Shroud of Turin debate between Dale and Jordan

Shroud of Turin debate between Dale at RealSeekers and Jordan at Reason to Doubt on the Shroud of Turin hosted by FaithUnaltered.

The Shroud of Turin: Fake or Miracle? || Debate w/ Dale of Real Seekers

I’ll start off by saying I was impressed with the civility of this debate. Both Dale and Jordan are quite knowledgeable about the TS. Dale is extremely well versed in the shroud and Jordan has also done a lot of research. Both are genuinely after truth and are respectful in their discourse. Jordan can be a bit facetious at times, but doesn’t get to the point of personal attacks.

Dale opens with three points: the shroud does not have a medieval date, the Sudarium of Oviedo supports the TS, and the 1988 C-14 dating.

I don’t really understand Dale’s tactic of using the Sudarium of Oviedo as evidence for the shroud. Though the sudarium is interesting, the sudarium doesn’t even come close with the amount of scientific evidence compared to the shroud. Why use inferior evidence to support something that itself has superior evidence?

The only evidence Jordan uses to argue for the shroud being medieval is the 1988 C-14 dating. Though he agrees there’s a systemic bias in the data, he proposes there was contamination because of different cleaning methods to account for the irregularities. Dale argues the explanation is Bob Rucker’s neutron radiation theory. They don’t even consider other options, like the invisible reweave theory.

Even though there are other evidence that point to first century origin, Jordan hand waves them all off.

Jordan: What I’ll say about these is that while you can have 16 or 24 or 100 different methods, what matters is how strong these methods are and I don’t find those other methods convincing. I mean so it’s a difference in magnitude. I think we have one extremely convincing piece of evidence that is more than all of these others which I don’t particularly find very persuasive.

They both seem to be reticent on making a firm claim on their position.

Jordan: What you’re saying is that I as a skeptic must must assert that the Shroud is is Medieval and is not a miracle.

Dale: Yeah I mean if if there’s something to talk about like if you don’t if you don’t think that’s a claim on your part.

Then Jordan tries to make Dale make a firm claim.

Jordan: The only reason we’re talking about this at all is … you think it’s authentic burial shroud of Jesus.

Dale: To me the most important thing about the Shroud is that we can prove those images are probably miraculous of a miraculous nature so I focus on the scientific physical and chemical properties what I call these minimal relevant features. I could care less whether it’s medieval or belong to Jesus.

Jordan: This feels a little bit like a Motte and Bailey defense. Like you’ve got the bigger claim that it is Jesus authentic burial of shroud miraculous thing with the resurrection. But that is too hard to defend so we’re going to retreat back into our castle on the Motte over there and we’re gonna oh well it’s not actually authentic it’s not actually first century. The Skeptics all gone? Awesome and then they just rush back out now it’s first century again. Like the position you hold is at its first century so defend it.

Dale: I do right in my shows. But to me uh I don’t think we have to defend uh some like it’s sufficient if I can prove that it’s a miracle.

I’d completely disagree with Dale’s tactic here. There is no way anybody can prove a miracle. And Rucker’s theory, as Jordan points out, has not been confirmed by evidence supporting his prediction.

And why avoid defending the position that it’s first century? If he has done it on his show, then he should argue for it here.

Dale: If I can convince you with my argumentation that you are convinced yeah this thing is a miracle of God to authenticate Christianity that’s the most important thing who cares if it actually covered Jesus.

This is a very strange statement of “who cares if it actually covered Jesus” from an authenticist.

Jordan: I think if I’m gonna say it’s not first century then that is something I should be able to demonstrate, but if you want to say it’s a miracle that’s on you.

Yes, I agree the burden to support a position is to defend their position, not simply attack the other’s position.

I completely agree with what Jordan says at the end about skepticism.

I think that skepticism is super important I think that the world would be a better place if people are more skeptical and just basically required evidence for claims.

Question from the chat:

Otangelo Grasso: How did the artist make this image?

I’m not committed to the artist hypothesis I mean it might be true it might not be um I don’t know how the image was made.

I think this would be an example of a Motte and Bailey defense. The claim that is hard to support is someone around 1350 created the shroud, so skeptics retreat from this and the motte they go to is the C-14 dating, even though they admit the data is biased.