The Scientific Evidence for the Shroud of Turin: With Barrie Schwortz

Scientific Evidence for The Shroud of Turin

What is the scientific evidence for The Shroud of Turin, as it currently stands?

To help me determine this, I’m excited to say that I interviewed Barrie Schwortz on a recent Causes or Cures podcast.  Who is Barrie?

Barrie was the Official Documenting Photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), the team that conducted the first in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud in 1978. Today, he plays an influential role in Shroud research and education as the editor and founder of the internationally recognized Shroud of Turin Website, the oldest, largest and most extensive Shroud resource on the Internet, with more than fifteen million visitors from over 160 countries. In 2009 he founded the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, Inc. (STERA, Inc.), a non-profit  corporation, to which he donated the website and his extensive Shroud photographic collection, as well as many other important Shroud resources, in order to preserve and maintain these materials and make them available for future research and study. He currently serves as the President of STERA, Inc.

Before you listen to the podcast, I want to make a few points. I guess my first point should be defining what The Shroud of Turin is, because not everyone knows. The Shroud of Turin is a cloth that has an image of a man ( a negative image) that some people believe was the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. Of course, others do not believe that. To this day, no one can explain how the image was created. A group of researchers attempted to date the Shroud using Carbon-14 Dating in 1988 and determined that it was from the Middle Ages. As Barrie will explain in the podcast, the result of that particular Carbon-14 Dating is strongly disputed, and for good reasons.

My second point: Barrie is Jewish. he is not Christian (not Catholic), so he doesn’t have a religious bias about The Shroud of Turin. In fact, he originally didn’t want the gig as Official Photographer, because he had no interest in religious matters. Fast forward to now, and he believes The Shroud is authentic, but he believes it is authentic for scientific reasons, not reasons rooted in faith or religion.

Third point: The scientific evidence for The Shroud of Turin was discovered or collected by scientists of all religious affiliations, including scientists who identify as Atheists. It’s important to internalize that, because tons of people immediately “turn off” exploring the evidence base for The Shroud because of its undeniable religious significance. One can explore the mystery of the Shroud by only focussing on the science. Trust me, even from that perspective it is a mind-boggling mystery.

Fourth point: The Shroud is not a painting. That has been proven. When I posted this on Facebook, a few people wrote things like, “It’s a fake! It’s a painting!” That is incorrect. We know it’s not a painting.

Fifth point: Barrie posts research articles that both support the authenticy of The Shroud and articles that do not support its authenticity. He is very unbiased in his approach, which, I have to tell ya, is refreshing. He also lists books that either support or don’t support its authenticity, and you can visit his website and see for yourself.

Okay…that’s it. I’ve received some harsh criticism on my Facebook page for merely posting this interview…which is…odd?  To me, the Shroud is fascinating because it’s a scientific mystery. No one has been able to explain how it happened, even after all these years. That’s pretty darn cool.

That said, take a listen to the podcast and decide for yourself: Is the scientific evidence for The Shroud of Turin strong? Or is it weak? What do YOU think it is? ;)


Click here to listen: The Shroud of Turin with Barrie Schwortz 


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3 Responses to “The Scientific Evidence for the Shroud of Turin: With Barrie Schwortz”

  1. I remember that – 46 years ago – I studied (with a friend of mine, now deceased) the “transfer print” technique and then that textile process (the ink contained on the surface of the paper passed [by sublimation] on polyester [and also on other textile materials]) was interesting because it was possible to obtain good and exact drawings …
    Was the heat coming from the Body of “the Man of the Shroud” so high in order to fix the cadaveric emissions (and aromas ?) on linen sheet (in a similar manner of the transfer print) ?
    I ask because I remember the existence of the “Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” in Rome … and also the hypothesis by Prof. Giulio Fanti about the Holy Fire of Jerusalem (and the Shroud of Turin).
    But there was the presence of the bloodstains, on that linen sheet, and then it seems that the temperature was not so high. Then the particular – and strange – hypothesis is that of a “cold plasma” (see also : the works by Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro and other researchers)…
    Unfortunately, until now, we never saw what is the true effect of a “cold plasma” on cadaveric emissions & aromas…
    What is your idea ?
    See also the strange experiment/artwork =
    A Botticelli’s drawing of the Purgatory (an illustration of Dante’s Divine Comedy) on linen sheet (with the presence of cadaveric amines, myrrh and aloes) by excimer laser print… But the problems to solve seem to be difficult.

    • This is really interesting, Piero! I have read theories on the “heat emitting from the body.” I can’t say I have a theory at the moment… I just appreciate the fact that there is no scientific explanation, currently, that can adequately explain the features on the Shroud. That is remarkable. It is a mystery. – Erin ( Dr. Eeks)

  2. Hilda Pérez Salazar December 22, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Feliz Navidad Barrie, Dios te bendiga. Admiro tu trabajo con el proyecto STURP y con la Sábana Santa en general. Te suplico meditar sobre la posibilidad de organizar un STURP II. Han pasado 44 años desde el estudio de 1978 y la ciencia ha avanzado muchísimo. aprovechando que le Papa Francisco es ingeniero químico y entiende de ciencia tal vez aprobaría un nuevo estudio, no solo de la Sábana en sí sino también de las múltiples muestras de material que están en manos de científicos alrededor del mundo. Si hasta ahora la Sábana sorprende por su autenticidad y misterios científicos imposibles de resolver hoy con más tecnología lo hará aun más. Yo le escribí al NCSI de San Diego para intentar juntar un nuevo grupo como el de ustedes pero no tuve respuesta. Te invito a intentarlo tú. Muchas gracias.

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