The Discovery channel aired its two hour special The Lost Tomb of Jesus last night. PZ watched it and was unimpressed. As examples of the filmmakers’ extensive reaching to form the conclusion they wanted, PZ gives us:
Another ossuary has the name "Miriamne Mara". They speculate that this might be Mary Magdalene's, despite it not saying "Magdalene", because MM might have been a master ("Mara") and preacher. Extensive confabulations follow.
They extracted mitochondrial DNA from bone fragments in the ossuaries. The mito DNA from the Jesus ossuary and the Miriamne Mara ossuary don't match—which is what you'd expect if it were Jesus and Mary Magdalene (they are not maternally related!) It's also what you'd expect if it were a family tomb, and they were husband and wife. Therefore, they speculate for a while that Mary Magdalene and Jesus must have actually been married to one another! It's an awful lot to spin from a lack of a DNA match.
Patina analysis shows that the James ossuary probably came from the same tomb as the Jesus/Mary/ Miramne/ Matthew/Jose group. Uh, they don't seem to care that they've just linked their inscribed ossuaries to a known forged ossuary inscription.
I still have it to watch on my DVR and was going to write my own review later this week. I’ll see – if it’s as unimpressive as PZ says, and I don’t have anything else to add, I may not bother.
Edit March 10, 2007
I did eventually decide to write a more detailed post - The Lost Tomb of Jesus (Not)