The Shroud of Turin is one of the most controversial artifacts to have ever been found. The piece of cloth depicts a man's face, hands and legs that many claim to be the body of Jesus Christ. For some, it's proof that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected. For others, it's a dirty piece of cloth that people put too much importance on. While these two sides argue, science continues to search for the truth with one scientist now claiming it's the real deal.
The Tampa Tribune reports that Clearwater Beach resident Dr. Wayne Phillips is now convinced that the Shroud of Turin depicts the face of Jesus Christ. While Dr. Phillips is a Catholic, he says that his conclusion comes from hard science instead of faith. To illustrate this, he travels the country giving lectures on the science that proves the shroud is real.
So, what is some of the science that Dr. Phillips cites to prove the shroud is real? For starters, he says the carbon dating method used in 1988 that pegged the shroud's age at 600 years has been refuted time and time again. He also points to research conducted by Shroud of Turin Research Project in 1978 that proved it's not a painting. Perhaps the most compelling evidence for the shroud and the resurrection is that research has shown the body under the shroud to have dematerialized. In other words, whoever was buried under the shroud wasn't moved, but rather simply vanished.
If you want to know more, you can watch one of the talks Phillips gave at his alma mater:
Dr. Phillips isn't the only academic putting a lot of time into studying the shroud. The Richmond Times Dispatch did a feature story on the local Shroud of Turin Center in Richmond, Virginia. The research center and museum has been a part of the city's Mary Mother of the Church Abbey since 1997 and has sought to educate the public on the shroud and it's importance. It's just one of many shroud centers in the United States. You can see a full list of centers here.
While visiting a center can give you all the information you need on the shroud itself, it still can't replicate seeing the real thing. For that, you'll have to travel to Turin, Italy where the shroud is displayed to the public every few years. The last showing was in 2010 while the next will be in 2015. Many U.S.-based shroud centers hold pilgrimages to Turin when the shroud is going to be displayed. The faithful and the curious may want to go with them if they have any desire to see it.
Image via Wikimedia Commons