Natural, Manufactured, 'Miracle' or Something Else?
Presented at the international scientific conference on the Shroud of Turin held in St. Louis, Missouri, 9th of October 2014
Read the full paper (click here)
New Physics and the Shroud of Turin
Dr. Andrew Silverman interviewed by filmmaker David Rolfe for Shroud TV, 30th of November 2011
The Light that Shone in the Darkness
Presented at the Torun Acheiropoietos Conference at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland 13th of May 2011
There is evidence that the shroud image was formed by a short, intense burst of radiant energy (ref. 1). It would seem that the dead body which the shroud wrapped rose into a vertical position (ref. 2) before momentarily shining brighter than the Sun. It is suggested that there is evidence that thought, light and matter are inter-related. It is further suggested that the nature of this relation implies that our corporeal state is a symptom of restriction of mind. An inference derives from this that simply undoing these restrictions ('metanoiate'?) has the power to release the tension of space which we call matter, thereby transforming it into light (ref. 3). Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of quantum theory, made a compelling argument for the eternal nature of consciousness (ref. 4). If he was correct then all sentient beings must have been one in the initial singularity which gave rise to the 'big bang'. This "all together" state of sentience beyond time and space precedes the state of separation and limitation that define a physical universe. Since separation is the hallmark of limit it would follow that the exhortation to "love thy neighbour as thyself" is simply a 'route map' for returning to our original status.
Substantial evidence points to the Turin Shroud being the burial cloth of the historical Jesus (Yeshua ben Yosef). During his lifetime also he is reported on at least one occasion to have been seen to shine like the Sun. It is suggested that the capacity to do this can be logically derived to be a natural consequence of living a life which reflected this knowledge of neighbour and self as being one and the same (ref. 3).
If the shroud image is a photograph of a resurrection event then can we address such an event with rational enquiry? There is evidence that the blood stains on the cloth happened while the body was lying flat but that the image is the image of an upright man suspended above the ground (ref. 2). The implications of this for our understanding of gravity, space and time are considered.
To understand how a corpse arose and glowed brighter than the Sun perhaps we need to consider whether the state of being alive is more than just a certain configuration of atomic states. Does being 'alive' imply an unbroken line of connection which extends to the space-time singularity at the origin of the physical universe and could an equivalent singularity have been evident once again in a tomb in 1st Century Judaea?
Read the full paper (click here)
Natural or Miracle? - Exception or Example?
Presented at the Torun Acheiropoietos Conference at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland 12th of May 2011
It could be argued that most human beings including physicists, biologists and cosmologists have a tacit belief in the notion of freedom of will. What would be the implications for our modern scientific world view if this belief is founded in fact? It is suggested that if free will exists then current notions of time and causality might need to be reconsidered.
If 'mind over matter' is natural as it must be if free will is natural then what constitutes a miracle? The 'measurement problem' of quantum theory implies to many scientists that rather than the mind being an emergent property of a brain, physical reality itself is contingent upon the presence of sentience to make it 'real'
Although the putative process which resulted in the image formation on the Turin Shroud is clearly highly exceptional it is suggested that this could have been a demonstration of the capacity of all human beings to transcend space and time.
There is substantial evidence which indicates that the man whose body was wrapped in the shroud is the historical Jesus (Yeshua ben Yosef). Jesus is reported to have reminded people on numerous occasions that all human beings have the capacity to be like him and to do the things which he did.
The common factor that unites all physical processes is that they obey the second law of thermodynamics which means that they always result in states of increased disorder and degeneration eg 'moths eat, rust corrupts and thieves break in and steal' This implies a prior state of exceptional order and union from which the separating, expanding universe emerged at the big bang. If we were purely material beings we would perhaps have no choice but to follow this momentum of increasing separation through our behaviour.
"Love thy neighbour as thyself" takes on an interesting interpretation if we all have our roots in the initial singularity at the beginning of the universe and are all fundamentally one as it would mean that your neighbour is yourself. Perhaps the man whose image is on the cloth realized the rational truth of the oneness of all people through his teachings and crucially through how he lived. This could mean that he was able to achieve a status of being where there are 'no moths and no rust and no thieves who break in and steal.'
Read the full paper (click here)
The Turin Shroud: Scientific evidence for authenticity and the physics (and metaphysics) behind the image.
The Turin Shroud: Scientific evidence for authenticity and the physics (and metaphysics) behind the image. Presented at the Scientific and Medical Network (London Branch) 19th of May 2011
There is ample scientific, historical and forensic evidence pointing to a first century, Middle Eastern origin for the Turin Shroud. Even Prof Ramsey of the Radiocarbon Unit in Oxford which originally did the carbon dating suggests that the case is not yet closed: "There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed." Prof Ramsey March 2008. Some of this evidence came from a paper by Raymond Rogers of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (see here). There is evidence that the shroud image may have been produced by an extremely brief and intense burst of radiant energy from the body of the dead man which it wrapped (see example).
It will be suggested that this can be scientifically explained. To do so we would need to consider the rational and scientific evidence which implies that consciousness is not an incidental product of a material universe. We are all aware of subjective perceptions that we continuously exercise free choice. What would be the implications for our view of the world if our subjective impressions are correct?
The idea of a mind-matter continuum will be discussed. A dynamic interface between thought, light and matter is postulated which implies that the mind-matter duality resolves on the side of mind as prime mover. Schrödinger presented evidence for the unitary nature of consciousness. It will be suggested that our corporeality is the result of our separation from this and that perhaps the image formation process on the Turin Shroud is an incidental result of the vector which unites consciousness. A vector perhaps described by the saying: "Love your neighbour as yourself." Seen in this context this would not be a religious platitude but a statement of mathematical fact that all consciousness is one though experienced through differing viewpoints and choices.
The Brightest Light of All
Presented at the I.W.S.A.I. held at the E.N.E.A. research centre in Frascati Italy 5th of May 2010
The one hypothesis that has been found to be consistent with all the evidence regarding the Turin Shroud is that the primary image on the cloth of the crucified body of a man was the result of a momentary burst of radiant energy. This would account for the distance coded information, the "photographic negative" characteristics, the confinement of the image to the surface fibres and the absence of pigment in the main body of the image.
But How?…and Why? How did a corpse shine momentarily brighter than the sun?
Did he leave us a photographic negative imprint of the very moment of resurrection?
We do not appeal to the concept of "miracle" nor to the platitudes of "mystery" but intend to demonstrate through reasoned argument and scientific evidence that the possibility of such a phenomenon is not merely plausible but is self-evident from the fundamental axioms which describe what we humans call reality such as it is.
For example: E=MC² suggests that mass is 'condensed' energy. As yet this equation has not been generally considered to have relation to the sentient observer. Quantum theory, at least according to Erwin Schrödinger (and he should know) needs the presence of consciousness to bring the equations to life
Physicists and cosmologists believe that a "theory of everything" would need to unite quantum theory with relativity through gravity.
Schrödinger himself contended that quantum theory was consistent with the unitary nature of consciousness. That fundamentally we are all one. However, our thoughts and actions belie this by our divisiveness, self-centredness, ego and ignorance which could take humanity to the brink of annihilation or "devolution" to become beasts.
If, as the equations, and our existence as incarnate sentient beings demonstrate matter is condensed "mindstuff" or "thought" then perhaps the man on the shroud conducted the greatest scientific experiment of all time by living a life that was an antidote to the qualities outlined above and therefore returned matter to the "light" from which it is derived.
Read the full paper (click here)