Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Failure Of Naturalistic Theories To Explain The Shroud Of Turin

Here's a thread discussing the failure of various naturalistic theories to explain the Shroud of Turin. We don't just need to explain how the image could have been produced, but also why it happened with Jesus in particular and not with other individuals, the timing of the image formation (around the time when other evidence suggests Jesus was resurrected), and how the removal of the body from the Shroud didn't do more to disturb the bloodstains and damage the cloth. I think that Jesus' resurrection is the best explanation for the totality of the phenomena. But what I want to highlight here is something Barrie Schwortz wrote in the comments section of the thread linked above. Schwortz is an advocate of the view that the Shroud image formed as a result of a Maillard reaction, and Ray Rogers held the same view, yet Schwortz writes:

Ray Rogers told me personally that he believed, “Something else was at work with the Maillard reaction,” but he didn’t know what that was and didn’t live long enough to explore it.

Keep in mind, too, that the Shroud would still have high evidential significance for Christianity even if some natural process, like a Maillard reaction, explains the Shroud or part of it. The cloth would still give us evidence for Jesus' existence, the accuracy of early Christian accounts of his death, etc.

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