It's nonsense. But it's still news?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Mar 24, 2005

    He's an English teacher, with no scientific credentials at all.

  • He has a theory about how the image appeared on the Shroud of Turin. This theory is not based on studying the Shroud-- he hasn't done that-- but on his own background doodling.
  • A scientist who has studied the Shroud dismissed the theory immediately, citing real scientific evidence.
  • And yet the homemade theory-- already disproven-- was given prominent attention on a national television news broadcast.

Based on that information, can you guess whether the English teacher's theory was an attempt to prove or disprove the authenticity of the Shroud?

No fair peeking until you've given your own answer.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Mar. 25, 2005 7:27 PM ET USA

    Cantor, it's not only evangelical Protestants who disdain "adoration" of the shroud. I count myself a Catholic (or, trying hard to be one) and a conservative one at that, and I adore only God. I don't know whether the shroud of Turin is what many Catholics believe it to be or not, but even if it is, I do not adore it. Even if it touched God (and I have my doubts) it is not God, and to Him alone is due adoration.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2005 12:03 AM ET USA

    I shouldn't worry terribly about this guy..simply another evangelical trying to prove that the Catholics are wrong in their adoration of the shroud, too superstitious by half, I suppose. Nor is national coverage by the press so difficult to understand...anti-Catholicism is still the last permissible prejudice available to the American liberal.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2005 7:36 PM ET USA

    Nathan says, "A lot of religious people are upset." Must be the parents who've just realized they're paying for a consiracy theorist being inflicted on their kids; the rest of us are just saying "What???". I did give him the courtesy of reading his theory at , at least until credibility was just too strained to go on. It's not just that he suffers from false authority syndrom; the kid (he's only 26) quite frankly has a lot to learn.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Mar. 24, 2005 6:06 PM ET USA

    As somebody who spent 45+ years in the news business, I recognize the temptation to use any "news" story that comes along. In my first decade or so, I would have used this. But in the last 25 or 30 years, I would have asked the same questions Phil did---before I ran it, and it would not have run. Having nothing to do with whether it was about the shroud. Regardless of the subject, if it had these bona fides (or lack thereof) it would have been, as we used to say, s--- canned.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2005 2:09 PM ET USA

    . . . it involved some "real wicked people", eh? And this man is an English teacher??

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2005 11:15 AM ET USA

    Of course, it disproves the authenticity. But, after Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. science fiction is so much easier to understand. Proof or demonstration is not required, there is no math or equations to deal with, and there are vortices and ion drives to accomplish anything and everything, and it is so much easier.