After 2 years, and over 200 postings, I think I’ve finally cracked it – the enigma of the Shroud of Turin.

 First there was scorching off a heated statue or bas-relief template, to leave a negative imprint on linen (see site banner above for modelling thereof).

(Apologies btw for the length of this posting, which will seem to go on, and on, and on: I’ll explain later. Clue: this site is STILL down at Page 12 or 13 of Google listings.  Right, where was I? Ah, yes).

Era?  Probably early-to-mid 14th century, consistent with the 1988 radiocarbon dating (1260-1390). eureka

Then there was gradual shedding of the more strongly scorched fibres over many centuries to leave today’s  barely visible image.

Yes, it could be as simple as that.

It could explain why the Shroud image is so scorch-like ( STURP  in 1978 pretty well admitted as much) while,  thanks to ageing,  it now possesses  some subtle characteristics  (ultra-superficiality, half-tone effect etc) that are not easily reproducible in a new scorch.

So don’t just think about the making of the Shroud image (requiring a  few hours or at most days). Think too about its gradual  ‘unmaking’ , i.e  degradation over centuries.  Yes, sad, isn’t it? All things must pass, revered relics icons included.

Please see my immediately preceding postings  for the geekish details at the molecular, fibre, thread and fabric level.

If you’ve time to spare, look too at the 200+  postings  before that.  (Just kidding. My next task is to catalogue them so hopefully  making it easier for folk to see how the case for scorching/image-degradation was gradually arrived at methodically, and some might think,  far, far too slowly).

Nope. It wasn’t  rocket science. It just required a knowledge of fairly basic physics, chemistry and botany. Oh, and a deep distrust of my fellow scientists.

Yes, it  required an open, enquiring,  probably sciency-kind of mind, along with the age-old maxim:  “Take nobody’s word for it”,  least of all that of fellow scientists.

(The world would be a somewhat dysfunctional and probably quite hazardous kind of place without scientific peer review).

See too my earlier posting on WHY the Shroud was fabricated in the first place, and a hint as to why it made its first documented appearance in approx 1356 in a small church in Champagne country approx. 200km to the south-east  of Paris, founded by the knightly Geoffroi de Charny, Lord of Lirey,  and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy.

http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/flow-chart-summarising-a-novel-hypothesis-for-how-the-shroud-of-turin-came-into-existence-and-fooled-generations-of-scholars/

The so-called Lirey Pilgrim’s badge is a vital part of the jigsaw (enter into your favourite search engine). So too was the recently discovered ‘Machy mould’ for a variant of the Lirey badge with that intriguing addition of the Veronica motif(?) and the ambiguous term SUAIRE  (burial shroud being the conventional meaning, but “face wipe”, ad hoc or otherwise, being an intriguing alternative).

Late addition: “Face wipe”  (suaire) is a genteel description for what, etymologically served as a “sweat cloth”.  Think small sweat cloth (the Veronica Veil); think a post-mortem whole body-sized version thereof  – the Shroud.

Comments welcome.

Afterthought: here in a nutshell is a summary of the ‘scorched fibre attenuation’ hypothesis (I’ll try to think of something snappier):

Stage 1: Production of an obvious scorch to represent a victim of slow roasting (prob.a Templar, but possibly St.Lawrence of Rome).

Stage 2: Deliberate attempt to attenuate the image by the various devices described by Lalaing (boiling in oil etc*), in order to reinvent as a whole body “sweat imprint” to trump the Veil of Veronica, then attracting hordes of pilgrims.

Stage 3: Addition of blood to leave absolutely no doubt that the image was that of the newly crucified Jesus of Nazareth is his burial shroud.

Stage 4: Natural attenuation of the image over centuries to render the image still fainter, acquiring subtle characteristics that render it more of an enigma to modern science.

* see entry for April 14th, 1503 in ‘Shroud History’

Second thoughts (re naming): since this idea of mine is certain to create a bit of a tiff, then why not call it the TIFF hypothesis ( TIFF being an acronym:  Thermal Imprint/Fragile Fibre).   ;-)

It avoids use of the term “scorch”, which is not sufficiently specific as to mechanism of fibre coloration.

Let’s take a break.

#############################################

Back again.

http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/the-arrow-of-time-and-entropy/

Click on link above to see posting immediately preceding this one with the crucial ‘sciency’ stuff, like how the peculiar ‘half-tone’ effect may have arisen as a TWO-STEP process (initial scorching, followed by fracture and loss of the more brittle, more heavily scorched fibres to leave just the minimally scorched ones).

Postscript (added 19 March): on an entirely different aspect (possibly the subject of a future more detailed posting) I came across a “sindonological” site yesterday that attempts to dismiss the scorch hypothesis in just a few lines, by citing the  problem of “image distortion”. That’s based on the argument that if you smear the face or torso of a volunteer with some kind of paint and then wrap the subject in cloth, the imprint is distorted and grotesque (the further from the midline, the greater the lateral distortion).

What that argument overlooks is one small but crucial detail regarding the Shroud image. The sides (and top of the head) are not imaged. So when one imprints off a head or torso, living or inanimate, there is no need to stray very far from the midline, certainly not to the falling away sides.

What’s more, recalling the details of my LOTTO procedure, used to create this site’s banner, one starts with the hot effigy horizontally laid out, one covers with the linen, which hangs freely at the sides, one covers with damp sacking or similar, and then pats gently all over. The patting is done mainly vertically, while moulding around any obvious prominences in the top plane like nose or folded hands etc. One does not pat the sides, which remain unscorched because the linen hangs vertically, with no contact pressure between fabric and template. The end -result is the imprinting off the most elevated planes only of the effigy. Whilst the latter may be 3D, the effect of light vertical patting is to make the imprint look as if it had come from a bas relief.

Here are those images from above (dark v fainter scorch) after 3D-enhancement in Image J. Note the increasingly Shroud like appearance, especially with the imaging of dorsal side feet after turning up the fabric during imprinting - surely hich i

Here’s a reminder of the result from earlier (November 2014), imprinting off a hot brass crucifix at two levels of scorching (fainter one on right).  It’s a small scale experiment, granted,  one that ideally needs repeating with a life-sized effigy, but with that caveat, there is no very obvious degree of lateral distortion, due to the  lack of contact and/or contact pressure between the sides of the template and the fabric.

http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/a-challenging-scorch-assignment-that-i-had-been-putting-off-and-off-and-off/

Note that the radiation exponents are forced to invoke ‘orthogonal projection’ of radiation, to explain lack of side imaging etc,  and emanating from a dead body, for which there are simply no scientific precedents. No such qualifying assumptions, certainly not exotic ones, are needed in the contact scorch model. It is the patting down and moulding to topmost relief  in the vertical plane, the areas that present resistance  to the patter’s palms and fingers, that results in selective imprinting of the highest planes in the effigy i.e. that are square-on to the cloth. The result is an image that may show a little distortion, but probably slight and undetectable to most eyes, especially when one considers the faintness and fuzziness of the Shroud image generally.

Further postscript, added 20th March.

Someone is sure to raise the issue of fluorescence, as the occasion when Mr.Barrie Schwortz crashed in on a Troll Central posting to put me right on the subject.

“Sadly, that’s why I don’t post to blogs very often. I don’t have time to waste debating folks who simply choose to ignore the published science. They obviously have already made up their minds so why bother? Perhaps they have more time on their hands than I do, but I am not interested in arguing for the sake of argument. That is why I never try to convince anyone of anything. Frankly, I don’t really care what this gentleman thinks and will leave him in your and Dan Porter’s able hands.”

Such old world charm!  Here’s a form of words I have just composed. It will have to do for now, at least until we have some molecular fingerprinting data on the mix of fluorescent species that are generated by scorching of linen under different conditions of temperature, oxygen access etc and their subsequent fate on storage etc.

“Uv fluorescence (or lack thereof): frequently cited by promoters of Shroud authenticity as a “killer argument”.”The 1532 scorch marks fluoresce under uv, the Shroud body image does not. Ipso facto, the image cannot be a scorch”.

 How about: “  The 1532 scorches left holes in the cloth with elemental carbon round the edges of the hole. The body image did neither. Therefore the image cannot be a scorch”? Equally sound logic?

 The 1532 fire caused high temperature pyrolysis, sufficient to degrade cellulose and produce compounds such as hydroxymethylfurfural, and probably aromatics too by condensation reactions.  The temperatures required to produce a scorch on linen are not high enough to degrade cellulose, at least by brief contact. It is the more reactive hemicelluloses that are pyrolysed. The properties of the new chemicals formed (uv fluorescence etc) from hemicelluloses at low temperatures are different from those produced from cellulose at higher temperatures.”

##############################

Folk have asked why I don’t simply get hold of a uv lamp and make a start in filling in the huge gaps in our knowledge of scorching and fluorescence (similar to Hugh Farey’s studies reported previously on this site, with a greater focus on  what’s happening at the molecular level).

http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/guest-posting-from-hugh-farey-yipee-another-science-bod-heres-a-snapshot-of-his-current-studies-of-scorching-and-uv-fluorescence/

But it would be more “kitchen lab” stuff, wouldn’t it, and easy target for the debunkers on Troll Central? There’s also an element of biohazard – my eyes have suffered enough in the past from previous exposure to lab-generated uv (a brief glance  at burning magnesium as a chemistry teacher was enough to induce instant headache and nausea).

Here’s a hint as to what I would do if I had proper lab facilities. I would produce scorches at different temperatures and aerobic/anaerobic conditions. Reaction products (low MWt) would be leached with various combinations of solvents (chloroform/methanol/water), the extracts concentrated and run on TLC. Individual bands, fluorescent ones especially, would be eluted and then injected in a mass spectrometer for identification. The stability of any fluorescent properties would be studied, with exposure to air and other oxidants for different times, different temperatures.

Yet another postscript/afterthought

Here’s the tail-end of a  sniping comment that appeared a few days ago on Troll Central (I’ve omitted the slander that precedes it, attempting to impugn my honesty):

“May be one day I’ll have the pleasure to study a paper from your investigations on chemical scorching of linen fibers proving that a Shroud-like image with ALL PROPERTIES LIKE THE ORIGINAL (namely microscopic, absence of medulla coloration, colored fibers side by side with non colored fibers, 3D encoding etc.) can be obtained by this method.”

regards
Antero de Frias Moreira
(Centro Português de Sindonologia)

Well now, Dr. Moreira, that’s quite a tall order. Reproduce all properties, like the “original”?  But we don’t have the original. We have it many centuries after it was formed. How are we supposed to know what aspects are original, and what are age-related.

Actually, I can tell you with almost 100% certainty what is original. It’s that twin-track scorched-in crease one sees at chin level (and a fainter one at the top of the head).

xx

xx

Those scorched-in creases have been the subject of two of my previous postings, the first over 2 years ago on my sciencebuzz site.

Why does the Turin Shroud appear to have scorched-in crease marks? Tell-tale signature for medieval forging?

The only way I can see how they were formed was by pressing a hot template into linen, or pressing linen down onto a hot template, such that the fabric became creased due to flexure over the 3D relief of the template.

Or maybe you have a better idea?  If so let’s be hearing it please. The onus is not only on we  sceptics to explain ALL the features of the Shroud image. It’s on the authenticists too, especially those features that suggest the image is a non-natural, non-miraculous artefact.

 

Update: Monday 5 May

Home page: science buzz

Home page: science buzz

Yup, this blogger can still be followed on his ‘science buzz’ site.  It’s general science-based, but still has postings now and again on the ever-intriguing TS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The arrow of time – and entropy

xxx

xxx

Here is a schematic representation of the arrow of time – and with it entropy – operating at the thread level in the Shroud (see previous posting for  likely changes at the individual fibre level).

OK – much simplified. It’s reckoned there are something like 200 retted bast fibres in each of the Shroud’s linen threads. Will try and track down the reference.

If one imagines the first diagram to represent a new scorched-on imprint, say from a heated metal template, possibly/probably a bronze statue  and/or  bas relief to represent a cruelly- tortured man (Knight Templar*?) –  one who could be mistaken for the  crucified Jesus  (especially after judicious applications of blood) and the last in the series above to represent how it might look after centuries of mechanical and/or other attrition – read wear-and-tear – then one has a ready explanation for some of the peculiar properties of the Shroud image.  (You know, the ones that are routinely trotted out reeled off by ‘sindonologists’  as evidence for how the Shroud image “cannot possibly be a scorch”).

Changes in the image at the individual fibre level were the subject of the preceding post, and the posting before that  warned of a peculiar optical illusion operating at the fabric level in  (what I dubbed  the BROIL mirage – due to Back Radiation of Incomplete Light). “Incomplete” was a sciency way of saying “coloured” that made for a questionably better acronym. Ouch.

I’ll be back later to list some of those peculiarities, ones  that I say are as much a reflection of  plain-old entropy as of original  thermal imprinting technology.  The latter was no doubt   “branding iron”- inspired, dreamed up by an imaginative medieval artisan, possibly a blacksmith with a mischievous and devil-may-care streak.

Oh, and I’ll  have to add an extra diagram to represent the way the so-called half-tone effect gives a more intense image despite having end-stage pale yellow fibres only. Those more closely-spaced fibres would have originally been underneath a more highly scorched first stage.

* See my recently updated manicured and brushed-up idea ( pretty pictures as well!)

http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/flow-chart-summarising-a-novel-hypothesis-for-how-the-shroud-of-turin-came-into-existence-and-fooled-generations-of-scholars/

xxx

xxx

Light scorch to begin with. After ageing and associated fibre fracture and detachment, there remain only thinly dispersed yellow fibres in the top surface. Result: faint half-tone image.

xxx

xxx

Heavy scorch to begin with  After ageing and more extensive fibre fracture/detachment, there are still many yellow fibres in the top surface. Result: a more intense half-tone image than above.  

###############################

Afterthought: while I’ve said that this posting is addressed to events at the thread level, please note that there’s no suggestion that whole threads break off. It’s the more superficial, highly-scorched fibres of crown threads in the weave in immediate contact with the heated template OR IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THEM that break off over time.

################################

Several signs here of fibre fracture to leave stumps. Copyright STERA Inc. Displayed here for research purposes only.

Several signs here of fibre fracture to leave stumps tufts.
Mark Evans Collection. Copyright STERA Inc. Displayed here for research purposes only.

So what are those subtle and/or peculiar features of the Shroud image that are attributed to a unique 1st century event in a Palestine rock tomb, but which I say are more likely due to a combination of contact scorching followed by centuries of gentle, slow motion disintegration?

1. Ultra-superficiality at the individual fibre level, i.e. the alleged 200nm image thickness, is explained. Many fibres initially had thicker image layers, due to the zone of pyrolysis extending deeper into the core than the PCW. But those heavily scorched fibres,  being mechanically compromised, have broken off over the centuries, leaving just those with highly superficial scorching with relatively unimpaired mechanical strength.

2. The ‘half-tone’ effect (always tricky to explain, whichever proposed mechanism (radiation, conduction, convection) is invoked – why should coloured fibres have immediate neighbours that are uncoloured?).

Attrition explains the half tone effect. Any fibre that has more than a certain degree of colour from scorching has broken off, leaving just the minimally coloured fibres, probably with scorching restricted to the hemicelluloses of the PCW.

3. Image fibres are weaker than non-image fibres, demonstrated by the fact that they were easier to strip off with  Rogers’ sticky tape in the flying ’78 STURP visit.

4. Attrition might be one reason why Shroud image fibres are non-fluorescent under uv light, if it were supposed that fluorescence was conferred by chemical changes occurring at temperatures above those needed for superficial scorching only. But I think there are other, better reasons for explaining lack of fluorescence that have been set out previously on this site. Briefly, unless one knows the precise chemical nature of the fluorescent species – their volatility, their proneness to oxidation, polymerization etc  –  then I personally do not see why lack of fluorescence centuries after the initial image-forming process can be held as a serious objection to any proposed mechanism of image formation.Fluophores are usually low MWt substances with plenty of conjugated double bonds. It would be a remarkable fluophore that would survive in fabric for centuries. (Yes, I know the 1532 ‘scorch marks’ still fluoresce, but they are not just  surface “scorches” – they are the margins of full-thickness burn holes, and have been far more heavily pyrolysed).

5. I don’t pretend to understand the ‘stochastic processes’ that G.Fazio and his colleagues say were necessary to obtain discrimination between image and background colour, nor the reason why that then requires a latency period of some decades for full image development. What I do know is there you will not find a single reference to post-production degradation of the image in the link to that 2013 paper above.  One wonders whether the random factors that operate in degradation have been conflated with those that he imagines operate in the latency period. Mechanisms of image formation will always be somewhat conjectural.  There  is nothing conjectural about the phenomenon of age-related decay. I have only to look in the mirror to be reminded of that. No doubt the distribution of age spots and wrinkles would also fit a ‘stochstic model’ with a long latency period.

##################################

Feedback (from Elsewhere):

  1. March 12, 2014 at 7:53 am | #16

    Is there anywhere on the Shroud where the image penetrates deeper into the linen than in other spots? Is it not logical to assume that if the image is a man-made scorch it would have penetrated deeper in some areas — undetectable at the time but not so today. Are we sure the image is uniform in its depth across the linen?

    • Yannick Clément
      March 12, 2014 at 10:53 am | #17

      Quote: “Are we sure the image is uniform in its depth across the linen?”

      That’s the conclusion of the STURP team. The ultra-superficiality is present not only in areas very faint but also in most probable zones of direct-contact where the image is the darkest like the nose area for example… This simple fact, along with the bloodstains evidence, is enough to discard any hypothesis involving a man-made forgery. Can we move forward please?

      ################################

      “Zones of direct contact”

      Like, er, you know, atom to atom? What kind of mechanism transfers energy  directly, atom-to-atom? Think Physics 101.Think heat conduction (as distinct from diffusing molecules, radiation etc).

      ###############################

      Update: 16:22

      David Goulet commented on Is Time the Secret Ingredient We Need to Consider?.

      in response to Yannick Clément:

      Quote: “Are we sure the image is uniform in its depth across the linen?” That’s the conclusion of the STURP team. The ultra-superficiality is present not only in areas very faint but also in most probable zones of direct-contact where the image is the darkest like the nose area for example… This simple fact, along [...]

      The only way to move forward, given the lack of new data/tests, is to question and re-examine what we already think we know. I don’t expect Colin is going to find conclusive evidence to validate the scorch theory, but his experiments and thought exploration could lead to other insights. He may ‘accidently’ hit upon something revelatory that does move us forward. This is certainly better than standing pat waiting for Turin to allow new tests.

      ##############################

      Yes, there may be an appearance of a random walk about scientific investigation, David, especially when folk look at the clock (or calendar).  But then the same might be said about bloodhounds, sniffing at this or that. We science bods learn to follow our nose… It’s all in the nose you see (the grey matter comes later).

      This blog, and its predecessor on my sciencebuzz site, began over 2 years ago as a challenge: to crack the enigma of the Turin Shroud.  To “crack” obviously means to produce an explanation that meets my own expectations of credibility which, if I’m properly humble, means it could be proved wrong by others in the fullness of time, armed with better evidence. My chief aim was to produce an account in real time of the manner in which the scientific mind – or rather just one in particular- tackles a problem. With no implied criticism of David, I do not believe that I stumble on truth by accident. I may do it by a circuitous route, but there is no accident about gravitating towards the right answer simply because one is exploring side-turnings on the way, simply to ensure that nothing is missed.

      David’s comments has given me all the encouragement I need to break off from the research and  to begin to catalogue the some 230 Shroud-related postings on this (mainly) and two other sites to show how I arrived at today’s posting, proposing that the curious Shroud image is a product of  both ingenious manufacture (by contact scorching) and time-related image degradation.

      It’s not been a random walk. It has always had ‘directionality’, as I hope to show.  Later, I may advance some quite adventurous ideas on what guides the scientific temperament, ones  that folk reading this blog are  probably unlikely to have encountered elsewhere. You see, it’s more than just head,  or even heart and head. Clue: primitive limbic centre of the brain. Sense of SMELL (metaphorically speaking), or as we would say now, intuition, or gut feeling.

      ###########################

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beware: with each passing decade and century, the Shroud image sheds vital evidence as to its origins.

xxx

xxx

The three faces are a supposed time sequence – there seems little doubt that the Shroud image has been fading over the centuries.

The second row of images underneath is part hypothesis, part common sense. It relates fading to the loss of degraded linen fibres (regardless of mechanism of image imprinting, whether by mysterious radiation, or as I prefer to imagine (see site banner) by contact scorching from a heated bas relief metal template).

The first fibres to break off and be lost would be those that are degraded all the way to the central lumen of each fibre, with visible coloration of what Rogers described as the “medullas”, i.e. the interface between empty central lumen  (“hole”) and secondary cell wall.  Coloured “medullas” probably represent scorched remnants of the long-deceased flax cell membrane and cytoplasm.

Less degraded fibres, with degradation confined to the hemicelluloses of the outermost primary cell wall (PCW, dark brown)  and thick secondary cell wall (SCW, yellow) would be next to fracture and detach.

The image we see today probably represents the population of minimally-degraded fibres, with damage to the highly superficial PCW only, with largely unaffected SCW cores.

The third horizontal row is an attempt to portray the shed fibres collecting in a heap.

Expect similar attrition, i.e. progressive flaking off,  of the bloodstains, regardless of the origins of the blood.

The Shroud image is not frozen in time. It is subject to entropy like everything else in this world. Order proceeds to disorder, because there are more disordered than ordered arrangements, because random change is more likely to create disorder from order than vice versa, at least in open systems in which energy can dissipate.

More later on the implications of progressive image attrition on some misguided attempts to exclude proposed mechanisms of image formation, notably contact scorching.

#######################

As before, I am giving search engines, Google  especially, no assistance in tagging this post (no image captions, no keywords etc) for reasons previously stated.

###########################

Back again (now 09.00 local time).

Some might consider this posting to be a statement of the obvious – even if the focus on events at the individual fibre level is a bit sciency (but then, I am a scientist, albeit long since retired). So why bother posting?

If the truth be told, I should have done this post two years ago. Then, on the scores of occasions when the  sciency “200nm” card is played, I could have come back with this. The 200nm card, for the uninitiated is the one that was introduced to shroudology by the STURP team leader Raymond N.Rogers. He went to Turin in 1978, and pressed sticky tape onto  various Shroud locations, and took them back to New Mexico to analyse. One of his memorable and much cited findings was that one that described how one could grab the end of an image fibre with forceps, and when one pulled, the coloured image stayed in the adhesive as a “ghost”. It was so thin one could not resolve it by light microscopy. Given the range of wavelengths of visible light, the mantra was born that the Shroud image layer is a mere 200nm to 600nm thick – amazingly thin. (Reminder: 1cm = 10mm; 1mm =1000micrometres; 1 micrometre=1000 nanometres).

Fast forward to Shroudie forums, and one is informed time and time again that no man-made scorch, at least off a hot solid template, could be so incredibly thin, and that one has to invoke some kind of radiation. (Cue uv excimer lasers, corona discharges, neutron bombardment from earthquakes and fracturing rock etc etc).

OK, so it’s a tall order (maybe) to create a 200nm thick scorch that never goes deeper into the weave. But it’s not a tall order if one is then allowed to come back a few centuries later when all the more deeply scorched fibres have broken off, leaving just those with the PCW scorched. Reminder: the PCW of flax/linen fibres is reckoned to be of the order of 100nm thick!

Oh, and 200nm is not so  impossibly thin as to defy human comprehension. It’s the thickness of gold leaf that was used to illuminate medieval manuscripts, balanced on the end of a paintbrush by the master gilder.

One encounters other forms of the “impossibly-thin-to-forge” mantra. Like: “the image is restricted to the outermost fibres of each thread”.  Well, it could seem that way centuries later, when what one is looking at are lightly coloured fibres that are now on the outside, but weren’t initially.

Or there’s the mysterious “half-tone effect”.  That also comes with the anti-scorch mantra. All the fibres in the image are either a fixed intensity of yellow or are uncoloured. There are no in-betweens. What may seem like a darker image area is “simply” due to having a greater ratio of coloured to uncoloured fibres. Yes, I know. This is starting to get monotonous. What if there had been darker fibres to begin with, but being mechanically weaker they have simply broken off, leaving a population of stronger, weakly coloured fibres that can rejoice for ever after under the tag “half-tone” effect, anticipating 19th century photographic reproduction technology by several hundred years?

It’s implicit from what I’ve said so far that modern photography is of no help – we’ve arrived too late, that all the more intensely-scorched fibres will have detached a long time ago, leaving a homogeneous collection of yellow fibres, with nothing so undignified as a singed bristle in sight. Hmmm. I’m not so sure about that. While close-up photographs of the Shroud, at a magnification large enough to see individual fibres are as rare as hen’s teeth, there was one  (under copyright protection) that one SSG member was able to liberate from another’s archive and insert in his anti-scorch pdf. Here’s a screen grab – justified here as being used for research/education purposes only.

xxx

xxx

Is it my imagination, or are there not hints of broken fibres in various locations that seem darker (“more heavily scorched”) than those that are still aligned with the threads. Could this be the smoking gun for my entropy focus?  Are there more pictures hidden away in private archives that could be brought to bear on the crucial issue  and, more importantly, chief mechanism of wear-and-tear?

Late edit: in fact I was looking at the same photomicrographs way back in October 2012 and arriving at the same conclusions re broken ends ends.

http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/nul-points-dr-thibault-heimburger-you-have-arrived-at-an-over-hasty-ill-judged-diagnosis/

Back later (to discuss fluorescence and other issues that have been fashioned as weapons by the anti-scorch polemicists)

Update 20:40

It’s over two years since this blogger/scientist picked up on a brief reference to the PCW and hemicellulose in linen fibres (Feb 13th 2012 to be precise, the second posting on this site) and quickly made a case for those two being the likely site for a faint and superficial  200nm thermal imprint by direct contact. By rights, in a sane and rational world, that hypothesis should quickly have edged out Rogers’ impurity coating (for reasons I don’t intend  to enumerate now, but may do so in the next day or two). Yet here we are two years later with the same fixation with Rogers’ impurity coating being expressed on Misinformation Central. I use that M word advisedly, given the quaint belief over there that Rogers was advancing a serious hypothesis with his low temperature Maillard scenario. He wasn’t. It does not stand up to close scrutiny (again, the reasons can come later). What’s more, Rogers had a total blindspot for the PCW and its heat-sensitive hemicelluloses, and having argued (correctly) that cellulose was too resistant towards heat to be the prime target, and being clearly unaware of the botanical facts of life, like the PCW being external, really left himself nowhere to go except in the direction of dreaming up impurity coatings. But that’s no reason for the host of Shroudieland’s premier blog site and one of its Rogers’ disciples to continue to preach 24/7 the Gospel according to St.Raymond, and to fail to acknowledge the strength of the case for PCW as the image-receptive surface. Is it any wonder that this site, with its 200 postings that have consistently developed the PCW hypothesis continues to be virtually invisible in the search engines under (shroud of turin) when a highly tendentious and  outdated version of events is still promoted and/or hankered after. My postings simply have the life sucked out of them when those cover versions appear in the Shroudie digest, and its quite clear from my flag counter that the same old broken records get played without visits here first to check what I have said in its entirety, instead of Daniel R.Porter’s spoon-fed milk-and-water version.

Rogers probably believed he was heading in the right direction, given the gap in his education (plant science).  But for that other site to persist with his fantasy, and to close its eyes to the PCW thinking  is something different altogether. I say its agenda-driven pseudoscience we are seeing over there. As I’ve said many times before, I heartily detest any kind of pseudoscience. What has real science (and this real scientist) done to deserve this kind of shabby dismissive treatment – one of being contained, neutralised, decontaminated. Maybe that’s the real raison d’etre for that site. It’s all about CONTROLLING THE INTERNET to allow the promotion of the Shroud and associated agenda elsewhere. It’s about fire-fighting, damage limitation etc etc.

Update: 10:23 from Mike M (Canadian pharmacist as I recall)>

“I think what comes out of CB post is simply an implied admission that his scorch hypothesis can’t replicate the superficiality at the fibre level… So it must be time (i.e. don’t ask me to replicate it because it happened over hundreds of years and I can’t replicate that) what about the real scorches on the shroud? Why are those still there, after the same time has passed and all the foldong and unfolding why are they still there, Full with Lumen discoloration, UV Fluorescence and transmitted light presence?”

First, let me say that I see no difficulty with selective scorching of the PCW,  even if it is a mere 100nm, or a few multiples thereof. As I’ve said over and over again, one can have a scorch as faint and superficial as one wishes, since there are no theoretical of commonsense grounds for thinking that a scorch at the limit of visibility would penetrate deeper than the SCW PCW.

But Mike M may not  be aware of my thinking that the Mark 1 Shroud was made as a tribute to a roasted Templar, probably Jacques de Molay of Geoffroi de Charney, and there would have been no attempt to produce the exceedingly faint scorch we see today. That would hardly have been a crowd puller.  So the original scorch was more intense, but has since become faint as a consequence of the more heavily scorched and thus more brittle fibres snapping off over time. There may have been proactive attempts to speed up that process in the early days when Mk1 Shroud was being reinvented as Christ’s burial cloth (see the references to boiling in oil, repeated laundering etc).

As for the “real” scorches on the Shroud, they weren’t done by an artist/artisan. They are the edges of burn holes where the entire thickness of the fabric has been charred. Sorry, not a fair comparison. The same goes for those other properties (fluorescence etc) – entirely different scenario, involving much higher temperatures in the 1532 fire.

The chief point is that one cannot go listing differences between modern scorches and proposed ancient ones, using them as evidence for or against scorching, without considering the effect of wear and tear. The latter is unavoidable, especially given the time scale, and, given the exotic nature of some Shroud image characteristics (“half tone effect”) one is entitled to seek explanations that involve not only the initial energy input, but the subsequent degradation too. Might it be the failure to consider ageing effects that explains why the Shroud has been regarded as an enigma for so long.

Update: 12th March am

Thibault HEIMBURGER
March 11, 2014 at 4:53 pm | #11

That’s true.

To work seriously one has to consider the differences between fiber, thread and fabric levels.

##################################

I dealt with an aspect of events at the fibre level in the previous posting, warning against a particular optical illusion that involves the interstices of the weave and back-reflection/scattering of coloured light. It’s so far not been spotted or relayed elsewhere as far as I’m aware.Thanks Google etc. You and your fellow search engines really are a dead loss at failing to report  the serious attempts being made to solve the Shroud enigma, despite the frequent appearance of a “News” tab on the first page of listings under (shroud turin).

As regards events at the thread level, see Hugh Farey’s comment that followed yours, and my reply.

####################################

Hugh Farey
March 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm | #13

They’re not still there, are they? In fact, so much of them was being crumbled away that it was thought there was a danger of the charred fragments damaging the rest of the shroud, hence the 2000 restoration.

That is to say, of course, that there are degrees of discolouration, from the lightest image colour to the blackest char, and quite possibly the most friable parts of all of it have been crumbled off. The darkest burns have been rubbed away to nothing – hence the enlargment of the ‘burn holes,’ and the lightest discolourations have been excoriated the least. Possibly the non-image areas haven’t been rubbed away at all. All the remaining marks, from burns to faint image, are what remains, not the original undamaged surface. Doesn’t that make sense?

###################################

March 12, 2014 at 2:26 am | #15

Thank you Hugh. You put things so much better than me, which is perhaps why I rely a lot on diagrams. In fact you have given me an idea for today’s posting, which will show diagramatically the effect of that great equalizer – mechanical attrition – at the thread as well as the fibre level. It will plagiarize the cable-like portrayal of threads in cross-section from that splendid paper of Fanti, Di Lazzaro, Heimburger et al on Macroscopic v Microscopic Aspects.

#######################################

Here’s a cut-and-paste of the abstract of that open-access 201o Fanti et al paper. (My bolding. What a pity that Raymond Rogers did not live to see it, or appreciate the importance of the PCW, especially its EXTERNAL location on plant cells, including those that have acquired a secondary cell wall.)

The “superficiality” of the Turin Shroud body image is a characteristic frequently described in scientific papers but too often in vague terms. Originating from a discussion among the members of the Shroud Science Group, this paper was compiled thoroughly describing the unique characteristics of the body image superficiality. This concept of superficiality is here described at the fabric, thread and fiber levels. At the fabric level, we show the importance of the geometry of the fabric. At the thread level, the very specific distribution of the color is emphasized. Finally, at the fiber level, we confirm that the color is a chemically altered layer about 200 nm thick found at the surface of the colored fibers (the inner part remains uncolored). We suggest that the chemical alteration that produced the discoloration is related to the primary cell wall of the linen fiber. The description of image superficiality here reported will be useful for the formulation of future hypotheses about the body image formation process.

################################

To which this blogger would say “Amen” and simply add a few extra words to the end :

“… and subsequent fading via mechanical and/or other attrition.”

Update: Thur 13 March: It slipped my mind earlier to mention that Thibault Heimburger published an extensive and valuable collection of photomicrographs from the Mark Evans collection (STERA copyright).

http://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/mark-evans.pdf

See also this posting for more discussion and links:

http://shroudstory.com/2013/11/18/must-see-the-informative-mark-evans-photomicrographs/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beware the mirage of apparent reverse-side scorching produced by the ‘BROIL’ effect.

This is essentially a repeat of yesterday’s posting, using a scorch image (off a crucifix) instead of that red marker pen.

I’ll let the pictures speak largely for themselves.

BROIL = Back Radiation Of Incomplete Light.

(OK, so filtered light, coloured due to  certain missing wavelengths, has to be described somewhat unconventionally as “incomplete”.  But there’s such a thing as acronymic licence, surely? Come on, say yes.)

In this instance the light passing through the scorch has emerged as yellow/brown, due to abstraction of its short-wave blue component by the pyrolysed carbohydrates. When linen is placed down on a white surface, most of that yellow light gets reflected/radiated back through the interstices to the viewer’s eye, creating a mirage of a heavier scorch on the reverse side than is really the case. Viewing the reverse side on a black surface allows one to compare the real v mirage-reinforced reverse-side image.

DSC09749(Ignore the writing – it was a reference to there being a damp backing cloth in the original scorch experiment. The cloth used today was bone dry.)

First, this shows how white light being transmitted through a scorch image is filtered. The filtered light, now yellow/brown as per scorch, creates a patch on the white background. Note the presence of a gap between fabric and paper. But when the linen is then placed back on the white paper, that yellow light then gets reflected back through the interstices of the weave.

xxx

xxx

It’s the back-radiation of filtered/coloured  light that accounts for the anomaly you see in the above photo, where the colour of a reverse-side image appears to be mainly in the interstices of the weave, when viewing on a white background. Once could almost imagine that it was yellow or brown paper behind the fabric.

The moral is clear: if you think there is reverse-side scorching, especially from a faint top-side scorch, then always view against a matt black surface. Don’t be fooled by the BROIL- mirage. (Mirages, in the desert etc, are caused by refraction of light. This one’s caused by back-reflection/scattering, but it’s a similar idea of light playing tricks).

Caveat: it was necessary to choose a heavy front-side scorch from my collection in order to capture that transmitted yellow light on the backing white paper. Consequently there WAS some real reverse-side image that is not seen on lighter front-side scorches. Nevertheless, a sizeable difference in reverse side intensity was seen when comparing white  (left) v black (right) background. Sorry, the images are not quite the same size for the purposes of strict comparability, but  I maintain that occasional sloppiness and indolence  is an essential prerequisite for staying power in science.

xxx

xxx

 

#######################################

Once again, I’m giving Google no help in putting my ideas and images onto targeted searches under (shroud turin + additional term ), not while this site with its 202 postings languishes out of sight on Page 12 or 13 of  (shroud of turin) returns, with priority being given to so many 9-day wonder stories.  In fact, thanks to Google, stories that should be 9-day wonders hang around in top listings for 90 or even 190 days!   Fix that algorithm, Google, or pay someone to manually mark up the sites that offer real content and long-term commitment, and mark down the flash-in-pan content. Don’t do evil. Don’t even do lazy robotic dysfunctional.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This title will not improve this blog’s Google ranking. But then, what will?

In fact, nothing in today’s posting will assist the Google algorithm in disseminating my content under various search terms attached to the end of (shroud turin). There will be no captions under images either. Why? Because this blog, despite its 200 or so postings to date is virtually invisible when one searches under (shroud turin) . In fact, it gets virtually no new visitors via Google, which is hardly surprising, given it’s presently on page 15 of returns. Yet flash in the pan stories – like that alleged AD33  neutron-generating earthquake in Palestine that not only generated the Shroud image (we are told) but threw the radiocarbon dating  as well, still clog up the returns under (shroud turin).

So why should this (or other content-rich blogs) remain under the radar of the Google algorithm, except for more targeted searches (which then provide Google with opportunities for generating  revenue with its paid-for advertisements)?

There is absolutely no point in spending time and effort writing and illustrating  new postings while the world’s favourite search engine continues to discriminate against those who create the new content (albeit with rough edges at first, given that it is unfamiliar territory that is being explored).

Future posting here will provide the Google algorithm with little or no clue as to content. The title will be unhelpful, the pictures will lack captions, and I shall stop entering keywords. The posting itself will start with asking questions.  (It goes without saying that the text will be expanded to keep the blog visitor-friendly.)  If there’s interest, I may provide some possible answers later, much later, long after the Google crawler has lost interest and moved  elsewhere in search of revenue-generating free-of-charge content.

Here’s the first in my new Google-unfriendly format.

Have a look at this picture (it’s just one of a series I had planned to show). Then ask yourself this question. Might the claims (or at any rate, some of the claims) that a scorch, even a faint one, ALWAYS results in reverse-side scorching  be based on a trick of the light? I’ve used a red marker pen to model a mechanism.

xxx

xxx

The red asterisk has been drawn on the underside of the linen (with relatively little ‘soak-through)  and the latter sits on a white or other light-coloured background.

Here’s a clue: the weave has miniature ‘portholes’.

Can anyone guess what one sees if viewed from the other side that might cause puzzlement when first encountered?  What’s the relevance to shroudology?

Update: 10:00 London time (I’ve been told that Google does not like updates – that one gets penalized for adding to, or editing one’s initial post. Splendid. I will be making even more use of updates from now on).

I took another look at the snapshots in my “red asterisk” gallery this morning, and have to say, strictly entre nous, that they make a nice story, one with a clear take-away message. What will follow is I believe the reporting of  a new effect, at least where the Shroudie literature is concerned. It’s one that anyone who refers in future to “reverse side scorching’  will need to be aware of, and know the elementary safeguard needed if they are to avoid false sightings.

Is it too soon to give the effect a name, or, better still, one of those clever acronyms?

Well, you know I’m dying to tell you now, rather than later. I call it the reverse side BROIL effect, or BROIL illusion, that term being chosen with scorches in mind, real versus ghost ones, as distinct from real versus ghost asterisks.

BROIL  stands for:

B_ _ _    R _ _ _  _  _ _ _  _     O _     I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _     L _  _ _  _

Meaning of the verb “to broil” (used mainly in the US, we Brits generally using “to grill”): to cook by exposure to direct heat.

There now.  That was really too easy wasn’t it? So no answers on postcards please.

Latest instalment: 18:27 Sunday

Now let’s put the linen back flat on that white surface, with that red asterisk facing down, and look at the top side, i.e. opposite to the asterisk.

xxx

xxx

Note that the asterisk is clearly visible. Bleed through of red ink from the other side? That would probably be most people’s first thought, and was mine to begin with (until I started looking through a hand lens – about which more later).

Nope. It’s not bleed through, as this simple demonstration shows. Move the linen to a matt black surface. Now what do you see?

xxx

xxx

The case of the missing asterisk!

Let’s go back to the white background, and take a closer look.

xxx

xxx

Look where the colour is. It’s in the interstices (“holes” in the weave). How can holes have colour, one may ask?

Holes don’t have colour. Not only does that colour largely if not entirely disappear when viewed against a dark background, but holding the linen up to the light shows that the interstices are indeed still holes! So where’s the colour coming from?

So what’s going on you may ask, as I did just a day or two ago? The answer lies in that first photograph. Here’s another shot from a different angle.

xxx

xxx

Note the patches that suffused red light make on the white paper. Note the way that white light penetrates the weave to create separate spots.

Interpretation:  ordinary visible white light penetrates the weave from the top side, unobtructed through the interstices, and obstructed by the fibres. As the white light passes through the red pigment on the underside of the weave, its green and blue components are absorbed. The remaining “incomplete”, i.e. chromatically filtered light, is red. If the background is black, that red light is absorbed, and no asterisk is seen on the top side. But if the background is light, something very interesting happens. The red light reflect/scatters  off the white surface, and much of it can then exit freely through the interstices of the weave (“miniature portholes”). To the observer, there will be a pixellated ghost image of the asterisk, as if it were on the top surface. When examined through a hand lens. one gets the impression that the linen is on a red backing surface, which of course is not the case,

Ladies and gentlemen: I present you with an optical illusion  that makes an underside image appear as a ghost on the upper surface. But not just any old ghost, not a grey ghost, but one that has the same colour as the image.

More to come (after I have repeated the experiment with a contact scorch instead of red marker pen). Let’s hope we get some good sunlight tomorrow to capture the filtered light on that white surface.

The BROIL illusion?  Back-Radiation Of Incomplete Light.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why is the Shroud image so superficial? More on the ongoing battle between science and pseudoscience.

Let’s start with a quick botany lesson (apologies to those who already know what I’m about to say).

On the right is a  3D model I’ve made of the typical young plant cell, before it has acquired a secondary cell wall.

xx

       Model plant cell (primary cell wall only)                All rights reserved:  Colin Berry

The primary cell wall is depicted as a network of cellulose fibres (red) embedded in a non-fibrous ground substance (hemicelluloses). See end of posting for more details on how the model was constructed (using net bag, polythene bag, Vaseline, red bean, pepper, inky water).

First, one can represent a linen fibre in cross section with 4 concentric circles.

xxx

xxx (Captions later)

What one is seeing is the cross-section of what originally was an elongated bast cell in the stem of a flax plant. The part that was originally living, with streaming cytoplasm, cell nucleus and other organelles, is shown coloured in the next diagram.

xxx

xxx

The hole in the middle, aka lumen, was the fluid (cell sap) filled centre, typical of most plant cells, with dissolved mineral salts,sugars etc.

The first formed cell, aka protoplast, simply has a fragile cell membrane, similar to that in animals, which is exceedingly thin (typically 4nm for a lipid bilayer prior to embedding of proteins). Plants waste no time in producing a primary cell wall (PCW):

xxx

xxx

Why is it on the outside?  Because it’s only a temporary envelope, one that can stretch as the cells and tissues are growing and expanding, providing a measure of support and stiffness that depends on cell turgor, ie. uptake of  water that expands cells like balloons until the PCW is fully stretched.  But that alone is not enough to prop up a tall flax stem. The flax bast cells  that comprise the long fibres are intended for support of the entire stem, so need to be reinforced. That happens as a result of formation of the much thicker secondary cell wall (SCW), packed with crystalline cellulose and usually lignin too. Result – the PCW, now largely irrelevant, is pushed to the outside, and is very, very thin (typically 100nm). The diagram below (schematic, needless to say, like all the others) shows the workhorse SCW, the feature that makes linen linen.

xx

xx

There are important differences between the PCW and the SCW that have to be understood if one is to understand the nature of progressive scorching of a linen fibre by heat, e.g. contact with hot metal template.

What follows is a thought experiment.

Contact with hot metal and PCW leads to pyrolysis (thermal alteration and yellowing due to chemical change). The PCW consists of cellulose fibres embedded in a matrix of hemicelluloses (non-crystalline xyloglucans etc) The latter are more susceptible than cellulose to pyrolysis (Yang H et al, 2007)

So initial scorching is confined to that superficial PCW  (reckoned to be a mere 100nm thick, It may or may not propagate around the entire diameter of the fibre, as shown in the next diagram (about which more later).

xxx

xxx

So what would be the next target for pyrolysis, as more thermal energy is conducted by atom-to-atom (or molecule-to-molecule) transfer of kinetic energy of vibration/oscillation. There are two possibilities.

The first, perhaps more probable, is yellowing of the SCW, due to its appreciable hemicellulose content, said to be approximately 15%.

xxx

xxx

However, there is another possibility, namely that the cytoplasmic remnants – ‘fossilized life-stuff’ so to speak  – may be more susceptible than SCW hemicelluloses to pyrolysis, given the assortment of biomolecules that may be present, notably proteins, sugars etc etc (Maillard reactions?).

xx

xx

Finally, and without a single cellulose molecule being implicated, one has this more advanced stage:

xxx

xxx

So that’s the thought experiment. (Yes, let’s stop there without going on to imagine charring of the bulk cellulose which is of no relevance to the faint and “ultra-thin” (200-600nm?) thick image layer on the Shroud. Where do we go from here?

First, the easy bit (at least for those who have a reasonably well-equipped microscopy lab at their disposal).

The first priority is to subject linen to increasing inputs of thermal energy, initially  by contact scorching (which accounts for the negative image and much else besides – like ‘encoded’ 3D properties, but so far not fluorescence, or lack thereof) and to monitor the sequence of scorching in the 3 zones indicated.

One then needs the cooperation of the Shroud’s custodians to do high grade microscopy on a few Shroud image fibres. The latter would not be confined to entire threads, where artefacts of light refraction etc may produce a wrong impression of coloration or darkening. One MUST section Shroud threads in order to view in cross-section.

Are there available  transverse photomicrographs at a sufficient level of magnification to see whether the Shroud image fibres fit any of the stages in the model scheme above?

So far my knowledge on that score is restricted largely to a few words in the Fanti et al paper on macroscopic v microscopic properties of the Shroud image fibres, ones that have acquired wide currency in the Shroudie world, and inspired (in my view) far too much premature and misguided excursions into exotic forms of energy input (uv laser beams, corona discharges, neutron bombardment etc). Why wasn’t conventional energy studied first in model scorch systems, to see if alleged ‘super-superficiality’ really was explicable or otherwise in terms of conventional physics (and  botany and pyrolysis chemistry)? Was proper consideration ever given to the physical and chemical structure of the flax fibre that could have accounted for image superficiality?  I say not, and I say it’s an appalling display of what happens when engineers turn their hands to science, and proceed to engineer results that just happen to fit with their agenda-driven preconceptions, and which are guaranteed newspaper headlines, concluding with the researchers’ pious hope that readers will be prompted to think about theological and philosophical considerations. They might as well have carried a banner reading “We do pseudoscience better than anyone else”.  That  “we hope” comment alone brands them as practitioners of pseudoscience, or as I would prefer to say “Mickey Mouse” scientists.  One of those comedians even responded to an invite on Porter’s ‘Troll Central”* to report his one-off hot coin scorch imprint – pressing on the coin until it produced, surprise, surprise,  a reverse-side image –  one of the most mirth-provoking interventions imaginable. The screaming title claimed that  scorching was “untenable” (with my name attached, natch).   Garbage. Complete and utter  garbage, to say nothing of hit-and-run trolling, brought to you by the Mickey Mouse Institute of Instant One-Off Scorching, recruited by the mysterious string-pulling Shroud-promoter Daniel R.Porter.

I responded with my onion epidermis experiment – real science. The silence was deafening, and really tells folk all they need  to know about the scientific bona fides of the people who engineer results in order to to “get us thinking about theology and philosophy”.

Engineers should stick to engineering, and leave science to the scientists – folk who can generally be relied upon to design and execute disinterested experiments regardless of their ‘theological or philosophical’ beliefs.

It’s high time the Italian equivalent of the UK’s Royal Society stepped in, and began blasting  those agenda-driven Shroud-obsessed engineers  who posture as scientists , who do huge damage to the reputation of real science and real scientists.

* Enter “Colin Berry’s idea is untenable, and heat cannot produce a superficial coloration” into one’s search engine.  I shall not dignify that execrable instance (one of many) of hit-and-run trolling on Porter’s site by providing a link, and have merely informed the host that it’s been flagged up here as abuse of site.

For another instance of egregious trolling, see the September 12 2012 posting entitled “What is Colin Berry talking about?” Note the Aunt Sally attack from the site’s host, plastering my name in the title (which he has done so many times before and after). Then see the way that the Usual Suspects (persistent trolls) pile in.

Why did I not respond?  Well, as I said yesterday, there’s the stock internet advice: “Don’t feed the trolls”.

But there’s another reason – bemusement with the Shroudie group think, that makes any attempt at rational argument a waste of time. Roughly speaking, here’s how it goes. Someone reports a feature of the Shroud image that they consider “peculiar”, e.g. that it’s so superficial that only the top few fibres are coloured. That quickly becomes “there is something totally unique  and mystifying about the Shroud image”, despite no one bothering to look at similar- looking light scorches produced experimentally. So when I produce a light scorch that is scarcely visible, with no reverse side image, I get mocked and ridiculed because I have not “understood the nature of Shroud image superficiality”. But I do. I know that its guesstimated 100-600 nm thickness is exactly what one would expect of a PCW that has been selectively-scorched, by virtue of its superficial location and complement of hemicelluloses. Do the Shroudie-mystifiers know that? Did they ever take the trouble to think as I have done at the microscopic and molecular level? Or was their narrative based on  a handful of “trophy results” that can be intoned like mantra, and used in trolling attacks to belittle anyone who dares questions their self-serving, agenda-driven narrative?

The final insult is when the Shroudie pseudosciences finally get round to producing an experimental scorch, and do it in so crass a manner as to scorch the entire thickness of fabric, and then say “Look, I told you so”.

You really couldn’t make it up. For the record, I’m not in the least surprised that a faint scorch on the  Shroud scarcely penetrates the weave. But that’s because I have no reason for thinking my experimental scorches would be any different. Sure, I may get round to probing with a needle, as indeed I have done already in a half-hearted fashion. Why half-hearted? Because the real test is to start with a transverse section (as stated above) so that one’s report can be accompanied by photomicrographs, instead of 1st person (“I did this, I saw that”) accounts, unsupported by any permanent record. Unfortunately I don’t have the wherewithal to do cross-sections, and my microscope  has acquired some debris in the field of view. What I do have is enough knowledge of fundamental physical and chemical principles relating to  heat conduction, and thermochemistry to know that relatively small heat ingress due to limited contact time, or temperature control or light pressure, or damp backing cloth is not in the least bit surprising. That’s because thermal energy is a continuous variable that can metered down essentially to zero.  It would be physically impossible to produce a deep scorch by limited energy flux from brief contact with a hot template. Brushing against a hot electric iron may be painful, but does not produce 3rd degree burns.

Science is often  more a matter of commonsense, requiring no recourse to  intimidating theory and partial differential equations. Toasting bread usually takes minutes – not seconds. No pyrolysis (or Maillard reaction) can take place until most or all the water has been driven off.

To be continued: I shall be adding on some information re the hazards of attempting microscopy with whole unsectioned plant  cells, and giving some further reasons for thinking my onion epidermis experiment argues strongly against misinformation that would have us believe that contact scorches are by their nature  instantly deep and penetrating, and thus “untenable” for explaining the superficial Shroud image.  As I said before – garbage-  total, unmitigated, agenda-serving garbage.

Other instances of ‘mystification’

1.  The Shroud is a negative image. Ipso facto, it must be a proto-photograph of the man depicted.

No, it’s probably a contact scorch, like a brand on cattle hide, with reversal of light and dark. So while not a photograph, a fitting description might be “thermograph”.

2. The Shroud has unique encoded 3D information.

But the 1532 burn marks also respond to 3D enhancement. There’s nothing at all unusual or unexpected about an image with differing intensity being converted to a 3D relief map with suitable software. In fact,  a quick charcoal sketch of the Shroud image can be given a Secondo Pia makeover with ImageJ software.

3. Only minor lateral distortion in the image (and no imaging of the sides). Therefore the image was created by orthogonal projection of mystery radiation.

Alternatively, the image was imprinted thermally from a hot bas-relief template.

4. The Shroud image, observed under the microscope,  shows fibres that are either uncoloured, or fully coloured (pale yellow) with no in-betweens. The appearance to the unaided eye depends  on the relative proportions of coloured and uncoloured fibres,  not on variations in individual fiber coloration.

This is a simple statement of what is now touted as the ‘halftone effect’ and a more pretentious terminology would be hard to find.

The term halftone effect was coined for  the development in the late 19th century of a method for printing photographs that achieved the optical illusion of tonal contrast by means of dots of varying size and degree of closeness to each other. It was a purposeful, engineered effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halftone

To apply the term halftone to fibres that are either pale yellow or uncoloured while ignorant of , or indifferent to  mechanism, and indeed attempting to imply there was some kind of mysterious process at work unknown to science is frankly pseudoscience at its very worst.

Who’s to say there were not fibres with differing degrees of coloration initially, and that over the centuries the more intensely coloured ones, being most compromised in terms of mechanical strength, have simply broken off, leaving pale yellow fibres of approximately the same intensity. The progressive stages of scorching modelled in my thought experiment above provide a ready explanation: those fibres that are darkest to start with probably have not only  a maximally-scorched PCW, but scorching that penetrates to the SCW as well,  rendering the entire fibre weaker, more brittle, and thus prone to break off on repeated handling. The end result may be survival of those fibres that have highly superficial PCW scorching only. That surviving population of lightly scorched fibres is now described by Shroudies as “the halftone effect” that sceptical scientists are required to reproduce, without benefit of a time machine.

The term”halftone effect” should be expunged from the Shroud literature. See the rationalwiki definition of pseudoscience.

“Pseudoscience is any belief system or methodology which tries to gain legitimacy by wearing the trappings of science, but fails to abide by the rigorous methodology and standards of evidence that demarcate true science. Although pseudoscience is designed to have the appearance of being scientific, it lacks any of the substance of science.

Promoters of pseudoscience often adopt the vocabulary of science, describing conjectures as theories or laws, often providing supposed evidence from observation, expert testimonials, or even developing what appear to be mathematical models of their ideas. However, in pseudoscience there is no real honest attempt to follow the scientific method, provide falsifiable predictions, or develop double blind experiments. Pseudoscientists often use the tactic of cheating the scientific method.”

5. From Thibault Heimburger (yesterday, comments, this site), my bolding:

You definitely failed to prove your hypothesis.
I (after many others) proved that the scorch hypothesis does not explain simutaneously the superficiality, the half-tone effect, the fuzzy borders etc….

Well, we’ve addressed the superficiality criterion, and just now the half-tone effect. So what about the ‘fuzzy borders’? Will lack of perceived fuzziness be the killer criterion that brings my 14th century provenance edifice crashing down?

I hardly think so. Look at this site’s banner, showing thermal imprints from a brass crucifix obtained by my new LOTTO method.

Here’s part of the image of the imprinted head magnified x8.

xxx

xxx

Looks pretty fuzzy if you ask me. (It’s almost as if it had been painted on with that burnt umber that artists use for their preliminary composition).

Invoking a”fuzziness” criterion is maybe not pseudoscience. But it’s not precision science either – not unless  one has a system that assigns a number to  an image that denotes degree of fuzziness.

Update: Friday 7 March

I’ve been asked by TH (see comments) if I have a higher resolution picture than the one above. The answer is probably no, unless I take my existing pictures and photo-edit to increase the contrast (which is hardly scientific). But I still have the original linen with the image, and have just re-photographed, without flash, in artificial light (admittedly not ideal). Here are the results. I will repeat again tomorrow in daylight.

Without photoediting

Without photoediting

As above, after applying autocorrect in MS Picture Editor

As above, after applying autocorrect in MS Picture Editor

As above, but using my own optimized settings in MS photoeditor (8,58,8 in brightness, contrast, midrange respectively)

As above, but using my own optimized settings in MS photoeditor (8,58,8 in brightness, contrast, midrange respectively)

The blurring is not in the original photography, but the resizing at the software stage.

The blurring is not in the original photography, but the resizing at the software stage.

 

Update: I said yesterday I would post a description of how a typical plant cell with primary cell wall only (like that in the onion epidermis) can be modelled in 3 dimensions. I have just this minute assembled the necessary ingredients:

Polythene bag – cell membrane String bag – primary cell wall Vaseline: living cytoplasm Red bean – cell nucleus Water coloured with ink – cell sap in central vacuole

Polythene bag – cell membrane
String bag – primary cell wall
Vaseline: living cytoplasm
Red bean  and pepper– cell nucleus and smaller subcellular organelles (mitochondria etc)
Water coloured with ink – cell sap in central vacuole. All rights reserved: Colin Berry

End result:

Model plant cell. Copyright C.S.Berry. Please do not sue unless accredited to this site.

   Model plant cell.
  I shall post step-by-step instructions on how the model was constructed in a week or two on my sciencebuzz site. All rights reserved: Colin Berry
Posted in Shroud of Turin, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Daniel R. Porter’s shroudstory.com: ‘Troll Central’ by any other name.

InternetTrolls #2Appended below is  latest example of trolling on shroudstory.com from one “Andy”, who like so many others on that site simply can’t let go. He came back today after lying low for a month, to renew his attack on me with  his trumped- up charges as if there had been no cooling-off period.

I’ve been blogging long enough on this and other sites for folk to know my beef. I detest pseudoscience, especially when it’s agenda-driven, relentless and systematic. I detest the way that Shroud authenticity is being pushed by the ideologues who constantly seek to impugn one’s motives. (Today there are references to Hades, the Devil etc etc). I will openly criticize the work of any research investigator, living or dead, whom I consider to have  resorted to pseudoscience in order to push Shroud authenticity or merely Shroud mystique. (I would be equally hard on anyone pushing Shroud ‘inauthenticity’ if I suspected the science were rigged to produce the desired answer).

This, as I say, is just the latest example, and by no means the  worst, merely  symptomatic of the tactics and strategy deployed – starting with the targeting and provocation that is the modus operandi of internet trolls.  Later, I shall cite a much earlier instance, almost 2 years ago, in which the site’s host allowed a complete ‘newcomer’ (?hmmm) to launch a hit-and-run attack on me and my credentials, attempting to trash one of my most treasured hot-from-the-presses research findings .

Onion inner-scale leaf epidermis experiment. One cell thick layer, mainly two primary cell walls ( +desiccated cell membrane and cytoplasm)  protects the fabric against scorching (blue area)c despite having sufficient heat afterwards (red area) to scorch. Scorching by contact can be highly superficial AND localised.

Porter gave that troll a guest-posting (one of his favourite tactics that has been deployed against me time and time again),  always setting up the hard cop/soft cop routine, he himself switching between hard and soft cop.  Sorry, Daniel. I spotted YOUR modus operandi a long time ago.

Enough is enough. From now on,  I shall cease referring to shroudstory.com as “The Other Site” or “Across the Way”.  Henceforth it will be “Troll Central” and will remain so until such a time as Daniel R.Porter calls off his  ideologue hounds and cleans up his site.

Here’ s the thread in question. Note the dates, and that one month gap before “Andy’s” renewal of hostilities :

Andy

February 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm | #20

Honestly Dan, I don’t expect any non sentimentality from Colin when it comes to STURP members, scientists or anyone else. He has lambasted Rogers (among others) when he was not able to defend himself. It seems to me Colin simply doesn’t like Rogers. He may pretend its scientific, but his character assaults of him in these blogs of which I am a witness gives him no credibility at all in the issue. I will not listen to Colin. There are many real scientists who can at least be honest and fair, even if they disagree with conclusions (anyone’s).

colinsberry

February 4, 2014 at 3:27 am | #21

If you don’t mind my saying, you seem fairly proficient in the character assault department yourself, Andy, especially as my comments regarding Rogers have been confined largely, if not entirely, to details of his science, with just occasional asides re the failure to maintain strict scientific objectivity on his part. He was, to put it colloquially, rooting for authenticity, albeit a chemist’s version thereof, with chemical, rather than radiation or thermal imprinting. In other words, we were allowed to have any scorch we liked, provided it’s a Rogers’ approved chemical “scorch”.

Ray Rogers, to put it mildly. showed a distinct pro-authenticity bias and was clearly piqued when the radiochemical radiocarbon dating was announced. Maybe you consider my saying that to be “personal” or disrespectful to a dead scientist. I don’t, since the chief requirement one expects of any SCIENTIST given privileged access to the TS and with no obvious specialist skills to contribute (why recruit a thermochemist, unless to investigate pyrolysis and scorching with an open mind?) was transparent objectivity, whatever the underlying religious beliefs or otherwise.

I am not going to respond in kind to YOUR character attack, Andy (Andy Weiss?). What I shall do is assemble a list on my own site of the numerous instances in which Ray Rogers simply got it wrong, of failed to properly support his often over-dogmatic assertions which again and again were more expressions of hunch or opinion, NOT closely argued science.  See my recent post on the sloppy way that he employed the term “vanillin” that has since been adopted as the assumed gold standard in Shroud literature. But Rogers was NOT measuring vanillin. He was supposed to be measuring components of undegraded lignin that were NOT vanillin – albeit with his simplistic unfit-for-purpose spot colorimetric reagent (why did he not use his pyrolysis mass spectrometer?).

ONE MONTH GAP

Andy

March 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm | #25

That was clearly not a character assault. You did that yourself, Colin.

Andy

March 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm | #28

Glad you can walk the dog again, Dan. No doubt Colin is thinking and gets others doing the same, which is good, but his character assaults he has made completely tuned me out from what he has to say. It’s a shame really, but I don’t have the time to waste. I am far too busy.

colinsberry

March 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm | #40

You’ve waited a month, just to have another go at me Andy? See my #21.

Daniel R Porter: if you continue to allow this kind of trolling to occur on your site, I may feel obliged to devote a posting to it. I’m even toying with the idea of referring to this site in all future postings as Troll Central.

Dan

March 2, 2014 at 10:34 pm | #41

Colin, do what you must, but do it elsewhere.

colinsberry

March 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm | #42

Your comment is awaiting moderation. (Here we go again – Daniel R.Porter back in censorship mode for about the 3rd or 4th time)

Systematic trolling, trumped-up charges, demonisation.
What an ugly site!

###################################

Have just submitted this long-overdue raspberry to Daniel R.Porter re that appalling posting he allowed, nay cajoled, Paolo di Lazzaro to place on his site.

March 3, 2014 at 1:34 am | #13

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Classic Porter. He invites this clown to present still more so-called science, to which I respond with REAL SCIENCE (the onion epidermis experiment). He then allows same clown to run off, unwilling to be criticized on a truly pathetic (INDEED, RIGGED) experiment.

http://shroudstory.com/2012/02/21/colin-berrys-idea-is-untenable-and-heat-cannot-produce-a-superficial-coloration/

Porter and his site are an utter disgrace .

#######################################

March 3, 2014 at 2:16 am | #20

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

“Colin, you cannot escape the ownership for the burden of proof or the responsibility to experiment. That is absurd fallacy. It is not how responsible science is done. ”

http://shroudstory.com/2012/02/20/image-by-scorching-heat-or-science-by-hot-air/

Wrong, Daniel R Porter. You clearly don’t have the first idea about the way science operates. Did Higgs back in the 60s have to personally demonstrate the reality of his mass-conferring bosons in order to be taken seriously? Of course not. It’s taken the world’s biggest most expensive hadron collider to date to prove his ideas were correct.

It’s what you and other armchair cynics and debunkers consistently fail to recognize – that science is primarily about ideas. Those ideas have only to be testable in principle. There is no pressing obligation on the originator of a scientific idea to personally put it to the test. If the idea is good, then others will be falling over themselves to test it, especially those who have the wherewithal to do so.

I don’t expect this and other comments to be posted. I don’t particularly want them to be. I just want you to know that I consider you totally unfit to be hosting a Shroud site, Daniel R.Porter. You simply lack the grasp of fundamentals, and try to make Aunt Sallys of those of us who are equipped to think our way through the morass of bad science, most of which in Shroudology is tainted with agenda-driven selectivity and bias.

#############################

Later today I’ll insert a section here showing how Daniel R.Porter allowed that guest troll who called himself  “Leland of Boston” to use a previous  exchange between me and another  commentator calling himself “Chris” to accuse me of ‘ad hom’ . “Chris” had entered the thread, calling me “the old boy” and then dismissing me as an “attention seeker”.  Yes, great isn’t it, but par for the course on Troll Central.

Trolling doesn’t get much nastier than that when Troll A initiates the mudslinging, and then Troll B is allowed to  use that previous exchange to totally misrepresent what was said AND then demonise, and all as an open-door, anything goes  guest-posting.

Fortunately, it’s all still on record to show how that  bear pit of a site operates, either with the blessing or active connivance of its host, allowing newcomers of dubious  bona fides  to exploit the site as a platform for character assassination.

Ugly, ugly site – and getting worse with each passing day.

Insert extract here (later)

#########################################

Trolls

 It is totally wrong that someone new (or apparently so) to an internet  forum or other site should be allowed in solely to have a rant against a site regular. It’s an unfair contest. He (or she) can mine one’s scores of hundreds of comments  in order to construct, or as often as not, concoct, a diatribe. One has nothing on them, and can only guess what their real motive might be,  especially if or when  the troll displays a remarkable subject knowledge for one who is “new” to the site.

 It’s pointless taking them on – being invariably a no-win situation. As they say,  “Don’t feed the trolls”. One is always on a hiding to nothing. That’s why responsible site owners should identify and expel trolls  – and not go giving them a free platform – or actively recruiting them through a network.

###########################################

 It’s bad enough when trolls suddenly appear in a comments thread. It’s 10 times worse when they are given a guest slot, and when it’s quite clear that the site’s host is taking their side, even when one’s comments are being shamelessly manipulated.

Turning to more constructive matters, newcomers to this site (or others who have not looked in recently) may be interested to see the conclusions this retired (biomedical) scientist has reached after researching the Shroud these last two years or so.

Here’s a link to a recent posting, with a flow chart and summary:

http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/flow-chart-summarising-a-novel-hypothesis-for-how-the-shroud-of-turin-came-into-existence-and-fooled-generations-of-scholars/

############################

Next task: may take a few days to complete. Give some more background details on that onion epidermis experiment, showing how those cells are likely to behave on desiccation to create a thin double-skin comparable to the reported dimensions of both the Shroud image layer and  (importantly) the similar thickness of the PCW sheath on the linen fibre.   (Being rich in chemically-reactive glucoxylans and other hemicelluloses  makes the PCW the prime target for contact scorching, as well as the most superficial, first-encountered layer). It’ll be an opportunity to post to my long dormant sciencebuzz* site initially, showing how a typical plant cell can be modelled using  a polythene bag, a string bag, Vaseline and water. I showed the model some years ago to a couple of schoolteachers who seemed impressed, saying it was not something they had encountered  before. Whether it’s still “original” or not remains to be seen. One good visual aid is worth a thousand words, methinks.

* Here’s what I said over 4 years ago when setting up the sciencebuzz site (the aims  – and the prime target of those aims  – not having changed one iota):

My sciencebuzz site (still going, just)

My sciencebuzz site (still going, just)

Hello

 Sat Aug 22, 2009

Some people keep a old boot handy when watching TV – or is that a cartoonist’s creation? Irrespective, I feel the need for a virtual old boot when perusing the media’s handling of science. Think of this new blog on the block as that “old boot”, but don’t be surprised if some constructive comments creep in from time to time, or even new, highly questionable, indeed suspect hypotheses. What is science if it’s not sticking one’s head above the parapet?

Never is my spectator ire more keenly felt when there’s no facility for readers to post responses, or when one’s gems of wisdom/vitriol/jaundice fester unpublished in the moderator’s in-tray during three-hour lunch breaks, or fail to appear at all.

Think of this, then, is a talking-shop for making sense – or nonsense- of the science we read on the main sites. The ones I track on a regular basis are the BBC, the Telegraph, The Times, The Independent and the Guardian. Yep, up-market anglocentric, I grant you, (do I hear groans) and I’ve no time for the dumbed-down underbelly. But I’ll broaden my sweep if folk can suggest some wider reading which, in estate agents’ argot “repays closer inspection”.

“Sciencebod” as I then was.

###################################

Here’s a C&P , currently displayed on Troll Central, of what  Professor Giulio Fanti is quoted as having said re dating methods.

Fanti:  “Today, we have thus five different dating methods: the radiocarbon method, my three and those of Rogers. Also, we could have been wrong. But four different independent methods, reach the same result, but then speak a clear language. As long as these results are not refuted, and I can not imagine how this should be possible, these results have scientific validity. So that has first Century after Christ the greatest probability as emergence period for the Turin grave cloth. This dating corresponds exactly to the time Jesus of Nazareth lived in Palestine. We now await the reactions from the rest of the science world. So far we received only affirmative and affirmative responses, but no refutation.”

So he claims a score of 4/5, conveniently ignoring the fact that radiocarbon dating is vastly less open to false positives and/or false negatives than any method that relies on chemical change. (Yes, we know about the “invisible mending”, but that is largely speculative, assisted by those scarcely credible results from Mr.Raymond Rogers RIP,  explosives chemist, post-retitement kitchen microscopist/experimentalist (like me) using illicitly harvested and distributed threads.

But I know three different people who each maintain, on different approaches, that a medieval forgery involved heating of the linen that would have produced accelerated ageing.

1. The early owners of the Mark1 Shroud, who according to Antoine  de Lalaing involved testing with fire, repeated laundering and “boiling in oil”.

2. Luigi Garlaschelli, whose powder frottage method involved heating in an oven at an elevated temperature (? 180 degrees C), this procedure causing ochre (iron oxide) with acidic impurities (made by heating  green vitriol, i.e. hydrated iron (II) sulphate with release of acidic sulphur oxides) to cause etching of linen under the pigment AND generalized yellowing and degradation of fibres.

3. My recently revised scorch hypothesis that proposes the Mark 1 Shroud was an obvious  and unsubtle contact scorch from a hot template that was subsequently toned down by the procedures listed by Lalaing. (They would have reduced the contrast between  image and background, giving rise to those descriptions of image formation as  one of “accelerated ageing”.

So while Professor Fanti claims a score of 4/5 for his 1st century dating, I would  claim a score of 3/3 for the linen having been artificially aged, such that i is mechanically weakened and chemically altered in Fanti’ and Rogers’ chemical tests,  but does NOT fool the radiocarbon dating. Come to think of, the score for non-authenticists is 4/4 if you include the radiocarbon dating. 4/4 beats 4/5 any day, especially with the realistically-appraised non-cuckoo-land radiocarbon data.

Professor Fanti cannot legitimately claim the evidence is in his favour, lacking as he does  information on the complete environmental history of the Shroud.  His (and Rogers’) dating methods are model-dependent. They start with the hypothesis that the linen is of 1st century provenance, and fail to envisage the various kinds of treatments, obvious and less so.  that may have followed a 14th century provenance, apart from the obvious ones like the 1532 fire.

Frankly,  I don’t have  a lot of time for what clearly is agenda-driven so-called science. Rogers betrayed his agenda when he assumed that the linen had been spun and woven according to assumed 1st century methodology (citing Pliny). Fanti betrayed his agenda when claiming he could detect the ‘correct’ Biblical  time sequence in the acquisition of different classes of bloodstain on the TS  (scourge marks especially), despite there being no imaging of wounds directly.

##############################

 

Am now toying with the idea of widening my attack on agenda-driven so-called science, systematically and shamelessly promoted via the MSM. I need a campaign slogan. How about this for starters?

“IF IT SMACKS OF PSEUDOSCIENCE, THEN SMACK BACK HARD – AND SWIFTLY”

 

Posted in Shroud of Turin | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments