Did Leonardo Forge the Shroud of Turin?

DATELINE: Confounding Conspiracy

Leo purported self-portrait Pia's 1898 negative photo

Same Face? Leonardo & Jesus

A new documentary comes up with an interesting conspiracy theory from the de-bunkers of the famous shroud of controversy.

Though scientists have been unable to prove its authenticity, the de-bunkers have not been able to prove it’s fake.

This little hour documentary spends some time laying some dubious groundwork, blaming a rabid fascination on relics of dead saints on the Roman Catholic Church as a background. Filmed mostly in Italy with a few American, South African, and British “experts”, the film goes about attacking the shroud with logical fallacies.

Guilt by association is a nonstarter. Then, comes a series of attacks on the poltergeist personality of Leonardo Da Vinci. Noting he never mentions “God” in his journals and was a vegetarian and purported homosexual, he would be more than a willing participant to create a fake shroud to delude the public and give the Savoy family more political influence. Hunh? and double hunh?

There are some curios in the hour: but as explicable as any other fallacy, such as the size difference between the height of the man on the front and on the back of the shroud.

DaVinci’s associations with members of the Savoy family and Pope tend to be reason for making a fake shroud on old material through some amazing and undetectable method.

There is the rather fascinating parallel that Da Vinci put his own face on every major work of art, from Mona Lisa to the Last Supper. So, the comparison of the man on the shroud and Leonardo’s self-portrait is amusing.

Chalk this up to another time-passing lack of closure on a barroom betting topic.

DNA in Unlikely Places, like Burial Shroud of Jesus

DATELINE:   Scoffers, Begone!

Jesus dna      Shroud of Turin image

Leave it to the History Channel to come up with a quest with two millennial kids who look like they have been given a banana split at the local ice cream parlor. Nonetheless, The Jesus Strand: A Search for DNA is fascinating.

In all fairness, the researchers are George Busby who is a geneticist from Oxford, and his partner is Pastor Joe Basile, with credentials in Bible Studies. They are young and exuberant.

Together they decide with the upgrade in DNA research to see if there is a strand that identifies Jesus of Nazareth and his bloodline. So, before you can hop and skip over 2000 years, they are finding the DNA results from the Shroud of Turin, and the Sudarium of Oviedo in Spain, both purported to be two cloths mentioned in the New Testament.

The jet-setting research is intriguing, and our boyish scientists only betray their preconceived notions when they reject testing bones from a Jewish ossuary that could be confirmation, or denial of a connection.

Some archeological research is new as well, like the bones found ten years ago that are 2000 years old, testing from the 1st century and called the bones of John the Baptist.

They even look at nails, less likely to maintain DNA and a dead end.

Their startling results show how much can still be learned. The blood, on the two cloths, is from the same man who died in crucifixion. With rare AB bloodtype, most prevalent in Middle Eastern people, the man thought to be Jesus shows a connection to the Druze religious sect that has kept its purity for a thousand years.

Someone in his family intermarried with Druze people, likely his mother’s side. The descendants come down from the unnamed sisters of Jesus in the gospels.

Non-believers may scoff, but still find the result not inconsistent with identifying the man of the shroud. Believers may be more inclined to reject the findings that go against their dogma.

All in all, it is a whirlwind of discovery that makes for what passes for revelations in our cynical age.