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Old 03-05-2007, 12:23 AM   #151
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watching and tivo-ing on west coast now

i will tivo Koppel, also
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:34 AM   #152
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I missed it. It's on now, but it's two hours and it's already midnight:30. I'm not staying up until 2 a.m.

I'll have to see it later in the week probably.
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:38 AM   #153
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4

Not too impressive. Lots of conjecture and whatifs.
I watched until about 10:30 then I fell asleep, turns out I do have that channel after all I agree with you, it was boring for such a compelling subject matter. And they tried to connect the dots with supposition rather than facts many times.

If it's on again this week I would watch it again out of a sense of obligation to see the whole thing, but it's dull and a bunch of hype about not much there. The Koppel part was probably much more interesting.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:04 AM   #154
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And they tried to connect the dots with supposition rather than facts many times.

... but it's dull and a bunch of hype about not much there.
This has been the case with most of the Discovery Channel shows I've seen.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:43 PM   #155
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This is on Vision TV tonight in Canada. I am watching cause there is nothing else on.

Did Jack Van Impe write this show? In greek this word meant this but when translated to latin in means that which when read backwards with an ultraviolet light means this and that in modern english. Huh?

Not that I personally give a crap either way.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:30 AM   #156
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If anyone's still interested..

Wall Street Journal

Odds of 'Lost Tomb'
Being Jesus' Family
Rest on Assumptions
March 9, 2007

Until two weeks ago, University of Toronto statistician Andrey Feuerverger's body of research encompassed uncontroversial topics such as medical scanning and correcting for camera blurring.

So he was unprepared for the reaction to his work for the Discovery Channel documentary "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," which aired on Sunday. The tomb is a set of 10 limestone coffins, or ossuaries, found in Jerusalem in 1980, bearing the names Yeshua bar Yosef (Jesus, son of Joseph), Maria (Mary), Matia (Matthew), Yose (a nickname for Joseph), Mariamene e Mara (a form of Mary) and Yehuda bar Yeshua (Judah, son of Jesus). Prof. Feuerverger calculated there is just a one-in-600 chance that those same names would have come together in a family that didn't belong to Jesus of Nazareth.

That calculation helped propel the already explosive story. "It was really the thing that began to convince us all to give this more attention," says James Tabor, chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who advised the filmmakers and Prof. Feuerverger, and appears in the two-hour documentary.

But the one-in-600 calculation is based on many assumptions about the prevalence of the names and their biblical significance. For purposes of his calculations, Prof. Feuerverger relied on new scholarly research that links the inscription "Mariamene e Mara" with a name for Mary Magdalene. (The filmmakers suggest that she was Christ's wife and that they are buried with a son, Judah -- claims hotly denounced by traditional Christians.)

Had the professor assumed the inscription could be for any Mary, a very common name then, it would be far less likely that Christ's family is in the tomb. The mathematical finding would become "statistically not significant," Prof. Feuerverger tells me. Similarly, the name "Yose" -- as one of Jesus' four brothers was called in the Gospel of Mark -- is a derivative of Yosef, another common name. There, too, the finding would be less conclusive if the professor had considered "Yose" applicable to any Yosef.

Even if there was consensus on the interpretation of the names, there are no comprehensive records showing how frequently they occurred in the population at that time. Prof. Feuerverger relied on modern books about ossuaries and ancient texts to tally the occurrence of certain names in the area then. That falls far short of a complete census.

"As you pile on more assumptions, you're building a house of cards," says Keith Devlin, a Stanford mathematician and NPR's "Math Guy." (Scientific American also challenged the calculation on its Web site.)

No one is questioning Prof. Feuerverger's statistical credentials, or his calculation given the assumptions made. For each of the names believed to be appropriate for Jesus or an associate, Prof. Feuerverger calculated the probability it would arise by chance, then adjusted for other factors, such as the number of tombs in Jerusalem. But his conclusion is only as reliable as the assumptions that went into it.

"I wouldn't be comfortable coming up with a number like this, because the general audience will not understand that it is very, very subjective," says Ivo Dinov, assistant professor of statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The case is far from closed on this tomb. Prof. Feuerverger, who says he was paid a "nominal" sum for his work, had signed a nondisclosure agreement with Associated Producers, barring him from describing the project and so limiting his ability to run his work by his peers. He still hasn't provided full documentation of his calculation, saying he'd wait until his paper, not yet completed, is accepted by a journal. "There is a mismatch between how the media works and how academia works," Prof. Feuerverger says. "Obviously it would have been a whole lot better if I had completed the paper" before the documentary aired.

Writer-director Simcha Jacobovici says he went to great lengths to find a responsible number. Initial, "ballpark" calculations based on the incidence of the names -- including one made by Charles Pellegrino, co-author of the documentary's companion book -- found even smaller probabilities that the tomb wasn't that of Jesus' family. Mr. Jacobovici then turned to the University of Toronto, down the street from his production offices, and tapped Prof. Feuerverger to do the calculations with greater rigor. "We told him Charlie came out with 2.4 million to 1," Mr. Jacobovici says. "He said, the numbers will come out where the numbers come out."

All this has brought some measure of distress to Prof. Feuerverger, who nevertheless says he thinks the experience will strengthen him as a human being, and as a statistician. "When I was doing the calculation, I was naively unaware of the extent to which the filmmakers might be depending on the ultimate result of it," he says. "I did carry out the calculation in every good faith. I hoped it would be interpreted in that light."
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:18 PM   #157
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It looks as if the Discovery Channel isn't pleased with the documentary itself despite good ratings.



Is Discovery Burying 'Lost Tomb'?
By James Hibberd
Discovery Channel's controversial James Cameron-produced documentary "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" drew the largest audience for the network in more than a year on Sunday night, but the network has taken several recent steps to downplay the project.
Departing from normal procedures, the cable network didn't tout its big ratings win. The network also scheduled a last-minute special that harshly criticized its own documentary, and has yanked a planned repeat of "Tomb."

"This is not one where you necessarily beat the drum, from a business perspective," said David Leavy, executive VP of corporate communications at Discovery. "It's not necessarily about making money, or making ratings, or shouting from the highest office building. Sometimes having some maturity and perspective is more important than getting picked up in all the ratings highlights."

The documentary, executive produced by Oscar-winning "Titanic" director Mr. Cameron, claims to have found the family tomb of Jesus Christ, unearthed in Jerusalem. The findings include circumstantial evidence suggesting Christ and Mary Magdalene were a couple, and that they had a son named Judah.

Discovery formally announced the special last month and quickly incited a worldwide media frenzy, including stories in Time and Newsweek and links on the Drudge Report. But much of the coverage was highly skeptical of the documentary's findings. Prominent archeologists disputed the program, while Christian groups criticized it for conflicting with the New Testament.

Although Mr. Leavy said the network stands by the documentary "100 percent," the company took several unusual steps in the wake of the controversy that could be seen as distancing itself from the content.

Last week, Discovery abruptly scheduled a panel debate to air after the documentary, moderated by Discovery newsman Ted Koppel. Discovery's announcement of the panel emphasized that Mr. Koppel "has no connection to the production of 'The Lost Tomb of Jesus'" and that "the panel will explore the filmmakers' profound assertions and challenge their assumptions and suggested conclusions."

When the panel discussion aired, guests criticized the documentary as "archaeo-porn" that played fast and loose with the facts.

The day after the March 4 airing, Discovery yanked a planned repeat of "Tomb" from its more hard-news-branded Discovery Times Channel.

When the Nielsen ratings revealed that "Tomb" averaged 4.1 million viewers - Discovery's largest audience since September 2005 - the network declined to put out a press release touting the numbers, as would be standard practice for a highly successful premiere. The second-season premiere of Discovery Channel's "Future Weapons," for instance, earned a media announcement for its audience of 2.5 million. A network representative, however, insisted Discovery was not trying to bury "Tomb."

No press release on the ratings was sent out, Mr. Leavy said, because of the show's subject matter. As for the yanked Discovery Times repeat, Mr. Leavy said that outlet wasn't the best venue to repeat the special.

The last record-setting Discovery Channel project also was about a sensitive subject, the9/11-themed "The Flight That Fought Back," yet Discovery issued a press release about its ratings.

The network still plans to air a previously scheduled "Tomb" repeat on its Spanish network on March 18, as well as an HD version on Discovery HD Theater on March 28.

"We are very proud of the program - we stand by it 100 percent," Mr. Leavy said.

Mr. Leavy said the network should be credited for airing a critical post-show panel.

"We added the Koppel panel once it was clear there was worldwide interest," he said. "Our responsibility is to give viewers all the information and let them decide. There is no way to ever prove this beyond a reasonable doubt."

Moving forward, Mr. Leavy said the network plans to increase its focus on archeology projects. The network recently signed History Channel's "Digging for Truth" host Josh Bernstein to develop new archeology series and specials.

"We are going to be doubling down in this space," he said. "We will soon be back in the news with more archeology."
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:33 PM   #158
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interesting ... i wonder if this isn't another form of political correctness, what might be deemed religious correctness (like after 9-11 we had what might be deemed "patriotic correctness," where you had to explicitly preface each statement that might have possibly differed from the Bush WH with the phrase, "now, i love my country, but ...")

i'll see what dirt i can dig up on this.

my guess is that the show itself isn't all that good, and the media coverage was clearly slanted against the show (whether deserved or not), and Discovery is in the process of re-branding itself as the old Discovery (after 5 years of motorcycle shows, they want to go back to penguins and volcanos and airplanes).
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:53 PM   #159
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My guess is that there was a lot of internal hype about it and then when the criticism came, it was maybe, not so much stronger than they might've expected, but had more weight to it than they maybe anticipated.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:10 PM   #160
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My guess is that there was a lot of internal hype about it and then when the criticism came, it was maybe, not so much stronger than they might've expected, but had more weight to it than they maybe anticipated.


probably true.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:39 AM   #161
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http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...estioned_N.htm

JERUSALEM — A prominent scholar looking into the factual basis of a popular but widely criticized documentary film that claims to have located the tomb of Jesus said Tuesday that a crucial piece of evidence filmmakers used to support their claim is a mistake.

Stephen Pfann, a textual scholar and paleographer at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, said he has released a paper claiming the makers of The Lost Tomb of Jesus were mistaken when they identified an ancient ossuary from the cave as belonging to the New Testament's Mary Magdalene.



Before the movie was screened, Jacobovici said that particular inscription provided crucial support for his claim. The name Mariamene is rare, and in some early Christian texts it is believed to refer to Mary Magdalene.

But having analyzed the inscription, Pfann, who made a brief appearance in the film as an ossuary expert, published a detailed article on his university's website asserting that it doesn't read "Mariamene" at all.

The inscription, Pfann said, is made up of two names inscribed by two different hands: the first, "Mariame," was inscribed in a formal Greek script, and later, when the bones of another woman were added to the box, another scribe using a different cursive script added the words "kai Mara," meaning "and Mara." Mara is a different form of the name Martha.

According to Pfann's reading, the ossuary did not house the bones of "Mary the teacher," but rather of two women, "Mary and Martha."

"In view of the above, there is no longer any reason to be tempted to link this ossuary...to Mary Magdalene or any other person in Biblical, non-Biblical or church tradition," Pfann wrote.

In the interest of telling a good story, Pfann said, the documentary engaged in some "fudging" of the facts.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:07 AM   #162
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We Marthas are always trouble.
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:15 PM   #163
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http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli...ticle/ShowFull

"Several prominent scholars who were interviewed in a bitterly contested documentary that suggests that Jesus and his family members were buried in a nondescript ancient Jerusalem burial cave have now revised their conclusions, including the statistician who claimed that the odds were 600:1 in favor of the tomb being the family burial cave of Jesus of Nazareth, a new study on the fallout from the popular documentary shows."
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