Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Raymond Rogers, a chemist and LANL Fellow

Shroud of Turin Conference Awash in Controversy and Criticism
Tuesday September 20, 7:55 am ET

NEW YORK, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a report published today on the Shroud Story website (http://www.shroudstory.com), a recent conference on the Shroud of Turin erupted in controversy over how the Papal Custodians of the Shroud were dealing with scientific evidence. The report is entitled, "An Enchilada Comes to Mind."
The conference, held from September 8 to 11, in the grand ballroom of the historic Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas, was attended by about 100 archeologists, scientists and historians from around the world.

According to Daniel Porter, author of the report, conference organizers had wanted a positive discussion of the Shroud's possible authenticity. What they encountered instead was a barrage of criticism about a secret restoration of the cloth in 2002 and probing questions about why Turin officials summarily rejected chemical proof of failed carbon-14 dating.

According to the website report, most researchers at the conference, representing a broad spectrum of Catholic, Anglican (Episcopal), Protestant and Evangelical Christians, felt that the restoration was scientifically, archeologically and preservation-wise reckless. Moreover, they wanted to know why scientific evidence, published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta, and independently verified by other scientists, was being ignored.

"John Paul II was clear when he said the church did not have specific competence to pronounce on scientific matters," said Porter. "He said the Church entrusts that task to scientists. And just last week, Turin's archbishop, Cardinal Poletto, reiterated that point. But Turin officials are ignoring microscopic, spectral and chemical analysis from multiple scientists. Instead they rely solely on the opinion of a non-scientist textile consultant. It doesn't make any sense."

In an attempt to minimize controversy, conference organizers decided to prohibit questions and comments from the floor. But the scientists attending the conference were not deterred by this tactic.

"You don't treat full professors and published scholars this way," said Porter.

In a presentation that had been billed as a tribute to the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist and Science Fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who had studied the Shroud for many years, researcher Barrie Schwortz instead showed an interview with Rogers taped shortly before his death on March 8, 2005. In the interview, Rogers explained why the 1988 carbon-14 dating had been invalid because samples contained significant amounts of new material from discrete repairs to the cloth. He also offered a blistering criticism of the secretive restoration and explained why the cloth and the still-unexplained images of a crucified man may have been damaged in the process.

In a letter to the conferees, the Vatican Secretariat of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, wrote that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, "trusts that the Dallas Conference will advance cooperation and dialogue among various groups engaged in scientific research on the Shroud."

"Cooperation and dialog happened," said Porter, "but in startling ways that Turin had not expected."

Comments:
It's faith-based archeology. Like it?
 
Your tax dollars at work funding rabid christian nonsense.
 
This is very interesting but what does it have to do with the mission of the Lab?
 
The lab's "mission" supported Raymond Rogers and his studies on the shroud for years.
 
This article is a fascinating look into the dangerous mixture of The Roman Catholic Church and scientists. Notice that "most researchers at the conference, representing a broad spectrum of Catholic, Anglican (Episcopal), Protestant and Evangelical Christians," didn't, apparently, include very many avowed atheists, or even agnostics.

Notice the curious statement that "in an attempt to minimize controversy, conference organizers decided to prohibit questions and comments from the floor. But the scientists attending the conference were not deterred by this tactic." (Past LANL management is not the only bunch who'd like to limit open discussion.)

I liked and respected the late Ray Rogers, who, like his cohort, the late Father Robert Dinegar, was a chemist and a gentleman. As a scientist, Ray tangled directly with The Church, accusing them of mishandling the forensic evidence--by which I mean, is this Shroud a real artifact, or is it a fraud?

The new Pope has taken a page from the LANL Public Affairs handbook, it would seem, when he smoothly (with no hint of a smirk) "trusts that the Dallas Conference will advance cooperation and dialogue among various groups engaged in scientific research." Could we therefore piously hope that Opus Dei might enter a last-minute (highly-placed) bid on the LANL contract?

[Disclaimer: By posting this, I have no axe to grind vis-a-vis "faith-based" forensics, archeology, or cosmology. Or Opus Dei, for that matter. Let me honestly air my view of "the three men I admire the most; the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." There is no scientific evidence of intervention by the First of these, at least in the last 300 years of modern science; the Second is a Shining Example--even for atheists--of one who courageously stood up against the Empire and died for principle; and the Third is there to...round out the Trinity, as in, three's a crowd, or a trinity.]
 
hmmmmm
 
I have no axe to grind with the Mormom Church. Having said that,
why is the Lab not looking into the authenticity of Joseph Smith's golden bricks?
 
The posting by Anonymous : 9/21/2005 08:32:47 AM, which says "The lab's "mission" supported Raymond Rogers and his studies on the shroud for years" is wrong. Rogers did the work on his own time and kept it separate (as much as was possible) from his LANL work.
 
Ummmmm...let's see; remind me what would be worse:
LANL run by UC.
LANL run by a military-industrial player of the first magnitude.
LANL run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
LANL run by Opus Dei.
hmmmmm...
-Beats me.
 
I choose...the Trinity (the last three)!
 
"why is the Lab not looking into the authenticity of Joseph Smith's golden bricks?"

Because they were taken back to heaven , you fool!
 
What is the purpose of typing the funny word?
 
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