Stop press: here’s the latest example of Shroudie tunnel vision

Here’s a comment that I have just posted to Dan Porter’s shroudofturin.wordpress site .
The image to which it refers is shown at the end of the posting. Do you see the Shroud of Turin in that picture?  Think again, Matt. better still, look before you think. Oh, and please stop giving your highly coloured, self-serving accounts of what I write on Dan’s site,especially on the site of third parties, one which does not welcome my comments.
June 17, 2012 at 5:41 am | #75

If you wish to see hot from the presses the latest example of Shroudie tunnel vision, of seeing what you want to see, then spare a minute to have a look at the current post on Stephen E Jones’s site, and look at comment no.9 from Matt (yes, our very own Matt, who uses that site among other things to totally distort or misrepresent what I say here).

Here’s what he wrote. Take a look at the St.Alexius fresco, and see if you agree with me that he has overlooked the obvious fact (with so many figures duplicated) that it is a before-and-after scene, and that what he interprets as the Shroud of Turin is in fact the sick girl at death’s door – shown on the right again as being “on the mend”.

Matt’s comment

Stephen I got an interesting book on the Christian World in the Middle Ages, I found an image from the 11th century, a fresco from the church of San Clemente, Rome. It depicts scenes from the life of St Alexius, who lived in the fifth century, and interestingly was based in Edessa.
In this image, St Alexius is praying over a sick girl, but look at the object by his right side. It looks suspiciously like a representation of the Shroud of Turin, although it is a bit hard to decipher the detail. At the very least, it is Jesus’s full length image on “something”.


June 17, 2012 3:54 PM

Sorry, playmates, I am not able to embed the picture, since it’s sternly stated to be copyright. Never mind. Simply click on the link above. (Which saves me having to think up a caption, like “Move along, Shroudies – there’s nothing to see here, move along…)

Postscript: entry from the Merck Medical Manual (20th edition): SOTVD Syndrome  (Shroud of Turin Visual Disturbance Syndrome) – a tendency to see the Shroud of Turin in all representations of religious art that predate the Shroud, as determined by radiocarbon testing.  (With a subset of patients exhibiting a variant of the condition in which they make plaintive and  equally delusional  claims that the sample taken for analysis was modern material inserted by “invisible re-weaving”)

Treatment: mainly palliative, with constant reassurance to the patient that he or she is not suffering a generalised cognitive disorder. Advise patient to take plenty of bed rest,   with strict avoidance of internet websites that reinforce their wish-gratifying perceptions.

OK, just kidding, playmates. The current Merck Manual is presently into its 19th edition…. But I’d be more than happy to offer a new entry…

Update( June 18, 10:45 UK time): this comment has just appeared from Matt on that other site:

Matt  said…

“Colin has stated several times that he thinks the pray codex is an inconsequential distraction, given that it is strange he spends so much time trying to debunk it”

In fact, this Colin is on record as condemning what he calls “Shroudie XYZX circular debate”. First field argument X.  If that doesn’t do the trick, field argument Y, then Z, and hoping everyone has by then retreated in boredom, cycle back to X…”  And what is argument Y, the first line of defence of every diehard Shroudie, endlessly recycling the same old repertoire of “debating points”? Yes, you guessed correctly. It is that Pray Codex, which is why I have used up valuable moments of my life in looking at it in detail – long enough to see its obvious deficiencies, and its blatant selecting and moulding of facts to fit a preconception .

In fact, another flaw occurred to me a few minutes ago. We are told there is a mark on the forehead of Christ in the Codex anointing scene (not in any of the others in the series, but never mind). We are told that it is in EXACTLY the same place as the “reversed 3” aka  Greek letter epsilon that is a prominent feature of the Man in the Shroud. But it is not a reversed 3/epsilon – it is just a vague mark.

Spot the epsilon/reversed 3 on the Pray Codex( right) that “exactly” matches that of the Shroud (left) – well, its position on the forehead, well, roughly speaking, well, allowing for some artistic licence and symbolism, well… (Spot the eagle-eyed art historian too who does not miss the finer details that you or I might overlook).

If the Codex illustrator had wanted to show an epsilon-shaped character as evidence he was basing his imagery on the Shroud, then he could, and indeed probably would have shown an epsilon – not a vague mark – and would probably have shown it consistently throughout the series of images. To suggest that a vague mark is a token effort at displaying a particular Greek letter is not only a sad reflection on the mental acumen and critical faculties of those who log  and tediously list so-called  “points of correspondence”, while flaunting their  science degree.  It is to insult the intelligence of his readers – such as still visit there – to say nothing of wasting their time.

Yes, Matt, I shall continue to make reference here on this my ‘strawshredder’ blog – the one I use to show up the level of Shroudie debate, and its use of pseudo-science and pseudo-scholarship. Those who bang on about the Pray Codex demolish their own credentials with no help from me – all I need to is flag up their desperate search for “clues”, any clues, that might temporarily prop up their disintegrating Tower of Babble.

Reminder – my mission is to expose pseudo-science wherever I find it, and I don’t care who I offend in the process, since I believe pseudo-science and its practitioners are responsible for impeding human development and progress.

Oh, and no, I have not been submitting comments to that site under a new username, and the host is revealing himself more and more to be a religious fanatic – one who is pursuing an evangelical agenda, indeed waging war against those whom he labels as “agnostics” or “atheists” simply for expressing scepticism re the authenticity of the Shroud.

People can think what they want, but that’s all they can do, i.e. speculate, since I rarely if ever discuss my theological and/or philosophical beliefs on Shroud forums. I try, as all scientists should, with a ranging shot across the bows to those who flaunt their BSc degree, to keep the testable science separate from the untestable faith and religion.


About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
This entry was posted in shroud of turin and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Stop press: here’s the latest example of Shroudie tunnel vision

  1. colinsberry says:

    From Stephen E Jones on his own site (and my reply):

    You MIGHT be right, although the lack of clarity on the object I thought might have been the shroud doesn’t help.

    Colin responded with a substandard post so, in accordance with my stated policy, I deleted it.

    I am aseriously considering banning Colin Berry/Sciencebod permanently from commenting on this my The Shroud of Turin blog for his repeated attempts to flout my stated policies. My time is too scarce to waste it on his childish games.

    If I do ban Colin, no comment by him will appear, even if it complies with my policies.

    The only exception then would be a publishable apology by Colin and an undertaking by him that he will from then on comply with my stated policies. He could then resume commenting here, but then one more breach of my stated policies by Colin and he would never be able to comment here again. Full stop.

    So Colin/Sciencebod, the ball is in your court. This is your first and final warning. From now on, if I have to delete one more of your comments because it does not comply with my stated policies, I will ban you permanently.

    In that case you will never be able to comment again on this my The Shroud of Turin blog, except as stated above.

    Think very carefully before you dash off an angry reply because it would be your last here.

    Stephen E. Jones
    Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post. Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.
    June 17, 2012 8:51 PM

    My reply:
    No problem there Stephen E Jones, BSc, Grad Dip Ed. I voluntarily withdraw from your site. But if you continue to misrepresent me, or demonise me in any way, as you have done persistently since I tried to place a second comment on a posting, and for my trouble was roundly censured for doing so, under your bizarre rules of engagement, then rest assured that I shall have a word with Blogger Blogspot about your abuse of blogging privileges.

    That is my final word to you directly. Anything else I have to say will be on my own sites, or Dan Porter’s, or, as a last resort to the “Report Abuse” tab that appears at the top of every Blogger Blogspot posting.

    Colin Berry aka sciencebod

  2. colinsberry says:

    “The Deuce said…

    BTW Colin a few hours ago tried to post here a substandard comment (which I deleted as per my stated policy) about my “travesty of a blog site and of blogging” and in which he threatened, “I am minded to report you to Blogger Blogspot for your abuse of the medium” and my “sticking your simplistic labels on me.” And because my “modus operandi here is highly obnoxious”!

    He seriously thinks that Blogger is going to shut down a blog because of moderator choices he doesn’t like? Colin is not altogether sane, I’m sorry to say.

    June 17, 2012 9:43 PM
    Well now, there’s a surprise – typical internet hype and resort to cheap labels.

    I merely pointed out that that a complaint would have to logged against that particular individual IF he persists with his habit of abusing those who attempt to place critical but politely-worded comments on his site.

    Stephen E Jones BSc, Grad. Dip Ed appears not to have the first clue about blogging etiquette.


    testing, testing:

    this was made from a scorch!

    still testing:


  3. colinsberry says:

    Here’s a quick response to Jones’s 12 killer points of resemblance between the Shroud and the Codex. My response to each is shown in italics:

    From Jones’s site:

    1. Jesus is naked (uniquely in the medieval era); Yes, but it’s less problematical depicting nudity in a tiny line drawing in a Codex (book)
    2. His hands are crossed over His pelvis; That goes with the decision to depict nudity
    3. Jesus’ right hand is over His left; There’s a 50% chance that right would be over left
    4. There is a nail bloodstain in His right wrist (Plate IV); Yes, but it is centre palm on the other hand which you carefully omit to mention
    5. No thumbs are visible; It’s just a tiny line drawing, not a work of art. Thumbs can be awkward to draw, being out of the plane of the fingers – and sometimes obscured by the latter.
    6. Jesus’ fingers are very long; Oh my, what a coincidence…
    7. There is a mark above Jesus’ right eye corresponding to the reversed `3′ bloodstain on the Shroud of Turin; But it is not shaped like a reversed 3. If the artist had seen the Shroud and wished to signal that he could have shown a distinctive reversed 3, instead of inserting little circles to erepresent “poker holes”
    8. The Shroud is more than double the body’s length; It’s not possible to be so categorical, given that the Shroud has no patterning in the upper picture to differentiate from garments.
    9. The Shroud has a herringbone weave pattern; the pattern is not on the Shroud. It is on the sarcophagus lid, and is stepped pyramid, not herringbone.
    10. The Shroud has an L-shaped pattern of four `poker holes’; yes, but the Shroud has two L-shaped “poker holes” back-to-back, like bookends. Shame he did not depict that distinctive pattern, rather than just 1 set (4 marks at random are more likely to resemble an L than any other letter of the alphabet)
    11. And another pattern of five `poker holes’; So what? They are not in an L-shape – more like a box with a tail.
    12. The end of the PM’s shroud below Jesus’ feet (upper scene) has a ragged edge which corresponds with (i.e. does not perfectly match) the Shroud of Turin’s, with the latter’s missing corner not yet removed. And this is supposed to evidence that the Codex was influenced by prior sight of the Shroud? Or purleeze…

    List as many weak points as you wish, Stephen E Jones BSc,Grad Dip Ed, but they do not add up to a strong point, or even a fraction of a strong point.

    One could take almost any two depictions of the Entombment or Resurrection from medieval paintings or drawings and proceed to list allegedly “unique” points of correspondence till the cows come home, but that would not mean that the artist of one had first seen,and been influenced specifically by the other.

  4. colinsberry says:

    Just testing again. If this works, I might try sending the image to Yannick Clement on The Other Site:

    epsilon blood stain (blood note, not pigmented serum)b

    Or this one: do they look like serum stains to you, even pigmented serum from 'retracted blood clots' or something much closer to whole blood?

    Do they look like serum stains to you, even pigmented serum from ‘retracted blood clots’ or something much closer to whole blood?”

  5. Colin Berry says:

    Just testing image insertion, having changed to a new browser:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s