Two weeks ago I happened upon a TV program called "The Fabric of Time," about the scientific implications of the Shroud, the authenticity of which is now undisputed by myriads of experts, a fact of which I wasn't aware. I tracked down the DVD on amazon.com and purchased it. I wanted to study this carefully. Whether or not the Shroud was the real thing was never important to me until now, because what I learned gives me a new and deeper appreciation for the cosmic implications of Christ's death and resurrection.
The reason it's important now is because of the unprecedented implications of its authenticity for quantum mechanics. The experts are saying that what happened in that tomb represents an 'event horizon' - the singularity (intelligence explosion) that Einstein and others have endlessly searched for. It turns science upside down. In the simplest of terms, an event horizon is a boundary beyond which events are unobservable.
Unlike anything ever seen before, the image of the body lies on the top layer of the linen threads; it is not absorbed into the fibers. This means that the universe does not work in the way we have always thought. A scientific level of authenticity of the Shroud now exists beyond question. But it raises many new questions. Does the image itself contain information? Why has this just now been discovered - or withheld from mankind - for 2,000 years? Do answers lie, not in the fabric, but within the image itself?
It is the nature of the image (not the fact that there is an image) which is so profound. The fibers are 1/10 the size of human hair. The image elements are randomly distributed like dots in a news or magazine photo. To do this you would need an incredibly accurate atomic laser; this technology does not exist.
An early indicator that the Shroud might have highly significant implications was when the first pictures were taken of it. What would normally show up as a positive image came out as a negative - and vice versa. This does not happen when you develop film. Since the positive and negatives were reversed, this was what made the picture show up in such great detail.
Dr. Robert Bucklin, former coroner and pathologist of Los Angeles County, studied the cloth and gave his professional opinion: "This is the image of a 5'11" male, 170 pounds, who died a violent death. The body has puncture wounds, stab wounds, wounds in the wrists consistent with a crucifixion. There are over 100 scourge/whip marks, a puncture of the chest cavity consistent with a lance or spear wound which goes through the thoracic cavity and into the heart. There are signs of an abrasion on one knee consistent with a fall. A large nail or spike was driven through both feet. That the subject died of asphyxia and cardiopulmonary failure, is clear cut."
The Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) findings included: "The actual image was created by a phenomenon as yet unknown, or a momentous event that caused a rapid cellulose degradation (dying) of the linen fibers; that is, an accelerated dehydration and oxidation of the very top linen fibrils of the cellulose fibers of the Shroud, thereby creating a sepia or straw-yellow colored image similar to that of a scorch." The image was affected by something that affected only the very top of the fibrils that make up the fibers. The image could have only been formed by some sort of burst of radiation, but the fact is, nothing like it has ever been found or reproduced. That is only the beginning of the astounding information gleaned.
Dame Isabel Piczek, a particle physicist and artist, believes the Shroud has brought science to a whole new understanding of physics. When dealing with the position of the body she discovered one of those mysterious properties that cannot be - yet somehow is: an interface that divides the image transport into 2 hermetically separate, yet simultaneous, actions and forces causing the Shroud to be taut and parallel on both sides, creating a true event horizon.
In general relativity there are certain things we call black holes. The surface of a black hole is called an event horizon, because right at that surface the laws of physics seem to change character drastically. Piczek says, "When you look at the image of the Shroud - the 2 images [front and back] next to each other, you feel that it is a flat image. But .... there is a strange dividing element...from which the body image is projected up, and the image is projected down. The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. It means that the body is hovering between the two sides [top and bottom] of the Shroud."
She continues: "What does that mean? That there is absolutely no gravity. Other strange things you discover - the image is absolutely undistorted. Now if you imagine the cloth was tied, wrinkled, wrapped around the body, and all of a sudden you see a perfect image - which is impossible....Everybody thinks that the tomb signifies death. Not at all ... the exact opposite. The Shroud and the tomb signifies an unbelievable beginning, because in the depth of the collapsed event horizon there is something which science knows as 'singularity.' This is exactly what started the universe. We have nothing less in the tomb of Christ than the beginning of a new universe." This is resurrection in its truest sense. This is the starting base for the new physics.
A group of physicists recently made a startling discovery. Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 4 astronaut, said: "Scientists have generally concentrated on the particle aspect, not the information aspect of science. It's only been with the hologram that we've moved information up to a par of importance with energy itself, so that we know the universe exists because of its physicality, but understood because of its information. This is a powerful new concept. All physical bodies have such a holographic emission that is available non-locally at all times, meaning throughout the universe."
He is saying that the event horizon from the Shroud image sent information instantaneously throughout the universe! Does this mean that the Resurrection was a universal event? I think so! On a par with creation.
Some scientists believe the characteristics of the Shroud image, such as 3-dimensional information from a 2-dimensional photo; the negative reversal aspect of the image; and the fact that the image is virtually free of distortion as it appears on the cloth, are basically holographic. Mitchell: "The quantum hologram is merely a method of describing the total emissions from an object, very much like looking at your fingertip. One of the little swirls doesn't tell you very much, but if you look at the swirls on all ten, all at once, that's your 'fingerprint.' It uniquely defines you, identifies you. It's the same with a quantum hologram. The emissions from a physical object, when studied as a whole, uniquely identifies events and history of that object."
Could it be that events in the history of the Shroud are still there for us to discover, decipher and understand? If the essence of physical law is informational, perhaps the image has given us not only a record of the Resurrection, but a description of Creation as well? Could it be, that instead of science proving the Shroud as authentic, that the image is proving the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of science? In the quest for scientific authenticity, if the miraculous meaning of the Shroud were rediscovered, what would it mean to the world? Christ, at the time of his Resurrection in the 1st Century, and at the same time squarely at the center of a 21st Century scientific paradigm that suggests a new understanding of our places in the universe and how it all began?
The original 1931 photographs of the Shroud were digitized and taken to a science lab in Amsterdam by Dr. Soons. Normally you don't make a holograph of a photo, and the lab was skeptical ... until they found through experimentation that they could make a hologram. No other 2-dimensional in history has been shown to contain 3-D holographic information. The lab found a number of new things, including an amulet with Hebrew letters spelling "Abba, Father." This showed that this 3-D information could be found at differing depths. There was much more.
Is the Shroud itself (the fibers) a hologram? If so, you could activate it and see the entire body three dimensionally. Testing is still being done. It may be possible to develop an entire undiminished hologram from a very small area of the Shroud, which would provide the skeptical world with proof of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In my mind, all of this is no accident. This is coming directly from God at a particular time, an appointed time, in human history. It is a message of truth brought to life - perhaps one more final act of mercy and grace to give every person yet another chance. How like him.
As for me, I don't need proof. I can confidently say, along with Job: "For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:" Job 19:25.
Imagine what eternity will be like :-)