The Shroud of Turin: Where should Research Lead?

The website you are on is about the coexistence of Science and Religion. The topic of this post is about an object where Science has met Religion or rather Religiosity. The Shroud of Turin has been a very controversial object of veneration. Many devout Christians believe the Shroud to be the authentic cloth which covered the body of Jesus after the crucifixion. Some vehemently reject the Shroud as a Medieval fakery. In spite of the critics, the Shroud stands as a rallying point for the faithful. Without being sure that the Shroud is a fakery from all possible angles, shrugging it off as a fakery after some evidence to support is neither scientific nor reasonable. The paper accessible via the link below is an appeal for a sensible way forward.

ARACHIGE, Darshi. Revisiting the Analysis of 1988 Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 13, july 2017. Available at: <http://scholarpublishing.org/index.php/ASSRJ/article/view/3418/1932>. Date accessed: 13 july 2017. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.14738/assrj.413.3418

This paper looks at the well known analysis of 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud from a new statistical perspective using standard statistical methodologies. The main feature of this paper are embracing of the so-called statistical outliers and considering them as useful information. The major conclusion is that despite the contrary views, the 1988 determinations stand as the most likely given the sampling method used. Thus, research effort should not be wasted on proving that the cause for recent radiocarbon dates was due to the fact that the sample tested in 1988 was contaminated. Research now should be directed at the Shroud as a whole. The paper used the software package R extensively.

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The website aims to show the possible origin of religion through a ‘uniquely’ human process which has links to the seclusion of girls at puberty. It also advocates the view that the Paleolithic Venus figurines are related to these puberty rites and hence, the prehistoric Venus figurines may carry a much larger meaning. Thus, Religion is something more than a throwback from our animal past.

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