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William Schryver

Missing Papyrus

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You know, I don't believe I've ever gotten an answer from you to the question of how thick you believe the Hor papyrus to be.

The average thickness of the Hor papyrus is no greater than 700 microns.

Of course, as you know, the measurements we performed indicated that the thickness of the undamaged areas of the papyrus is in the range of 100 - 125 microns

The physical thickness of the papyrus is only relevant insofar as it sets a lower bound on the effective thickness. If your measurements were correct, they would not be inconsistent with our results. Nevertheless, I believe your measurements are off by 300-500 microns.

John's originally published winding measurements were not accurate--something he acknowledges and will correct in a forthcoming article. He agrees, more or less, with my measurements of the first three winding lengths (10.48, 10.30, 10.13 [all in cm, based on a starting point ~1.0 cm in from the outer edge of JSP I]).

10.48 is pretty close, but 10.30 and 10.13 are too high; see Figure 27 to find out why.

As I presently understand it (and I must emphasize that I have not yet had the opportunity to sit down with the papyrologist to discuss the specifics) the thickness of the papyrus is not a necessary measurement in the methodology that has been developed. However, the formula does give a reasonably accurate estimate of the papyrus thickness. Therefore, knowing the thickness of the papyrus is an important element of confirming data. Furthermore, as I illustrate in my forthcoming article, if you do know the thickness of the papyrus and at least the first three winding lengths, you can very accurately estimate the original length of the scroll. The original length was in the neighborhood of 500 cm.

Okay, I think I can reconstruct what you've done:

1. John apparently read enough of our paper to discover that 511 cm is necessary to accommodate the BoA.

2. After he passed this information along to you, you decided to pull back your paper to go for a better fit.

3. Your effective thickness of 279 microns (from your winding lengths) gives you a scroll length of 300 cm, which is too short.

4. Your measured thickness of 100-125 microns gives you a scroll length of ~700 cm, which is too long.

5. By averaging your effective and measured thicknesses, you manage to hit the right length, just like Goldilocks.

I am confident that it will be conclusively demonstrated that the formula you and Cook employed is fatally flawed.

There are 10 numbered formulas in our paper. Which one of them is "fatally flawed"? Or are they all wrong?

I don't think you know what you're talking about. The method I describe in my paper actually rests on no assumptions at all. It is based on nothing more than four objective measurements: the thickness of the papyrus and the length of the first three windings.

William, your statement here raises several alarm bells:

First of all, you've picked the most problematic section to work with. The damage to the rightmost major lacuna in XI after the scroll was unrolled alters the perception of winding length in a subtle manner.

Secondly, your juxtaposition of measured thickness with winding lengths suggests that you are averaging apples and oranges. Thirdly, to echo Chris, how exactly are your measurements "objective"?

Its simplicity is its virtue, and explains why it is superior (by several orders of magnitude) to the methodology you and Cook employed.

And what exactly is our methodology Will? (Hint: Read our paper to find out!)

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Mortal Man:

I believe your measurements are off by 300-500 microns.

In other words, you are suggesting that John Gee, George Fisher, Howard Fisher, and I are blatantly lying about the measurements we performed on February 5, 2010; that we have deliberately understated the papyrus thickness to be less than 25% of its actual thickness.

It must be quite satisfying to be able, with utter impunity, to casually toss out such libelous allegations on a public message board.

Okay, I think I can reconstruct what you've done:

1. John apparently read enough of our paper to discover that 511 cm is necessary to accommodate the BoA.

2. After he passed this information along to you, you decided to pull back your paper to go for a better fit.

3. Your effective thickness of 279 microns (from your winding lengths) gives you a scroll length of 300 cm, which is too short.

4. Your measured thickness of 100-125 microns gives you a scroll length of ~700 cm, which is too long.

5. By averaging your effective and measured thicknesses, you manage to hit the right length, just like Goldilocks.

In other words, you are suggesting that John Gee and I have now deliberately conspired to manipulate the results of our papyri analysis in order that our conclusions will conform to a pre-conceived result. Or, to be more succinct, you are suggesting that John Gee and I are deliberately conspiring together to craft a set of blatant lies to foist upon our prospective readers.

It must be quite satisfying to be able, with utter impunity, to casually toss out such libelous allegations on a public message board.

In any event, my paper has been completed for many months. There have been no revisions consequent to your article, and there will be no substantive revisions consequent to the more recent studies to which I have referred above. It was delayed in order to see if this new approach would confirm its findings, or render them moot. It has now been decided to publish it simply because it represents a

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We shall see whether or not your claims hold up to the scrutiny that is being applied to them.

We have given Dialogue Journal all of our data and requested they make it freely available for download along with our paper. Bear in mind, however, that our methodology constitutes a very time-consuming labor-intensive process. Getting the digital edge functions to precisely match the analog tracings requires great patience and care due to the idiosyncrasies of scanning and printing. Fortunately, our digital data spares potential reviewers this effort. All they have to do to check our measurements is print out the functions exactly to scale and overlay them on the papyri to see if they match.

To date, the reviews of which I am aware are anything but positive.

That's odd, since we've yet to encounter a single negative review. Perhaps if you read the paper, you could be the first to provide one!

Frankly, I believe you have been completely blinded by confirmation bias and are utterly incapable of recognizing the gross errors in your approach to this question.

I'm still waiting for an equation number and/or page reference. You could try your luck and pick one at random!

At any rate, your argument in the future will not be with me, but rather with professional Egyptologists and Papyrologists.

Are George and Howard Fisher papyrologists?

It remains to be seen if your penchant for characterizing as liars your intellectual opponents plays as well outside the insular environment of Mormon-related message boards.

Charming, as always.

(Note my completion of your chiastic structure.)

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