Is an Earthquake Behind the Shroud of Turin Image?

Pic: Shroud of Turn (PD)

Pic: Shroud of Turn (PD)

Via ScienceDaily:

An earthquake in Old Jerusalem might be behind the famous image of the Shroud of Turin, says a group of researchers led by Alberto Carpinteri of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy in an article published in Springer’s journal Meccanica. They believe that neutron radiation caused by an earthquake could have induced the image of a crucified man — which many people believe to be that of Jesus — onto the length of linen cloth, and caused carbon-14 dating done on it in 1988 to be wrong.

The Shroud has attracted widespread interest ever since Secondo Pia took the first photograph of it in 1898: about whether it is Jesus’ purported burial cloth, how old it might be, and how the image was created. According to radiocarbon dating done in 1988, the cloth was only 728 years old at the time. Other researchers have since suggested that the shroud is much older and that the dating process was incorrect because of neutron radiation — a process which is the result of nuclear fusion or nuclear fission during which free neutrons are released from atoms — and its interaction with the nuclei of other atoms to form new carbon isotopes.

However, no plausible physical reason has yet been proposed to explain the origin of this neutron radiation. Now Carpinteri’s team, through mechanical and chemical experimentation, hypothesizes that high-frequency pressure waves generated in Earth’s crust during earthquakes are the source of such neutron emissions. This is based on their research into piezonuclear fission reactions, which are triggered when very brittle rock specimens are crushed under a press machine. In the process, neutrons are produced without gamma emissions. Analogously, the researchers theorize further that neutron flux increments, in correspondence to seismic activity, should be a result of the same reactions.

The researchers therefore believe that neutron emission from a historical earthquake in 33 A.D. in Old Jerusalem, which measured 8.2 on the Richter Scale, could have been strong enough to cause neutron imaging through its interaction with nitrogen nuclei. On the one hand, this could have created the distinctive image on the Shroud through radiation imagery, while on the other, it could have increased the level of carbon-14 isotopes found on the linen fibres that could have confused the 1988 radiocarbon dating tests.

“We believe it is possible that neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the Shroud’s linen fibres, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating,” hypothesizes Carpinteri.

13 Comments on "Is an Earthquake Behind the Shroud of Turin Image?"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Feb 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm |

    no matter what caused the image
    man or radiation
    that image is a flat picture
    and would look very different if it was a wraparound shroud
    I know this fact
    because I tried to reproduce the effect
    and the image did not look flat

    • kowalityjesus | Feb 17, 2014 at 6:47 pm |

      if we look at other acheiropoieta, for example Our Lady of Guadalupe, how necessary is it that the image directly relates to the phenomenon that created it? But you’re right, this is a relevant point for people that think the image was burned directly onto the cloth by a miraculous emanating radiation.

      • BuzzCoastin | Feb 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm |

        it would take a miracle tocreate that image
        in which case
        science has nothing to say

  2. Whether you believe that Jesus was the messiah or not, so many unlikely things would have to be true in order for this to be his burial shroud. The simplest explanation–again, whether you believe that Jesus was the messiah or not–is that the shroud is a forgery.

    • kowalityjesus | Feb 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm |

      Well, there are a lot of unlikely things that point to this NOT being NOT the burial shroud of Jesus. How about soil samples from Jerusalem present on the cloth, or multiple pollens of flowers that bloom around passover in Jerusalem? Would forgers who had no idea these things would one day be distinguishable CARE to go to such irrational ends to create such a forgery? Or the image itself, which has yet to have any reasonable explanation for how it was produced and is anatomically PERFECT?
      I think the scientific community is uncharacteristically rushed to conclusions when dealing with this subject, perhaps because of the propensity of the believers to use underhanded means to confirm their beliefs and a perceived necessity to overturn those beliefs, maybe.

      • Whoo, lots of stuff to go through there… so I’ll pick one and let it ride.

        If it were anatomically perfect, that doesn’t mean it was produced by being draped over a human carcass, and if it were produced by a human carcass, there is no reason to assume that it is Jesus instead of any number of crucified men from the same time period. And that’s assuming that the time period is correct, which requires that we accept the speculation in the article and dismiss likely alternatives out of hand.

        But this is academic, because the figure on the shroud is not anatomically perfect. One arm is significantly longer than the other and the brainpan is shallow far beyond the boundaries of normal, non-deformed human anatomy. As far as I know, there is no record, whether Biblical or otherwise, of Jesus having noticeable physical defects and the necessary diminished brain function that would come with them.

        • Perhaps Jeebus wasn’t really a zombie, like the bible tells us, but some kind of “Frankenstein’s monster”-type repair job…?

          That could explain the super-shallow brainpan – if there was a “reverse side” shroud image, maybe it would show a little metal latch to keep the top of his skull on.

        • kowalityjesus | Feb 18, 2014 at 12:35 am |

          That is something I had never come across, and I have been fairly assiduous in getting information from both sides. I think the brain cavity idea is a bit weak, but the other anatomical concern of arms unnaturally over the genitals is interesting.

  3. Two things:

    1) This article is yet another in a long line of examples of Betteridge’s Law: “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no’.”

    2) Isn’t it strange that the shroud image seems to depict whitey-Anglo Jeebus?

  4. kowalityjesus | Feb 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm |

    Wouldn’t the absorption of neutrons create MORE carbon-14 leading to an even younger date? Explaining the Shroud as a result of a freak radiation earthquake is orders of magnitude worse than explaining a plane crash as a result of a meteor strike, for example.

    Besides, the 1988 carbon-dating test was inaccurate because of contamination with cotton used to repair the linen probably after a fire in the middle ages. Raymond Rogers, who had been part of the 1988 team analyzing the shroud, published a paper based on the questions arising from the obsevations of Marino and Benford that the section used in the carbon dating had contained interwoven cotton. Rogers’ article, published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2008, concluded that the the dating tests were not incorrect but irrelevant due to the presence of dyed cotton.

    • InfvoCuernos | Feb 17, 2014 at 6:56 pm |

      Could the neutron radiation possibly turn a corpse into, say, a radioactive zombie? One with the strength necessary to push aside the stone blocking it’s “tomb”? All this speculation fails to take into account the ridiculously slight chance that this would all happen to the guy that got nailed up by the Romans who claimed to be the son of god. I think that the whole point of Faith is that is untestable by science-if it was testable, it would be science.

      • Let’s not forget, a zombie who wanted humans to drink his blood and eat his flesh. To pass on the infection, perhaps…?

  5. Boo_Radley | Feb 18, 2014 at 9:54 am |


Comments are closed.