With all of the tests run on the Shroud of Turin, why are scientists still disputing its validity?
The Shroud has undergone considerably more scientific testing than any other relic in human history. The 1978 STURP Investigation and subsequent investigations were remarkably thorough, and with the exception of the questionable 1988 carbon dating (see video above), all the evidence points to its being the burial cloth of Jesus.
Contemporary Dating Tests
The vanillin dating test of Dr. Raymond Rogers, the two spectroscopic analyses (of Dr. Giulio Fanti), and the compressibility and breaking strength tests (of Dr. Giulio Fanti) date the Shroud to a time commensurate with the life and crucifixion of Jesus.
Extrinsic Dating Evidence
Testing of pollen samples by Dr. Max Frei, roman coins on the eyes of the image on the Shroud, and 120 coincidences of blood and fluid stains between the Shroud and the Sudarium (Facecloth of Oviedo) give evidence of a date and location of the Shroud’s origin similar to that of Jesus.
Blood Stains on the Shroud
The blood stains tell a story very similar to the highly unusual crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth (for more information, check out this article) – they were imprinted on the Shroud before the image was made (the opposite of what would need to be done by a forger.
Image on the Shroud
The image was not formed by dyes, chemicals, vapors, or scorching. The only known explanation for the formation of the image is an intense burst of vacuum ultraviolet radiation (equivalent to the output of 14,000 excimer lasers) emitted from every three-dimensional point of the body in the Shroud.
For more information on these tests and more, check out Fr. Spitzer’s article, Science and the Shroud of Turin.