The Holy Shroud: One Big Bang and the body was gone
The results of a recent study – completed by Italian scientist, Giuseppe Baldacchini – on the theory of annihilation, are said to prove the authenticity of the Shroud according to the current laws of physics
CWN summary (www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=14816): After studying the Shroud of Turin, the Italian scientist Giuseppe Baldacchini has reached the same conclusion as many others: the theory that it is a medieval forgery requires more leaps of faith than the belief that it is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
Baldacchini theorizes that the image on the Shroud may have been produced by “matter-antimatter annihilation.” For believers, this might indicate the physical process that took place in the Resurrection. For skeptics, it is one more challenge: to explain how medieval forgers might have conspired to fake a process that was utterly unknown to them.
Giuseppe Baldacchini is a physician who has worked for Italian research centre ENEA for a number of years. He is also a passionate scholar of that mysterious object which is the Holy Shroud of Turin and in recent days he has published a book about his findings, which readers can access by clicking on the following link. Of particular interest is a fascinating theory he has come up with to try to respond to a series of questions about how the image on the Shroud was formed and how the body which lay wrapped inside the winding sheet could have disappeared. Baldacchini presents two theories: one, that the Shroud is a medieval fake which is useful in worship rituals and/or religious propaganda in the Catholic Church, like many other relics. And two, that it is the genuine article and really did contain Jesus Christ’s body, making it a witness of his Resurrection.
“The Shroud is an old linen sheet, measuring 4,40×1, 10 sq m, which contains a number of marks including a front and back image of a body (IC) and organic and inorganic liquid stains. Over the past decades it was discovered that the IC is neither a drawing nor a picture created with known techniques. Indeed, some reddish stains were caused by human blood (Antonacci, 2000), (Wilson, 2010). Naturally we cannot yet exclude a fake so let us suppose that the Shroud is a medieval fake created by a brilliant forger who never existed on Earth and remains unknown today (Baldacchini, 2011). The supposed author/authors must have been familiar with some kind of technology or possessed certain information before these were even invented or published.” Baldacchini lists eleven crucial scientific elements which lead him to the conclusion that the Shroud is not a fake. These are too many to list here so we ask you to refer to the original text.
The scholar recalls that “The Shroud contains no traces of putrescent liquids or gases (these marks start to appear about 40 hours after the person’s death, so the body had disappeared from the shroud before then, but not too long before that judging by the blood stains which would have needed some time to form as a result of the liquefaction of the clotted blood, the process of haemolysis),” and that “The body was not removed from the Shroud manually (there are no signs of dragging that correspond with the blood stains).”
So how did the body disappear? Baldacchini’s response is this: “The only phenomenon in Physics that can lead to the complete disappearance of mass, producing an equivalent energy is the process known as matter-antimatter annihilation (AMA). Today, this can only be reproduced on a subatomic level in elementary particle laboratories but was a dominant occurrence straight after the Big Bang. That is, in the first instants of our universe’s existence.” The “annihilation theory” also satisfies the criteria of previous theories: “Indeed, only a small portion of the energy from the dead matter is released, while the body is completely annihilated and reappears almost exactly as it was before even outside the Shroud.” Previous theories are based on radiant energy (MEB) and the idea of the body being mechanically transparent (REB). These were completed by the “Consistent historical method” (CHM) theory. Said theories were all conceived in order to explain the body’s disappearance as it was not mechanically removed from the winding sheet. Therefore, Jesus Christ’s body becomes transparent for the Shroud, which satisfies the MTB theory, whilst releasing a limited amount of radiant energy, a requirement of the REB theory, without the problems presented by the HCM theory.”
Concluding his study, the physician states that: “The AMA theory tells us nothing, except that the body dematerialised inside the Shroud and instantly materialised again somewhere else, either dead or alive. This makes no difference to the laws of Physics as this way they do not contradict the evangelical texts which describe it as resurrected and therefore alive.” They also tally with the chemical and physical characteristics of the Holy Shroud. “I pushed the boundaries of current scientific knowledge but tried to remain within the laws of physics we are familiar with today, mainly the preservation of energy and the non preservation of some parameters that are essential in the elementary processes which form the basis of our universe’s existence,” the scholar concluded.