CA-ONT-CEMETERIES-L ArchivesArchiver > CA-ONT-CEMETERIES > 2004-09 > 1095468068
From: Brock Way <>
Subject: Shaving cream on tombstones
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 17:41:36 -0700 (PDT)
Just to address a couple of issues--
> Some of these penetrate the stone matrix, and do NOT
> simply rinse off.
This is simply untrue. If you have experience in
chemistry, and know the difference between emulsion
and solution, then you should also know what
chromatography is. There is no pore in the stone that
is large enough to allow the entry of the solid phase
but yet magically too small to allow entry of the
solution phase. No analysis of tombstone material has
ever shown trace of residue. What there is is a LOT of
is people CLAIMING there is a residue which does not
This issue is very much like evolution. People have
strong beliefs that cannot be swayed with actual
science. But as a scientific investigation, this was
settled a long time ago. The experiment has already
been done. If you choose not to believe, fine, I am
not going to FORCE people to put shaving cream on a
> They can damage the stone, or become nutrients for >
various organisms that can also be harmful.
Uhm, what? Which organisms can metabolize shaving
cream? The only way shaving cream even harbors
organisms is the case where floating organisms get
stuck to it, and then metabolize surrounding material.
But here again, this doesn't happen if you just wash
> The Association for Gravestone Studies
> among others, state that shaving cream should NEVER
> be used on stones. I am
> more inclined to believe them than some
> unidentified source.
That's curious. When you were talking about
"unidentified souce", I would have presumed it was the
Association for Gravestone Studies that you were
refering to. There is no source given for any of the
opinions shown there.
> Lacking any authoritative data to the contrary, I
> would never put anything other than light and water
> on a stone.
I think a lot of genealogist create really interesting
pedigrees using the same logic. If I ask them for
proof that William Schmoe is Joe Schmoe's father, they
respond, "prove that he isn't!".
The trouble with this is that the burden of proof is
on the original assertion, not on its refutation. It
is illogical to presume an assertion is true unless
someone can prove it is untrue. So rather than wait
for "authoritative data to the contrary", I would
suggest that someone provide "authoritative data in
the affirmative", which I note that nobody has yet to
do. This 'no shaving cream' rationale is no more
logical than someone suggesting that looking at the
stone will harm it, then everyone not looking at the
stone until some "authoritative data" surfaces to show
that it is not harmful to look at the stone.
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