Frank Tipler, "The Omega Point and Christianity", on the website of the Stichting Teilhard de Chardin--Nederland; note that the version below corrects character formatting errors of the version available here, here and here. First part published in Dutch in the Stichting's journal as Frank J. Tipler, "Het Punt Omega en het christendom--1", Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Apr. 2003), pp. 14-23 (PDF); (HTML: here and here); ISSN 1570-0089.

The Omega Point and Christianity

Frank Tipler

Bonting's depiction of my Omega Point Theory (OPT) is so inaccurate that I shall not reply to his "criticisms" directly (since these criticisms do not apply to my theory). I shall instead outline my actual Omega Point Theory--a theory of the future of the universe--and then address Pannenberg's valid objection that the OPT, in the form published in my book The Physics of Immortality [1] has no Christology. For reasons I describe at length in my book, I identify the singularity of spacetime with God. I shall show in this paper that this singularity actually has a Trinitarian structure, and that this structure is innate to the mathematics of the OPT, but I did not realize this in 1993 when I completed the manuscript to my book. I shall argue below that the central miracles of Christianity--the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Virgin Birth--are completely consistent with known physical law. Furthermore, once we see how the Son (who is required by physics to be the Second Person of the Trinity) did these miracles, we will see that indeed He came into the world to save it. I shall outline how to test experimentally whether these miracles in fact occurred; I shall, in other words, show how to confirm Christianity experimentally.

My Omega Point Theory is an automatic consequence of the laws of physics, specifically quantum mechanics, general relativity, the Standard Model of particle physics, and most importantly, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I shall show that the mutual consistency of these laws requires three things. First, the universe must be closed (the universe's spatial topology must be a three-sphere). Second, life must survive to the very end of time. Third, the knowledge possessed by life must increase to infinity as the end of time is approached. I do not assume life survives to the end of time. Life's survival follows from the laws of physics. If the laws of physics be for us, who can be against us?

But before I prove that the laws of physics require life to survive, let me first show that it is possible for life to survive. To survive for infinite experiential time, life requires an unlimited supply of energy. That is, the supply of available energy must diverge to infinity as the end of time is approached. Nevertheless, conservation of energy requires the total energy of the universe to be constant. In fact, Roger Penrose has shown that the total energy of any closed universe is ZERO! The total energy is zero now, was zero in the past, and will be zero at all times in the future. One might wonder how this is possible. After all, we are now receiving energy from the Sun, we are using food energy as we read this, and we can extract energy from coal, oil, and uranium. Energy, in other words, seems to be non-zero.

However, the forms of energy just listed are not all the forms of energy in the universe. There is also gravitational energy, which is negative. So if we were to add all the positive forms of energy--radiant energy, the stored energy in coal, oil, and uranium, and most importantly, the mass-energy of matter--to the negative gravitational energy, the sum is zero. This means that if we can make the gravitational energy even more negative, the positive energy, that is, the energy available for life, necessarily increases, even though the total energy in the universe stays zero. The key property of energy that must always be kept in mind is that it transforms from one form to another. The Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman has emphasized this in ([2], pp. 270-271). Once we realize that gravitational energy can transformed into available energy, we understand where life can obtain the unlimited source of available energy it needs for survival: life must make the total gravitational energy approach minus infinity.

Life can do this only if the universe is closed, and collapses to zero size as the end of time is approached. Conversely, if the universe is closed and collapses to zero size, then the total gravitational energy goes to minus infinity, since the gravitational energy of a system is inversely proportional the size of the system. I have shown in my book [1] that life can in fact extract unlimited available energy from the collapse of the universe.

Now let me outline the proof of my three claims above. I can give here only a bare outline. For complete details, the reader is referred to my book [1], and to papers ([3], [4], [5]) on the lanl database (available over the Internet at Black holes exist, but Hawking proved that were black holes to evaporate completely--as they necessarily would if the universe were to expand forever--the black holes would violate unitarity, a fundamental law of quantum mechanics. Hence the universe must eventually stop expanding, collapse, and end in a final singularity. If this final singularity were to be accompanied by event horizons, then the Bekenstein Bound (another law of quantum mechanics, basically the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle expressed in the language of information theory) would have the following effect. It would force all the microstate information in the universe to go to zero as the universe approaches the final singularity. But the microstate information going to zero would imply that the entropy of the universe would have to go to zero, and this would contradict the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. But if event horizons do not exist, then the Bekenstein Bound allows the information in the microstates to diverge to infinity as the final singularity is approached. Conversely, ONLY if event horizons do not exist can quantum mechanics (the Bekenstein Bound) be consistent with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Therefore, event horizons cannot exist, and by Seifert's Theorem (see [1], p. 435) the non-existence of event horizons requires the universe to be spatially closed. In Penrose's c-boundary construction [6], a singularity without event horizons is a single point. I call such a final singularity the OMEGA POINT.

But if the universe were to evolve into the final singularity without life being present to guide its evolution, then the non-existence of event horizons would mean that the universe would be evolving into an infinitely improbable state. Such an evolution would contradict the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which requires the universe to evolve from less probable to more probable states. On the other hand, if life is present guiding the evolution of the universe into the final singularity, then the absence of event horizons is actually the MOST probable state, because the absence of event horizons is exactly what life requires in order to survive (details in my book [1]). In other words, the validity of the Second Law of Thermodynamics REQUIRES life to be present all the way into the final singularity, and further, the Second Law requires life to guide the universe in such a way as to eliminate the event horizons. Life is the only process consistent with known physical law capable of eliminating event horizons without the universe evolving into an infinitely improbable state. Exactly how life eliminates the event horizons is described in my book [1]. Roughly speaking, life nudges the universe so as to allow light to circumnavigate the universe first in one direction, and then another. This is done repeatedly, an infinite number of times. There are thus an INFINITE number of circumnavigations of light before the Omega Point is reached. If we were to regard a single circumnavigation as a single tick of the "light clock" there would be an infinite amount of such time between now and the Omega Point. An even more physical time would be the number of experiences which life has between now and the Omega Point. This "experiential time"--the time experienced by life in the far future--is the most appropriate physical time to use near the Omega Point. It is far more appropriate than the human based "proper time" we now use in our clocks. As we shall see, experiential time is infinite.

If life is to guide the entire universe, it must be co-extensive with the entire universe. We can say that life must have become OMNIPRESENT in the universe by the end of time. But the very act of guiding the universe to eliminate event horizons--an infinite number of nudges--causes the entropy and hence the complexity of the universe to increase without limit. Therefore, if life is to continue guiding the universe--which it must, if the laws of physics are to remain consistent--then the knowledge of the universe possessed by life must also increase without limit, becoming both perfect and infinite at the final singularity. Life must become OMNISCIENT at the final singularity. The collapse of the universe will have provided available energy, which goes to infinity as the final singularity is approached, and this available energy will have become entirely under life's control. The rate of use of this available energy--power--will diverge to infinity as the final singularity is approached. In other words, life at the final singularity will have become OMNIPOTENT. The final singularity is not in time but outside of time. On the boundary of space and time, as described in detail by Hawking and Ellis [6]. So we can say that the final singularity--the Omega Point--is TRANSCENDENT to space, time and matter.

So the laws of physics have forced us to conclude that life at the end of time--life at the Final Singularity--is Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Transcendent to space and time. So I identify the Final Singularity--the Ultimate Future of reality--with God (the Father). Recall with Pannenberg that the Ultimate Future is what God Himself claims to be in His self-description to Moses in Exodus 3:14: "I SHALL BE WHAT I SHALL BE." God ought to know what He is. Physics is saying the same thing.

Notice that, contrary to Bonting, physics can describe the existence and properties of an Entity that is not material--a Singularity--and which is outside of space and time. The mathematical techniques for describing such an Entity were developed by Hawking and Penrose [6] nearly 40 years ago. Science is not restricted merely to describing only what happens inside the material universe, any more than science is restricted to describing events below the orbit of the Moon, as claimed by the opponents of Galileo. Like Galileo, I am convinced that the only scientific approach is to assume that the laws of terrestrial physics hold everywhere and without exception--unless and until an experiment shows that these laws have a limited range of application. The laws of physics demand that singularities exist, and this is true even in standard quantum gravity. Therefore, the laws of physics require an Entity--a Singularity--exists to which the laws of physics do not apply, even though these laws predict the Singularity's existence.

I show in my book [1] that the Bekenstein Bound constrains the complexity of the universe to be finite at any time (though its complexity increases without limit as the Omega Point is approached). Therefore, the computers of the far future, which have arbitrarily large memory, can emulate down to the quantum state anyone who has ever existed, and allow them to live forever (in experiential time) happily in the emulated universe in the far future. This can be accomplished with a tiny fraction of the resources available to life in the far future. I show in my book [1] why life in the far future would in fact resurrect us and let us live in paradise, as described in the Bible.

Remarkably, Bonting's "heaven" is identical to my own, except his "heaven" exists in some other reality. This is the Gnostic heresy. The orthodox Christian view is that nothing exists but God and the world created by Him. Both God and His creation, as I have shown above, are capable of being understood in outline (though not in detail, since the Omega Point is infinite and we humans are finite).

But the laws of terrestrial physics show that there are worlds invisible to us (as asserted by the Nicene Creed). I refer to the other universes of the multiverse, whose existence is required by quantum mechanics. These other universes are usually considered to be a consequence of the "Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics," but this phrase is misleading, because it suggests that there may be other interpretations of quantum mechanics. This is not so. THERE IS NO OTHER INTERPRETATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS! More precisely, if the other universes and the multiverse do not exist, then quantum mechanics is objectively false. This is not a question of physics. It is a question of mathematics. I give a mathematical proof of the capitalized statement in my book ([1], pp. 483-488). I am not the first to show that quantum mechanics is necessarily a many-universes theory. The first was probably von Neumann [7], but Bohr said essentially the same thing when he claimed ([8], p. 209; italics are Bohr's): "however far the phenomena transcend the scope of classical physical explanation, the account of all evidence must be expressed in classical terms." In other words, quantum mechanics does not apply at the macroscopic level. Both Everett and DeWitt [9] and Deutsch [10] give alternative mathematical proofs that quantum mechanics, if correct, requires the existence of the other universes. Even Roger Penrose, who does not accept the many universes, knows perfectly well that this rejection requires him to reject quantum mechanics [11] (at the level of the human mind). If any physicist asserts that quantum mechanics is correct but the other universes do not exist, then he is wrong. He has made a mathematical error, pure and simple. But maybe quantum mechanics is wrong. Maybe it is. This is a question of physics, not mathematics. However, until an experiment--and only an experiment--shows quantum mechanics to be wrong, I shall assume quantum mechanics to be right.

Bonting either rejects quantum mechanics, or is ignorant of its implications. For example, his theology is "chaotic", but I show in my book ([1], pp. 97-101; Appendix for Scientists, Section E, pp. 424-427) that chaos is a purely classical phenomena. Chaos is not a property of quantum mechanics. I did not discover this fact about chaos. It has been known (see [23], pp. 118-119 for a recent discussion) for over thirty years, which is why the Nobelist Ilya Prigogine (see his Nobel Prize Lecture), and the chaos theorist Joseph Ford have proposed to modify quantum mechanics. They both want chaos to be real. If quantum mechanics is indeed true at all levels, then chaos does not exist--unless the universe ends in an Omega Point. I show in my book that chaos will exist on the largest scales in quantum cosmology if and only if the universe ends in an Omega Point. If Bonting rejects the Omega Point, then he either rejects quantum mechanics, or his own theology.

In my book ([1], pp. 259-265), I showed how the many universes solves the greatest of the theological problems, the problem that is the main reason people reject theism for atheism (see e.g. Darwin's autobiography). This problem is the Problem of Evil. The Problem of Evil disappears when we realize that God has maximized the good in reality by creating not just this universe, but all universes, which eventually evolve into Him, Who is the Omega Point.

But the many universes also show that the Singularity has a Trinitarian structure. I did not realize this when I wrote my book [1] a decade ago, but this Trinity is in my figures, and in my equations. Look at Figure VI.1 on page 184 of [1], which is a drawing of the multiverse. (For the convenience of the reader, I reproduce this figure here as Figure 1.) All reality exists between the initial singularity and the final singularity. In classical general relativity, there is no connection between the initial and the final singularities, but in quantum general relativity, there is a connection: the line in Figure VI.1 that connects the initial singularity to the final singularity. This is also a singularity. It exists at the "edge" of the multiverse, as indicated in the Figure. It also exists at all times for all the universes in the multiverse. The quantum singularity, in other words, has a three part structure: (1) the initial singularity, before which nothing existed, (2) the final singularity after which nothing will exist, and (3) the singularity which connects the Ultimate Past and the Ultimate Future.

I propose to identify the Ultimate Past Singularity with the Holy Spirit (in His transcendent Godhood), on the basis of Genesis 1:2, which ends with the phrase "and the Spirit of God hovered over nothingness." This is an exact description of Initial Singularity of the multiverse, as illustrated in Figure IV.1. I have already identified God the Father with the Ultimate Future Singularity, as described above, and I refer the reader to Pannenberg's extensive writings, in which he also gives reasons for thinking of God the Father as the Ultimate Future. The Son--in His Godhood, necessarily outside of time--is the connecting singularity between the Ultimate Past and the Ultimate Future. The Son is completely integrated with the Holy Spirit and God the Father. The Three are One. The Son, as is clear from Figure IV.1, was present at the beginning of the multiverse, as described in John 1:1-3: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made."

A diagram of the multiverse showing the Initial Singularity, the All-Presents Singularity, and the Final Singularity.
[Figure 1. Click on image to enlarge.]

The singularity is a "substance" in the same sense that electrons and protons are "substances". The key property of a "substance" is that they can make their existence known by exerting effects, which can be detected. The Three singularities--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit singularities--exert effects on space, time and matter, even though these singularities are outside of space and time, and are not matter. The singularities are the divine substance, and the Son is of exactly the same substance as the Father. We have in the three parts of the singularity--ultimate future, all presents, and ultimate past--a full justification of the key Christian doctrine of homoousion. A simple way to see how the Son singularity can exert an effect in spacetime even though it is not in spacetime is to imagine a wave packet incident on the Son singularity. As I show in ([1], Section J, pp. 489-491), this wave packet would be reflected from the Son singularity back into the multiverse. The Son singularity exerts an effect in spacetime--mirror reflection--even though it is not in spacetime. The boundary condition at the Son singularity--no penetration allowed--is essentially the same as that used in electromagnetic theory to describe the reflection of an electromagnetic wave from a metal sheet. The reflection of the wave establishes the reality of the metal sheet. In March 1944, German radar pulses were reflected from metal sheets that were the skins of allied bombers. The German radar operators inferred from this reflection that the allied bombers were real. The bombers were indeed real, and their bombs demolished the home of a young German boy later to be a theologian ([31], p. 12). The Son singularity exerts the same effect on a wave function as metal exerts on a radar wave. The Son is real.

The Three parts of the singularity are permanently distinct from each other. This fact establishes that the orthodox view of God, is the correct one: God is three distinct entities of the same substance ([28], p. 122). It definitely refutes the modalist heresy (see [1], p. 313, and [28], p. 126).

Just the Son singularity has a manifestation in the physical universe in the man Jesus (as I shall describe in more detail later), so the Holy Spirit has a manifestation in the physical universe as a "guiding influence" in the universe. The laws of physics themselves are one expression of this guiding influence of the Holy Spirit. I have discussed this immanent aspect of the Holy Spirit in [1]. One way to visualize this guiding influence is to regard the Holy Spirit as guiding the universes illustrated in Figure IV.1 to follow the definite trajectories pictured. The guiding influence--the Holy Spirit in His Immanence--proceeds from the Father and the Son. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit in His transcendence--the Ultimate Past singularity--is best thought of as proceeding from the Father through the Son. That is, the Ultimate Past singularity arises from the Ultimate Future singularity by means of the All-Presents singularity.

The Son Singularity (hereafter "Son") currently acts in the multiverse (via the Holy Spirit) to enforce the laws of physics, particularity unitarity (see [1], p. 500, the discussion between equations L.14 and L.15 for a description of how this works). I shall now argue that the Son had to materialize as a man, the man Jesus, in order to enforce completely the laws of physics in the far future. At least this had to happen in our universe of the multiverse. I can't say whether this Incarnation occurred in universes far from ours, but the Christian tradition claims it did not. I have no reason to challenge the tradition.

This "materialization" is not a singularity in spacetime, but rather the mind of the man Jesus would have to think exactly in accordance of the requirements of the Son. That is, the Son and Jesus would have one will, but two natures. The man Jesus had to perform certain miracles, he had do die in a certain bloody and violent way, and he had to be resurrected with a resurrection body similar to the resurrection body we all will have when we are emulated in the computers of the far future. (I point out in [1] that the resurrection body as described in the Gospels is indeed very close to the computer resurrection body.) I shall argue below that all of these events had to happen if He is to save the universe from destruction (keep the laws of physics consistent for all times).

Christology has to avoid falling into either the modalist heresy ([28], p. 126, 160), or the monarchianist heresy ([28], 120, 126), the latter holding that the Son is not fully united with the man Jesus. (Monarchianism also holds that the Son does not exist eternally as the Father exists eternally, but this claim will not concern us, since I have already established the eternal nature of the Son.). The monarchianists picture Jesus as being controlled by the Holy Spirit, or as being filled with the Holy Spirit, but not as being truly united with God. The unity of the Son with Jesus is definitely not monarchian. This is established by noting that Figure VI.1 on page 184 of [1] is misleading in suggesting that our universe of the multiverse is fairly far away from the Son. If this were true, then the Son would necessarily have to be distinct from the man Jesus, who became part of our universe. To study the distinction between the singularity of a quantum cosmology and the multiverse, it is necessary to use a technique like the Schmidt b-boundary construction [6] to induce a topology on the combined multiverse and singularity. The Penrose c-boundary described works only within a universe. The b-boundary has been shown to yield a topology in which the singularity is not Hausdorff separated from the points of spacetime. This just means that the singularity is extremely close to every point in spacetime. This shows Figure VI.1 is misleading in suggesting that the singularity is "far away" from our universe. The b-boundary technique has never been applied to the quantum singularity pictured in Figure VI.1. However, I conjecture that when the properties of Jesus described below are included, it will be seen that the b-boundary construction will force the identification of the Son singularity with the spacetime events comprising the man Jesus. If this conjecture were valid, we would have a proof of the unity of the man Jesus with the divine Son. It is this unity that is called Christ.

The reason why I wrote the section "Why I am not a Christian" in [1], is that a decade ago, I could think of no mechanism that could generate a resurrection body at the lowest level of implementation. If Jesus indeed rose from the dead with a resurrection body, then this is exactly what happened. I have now been able to think of a mechanism that could have generated a resurrection body two thousand years ago, and the mechanism gives a reason why the Son would have used it.

But before I describe this mechanism, a short digression on "miracles" is in order. Ever since Hume, most people have defined a "miracle" as a violation of physical law. As Pannenberg has emphasized in a recent paper [12], this is not the orthodox Christian definition (see also [13], pp. 218-219). Indeed, this definition is not implied by the Biblical words for miracle. The Greek thaumasion (Latin miraculum) just means that which evokes wonder or astonishment. The Hebrew word for miracle, 'oth, just means a "sign," namely an event which indicates something other than itself. Pannenberg [12] discusses St. Thomas Aquinas' and St. Augustine's arguments for the non-violation of physical laws by a miracle. I would like to add to Pannenberg's discussion a mention of Aquinas' definition of "miracle" in Summa Contra Gentiles (chapter 102): an event which is beyond the natural power of any creature to produce. The standard Catholic definition is due to Pope Benedict XIV: "a miracle is an event whose production exceeds the power of visible and corporal nature only" (quoted in [14], p. 2). Benedict XIV requires further that to count as a miracle, the event must also be of religious significance. Nothing is said in any of these orthodox definitions about a violation of physical law. Indeed, why should God violate his own laws? He knows what he wants to accomplish in universal history, and set the laws of physics accordingly. Thus, to claim, as many modern theologians do (e.g., [14]) that a miracle violates physical law is in effect to deny either God's omniscience or his omnipotence.

The idea that a miracle violates the laws of physics was introduced in the English speaking world by the Deists, whose motivation was to deny the Resurrection and the Incarnation [15]. If a miracle violated physical law, if the Resurrection and the Incarnation violated physical law, then the Deists could use the strong evidence that physical laws were never violated as evidence against the Resurrection and Incarnation. Hume just continued and expanded this Deist strategy. As Pannenberg emphasizes, if we accept Hume's definition of natural law as a rule which is never violated, then by definition, a miracle cannot occur, and Christianity is refuted by definition. See C.S. Lewis' book [16] for another defense of the orthodox position that a miracle never violates natural law. As Pannenberg emphasizes, for a Christian, a miracle is a very improbable event which has religious significance.

In my above description of the Omega Point Theory, I used past-to-future causation language, which is standard in everyday life, and in most physics papers. This may have given the reader the impression that it is life that is creating the Omega Point (God) rather than the reverse. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is more accurate to say that the Omega Point, acting backwards in time, via future-to-past causation, creates life, and His multiverse. The quantum law of unitarity, which I used to prove the existence of the Omega Point, actually is the mathematical requirement that the two causal languages, past-to-future causation and future-to-past causation can be translated exactly into one another. That is, quantum physics justifies teleology, and indeed requires teleology to be true. (For a mathematical proof of this statement, see any book on quantum mechanics, e.g. [75], p. 145, or [76], pp. 500-502.) Generally, however, past-to-future language will be the simpler of the two languages, since the complexity of the universe, and its entropy, increase with time.

There will be exceptions, however, and it is these exceptions that I will make central to my own definition of miracle. I will say that an event is a "miracle" if it is a very improbable according to standard past-to-future causation from the data in our multiverse neighborhood, but is seen to be inevitable from knowledge that the multiverse will evolve into the Omega Point. This definition incorporates the idea that a "miracle" is a very unlikely event (as in the sentence, "It was a miracle he survived the car accident"), as well as Benedict XIV's requirement that a miracle has some religious significance. My definition of "miracle" thus includes both the Greek/Latin meaning and the Hebrew meaning of the word, which I discussed above. I further require that a "miracle" never, never violates any physical law.

I shall now argue that the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection were miracles in my sense. The key to understanding why these events HAD to occur is the recently observed acceleration of the universe.

The strongest evidence for the acceleration of the universe comes from measurements of perturbations of the cosmic microwave background radiation. These measurements show that the universe is within one percent of being flat (as I predicted in [1]), and that these perturbations follow the scale-invariant Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum (as I also predicted in [1]). Bonting asserts that these are a unique prediction of inflation. This is false. Guth's first paper [24] on inflation appeared in 1981, but Harrison's paper on the scale-invariant density fluctuation spectrum [25] appeared in 1970, and Zel'dovich's paper [26] in 1972. If the Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum were a unique consequence of inflation, then it would have been impossible for Harrison and Zel'dovich to have proposed the scale invariant spectrum before inflation was invented. Instead, they proposed the scale-invariant spectrum a decade before Guth. The scale-invariant spectrum is the only perturbation spectrum globally consistent with a spatially flat metric, which as Einstein and de Sitter argued in the 1930's, is the cosmology we should prefer in the absence of proof that the universe is closed or open. Like Roger Penrose and my mentor John Wheeler, I reject the idea of inflation, because inflation assumes the existence of a force field that has never been seen in the laboratory (the inflaton field). Further, inflation has made no predictions that cannot be obtained from forces that have been observed in the laboratory. As I wrote above, I follow Galileo and assume that the same forces act in the terrestrial and extraterrestrial realms.

If the universe is spatially flat, if the Hubble constant is 70 km/sec-Mpc (as the most recent measurements suggest), and if the universe is at least 13 billion years old (as the oldest observed stars indicate [1]), then necessarily the universe is either now accelerating, or has accelerated in the past. The distribution of galaxies can be best explained by assuming the universe is accelerating now, and that the acceleration is driven by a positive cosmological constant.

When I wrote my book [1], it never occurred to me that acceleration would occur in the expansion phase of universal history. I did expect acceleration to occur in the collapsing phase of the universe, and it is this acceleration which allowed me to predict the value of the Higgs boson and top quark masses to be 220 ± 20 GeV and 185 ± 20 GeV respectively. (The current value for the top quark mass, first measured the month after my book appeared in Germany, is 174 GeV. The Higgs has not yet been detected, but the current lower bound to its mass is 114 GeV.) The reason I never considered the possibility the universe could accelerate in its expanding phase is that if the acceleration were to continue forever, life would be wiped out, and the Omega Point would never come into existence. As I showed above, this would contradict unitarity by black hole evaporation. If the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics is true, then there can be only one cause of acceleration of the universe, namely a positive cosmological constant. As I point out in my book [1], the SM says the universe is in a vacuum of the Higgs field, and it says that this vacuum would act today as a very large negative cosmological constant. If this vacuum were uncancelled by a positive cosmological constant today, the universe would collapse into a final singularity in a fraction of a second. Hence a positive cosmological constant must exist to cancel the Higgs vacuum energy. I thus assumed in my book [1] that the Higgs field is in its absolute vacuum state today, where we would expect the positive cosmological constant to precisely cancel the Higgs vacuum energy.

But suppose the Higgs field is not in its absolute vacuum state. In such a case, the Higgs vacuum energy would only partially cancel the positive cosmological constant. The uncancelled part of the positive cosmological constant would cause the universe to accelerate when the matter density dropped low enough. But if the Higgs field is not in its absolute vacuum, there must be a mechanism to cause this, and also to allow the Higgs vacuum to relax to its absolute vacuum so that unitarity will not be violated.

The SM provides such a mechanism, which I actually discussed in the last section of the Appendix for Scientists in ([1], p. 515). This mechanism is the creation/destruction of baryon number by electroweak quantum tunneling. (Baryons are the heavy particles made up of quarks. Examples are neutrons and protons.) In my book, I pointed out that this mechanism would be ideal for propelling interstellar spacecraft, but I did not discuss its implications for the Higgs vacuum, a serious oversight on my part. (An oversight which invalidates the second part of my Fifth Prediction on page 149 of [1].) If the SM is true--ALL experiments conducted to date indicate that it is (e.g. [17] and [72], last full paragraph on p. 35)--then the net baryon number observed in the universe must have been created in the early universe by this mechanism of electroweak quantum tunneling. If the baryons were so created, then this process necessarily forces the Higgs field to be in a vacuum state that is not its absolute vacuum. But if the baryons in the universe were to be annihilated by this process, say by the action of intelligent life, then this would force the Higgs field toward its absolute vacuum, canceling the positive cosmological constant, stopping the acceleration, and allowing the universe to collapse into the Omega Point. Conversely, if enough baryons are not annihilated by this process, the positive cosmological constant will never be cancelled, the universe will expand forever, unitarity will be violated, and the Omega Point will never come into existence. Only if life makes use of this process to annihilate baryons will the Omega Point come into existence.

It is this mechanism of baryon annihilation via electroweak tunnelling that could have been used to accomplish ALL of the miracles described in the Gospels, in particular the Resurrection. I point out in my book [1] that Jesus' resurrection body, as described in the Gospels, has all the essential properties of the computer emulation resurrection bodies we all will have in the far future. The property most difficult to duplicate at the lowest level of implementation is the sudden dematerialization (vanishing from the appearance of His disciples) and rematerialization (suddenly appearing inside a locked room). Dematerialization can be accomplished by electroweak quantum tunneling, which violates baryon number and lepton number conservation. The key reaction would be proton plus electron goes to neutrino plus antineutrino. This would convert all the matter in Jesus' body into neutrinos, which interact so weakly with matter that a person in a room with Jesus would see only Jesus appear to vanish. (If the matter of a human body were converted into photons rather than neutrinos, this would be equivalent to the detonation of a 1,000-megaton H-bomb, assuming Jesus weighed 178 pounds ([27], p. 2). The people of Judea would notice this, though the disciples would not, since they would be vaporized.) Materialization apparently out of nothing could be carried out by reversing the process. The Resurrection is then merely an example of first dematerialization of Jesus' dead body, followed by the materialization of a living body. The Resurrection, in other words, is a profoundly different process than the mere resuscitation of a corpse.

This dematerialization and materialization process is enormously improbable, and unlikely to occur--if the probability is calculated in the usual past-goes-to-future causation language. This dematerialization probability is calculated as follows. We must start with the probability that the tunneling process occurs in a time interval sufficiently short so that disciples would see it occur "instantaneously" (one-hundredth of a second). This probability is ten to the minus one-hundredth power. We must then raise this enormously small number to a power equal to the number of atoms in a human body, something like ten to the twenty-ninth power. It is a virtual certainty that no one will ever observe dematerialization of a single atom via this process. But this calculated probability assumes that the dematerialization is merely a random process, unrelated to the universe at large. If on the contrary the universe requires the dematerialization/materialization of Jesus to have occurred in order for the universe to evolve into the Omega Point, then the probability is not the gigantically small number I just computed. Instead, the probability is one. That is, the event is certain to occur.

ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward. If we ourselves knew how to do this, we would have the perfect rocket! A simple calculation shows how to support a mass against the force of gravity using a directed neutrino beam.

If Jesus had a mass of 178 pounds, or about 80.8 kilograms (I shall justify this mass below), then the force that must be exerted to support his weight against the force of gravity is F = Mg = (80.8 kg)(9.80 m/sec2) = 792 newtons. But the force is the momentum p carried away by the neutrinos per unit time, and for nearly massless particles like neutrinos, the momentum equals the energy divided by the speed of light. But if the energy of the neutrinos comes from the annihilation of matter, then this energy equals the mass of the matter annihilated times the speed of light squared (E = mc2). Thus p/t = (E/c)/t = (mc2/c)/t = mc/t = Mg. Thus the amount of mass that must be annihilated per second, or m/t, must equal Mg/c = (792 newtons)/(3.00 × 108 m/sec) = 2.64 milligrams per second. Thus if the field responsible for converting matter into neutrinos extends a short distance into the water below Jesus' feet, and if this field is capable directing all the neutrinos downward, Jesus would walk on water. Or Ascend into the clouds after His resurrection).

Creation of loaves and fishes are just materialization, as is converting water into wine. The Transfiguration--emission of light from Jesus' body--could have been accomplished by the emission of photons rather than neutrinos. It is very suggestive that all of Jesus' physical miracles can be accomplished the same way. The apparent exception is the Virgin Birth, but I shall argue that this form of birth is necessary to make it easier for Jesus to dematerialize matter, and hence resurrect Himself.

The Virgin Birth of Jesus

This provides a reason for Pannenberg to reconsider his rejection of the Virgin Birth ([28], pp. 141-150). Pannenberg has a solid Trinitarian reason for rejecting the Virgin Birth: he believes "In its context, the legend of Jesus' virgin birth stands in an irreconcilable contradiction to the Christology of the incarnation of the preexistent Son of God found in Paul and John. For, according to this legend, Jesus first became [Pannenberg's emphasis] God's Son through Mary's conception. According to Paul and John, on the contrary, the Son of God was already preexistent and then as a preexistent being bound himself to the man Jesus" ([28], p. 143). The problem with the clause "...and then as a preexistent being bound himself to the man Jesus" is that it suggests the Adoptionist heresy. Indeed, as I argued above, the Son is preexistent, and has existed since "before" time began. Thus, as Pannenberg emphasizes, Jesus did not become God's Son through Mary's conception. But if Jesus' birth were not a virgin birth, then Jesus would have to have a human biological father. If we assume Mary was an honorable woman, this biological father would have to be Joseph. In which case Jesus would have two fathers, Joseph and God. If a man has two fathers, the father who is not the biological father is called the "adopted" father. This would still be true even if we were to imagine that the Son were to unite with the man Jesus at the very instant of conception. As Pannenberg is aware ([28], p. 120 footnote 8 and p. 121), the Virgin Birth has been used since Luke to establish the Trinitarian Dogma. When Trinitarianism loses authority, Adoptionism appears. Adoptionism is intimately connected with the Arian heresy.

Matthew and Luke claim that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived. Pannenberg considers these passages of Matthew and Luke to be "a legendary tradition that has been incorporated by Luke in his gospel and has been alluded to in Matthew" (Private communication). Pannenberg also argues that the literary form of the Lucan story indicates that it is a legend. Other experts on form criticism like Raymond Brown ([70], [71]) disagree, as does the literary expert C.S. Lewis [16]. But these arguments based on the literary structure of the New Testament have always seemed to me to be beside the point. A much stronger argument against the Virgin Birth has always been the one put forward by the atheists: if Jesus was virginally conceived, the only one who could have known this was Mary, and why should we believe her? She herself might not even know. Maybe she was raped while drunk. Furthermore, if there was anything irregular about Jesus' conception, suggesting Jesus' father was some man besides Joseph--and we are told in Matthew 1:19 that Joseph himself at first believed this--then Mary would have an enormous motivation to lie. But the Church Fathers have universally affirmed the Virgin Birth because in spite of lack of supporting evidence, it has seemed essential to the Trinitarian Dogma.

In addition, once one omits one central part of the Christian tradition on the basis that it sounds "legendary," where does one stop? Arian heretics like Isaac Newton--and of course atheists--use similar arguments to justify rejecting the Trinitarian passages in the Gospels and in the Pauline letters as nothing but similar legendary traditions. Newton believed that Athanasius was the culprit responsible for imposing the Trinitarian "legend" on the Christian world. Other heretics regard Mark without the Resurrection passages as the only valid gospel, and claim that the Resurrection passages in Matthew, Luke, and John are merely later inventions. These people point out that legends of a God who dies only to be resurrected are quite common in the ancient world. Indeed they were common, but the Gospel accounts of the Risen Jesus have in my judgement (and Pannenberg's) a ring of reality unlike these myths. Similarly, the accounts of the Virgin Birth in Matthew and Luke have the ring of reality unlike the equally common ancient myths of the conception of a god born of copulation between a god and a human female. Matthew and Luke describe the Virgin Birth as due to the action of the Holy Spirit, NOT as the result of intercourse between God the Father and Mary. I propose that Christians should first try to develop a theology which is based on the Gospels and the Pauline Letters in the form as given to us. We should assume, at least initially, that there are no legends or human inventions involving important Christian Dogmas in the New Testament. This is a theological version of my scientific approach as described earlier: no firmly tested physical law is to be set aside without experimental justification.

I shall now describe a mechanism whereby a virgin birth can occur via the action of the Father through the Holy Spirit. In the mechanism I shall propose, the mind of the virginally conceived Jesus would be in resonance with, and in complete harmony with, the Son from the instant of formation of the mind in the nervous tissue of the embryo. He would be completely human, with the rational mind of a human, but nevertheless be the Son. Furthermore, I shall show that if the Virgin Birth occurred in the manner I propose, the Virgin Birth hypothesis can be verified by direct experiment. The Virgin Birth would no longer rest on Mary's word alone. We would be able to show directly, without reference to human testimony, that Luke and Matthew merely reported the facts, as related to them by a completely truthful Mary. A direct experimental confirmation of the Virgin Birth would also support the claim that Matthew and Luke were just reporting the facts when they described the Risen Jesus.

We first have to understand how a virgin birth of a human male can be accomplished using only known molecular biological mechanisms. There is now an extensive scientific literature on virgin birth in vertebrates. Virgin births have been extensively studied in Caucasian rock lizards [34], and also in turkeys ([35], [36]). There is one strain of turkeys ([35], [36]) in which more than 40% of all births are virgin births. What happens in these turkeys is that often a haploid egg cell begins to divide without being fertilized by a sperm cell. If at some point early in the cell division process, the chromosomes duplicate so that a diploid cell is formed, a normal turkey is born. This parthenogenetic turkey is always a male, because in birds, a male results if the two sex chromosomes are the same (a male bird has two Z chromosomes and a female is WZ).

It is easy to induce a human oocyte (egg cell) to begin cell division without first being fertilized by a sperm ([37]-[40]). The oocytes thus induced to begin division can be either haploid or diploid. This human oocyte cell division is so easy to induce in the laboratory that many researchers in this field have suggested that virgin births may be quite common in humans, perhaps as common as identical twins, which on the average occur 1 out of every 300 births (Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Multiple Births", 1967 and 2003 edition). This conjecture on the rate of virgin births could be easily tested. One would merely conduct a DNA identity test on female children who are observed to closely resemble their mothers. (Almost all virgin birth children would be expected to be females. The extremely rare exception I shall discuss below.) To date, no such investigation has been carried out, probably because of ethical objections. With human oocytes, again for ethical reasons, no attempt has yet been made to implant these virginally conceived fetuses into a womb. An attempt was made a few years ago to complete a virgin birth in a marmoset monkey [37], but it was unsuccessful. Because of a peculiarity in the centromeres of primate cells (they are inherited from the father), I myself suspect a primate virgin birth could result only if a diploid oocyte started to divide. Of course, in every case of a virgin birth, all the genetic information has to be already present the mother. There are at least three ways to generate a male human being from genetic information which comes entirely from the mother. I shall discuss only one such method here (for another, see [18], p. 44, and below).

I propose that Jesus was a special type of XX male ([44]-[49]). Approximately one out of every 20,000 males is an XX male. Such males are normal in behavior and intelligence, but have smaller teeth, shorter stature, and smaller testes than normal males. They are usually identified as XX males because they cannot have children, and ask doctors to cure the infertility. Normal males are XY, but there are only 28 genes on the Y chromosome, as opposed to thousands on the X chromosome. Of these 28 genes, 15 are unique to the Y chromosome, and 13 have counterparts on the X chromosome [41]. The gene with counterparts on both the X and the Y chromosomes are called "homologous genes." An XX male results when a single key gene for maleness on the Y chromosome (the SRY gene) is inserted into an X chromosome. I propose that ALL (or at least many) of the Y chromosome genes were inserted into one of Mary's X chromosomes, and that in Mary, one of the standard mechanisms used to turn off genes were active on these inserted Y genes. (There is an RNA process that can turn off an entire X chromosome. This is the most elegant turn-off mechanism.) Jesus would then result when one of Mary's egg cells started to divide before it became haploid and with the Y-genes activated. (And of course with the extra X genes deactivated.) If a sample of Jesus' blood and/or flesh could be obtained, my proposal could easily be tested by carrying out two distinct DNA tests for sex: (1) test for the Y genes and (2) test for two alleles (different gene forms) of X chromosome genes. In other words, a male born of a virgin would have two X chromosome genes for each of its counterpart Y gene. Normal males would have only one X chromosome gene for each of its Y counterpart gene. This pairing would apply to each of the 13 genes on the Y chromosome that has an X counterpart.

Such a Virgin Birth would be improbable. If the measured probability that a single Y gene is inserted into an X chromosome is 1 in 20,000, then the probability that all Y genes are inserted into an X chromosome is (1/20,000) raised to 28 power, the power corresponding to the number of Y genes. (Assuming that the insertion of each Y gene has equal probability, and these insertions are independent.) There have been only about 100 billion humans born since behaviorally modern Homo sapiens evolved between 55,000 and 80,000 years ago ([74], p. 704). The number of humans that have ever lived is roughly computed as follows. In the first 60,000 years of modern human existence, there were roughly 10 million humans living world wide, with complete replacement every generation, roughly every 30 years. With 2,000 generations in 60,000 years, this means 20 billion people lived in this period. Over the next 6,000 years, humans had agriculture, which allowed the support of a population of roughly 300 million. With 200 generations in 6,000 years, this means that 30 billion people lived in this period. Finally we come to the modern period, essentially the period of the people now living. There are now 6 billion people in the world. Adding all these numbers gives about 60 billion people as the total number of people who have ever lived.

Thus, the virgin birth of such an XX male would be unique in human history even if there were only 2 such Y genes inserted into an X chromosome. (I assume an upper bound to the rate of virgin birth is 1/300. Then the probability of a virgin birth of a male with 2 Y genes is 1/(300)(20,000)(20,000) = 1/120 billion.) But as in the case of the Resurrection, if such an event HAD to occur for the universe to evolve into the Omega Point, then the Virgin Birth probability would become one; i.e., certain to occur. In other words, it would be a miracle!

The observed acceleration of the universe provides a possible reason why the Virgin Birth and Resurrection necessarily had to occur if the universe is to evolve into the Omega Point. If the acceleration is to eventually stop, and be converted into a de-acceleration and universal collapse, then our descendants must eventually expand out into the universe and annihilate baryons via the electroweak tunneling process. We do not know how to do this. We only know that this process is allowed according to the Standard Model, and must have operated in the early universe. On the basis of the SM alone, we have no indication of how to annihilate baryons in a practical way. But if the universe is to evolve into the Omega Point, then there necessarily must be a practical, small scale method of annihilating baryons to provide energy (before the re-collapse of the universe provides gravitational energy [1]) and to provide efficient relativistic rockets.

Suppose the Son became incarnate to provide us this information? Notice that He can do so only by simultaneously providing us with the knowledge that we ourselves one day will be resurrected with body in all essentials just like the body Jesus had after His Resurrection. Also, we can obtain the necessary information only by believing in Him, believing that He is God, and believing that He rose from the dead. Without such a belief, no one would investigate Jesus for clues of constructing a practical device for annihilating baryons. If He provides us with the essential hints for how to construct such a device, He saves the entire world. Literally, He saves the entire universe from destruction (violation of unitarity when black holes evaporate). "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:17). Traditionally, the word "world" has been interpreted to mean "humankind", but with my proposal for the reason for the Incarnation and Virgin Birth, "world" can be interpreted literally.

I further propose that the Virgin Birth was necessary so that Jesus would have a unique body type that could out of its own nature, generate electroweak quantum tunneling. On this proposal, Mary, who had the same genes as Jesus, should be able to accomplish this too, but I would suggest that only with the male genes activated could this process be fully carried out. (Perhaps Mary was capable of the Assumption, but not Resurrection). This would solve the problem of why Jesus was a Son, and not a Daughter. "Why not a Daughter?" is a problem for many Christian women.

If Jesus were a XX male born via virginal conception, we could resolve the well known two inconsistencies between the genealogies provided by Matthew and Luke. See Vermes ([59], p. 265; [60], p. 225) and Brown ([70], and especially pp. 587-596 of [71]) for more discussion of these inconsistencies. The first inconsistency is the fact that descent is listed in the line of Joseph, who as Matthew and Luke both assert, was not Jesus' biological father. This inconsistency is usually resolved [70] by pointing out that if Joseph acknowledged Jesus as his son (which he did), then according to the Jewish law of the time ([71], p. 589), Jesus would be considered to be Joseph's son, and hence "descended" from David if Joseph were so descended. Luke seemed to point out this double meaning of "descent" when he wrote "And Jesus ... being (as was supposed) [my emphasis] the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli" (Luke 3:23).

The second inconsistency lies in the fact that the two lists are different, beginning with the father of Joseph (Jacob according to Matthew, but Heli (or Eli) according to Luke). But the Y genes of an XX male must come from some single male ancestor of Mary, or from several of Mary's male ancestors. Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, 43, 45; [59], p. 265) argued that Mary herself was descended from David. Assume she indeed had some male ancestors who were descended from David--in genetic terms, this means that such men had a Y chromosome identical to David's, since the Y chromosome does not recombine. Then either once or several times, insertions could have been made from the Y chromosome of these men into the X chromosome that was to become the container of Jesus' Y genes. If all (or at least most) of the Y genes of David were present in Jesus, he in fact would be descended from David in the male line in the sense the term "descent" is applied genetically: the male has the Y genes of the male ancestor. Thus, even though Joseph were not the biological father of Jesus, nevertheless Jesus could be a male of Davidic descent, and so it would have been appropriate to give Joseph's line of descent from David.

Note that a genealogy giving the gene insertions could have more than one male supplying a Y gene in the same generation. Or the insertions of a Y gene could occur once in several generations. Thus, to correctly list the complete line of descent, a genealogy would have to list more than one male in the same generation. This could be accomplished by providing two mutually inconsistent lists--but inconsistent only if we do not realize that Jesus was a XX male, born of a Virgin. It is suggestive that Matthew insisted--even if he had to miscount ([71], pp. 81-84)--that there are 28 generations from David to Jesus (Matthew 1:17), exactly the number of genes that the Y chromosome carries. Luke lists 42 generations from David to Joseph (Mary's generation) inclusive. Could the insertion of 28 genes require 42 generations?

But we would have insufficient hints of how to work the electroweak baryon annihilation process if we did not have a sample of Jesus' blood and flesh to study. So following the logic of my Christology to the end, I conclude that such a sample must exist.

The Shroud of Turin

Could it be on the Shroud of Turin? The radiocarbon dating of the Shroud [19] is known to be incorrect [20], due to bacterial contamination of the Shroud [18]. Bacteria generated an almost completely transparent bioplastic coating of the linen fibers which make up the Shroud. Garza-Valdes, the scientist who discovered this bioplastic coating, removed the coating, and sent two samples of the de-contaminated Shroud linen to two different radiocarbon dating laboratories for a re-dating (18], pp. 49-53). Unfortunately, Garza-Valdes was not an expert in the handling of materials for radiocarbon dating analysis, and he inadvertently added some "dead" carbon to the linen sample. "Dead" carbon is carbon that has not been in the atmosphere for millions of years, and so almost all of its carbon-14 has decayed. Adding such carbon makes the sample appear to be much older than it actually is, so Garza-Valdes concluded that his re-dating experiment was a complete failure. But the chemist Alan Adler has pointed out [52] that if we use standard chemistry to make a "reasonable" estimate about how much dead carbon from the reagent used by Garza-Valdes would be absorbed by the cellulose of the linen, we can obtain an estimate of the actual radiocarbon date of the de-contaminated Shroud linen. The corrected date is 351 AD, a date consistent with a first century date to within the accuracy of the "reasonable" estimate. This unofficial radiocarbon re-dating does not of course establish that the true date of the Shroud is first century. It does, however, provide justification for believing that the original radiocarbon dates do NOT rule out the Shroud as genuine.

If the radiocarbon date is ignored, there are quite a few reasons for accepting the Shroud as genuine [21], [22]. The best available popular summary of the arguments for the Turin Shroud being genuine can be found in [22]. Also in this book is the best popular summary of the evidence for bacterial contamination on the Shroud (chapter 7). But what this book does not answer--what must be answered before the Shroud can be accepted as genuine--is why the radiocarbon date is exactly what one would expect the date to be if the Turin Shroud were actually a fraud.

A very plausible history of the Shroud from 30 AD to the present has been constructed (see for example [22], chapter 8, and pp. 151-156; see especially [21], pp. 263-313). However, the first time the Shroud is definitely known to exist is 1355, when a French squire, Geoffrey de Charny of Lirey in the bishopric of Troyes, petitioned the Pope to display it as the unique burial cloth of Jesus. De Charny never explained how a completely unimportant person such as he managed to obtain possession of the most important relic in Christendom. Even the medievals, who were often credulous about relics, were suspicious. A few decades after de Charny's death, the bishop of Troyes denounced the Shroud as a fake, and said that he in fact knew the name of the forger, who had confessed. So if the Bishop and later skeptics were correct, we would expect the linen of which the Shroud is made would date from the time of the forgery. That is, from the middle of the fourteenth century. When the radiocarbon date was discovered to between 1260 and 1390 (95% confidence interval), most scientists (including myself until two years ago) were convinced that the Shroud had been proven a fraud. If indeed bacterial contamination had distorted the date, we would expect the measured radiocarbon date to be some random date between 30 AD and the present. It would be an extraordinary and very improbable coincidence if the amount of carbon added to the Shroud were exactly the amount needed to give the date that indicated a fraud.

Unless the radiocarbon date were itself a miracle in the sense defined above: an improbable event as computed using past-to-present causation, but an event seen to be inevitable using future-to-past causation. I shall argue that this is the case, but for the nonce, let me merely note that if the Shroud is indeed genuine, we should not be surprised that one more miracle is associated with it.

There are several ways of using current radiocarbon dating technology to date the Shroud correctly. The obvious way is to remove the bioplastic coating. This is difficult to do, and this is the reason why the cleaning protocols of the three laboratories performing the radiocarbon dating failed to remove the coating in the first place. Garza-Valdes has informed me (private communication, and see [18], p. 49) that it is possible to use sodium hydroxide to dissolve the linen of the Shroud so that only the bioplastic coating remains. If indeed the linen of the Shroud dissolves leaving all of bioplastic coating behind, then there is a simple procedure to obtain the actual age. First measure the age of the linen plus the contamination (this is the number we already have [19]). Then measure the age of the contamination alone. This should be easy. Most of the mass of the Shroud must be in the form of contamination if the Shroud is genuine. Calculation shows that between 60% to 90% of the mass of the Shroud would have to be in the contamination if a first century linen shroud were to be mistakenly dated to the fourteenth century. From the two age measurements, one can compute the true age of the linen cloth, even if one does not know the date when the linen was contaminated. We would in fact expect the Shroud to have been contaminated almost continuously from the first century to the present if the history of the Shroud presented in [22] is correct.

Garza-Valdes owns a mummified Egyptian ibis which has been wrapped in linen. It has been shown that the linen is 4 to 7 centuries younger than the tissue of the ibis [20], and it is observed that the linen wrap has a bioplastic coating. I call upon Dr. Garza-Valdes to test the bioplastic coating theory by removing the linen from the bioplastic coating, and thus measuring the true date of the linen. Then measure the age of the linen by the indirect method described above. If the dates agree, and they are the same as the age of the ibis, the bioplastic theory would be confirmed, and the experiment would provide evidence that might persuade the keepers of the Shroud to conduct the same revised radiocarbon procedure on the Shroud. Garza-Valdes also has (or had) in his possession samples of the linen wrappings of Manchester mummy number 1770 (a human mummy). The radiocarbon date from the bones of the mummy is 1510 BC, while the date of the linen wrappings is 255 AD ([18], p137). Garza-Valdes has seen a bioplastic coating on the linen wrapping. The linen of this mummy should also be re-dated by the procedure described above.

Garza-Valdes, together with Victor and Nancy Tryon, has carried out a PCR DNA test on blood samples taken from the Shroud ([18], pp. 115-119). He conducted a standard sex determination test. He looked for, and found, fragments of the amelogenin-X gene, which is found only on the X-chromosome, and the amelogenin-Y gene, which is found only on the Y-chromosome. Thus, Garza-Valdes concluded that the blood on the Shroud possessed the full XY chromosome pair.

However, this experimental result is also consistent with my hypothesis above, that Jesus was a XX male with all of the Y genes present on one of the X-chromosomes. In all studied cases, a XX male has only one Y gene inserted into an X-chromosome, the SRY gene, which is responsible for the testes determining factor (TDF). But if my hypothesis is correct, then the way to distinguish Jesus' genes from the normal XY male is to look for the SRY gene (or any Y gene if we assume Jesus has all the Y genes), and simultaneously conduct a test for two distinct alleles of the most variant of the X-chromosome genes. Human females will have two alleles of the X-chromosome genes because they have two X-chromosomes. The X-genes will be the same only for those genes that have only one variant; that is, only one allele.

As I mentioned above, there are two other hypotheses for how a Virgin Birth could have occurred. One assumes that Mary was a XXY female (Klinefelter's syndrome). All observed XXY females have undeveloped wombs, but under this hypothesis, Mary was on the extreme end of a Gaussian distribution for XXY females, so that her womb was normal. Jesus grew from a cell in which one of Mary's X-chromosomes was deleted. Garza-Valdes' own hypothesis is as follows ([18], p. 43-44). A tumor in the form of an undeveloped male embryo was in Mary's womb from her birth. As Garza-Valdes points out, such embryos (at least in the XX variety) have been reported in the medical literature, and he himself had a patient with this abnormality. The embryo in Mary's case would have fertilized one of Mary's eggs, resulting in the virgin birth of Jesus.

The virgin birth under Garza-Valdes' theory would be a virgin birth in the sense that Mary would have had a child without having sexual intercourse with a man, but it would genetically be a brother-sister mating: the embryo which fertilized Mary was really Mary's undeveloped brother. An incest mating has a genetic signature: since the mother and father are close relatives, they would have many of the same alleles for the same gene, and thus the child of an incest mating shows much less genetic variability. One religious problem with Garza-Valdes' theory is that his form of virgin birth cannot be distinguished from an actual mating of Mary with her brother (if such existed). The charge of brother-sister incest was apparently leveled at Mary in Alexandria early in the Christian era ([69], p. 35). If a DNA analysis yielded the result indicated by Garza-Valdes' theory, the charge of incest would once again be raised. The XXY hypothesis would yield a male which genetically looks normal.

So these three hypotheses for the Virgin Birth can be distinguished from each other by the appropriate DNA test. The required test will admittedly be difficult to carry out, since 95% of the blood on the Shroud has been replaced by bacteria [18]. But the experiment can be carried out. The test for a XX male would be easier, since it would involve carrying out the two standard tests for maleness: test the Shroud blood for the SRY gene (or possibly, any Y gene), and simultaneously test for two alleles of several X-chromosome genes.

This test for a XX male may have already been carried out. According to an article published in the Italian newspaper Chi, a DNA analysis of the blood on the Shroud was conducted by Professor Marcello Canale of the Institute of Legal Medicine in Genoa. A translation of part of this article can be found in ([31], p. 60-61.). Professor Canale was reported to have said: "With regard to sexual characteristics, we have positive indications for both genders, but much more positive for the masculine one ... It would seem that there has been some form of contamination, as we cannot suppose that the individual represented on the stains belonged to both sexes."

Is the positive test for both genders evidence for contamination, or evidence that the Person whose blood is on the Shroud was a male born via a Virgin Birth? The quoted passage is just what we would expect if the blood came from a XX male. As emphasized in ([21], p. 92), there are standard procedures which laboratories doing DNA tests follow to avoid contamination. I would be surprised if Canale did not follow these procedures. The possibility that the "feminine DNA"--I assume this means indications of two alleles from the X-chromosome--came from DNA deposited by a woman who handled the cloth can in principle be ruled out if more X-allele searches are carried out on other blood samples. If there are only two sets of X-chromosome alleles, then the two sets are from the Person whose blood is on the Shroud. Since there is now several independent laboratory experiments showing that Y-chromosome genes were present in the Person whose blood is on the Shroud, confirmation that two sets of X-chromosome genes would be strong evidence that the Person was a XX male. And this is exactly what we would expect if this Person were born of a Virgin.

It could be that Professor Canale was misquoted. I attempted to find a scientific report by Canale on his Shroud DNA work, but no such paper appeared on any of the scientific or medical databases that I searched. I was able to locate some scientific papers by Professor Canale on these databases, but no papers by him on the Shroud. According to Mark Guscin ([30], p. 62) Professor Canale published a report on his Shroud DNA work in the Italian Shroud journal Sindon, but this report is written in Italian (English summary), and is apparently non-technical. (The fact that no technical report has ever appeared in English, the international language of science, is a strong indication that Canale believed the contamination was so great that the test was essentially worthless.) I sent two e-mails to Professor Canale asking for technical information, but I received no reply. So I am forced to rely on the popular report provided by Mark Guscin. But the reader should keep in mind that popular articles by non-experts are unreliable.

However, if Canale and the Institute of Legal Medicine at Genoa did indeed perform a DNA test for sex on the Shroud blood, we can make a reasonable inference about the actual technique used by this group. The Genoa group is the inventor of one of the standard DNA tests for sex, so it is very plausible that this was the test they actually used. The Genoa sex test is actually an improved version of the sex test conducted by Garza-Valdes and Tryon: it tests simultaneously for the amelogenin-X gene and the amelogenin-Y gene. A female should have no amelogenin-Y genes, but two amelogenin-X genes. A male should have one amelogenin-Y gene and one amelogenin-X gene.

But the Genoa group's sex test has an additional feature: using an automated fluorescence detection technique, their test can measure not only the presence of the amelogenin-X gene and the amelogenin-Y gene, but it can also tell how much of each is present. In other words, the Genoa test can determine if the X and Y homologous genes are present in equal amounts (as would be the case for a normal male), or if the X gene is twice as common as the Y gene (as would be the case of an XX male resulting from a virgin birth).

As a test of their technique ([42], p. 192), the Genoa group combined 100 nanograms of female DNA with 1 nanogram of DNA from a male. Since each female has two X chromosomes and the male an X and a Y chromosome, the expected ratio of amelogenin X DNA to amelogenin Y DNA is 201 to 1. (That is, 200 X genes from the female DNA and 1 X gene from the male, for a total of 201 amelogenin-X genes, to the single amelogenin-Y gene from the male.) The observed ratio was 228 to 1, showing that the Genoa technique can measure the ratio of Y to X DNA to within 10%. If applied to a sample of male DNA, the test should yield a ratio of 1 to 1.

When this test was (probably) applied to the blood on the Shroud, the ratio of X to Y was almost certainly higher than the expected 1 to 1 for a male, but again, not high enough to be consistent with a ratio of infinity (the ratio for a female). The Genoa group thus concluded that there had to be an enormous amount of contamination.

I conjecture the Shroud blood sample used by the Genoa group had no significant amount of contamination, but instead the group saw the very distinct DNA signature of a XX male born of a Virgin, namely an homologous gene X to Y ratio of 2 to 1. My conjecture that the DNA of the blood on the Shroud is that of a XX male can be tested by first checking for two alleles for the homologous X genes (or two alleles being most common, since there probably is a significant amount of contamination), and then checking for only one allele for the homologous Y gene. There are 13 genes which are homologous on the X and Y chromosomes. All of these genes should be checked to see if they are in the 2 X to 1 Y ratio expected for a male born of a Virgin.

I have also shown that, contrary to the belief of many, there is a test for Jesus Christ: test a sample of His blood for a 2 to 1 ratio of genes homologous on the X and Y chromosomes respectively. Furthermore, there should be only two alleles for the X genes.

This test should be carried out on other sample of Shroud blood and flesh. Ian Wilson and Barrie Schwortz report ([22], p. 88) that Professor Alan Whanger, of the Duke University Medical Center, has in his possession samples of the blood and possibly even muscle tissue from the Man on the Shroud. (These samples are the Frei sticky tapes.) I call upon Professor Whanger to conduct the DNA test described above. The above DNA test, besides establishing that the Man Whose blood is on the Shroud was born of a Virgin, would also demonstrate that the radiocarbon dating was incorrect. It is exceedingly improbable that more than one male has been born of a virgin in history.

Mark Guscin reports ([30], p. 60) that "The masculine and feminine DNA can also be found on the Sudarium of Oviedo ..." . If so, if this quoted statement means that the ratio of Y genes to X genes is 1 to 2, and finally if this ratio is not a result of contamination, then it means the Sudarium also shows the hallmark of a virgin birth. This would be convincing evidence that the Sudarium and the Shroud contain the blood of the same man, and this man is the man Jesus. As I calculated above, we would expect on the grounds of simple probability that a male would result in from a virgin birth only once in human history. Indeed, Guscin in [30] provides strong evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo Spain is the cloth described in John 20:7 as being wrapped around Jesus' head. Even if we ignore the probabilities, how could a medieval forger have obtained the blood of male born of a virgin?

The Immaculate Conception and the Fall

In principle, it might be possible to show, by DNA analysis of the blood on the Shroud (or the Sudarium), that Jesus was not only born of a Virgin, but that he and his mother were without original sin. That is, it might be possible to confirm the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Church dogma since 1854). In the Christian tradition, original sin is inherited from our ultimate ancestors. If original sin actually exists, then it must in some way be coded in our genetic material, i.e., in our DNA. Also according to the Christian tradition, original sin originated in the Fall, an act of some kind by our ultimate ancestors. Before the Fall there was no sin. Almost all scientists consider the Fall a fairy tale. I want to argue the contrary. I shall claim that there was a time in Earth's history when no sin or evil existed, that sin came into the Earth's biosphere at a definite time in the past, and that not only we humans but all metazoans are infected by it. A tendency to commit evil acts is indeed in our DNA, and hence it is inherited. But this tendency might not present in all humans' DNA. A man and a woman might have not have had the sin behavior genes.

We first have to have a clear conception of "sin" or "evil." In modern English, "sin" refers to an offense against sexual morality. An example would be "concupiscence", or excessive sexual desire. But of course "evil" is a more general phenomenon than acts pertaining to sexual relations. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, sex itself is good because created by God, as asserted in Genesis 1:28, and in Genesis 1:27 (when read in conjunction with Gesesis1:31). The natural goodness of sex is also asserted by Paul in I Corinthians 7:38. The claim that sexual relations between man and wife is intrinsically bad is the gnostic heresy. Instead, Paul in Romans 7:7 argues that covetness is the foundation of all evil. But covetness is not desire per se. It is perfectly correct to desire happiness of other people, for example. It is also perfectly legitimate to desire to increase one's knowledge. In particular, Eve's desire for knowledge (Genesis 3:6) was not evil. Only the "knowledge" of evil as distinct from a "knowledge" of good only (Genesis 2:17), is evil. ("Knowledge" is the sense of information coded in the genes.) As the Tenth Commandment tells us (Exodus 20:17) desire becomes evil only when one desires someone else's property. Then desire becomes "covetness." The last six Commandments, the Commandments concerning inter-human relations, can be summarized by saying "don't take, don't even think of taking, something that belongs to someone else." Don't take away the respect due to your parents, don't take someone's life, don't take someone's mate, don't take someone's property, don't take someone's reputation. Don't even think of taking these things. The first four Commandments tell us to love and respect God. Jesus agreed (Matthew 19:19 and Luke 10:27) that the essence of evil was failing to love God, and respect others' rights (love others as oneself).

I claim that we can summarize these definitions of evil in the following way. I claim that all evil acts can ultimately be reduced to a violation of one and only one ethical rule. "Thou shall not impose your theories on other living beings by force." Thus moral evil is a certain type of interaction between two or more living organisms. Natural evils are of two types: pain (both physical and mental) and death. So a world without evil--and without sin, I regard "sin" and "evil" as synonymous--is a world in which there is no death, no pain, and no force applied by one organism on another.

This actually describes the world of the one-celled organisms two billion years ago. As emphasized by Margulis and Sagan [32], before the evolution of metazoans, there were no distinct species. All one-celled organisms can exchange information with each other. Furthermore, for each type of microorganisms, there were many clones in existence. Since there was no information coded except in the genes, these apparently distinct organisms were really "back-up" copies of each other. The "individual" was really not a single cell, but rather the collection of all clones of that cell. As long as a single cell of the clone existed, the individual existed. Certain lines of cyanobacteria have not changed for over 3.5 billion years. This individual has been alive almost as long as the Earth itself has existed. One-celled organisms have no nervous system, so they cannot feel pain, either physical or mental. It is not possible to apply force to an organism which could not feel pain, and could not die.

The possibility of applying force--the possibility of evil--became possible with the evolution of the metazoans. Information was now coded in relationships between the cells of the metazoan, as in the nervous system of chordates. This information was unique to the individual, not just the clone. It could be destroyed. Death and pain entered the world, and with them, the possibility for moral evil. A metazoan could impose its will on other organisms. It could impose its theories on other organisms. One way would be to eat these other organisms. The information coded in the eaten organism would disappear, and be replaced by information coded in the eater. This is a simple example of theory imposition. We humans are more memes than genes, so we are more familiar with forcible theory replacement of meme than gene. But both gene and meme replacement are examples of theory replacement. By the time of the Cambrian explosion, if not earlier, carnivores had appeared on Earth. Evil had appeared in the world. Genes now coded for behavior that guided the use of biological weapons of the carnivores. The desire to do evil was now hereditary.

We humans ourselves show a marked tendency to want to impose our will on other organisms, both our own species, and other species. I would suggest that this tendency is genetic, as it certainly is in other meat-eating animals. But we are omnivores: the human per capita murder rate--the killing of members of one's own species--is less than that observed in pure carnivores like lions and wolves. So we are not the most violent, the most evil, of animals. We also have no reason to think that this violent tendency is absolutely essential to our survival. Pacifists like Gandhi have insisted that it is not, but even Gandhi occasionally showed a wish to impose his will on others. The genes that generate this tendency are probably universal in the human species.

But if these genes are not essential to human survival we can imagine that they be absent from some perhaps uniquely rare individuals. The Judeo-Christian tradition holds that the female began the Fall. Since it is absurd to think that the Fall began with a female because females are less able to resist temptation than males (indeed, Genesis 2 does not suggest this), it is more reasonable to interpret the tradition to mean that the gene essential to the evil tendency is on the X-chromosome. It may be relevant the damage of a certain X-chromosome gene is known to be responsible for violence in males. But too little is now known about behavioral genetics to say definitely where the evil tendency genes are located. Or, I admit, even if they exist. But if they do exist, then the Christian tradition would claim that these genes would be absent from Jesus' genome. Since Jesus and Mary would share the same genome on my XX male theory, if the genes are absent from Jesus' genome, they would be absent from Mary's. Jesus would indeed have been Conceived Immaculately. A DNA search in the Shroud for the above-mentioned X-chromosome gene would be a first step. If this gene were indeed involved in our tendency to commit evil, we would expect to see this gene modified from the human norm in the Shroud DNA. If the Christian tradition is correct that the Fall affected the entire animal kingdom, we would expect to see a similar gene present in all animals, presumably in the chromosome coding for sex differentiation. In mammals this is the X chromosome (if both males and females are to be subject to the gene), but in birds it would be the Z chromosome. In reptiles, it would be present in both sex chromosomes, since in reptiles sex is determined by the temperature experienced by a given egg rather than the genes.

If the evil tendency genes were implanted in the genome by eating something, as Genesis chapter 2 claims, then the Fall would have occurred near the start of metazoan evolution. As Margulis ([32], [33]) has shown, ingestion is a common way for one-celled organisms to obtain new genes, and we would expect this capacity to persist only for very early metazoans. If the Fall occurred at the time of the Cambrian Explosion, I would conjecture that the gene is associated with the formation of bony substances, since such materials were used to form weapons in creatures that lived at that time. I find it very intriguing that animals which have been domesticated have more delicate bones than the lineages from which they originated ([73], pp. 36-37). This indeed suggests that bony structures are in some way associated with ability to cooperate rather than fight.

If such a "gene for evil" exists, there would have to be a reason for it being universal in the metazoan world. If this gene appeared half a billion years ago, why was it not deleted in some lineages? It would not be deleted if it also coded for some characteristic that is completely essential for metazoan life so that eliminating the gene for evil would also delete a characteristic for metazoan life. This is another reason for suspecting that the gene might be associated with the formation of bone. Reconstruction of the gene complex for bone formation would be too improbable or difficult. We would thus expect the reconstruction of the complex to have occurred only once.

If Jesus' conception was Immaculate, then it is very appropriate to call Mary Theotokos, the Greek word being most accurately translated as "the one who gave birth to the one who is God." ([77], p. 53). An Immaculate Mary would be both completely human, but more than human: she would be missing the genetic flaws that induce us to do evil. Since she is not God, she is not entitled to the worship that God (either the Father, the Son , or the Holy Spirit) is entitled to. The Catholic Church uses the word latreia (adoration) for this form of worship. A mere saint (a normal human with original sin, but who has more or less managed to overcome this inducement to commit evil) is entitled to reverence, or douleia Mary, being more than a saint but infinitely less than God, is entitled to hyperdulia ([77], p. 102). If, as I shall suggest below, that Mary's genetic constitution allowed her to be Assumed into heaven, then calling her Theotokos is doubly appropriate.

The Resurrection of Jesus

But much more interesting than the Immaculate Conception or even the Virgin Birth, is the possibility that the image on the Shroud may provide evidence that Jesus rose from the dead, in a manner that resembles our own resurrection in the computers of the far future, and establishes Him as Christ. I shall now explain how the dematerialization mechanism described above--electroweak quantum tunneling--would naturally generate the image on the Shroud. To do this, I shall first outline in more detail how this dematerialization mechanism works. Then I shall show how this mechanism explains ALL the observations of the Shroud image made to date. These are: first, the 3-D images obtained by the VP-8 analyzer ([22], p. 37), second, the fact that the image is located on the uppermost fibers of the Shroud linen, and third, the fact that the images appear to be generated by conjugated carbonyl bonds ([27], pp. 199-200; [50]). I shall finally describe how my hypothesis can be tested experimentally. In other words, I shall describe how we can establish experimentally that Jesus rose from the dead, in a manner that confirms His Sonship.

Pannenberg wrote in his 1966 book Jesus--God and Man that "The possibility of the historicity of Jesus' resurrection has been opposed on the grounds that the resurrection of a dead person even in the sense of the resurrection to imperishable life would be an event that violates the laws of nature. ... [But] ... only a part of the laws of nature are ever known." ([28], p. 98) Pannenberg showed great prescience: the law of physics responsible for Jesus' resurrection was first discovered in 1976 [61] by Gerard 't Hooft, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1999. This new law was not fully understood until the 1980's. The new law is a consequence of the Standard Model of particle physics. For those not familiar with the Standard Model the best introduction is Gordon Kane's book [67]. The new law is described in detail in ([66]; [62]; [63], chapter 23). Steven Weinberg (Nobel Prize in physics, 1979) gives a particularly elegant derivation of the new law from the Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem in [63].

The new law is sometimes called "electroweak baryogenesis" or, since at high energy the process of baryogenesis is dominated by field configurations termed "sphalerons," it is also called "sphaleron baryogenesis." The word "baryogenesis" refers to the generation of baryons (particles like protons and neutrons) and leptons (particles like electrons and neutrinos) out of energy states. But in physics, a process can be reversed, and I shall be assuming that the process worked in reverse--baryons and leptons annihilated--in the case of Jesus' resurrection.

Electroweak baryogenesis conserves BL, where B is the baryon number, and L is the lepton number. Thus, a hydrogen atom can be converted into a neutrino-antineutrino pair via the sphaleron reaction p + eNZ → (v + v), where p is a proton, e is an electron, Z is the neutral intermediate vector boson, v is a neutrino, and v is an antineutrino. N is the number of neutrino-antineutrino pairs produced in each annihilation of a (p + e) pair. We shall see below that the observations can fix N and show that N is greater than one. But for simplicity of explanation, I shall assume for the moment that N = 1.

This reaction conserves BL. To see this, proceed as follows. The proton has +1 unit of baryon number (and 0 for its lepton number) while the electron has +1 unit of lepton number (and 0 for its baryon number). Thus, initially we have BL = 1 − 1 = 0. The neutrino has +1 unit of lepton number like the electron (and 0 for its baryon number), and the antineutrino has −1 units of lepton number (and 0 for its baryon number). Thus in the final state we have BL = 1 + (−1) = 0. Hence, before and after the reaction, BL equals zero. The Z boson has zero baryon and lepton number. This Z particle is called a virtual particle. We shall see below why the Z has to be present. By conservation of energy, the mass-energy in the hydrogen atom--approximately 1 GeV, or 1 billion electron volts of energy--would be carried away by each neutrino. If we ignore any other reactions occurring simultaneously, the energy would be equally divided between each neutrino. Each would have 1/2 GeV of energy.

Atoms more complicated that the most common isotope of hydrogen have neutrons. These neutrons in atoms more massive than hydrogen can be annihilated into neutrinos and antineutrinos by the following reaction: n → (p + e) + v → (v + v) + v = v + 2v, where v is an antineutrino. (The first reaction is allowed by low energy weak interaction physics, since it conserves B and L separately. Recall that an antineutrino has lepton number −1.) An alternative reaction that would convert neutrons into neutrinos would be to use the neutrino from the proton-electron annihilation reaction to give n + vv + v. Either reaction will result in the conversion of all atoms into neutrinos and antineutrinos. In the first reaction each neutrino and antineutrino would carry away one third of the neutron's rest mass or 1/3 GeV (actually somewhat less when we take into account the mass defect of the atom in which the neutron is bound). Since the second reaction is really (p + e) + n → (v + v) + n = (n + v) + v → (v + v) + v = v + 2v, where the intermediate particles are virtual, each particle in the final state would also have slightly less than 1/3 GeV of energy. Notice that in the first reaction, namely nv + 2v, BL is still conserved. Initially, we have BL = +1 − 0 = +1. In the final state of one neutrino and two antineutrinos we have BL = 0 − ((+1) + 2(−1)) = +1. The net effect of annihilating either a proton-electron pair or a neutron is to reduce the baryon number of the universe by one and the lepton number of the universe by one. As we shall see, this reduction is important to understanding why the Son came to earth in the first place.

This new law of electroweak baryogenesis has never been seen experimentally in the laboratory, because the energy required for the process to occur at an observable rate is beyond the reach of our particle accelerators. The energy required to overcome the potential barrier between states with different baryon number is approximately 10 TeV, or 10,000 GeV. This number is ten trillion electron volts of energy. The energy available in the Tevatron at Fermilab is about 2 TeV and it will be about 5 TeV in the Large Hadron Collider now under construction at CERN. In both of these machines, the energy is divided between the many quarks, antiquarks and gluons that make up the protons and antiprotons being collided. Only in a very rare event would all the 2 or 5 TeV be in single particles making up the proton and antiprotons that collide. So we cannot expect to see the electroweak baryogenesis process operating in the immediate future. So if this process cannot be seen in a single proton-antiproton collision in our most powerful accelerators--machines which are more than a mile in diameter--how can I expect to see the process act to annihilate the 5 × 1028 atoms that make up Jesus' body?

Electroweak baryogenesis can occur by quantum tunneling through the 10 TeV energy barrier that separates the states of different baryon number. Quantum tunneling is a phenomenon observed in many quantum systems, and it works by a cooperative effort across the worlds of the multiverse. Suppose a particle has an energy of only 1 electron volt, and we want it to surmount an energy barrier of 10 TeV. This is impossible if only one universe exists, because that particle has only 1 eV of energy. But the particle is actually spread out over many universes, in each of which it has 1 eV of energy. If each version of this particle in 20 trillion universes provides half of its energy to a single one of the versions, then this single version now has 10 TeV, just enough energy to surmount the barrier. The reason that barrier penetration by this mechanism is never seen in daily life is that it requires cooperation between the worlds of the multiverse. Further, the amount of cooperation required is proportional to the height of the energy barrier, relative to the average energy of each version of the particle. If the barrier is 10 TeV high, and each particle has only a single eV of energy, then at least 10 trillion have to transfer their energy across the worlds to a single particle. The probability of this occurring is exceedingly low under normal circumstances. We see the phenomena of quantum tunneling--in transistors, for example--only when the height of the barrier is small relative to the energy of each version, and only when it is easy to maintain quantum coherence (the possibility of cooperation between the worlds).

What I am proposing is that the Son and the Father singularities guided the worlds of the multiverse to concentrate the energy of the particles comprising Jesus in our universe, into the Jesus of our universe. In effect, Jesus' dead body, lying in the tomb, would have been enveloped in a sphaleron field. This field would have dematerialized Jesus' body into neutrinos and antineutrinos in a fraction of a second, after which the energy transferred to this world would have been transferred back to the other worlds from whence it came. Reversing this process (by having neutrinos and antineutrinos--almost certainly not the original neutrinos and antineutrinos dematerialized from Jesus' body--materialize into another body) would generate Jesus' resurrection body.

If a body were to dematerialize via this mechanism inside a linen shroud, it would generate an image just like the image of Jesus seen on the Shroud of Turin. To see this, let us recall the key features of the image. First, it is very faint, and in each spot on the Shroud it is limited to the uppermost fibers of a single strand of the linen. The image is a yellowing of this outermost fiber. Second, the image was formed when the linen cloth was in a position perpendicular to the body. That is, the linen was not wrapped around the body when the image was formed. If the linen cloth had been wrapped around the body when the image was formed, the image on the cloth would have been distorted. Instead, the image looks like a photograph, which is imprinted on a flat plane. Thus the image must have been formed on the linen when the linen was essentially flat relative to the body. The image generation mechanism did not effect the linen fibers underneath the blood on the Shroud. Since in addition the blood clots on the Shroud were not deformed, the image generation mechanism acted without first pulling the linen away from the body in the regions of the clotted blood, which would have glued the linen to the body at these places.

But the image is more than a photograph, because it contains three-dimensional information. When a VP-8 analyzer scanned the image, the scan appeared as an undistorted human being in three-dimensions. A flat photograph of a human face similarly scanned appears distorted. Adler and Heller have pointed out that the three dimensional effect is a consequence of the image contrast on the Shroud being generated by having more fibers yellowed rather than having the same number of fibers become more yellow. The amount of yellowing on each of the image fibers is constant from fiber to fiber. Jackson and his coworkers were able to reproduce the 3-D features of the Shroud image by putting a bust of a human head, which had first been coated with a phosphorescent paint, in a tank of water to which ink had been added. When a photograph of this bust in the inked water was made, the photograph showed the same 3-D pattern in the VP-8 analyzer.

The Shroud image could not have been a scorch, because it did not fluoresce under ultraviolet, whereas burn marks on the Shroud from a fire in 1532 did fluoresce. As a further test, a heated bust of a human head was placed near a sheet of linen. The heat produced an image on the linen, but the nose--which was the closest to the cloth--was burned almost black, while other parts of the face did not appear at all.

Chemical analyses of the Shroud image fibers conducted by Adler and Heller indicated that the image--the yellowing of the fibers--were due to a conjugated dicarbonyl group formed out of the cellulose of the linen. They were able to undo the yellowing of an image fiber by applying the powerful reductant diimide to the fiber. Upon application of diimide, the image fiber turned white; that is, the yellowing which had formed the image disappeared. Diimide (the compound H-N=N-H) reduces molecules by hydrogenation. That is, diimide adds hydrogen atoms to other molecules. In organic chemistry, "reduction" is defined to be a process in which hydrogen atoms are added to a molecule. "Oxidation", the reverse of reduction, is defined to be the removal of hydrogen atoms to a molecule. The image fibers appeared under the microscope to be more degraded (or eaten away) than non-image fibers. So from these two observations together Adler and Heller concluded that the image had been formed by oxidation--the removal of hydrogen atoms.

Adler and Heller were able to yellow modern linen fibers by placing the linen into concentrated sulfuric acid. As is well known, concentrated sulfuric acid is not only a strong acid; it is also a strong dehydrator. A common experiment in high school is to pour concentrated sulfuric acid into sugar. A black mass rises from the container of the acid and sugar. What has happened is that the sulfuric acid has pulled water molecules (H2O) out of the sugar (glucose C6H12O6), leaving the carbon. Adler and Heller discovered that dehydration of linen in an alkali environment failed to produce a yellowing of the linen. Only dehydration in an acid environment produced a yellowing.

I wrote above that neutrinos have so little interaction with matter that the mass of Jesus' body could have been converted into neutrinos without the people nearby being effected by the neutrinos. This is true but the conversion of an 81-kilogram body entirely into neutrinos would have an effect on the Shroud, which was placed directly on Jesus' body in the tomb. The neutrinos would have just enough interaction with the atoms of the Shroud to lift the Shroud, just the effect required to explain the observation that the Shroud must have been straightened out away from the body just before the image was formed. But the neutrinos will not exert sufficient force to pull the Shroud away from the blood clots, where the linen had become glued to Jesus' body.

The calculation is similar to the calculation above showing that a directed neutrino beam generated by sphaleron action could support Jesus' body. The mass of the Shroud--the object that must be lifted--is obtained as follows. The Shroud measures 437 centimeters by 111 centimeters, ([22], p. 18), giving a total area of 48,500 square centimeters (rounding to three place accuracy). The area density of the Shroud is 22 ± 2 milligrams per square centimeter ([29], pp. 153-154). (The area density was measured to be 21.4 mg/cm2 in the region cut away for the radiocarbon dating ([29], p. 261).) Multiplying the area by the area density gives a total Shroud mass of 1.1 ± 0.1 kilograms. This is the mass that must be lifted. (Or rather half of it, since half of the Shroud would remain under Jesus Body. But I'm just doing an order of magnitude calculation here, because a complete calculation would also have to consider additional required forces like the force required to pull the Shroud out from under Jesus' body. These forces will be within an order of magnitude of the force required to lift the Shroud).

A rough order of magnitude estimate for the neutrino/antineutrino center of mass cross section with neutrons and protons is σ = GF2s, where GF is the Fermi coupling constant, and s is the square of the system center of mass energy ([68], p. 273). This simple relation follows of course from dimensional analysis (using particle physics units in which h/2π = c = 1, so that energy has dimensions of inverse length. The Fermi coupling constant has units of inverse energy squared: GF = 1.16637 × 10−5 GeV−2). In more conventional units, the cross-section is thus (5.31 × 10−42 m2)(s/GeV2). This last notation means that we must measure the energy in GeV. From this cross section we can compute the energy and momentum transferred to the Shroud from the neutrinos and antineutrinos as follows.

The body of the man on the Shroud has been estimated by Dr. Robert Buckland, a forensic pathologist, to have weighed 178 pounds ([27], p. 2) or 80.8 kilograms, so I shall use this number as our best guess of Jesus' mass. This mass must be converted into neutrinos and antineutrinos. As noted above, a proton-electron pair can be converted into an arbitrary number of neutrino-antineutrino pairs, but let me first do the calculation for the amount of energy absorbed by the Shroud assuming that only one pair per proton-electron. We shall see that this results in too much energy being absorbed by the Shroud, even though neutrinos interact very weakly with matter. There is simply an enormous amount of mass-energy, by nuclear physics standards, in an 80-kilogram man. But I shall show that we can fix the number of neutrino-antineutrino pairs by requiring that no human would incur radiation damage by the act of Jesus dematerializing next to that person.

Recall that the total cross section is defined as the ratio of the total number of interactions to the product of the number of neutrinos/antineutrinos produced via the complete conversion of Jesus' body into neutrinos/antineutrinos and the total number of nucleons (in the Shroud). The number of neutrinos/antineutrinos produced per nucleon is twice what I called N above in the reaction p + eNZN(v + v). If we call the total number of interactions N, then the total energy deposited will be EN, where E is the energy per interaction. The number of nucleons in the Shroud equals the total mass of the Shroud in grams (1,100) times the number of nucleons per gram, which is Avogadro's number, 6.022 × 1023. This gives 6.6 × 1026 nucleons in the Shroud. The number of incident neutrinos equals (2N)(mass of 178 pound man in grams)(6.022 × 1023) = N × 1029.

For the moment, let me set N = 1 to show what will be the result. Then all the energy generated per annihilation of a proton-electron pair will appear in a single neutrino-antineutrino pair, or 1/2 GeV for each particle. The center of mass energy squared will be 2 GeV2 for 1/2 GeV neutrinos or antineutrinos.

Since s, the center of mass energy squared will be seen later to be very important, I will outline the relativity calculation. By definition (see [67], Appendix C) s ≡ (pn + pv)2 ≡ (pn + pv)μ (pn + pv)μ = (pn + pv)t2 − (pn + pv)x2, where pn is the 4-momentum of the nucleon, and pv is the 4-momentum of the neutrino (or antineutrino). In the rest frame of the Shroud, we have pn = (mn, 0, 0, 0,), where mn is the rest mass of the nucleon (roughly 1 GeV) and pv = (Ev, Ev/c, 0, 0) is the 4-momentum of the neutrino and antineutrino, where Ev is the energy of the neutrino or antineutrino. Thus s = (Ev + mn)2 − (Ev/c)2. Using standard particle physics units in which the speed of light c = 1, we see that setting Ev = (1/2) GeV, and = 1 GeV, gives s = 2(GeV)2. Notice also that if Ev is very small in comparison to mn, the value of s essentially becomes the mass of the nucleon squared.

Putting s = 2(GeV)2 gives a cross section of 1.06 × 10−42 m2, and thus the total number of interactions of the neutrinos or antineutrinos with the Shroud will be 6.6 × 1014. If the total energy of each neutrino or antineutrino were deposited in the Shroud, as would happen if the collisions between the Shroud nucleons and the neutrinos were perfectly inelastic, the total energy deposited on the Shroud would be (6.6 × 1014 interactions)((1/2) GeV per interaction)(109 eV/GeV)(1.602 × 10−19 Joules per eV) = 53,000 Joules. This is an enormous amount of energy. It corresponds to an absorbed radiation dose of 53,000 Joules/1.1 kilograms times (1 rad/0.01 J/Kg) = 5.3 million rads. To see the effect of such a dose of radiation on a human, we have to convert from rads to rems ("rem" stands for "radiation equivalent man"). No human technology has ever generated enough neutrinos to actually endanger a human, so the measurements required to obtain the conversion from rads to rems has never been carried out. However, a reasonable estimate is to assume that the conversion would be midway between gamma rays (for which 1 rad = 1 rem) and neutrons (for which 1 rad = 2 rems). Since I am calculating order of magnitude effects, I shall use 1 rad = 1 rem as the conversion.

Thus the radiation dosage from the neutrino-antineutrino pairs, assuming N = 1, implies a radiation dosage of 5.3 million rems. A lethal dosage of radiation is 600 rems. The recommended maximum dosage for health workers such as X-ray technicians is 5 rems per year. So if Jesus were to dematerialize into 1/2 GeV neutrinos, his mass--like the mass of every human--is so great that anyone standing nearby would receive 10,000 times the lethal dose of radiation. This lethal dose occurs even though a neutrino has the smallest interaction cross-section of any known particle. This rules out high energy 1/2 GeV neutrinos. In other words, it rules out N = 1.

But it does NOT rule out dematerialization into neutrino-antineutrino pairs. I shall now show that dematerialization is possible, with arbitrarily small radiation dosage, if N is sufficiently large. More precisely, I shall now show that if N = 106, or greater, then a person standing next to Jesus when he dematerialized, would receive less than 5 rems of radiation. I shall also show that with N = 106, there would be just enough momentum transfer from the neutrinos to the Shroud to lift the Shroud.

The key is to realize that with N = 106, the neutrinos and antineutrinos would have an energy of (1/2)GeV times 10−6 = 500 eV, or (1/2) KeV. These are very low energy neutrinos, and they will have too low an energy to induce nuclear transitions. They will instead collide elastically with the quarks of the nucleons and with the electrons of the atoms. I shall now show that the energy transferred in an elastic collision varies as N−2, while the number of neutrinos increases as N. Thus the total energy transferred varies as the product of the energy transferred per neutrino times the total number of neutrinos, which is to say, as 1/N. Thus we see that by having N = 106 or higher, the radiation dosage is reduced to 5 rems or lower.

In both elastic and inelastic collisions, the 4-momenta before and after the collision have to be equal. For an elastic collision, the timelike component of the 4-momenta is Ev + mn = Ev + γmn and the spacelike component of the 4-momenta is Ev = − Ev + γmnv. Once again, I have set c = 1, I have also used the symbol Ev to denote the energy of the neutrino after the collision with the nucleon, v denotes the velocity of the nucleon after the collision, and γ = (1 − v2)−1/2 as usual. Adding these two equations and dividing the result by mn yields (2Ev + mn)/ mn = γ(1 + v). Setting for convenience A ≡ (2Ev + mn)/ mn, we discover (after a bit of algebra) that γ = (1 + A2)/2A. What we want to calculate is the kinetic energy KE transferred to each nucleon by the elastic collision with a neutrino. This kinetic energy is KE = (γ − 1)mn. But we have Ev = mn/2N, so A = 1 + 1/N, and hence the KE = mn/2(N2 + N). Thus if N >> 1, we will have KE = mn/2(N2), which is the formula I wished to obtain. (Strictly speaking, I should use a different coupling constant, call it GZ , in the cross section in place of the Fermi coupling constant GF , since the Fermi coupling constant has the W-boson in the propagator, and the W-boson generates inelastic collisions. It is the Z-boson that is responsible for elastic collisions between neutrinos and quarks and electrons. But since (GZ/GF)2 = (MW/MZ)4 = (80 GeV/91 GeV)4 = 0.60, keeping the Fermi coupling constant is accurate to within an order of magnitude.)

Let me now show that the neutrino flux from dematerialization has just enough momentum to lift the Shroud. Let me first assume that the neutrinos and antineutrinos impart to the Shroud 5 rads of radiation. This amounts to 5.5 × 10−2 Joules of energy, so the height this energy can raise the half of the Shroud above the body is h = KE/mg = 0.51 cm. (Half the KE, but half the mass to be raised.) This number could be increased inside the tomb, since the intensity of radiation absorbed would drop off as the square of the distance from the body, and so if the radiation were to be held at 5 rads (to protect the guards outside the tomb, say 2 meters from the body, the radiation level one cm from the body could impart (200cm/1cm)2 × 5 rads = 40,000 × 5 rads or 200,000 rads (2,000 Joules inserted into a 1 kg Shroud). Jackson and Jumper have estimated ([22], p. 49) that the Shroud was lifted by no more than 4 centimeters by the Resurrection Event. If we set h = 4 cm, we obtain 40 rads. But let me keep the 1/2 cm lifting ability. The force exerted on the Shroud depends on the time Δt over which the body is dematerialized. The force is given by F = (2m(KE))1/2t = (2(1.1 kg/2)(5.5 × 10−2 J/2))1/2t = 0.17 newton-seconds/Δt. If we assume that the dematerialization occurs sufficiently rapidly that it appears instantaneous to a human observer (1/100 second, since this is the response time for the human eye), the force exerted on the Shroud would be 17 newtons. This number should be compared with the 1.1 kg times 9.8 m/s−2 = 11 newtons required to cancel the force of gravity on the Shroud. Exerted over the entire Shroud with surface area of 4.85 square meters, 17 newtons would correspond to a pressure of 17 N/4.85 m2 = 3.5 Pascals = 5.1 × 10−4 pounds per square inch. A small pressure indeed! But the pressure could be raised to 1/10 pounds per square inch by the above-mentioned possible increase in the energy dosage.

The force exerted on the Shroud would also be increased if the dematerialization time were decreased to the light travel time across the body. For a body thickness of about 30 cm, this would be Δt = 0.30m/3.00 × 108 m/sec = (10−7)(1/100) sec. This decrease in the dematerialization time would increase the force and hence the pressure by a factor of 107, to 3.5 × 107 Pascals, or 5,100 pounds per square inch. In all of the above scenarios, I conclude that there will be sufficient energy and force to lift the Shroud, and raise it sufficiently high to make an essentially level surface as observed, as Jackson has shown is required.

But the neutrinos could not generate the image on the Shroud. There might be sufficient energy, but the energy transfer will be uniform throughout the Shroud, because of the low cross section of the neutrinos. Nor could be neutrinos be responsible for the medieval date obtained by the radiocarbon laboratories. For one thing, the energy of the neutrinos is too low to induce a nuclear transition from Carbon 12 to Carbon 14. In addition, we would expect that were the energies sufficiently high to induce such a transition, even more Carbon 12 would be converted into Carbon 13, and such an increase was not seen.

I propose instead that the sphaleron field itself generated the Shroud image. I suggest that while the Shroud was lifted by the neutrinos, the layers of the Shroud nearest the body were in the sphaleron field, and so the atoms of these outermost layers were themselves dematerialized. But we would expect the field to rapidly decohere away from the body, so only the outermost layers would be affected. We would also expect the strength of the field to drop off exponentially away from the body, so the dematerialization effect of the sphaleron field would also drop off exponentially as one goes away from the body. This would explain the 3-D pattern in the VP-8 analyzer. The exponential drop off is exactly the same as the exponential drop off in light intensity from light passing through an ink medium. (Recall from the above discussion, that Jackson showed a light-emitting bust in water to which ink has been added duplicated the 3-D pattern in the VP-8 analyzer.) Adler and Heller observed that the image fibers appeared to be eaten away, and this is exactly the effect of dematerialization.

dematerializing cellulose means removing (annihilating) hydrogen atoms--by chemical definition, oxidizing the cellulose. It also involves removing (annihilating) water molecules--by chemical definition, dehydrating the cellulose. In both cases, this is exactly what Adler and Heller observed. Finally, these removals of atoms and molecules will occur with the removal (annihilation) of electrons--and by chemical (Lewis) definition, an acid is any substance that accepts (removes from its environment) an electron pair. That is, the oxidation and dehydration would occur as if these processes were occurring in an acid environment. In other words, the annihilation would act just like the chemical process of adding concentrated sulfuric acid to the cellulose of the linen.

With one important exception. With an acid to degrade the linen, we would expect heavier elements, such as iron and calcium, which have become implanted in the cellulose of the linen, to be left behind by the acid, leaving an increased concentration of such heavier elements. Adler and Heller found iron and calcium uniformly throughout the Shroud, except for a higher concentration near the edges where water exposure had concentrated the heavier elements. A chemical eating away of the image fibers should leave a very slight concentration of iron near the region, due to the iron left behind. This suggests that the image should have been visible in the X-ray images of the Shroud, due to this slightly increased iron density. Instead, the image was invisible in the X-ray images. This could be due to a lack of sufficient X-ray sensitivity, or it could be due to annihilation of the iron atoms. This is a possible experiment that could these my sphaleron field explanation for the Shroud image.

There is, I admit, one huge gap in my sphaleron field, dematerialization hypothesis. I haven't a clue how a sphaleron field could be created on a macroscopic scale. I can only say that such a situation can be imagined, if--and only if--we can imagine that a coherent quantum state can be generated and maintained on a macroscopic scale. In the laboratory, the difficulty with generating and preserving any coherent state is isolating the state from the world around the state. Interestingly, the risen Jesus' command to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17, that she was not to touch him, is extraordinarily suggestive of the necessity of isolation for a coherent state. Such a coherent quantum state would be intrinsically non-local. This non-locality would mean that the information from the interior of Jesus' body would be in part also present on the surface of the body. Thus this non-locality would account for the observations that the image of the hands on the Shroud look very long and bony, as in an X-ray ([22], p. 37), and for the appearance of some bony structures in the image of the face ([22], pp. 38-39). I shall now give a reason why both such situations might indeed be possible, and also how we might be able to establish that they did indeed occur in the Man of the Shroud.

Turin Shroud as Holy Grail

The historian Daniel Scavone has brilliantly argued ([54], [55]) that the Turin Shroud is the source of the Holy Grail legends. A summary of his thesis is given in ([30], p. 125) and in ([22], p. 138-139; 169-173). The basic idea is that the Grail legends were first written in Western Europe at roughly the same time that the Latin Christians become aware of the Mandylion of Constantinople, an image of Jesus which disappeared during the sack of this city by the Crusaders in 1204. The Manylion reappears in history as the Shroud of Turin (if indeed the Shroud is genuine) ([21], [22]). Scavone shows that the description of the Mandylion (or rather its container) matches the description of the Grail in the earliest versions of the Grail legends. Also, the Grail is always associated with Joseph of Arimathea, who provided the tomb for Jesus and presumably the linen burial cloths. (There were two such cloths, according to John's Gospel). After the Resurrection, Joseph of Arimathea would thus be the owner of the cloths. Also, the Grail is by tradition the receptacle of Jesus' blood. This is exactly what the Turin Shroud, if genuine, actually is. Mark Guscin has made a persuasive case for the Oviedo Cloth to be the other cloth mentioned in John's Gospel. The distribution of the blood stains on both cloths, the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth, are similar, and both have type AB blood, a blood type that is rare in the general human population, but fairly common among the Jews of Palestine. The Oviedo Cloth is known to have existed at least since 1000 AD, and a plausible history can be constructed to place it in Palestine in the early first century. If so, then if we define the Holy Grail as the depository of Jesus' blood, then the Oviedo Cloth and the Turin Shroud are together the Holy Grail.

It is interesting to review the key features of the original Grail legends ([57], [58]). A British knight--in some versions of the early Grail writings Sir Gawain, and in other versions Sir Perceval (Parsifal)--visits a castle where the Grail is kept. On the way to the castle, he passes though a desolate land. No people are to be seen. The rivers are dry. Near the castle, Sir Gawain meets a fisherman, later to be revealed as the King of the Grail Castle. The Fisher King is injured in some manner. In the German version of the early Grail legends, the Fisher King has suffered a sword blow in his masculine member.

Upon entering the castle, Sir Gawain sees a sword which as been broken into two pieces, and a lance which is perpetually dripping blood. Finally, he sees the Grail. The Fisher King greets Sir Gawain, and hands him the sword with the request to mend it. Sir Gawain is unable to do so (not surprising, since he is a knight. Repairing a sword is a job for a swordsmith, or at least a blacksmith). The Fisher King is disappointed, and tells Sir Gawain that he will fail in his quest. Only one who can Rejoin the Sword That Has Been Divided in Twain can have the Grail. But the King tells Gawain that he will answer any question Gawain wishes to ask.

Gawain asks after the lance, and is told that it is the Lance of Longinus, that pierced the side of Jesus on the Cross. Gawain asks after the sword, but tired from his trip, falls asleep before he hears the answers. When Gawain awakens, the castle has disappeared. He sees, however, that the rivers are now flowing, and the land is now verdant. He sees people, who say that they both praise and curse him. Praise him, for he has asked of the Lance, and this has partially restored the land to health. Curse him, because he did not hear the answer to his question about the sword, nor did he ask of the Grail. Had Gawain done so, had he performed the One Deed (Rejoin the Sword That Has Been Divided in Twain) and asked the Three Questions (What is the Lance, What is the Sword, What is the Grail?) the land would have been fully restored.

The key features of the above Grail Story appear in the most recent re-tellings of the Grail legend. In Richard Wagner's Parsifal, the King of the Grail Castle--located in northern Spain--has been wounded (but by the Lance of Longinus). In the movie Excalibur, the sword (Excalibur) is broken in two, and mended by supernatural means. The king (Arthur) has been wounded by the sword and healed by drinking from the cup. The Grail knight (Percival) cannot find the Grail until a question has been answered, but in this version of the Grail legend, it is Grail that asks the question and Percival who must answer. In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Grail "knight" (Indiana Jones) must answer THREE questions in order to reach the Grail inside the Grail "castle" (inside a mountain, as in Parsifal). Jones must also perform a final "deed," namely guessing which of a collection of cups is the actual Grail. In all versions of the Grail legends, the Holy Grail is a talisman of enormous power. Possession of the Grail is capable of curing illness, granting immortal life, reversing the desolation of the Earth.

It is amusing that we can actually take the key features of the Grail legend seriously as applied to the Shroud of Turin and the Oviedo Cloth. The first order of business for Shroud researchers is to Rejoin the Sword That Has Been Divided in Twain. It must first be established that the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth indeed hold the blood of the same man. The Shroud and the Cloth can be rejoined by carrying out a DNA comparison test on the blood on the two linen pieces. If the DNA on the two linen cloths is from the same individual, then we will have rejoined the two halves last together in Jesus' tomb. By publicizing the similarities between the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth, Mark Guscin has made the first step in the Rejoining.

We next need to conduct the DNA test for a virgin conception of a male, as I described above. It must be established that there are only two distinct X chromosome gene alleles present in the blood on the Shroud or Oviedo Cloth, and that there are Y genes from only one individual. The Y genes of course establish maleness (recall that a sword is also a phallic symbol) The two test together will establish the Virgin Conception. (What is the Sword?)

Longinus of the Lance was a Roman soldier. The stab by this representative of the Empire of Violence into the side of the Prince of Peace is a symbol of evil. According to Christian dogma, Jesus and His mother were without Original Sin. Testing for a modification of the gene on the X chromosome that apparently codes for violent behavior and may also code for bone growth would go far to establish that Jesus and His mother were not inclined to use force the way every other human is. (What is the Lance?)

The most difficult question to pose is: "What is the Grail?" That is, we want to learn from the Shroud exactly how a coherent sphaleron field was created on the macroscopic scale of a human body, a field capable of converting matter into energy (neutrinos or photons). If a study of the Shroud image at the microscopic level could show how this was done, we would thereby learn three enormously important technologies. First, learning how to maintain a coherent quantum state on the scale of a human body would immediately tell us how to manufacture a quantum computer, which is the ultimate computing machine. Second, learning how to convert matter into photons would provide the ultimate energy source during the expanding phase of universal history (gravitational collapse energy is the ultimate energy source, but this energy source will not be available until the universe has begun to collapse). Third, learning how to create a directed neutrino beam out of matter annihilation would provide the ultimate rocket. If we could learn these things from the Shroud, the Shroud would be a talisman even more powerful that the Grail of the Grail legends!

There is a good reason for thinking that we can in fact learn these three things from a study of the Shroud. I emphasized above that the universe is currently accelerating. If this acceleration were to continue forever, the laws of physics would be violated, as I also showed above. Therefore the acceleration must stop. Therefore there must exist a mechanism to stop the acceleration. If the Standard Model of particle physics is correct, then the acceleration can come from only one source: an imbalance between the electroweak vacuum and the positive cosmological constant. For a discussion of why a positive cosmological constant is required by the Standard Model, see my book [1]. But if there is a net number of particles over antiparticle--as all observations indicate--and if the excess of particles were created by electroweak baryogenesis--as must be the case if the Standard Model is correct--then the electroweak vacuum cannot be in its absolute minimum. Thus the positive cosmological constant is not presently cancelled out, and so the universe accelerates. But if the particles were to be annihilated with sufficient rapidity by the inverse of the electroweak process that created them, then the acceleration would stop, and eventually the universe would eventually collapse into the Omega Point, preserving the laws of physics. To put it another way, the laws of physics REQUIRE this to happen.

But as I explained above, the particles will not be annihilated with the necessary rapidity by the random use of electroweak baryo-antigenesis. Only a guided use of this sphaleron process will annihilate matter fast enough. Only if our descendants expand out into the universe and make extensive use of this process will the particles be annihilated fast enough. But if our descendants understand how to use the sphaleron process on a small scale they will do this automatically. They have to act in this way in order to survive, and they have to know about the process in order for the laws of physics to hold for all time. It is possible that our descendants will learn how to make practical use of electroweak baryo-antigenesis through their own efforts.

Or it may be that we will need some hints of how to develop this process. In which case the hints are on the Shroud. But the power that comes with the knowledge of the electroweak baryo-antigenesis process is gigantic. Remember that the power involves the ability to convert 78 kilograms of matter into energy almost instantaneously. If the energy were to appear as photons, this would be the equivalent to the explosion of a one thousand megaton bomb. It would not do for us to have the process before we develop a social system that can handle this power. (A similar argument is now being used by the United States government to justify the invasion of Iraq.) It would also have been dangerous to have a man (or a woman) infected by Original Sin to have this power 2,000 years ago. So we will get the power only when we have learned to use it.

This could be an explanation for the error made in 1988 on the radiodating of the Shroud. What originally convinced me that the Shroud was a fake was the fact that the date obtained was precisely that expected if the Shroud were a medieval forgery. The Shroud first appeared in France in 1355, and the Arizona laboratory obtained a radiocarbon date of 1350. It seems incredible that later contamination came in exactly the right amount to give an exactly incorrect date. Unless the contamination was adjusted (by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, acting through the laws of physics), to prevent us from starting extensive research on the Shroud too early, and obtaining the sphaleron process too early. Unless, that is, the contamination were a miracle.

Even many Christians often assume that miracles occurred only in the distant past. But if Christianity is true, then we would expect miracles to happen all the time, even today. On January 6, 1945, a young German boy had an experience closely resembling Paul's experience on the road to Damascus ([31], p. 12). It was the most moving experience of his life, and was one reason why be later became a Christian theologian. Further, he became one of the very few modern theologians to emphasize that Christian belief must be completely rational. Miracles for this theologian must be completely consistent with the laws of physics. Was the religious experience of this 16-year-old German boy merely a temporary random glitch in his brain, or could it have been another miracle? This particular German boy in his later capacity as a theologian was largely responsible for re-introducing rationality into Christian theology. He certainly spent 15 years in a finally successful attempt to persuade an American physicist that Christianity, undiluted Chalcedonian Christianity, might in fact be true, and might even be proven to be true by science.


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  1. Prof. dr. Wolfhart Pannenberg, "Modern Cosmology: God and the Resurrection of the Dead", Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Feb. 2003), pp. 14-19.

  2. Prof. dr. Sjoerd L. Bonting, "Resurrection and hereafter--Comments on Tipler, Pannenberg, Polkinghorne and an Alternative View", Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Feb. 2003), pp. 20-28.

  3. Prof. dr. Wolfhart Pannenberg, "God and resurrection--a reply to Sjoerd L. Bonting", Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Apr. 2003), pp. 10-14.

  4. Prof. dr. Frank Tipler, "The Omega Point and Christianity", Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Apr. 2003), pp. 14-23.

  5. Prof. dr. Sjoerd L. Bonting, "Comments on Wolfhart Pannenberg, God and Resurrection", Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 3 (June 2003), pp. 16-20.

  6. Prof. dr. Sjoerd L. Bonting, "Comments on Frank Tipler, The Omega Point and Christianity", Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 3 (June 2003), pp. 21-25.

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