The Turin Shroud Man is not a photograph, but a negative THERMOGRAPH – and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise…

Stop Press: see my new Shroud site

The first picture is that of a good old traditional English horse brass (King George VI). The second is a thermal imprint (“scorchograph”) obtained by heating the brass and pressing onto linen. It is a kind of negative (left/right reversed, and light/dark too, the latter feature at least being shared by the Turin Shroud). The third shows that the scorchograph contains encoded 3D information (using ImageJ software) – again, just like the Turin Shroud.

Close up view of the 3D enhancement – even the lettering is clearly visible after thermal imprinting (but then cattle ranchers knew that too: “Bar X”) Note: being a scorch, the image is light/dark reversed. i.e. a kind of negative, and thus less ‘photogenic’ than the original brass. The Shroud image on the linen is also a light/dark reversed image, and hardly photogenic. Representations of the Shroud image in the media, with or without 3D enhancement, are invariably “positives” obtained by old-fashioned non-digital photography, that restore the proper light/dark relationships that one is accustomed to seeing.

The above, after light/dark inversion. Note the impressive ability of ‘scorchography’ to create a fairly faithful replica of the original horse brass.

The composite pictures above (added 9th March) showing three operational steps,  and the  8 photographs below,  would seem to this retired science bod to leave little room for doubt that the Turin Shroud Man IS a ‘scorchograph’.  Don’t bother googling that term scorchograph. I coined it yesterday.  A scorchograph is a thermal imprint obtained by lightly branding a hot, probably metal template, ideally bas relief, i.e. with a raised image, onto linen.

A selection of ‘scorchographs’ taken from a selection of UK coins, with varying image intensity (more than one imprint was taken as each coin cooled down).

 Click any photograph ONCE or TWICE for increasing levels of enlargement

Sequence of three ‘scorchographs’ from the the same 20p coin, with increasing image intensity going left to right, with original 20p coin for comparison.

The same 3 scorchographs after semi-3D realization with ImageJ software. Note how even the slight bas relief of a coin – even the faintest of the 3 imprints – is detected and amplified by the software.

Now let’s use the same 3D imaging software on the Turin Shroud sepia negative:

The image has first been given some additional contrast in a photoediting program

Let’s take a closer look at the face, first the Shroud image with contrast, then after the same 3D enhancement in ImageJ:

The Shroud face after 3D enhancement. Note the way the 1532 scorch marks respond also 3d enhancement. The next step was to crop the image as a preliminary to homing in on the face.

***

***

The face on the Shroud, before 3D enhancement. Note this is an as-is view, as seen by the human eye or digital camera. It is a light/dark reversed pseudo-negative that predating photography by centuries is perhaps the best evidence that the Shroud image is a scorchograph (thermal imprint) as distinct from painting or primitive photograph.

***

After 3D enhancement

Conclusion: I see absolutely no reason for thinking that the Man on the Shroud of Turin is anything other than a scorchograph, produced by a medieval hoaxer using essentially the same technology as used above to obtain the thermal imprints from those coins.

A slight bas relief is all that is needed to produce an imprint of detail. Slightly higher relief, perhaps using the sand bed model proposed earlier, should be sufficient to capture a lot of fine detail (see also the banner at the top of the post, showing a similar 2D to semi-3D visualization from the scorchograph from a metal trinket).

I challenge anyone out there – in the world of science and/or the blogosphere – Dr.Di Lazzaro and his ENSA colleagues (with their busted flush radiation model), Dan Porter, Barrie Schwortz  etc. etc.-  to prove me wrong. But please read the preceding post before rattling off those same old checklists …

Postcript (added 29th Feb):

One can always discredit good science with bad technology. Want to discredit laser eye surgery? Simple – shine a laser pen in people’s eyes, blind them, at least temporarily, to warn them off lasers. They are being blinded in a metaphorical sense too. And that is what has been happening for years in the Shroudie literature where thermal imprinting by direct contact/conduction is concerned – it has been discredited and dismissed with wholly spurious claims that it produces excessively deep scorches, ones that “go through to the other side” or  which are not as superficial as the real thing, or which don’t have encoded 3D information. On all counts – wrong, wrong, wrong. Just as a hot branding iron can be used on cattle to give the faintest or heaviest of brands, depending on how it is deployed, so can a hot metal template intended to produce an image on linen of a naked supine man with one hand crossed over the other. It ain’t rocket science.

Second postscript added 1st March

eureka-with-a-small-e  moment! It was not a sand bed  those medieval hoaxers used.  Sand does not provide  enough give – and moist sand does not provide sufficient cooling to prevent discoloration on the reverse side of the linen. I now think it was a  bed of SNOW.

It seems obvious now, but here’s what led up to the sudden realization that snow ticks more boxes than sand. I was looking at the reverse side discoloration today through a lens, and realizing that it was totally different in character from the frontal side scorch. The latter is highly localised, mainly to the crowns of the threads, scarcely intruding laterally beyond the contact area, whereas the reverse side is a diffuse and very lightly toasted-looking colour. Why would that be I wondered. Then the penny suddenly dropped. I have so far been considering only 2 of the 3 methods of heat transfer – conduction (favoured) and radiation (rejected). But there’s a third method which I suspect caused the reverse side -toasted appearance – CONVECTION.  When the hot template is pressed against linen, air in the pores of the linen becomes superheated, but can only escape by crossing the thickness of the fabric to escape on the far side (into my sand bed). En route it physically and then chemically dehydrates the fibres. By substituting snow for sand, I suspect, nay predict, that the secondary “roasting” from hot convected air will be much reduced. What’s more, snow will make for a much better medium into which the template can snuggle down to get optimal contact between cloth and template – not too little, not too much. Too little and there is insufficient 3D effect; too much and there is distortion through converting too much of the relief into a planar image.

Trouble is, I don’t have snow to hand to test this idea (the UK is having an unseasonably mild winter right now). I could probably use crushed ice as a substitute – to provide the cooling effect that will reduce “convection scorch”, but it won’t have quite the same give as snow for optimal wrap-around effect. Never mind – it is that reverse-side discoloration that is my main focus at present with a view to  ticking one more box on matching model with Shroud (though let’s not forget that the latter also has a reverse side image of the face and hands).

Third postscript (still 1st March). Eureka! with a capital E.  Here’s the secret: soak the linen in water, then place in a freezer. When rigid, quickly press the hot metal template onto the cloth before it has had time to thaw. The result is – or can be with judicious temperature control – a tan image on the top surface with very little discoloration  on the reverse side. The top side image shows “encoded 3D information” using ImageJ software.

Who knows how the original Shroud was produced?   Chances are we shall never know. But to those who say that the Shroud image has subtle characteristics that defy modern science, I say DO ME A FAVOUR.   Here’s how it MIGHT have been done (and that’s all that I as a retired science bod am interested in demonstrating):

In the dead of a medieval winter, when there was snow on the ground and maybe a hard  frost, a length  of linen was laid out on the snow, and left to freeze solid. Then someone heated up a statue of the crucified Christ (or bas relief) – maybe a damaged one for which a use needed to be found-  and when it was hot enough to scorch a test strip of linen, it was then placed face down on the linen, and  pressed gently into the snow to get thermal imprinting by surface scorching, thus producing what I call  a “scorchograph”.  It was then removed, reheated, and  the operation repeated with the reverse side on the other half of the linen.

I will upload some more photographs of this “frozen linen/snow bed technique” in the next day or two. I reckon that the fabled Shroud of Turin was simply somebody’s winter project (as I suppose is this series of postings).

Light scorch onto linen that was first soaked with water then frozen solid

Mere traces of discoloration of the reverse side

The image on the top side shows the usual ‘encoded 3D information in the ImageJ program

Fourth postscript (2nd March)

Whoops, it’s even simpler than I thought. No need for frozen linen – simply place a piece of damp linen underneath before pressing the hot template onto the dry top cloth. That way one can get a tan image with virtually no coloration on the reverse side, yet the image still shows that “encoded 3D information” (rather more than was present, in fact, than in one of the artefacts used – a pencil sharpener!). but then I have alway warned about the risk of producing artefacts (pretty or otherwise) with 3D-imaging programs that can be instructed to read image density as elevation.

Branding onto dry linen with a pad of damp linen underneath

The fainter images on the top side produce little or no discernible scorching on the reverse side

3D imaging of a thermal imprint

Sorry, Shroudie playmates, but for me at any rate there is no longer any mystery where the Shroud of Turin is concerned. It is simply a “scorchograph”, i.e. thermal imprint from a hot template, probably a metal statue or bas relief, or combination of the two.

I can now return to other matters of current scientific interest and controversy, closing up shop here and  reactivating that “science buzz” site of mine.

Colin Berry (aka sciencebod)

sciencebod01@aol.com

Comments invited, by email (private) or below to the Comments thread

PS: at the risk of appearing immodest (a pointless attribute with which I have rarely been afflicted) I believe this to be the first time that a piece of start-to-finish scientific research has been reported in real-time on the internet, encompassing the postings on my new site here, and the 20 or so previous ones on my science buzz site (see side bar).

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About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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19 Responses to The Turin Shroud Man is not a photograph, but a negative THERMOGRAPH – and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise…

  1. Pingback: Bertrand Russell comes to mind « Shroud of Turin Blog

  2. colinsberry says:

    So where does one go from here? It’s difficult to be critical of a model when there are no credible alternatives, and I have to say that none of the alternatives I have encountered – gaseous diffusion of putrefaction chemicals, corona discharges, miraculous flashes of light, strike me as being in the least bit credible.

    So for now, at any rate, it’s a case of seeing how the principle works in practice, the principle being that the image was produced by “branding”, aka thermal imprinting, aka scorchography.
    The main obstacle that has to be overcome, surely, is one of getting linen to conform to the contours of one’s template, without too much “tenting”, i.e.becoming stretched in a straight line between prominent features. In fact, if one looks at the Shroud, it’s clear there was considerable tenting. it is especially noticeable in the area around the crossed hands and forearms, which is only to be expected. given those appendages and limbs would represent one of the highest points on a torso when supine.

    How could tenting have been reduced? As suggested earlier, I believe that the statue or bas reliefwas pushed downwards into linen overlying a bed of sand. What’s more I believe there is a tell tale signature of this configuration being used, which are the two prominent creases in the linen at the top of the head and the chin. I doubt whether those creases would have been tolerated, had they been visible in a “head up” configuration, and were only discovered after lifting the template from a sand bed or similar.

    I believe there is another tell tale sign of tenting – the absence of ears and indeed of the side aspect of the face much beyond the prominent cheek bones. I suspect that is because the template had the representation of hair in cast metal,which not only accounts for the unnatural “hanging dead straight down” look but gave rise to some tenting, with the consequent failure to image the sides of the face. A representation of hair in cast metal obvious cannot compress down in the way that real hair can.

    More later. The devil as they say is in the detail.

  3. colinsberry says:

    Health warning: what follows is strong stuff – not suitable for those of a nervous disposition.

    It began with a discussion on the other site (see sidebar) about those elongated bony fingers. I was accused of failing to grasp the implication – namely that the entire Shroud had been the result of imprinting by x-rays similar perhaps to the kind of thinking from that ENSA group with their uv laser beams, but going even into even more energetic, indeed penetrating electromagnetic frequencies (“soft” x-rays). Strange some might think how one can take x-rays of the hands but not the feet, but let’s not get too hung up on the small details.

    What follows now is a train of thought that began with my “scorchograph” theory, which envisages a metallic template, used like a “branding iron”, e.g. a bronze statue or bas-relief of the crucified Christ, and explores the numerous implications of that hypothesis, ever on the lookout for new ways of rationalizing things that have previously defied explanation, or which give clues to new things to investigate (all theories to be useful need to have predictive utility).

    Right, let’s begin. We’ll suppose for starters that it was a bronze statue that had to be detached from a cross.
    What folk would have seen, looking up at the statue, would be the nailed hands (or wrists). Looking up at anything creates a foreshortening effect that can be artistically distracting or worse. Architects certainly sometimes compensate for it – as with the Parthenon in Athens where the pillars are splayed slightly outwards. I believe that the fingers on the statue were made deliberately too long in order to compensate for foreshortening – and arguably to create a better artistic effect anyway, perhaps suggesting that the hands had been stretched under the weight of the body – even if anatomically improbable.

    What about the boniness? We see on the Shroud the imprint of the BACK of the hands, not the front, so the “sculptor” (perhaps not the best term for someone who casts in bronze, but the original template would have been carved, say in wax) may not have been too concerned about appearances. Indeed a ribbed construction may have been deliberate “round the back” of the hands and fingers for added stiffness and strength, making them less liable to be snapped off in transit.

    But the arms in the statue are in the outstretched position – that is the first thing that has to be attended to if producing a hoax Shroud. The arms have to be sawn off, and will be displayed the other way round, preserving the modesty of the man. Ah yes, modesty. There was no doubt a loin cloth on the statue. But could that remain in place? Unlikely. Even if it could be left without occasioning comment ( “surely it would not have been needed inside a shroud?”) it would not look right on a supine individual. Cast metal, made to look like a piece of cloth, would not hang right, would it?). So the loin cloth had to go BUT ONLY ON THE FRONT– it would have been filed away. If you think that is improbable, then take another look at the Shroud image, and look at all the scarcely imaged region in and around the hands and lower forearms. Yes, it could represent tenting of fabric, but the latter would have been accentuated by the loss of additional metal loincloth in that area.

    As for the dorsal image – I have a hunch that the loin cloth was NOT filed away on the back. That would have presented difficulties – better to leave some impression of buttocks than none at all. Leaving the loin cloth in place would explain the dense image in that area, and the poorly imaged region immediately underneath (which others have commented upon), which would have been due to a stepped effect from one level down to another with consequent tenting.

    Now do you see where those long bony fingers came from? They are the result of using a recycled statue instead of a customised template.

    But there’s more iconoclasm to come. Kindly fasten your seat belts.

    Cutting the arms off a statue, and repositioning them, even with the aid, say, of some temporary lead solder, is going to be difficult to look right, even on a “scorchograph”. Did the Mark 1 version attract some scepticism of suggestions of high jinx?

    Yes, I believe it did, but so much reputation and credibility had been invested in that “holy relic” by then that drastic steps were called for.

    Here’s what was done. The Shroud was folded down its centre (long axis) – hardly the way to treat a holy relic, as I pointed out in an earlier post – but desperate measures were called for. The folding ensured that one of those problematic shoulder regions lay directly above the other – as a result of folding symmetry. Some test probes were done with a red hot poker, to check on the methodology for obliterating embarrassing defects in manufacture. Molten metal was then dripped carefully onto the shoulder region, in the certainty it would burn through to the one underneath, destroying the image in both junctions of arm and collar bone.
    Once that was done the Shroud was lightly roasted to get scorching around the edge.

    The Castle Chapel of Chambery then became the seat of a devastating and intense fire in 1532, hot enough, we are told, to melt the silver reliquary which contained the Shroud (folded conveniently down its midline remember).

    There’s only one thing wrong with that story. It is inconceivable that a fire would be hot enough to melt silver (962 degrees C approx) without charring the entire contents of the reliquary to a crisp. Later i could provide a link to a website in which someone tried to cast silver bullets, and found that he was unable to melt silver even with two roaring Bunsen burners trained on the metal. He finally had to resort to a muffle furnace (cue suggestions that the Chapel acted as a giant muffle furnace). Using a silver alloy, e.g. sterling silver, 92.5% silver, 7.5%copper, effects only a fairly modest reduction in melting point (to 893 degrees C).
    Sorry, but this science bod simply does not buy that story that it was molten silver that did the damage, and if that version of events given was incorrect, then what else can be believe?

    Incidentally, to those who will cite the evidence that the “L-shaped poker holes” were there before the 1533 burn holes, and show the pictorial evidence from an earlier 16th C. copy of the Shroud, none of the scenario above would preclude those strange poker holes being there months, possibly years before the main ones as an experiment. However, the fact they lie on or very close to the scorched fold lines would surely suggest that all the holes arrived at the same time. Or maybe the alignment is just a coincidence. Maybe the L-shaped holes were the result of a previous mishap, but may have given someone the idea of using hot metal deliberately to char and destroy a carefully selected part of the image area.

    Comments welcome. If using Anonymous please provide an initial.

  4. colinsberry says:

    Following on from my previous comment, here are more details regarding that 1532 Chambery fire. To say the whole thing looks distinctly fishy would be a gross understatement:

    Shroud Damage in 1532 Fire
    The fire in the Castle Chapel

    1532 – 4 December – Fire breaks out in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry, seriously damaging all its furnishings and fittings. Because where the Shroud is kept is protected by four locks, Canon Philibert Lambert and two Franciscans summon the help of a blacksmith to prise open the grille. By the time they succeed, Margaret of Austria’s casket has been melted beyond repair by the intense heat. But the Shroud folded inside is preserved except for having been scorched and holed by a drop of molten silver that fell on one corner
    1534 – 15 April – Cardinal Louis de Gorrevod holds canonical investigation at Chambery at which three bishops and ten noblemen testify to the cloth before them being the same as that they knew before the fire. According to the Cardinal ‘It is the same sheet as we ourselves before the fire have many times held in our hands, seen, touched and shown to the people’ ”

    Amazing, eh, that the casket is “melted beyond repair “ by the extreme heat” yet just one molten blob has dripped down onto the Shroud, with the latter having been strangely been folded down its midline.

    Here’s that earlier post of mine showing where a single blob of “molten silver” can penetrate to obliterate not just one but both shoulder regions:

    one single hole is all it took

    And there was an inquiry in the aftermath, we are told, that involved 3 bishops and 10 noblemen – no less – and it centres on the Shroud, and whether a substitution had been made in the aftermath of the fire, presumed to have begun accidentally(?) Oh my. What suspicious minds they had in those days …

    Oh, and here’s what the Lone Ranger enthusiast had to say about melting (or trying to melt) silver.

    “Then we tried to melt the silver. Given its high melting point, we were also concerned about oxidation. Dr. Jaansalu also informed me that molten silver has a tendency to absorb air, which not only hardens the metal but may cause it to spit, pop, and splatter when pouring. Getting splattered with molten silver doesn’t sound like much fun. Rather than using a flux, he suggests that we rig a second Bunsen burner to create a reducing environment. I was delighted to have someone more knowledgeable than myself making such decisions. The apparatus was very pretty. The main burner gave off the traditional bright blue flame, which turned magenta as it lapped around the ring stand and crucible. The brass diffuser of the upper burner gave its flame a bright green color. Overall, it looked like some fantastic Olympic torch. With two burners running wide open, we placed five ounces of silver bullion in the crucible, and waited. And waited. And waited. Despite its considerable aesthetic appeal, this apparatus was unable to get hot enough to actually melt the silver.”

  5. colinsberry says:

    I see through googling that someone else thinks the 1532 fire in the Castle Chapel at Chambery was arson:

    arson

    Shame the link does not give more detail, but I shall persevere with this line of enquiry.

  6. colinsberry says:

    Here is a comment I have just placed on the other site – one of several in a similar vein that are my response to the kind of reception my “scorchograph” theory has received in Shroud Fantasy Land:

    I have blanked out the name of the individual to whom it was addressed:

    “I repeat – the Shroud image is a thermal scorch, produced by direct contact with a heated object. There is no need whatsoever to invoke any kind of radiation. It has taken this retired science bod several weeks of study and experiment to arrive at that categorical statement, one that I realize clashes with the preconceptions of you and others who may have studied, but who have done no experiments of your own, and consequently have no handle on the problem .

    Now if you think this is a game, xxxxxxxx, or that I am pushing a “pet academic theory” then so be it. I prefer to think that I have made a sincere and honest attempt to establish the truth regarding something billed as the most intensively studied object in history.

    Anyone with a hot coin and a piece of cotton or linen can simulate the scientific principle that underpins the Turin Shroud. With care they can produce a highly superficial image which affects only the outermost cell walls of the cloth, probably the primary cell wall hemicellulose, which is light/dark reversed, which has encoded 3D information, which will almost certainly fade with time and so forth. There is no need to invoke magic where the Shroud image is concerned. To claim it defies modern science is complete and utter poppycock.

    The Shroud has become a symbol of pseudo-scientific misinformation, indeed, in some cases, deliberate disinformation. I think I can safely say my work is done. I have stated my hypothesis, one that rationalises the image in terms of accessible, conventional science. I leave it to others to fine tune the technology, if they so desire. The secret of success, i suspect, is careful monitoring of temperature and a bed of damp, possible wet sand.

    Your bad-mouthing it – or me personally xxxxxxx – won’t make the idea go away, even if I do…”

  7. colinsberry says:

    For the benefit of anyone who is simply keeping an eye on the comment count and think this post is perhaps past-its-sell-by-date, may I draw your attention to another PS which I have just added.If a title were needed it would be “Probably NOT a sand bed – more likely a snow drift”.

    Second postscript added 1st March

    “eureka-with-a-small-e moment! It was not a sand bed those medieval hoaxers used. Sand does not provide enough give – and moist sand does not provide sufficient cooling to prevent discoloration on the reverse side of the linen. I now think it was a bed of SNOW.

    It seems obvious now, but here’s what led up to the sudden realization that snow ticks more boxes than sand. I was looking at the reverse side discoloration today through a lens, and realizing that it was totally different in character from the frontal side scorch. The latter is highly localised, mainly to the crowns of the threads, scarcely intruding laterally beyond the contact area, whereas the reverse side is a diffuse and very lightly toasted-looking colour. Why would that be I wondered. Then the penny suddenly dropped. I have so far been considering only 2 of the 3 methods of heat transfer – conduction (favoured) and radiation (rejected). But there’s a third method which I suspect caused the reverse side -toasted appearance – CONVECTION. When the hot template is pressed against linen, air in the pores of the linen becomes superheated, but can only escape by crossing the thickness of the fabric to escape on the far side (into my sand bed). En route it physically and then chemically dehydrates the fibres. By substituting snow for sand, I suspect, nay predict, that the secondary “roasting” from hot convected air will be much reduced. What’s more, snow will make for a much better medium into which the template can snuggle down to get optimal contact between cloth and template – not too little, not too much. Too little and there is insufficient 3D effect; too much and there is distortion through converting too much of the relief into a planar image.

    Trouble is, I don’t have snow to hand to test this idea (the UK is having an unseasonably mild winter right now). I could probably use crushed ice as a substitute – to provide the cooling effect that will reduce “convection scorch”, but it won’t have quite the same give as snow for optimal wrap-around effect. Never mind – it is that reverse-side discoloration that is my main focus at present with a view to ticking one more box on matching model with Shroud (though let’s not forget that the latter also has a reverse side image of the face and hands).

  8. I doesn’t matter if it’s a hoax or not — surely? It isn’t as though someone’s faith or lack of faith is dependent on it.

  9. colinsberry says:

    Yup, but there is a highly proactive campaign being waged on the internet and the media to rubbish the carbon-dating, and to claim that the Shroud image defies conventional science (see the publicity accorded to Di Lazzaro and his ENSA colleagues with hints that even scientists now think in terms of miraculous flashes of high energy electromagnetic radiation).

    Yup, people are free to believe whatever they want, but it is not the job of scientists to nudge them from the natural towards supernatural explanations. Di Lazzaro has tried to dismiss my own research on scorching by describing his own experiment with a hot coin. But he chose to operate at a temperature that scorched the reverse side of the cloth, then suggested without a shred of evidence that any temperature that scorched the topside must scorch the reverse side. Not only does that defy common sense, but I have dozens of test scorches that demonstrate that he is totally wrong on that crucial point.

    As i say, this is not about faith, but about science – notably the misuse thereof to mislead those who might previously have placed their trust in science and scientists.

  10. colinsberry says:

    I have just learned about the Lirey Badge, dredged up from the Seine, made of a lead/tin alloy, and bearing a representation of the Shroud that is reckoned to pre-date the 1532 fire (it lacks the burn holes, AND HAS ITS SHOULDERS.

    Lirey badge

    Earlier in the thread I suggested that the 1532 fire may have been staged deliberately in order to obliterate unconvincing details, especially the shoulders.

    The shouders (intact) on the badge support my wild hunch. Just look at them – they are massive – like a body builder on steroids. Nope, one does not expect scrupulous attention to detail in a cheap memento produced for the pilgrim trade, but those shoulders look simply ridiculous. if they were as hypertrophied on the Shroud, then is it any wonder that someone decided the ‘holy relic’ would be better off without them…?

  11. colinsberry says:

    Priestly novitiate Adam Boras Domingo says on the other site (see sidebar), with my italics:

    “More and more of our Protestant brethren are having a growing interest in the Shroud of Turin. Books, documentaries, and other scientific researches are being done or participated in by our Protestant Brethren to prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. In a latest documentary on the Shroud by the History Channel, scientists in all Christian denominations reconstruct the Face of the Man in the shroud using all the latest scientific equipments, facilities and methods in the area. It just shows how Christians are in deep longing on seeing the Face of Christ.”

    Oh dear, oh dear, or dear – and he’s a Chemistry graduate we’re told, so should be able to distinguish between science and pseudo-science.

    To repeat: there is no science in putting an image of unknown provenance into a software program for enhancing this or that. In fact, it is not “scientific” equipment, as he claims, but technical equipment. Does he not know the difference between the two, or has this impressionable young man been carried along with millions of others in awe of Mickey Mouse pseudoscience?

    Now if the knob-twiddlers and slide-sliders had really wanted to be scientific, they would create images by a range of means, then enhance those, using the originals as a check on what is being done or not done. They could do a lot worse than what i have done in this post, showing how coins, horse brasses etc respond to image enhancement of their scorchographs. And if they can find a method for producing a sharp radiation image in the infrared, visible, uv or xray spectrum, then good luck to them, but in the absence of a focusing system, I suspect they will have to be content, as I have been, with a scorchograph, or maybe a thermo-stencil (using charcoal or some other removable opaque substance as an infrared thermosensitizer).

    Once they have calibrated their different model systems, they can hol those settings, and then, and only then, try them out on the Shroud image to see how it responds. Would there really be all those various facial markings, bumps, bruises, suggestions of coins with writing over the eyes, etc, or are they complete artefacts created by all that “scientific equipment”?

    The Shroud has been turned into something akin to a fairground freak show, recreating the stir it caused in the 14th century or thereabouts, but this time it is modern so-called “science” that is being used to seduce and con the gullible… Shame on those who who act as facilitators in all this pre-Enlightenment nonsense, because it is that, one suspects, that is the true agenda – to meld science with mysticism, and lead us into a new Dark Age…

  12. colinsberry says:

    I have just left this comment on the other site (see sidebar), in response to some typical snidery over there that attempts to portray me as a narrow-minded specialist. It says (at the end) what I have wanted to say for a long time, and would have done so , but for constant “giving the benefit of the doubt”. There is now, no longer, any doubt.

    “Still more ad hom. Here’s a sample, taken almost at random, from the science buzz site of the individual whom you ludicrously try to portray as a specialist. You could not have chosen a more inappropriate example. My record as a commenter on ALL topics of scientific interest (and the occasional mathematical one too) speaks for itself. And you – what is your contribution to the blogosphere – outwith this SPECIALIST site? How many sites have you set up?

    Misrepresentation is, and always has been, the name of the game here – like Dan’s claiming above that I denied the existence of banding. I did nothing of the sort. I simply said it was not the primary reason for the bilateral loss of peripheral image – and indeed Barrie Schwortz’s photo-enhancement, shown above, with raising of the luminance on the B/W photograph (which incidentally is equivalent to lowering the luminance on the actual Shroud image) without the need for Fourier transforms should serve to prove my point. The Fourier transforms are being used to window-dress a dud hypothesis that is full of self-contradictions, like that crease I mentioned. The dud hypothesis (banding) simply attempts to preempt discussion as to the real reasons for bilateral loss of peripheral image symmetrically on both sides of the face – which is more likely a result of the imprinting mechanism, NOT the banding.

    Once again I must thank Dan for supplying so egregious an example for my new site of the shameless misapplication of a specialist technical tool – mathematical in this instance – one designed to make the gullible think there is “more than meets the eye” where the Shroud is concerned. It is of a piece with Di Lazzaro’s uv laser beams, which is where this NON-SPECIALIST came in…

    Now awaiting moderation… yet another symptom of the control freak mindset which, if the truth be told, is what the Shroudie circus and roadshow is all about..

    This comment will now be copied and pasted to my own site.”

  13. Pingback: A new theory that gives a medieval origin to the Turin Shroud – My solution to the Turin Shroud mystery - My Telegraph

  14. Pingback: A comprehensive new theory that asserts a medieval origin for the Turin Shroud: a scorching into linen – and human consciousness – of the last of the Knights Templar. | Casting a critical eye at that Shroud of Turin

  15. Pingback: A scientist’s eye view of how the iconic Turin Shroud image could have come into being – a happy accident of thermographic and photographic inversion? | Casting a critical eye at that Shroud of Turin

  16. Petros says:

    The Shroud was made front image and back at the same moment, and there are no singes on the cloth, nor is the cloth bent into burnt creases along delineations of the Image, nor imprinted differently where it is darker than where lighter as in those poor samples above.

  17. colinsberry says:

    You would not be the first to make lists of categorical statements – without bothering to explain your thinking – if indeed it is thinking.

    I have to say it looks more like blind dogma to me. Frankly I have neither the time nor patience for dogma.

    Argue a case – instead of setting yourself up as the Final Authority, cos that you ain’t…

  18. Clinton says:

    It’s going to be end of mine day, however before end I am reading this impressive paragraph to increase my knowledge.

  19. Pingback: Was the Shroud image imprinted from a medieval life-size version of a crucifix? | The Turin Shroud: medieval scorch? Separating the science from the pseudo-science…

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