Zwinglius Redivivus

Archive for the ‘pseudo-archaeology’ Category

The Vatican’s Ministry of Misinformation Concerning the Turin Shroud

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Antonio ‘The Leper‘ Lombatti writes

Ne parla in modo giustamente spietato Marco Bella sul Fatto Quotidiano. Pseudoscienza e pseudostoria: che triste realtà. Leggete anche voi. Trovate anche un resoconto del convegno scritto da Sylvie Coyaud. E non dimenticatevi l’articolo di Stefano Milani.

Written by Jim

May 25, 2015 at 16:42

The Nonsense That Will Not Die: Ossuaries in the News

The New York Times writes

… the earth may have yielded new secrets about these disputed antiquities. A Jerusalem-based geologist believes he has established a common bond between them that strengthens the case for their authenticity and importance…. 

 For the last seven years, Dr. Shimron has been studying the chemistry of samples from chalk crust scraped from the underside of the Talpiot ossuaries and, more recently, from the James ossuary. He has also studied samples of soil and rubble from inside the ossuaries. In addition, for comparative purposes he has examined samples from ossuaries from about 15 other tombs. Mr. Jacobovici, who has been documenting the research for another movie, said “the production” financed the lab work.

In the words of Frozen- let it go.  Let it go.  Funding the geology of the ossuary by Simcha is like funding the safety of tobacco safety research by Marlboro.

Written by Jim

April 4, 2015 at 17:44

Oh Give it a Rest, Reading, You Haven’t Found the House Jesus Grew Up In

Antonio Lombatti writes

Alcuni giornalisti hanno scelto questo titolo: Jesus’ House? 1st-Century Structure May Be Where He Grew Up. Dove è addirittura cresciuto! Un titolo che tira. Sicuramente. Ma che non ha nulla da spartire con la ricerca storica. Il giornalista, infatti, parla di un’abitazione del tempo di Gesù a Nazareth, è vero. La datazione della struttura, tuttavia, risale al 2006 ed è opera di Ken Dark dell’Università di Reading. Roba già nota, insomma. Ma con la Pasqua che si avvicina, basta fare un titolo così per avere qualche lettore in più.

So tiresome.

Written by Jim

March 1, 2015 at 21:53

Another Pre-Easter ‘Jesus’ Special… on CNN

I’ll not be watching, since I am taking the year off from the absurd genre of religion/bible tv docu-mockeries.  I only mention it because CNN has this little gem of ick in its ‘money’ section… which, whether they know it or not, is exactly the central concern of all these idiotic specials with their idiotic claims and poor scholarship.


Note too the little sentences at the bottom.  I’ll go ahead and answer them for you – who cares, and nothing.

TV specials around Easter and Christmas are always the most sensationalistic and ridiculous.  This is, no doubt, just the first of many this year.

NB- No, I haven’t seen it.  Yes, I am within my rights to criticize it because I’ve seen enough of these things to know what’s going to happen.  There will be an outlandish claim followed by a talking head from the fringe of scholarship or of the anti-theistic sort followed by a fundamentalist’s opinion followed by another ridiculous claim… etc.  At the end of the day balanced scholarship will be absent.  It’s always absent.  So, yes, I am within my rights to mock not only the individual special but the entire genre.

Written by Jim

February 15, 2015 at 08:11

Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus

Written by Jim

January 19, 2015 at 15:53

Robert Feather and His ‘Discovery’ of the Location of Mt Sinai

I don’t have access to BBC’s ‘Big Questions’ but a friend does and he sent these along.  Francesca’s expressions perfectly mirror those of every thinking person:


Written by Jim

January 18, 2015 at 12:46

Simcha is Still After Jensen: An Update on the Flurry of Lawsuits Lodged by Jacobovici

Simcha really wants to silence anyone who might lift their voice contra his failed scholarship.  His suit against Vanderbilt and Jensen moved forward Tuesday.  Well, against Jensen anyway.  A judge has determined that Vanderbilt isn’t at all involved.

The producers of a archeological documentary have a contract interference claim against a Vanderbilt University professor but not against the university itself, a federal judge ruled.
Associated Producers Ltd. and Simcha Jacobovici sued Vanderbilt and professor Robin Jensen for interfering with their National Geographic contract to produce an “archeological film concerning the burial cave in Jerusalem,” the ruling says.
Jensen agreed to appear in the documentary as an expert on ancient Christian art, but she convinced Nat Geo not to air the film after becoming a panel consultant and being influenced by a “co-conspirator,” the plaintiffs allege.
“The co-conspirator relayed to defendant Jensen ‘a litany of unsubstantiated rumors about [plaintiff] Jacobovici.’ Subsequently, defendant Jensen communicated through e-mails and telephone calls to ‘National Geographic company officials and other National Geographic panel members’ that she had ‘second thoughts’ about the documentary being aired,” the ruling states, citing court documents. “Defendant Jensen also allegedly passed on the rumors to National Geographic officials and panel members. Plaintiffs allege that defendant Jensen used ‘her position with Vanderbilt and her voice as a consultant to National Geographic’ to ‘put [plaintiffs] out of business.'”
Jacobovici and Associated Producers later sold the documentary to the Discovery Channel but they say that the release delay caused them financial harm and that they haven’t work for Nat Geo since Jensen damaged their relationship with the company.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly tossed claims against Vanderbilt on Tuesday but denied Jensen’s motion for dismissal or transfer. The court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the university because it wasn’t involved in the alleged contract interference, she ruled.

And more which do read.  You have to hand it to Simcha, he doesn’t lack the tenacious gene.  Unfortunately (for him anyway) it’s highly doubtful that any respectable scholar will take part in any project he’s involved with.  Why would they.  If they change their mind, he will sue them.  And he will sue them too if they disagree with his conclusions.

Dear Simcha, drop your suits.  Regain a fragment of a reputation.

Written by Jim

December 25, 2014 at 06:10


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