiation. This scientific and medical evidence also shows that the source of this radiation was necessarily the length, width and even depth of the dead body wrapped within this burial shroud. The new tests and experiments along with prior scientific, medical and archaeological results would prove that after Jesus incurred all of the wounds of the passion, and was crucified, killed and buried in Jerusalem, his corpse gave off particle radiation while it was wrapped in his burial garment. This event is not only consistent with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it left unfakable evidence of its occurrence throughout the cloth. In addition, by encoding unprecedented and unfakable frontal and dorsal body images that developed over time, this event also left sophisticated scientific and medical evidence for every element of the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of the historical Jesus Christ throughout the full-length images on the Shroud.
This event could not possibly have occurred naturally or by any human endeavor in any century. Scientists could not begin to duplicate such an event today, nor can they duplicate the Shroud’s body images and blood marks. This sophisticated, unfakable evidence--discovered only by modern technology--could not have been imagined by the colonial or medieval mind, let alone the ancient authors of the Gospels. For the first time in history, objective and independent evidence not only exists for the central tenets of a religion, but for the most significant events in all of history. No other religion has any objective or independent evidence for their central tenets. The modern discovery of this evidence not only enables Christianity to claim that objective and independent evidence exists for its central tenets, but that an extensive amount of such evidence exists. This objective and independent evidence also corroborates the most authentic and reliable sources in all of ancient history. These are the Gospels and New Testament, of course, whose textual accuracy has been corroborated by archaeology, by their consistent rendering in several ancient languages, by the great number of surviving handwritten manuscripts or fragments, and by their closeness to the time of the originals. The actions of the eyewitnesses before and after these critical events also confirm their occurrence. The Shroud already contains an extensive amount of objective and independent evidence indicating that the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred exactly as described in the Gospels and New Testament. The refutation of the Shroud’s aberrant radiocarbon dating --with the simultaneous proof that particle radiation emanated from the length, width and even depth of Jesus’ dead, tortured and crucified body--will cause people everywhere to study and understand all of this unfakable evidence.
The realization that Christianity has hundreds of irrefutable items of scientific and medical evidence to confirm the central tenets of Christianity and the most critical events in all of history, which are contained in the most reliable and textually attested sources of antiquity, could have unprecedented consequences throughout the world. No other religion has any objective evidence to confirm the central tenets or critical events of their religion, let alone an exhaustive amount of such evidence. Overwhelming, objective evidence--along the lines of a 150 – 0 shutout when compared to any contrary or other view--would impress the listener whether agnostic, atheist or a member of any other religion.
Unfortunately, religion causes, contributes to or is an underlying element in numerous wars and conflicts that are occurring throughout the world. While such wars and conflicts have always occurred throughout history, their numbers are increasing. Furthermore, the means of destruction by the combatants have become alarming. These underlying religious differences and conflicts go back centuries. Wars and conflicts have not and cannot eliminate these differences. Worse yet, they have perpetuated and deepened the differences and hostilities among the combating religions. Overwhelming, objective, and independent evidence for one religion, with the lack of any such evidence for other religions, would allow sectarian combatants throughout the world to end these unnecessary wars and conflicts.
If you would like to support the tests and experiments sponsored by the Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation, please contact
Mark Antonacci, President