Wednesday, August 7, 2013


This article tumbled across my desk: "Archaeologists: We found piece of Jesus' cross"

*Poof* I am now a Christian.

Let's see what the stunning new evidence is, shall we?

Emphasis mine:
Archaeologists working at an ancient church in Turkey think they've unearthed a piece of the world's most famous cross, the one used to crucify Jesus.
They found a stone chest during excavation at a 1,350-year-old church, and the chest had a number of relics inside believed to be associated with the crucifixion, a historian at Turkey's Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts tells the Hurriyet Daily News.
"We have found a holy thing in a chest," she says. "It is a piece of a cross," and they think it's from the cross.
Oh wait... so we went from "We found a piece of Jesus's cross" to "we found a chest with things that are typically related to crucifixions, and one chunk we just decided might be from Jesus's cross for no apparent reason."

So, if I "find" a piece of metal, and start going around telling people that I think I found a piece of an alien spaceship, I can get a USA TODAY article too?

... or is this stunning piece of journalism missing some key information?
The entire chest is now undergoing lab tests, reports NBC News. Researchers aren't sure who owned the chest, but it was probably a religious person of some importance, and that person apparently believed the cross relic was the real deal.
Errr... okay, so, let's update the story summary.

"We found a chest with things that are usually related to crucifixions, and there's this one chunk that apparently the probably-religious maybe-important owner of the chest might have thought was a part of Jesus's cross"

... and I know a guy who has a daughter, whose friend's dad is the owner of a big engineering company, who thought my piece of metal might possibly be from an alien spacecraft.
The lab tests should shed some light on the possibility, though NBC adds a little context courtesy of theologian John Calvin. He once joked that if all the supposed pieces of the cross in the world were collected in one place, "they would make a big shipload."
Uh... thanks Mr. Journalist. That wraps up the whole case into one tidy bow.

What magical "tests" are they doing that would confirm... what exactly? What kind of test could confirm that it was from Jesus' cross? Do they realize there were many regular crucifixions of the time? They didn't all use the same cross.

*un-Poof* I'm an atheist again. That was disappointing.

It's nice to see theistic archaeology in action... which, unsurprisingly, appears to be anecdotal in nature.

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