Students combining science and religion

By Larissa Castanon

The Catholic Newman club welcomed guest speaker Chris Knabenshue
to talk about the crucifixion of Jesus and the history and veracity
of the Shroud of Turin Tuesday night in Centaurus.

“It was interesting to not only see a secular view of all of it,
but to also see the negatives,” said Laura Corza, a second-year
psychology student at Cal State Fullerton. “It’s looking at
theology through science and how it comes together is pretty

Knabenshue used historical facts and science to help understand
the crucifixion and the Shroud.

“Many believers know why he died, but many do not know how he
died,” said Knabenshue.

Knabenshue gave specific and graphic details of the
physiological damage Jesus experienced the night before and the day
of his crucifixion.

In the Book of Luke, it describes Jesus’ moments before he was
betrayed and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The scripture explains that how Jesus knew he was about to die,
which caused his body to sweat blood.

“Jesus was God in human form,” said Amanda Sahagun, a
fourth-year food and nutrition student and president of the Newman
Club. “In the garden before he was crucified, Jesus wept and he
actually felt pain.”

Knabenshue diagnosed this as Hematidrosis, which is a rare
condition one experiences when they know they are about to die.

The main cause of Jesus’ death may have been of traumatic,
hypovolemic, or cardiogenic shock, said Knabenshue.

After Jesus died on the cross, he was wrapped in the cloth
called the Shroud of Turin.

Many believed the cloth that was found in France was the actual
one used to wrap Jesus because an image of a man can be seen.

It can be magnified more with special photography and

Knabenshue said that although scientists have discredited the
linen cloth by dating it back to the 1500’s using carbon dating,
many still believe the Shroud may be authentic.

“The shroud should never be used to base one’s faith, but it
should be used to meditate and think about the passionate death and
resurrection of Christ,” said Knabenshue.

Knabenshue said the sampling of the cloth was insufficient and
scientist realized after testing that their sample was chemically

“It was later discovered that piece of the shroud was a patch
sewn in using invisible weaving,” said Knabenshue, “Heat, radiation
fire all that stuff, bioplastic sheath, shows us that the carbon
dating performed is wrong.”

The body image was said to be produced by dehydration

“The amount of scientific evidence of the authenticity of the
shroud is amazing,” said Rebecca Plazola, a third-year sociology

Some students believe the conflict between science and religion
actually helped reinforce their beliefs.

“Science and religion don’t have to be separate; they can go
hand in hand,” said Corza.

Plazola said if science in the future were to prove the Shroud
is a fake, it would not change her outlook on her faith.

“I don’t base my faith on the Shroud,” said Plazola. “It’s just
an extremely interesting artifact that supports my faith.

Father John Bullock said the exhibit, which was opened to
participants after the presentation, is important because it makes
the story in the Bible a real one and not just a made up tale.

“It’s not a story that we made up,” said Bullock. “There was a
historical figure of Jesus Christ and he lived, he died and his
followers believe that he is God.”

Reach Larissa Castanon at:

Students combining science and religion

Andrea Waitrovich/Poly Post

Students combining science and religion

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