Ethics Complaint Against Bruno BarberisPosted: October 1, 2014
My current legal name is David Roemer, and I am retired. I am presently 72 years old.
1) I am a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (No. 93091561).
2) I believe the members of the IEEE named in this document are guilty of behaving unethically, and am asking the Ethics and Member Conduct Committee to investigate this allegation and take the appropriate action.
3) I submitted the enclosed paper to an IEEE conference that requested philosophical papers, and received the enclosed rejection letter. On July 17, 2014, I emailed these two documents to the Vice President of Publication Services and Products, Gianluca Setti, with an account of my attempts to persuade the Italy Section and the conference organizers to accept my paper:
Dear Dr. Setti,
The rejection notice is dated June 30, and I responded as follows on July 4:
Dear Dr. Barberis and Dr. Lattarulo,
I’d appreciate your reconsidering your decision. I find the review unintelligible. If you don’t reconsider, I’ll be sending copies of this review, along with my paper, to all the members of the ATSI committee.
I want to go to Bari, give my paper, and answer any questions you might have about my submission.
I also emailed Amir Sandler, a Committee Member from Israel, who said that the reviewer gave “sound reasons.” This was my response, which I also sent to Ermanno Cardelli, another Committee Member:
Dear Dr. Sandler,
I don’t think there is any “sound reason” in the reviewer’s comments about my submission. In fact, I consider the review so absurd that it raises ethical questions about the committee’s commitment to the integrity of science and the ethical code of the IEEE. I have these comments to make about the review:
“Let’s bring to the heart of the problem regarding the quality of the submitted paper: all aspects of the TS invariably calls into question the person of Jesus Christ. The fact that the TS has been conserved up to now could either imply that it is a fake that goes far back in time or it is the true linen in which the corpse of Jesus Christ was wrapped.”
My paper argues that the Holy Shroud was created by Gnostics in the 1st or 2nd century. Using the word “fake” to describe this theory of Robert Drews betrays an irrational emotional attachment to the theory that the Holy Shroud is authentic. Gnostics venerated Jesus as a wise man and created the cloth out of veneration and with a desire to tell the story of Jesus’ passion.
“Provided the second hypothesis, corroborated up to now by stockpiled evidence, is assumed, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ could tacitly be understood, because if it didn’t the TS would have been destroyed in the brief course of the corpse corruption.”
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is both an object of faith and an historical event. As an historical event, it refers to the renewed fellowship of the followers of Jesus after the crucifixion. As an act of faith, it refers to the belief that Jesus is alive in a new life with God. The “stockpiled evidence” supports the Gnostic theory as well as the authenticity theory. My paper explains why the idea that the Shroud is authentic is irrational.
“Of course, this is only an example of reasoning. Note that even the scientific thinking advances, as the case may be, involving educated guesses, with all due respect to those which turn off immediately with apodictic – paradoxically non-scientific – pose when the above-mentioned guesses apply, say, to the Shroud.”
It is hardly a guess to say that the Holy Shroud was created by human beings. All images are created by humans. It should be the foundation of any inquiry into how the Shroud was created.
“What exactly regards Jesus Christ as Son of God, namely His identification with the risen Lord, invariably needs to be referred to His incarnation. This applies to any investigation, irrespective of whether the investigator is a worshipper or not. Contrary to a stagnant gnosis, there is a general consensus on regarding incarnation even from some attainable, practical aspects. This is the case when attention is paid to the available attestations of personally or collectively tangible, palpable, detectable, intelligible experiences, as well as purely terrestrial events and circumstances. As a consequence, any sagacious investigator that deals with this sensitive topic prefers not to get the still unresolved, vague – to the point of boredom! -, misleading problem, say, of the Big Bang in place!”
An honest and rational review would attempt to understand the connection I tried to make between the Big Bang and the Holy Shroud.
“The resurrection and what revolves around this crucial event – this is the case for the Turin Shroud – has nothing to do, let’s say with different words, with the “Chief World Systems” and cannot give someone room to slightest hints, sterile and pointless appraisals, as well as pseudo-philosophical lucubration to any large extent. What is conclusively demanded is that the author might be prone to appropriately propose any starting conjecture, at will, before working out a self-consistent view of the matter; if not, the approach runs the risk to be a waste of time. Unfortunately, this is the case for the paper at hand.”
This is not a critique of my explanation of the difference between science, metaphysics, philosophy, theology, and history.
“Roughly but bluntly speaking again, what caused the Big Bang, as well as taking a philosophical hike on derived issues, is not concern of this forum unless the investigation is, hypothetically speaking, so revised as to resolutely point, here and now, toward substantial, mature, convincing arguments focused on tentatively proving whether the TS is a fake or not. Since this is not realistically happening with reference to the paper under examination, then it is to be rejected without a second thought.”
The author is not answering my explanation of why the Shroud is not authentic.
“Supportive of the above detrimental judgment are the following specific details: there is a broad and valuable consensus in supporting the existence of God exactly through the Big Bang theory! This should have been adequately considered in the submitted paper, whatever the author’s persuasion;- the author seems to get theology and religions history mixed up.”
My paper explains why the Big Bang is evidence that God does not exist. A reasoned review, and not an emotional tirade, would attempt to refute my explanation.
On July 7, I got this email from Ermanno Cardelli:
Dear Dr. Roemer,
I have turned your mail to the organizers of the Symposium. I am not in charge for the paper rejection issue, but I’m certain the Publication committee will properly address your complaints.
On July 9, I got this email from Dr. Barberis and Dr. Lattarulo:
Dear Dr. Roemer,
Your paper #1569970437 (‘Science, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Theology, History, and the Holy Shroud’) submitted to the IEEE 2014 Workshop on Advances in the Turin Shroud Investigation has been rejected because of all the Reviewers provided us a negative assessment about the scientific content. Please note that, according to the IEEE rules, we are not able to reconsider your paper for presentation at the Workshop.
This was my response:
Dear Bruno and Francesco,
What rule is that? It may be inappropriate to overrule a review that is within the bounds of reason. However, in this case, the reviewer is rejecting my paper because it explains why the Holy Shroud is not authentic. If the reviewers for this workshop are emotionally attached to the authenticity of the Holy Shroud, all of the papers accepted are tainted. I consider it my Christian duty to advise the editor of the IEEE Xplore Digital Library of this shortcoming of ATSI 2014.
I explain in my paper that it is the job of scientists to explain the Big Bang and how humans created the image on the Holy Shroud. Your conduct is similar to the unethical behavior of Richard Sternberg, who edited a peer-reviewed article about evolutionary biology that was published in the Proceedings of the Biological Association of Washington (“The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories”). It was a review article about the Cambrian explosion, and at the end of the article the author plugged the theory of intelligent design (ID). The peer-reviewers thought this was a harmless philosophical addendum that did not detract from the scientific value of the paper. It became the first peer-reviewed science article arguing in favor of ID. Dr. Sternberg behaved unethically because he should have deleted the reference to ID, or consulted with another editor. He was publicly criticized for his behavior. He could not be fired because his 9 to 5 job was with the Smithsonian Institute.
What happened to him at the Smithsonian Institute shows how much scientists, at least in the United States, hate pro-religion pseudoscience. The title alone of a 26-page congressional report criticizing the Smithsonian Institute tells the whole story: “Demotion and Harassment of Scientist Skeptical of Darwinian Evolution” (December 2006).
On July 14, 2014, I got this email from Dario Petrie:
Dear Dr. Roemer,
I am very sorry that your paper couldn’t be accepted for presentation at the ATSI 2014 Workshop. This was because all the Reviewers provided a negative assessment about the scientific content of your submission.
However, because of your previous email, I asked a further independent assessment of your paper. This further Reviewer fully agrees with the previous ones.
As a consequence, according to the rules of peer review conferences, there is no way to reconsider your paper for presentation at the Workshop.
4) On July 21, 2014 I sent this email to Dr. Setti:
Dear Dr. Setti,
I tried calling you at +39 0532 974997 (Ferrara) +39 051 2095405 (Bologna), but could not get through. There is some additional information I’d like to give you about Bruno Barberis.
Dr. Barberis is a science advisor to the Papal Custodian of the Shroud and is scheduled to give a presentation about the Shroud at a conference in St. Louis, Missouri, from October 9 to October 14, 2014 (http://www.stlouisshroudconference.com/).
I submitted an abstract of a presentation, and it was rejected. No written reason was given, but one of the Committee Members of this conference (Mark Antonacci) told me over the phone that my presentation was rejected because I was not advocating the authenticity of the Shroud. I complained about this to Dr. Barberis in an email on May 7, 2014, and asked him to withdraw his participation in this conference.
I developed a slideshow about the Shroud three years ago (http://www.holyshroud.info). Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York and many other Catholics have suppressed my presentation because I don’t promote the authenticity of the Shroud. I filed a complaint against Cardinal Dolan with the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in Rome and against Dr. Barberis with the Papal Custodian of the Shroud (Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia). All of this correspondence is at:
I consider the following quotation from an article Dr. Barberis wrote proof that he is not qualified to evaluate scientific papers about the Shroud of Turin:
“It appears to me that until now all the proposed theories, interesting ones in themselves, have always come up lacking either because they were not correlated by serious experimental verification or because such verifications have demonstrated the physical and chemical features on the obtained images to be very different from those present on the Shroud’s image.” (http://www.sindone.org/the_holy_shroud__english_/news_and_info/00024401_The_Shroud__Make_over___science_or_marketing.html.)
What Dr. Barberis is saying is that any theory about the origin of the Shroud must be supported by “experimental evidence.” This means is that he is excluding non-experimental evidence. Non-experimental evidence that the Shroud is the work of artists or craftsmen is that blood marks on the Shroud are not smeared. The blood coming from the thorns in Jesus’ head flows in narrow streams as blood tends to flow out of small wounds. The other bit of non-experimental evidence is the detailed nature of the image. It is a true image with shading, not an outline.
Saying the Shroud is authentic is like saying the sculptures on Mount Rushmore were created by wind erosion.
5) My accusation against the Italy Section and the conference leaders is that the conference was organized to generate peer-reviewed science articles supporting the authenticity of the Shroud. The motive behind this is to provide evidence supporting the New Testament stories that a prominent Jewish citizen provided a tomb for the crucified Jesus, a burial cloth covered the corpse of Jesus in the tomb, and the tomb was found empty on Easter morning. My paper argues that it is very unlikely that the Shroud touched Jesus, and this is why the conference rejected it. This implies that all the papers submitted have been judged on how much the paper supports the New Testament stories. In my opinion this makes the entire conference an exercise in pseudoscience. This conference undermines the integrity of science, and diminishes the value of conference papers published by the IEEE.
6) I am willing and able to attend any meeting where my allegations against the Italy Section are investigated
I hereby state that the information above is true, to the best of my knowledge. I also confirm that the information here is both accurate and complete, and relevant information has not been omitted.
Signature of the Individual Notary Public
Date: 7/22/14 Mahmood Amer
Letters to Joseph Kalasky from David Roemer
July 29, 2014
My allegation against Gianluca Setti, Bruno Barberis, Francesco Lattarulo, Amir Sandler, Ermanno Cardelli, and Dario Petrie is that they are using the IEEE conference in Bari to promote the absurd idea that the Shroud of Turin is authentic. The enclosed article (Tristan Casabianca, “The Shroud of Turin: A Historiographical Approach,” The Heythrop Journal, 2013) is in favor of this pseudoscience and reveals the motives and reasoning behind it.
The article is based on a book titled, “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach,” and I have enclosed a copy of my review of this poor exercise in Christian apologetics (http://www.newevangelization.info/licona.html).
I have also enclosed an article I wrote that was published in Spero News on January 18, 2008. This article explains why the Shroud is not authentic. I wrote it before I found out about the book I referred to in my IEEE submission which argues that Gnostics made the unusually shaped piece of linen to tell the story of the crucifixion of Jesus (http://www.newevangelization.info/shroud.html ).
August 1, 2014
I read Bylaw I-110 and Policy 7.10 and understand it to mean that the preliminary investigation should only involve determining whether there is a cause of action and whether the complaint can be proven.
The cause of action is that Bruno Barberis and Francesco Lattarulo are selecting papers submitted to an IEEE conference, not on their scientific merit, but on whether the paper supports the Biblical stories saying Jesus was buried in a separate tomb (not in a common grave for criminals) on Friday, his body was covered with a linen cloth, and the body was not in the tomb on Sunday morning.
I feel my affidavit and the documents I mailed on July 29, 2014, proves that this allegation can be proven and in fact proves it. I think your report of the preliminary investigation should be given to the president of the IEEE before the conference is over and the damage to the IEEE is done.
August 4, 2014
I think it might help to if I spelled out the relevance of “The Shroud of Turin: A Historiographical Approach” by Tristan Casabianca (Heythrop Journal LIV (2013), pp. 414–423) which follows the reasoning in the book, “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach,” by Michael Licona.
The Resurrection of Jesus is both an historical event and an object of faith. As an object of faith, it means believing Jesus is alive in a new life with God and if you follow Jesus the same good thing can happen to you. As an historical event, it refers to the renewed fellowship of the disciples of Jesus after the crucifixion. This historical event is sometimes referred to as the Easter experience. These two works spell out the way many Christians relate to the Resurrection of Jesus.
Licona and Casabianca both understand that all historians agree that the Easter experience occurred within a few years of the crucifixion. Their response to this event is to ask what caused the Easter experience and to offer hypotheses. The explanation these apologists think is supported by the most evidence is what they call the “bodily resurrection of Jesus.” By this they mean that a video camera could have recorded the corpse of Jesus disappearing without humans relocating the body. They assign a high probability to this explanation and call the total certitude that Jesus is alive a “leap of faith.” Similar reasoning leads people to believe it is highly probable that the Shroud is authentic, and those who think it is a work of craftsmen or artists are being unscientific. This is why the reviewer of my submission was driven to refer to the Resurrection of Jesus and the doctrine called the Incarnation.
August 6, 2014
What follows is a link to an article written in Italy about the upcoming IEEE conference in Bari, Italy:
I think the article proves that the conference organizers are tricking the IEEE into publishing peer-reviewed articles that proselytize in favor of Christianity and against other religions.
August 11, 2014
I’v enclosed a printouts of the three emails I sent to Gordon MacPherson. “Springer.pdf” is an example of the kind of garbage the IEEE will be publishing if the IEEE does not withdraw its sponsorship of conference #32930.
August 18, 2014
I have asked Howard Michel and Dom DeMarco for an appointment so I can explain why I think the IEEE should withdraw its endorsement of the ATSI conference (Advances in Turin Shroud Investigations). I’v enclosed the email I sent Dr. Michel.
I’v also enclosed the screenshot of my LinkedIn message from Jose Roberto de Marca asking for information. According to Dom DeMarco, it would be “inappropriate for the President to comment or intervene in an on-going process.”
I’v enclosed screenshots of my correspondence with Chris Brantley on LinkedIn. There is a perfect analogy between the theory that the Shroud of Turin is authentic and the theory of intelligent design. They are both examples of pro-religion pseudoscience. The ATSI conference organizers and participants are trying to prove the Shroud is authentic and are using the IEEE’s reputation to bolster their religious enthusiasms.
August 18, 2014
On May 8, 2014, I filed a complaint (see enclosure) against Bruno Barberis, a general chair of the IEEE-ATSI-2014 and a science advisor to the Papal Custodian of the Shroud of Turin (Cesare Nosiglia), for participating in the St. Louis Shroud Conference to be held on October 9, 2014. Like the ASTI conference, the St. Louis conference rejected my submission because I argued that the Shroud was not authentic.
The abstracts of the papers presented in St. Louis have been posted and this will give you some idea about the papers that will be presented at ATSI-2014. I recommend that you read the following abstracts at
http://www.stlouisshroudconference.com/program/title-of-abstract. My comments are beneath the titles:
In 1988, a carbon dating procedure authorized by the Catholic Church indicated that the Shroud was created in the middle ages. This dating has been thoroughly discredited because of the choice of the sample tested and the historical evidence that the Shroud predates the middle ages. This paper will only remind people who think the Shroud is authentic of their great victory over the 1988 setback. What this paper does is create a straw man. People are being led to believe that the choice is between the authenticity of the Shroud or its middle age date. The papers of this conference completely ignore the theory of Robert Drews that Gnostics created the Shroud of Turin in the 1st or 2nd century using a crucified victim or volunteer and methods that have been lost to history. There are a number of other papers in this conference that have no purpose other than to refute the 1988 fiasco. They are:
This article reports evidence of spontaneous human combustion.
This article argues that there should be a new radiocarbon dating of the Shroud.
This paper give evidence for “Near Death Experiences.”
I can’t comment because I found the abstract unintelligible.
This abstract is based on the paper published by Springer (DOI 10.1007/s11012-013-9865-x) titled “Is the Shroud of Turin in relation to the Old Jerusalem historical earthquake.”
My opinion is that the editor of this article had a responsibility to make changes that the peer-reviewers and authors may have overlooked. This is the same mistake Richard Sternberg made, as I mentioned in the affidavit I sent to the IEEE (see “Sternberg peer-review controversy” in Wikipedia).
These are excerpts from the first and third paragraphs:
After the first photographs of the Shroud, taken by Mr. Secondo Pia during the Exposition of 1898 in Turin , a widespread interest has been generated among scientists and curious to explain the image formation and to evaluate its dating.
Starting from the first photographs of the Shroud, which highlighted a figure of a human body undraped with hands crossed (Fig. 1), a large debate on the mechanism that may have produced such an image has been conducted in the scientific community.
The paper does not address the question of how the image was formed. The paper only states that neutron radiation may have caused the discoloration of the shroud fibrils. This quote is from the second paragraph:
In this work, the authors consider that neutron emissions by earthquake—as for the conventional gadolinium-like neutron imaging technique— could have induced the image formation on Shroud linen fibres through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei…
The editor should have replaced the phrase “image formation” with the phrase “changing the color of the fibril from white to yellow at those points on the fibril where the image exists.”
The article says the source of the neutrons in an earthquake is the crushing of stones. The authors call the process “piezonuclear fission,” and there is a lot of controversy about it. See:
As with the article about earthquakes discussed above, this abstract refers to “image formation,” but in fact only discusses the discoloration of the linen fibrils. This means there are five the kinds of radiation that are used to explain the discoloration: photons from the transformation of the corpse of Jesus into a spiritual body, neutrons from an earthquake, corona discharge, alpha particles, and biophotons.
The “second-image-of-the-face” is really, I think, the third image. The first image is only on one side of the linen. The second image is on the other side, and is not visible to the naked eye. However, this faint image can be detected with computerized image enhancement. I personally could not see even this enhanced image, which is why I did not include it in my slideshow. Apparently a third image was detected in this way. The author of the article is skeptical about this third image, but not the second.
This paper advances the theory that the discoloration of the fibrils, misleadingly referred to as the image, was caused by an electric field.
John’s gospel is the most Christian and least Jewish of the four gospels. It supports the doctrine of the Incarnation. The author is saying we can understand the image by reading John’s gospel, not the Jewish gospels.
This is part ii of the above paper. I can’t tell if the author is seriously supporting the theory that the discoloration was caused by alpha particles or making fun of this theory.
The Sudarium of Oviedo supposedly covered the face of Jesus when he was being transferred from the cross to the tomb. The author considers the connection between the two to be evidence of the Shroud’s authenticity.
The author disputes the theory that the Shroud of Turin is the Image of Edessa, called also the Mandylion.
The author states that the Shroud is almost certainly authentic. I am sure the author thinks it is almost certainly true that Jesus’ corpse transformed into a “spiritual body” on Sunday morning. In other words, he thinks it is highly probable that a video camera could have recorded Jesus’ appearances and the disappearance of the corpse. This means he is criticizing the historical judgment of people who do not agree the bodily resurrection of Jesus, which is how they think of the Resurrection, is highly probable. This is why he feels justified in criticizing the scientific judgment of people who think the Shroud is a work of human ingenuity.
It is not clear that Jesus was buried in a separate tomb. According to John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar, Jesus’ body was put in a mass grave for criminals and devoured by dogs. This means there was no empty tomb on Sunday morning. A Catholic biblical scholar, Raymond Brown, argues that it is historically certain that Jesus had a separate tomb. However, Brown does not think it is an historical fact that the tomb was empty. But there is no disagreement between Brown and Crossan about the Resurrection of Jesus. They both agree that within a few years of the crucifixion, the disciples of Jesus renewed their fellowship and started Christianity. There is, however, a conflict between Crossan and Brown because Brown has the gift of faith and Crossan thinks Brown is irrational. I mention this because conflict produces anxiety and inhibition is a defense mechanism against anxiety. Religion inhibits people from thinking rationally and intelligently.
The author says that the pollen on the Shroud proves it is authentic. It only proves the Shroud was made near Jerusalem in the 1st or 2nd century.
This paper implies that the image on the Shroud is miraculous.
This paper will argue that early missionaries used the Shroud to prove Jesus rose from the dead. Atheists use this scenario to explain how the myth of the Resurrection got started.
This abstract states that there is evidence the Shroud image was created by “UV or particle radiation emanating from a stationary or disappearing human body.”
The author of this is Bruno Barberis. He repeats the same misleading statement that permeates the papers being presented. He says scientists have been studying the image on the Shroud for years. They have not because every rational person knows craftsmen or artists create images. There is one exception. On April 21, 1902, Yves Delage, an internationally acclaimed zoologist, told the French Academy of Science in a lecture that ammonia vapors from the decaying body of Jesus created the image. Members of the audience shouted out “traitor” and shook their fists. For his safety, Delage had to make a quick exit from the auditorium. The scientific work Baberis is referring to is just about what caused the discoloration of the linen fibrils.
This abstract says “that a very small fraction of neutrons in the body of Jesus were emitted from the body as it disappeared in the resurrection.”
One of the reasons rational people think the Shroud is a work of craftsmen is that the blood marks are not smeared. The abstract said the blood marks were formed because the body appeared outside the cloth, but the blood remained in the cloth. I consider this disingenuous because no mention is made of the fact that the blood marks are not smeared. There are two other abstracts that repeat this misinformation:
I did not understand this abstract.
On October 14, 2014, the IEEE dismissed the complaint.