Introduction. This is the thirteenth installment of part #10 of my concluding summary of the evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), aided by German hacker Karl Koch (1965–89), on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. Previous posts in this series were parts: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9. In this part
[Right: Book by a Jewish Rabbi defending Pope Pius XII (1876–1958) against the KGB's conspiracy to undermine the Roman Catholic Church's moral authority in Europe by smearing Pope Pius XII as a Nazi sympathiser during WWII, when the opposite was the case.]
#10 I will respond to objections to my theory, actual and anticipated. It is my emphasis below unless otherwise indicated.
• Circumstantial evidence. I am not aware that anyone has actually made this criticism of my theory (although I have mentioned it myself-see below), so this is my response to an anticipated criticism of it.
According to Wikipedia, circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence, relying on inference:
"Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact — like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly — i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference."Absent a confession or a statement by someone involved in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud (e.g. a scientist in one of the three laboratories), or in its hacking (e.g. a KGB agent), that the dating was the result of a computer hacking; or the discovery of direct evidence of the hacking (e.g. Linick' program still on one of the three laboratories' old AMS computers or backup tapes), my theory will remain circumstantial.
"... Although I don't yet have a `smoking gun' clue that PROVES: 1) that the 3 labs were hacked; 2) that Linick was a hackers; and 3) that Koch was the other hacker involved in the C14 dating. I am in the position that a police detective would be in the early stage of a crime investigation. I have a lot of circumstantial evidence that points to a crime having been committed and I have two suspects. But unlike a detective I have no authority or ability to further investigate the crime by visiting the crime scenes and asking questions of those who would be in a position to know more information that would either confirm or refute my suspicions."[08May14]Wikipedia continues:
"Even though my theory at this early stage is entirely circumstantial, lacking as yet a `smoking gun' ..."[13Jun14]
"On its own, circumstantial evidence allows for more than one explanation. Different pieces of circumstantial evidence may be required, so that each corroborates the conclusions drawn from the others. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more likely once alternative explanations have been ruled out."In my posts in this series I have posted many different pieces of evidence which support my theory. And I have reviewed all other pro-authenticity explanations that I am aware of, and ruled them out (see "Conventional explanations of the discrepancy all fail." That the anti-authenticity explanations which I am aware of all fail is the subject of this series. That leaves my theory more likely to be true.
• Conspiracy theory. This was Dan Porter's favourite (indeed from memory the only) objection to my theory that Porter made (Google: "Shroud Jones conspiracy theory" without the quotes). But, as we shall see, this was just another "ad hominem personal attack" by Porter, who by his own admission, was not interested in the truth about the Shroud, whether it was authentic or not:
"... I am not a pro-authenticists or an anti-authenticists [sic]; never have been and I hope I never will be"but rather sought to maximise readers of his blog by avoiding closure of any issue:
"At first I didn't do blogging correctly and this blog didn't catch on. Eventually, I learned to say less and encouraged others to become the center of the discussion ... In doing so I created an opportunity to learn a lot from skeptics and non-skeptics alike ... This blog has exceeded all my expectations. Lately, I have been posting almost every day, sometimes two or three times a day. Comments pour in."• What is a "conspiracy theory"? Wikipedia defines "conspiracy theory" as:
"A conspiracy theory is a belief that a secret conspiracy has actually been decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome which the theorists strongly disapprove of. The conspiracy theory typically identifies the conspirators, provides evidence that supposedly links them together with an evil plan to harm the body politic, and may also point to a supposed cover up by authorities or media who should have stopped the conspiracy. The duty of the theorist is to pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions and reassemble them to form a picture of the conspiracy, as in a jigsaw puzzle. A theorist may publicly identify specific conspirators, and if they deny the allegations that is evidence they have been sworn to secrecy and are probably guilty ... The term conspiracy theory has derogatory connotations, suggesting explanations that invoke conspiracies without warrant, often producing imaginary hypotheses that are not true." (footnotes omitted)• My theory is not a "conspiracy theory" according to Wikipedia's definition.
"The conspiracy theory typically identifies the conspirators" First, as I have pointed out many times, at its most basic, my theory does not involve "conspirators" (plural), since "Linick could have acted alone":
"Koch is not essential to my theory [nor is the KGB] that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, as Linick could have acted alone."[03Jun15, 30Jun15]"... a belief that a secret conspiracy has actually been decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome which the theorists strongly disapprove of. This is the only part of Wikipedia definition of "conspiracy theory" which applies to my theory, at its most complex. My theory, at its most complex, does maintain that there was "a secret conspiracy" between Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick and the KGB, and between the KGB and Karl Koch, and possibly, but not necessarily, between all three (I don't claim that Linick knew Koch, or about Koch, or vice-versa [21Jul14, 17May15, 30Jun15, 02Jun16], but they may have[03Sep14]). And my theory, at its most complex, does maintain that this conspiracy was "decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome," namely the radiocarbon dating as late 13th-early 14th century the authentic, first century Shroud of Turin. And as one who is "persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ and bears His crucified and resurrected image" it is definitely something which I "strongly disapprove of"!
"...Karl Koch is not essential to my theory, [nor is the KGB] as Linick could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's AMS computer[s] some other way, e.g. by issuing them with a program `update' ..."[13Jun14, 31May15, 02Jun16]
"If it turned out that Koch could not possibly have been involved, either directly or indirectly, in installing Linick's program on Zurich and Oxford laboratories' AMS control console computers, then my theory would not be falsified. In that case I would have to maintain that Linick's program was installed on those laboratories' computers by some other way. For example, Linick himself could have flown over to Zurich and Oxford, installed his program clandestinely on their computers, and returned to Arizona, in a few days. This is why my theory always has been `that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, (singular)."[21Jul14, 17May15, 31May15]
"... and may also point to a supposed cover up by authorities or media who should have stopped the conspiracy." I do claim that there was a cover-up, although I don't use that term, by the KGB in murdering Linick and Koch to silence them[03Sep14, 26Oct14, 13Dec14, 17May15, 30Jun15, 22Feb16, 07Mar16, 02Jun16]. I do not claim that there originally was a cover-up by the three laboratories because they would have been unaware of Linick's alleged hacking. However, following Linick's suicide it may be that the laboratories became aware of, or suspected, Linick's alleged hacking[05Jul14, 27Apr15, 29Mar16], and if so then they would then have been involved in a cover-up by not publicly admitting it. The unusually prompt reply of Arizona's Prof. Jull and Oxford's Prof. Ramsey to my mere anonymous blogger's comments and/or posts sent to them by Hugh Farey[13Mar14, 05Jul14, 27Apr15, 29Mar16], coupled with their strange defensiveness and Ramsey's outright falsehoods, has made me suspect that they are hiding something[05Jul14, 27Apr15, 29Mar16], when I didn't originally.
"... pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions and reassemble them to form a picture of the conspiracy, as in a jigsaw puzzle." This is not true of my theory. I did not "pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions" and "reassemble them ... as in a jigsaw puzzle." I simply reasoned straightforwardly that: 1) Since the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic [18Feb14, 07Mar14, 24May14, 02Dec14, 23Jul15]. 2) Therefore the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" was wrong[24May14, 03Jun14]. 3) But the improbability that the Shroud being 1st century has a radiocarbon date of 13th-14th century is "astronomical"[24May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 4) The midpoint of 1260-1390 is 1325 ±65 years, which is only ~30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in c.1355[18Feb14, 07Mar14, 24May14, 02Dec14, 23Jul15]. 5) The very first radiocarbon date of the Shroud at Arizona was the `perfect' "1350"[22Feb14, 07Mar14, 08Jun14, 30Jan15, 22Sep15]. 6) Fraud of some kind is the only plausible explanation[20Feb14, 30May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 7) Accusations of conventional fraud (e.g. sample-switching) fail [30May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 8) Computer hacking was a type of fraud prevalent in the 1980s and to which the fully computerised AMS radiocarbon dating process was especially vulnerable. [22Feb14, 11May14, 30May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 9) Timothy W. Linick was allegedly the leaker of Arizona's "1350" date of the Shroud to David Sox, who leaked it to the media[24Jun14, 05Jul14, 05Mar15, 31Mar15, 30Dec15, 22Feb16]. 10) Linick was allegedly the hacker whose program substituted the Shroud's radiocarbon dates on Arizona, Zurich and Oxford's AMS computers, with bogus dates which averaged 1260-1390 = 1325 ± 65[24May14, 03Jun14, 05Jul14, 31Mar15, 22Feb16, 29Mar16]. Note that up to this point 10 there is no conspiracy, i.e. "by two or more persons":
"conspiracy .... 1. the act of conspiring. 2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot. 3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: ... 4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act. 5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result"11) Karl Koch, a German hacker who had confessed to hacking for the KGB, allegedly installed Linick's program on Zurich's and Oxford's AMS computers[03Jun14, 21Jul14, 13Dec14, 17May15, 02Jun16]. 12) German police on 3 June 1989 publicly identified as Koch's a burnt body, which had been murdered but made to look like suicide, presumably by the KGB[05Jul14, 31Mar15, 17May15, 22Feb16, 02Jun16]. 13) One day later, on 4 June 1989[17May15, 30Jun15, 02Jun16], Timothy Linick's body was found dead from gunshot[22Feb16, 07Mar16], in Tucson, Arizona[05Jul14, 03Sep14, 31Mar15, 22Feb16]. As with Koch, Linick's death was presumed to be suicide[30Dec15, 19Jan16, 22Feb16, 07Mar16], and as with Koch[21Jul14, 17May15] there was no suicide note[22Feb16, 07Mar16].
To be continued in the fourteenth installment of this part #10 of this series.
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E., 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 30 August 2016. [return]
5. Dalin, D.G., 2005, "The Myth of Hitler's Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany," Regnery History: Washington, DC. [return]
6. "KGB intent on linking Pius XII with Nazis, says former spy," Catholic News Agency, January 26, 2007. [return]
7. "Circumstantial evidence," Wikipedia, 21 August 2016. [return]
8. Ibid. [return]
9. Jones, S.E., 2014, "Of Pro-Authenticists and Anti-Authenticists: My response to Dan Porter," The Shroud of Turin blog, April 25. [return]
10. Porter, D., 2015, "Thank You, Everyone," Shroud of Turin Blog, December 15. [return]
11. "Conspiracy theory," Wikipedia, 8 September 2016. [return]
12. "conspiracy," Dictionary.com Unabridged, Based on the Random House Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2016. [return]
Posted: 15 September 2016. Updated: 27 September 2016.