|His followers were dummies|
As [Thomas] de Wesselow is quick to admit, this idea is only a hypothesis. No one has tested whether a decomposing body could leave an imprint on shroud-style cloth like the one seen on the [Shroud of Turin]...
It's likely, he says, that Jesus' female followers returned to his tomb to finish anointing his body for burial three days after his death. When they lifted the shroud to complete their work, they would have seen the outline of the body and interpreted it as a sign of Jesus' spiritual revival.So that's the theory. Mary, Mary, Mary, and Mary went to the tomb on Easter morning, saw the marks on Jesus' shroud and, ignoring the stinking, decomposing corpse they had come to prepare, instead posited the cloth "as a sign of Jesus' spiritual revival." All of that stuff about, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him" is just to be ignored.
But it fits the pattern. As is often the case (see: Jesus walked on the ice), whenever someone comes up with a naturalistic theory to explain a miracle,* that theory posits theoretical but unknown natural forces that gullible people interpret as a miracle. And it does so while ignoring everything those people said about it, or puts words in their mouth they never spoke. We therefore are supposed to ignore the testimony Jesus' disciples gave, the fact that no Christians ever returned to Jesus' tomb even though they knew he was there, and the fact that they never mentioned this 'miracle cloth.' We must do this in order to account for how a natural process that no one has seen or tested really explains why Jesus' idiot disciples ran all over the Middle East and Europe claiming that he had risen from the dead.
This, I guess, is what is called science.
* as I may have mentioned before, I neither know nor care if the shroud is "genuine," by which I mean it is really the burial cloth of Christ. If it is, it's pretty cool. If it's not, that's fine, too. But there can be little doubt that de Wesselow's argument is designed to get around a potential miracle.