0032 - Turin the Evidence for the Shroud
MAKO: Warning. This show contains adult themes and language including Jesus burrito.
SQEAKY: Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process evidence and this is a podcast all about it.
MAKO:This episode was released on April 18th, 2022, and we are discussing dysevidentia because it is clear millions of shroudies are suffering from it. I am Mako.
SQEAKY: And I am Sqeaky.
MAKO: We discuss logic and evidence because we lack any religious iconography of our own.
SQEAKY: You can support us by becoming a Patron at patreon.com/dysevidentia.
MAKO: If you spent all your money on Jesus toast you can like, subscribe, and leave a review to help us out.
SOURCE [0:54] Grilled Cheese Jesus used to be really expensive - https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna6511148
SOURCE [0:54] Now religious sandwiches are cheaper and a bit more DIY - https://www.amazon.com/The-Grilled-Cheesus-Sandwich-Press/dp/B00DD0P0TK
SQEAKY: If you have a paper you have written or a small business to plug, let us know.
MAKO: Today we are going to discuss ongoing developments of the Ukrainian war and the Shroud of Turin.
SQEAKY: I’m gonna take that “okay” and use it out of context.
SQEAKY: I’m gonna take that and use it out of context. I’m gonna have like some horrible white supremacist saying stuff and you’re gonna say okay, and he’s gonna say that he’s like not gonna kick puppies and you’re gonna say “nooo”.
MAKO: That’s fucked up.
SQEAKY: I don’t know how to take that out of context.
MAKO: You puppy kicker!
SQEAKY: Other than burst pipes, we’re on a roll!
SQEAKY: We don’t have any corrections from last time again and all the various communities and groups that listen to us have been growing. So fewer people- I was gonna say fewer people have contacted us for corrections but we had zero last time.
MAKO: Oh so we have zero this time so it’s not actually fewer.
SQEAKY: We’re just dividing by zero differently.
MAKO: Okay. I sup- I don’t know if that’s allowed.
SQEAKY: I didn’t know any way to continue the joke. You killed it! We’re trying to adlib some jokes and you’re like “No!”. You killed the joke. Anyway, I’m sure we got some things wrong. If we did, contact us let us know, if we issue a correction we give you a flash drive. Just one of the same ones we’re giving away in our raffle. Which is coming to a close here any minute for us, but you’ll be hearing this in a week and we probably will have announced winners by then, by the time you hear this.
MAKO: Well not here but like on our Twitter or something. Twitter, right?
SQEAKY: Yeah we’ll probably announce on all the places.
SQEAKY: One big part of the raffle, and this was inspired by a community member, you know who you are, was a few episodes ago we claimed that the average American thinks that Jesus was white. We didn’t have any evidence for that, we realized we might be talking out of our butt, we still might owe this person a flash drive even. Probably send them one anyway. Even if they’re right-or yeah, I’m sorry, even if we’re right we’ll probably still send them one. But we made a poll question to ask “Do you think Jesus was real, if so what race was he?”
SOURCE [2:46] Jesus Real? Race? A Bad use of polling. - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gDhwRzHiYFkgKbByyWsEfiFst1HSOAO_JNAFOlUaz94/edit?usp=sharing
MAKO: Seems like a straightforward question.
SQEAKY: I had to invalid some non-race, non no answers. And I’m being pretty liberal with race. Right like, someone said “Yes, Klingon”. I did not invalidate that.
MAKO: That is technically a race. A ficticious one, but a race nonetheless.
SQEAKY: We’re talkin’ about Jesus. Fiction clearly is on the table.
MAKO: But yeah.
SQEAKY: Some answers I invalidated: “Yes, to die for us”. Is there some group of people out there called “To die for us” that I’m unaware of?
SQEAKY: What about just uppercase “A”?
MAKO: Did they like- Okay, I feel like if it’s just like uppercase “A” maybe they had their fingers offset like one key and they went to like, I don’t know, maybe do an apostrophe and they hit enter instead and they’re like “Goddammit!”.
SQEAKY: They’re like a pirate, “Gar!” right at the beginning? They’re Canadian typing backwards?
MAKO: I don’t know but I feel like something along those lines had to have happened with that A.
SQEAKY: It’s possible, but it would just move them down to the next question.
MAKO: Okay, I don’t know. Maybe they remapped the Enter key to be like the submit.
SQEAKY: Somebody else just put in an uppercase “I”.
MAKO: That one I don’t-
SQEAKY: Otherinvalidated answers were “Yes, Don’t care”, “interesting question”. If you don’t have an answer, you don’t have an answer. Put one in or- Even I don’t know, I didn’t invalidate any “I don’t know” or a lot of people had various forms of things that sounded correctish.
SQEAKY: Like people who said “Yes, I don’t know”, I disagree with your “Yes” but I’m not- I didn’t ask you agree with me, I asked what you thought, and if you say “I don’t know” that’s legit, I can’t fault you for that, right?
MAKO: Yeah. People know what they know.
SQEAKY: So uh, a lot of the correctish ones were like “Yes, Middle Eastern”, “Yes, Jewish”, Syrian, Arabic, and some people got really detailed, like “Yes, Not sure what races were distinguished back in the day, no idea. I’ll go with whatever the historians conclude.” That’s entirely valid and way more characters than I thought the poll would let you put in.
MAKO: I mean that’s looks like at least the ones you wrote down- well no okay there’s one more I can see that’s longer than it.
SQEAKY: Oh yeah yeah, yeah. “Yes, he's the Monaco Grand Prix because the race completely changed my life for the better”. Good stuff.
MAKO: Uh, yeah, I guess is a definition of race.
SQEAKY: I didn’t even discount this guy, “Yes, some sort of OP alien”. Woah, that is some conspiracy theory level nonsense and hilarious. “yes, probably the 100m sprint”.
MAKO: I mean, as much walking as Jesus allegedly did back in the day, probably was kinda athletic.
SQEAKY: Probably a relay then? Some sort of marathon?
SQEAKY: Somebody put an Orc, getting some fantasy races and Gnome, mmm, might just be antisemtic and terrible.
MAKO: Maybe, but I don’t know, there’s some deniability there.
SQEAKY: I read them all. We didn’t get any elf or dwarf.
MAKO: Okay, what about Goblin?
SQEAKY: No Goblins, no Kobolds.
SQEAKY: We won’t be able to fill out the fellowship of the ring with just these. We need at least a few halflings.
SQEAKY: We got some that were very wrong. We had at least two people that said Muslim, and one person that said Muslim didn’t know where the caps lock key was, they were just like screaming.
MAKO: Well they were just trying to be cool so they turned on cruise control.
SQEAKY: Caps lock is indeed cruise control for cool. But I mean how can somebody be Muslim seven hundred years before the concept of being Muslim existed? At least the people that were saying Israeli or Israelite or Cananite or Arabic were like sure, there isn’t a country Israel but at least there was a tribe of Israel that they called themselves- did they call themselves Israelites?
MAKO: No idea.
SQEAKY: But at least that’s vaguely plausible.
SQEAKY: And some other categories of wrong and I didn’t discount this right, I asked for people’s opinions.
MAKO: This category are the ones that bother me. The rest of these are like “eh”, but like…
SQEAKY: So here’s another quote. “Of course he was real there is lots of written and archaelogical proof, and obviously he was jewish”. You know-
MAKO: As matter of factly stating things that are not matter of fact.
SQEAKY: Well the whole archaelogical evidence thing. As far as I’m aware, there’s none.
SQEAKY: We have what’s in the gospels, and then two documentary sources, and no artifacts from like his life. And that would be the arcaheoligcal evidence unless we’re saying the two documents are archaeoligical evidence but even then there’s not lots, there’s two extrabiblical paragraphs. Two. Two. I’ll go ahead and cite Josephus and Tacitus and I’ll- I guess I have to go dig up links now don’t I?
SOURCE [6:45] Pliny doesn't count, he was a credulous fool who was wrong on so much, but Tacitus and Josephus wrote stuff that is evidence but not proof on the existence of Jesus - https://worldhistory.us/ancient-history/ancient-rome/pliny-tacitus-josephus-and-jesus-why-these-writers-dont-prove-jesus-existed.php
MAKO: Now you do, yes.
SQEAKY: Fine. I will put that- Give me a second.
SQEAKY: Okay, um, another one that was in this very wrong category. “There is plenty of scientific proof that Jesus did indeed exist at some point, and yes he was white. Its simply the fact that no one can confirm if he actually had powers is what most people don't agree on over.”
MAKO: So clearly this person has only ever discussed this within religious circles.
SQEAKY: Yeah, and probably American western religious circles.
MAKO: Yeah. Almost certainly.
SQEAKY: ‘Cause overwhelmingly people didn’t say he was white, but we had huge international reach. I saw a guy from Nepal saying that he was definitely white. Which was weird. A lot of people from Africa saying he was black, a lot of people from saying he was Jewish. Uh, something contradictory. At least one person said he was Jewish so he couldn’t be white, and at least one person said he was Jewish so he couldn’t be white.
MAKO: Or had to be white? So yeah either way he’s Jewish therefore no white and he was Jewish therefore definitely white.
SQEAKY: Yeah sorry if I said that wrong, that’s exactly what I meant though.
SQEAKY: Yeah. It was just some people declare Jewish as white, some people say it’s not and that shows how loose this conception of race is.
SQEAKY: Correct me get a flash drive.
MAKO: I- Okay.
SQEAKY: Ways to correct me. Uh, you can reach out on Patreon, patreon.com/dysevidentia.
SUPPORT US [8:02] Dysevidentia on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/dysevidentia
MAKO: We have a subreddit, r/dysevidentia.
CONTACT [8:05] Dysevidentia on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dysevidentia/
SQEAKY: You can tweet at us, @dysevidentia.
CONTACT [8:06] Dysevidentia on Twitter - https://twitter.com/dysevidentia
MAKO: We have a Discord and a YouTube channel, links to both are in the show notes.
CONTACT [8:09] Dysevidentia on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA
CONTACT [8:11] Dysevidentia on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbU3rnK52CXUkK0cJ-o29g
SQEAKY: You can email us, email@example.com
CONTACT [8:14] Dysevidentia by email - Contact@dysevidentia.com
MAKO: But we do not have a Facebook, because fuck Mark Zuckerberg.
SQEAKY: Pretty soon we can fuck Meta Zuckerberg. We can pay to fuck him with Zuck Bucks.
MAKO: We technically could. And, as much as we constantly say “fuck Mark Zuckerberg”, don’t actually fuck Mark Zuckerberg.
SQEAKY: Yeah don’t fuck robots, that’s a great way to just hurt your dick.
MAKO: Also he doesn’t deserve it but whatever, whatever.
SQEAKY: So I guess before we move onto the main topic with the Shroud of Turin… I could discuss Jesus a lot already just discussing our poll, I’ve been hearing a lot of interesting misinformation about the war in Ukraine.
MAKO: Yeah. Misinformation during wars is kind of a given, there’s always been some degree of propaganda during the course of a war, but we also have the benefit of social media and the internet to spread really cheaply produced misinformation.
SQEAKY: So I’m gonna lump all the stuff I’ve heard sort of into two broad categories.
SQEAKY: Obvious bullshit from Russia.
SQEAKY: And ignorant bullshit from right-wing zealots.
SQEAKY: So obvious bullshit from Russia claims that they aren’t doing warcrimes, claims that they aren’t shooting civilians, claims that…
MAKO: Claims like the crisis actors.
SQEAKY: Oh god, yeah. So, I started aggregating sources on April 4th for this thing and that day it wasn’t super obvious to me that there were huge amounts of atrocities. I mean we discussed what, killing of civilians and raping of- of innocent pe- rape.
SQEAKY: It shouldn’t happen. But there was no evidence that it was endorsed on like a large level by the Russian Army. But when they pulled out of Bucha and there four hundred people they’ve confirmed now that were dead. Even that day it was kind of unsure, do we take this one Ukrainian source that was like the Deputy or the Mayor saying it, but now we’ve got all the different news sources, I’ve got Al Jazeera, NBC Washington, uh one of the first sources was a blog, Bellingcat, uh and the BBC has satellite images, we have mass graves, we’ve confirmed it left right and center an even when Russia put out a story saying no those were crisis actors, somebody put out satellite footage from three days before saying yeah, here’s the six corpses that were on the ground three days before that Ukrainian convoy came through.
SOURCE [9:58] Al Jazeera on Russian lies about civilian death - https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/4/will-the-bucha-massacre-wake-up-the-world
SOURCE [9:59] Mass grave found near church in Bucha - https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/ukrainian-officials-67-bodies-buried-in-mass-grave-in-bucha/3020385/
SOURCE [10:02] Bellingcat has a lot of citation and some analysis - https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2022/04/04/russias-bucha-facts-versus-the-evidence/
SOURCE [10:04] BBC has satellite images of bombings - https://www.bbc.com/news/60981238
MAKO: So clearly these crisis actors have some dedication.
SQEAKY: Dead-ication, oh my god.
MAKO: I was not trying to go for a pun there, what the fuck.
SQEAKY: Well you fuckin’ got one.
SQEAKY: That’s some overtime. Fuck. So yeah, there’s the obvious bullshit from, from uh, from Russia. But the right-wing trolls are slightly more subtle than that. Because the Russian propaganda is targeted at the Russian people, trying to make them not feel terrible about them killing lots of innocent people-
SQEAKY: -and because Russia controls the information inside Russia, they can do that more easily than like lie to Western faces. So uh the Russian troll’s lies kinda fall into let’s explain away what Russia’s doing, uh and try to make Russia seem better because for some reason the right-wing people are aligned with Trump and Putin for reasons? I don’t understand it fully. But some right-wing- Some right-wing trolls are saying things like Russia is not losing the war, they’re pulling out of Kyiv because it was just a feint.
MAKO: Yeah you don’t mobilize that many resources for a feint.
SQEAKY: And even if you were going to, uh it doesn’t make sense. All of the stated goals of Russia, or even if you want to put hypothetical goals onto them, right, they were trying to de-Nazify, they were trying to uh… uh if it was a feint, to like distract troops or resources from the Donbas region, or whatever, any goal is furthered by taking the enemy leadership. There is no war you can prosecute against Ukraine that isn’t made more effective by successfully taking Kyiv.
SQEAKY: Yeah. So it’s like as a feint it’s dumb because most of the defenders of Kyiv were locally grown militia groups and defenders who were there. They weren’t gonna- it’s not the kinds of groups you can move across the country. Imagine if Michigan had a militia to defend Michigan against Canadian invasion and you have to move them all the way across the country to Texas to defend against Mexico invading, that’s similarly difficult and a similar distance. It’s ridiculous. And the other right-wing lies line up just about like that.
SQEAKY: I don’t know. I’ve got some good sources for that. I found one gamer turned analyst who is just applying basic logic and using Oryx, another open-source intelligence groups- sorry, other open-source intelligence sources, and he makes a lot of good logical points, he’s not shilling for either side, his name is Perun, Pey-ron, how do you pronounce that? Right here.
SOURCE [12:35] Perun, A gamer turned analyst who just follows the evidence and applies basic logic - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH0xWWSJL00
MAKO: Uh, Peyron?
SQEAKY: Yeah, Peyron.
MAKO: That’s my guess.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Uh for the other stuff we’re citing the New York Post, uh ABC News, uh Human Rights Watch, uh the BBC for the satellite images, NBC Washington for mass graves, Al Jazeera for the intercepts- no wait I’m sorry. Where’s the one where the things were intercepted.
SOURCE [12:44] At least some Russian leader endorse war crimes, per released intercepts - https://nypost.com/2022/04/07/russian-troops-heard-being-ordered-to-kill-ukraine-civilians/
SOURCE [12:45] 'Sickening' atrocities in Bucha, nearly 70% of Russian troops near Kyiv have withdrawn: Pentagon update Day 40 - https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sickening-atrocities-bucha-70-russian-troops-kyiv-withdrawn/story?id=83866706
SOURCE [12:46] A more clinical description of specific and documented atrocities - https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas
MAKO: Right above Perun right here.
SQEAKY: There it is. And the- Uh we’re citing the New York Post for intercepted messages where somebody in some level of Russian leadership is telling people to kill civilians so now it’s undeniable unless all the sources that have reported this are all being fooled. It’s way too plausible that they’re specific targeting of civilians to discount that at this point.
MAKO: The scale at which we are seeing civilian deaths suggests that there has to be some amount of leadership endorsement.
SQEAKY: It’s ridiculous. How about we move on from murder onto just tricking people out of their money?
SQEAKY: I mean I presume that’s why the Shroud was invented?
SQEAKY: I mean it’s not exactly like Turin is a hopping tourist hub.
MAKO: I don’t know. It could be that yeah some dude wanted to just set up a display and charge admission or maybe he was just trying to impress a girl, I don’t fuckin’ know.
SQEAKY: Ah, the reasons people throw out history fuck up to impress a girl.
MAKO: It happens all the time dude.
MAKO: All the goddamn time.
SQEAKY: I am not disagreeing one bit. I have done my fair share of stupid for such reasons.
MAKO: We all have. We all have.
MAKO: I started reading the sponsor sketch just to refresh and like I read “What are you doing?” and my brain immediately inserted “step-shroud”.
SQEAKY: What are you doing step-shroud? Uwu.
MAKO: Why am I like this?
WHAT IS THE SHROUD OF TURIN? [14:23]
SQEAKY: You were saying that it’s plausible that the Shroud of Turin was just a tourist trap?
MAKO: Yeah, we don’t know. There’s a lot of things about the Shroud of Turin we don’t know. We don’t know like what prior to I think 1389 what exactly was going on with the Shroud of Turin. We don’t know why it surfaced where it did, we don’t know what- yeah we just don’t know about its genesis for lack of a better term.
MAKO: We don’t know.
SQEAKY: One of my favorite things is that in the timelines for important events of the Shroud of Turin, one of the first things that came up was 13th to 14th century, Shroud of Turin discovered. 1390, a Catholic Bishop calls the Shroud fake. What?
SOURCE [14:53] CNN Timeline on shroud is hilarious - https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/shroud-of-turin-mystery-italy/index.html
SQEAKY: Like if they thought it was fake way back then, what are the real chances for verifle- verifiable quality artifact here?
MAKO: Yeah. Well let’s reign in the- they, it was a singular bishop, but yes, the singular bishop that went to see the Shroud of Turin immediately concluded that it was a fake.
SQEAKY: Okay I’m gonna make sure- I’m gonna have to add that CNN post, the CNN Travel one, because that timeline is too perfect. It’s not a great source because it uncritically accepts so much of the nonsense but that timeline is so good.
MAKO: Okay. But for those that don’t know, we probably should establish what the Shroud of Turin is.
SQEAKY: That’s fair.
MAKO: Yeah. So those of you that are familiar with the story of crucifixion for Jesus Christ, Jesus was crucified and to prove that he was dead he was pierced by a lance and then they buried him- first by wrapping him in a linen cloth and then placing him in I believe a cave, right?
SQEAKY: It is my understanding that a cave was involved at some point.
MAKO: So the Shroud of Turin is that linen cloth that Jesus was buried in. Allegedly. Where exactly it was from the time that it was removed from Jesus’s body to roughly 1390 when it appears in written record? We don’t really know, people have made a few claims about where exactly it was and what it was but yeah all of that is speculation and unknown.
SQEAKY: To provide some more context for this, this is a shroud that measures… so it’s one cubit by four cubits. For those of us who don’t like those really old outdated measurement systems, that makes it just about a meter wide and four-and-a-quarter meters, so four meters, twenty-five centimeters, long. If you like your units slightly outdated, it’s three feet seven inches wide, and fourteen feet long. So it’s a big long rectangle of cloth that was a standardized size for Jewish culture at the time, and how you use one of these cloths is you’d put a dead person on one half of the cloth and the other half you’d fold over their head and you’d tuck the rest under their feet, and then you’d cross their arms on them and you’d cross their legs and you’d wrap the remaining bits on the edges over them and it would create a suitable bodybag and then you’d use a linen strip, about a hand width, this part wasn’t nearly standardized, four inches maybe, I don’t know what is it, ten centimeters, something like that wide, and the same length so you could just tear a bit of your shroud off and you’d tie it around their feet and wrap it around their body in a spiral tying it off at their neck, giving you a nice bodybag and handle for carrying your uh, messiah away.
SOURCE [16:56] Shroud of Turin Wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin
MAKO: A handle even.
SQEAKY: And a lot of the problems with this stem from blood, forensic evidence, things that come from it carrying a body or not carrying a body. So, wanna jump into typical bullshit that shroud believers try to put forward?
MAKO: What are you doing in my bedroom with bloody rags?
SQEAKY: Um, I’m checking to see if this computer’s Jesus. Someone in our poll said he might be an alien so I figured this Alienware computer might be holy or something.
MAKO: Look, I don’t buy Alienware shit. I get my computers from ABK Kustomz.
SQEAKY: Oh. So I wrapped it in this bloody shroud for no reason?
MAKO: Oh, at least you didn’t break it this time. Although this blood seems alarmingly fresh.
SQEAKY: Um, hang on.
*Sqeaky rips part of the shroud*
MAKO: What are these nails in the computer?
SQEAKY: I crucified your PC!
MAKO: Why are you like this? Why do you insist on destroying my computers?
SQEAKY: I didn’t. It still runs.
MAKO: What? How?
SQEAKY: I avoided the electronics because I wanted to hang it outside for three days running Prime95 and other intense benchmarks to see if it still worked.
MAKO: Well the experts at ABK Kustomz know how to build a computer so it would have.
SQEAKY: So your computer is the digital omnimessiah?
MAKO: The fuck are you on about?! Nevermind. If you want one of those… whatever they are, go to ABK Kustomz to speak to an expert and get a custom PC and save ten percent with code “evidence”.
SPONSOR [19:01] Get a custom gaming computer, 10% off with code “evidence” - https://abk-kustomz.com/
BULLSHIT CLAIMS BY SHROUD BELIEVERS [1/2] [19:06]
SQEAKY: I watched a bunch of short little YouTube videos and I tried to find stuff about this in r[/]conspiracy but it’s not big there. I picked one video as a prototypal example of the bullshit surrounding the shroud. A common thing that almost all of these sources had was that they don’t link to sources and when they do cite things it’s not like a good citation it’s like “Scientists claim” or “Somebody at Oxford said” and it’s citations in that vein and you have to go through the legwork to find out what the hell they’re talking about.
BULLSHIT SOURCE [19:18] Typical bullshit video about the shroud - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6nAg24Zqrs
MAKO: Like I could walk over- maybe not walk, but I could go to Oxford, stand there, make a claim, and I’m technically somebody at Oxford claiming.
SQEAKY: Because you’d be the one saying it, you’d be more credible than everyone in these videos.
MAKO: Yeah but still. Just me being geographically at Oxford doesn’t qualify me to make statements-
MAKO: -and technically that phrasing means anyone geographically at Oxford.
SQEAKY: Yup, yup, it’s some bullshit. Um, this one video was released in 2019 and that’s not special. These videos come out all the time, there’s always some person who’s just suffering dysevidentia really hard and makes another one of these videos probably once or twice a day and check them for trivially checkable erroneous claims if you have to deal with them for some reason. Like this one claimed that the shroud was available and on display, all you had to do was go to the church and look. It’s been off public display since 2015.
MAKO: 2018, according to a source that I read.
SQEAKY: Okay but another source I saw said that it was taken off public display in 2015 and was shown once again in 2018 to a limited selection.
MAKO: Yeah it was like one week.
MAKO: Most showings are much longer than a week but yeah the 2018 one was one week.
SQEAKY: Don’t they call them like ostentatious or something and people get to look at them for a while?
MAKO: Something like that.
SQEAKY: Yeah. It’s not on public display, and for the last twenty or thirty years it hasn’t been and they put them- put it on show for a while and then hide it away again.
MAKO: Yeah. It’s pretty much Pope discretion. They will put it out, then take it away, put it out, take it away, whatever.
SQEAKY: Continuing this theme of trivially checkable bullshit, this person claimed that there was no mention of the shroud in scripture or other places and the appearance of the shroud not being in these places made it more credible because why would you fake something that wasn’t in the source documents.
MAKO: Okay that’s a little backwards but I guess kinda. Well they’re trying to say that nobody has a stake in it so therefore what’s the motivation. That’s not great logic but it’s something kinda.
SQEAKY: It’s also just wrong.
MAKO: Yeah, figures.
SQEAKY: John 20:7, John twenty dash seven, whatever, I’ll link to it, I’ll give ya a Bible Hub link, they talk about the shroud and it being discarded and left behind in the cave.
SOURCE [21:35] Shroud mentions as in tomb at John 20-7 - https://biblehub.com/john/20-7.htm
SQEAKY: So it’s mentioned and other people write about it, it’s just bullshit. They also talk about- they claim that the scientific community comes to some consensus that the shroud is real but they link to no papers, they link to no studies, they don’t even link to a scientist so…
MAKO: We’ll be covering it a little bit later but I did read the like few comments from actual scientists and all the ones that came close to trying to claim that it was real are dubious and all the rest are at best saying inconclusive so that’s just not correct.
SQEAKY: Ya. And this is what most of this is like. They’re baseless claims, they’re appeals to emotion, or they’re saying things that are trivially debunkable. But then there’s a category- Oh, before we get onto to the category of more plausible videos, more plausible nonsense. These people will often make pseudoscientific claims and they will say things that forging is impossible because of some special property of the shroud. Well, if you have to deal with this, ask for a source on what about the shroud is impossible to forge ‘cause people will say it’s impossible to forge and then not saying anything about the composition of the shroud because some people will say that UV light was needed to make the shroud, some people are saying that it couldn’t have been painted, it couldn’t have been a ton of different things, and none of them are based in reality. There’s nothing that special about this and we’ll get into that I’m sure but there’s probably a dozen different ways to fake this but some of them take time like letting them sit around for a good long time before it becomes uh, difficult to get to that state. If the thing has to rot in the basement for twenty years before it looks plausible…
MAKO: Well it’s at a few hundred years so good there.
SQEAKY: Yeah. So the other category of uh- Oh, this specific video claimed that all forging was impossible, they presented no evidence but they did throw a bunch of technobabble at it and they claimed that it needed high-energy radiation bombarding but again cited no sources. If anyone is making claims like this, we need to demand sources.
MAKO: Yeah like what kind of high-energy like- Even when you’re saying high-energy do you mean a lot of heat, do you mean a lot of light, do you mean a lot of sound, do you need to shout at it really really really hard?
SQEAKY: Hurt its feelings.
MAKO: Like, what energy, and how high, and what process are you expecting to see happen when you apply this high energy? Get details.
SQEAKY: Yup. And then when you can start getting details you get into the other category of claims around the shroud, things that are proper pseudoscience instead of the trappings of pseudoscience. I’ve got a link to a BBC documentary that just asks questions about the validity of the shroud. And I was annoying Mako with it listening to it while he was here, we were, y’know, just about to start recording as I got the last five or ten minutes of it done, but it’s uh, it’s not great. I went through and vetted some of the sources they are claiming and they’re not great sources, they’re not following anything resembling the scientific method, but they have a lot of the trappings of science. They take pieces of fabric and stick them under microscopics but are they testing or experimenting, what are they doing?
BULLSHIT SOURCE [24:16] BBC Documentary from 2018 on the shroud - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZA0J3D_NN8
MAKO: Can confirm, microscopes are scientific.
SQEAKY: Yeah, that’s about what they’re doing. This feels like science look, a tool! Believe us.
MAKO: It’s a science tool used by scientists. They have science in their name.
SQEAKY: So the one hard thing to overcome here is that the shroud has been carbon-dated. And religious people love to throw mud on carbon dating but scientists keep going back to it because it works and is reliable.
SOURCE [25:08] Carbon Dating on HowStuffWorks - https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geology/carbon-14.htm
SQEAKY: When organisms take in carbon, they take in carbon-14 for reasons, for biological reasons that are like good chemistry reasons-
MAKO: Well the isotope is created from solar radiation but we can get into that later.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And this decays at a known rate and lets us estimate how long it was until a thing stopped living and since we make linen out of cotton and cotton is a plant that takes in solar radiation in carbon, that lets us really confidently date these things, so in my own personal experience I’ve had young earth creationists tell me that carbon-dating doesn’t work because how do you know the thing wasn’t in a pool of water and I’m like dude it’s carbon, it doesn’t care if it’s water, it’s carbon it doesn’t care if ya burn it, if you do all these things to it. The only thing that changes it is time and well like you said solar radiation forms it, but.
MAKO: Yeah. The way I heard it described when I was doing my research is carbon dating works when something- like you’re trying to measure when the organism or the object- most of the time it’s organic but it technically doesn’t have to be, but uh when it stops exchanging carbon with its environment. Like you and I. We are living, we are breathing, we are exchanging all sorts of things –carbon included– with our environment even now as we record this podcast.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Every time I breathe I give off carbon-
SQEAKY: -and every time I ate a Chipotle burrito I take in carbon.
MAKO: Yeah so when that stops presumably because of death then okay yeah you could be submerged in water but like I guess maybe some carbon from the water would get onto your skin but that’s not going to like get everywhere throughout your body like you being alive does.
SQEAKY: Yeah. When cotton is formed, an organic process happens, a chemical process happens that locks carbon into fibers, it’s like soaking it in water unless it dissolves it isn’t going to significantly exchange that, it’s not like you’re talking about, a process that exchanges carbon with the environment, it’s not gonna- it’s not gonna change.
SQEAKY: And that’s why you can do things and take like a piece of wood that’s super old, possibly y’know like thousands of years ancient and ask when did this come from and get a good answer with carbon dating. And I even learned something during this. When we were first discussing the episode you were like “Carbon dating did this!” and I’m like I don’t think carbon dating can do anything younger than a few thousands years-
SQEAKY: -and I was actually- I’ve been wrong about that for the past twenty years.
SQEAKY: It totally can!
MAKO: I actually made a point to create- to put in the radiocarbon dating thing specifically because of your comment.
SOURCE [27:30] Radiocarbon Dating - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiocarbon_dating
SQEAKY: Yeah so I had been duped by a young earth creationist about twenty-five years ago into believing that nonsense. I still proved him wrong using the rest of science but damn.
MAKO: Yeah. And I suppose since we’re talking about it already I can go over some of that but uh yeah, carbon-14 is the specific isotope being tested and this- one of the Reddit comments when I was trying to get a better understanding of radiocarbon dating made a point that isotope dating is something that is used in all manners of different isotopes and in fact the similar technique with this but not with carbon-14, with an isotope of uranium was used to estimate the age of the earth. That is the same basic idea, you’re measuring the decay rate of a particular isotope.
SQEAKY: Yeah. As long as you know what one unstable –and there’s a specific definition for unstable for nuclear science–
SQEAKY: As long as you’re measuring one unstable thing and you know what it decays into-
MAKO: The halflife.
SQEAKY: Yeah. The halflife tells you how long it takes to decay and if you know what it decays into you can measure those two ratios and estimate when that thing stopped exchanging that material with its environment.
MAKO: So the halflife for carbon-14 is 5,730 years and in most cases- sorry.
SQEAKY: So if a thing has half of the carbon-14 you expect, it’s about that old. Yeah.
SQEAKY: And you just do the math, going forward or backwards.
MAKO: Radiocarbon dating in most cases can reliably like plus or minus about eighty years measure something up to 50,000 years old but there are different techniques like you can have a larger sample or you can have a larger exposure time for example to try to get more precise measurements and push that out a little bit further. In some cases we’ve had things dated that were 80,000 years old on the upper end doing these things.
SQEAKY: That lines up with my understanding otherwise.
SQEAKY: I guess back to the uh… BBC documentary real quick.
MAKO: Yep yep.
SQEAKY: ‘Cause we just started off with ‘They keep lampshading carbon dating’ ‘cause they opened up with ‘This has been carbon dated, this is settled by scientists, right?’ And yeah it pretty much is. Everyone who has taken a look at this and is credible and doesn’t have like problems agrees. This this thing was made sometime in the thirteenth or fourteenth century and that’s that. But they went and found some experts who were sympathetic. Like they got one cloth expert and she was apparently some sort of historian of textiles and they were talking about the way this thing was woven, it has what’s called a Herringbone weave, a Herringbone is a zigzag pattern but lined up so it’s like straight instead of at an angle-
HERRINGBONE CORRECTION [29:55]
SQEAKY, from the future: I should make a correction because I’m a fucking pleb when it comes to weaving. I took this person’s word for it and didn’t correctly double-check at the time of recording that this was indeed a Herringbone weave. It’s actually just some random sloppy weave on a loom that I’ll put a source in, they say it’s similar to a three-in-one chevron weave that’s both a little bit more complex and suffers all the same problems as the Herringbone weave and that it wasn’t used at the time and that the machines used at the time of Christ to make fabric wouldn’t lead to the kinds of errors that we see in the fabric. I’ll link a source, medievalshroud.com. Uh, the rest of my points here still stand in that this fabric probably wasn’t made in the time of Christ but was easy to make at the time in medieval Europe when the shroud appeared.
SOURCE [30:13] What appears to be a reasonable analysis of the shrouds weave with weaving machine context - https://medievalshroud.com/the-medieval-weave/
BULLSHIT CLAIMS BY SHROUD BELIEVERS [2/2] [30:40]
SQEAKY: So a fancy weave pattern that they didn’t have in Roman times so it can’t be from Roman time- I guess somebody could have invented it just for Jesus, that’s possible.
MAKO: That’s a remarkably specific claim.
SQEAKY: Yeah and that’s just not something people normally talk about and this historian didn’t point that out so clearly this person was deeply sympathetic to this, they didn’t even provide an explanation for this issue, they just washed over it, which tells you they’re really biased here. They wanted to prove a certain point. And to buy themselves credibility, this documentary did things like listed all the ways a forger could have forged this. And of course they didn’t list all the ways, they listed a few ways, and they ruled them out. Like this couldn’t have been painted because reasons. And they had some reasons that are kind of bad and all boil down to “none of this looks like paint” ignoring that you could bust out a paintbrush and paint blood on there. Because the substance on the shroud by everyone’s measure appears to be real blood. They also said that an embalmer couldn’t have faked this because there’s no way an embalmer would have known to crucify people through the ankles and wrists as the shroud appears to be ignoring if this was fake it would be done in Turin, a place in Italy, sort of an important part of the Roman empire, and it’s entirely possible that that knowledge survived the seven or eight hundred years from the fall of the Roman empire in that area to then. Maybe it was more, maybe the Roman empire fell later but they were still like the Byzantines were still around in the east, that’s like when the Roman empire fell all of their stuff didn’t disappear, somebody carried this knowledge on, it’s not implausible that an embalmer got in touch with a priest and figured out what the most plausible crucifixion method would be. Another thing they said it couldn’t be was a base relief which is a specific kind of painting that involves some sort of transfer from one cloth to another, and they tried to rule this out with some other pseudoscience stuff. And I don’t want to get into all of it ‘cause they listed a few more but what they didn’t do is categorically rule out that it wasn’t a fake by using the evidence available doing something like proving what time it was from. They just tried to keep getting people to throw mud on it and they didn’t do it effectively. Sure, it couldn’t have been some of these very tiny categories of things, but one thing they didn’t rule out was just taking a corpse, crucifying it, wrapping it in a shroud, and stuffing that shroud in a basement for a couple of years to give it that aged appearance.
MAKO: Yeah if everything about the shroud allegedly is accurate besides the person that was put there and when it was put there, that’s two really important details for everyone who believes the shroud is genuine.
SQEAKY: Yeah and for people making those claims about needing high energy and stuff, that’s ridiculous. The big problem with why the shroud is faded is because it’s super old.
SQEAKY: That’s it.
MAKO: Shit fades.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Yeah, shit fades. And to go further down this buying credibility rabbit hole. They tried to cross-reference it with a bunch of uh, art from earlier. Like they had some Byzantine art from like the 7 or 800s and they’re like look, you can see how in this Jesus had folded hands a certain way and could see that the shape of the shroud, you can see how they laid out the corpse in the shroud, ignoring that this was culturally common things to do for a corpse that had been crucified or just a Jewish corpse in general, uh they ignored that if this painting was around before the shroud, the painting might have been used as a reference to create a fake shroud. Everyone was saying that this shroud must have been made before the painting ‘cause otherwise how could the painter have painted it.
MAKO: Yup, that’s uh… Yeah.
SQEAKY: So they found a lot… Yeah. They found a lot of coincidences but they never established cause and effect. They could have just had that flipped around entirely and they didn’t bother to mention that or point out the possible inconsistencies there because they were trying to buy credibility, not seek truth. If you seek truth, you need to be comfortable with occasional and intermittent doubt because that happens sometimes.
MAKO: Sometimes things are difficult to get at.
SQEAKY: They also clipped some scientists out of context but not in the really crappy American way where we’ll clip a scientist out of context where he says- or if the scientist has a y’know full five-minute spool, we might just clip the part where he says “Yeah the Shroud of Turin might be real” and that would be what the Americans put in their documentaries. No, we got a whole two or three sentences from this scientist where he said “I’m siding with the preponderance of the evidence that right now the shroud does not appear to be real, there is carbon dating but I could have my mind changed if there is sufficient evidence, I don’t feel I’m always going to believe that the shroud is real” and he went on to say that he was open-minded to change, trying to imply in that ever so subtle British way that I see the BBC do a lot that things might be changing this way, trying to buy more credibility claiming that and it just doesn’t comport with the evidence. I don’t know.
SQEAKY: Is that too much?
MAKO: No, that’s fine.
SQEAKY: No? Okay.
SQEAKY: And finally, the last thing they did was when they did try to claim to run a test? They didn’t run a test. They made a big dramatic showing of. They even asked ‘Are you willing to test your shroud and see if it works in the environment it was designed for?’ and they went and put a corpse in a cave. It was a styrofoam corpse, we all knew that and they just put it in the cave and acted like this was some big test.
MAKO: What is that supposed to prove?
SQEAKY: Fuckin’ nothing. It was supposed to get you to think that they’re proving a thing and then fill up five more minutes of the documentary.
MAKO: Okay then…
SQEAKY: It was just nonsense. It literally was nothing. It angered me so I just wanted to yell at them for this. Blah.
MAKO: They proved what would happen if you put a styrofoam body wrapped in linen in a cave.
SQEAKY: So to wrap up that chunk of what I just went over, there’s sort of two categories of this BS. There’s the totally unsubstantiated nonsense, which is what most people in my experience put forward in day-to-day conversations about the shroud. And then there’s the pseudoscience with the air of legitimacy. They looked like they were trying to do work, they had tools, they had apparatus, it looked like they cared but if you dig into any of their claims even the littlest bit, they fall apart.
SQEAKY: Okay. What do you got? Something about the history?
SQEAKY: Is it true that Jesus was all about gold and wealth?
MAKO: Of course not. Haven’t you ever seen important documentaries like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?
JOKE SOURCE [36:18] Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade On Jesus opinion of gold - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA7J0KkanzM
SQEAKY: No. I’m just trying to write a joke to tie Clock N’ Chain’s new jewelry for Autism Acceptance Month into this episode.
MAKO: Don’t they make custom chainmail?
SQEAKY: Yeah and this month they have some gold pieces to inspire awe and celebrate neurodiversity and autism acceptance.
MAKO: Where do I find this? Asking for a friend.
SQEAKY: clocknchain.squarespace.com and use code “evidence” for free shipping the U.S. Even to a friend.
SPONSOR [36:40] Get Custom Nerdy Chainmail (use code “evidence” for free shipping) - https://clocknchain.squarespace.com/
HISTORY OF THE SHROUD [36:44]
SQEAKY: The history of the shroud.
SOURCE [36:45] History of the Shroud of Turin - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Shroud_of_Turin
MAKO: The history of the shroud. I’m not gonna go into a whole lot of nitty-gritty into the history of the shroud because… I don’t have time for that to be honest. But, just a brief rundown, so we don’t know what was going on with the shroud prior to the thirteenth century. We just don’t. We know it has a written record that begins in 1390 A.D. with the bishop that we mentioned earlier.
SQEAKY: So literally the first piece of documentation we have on it is that it’s fake?
MAKO: Yes. Yes.
MAKO: The very first thing that acknowledges its existence claims it's fake.
SQEAKY: Tell me you’re religious without telling me you’re religious.
MAKO: Anyway. So, I’m probably going to butcher this name, but it was originally in possession of Geoffroi de Charny in Lerey, France.
SQEAKY: What year?
MAKO: 1390 A.D.
SQEAKY: Oh. He’s probably dead. Even if he isn’t he probably isn’t listening to the podcast, you’re fine.
MAKO: Um… Yeah I would still like to get pronunciations correct but whatever. I’m just not- You’re right, I shouldn’t apologize specifically to that person, but I mean there’s probably somebody out there with that name that’s like ‘Hey, you fucked up’ and that’s valid.
MAKO: Anyway. So after that, some time went by as time tends to. Margaret de Charny deeded the shroud to the House of Savoy in 1453. The House of Savoy held it and eventually took the shroud to the Turin Cathedral in 1578 and that is where it currently is. The House of Savoy maintained ownership despite passing it along to the Turin Cathedral until 1983, then it was given to the Holy See which as I understand and couldn’t be wrong about this, is a synonym for the Vatican.
SOURCE [38:25] The Holy See is an "administrative body" the Vatican is a country/city - https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-vatican-city-and-the-holy-see.html
SQEAKY: Yeah, pretty much.
SQEAKY: It’s like- yeah there’s a subtle distinction, but it’s like a corporation or some nonsense that represents the Vatican but yeah, something like that.
MAKO: Yeah. So, that’s kind of the- I guess the geographic history of the Shroud of Turin. There has been a couple incidents where it was damaged in fires, there was even one point in time where I believe Mercury was accidentally dropped on it.
SQEAKY: Oh, like you do.
MAKO: Yeah, shit happens. Uh but, those are- things like that have also happened in the shroud’s history. But the shroud’s history is not too much more than passing the ownership, moving around geographically, the occasional damage it suffers from mishaps.
SQEAKY: So largely it’s been in private collections or just been held by the Vatican and not much analysis or discovery has gone into it. I presume this changed recently with more scientific techniques and better options?
MAKO: Uh a bit, yeah. So I don’t know exactly what prompted the Vatican to want to publicly do tests the way they did initially but if I was to speculate it would probably just be because of all the scientific methods that were being developed at the time, they probably figured hey yeah we can verify its authenticity so go for it. The very first direct study and I say direct because it involves direct contact and sampling of the shroud itself. There have been other scientific analyses even before this, but those were people taking photographs of the Shroud of Turin and then scientists analyzing the photograph, not hands-on analysis of the item itself. So the first direct study of the shroud was conducted in 1978 by a large team of scientists who studied the authenticity of the shroud.
SOURCE [40:04] Scientific Analysis of the shroud - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin#Scientific_analysis
SQEAKY: Wait, wait. So this thing’s been around for like 700 years? Sorry, 1978, that’s thirteen… That’s 600 years before an analysis?
MAKO: From scientists that has been published.
MAKO: If- There probably have been other people that examined the shroud but it’s- if that has happened, it’s not documented.
SQEAKY: Okay. That’s just- there’s a lot you can do to tamper with an object in 600 years but okay, yeah.
MAKO: Yes, absolutely. So, anyway, the group of scientists that were formed for the study was the Shroud of Turin Research Project.
SQEAKY: Like it when your acronyms are pronounceable.
MAKO: It’s nice.
SQEAKY: Okay, yeah.
MAKO: There’s XKCD being deliberately antagonistic in that regard.
JOKE SOURCE [40:46] Unpronounceable name - https://xkcd.com/
SQEAKY: Ex-kd. I got it.
MAKO: No, you didn’t.
MAKO: Just no. Just stop.
SQEAKY: Ex-kd. ‘Kay.
MAKO: Anyway. I can dive into STRUP’s conclusions. STRUP like I said had a large team of scientists, thirty-three, thirty-three people on the main research team for STRUP and they also had support staff, consultants, so it wasn’t just those thirty-three. But just thirty-three main people. And they did post their conclusions from all of the studying that they did on the shroud and they concluded that the markings on the shroud are not painted on and the shroud did come in contact with a human body. They say that the stains tested positive for being composed of hemoglobin and tested positive for albumin.
SOURCE [40:56] STRUP Conclusions - https://www.shroud.com/78conclu.htm
SQEAKY: It’s a component of blood, right. There it is, albumin. Okay yeah.
SOURCE [41:32] Albumin is a protein in blood created in your liver - https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=167&ContentID=albumin_blood
MAKO: Otherwise, testing of the shroud was inconclusive. They couldn’t really make heads or tails out of pretty much any other claim or information that they readily had.
SQEAKY: The BBC documentary claimed that the blood tested as the incredibly rare blood type AB. I googled it. Four percent of the population has AB, that’s one in twenty people. That’s like…
SOURCE [41:47] According to the Red Cross about 4% of Americans have AB + or - blood - https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types/ab-blood-type.html
SQEAKY: …millions of us, ya.
MAKO: So yeah. That’s pretty much their conclusions and they specifically cite some limitations on science and the sample that they received as potential problems for getting at conclusions and they were like perhaps at some point in the future further studies will be able to conclude the matter on the Shroud of Turin. After STRUP had finished its analysis and published its findings, there was follow-up to trying to analyze the shroud. Trying to figure out how I want to phrase all of this.
SQEAKY: You’re fine.
MAKO: Yeah yeah. So, the idea behind radiocarbon dating even when STRUP was doing this was something that was known and it was discussed but it was something that they couldn’t really do because the radiocarbon techniques that they had access to at the time required very large swathes of the Shroud of Turin to be extracted in order to perform the test itself. Pretty much destroying the Shroud of Turin in the process.
SOURCE [42:33] Radiocarbon Dating - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiocarbon_dating
SQEAKY: That makes sense. You don’t want to destroy something in the name of scientific inquiry if it’s unique and presumably valuable from a cultural perspective. Okay so they waited until-
SQEAKY: -tech got better.
MAKO: Yep, exactly. There was new tech that was developed, accelerator mass spectrometry and gas counters were two techniques that were developed and you can do radiocarbon dating using these techniques with a much, much smaller sample. And the Vatican was like okay okay, now that you’ve gone from completely destroying the Shroud of Turin to a small piece of it, we’re okay with you doing radiocarbon dating testing on this. A bunch of labs submitted to be able to be the ones to perform the radiocarbon dating and only three labs were chosen. All of them were accelerator mass spectrometry labs that was at the University of Oxford, University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
SQEAKY: Okay that sounds pretty good so far.
MAKO: Yep. A small strip about ten milimeters by seventy milimeters was removed from a corner of the Shroud of Turin, the same quarter that a small sample was removed for the STRUP group.
SQEAKY: So for non-metric folk, that’s uh… two-fifths of an inch by about three inches.
MAKO: Yep. Really small samples. And that strip was then cut into three pieces and that strip was cut into three pieces and and a piece was given to each of the three laboratories.
SQEAKY: Seems reasonable, okay.
MAKO: Yep. Each of these labs did use a control. There were other historic linens that we’ve already established the age of that were used as controls and each of these labs had access to these three linens for comparative analysis. They came to some slightly different results, they did note that it’s a little bit weird that the variation for the Shroud of Turin was a bit more than they expected but the consensus between all three labs was that they have a ninety-five percent confidence level that the Shroud is dated somewhere between 1260 and 1390 A.D.
SOURCE [44:53] Meta-analysis on the three radiocarbon dating publications - https://escholarship.org/content/qt6x77r7m1/qt6x77r7m1.pdf?t=nus03r
SQEAKY: So immediately before our first documentation for it.
MAKO: Exactly, yes.
SQEAKY: Huh, interesting. It’s almost like someone built it to impress a girl. Failed to impress a girl, threw it in his basement, pulled it out to impress a preacher, and got called on his bullshit.
MAKO: Yeah, that is entirely plausible.
MAKO: If we’re to integrate the STRUP conclusions then yeah, they probably actually wrapped a human but then were like oh, yeah, that’s totally Jesus, yeah.
SQEAKY: I’m totally imaging two frat bros doing this with like fake facial hair glued on ‘em ‘cause they’re too young to grow beards or whatever and they’re like pokin’ each other with knives like “Hey dude I need to bleed on the thing but come on go easy”, “No, we have to make sure you look crucified,” and like stabbing each other and just... Some sources for this before we go too much further and dive into the next piece of controversy. Shroud.com, you’ve got some sources for what the STRUP conclusions, we’ve got some meta-analysis on the three radiocarbon dating techniques, we have a paper on escholarship.org. I’ve got rochester.edu for what albumin is, and I’ve got the Red Cross for blood types, and Wikipedia does have tons of sources on this and they give ISBN numbers for a ton of things so you can verify and vet for yourself and there’s the radiocarbon dating and the Shroud of Turin page, check both of those out we’ll have links to ‘em. And in this next section we got more shroud.com, encyclopedia.com, ResearchGate for some papers, and earlychurchhistory.org. You’re going to have to explain that one to me.
SQEAKY: You’re like we can go buy a digital omnimessiah. No, we have one at home. Digital omnimessiah at home. I don’t know.
SQEAKY: Mako’s computer.
TESTS PERFORMED ON THE SHROUD [46:37]
MAKO: I wanted to try to get information on the claims which I guess this probably should have been in with the claims, I want to at least attempt to represent the people that are trying to say that oh yeah no the Shroud of Turin is totally legitimate ‘cause when you understand what they’re saying you can more readily and reliably shoot it down if it’s wrong but if you don’t understand it then it’s pointless crosstalk and noise. Anyway.
SQEAKY: I’m of the opinion that anything about the shroud is pointless crosstalk and noise at this point. I could have been convinced but so far everyone being pro-shroud has been pro-ridiculousness.
SQEAKY: I’ve seen no credibility from the shroud crowd yet.
MAKO: Yeah there’s- specifically regarding the claims that it was used to wrap the body of Jesus Christ, there’s pretty much nothing to prove that.
SQEAKY: No. We don’t even have good circumstantial evidence yet. You’re gonna talk about- I’m sorry.
MAKO: We kind of… Okay. Some minor nuance here, minor. So I have a source from somebody that is saying that the shroud is not only dated to ancient times but is geographically linked to the area surrounding Jerusalem, which is a bold claim. So I’m like trying to dig into okay why are you saying that. On the STRUP team, there was a consultant. Uh, Max Frei.
SOURCE [47:51] - Max Frei-Sulzer - https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/frei-sulzer-max
MAKO: He was a criminologist… what was his nationally… Swiss. He was a Swiss criminologist.
SQEAKY: I think they do the second vowel pronunciation, that could be a Max “Fry”.
MAKO: Could be. Max “Fry”. Maybe.
SQEAKY: I don’t know.
MAKO: I don’t know either.
SQEAKY: That’s how Germans do it and those countries are kind of close.
MAKO: I’m bad at pronunciations, I make no claims otherwise.
SQEAKY: Turns out Mako was right. Check the source, it’s pronounced “free”.
SOURCE [48:12] Mako was right - https://www.howtopronounce.com/frei
SQEAKY: I’m bad at pronunciation too but I’m confident.
MAKO: That’s not good qualities to mix. Moving on.
MAKO: So Max Frei, he used to tape to try to extract samples of just particulates that were on the Shroud of Turin. He was given direct access to the shroud itself.
SQEAKY: That doesn’t sound terrible so far, okay.
MAKO: He found pollen on the Shroud of Turin.
BULLSHIT SOURCE [48:42] Why Pollen on the Shroud of Turin Proves it is Real - https://earlychurchhistory.org/christian-symbols/why-pollen-on-the-shroud-of-turin-proves-it-is-real/
MAKO: Yeah, that’s pretty good. He painstakingly tried to identify each of the bits of pollen and there were quite a few different pollens on the shroud. Like a lot of them. But, there were about five or six I think that were in particularly high concentrations. Two of them, the only place where- this is allegedly, for two of them the only place where they overlap is in the Jerusalem area and that is the basis for claiming it has been geographically tied to the Jerusalem area.
SQEAKY: Okay, superficially that makes sense.
SQEAKY: But we would want to compare that to other historical pieces of cloth and see if that hypothesis holds up because pollen can travel for hundreds of miles, maybe these ancient cloths all went through Jerusalem for some reason because of ancient logistics, reasons reasons reasons.
MAKO: Something that has been brought up by other people is maybe some of these plants could have been used as incense and…
SQEAKY: And if you sell incense a hundred miles away…
MAKO: Yeah, you can have things travel.
SQEAKY: Yeah, they’re far away but they’re not ridiculously far away.
SQEAKY: If you look at where Turin is on the map, y’know if you imagine the Mediterranean you have the boot that is Italy, up on the top of the boot at the left side, on the west side, that’s where Turin is, and if you wanna go to where Jerusalem is you go to the Mediterranean, you go east until you can’t go any further east, and it’s around there. So I mean, we’re talking some miles over land, some kilometers over land, and a boat trip, across the Mediterranean? People have been doing that for literally thousands of years, so that’s not unreasonable you could move incense from one place to the other. Okay, yeah.
MAKO: There’s also some speculation, I didn’t go too deep into it because none of it was substantiated from near as I can tell but there’s a bunch of speculation as to the history of the shroud itself and where it’s moved throughout the world prior to 1390 A.D.
SQEAKY: Oh so it could have been picking up pollen from all over.
MAKO: Maybe. Like I said. But it’s not really substantiated so I didn’t go too deep into it. Anyway, Frei identified these species but when his findings were published and then peer-reviewed by other people, it was kinda dubious. Palynologists, paley-nologists, yeah.
SQEAKY: Is that somebody who studies Sarah Palin professionally?
SQEAKY: Pollen. Okay. So we have professional polenistas.
MAKO: Yes, there’s a specific kind of scientist that studies pollen and all the things surrounding pollen. That’s amazing.
SQEAKY: Yeah I’m looking at that word, palyn-ologists?
SQEAKY: Okay great.
MAKO: So these people, they cast doubt on the identifications that Frei made during his analysis. They’re like I don’t- there’s not enough here, you can’t say with confidence that it is this thing and for some of them they’re like no it’s this other thing, so his ability to identify the species for the pollen is in question from people where that’s like literally their only job.
SOURCE [51:14] The question of pollen grains on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291332538_The_question_of_pollen_grains_on_the_Shroud_of_Turin_and_the_Sudarium_of_Oviedo
SQEAKY: So this guy’s the Zechariah Sitchin of the pollen world?
MAKO: Well, maybe. Zechariah Sitchin was –near as we can tell– he was malicious and out to make money. Frei, we don’t know if he was trying to make money. He could have just been normal incompetent.
SQEAKY: Normal incompetent, okay. That’s a surprisingly common as an explanation for these kinds of problems.
MAKO: Yeah. So experts don’t agree with Frei on these identifications so that kinds of throws all of these interpretations into question. If we are to accept Frei’s findings as fact then he’s got a good case.
SQEAKY: It’s not proof but it’s strong evidence.
SQEAKY: Yeah. There’s reason to believe and it would merit further study.
MAKO: Absolutely. But that’s not the case.
SQEAKY: Did he have control fabrics?
MAKO: No. Well controls for like the fabric and the pollen, no. Nor did he properly use methodology to prevent contamination.
SQEAKY: Ooh, that’s a killer. If you don’t know that you’ve prevented cross-contamination and- that’s terrible.
SQEAKY: So we just- So we would have to duplicate his work, go to the shroud with some more tape and verify our tape is sterile and free of pollen.
MAKO: You’d have to redo all the work.
MAKO: To verify it.
SQEAKY: That’s terrible that he approached it this way. That’s not good. Okay.
MAKO: Yeah. Unfortunately. So there’s some problems with that interpretation and why it doesn’t work but also, also, later in his life after doing his work on the Shroud of Turin, uh I didn’t even know… I don’t remember at least that like the Hitler diaries were a thing.
SQEAKY: What are the Hitler diaries?
MAKO: I didn’t go too deep into this because that seems like a whole ‘nother rabbit hole but allegedly there were some diaries surfaced that allegedly were written by Hitler himself.
MAKO: So Frei-
SQEAKY: Were they like spicy? Like do we hear about Hitler’s lovelife?
MAKO: I don’t fuckin’ know. I didn’t go that far into it.
SQEAKY: Okay, I don’t know, okay.
MAKO: Presumably. I don’t know, maybe he had a Jewish love, I don’t know.
MAKO: But Frei did his own analysis on the Hitler diaries at the time and said they were absolutely authentic and then very shortly after it was proven that they’re fake.
SQEAKY: So this guy’s not good when it comes to methodology or accuracy in general.
MAKO: Yeah. Well, we have this definitive thing and then we have what we’re looking at for the shroud to base it off of, I’m not gonna say the sample size of two is great but there wasn’t much that I was able to find on Frei other than these two examples, unfortunately.
SQEAKY: This is pretty terrible for him.
MAKO: It- yeah. It looks bad. It looks really bad. When actual experts disagree with your findings and you’re demonstably wrong about something else high profile, that’s bad.
SQEAKY: Okay. And this- So so far we have ranging between no evidence and bad evidence. ‘Cause this is evidence of a sort, it’s just not good evidence.
SQEAKY: Um, is there any other evidence for the shroud?
MAKO: Not that I was really able to glean. Like all of the actual- ‘Cause people, they’ve been looking at photographs and trying to do photographic analysis…
MAKO: Photographic analysis is only going to get you so far. As far as people taking physical portions of the shroud and doing aggressive analysis on those portions, it’s only happened twice. The STRUP team and the three laboratories that did radiocarbon dating.
SQEAKY: So it’s all completely a loss. The STRUP came back and just said…
MAKO: Inconclusive. Aside from their confident that the stains are not painted and it did encase a human body.
SQEAKY: It’s probably blood! Okay.
MAKO: And then the three laboratories did the radiocarbon dating said with very high confidence that it is from medieval times.
SQEAKY: That’s terrible.
MAKO: These two are not mutually exclusive as we’ve joked twice now. We could have had a case where some dude just took a body, wrapped it in some linen, let it age, and put it on display in the medieval times.
SQEAKY: I’m imagining some ancient incel on- I’m trying to imagine 4chan from the 1300s. That would be great. 4chan memes from back then.
MAKO: Ah. Maybe.
SQEAKY: ‘Faking the shroud of Jesus for the church lol’. Troll the bishop.
MAKO: So in order to take all the findings from these laboritories as fact and make the simplest possible explanation, that is the simplest possible explanation.
SQEAKY: Yeah. We have no evidence of magic, we have no- nothing except possibly pollen tying it back to Israel, we don’t have any claims, we don’t have any explanation for how it moved, right nobody is saying it came by a boat or came over land, nobody is saying they bought it from somebody from the region, we got nothing. It appeared one day in a place quite far but plausibly close. It could have been moved, right?
SQEAKY: It’s not like it showed up in Japan on Oklahoma or something. If it showed up in one of those places it would obviously be fake.
SQEAKY: But it was close enough that the story was there, it was culturally relevant, but nobody- no ties. No evidence. No documents.
MAKO: Just the one bishop saying ‘This shit’s a fake.’
SQEAKY: Now one thing that people did try to talk a lot about was blood spatter analysis.
SQEAKY: I dropped all those sources ‘cause even modern blood spatter analysis ranges from a few experts get it right to this is clearly bullshit that is just used to convict black people.
SQEAKY: Yeah so modern blood spatter is not great, even the harder modern forensic science like uh fingerprints and uh ballistic gun identification, they aren’t great. We try to match patterns on the bullet to patterns on the inside of the gun or try to lift fingerprints off things.
MAKO: The one time I heard a good application of blood spatter analysis was people were trying to argue like aggravated assault. Uh, like undo force in a case where somebody had bludgeoned another person to death with a baseball bat and they were like yeah, we have a high degree of confidence that this person swung the baseball bat at another person’s head about eighteen times. They’re like well how did you get that. Well across the ceiling we see eighteen distinct streaks of blood.
SQEAKY: Holy shit. There’s blood spatter analysis then there’s counting violence like holy shit.
MAKO: That’s the one time I’ve heard blood spatter analysis being like okay.
SQEAKY: I’m not saying we disregard it as evidence- or disregard everything in this vein as evidence, it’s just there’s a lot of people who try to do things like claim to know heights or handedness or lots of things that really are hard to get at because there’s too many variables.
SQEAKY: Right. So I’m sure it can be used to narrow down some things, like if you have X blood streaks you have X events or more that caused blood streaks. That’s a great use of it.
SQEAKY: Makes perfect sense. I’m thinking straight right back to Dexter, the HBO TV show.
SQEAKY: Was it HBO? About a serial killer who was a forensic blood spatter analyist. And he comes up with all these ridiculous reports like ‘yeah this person was probably angry and psychologically motivated to do this because that’s the only time you do an overhand swing’ and it’s like that’s blood on the wall you’re not…
MAKO: What if somebody was just taught how to swing wrong on purpose?
SQEAKY: As a joke.
JOKE SOURCE [58:24] Kung pao, Wimp Lo - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d696t3yALAY
*Sqeaky and Mako laugh*
MAKO: How do you rule that out?
SQEAKY: What if they’re just clumsy?
SQEAKY: What if they’re injured? What if what if what if, right? What if they’re wearing really big high heels? It would make them seem taller.
MAKO: Okay, I guess.
SQEAKY: I don’t know.
MAKO: But yeah.
SQEAKY: Just ridiculous stuff, right. So like forensic science is not what it’s made out to be. We trust a lot of the stuff in the courtroom a lot more than we probably should because people in a courtroom confidently say this stuff in front of a judge and that’s what sways judges, juries. I’m so sad now.
SQEAKY: We could probably prove the Shroud of Turin is real in a court of law by getting enough experts to say stuff. And we could probably disprove it too.
SQEAKY: And this- Do we need to end on something light?
SQEAKY: Nothing here is that heavy.
MAKO: Nope. Not particularly heavy.
MAKO: I mean it does- We are talking about the death of somebody.
SQEAKY: I disagree. I don’t think he was real.
MAKO: I’m just saying somebody, I’m not asserting Jesus. I’m just saying the simplest explanation is they did put a body in the shroud it just definitely wasn’t Jesus.
SQEAKY: I don’t think you have to kill the person for that. I think you get a volunteer, and you poke ‘em a couple times and make them bleed a little bit, and then y’know you give them fifty bucks and send him on his way.
MAKO: Maybe. I don’t know. I’m sure bodies were plentiful back then.
SQEAKY: That’s true and fucked up. Yeah. So there’s scant evidence for this and if somebody- that’s a big long tirade. If somebody comes along and tries to say they have really good evidence because of blood analysis, they’re almost certainly full of shit.
SQEAKY: I saw tons of blood analysis on both sides saying “It’s totally real”, “It’s totally fake”.
MAKO: I saw one article that was trying to be like ‘New scientific analysis proves it’s date- the carbon- the radiocarbon dating is false’ and I’m like cool, that’s exciting. Show me the evidence. Scroll, scroll, scroll… Okay you got nothin’.
SQEAKY: Yeah. One thing that I saw just offhandedly in a Reddit discussion said “If the shroud were real the images would be the same height” and I’m like wait what. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? So right before the episode, I just copied the image from Wikipedia and copied and rotated and spun it around because the Shroud of Turin, right, the way I described how the body would be placed in the cloth, right there’s the front and the back, and it would be wrapped around the head, right. Well, one side of the shroud is like an extra foot longer than the other side and that, that’s a discrepancy. It might be explainable, right?
MAKO: Yeah that seems weak but it’s something.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Because I would expect that the shroud would conform to the body better on both sides, you wouldn’t get all the stretching on one side. One side the guy’s seven feet tall, the other side he’s six feet tall. Which is still enormous given somebody back in the day.
MAKO: Yeah. Malnutrition was so common people were statistically shorter.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And also, the Shroud of Turin’s face. It’s a white guy. It’s obviously a French or Italian or European guy. It’s just…
SQEAKY: It’s just not what you’d expect when you see someone- like we were talking about earlier in the episode. Jesus would have been Jewish or Palestinian or Arabic or not what you got with this high cheekboned white guy look. Yeah, I mean, if you look at the shroud your first thought should be skepticism ‘cause it doesn’t look like what Jesus ought to look like.
MAKO: Unless you’re one of those people that as a prank has a picture of Obi-Wan Kenobi in their living room and was told it’s Jesus and you’re none the wiser.
JOKE SOURCE [1:01:34] Obi-wan as Jesus has happened a few times - https://www.iscreamsundae.com/obi-wan-jesus-the-man-who-almost-became-jesus/
SQEAKY: I’ll link to that.
SQEAKY: Poor grandma. Been praying to Obi-Wan Kenobi the past fifteen years. Doesn’t know. Okay. That’s it though. We’ve been blathering on with a bunch of nothing for a while now.
SQEAKY: Okay well thank you for listening.
MAKO: Thanks for listening.
MAKO: It’s not how we talked about the dysevidentia laser gyroscope, 30,000 dollars.
MAKO: We could be like The Holy Dysevidentia Laser Gyroscope, 35,000 dollars.
SQEAKY: 5,000 dollars for holy?
MAKO: Yeah why not.
MAKO: We can define how holy it is with our own product.
MAKO: It’s our product! It’s our privilege goddammit.
SQEAKY: I feel like Billy Graham or the Pope will have something to say about this. Some other mega-preacher, they’ll want their cut. Then they will endorse it too.
MAKO: We’ll make our own church with blackjack and hookers.
SQEAKY: Is that a Simpsons reference?
MAKO: And also a little bit of a history thing.
SQEAKY: Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters. Our supporters at the Evidence Investigator level or higher include Jarod, DuktTape, Qeldaar, Steven Larabee, and Kaiju Halena.
MAKO: Thanks for listening and don’t forget to like, subscribe, leave a review, or tell a friend.
SQEAKY: If you aren’t sure where to do that read the show notes, transcripts, and listen online at dysevidentia.com. Support us financially at patreon.com/dysevidentia. We have a subreddit, r/dysevidentia. Tweet at us @dysevidentia. Chat with us on our Discord server or watch our videos on YouTube, links in the show notes. And email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAKO: Copyright 2022, BlackTopp Studios, Inc. Intro music was Slow by Pit X. Used with permission.