REPLY #11 TO
"PSEUDOSCIENCE AND THE PARANORMAL"
are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text
and are prefaced by my initials (MB)
(R) Your arguments relative to the evidence, both spiritual and empirical, that the bread turned to human tissue at Lanciano misses a few beats.
(MB) Oh, how? And, just what is "spiritual evidence"? Articles of religious faith are not exactly what most thinking people would consider to be "evidence" of anything.
(R) It has been proven to be human tissue, cardiac tissue at that. It has been proven to be real blood. Human blood and human tissue.
(MB) No, that has not been proven. It has been *claimed* by one group of relatively unknown people who performed unknown tests almost 30 years ago under unknown conditions and who did not publish their work in any scientific journal. None of the tests have ever been duplicated or verified and no subsequent testing has ever been permitted. On what basis is one to have any confidence in these claims? Remember that a similar group "studied" the Shroud of Turin and claimed to have found real blood (Type AB) -- a claim that has been soundly refuted upon the results of later tests performed and published by real scientists. The group who tested the Lanciano sample claimed that the "blood" was "the same as the blood on the Shroud". Can we trust such a claim in light of what is now known?
(R) It has been under the control of reputable groups for almost 900 years.
(MB) "Reputable groups"? It has been kept (and promoted) in the same church where the purported miracle is said to have taken place back in the 8th century. Let's not forget that other "blood miracle" samples exist in this same area of Italy and all of them which have been competently tested have been shown to be something other that what is claimed for them. The most famous proven fraud may be the "blood of Saint Januarius".
(R) It was not in a sealed flask. It was open to the air. Why has it not decayed after 900 years of certified existence?
(MB) That question can only be answered after a competent examination has been performed on the sample. Why do you think the church will not permit such an examination? Don't you think they would have a lot to gain by an unquestioned scientific proof of the nature of the sample?
(R) Your arguments prove only one thing. For those who do not believe, no proof is sufficient. For those who do believe, no proof is necessary.
(MB) So, are you saying that it is an intellectually superior stance to blindly accept something without proof than to demand extraordinary proofs for extraordinary claims? Is it better to accept something because it sounds good or because it survives examination and questioning?
(R) You can debunk all you want. You'll never find the truth if you don't believe in something other than yourself.
(MB) Facts remain facts whether or not I exist to uncover them, believe them, or debate them. I believe in what stands up to critical examination -- even if I don't personally like the answers I get. There is no better way.