Reply – in small considered instalments – to Thibault Heimburger re my “Sorry Mr.Rogers” posting

I’ve just received a long comment  (see below) on my “Sorry Mr.Rogers” posting from Dr. Heimburger (whom I shall now refer to more informally as Thibault) .

It is not so much directed at the specifics of what I said in that posting, which was mainly about Rogers’ ideas on banding and its supposed major influence on image intensity. It is more by way of a general critique of the line I have taken on the Shroud’s blood stains, or what I am increasingly minded to refer  to as “blood” stains.  There is  sadly a hostile tone in some of his comments, like his asking this published PhD scientist if he has read any of the peer-reviewed STURP papers (!) I shall ignore that and observations/questions  in a similar vein, feeling there is nothing to be gained by Thibault attempting to place me under duress if he wants considered responses to his questions. It is the latter that I shall now attempt. But it will take time. There are some difficult issues raised in his comment, which, as I say, go well beyond anything I have written or claimed in recent weeks. So my reply will come in the form of instalments, and I am writing it as a new posting since this will allow me to insert some visual aids into my answers.

Enough of the preliminaries. Here is his comment,  in bold italics to distinguish from my replies, and  I  shall insert replies between his points over the next few days.

“Blood is a liquid, albeit a viscous one , but should not some blood at least have penetrated into the furrows between the threads. There is no evidence of penetration”.

Please note I am referring to ribs v furrows, which are best seen with the unaided eye, i.e. no hand lens, in other words,  digital photographic images  at the magnification level of what one sees with the unaided eye, such as the Shroud Scope images. It is crucial to grasp the difference between these and higher magnification pictures that show the weave in close up (confusingly referred to as photomacrographs) where the eye is then too close to the weave to readily see the rib and furrow pattern, and tends instead to experience  sensory overload, i.e.  criss-cross matrix punctuated with  interstices. More on this crucial distinction later, since it is a trap for the unwary and a potential source of confusion that can result in people, even science professionals, talking at cross purposes with each other. Yes, I understand the importance of microscopic examination too, but I also know its pitfalls. One thing at a time…

Do you have pictures of the reverse (non image) side of the sheet ?

I am currently doing a series of postings on Shroud Scope images, using the 2002 HD Durante pictures. None of them are “obverse side” if one may so describe the non-facing side, not to be confused with the dorsal image on a completely different stretch of fabric. Yes, I would like to examine the obverse sides too, but unless or until they become freely downloadable, then that sadly will not be possible. But in any case – one thing at a time.

“Why should blood be imaged EXACTLY THE SAME in principle as other imaged areas of the body, with the image confined largely to the ribs of the weave?”

Do you have Mark Evans 1978 macro photos ? If yes you’ll see that blood residues are mainly found in the furrows. More generally all the properties of the blood stains at this level (as well at microscopic level) are the exact opposite of the image-only properties.

Reply: here are a couple of Mark Evans photographs.

Mark Evans photographs of blood regions in a McCrone paper. The focus is on that centre one, a close-up of which follows this picture.

Close up. Note that pigment in this picture does indeed appear to be lodged in the interstices of the threads, in contradiction to the supposedly “high resolution” Durante 2002 images that are the most recent ones accessible on Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope, the focus of my current series of blogs. Note however the fainter discoloration of some fibre crowns, the colour of which can only be guessed at here. In other words there appears to be two components to the image – one in the interstices, the other on the crowns. It is that discrepancy and/or differentiation that needs to be addressed immediately.

Comment to follow: watch this space…. But here’s a caveat to start with. While it may seem at first sight that the blood is lodged in interstices (NOT furrows, but interstices) there is the danger of seeing blood where there is none. I refer to the fact that the interstices look black all over this B/W picture, including the parts where there is clearly no blood, presumably because interstices are “black holes”, and the photograph maybe had  a black underlay.  This photograph, if typical of the genre, may well be somewhat misleading and a source of confusion. But I shall have more to say tomorrow about the 2002 Durante pictures, which I consider the ones least likely to have artefacts or optical illusions, if only that they are at a lower magnification that avoids miniature “black holes” being mistaken for blood.

Second instalment  24 June : I’ve been able to track down a  colour photograph  that corresponds with that Mark Evans B/W picture. Here are the two side by side.

Left: The recommended Mark Evans picture from above, compared with its colour equivalent (right)

That B/W picture ought never have been published. It is totally misleading, making the black interstices look as if they are blood that has penetrated them. How many people have been misled by that picture?  The colour picture  makes it clear that the blood stain is generally less conspicuous in close-up than the B/W. How much is blood is on the surface of the fibres  and how much in the “black holes”remains to be established, but at least it it feasible to try differentiating, e.g in photo-editing programmes. Speaking of which – it is not possible for me to “de-magnify” that Evans picture in a way that eliminate the criss-cross weave, and instead shows ribs and furrows – with selective occupation of the first and not the second being my original point that blood and body image had the same location. What one can do to give a hint of “standing back” so to speak is to reduce the size, while at the same time adding extra contrast (the picture being somewhat indistinct – blurred in common parlance).  Here is the result of doing just that,  with rotation to help see it afresh, when it should be apparent that the blood stain tends to stay mainly on “ribs” as distinct from those furrows.

Note new settings (high contrast)

There is something unusual about “blood” that prefers ribs to furrows, even if not entirely one and not the other.

Reminder: here is a high-contrast Shroud Scope image showing the location of “blood” on “hair”, where it is clear that the first, that wishbone-shaped stain on the left side of the head hair,  occupies the same ribs as the second, with furrows being largely unoccupied (which is where we came in, so to speak). Incidentally, I doubt if many people viewing this image would immediately conclude that there was no body (“hair”) image under the blood…

A close-up view, with maximum contrast, of the wishbone-shaped blood stain on the hair.

That is the point is am keen to make, and other anomalous details are emerging too as I photo-edit the Shroud Scope images,  reinforcing the idea that the “blood” on the Shroud is not nearly so ‘non-problematical’ as we have been left to believe.

So let’s be hearing no more about those 1978 pictures please, at the least the B/W versions.. They have nothing useful to add, except excessive noise-to-signal ratio,  and I see no strong scientific grounds for regarding them as superior – quite the contrary in fact.

Incidentally, the Shroud Scope pictures are also essentially monochrome when viewed under default settings – not B/W but a washed out plum colour that fails to differentiate between body image and blood. But there’s a knack for bringing up “blood” and body image in two entirely different colours, and crucially investigating regions where the two seem to occupy the same bit of linen. I may make that the subject of separate posting.

More to follow:

“I now find myself wondering about the key claim that the blood was transferred to the fabric before the image. How reliable is the evidence on which that view is founded? I see from an oft-cited 2004 Rogers paper that he bases his blood-first view on a simple spot test in which he applied proteolytic enzymes to the blood stains, and found that removing the stain revealed/uncovered/exposed no image under the stain. That does not strike me as conclusive evidence for anything, certainly not for a major claim re the bloodstains. I shall obviously have to dig deeper, but if in the meantime anyone knows of better evidence than a single spot test with protein-digesting enzyme, then I’d be grateful for a link. Thanks.”

And the same test applied to image-only fibers did not change at all the yellow color.
Incidentally, another important difference between blood and image …
This test was performed by Adler and Heller under the microscope and not only on coated fibers but also on red globs, orange globs, and golden yellow coating from the golden yellow fibrils (serum).

Third instalment: Some general observations first: I’ll address some of the experimental specifics later:

I have merely reported what I consider an anomalous result – namely that blood appeared to be confined to the ribs, and was not in the furrows. You have disputed that, citing the Mark Evans photographs, but I in turn have dismissed those as too magnified to be of use is discerning the ribs and furrows, and in any case one cannot dismiss the 2002 HD photographs. They are digital and minimally re-processed. If they show that blood is confined to ribs and not in furrows, then those are the facts. What possible grounds can there be for rejecting the evidence of one’s own eyes?

Now you say that the Shroud Scope is no use in resolving the question of what went onto the Shroud first – image or blood. Maybe not, and I don’t recall saying it was, although I think it still worth looking to see if there is evidence of any sort now that it is possible to differentiate between blood and image.

In fact, there is some suggestive evidence that blood did go on first, and may have FAINTLY coloured the furrows. I base that statement on the wishbone image where it appears that “blood” if indeed that is what it is, has flaked off in places (as judged by gaps in the trail) leaving a faint mauve coloration.  Elsewhere there do appear to be areas where body image (including hair) have intersected with a hint that the blood is indeed underneath, but that is provisional.

However, while blood may have been applied first – there is nothing I see to contradict that – It is strange that it has been confined primarily to ribs. It is as if it had been applied with an old-fashioned rubber stamp lightly coated with “ink” to leave a light imprint, too light to penetrate furrows.  It is hard to envisage those putative re-liquifying clots  in that fibrinolyis theory (!)releasing blood in so controlled a fashion as to imprint on the slightly raised ribs of the weave with little penetration in furrows. Yes, I stand by my view Thibault, that the rib-location is anomalous and you have so far said nothing that would shift me from that considered position. “Printing” of blood suggests forgery to me, even if application before image raises logistical problems of where to apply the blood…
 

Fourth instalment 26 June: I’m beginning to wonder if I am wasting my time here, given there has been no response so far to my response, so to speak.  But I shall be patient, knowing as I do that Thibault Heimburger is the French equivalent of a British GP (General Practitioner), with his practice in the capital’s northern suburbs . He may have a surgery full of hypochondriac patients, all demanding prescriptions for this or that. That was the vision I had of general practice, when, studying for 4 science A-Levels at school, I was under constant pressure from the Careers master to opt for medicine. Instead I went for what then was the new-fangled Biochemistry degree, again being advised that was wrong (“do a degree in Chemistry first, then specialize if biochemistry still appeals”). I ignored that advice as well, and did three degrees, all in Biochemistry – BSc, MSc, PhD.  Maybe folk may understand when I am told by a medical practitioner that a conclusive result has been obtained using a “proteolytic” enzyme, source and purity unspecified, and only one control test mentioned, and when nothing is known for certain about the integrity of the target protein, or the presence or absence of other proteins, e.g those of flax cells that may play a role in image formation and adhesion.

Here’s another contribution to the ribs v furrows debate. It’s a stain on the Shroud that has come from one of the 1532 burn regions.

Note that it shows no preference for rib or furrow. So why is the blood elsewhere on the confined largely to ribs only when viewed at the Shroud Scope range of magnifications which I consider appropriate, valid and non-artefact generating? Unlike the stain above,  the blood has a “painted-on” look, which leads me to suspect that it was indeed painted on. I may shortly do a posting on the curious chain-like bloodstain images on both the back and left forearm, and make a link, no pun intended, to that bizarre Lirey Pilgrim’s badge, aka Cluny medallion, which also shows the Man in the Shroud apparently in chains.

Incidentally, the image of the dispersed stain above was obtained from Shroud Scope using my optimised photo-enhancement settings. See a more recent post for a gallery of 20 Shroud images, all obtained with what I call -7/100/15 brightness/contrast/mid-range settings that totally transform the Shroud Scope image.

More to follow:

(Apologies: what follows has become disjointed through editing. I’ll be back later to sort it out. This posting is now on the back burner, given the silence from my inquisitorial friend in Paris.)

“I now find myself wondering about the key claim that the blood was transferred to the fabric before the image. How reliable is the evidence on which that view is founded? I see from an oft-cited 2004 Rogers paper that he bases his blood-first view on a simple spot test in which he applied proteolytic enzymes to the blood stains, and found that removing the stain revealed/uncovered/exposed no image under the stain. That does not strike me as conclusive evidence for anything, certainly not for a major claim re the bloodstains. I shall obviously have to dig deeper, but if in the meantime anyone knows of better evidence than a single spot test with protein-digesting enzyme, then I’d be grateful for a link. Thanks.”

And the same test applied to image-only fibers did not change at all the yellow color.
Incidentally, another important difference between blood and image …
This test was performed by Adler and Heller under the microscope and not only on coated fibers but also on red globs, orange globs, and golden yellow coating from the golden yellow fibrils (serum).

Some general observations first: I’ll address some of the experimental specifics later:

I have merely reported what I consider an anomalous result – namely that blood appeared to be confined to the ribs, and was not in the furrows. You have disputed that, citing the Mark Evans photographs, but I in turn have dismissed those as too magnified to be of use is discerning the ribs and furrows, and in any case one cannot dismiss the 2002 HD photographs. They are digital and minimally re-processed. If they show that blood is confined to ribs and not in furrows, then those are the facts. What possible grounds can there be for rejecting the evidence of one’s own eyes?

Now you say that the Shroud Scope is no use in resolving the question of what went onto the Shroud first – image or blood. Maybe not, and I don’t recall saying it was, although I think it still worth looking to see if there is evidence of any sort now that it is possible to differentiate between blood and image.

In fact, there is some suggestive evidence that blood did go on first, and may have FAINTLY coloured the furrows. I base that statement on the wishbone image where it appears that “blood” if indeed that is what it is, has flaked off in places (as judged by gaps in the trail) leaving a faint mauve coloration.  Elsewhere there do appear to be areas where body image (including hair) have intersected with a hint that the blood is indeed underneath, but that is provisional.

However, while blood may have been applied first – there is nothing I see to contradict that – It is strange that it has been confined primarily to ribs. It is as if it had been applied with an old-fashioned rubber stamp lightly coated with “ink” to leave a light imprint, too light to penetrate furrows.  It is hard to envisage those putative re-liquifying clots  in that fibrinolyis theory (!)releasing blood in so controlled a fashion as to imprint on the slightly raised ribs of the weave with little penetration in furrows. Yes, I stand by my view Thibault, that the rib-location is anomalous and you have so far said nothing that would shift me from that considered position. “Printing” of blood suggests forgery to me, even if application before image raises logistical problems of where to apply the blood…

To be continued
” Withing a half hour this [proteolytic] solution completely dissolved the non-birefringent red particulate fibril coatings, leaving no particulate residues; This further indicates that these particulates are blood and not Fe2O3 impregnated protein binder”.
They added “Interestingly, fibrils freed of their coatings using this technique closely resemble the NON IMAGE fibrils when viewed under phase-contrast”.

No conclusion ? Really ? Do you have another explanation ?

Shroud Scope is certainly a wonderful tool. But not at all for the kind of studies you are doing.

Did you ever read the peer-reviewed STURP papers ?
As for your “scorch” hypothesis which has been studied in depth by many researchers (including numerous experiments) many decades ago and finally dismissed.
Just one of them (among many others) : the medulla of the image fibers is clear while the medulla of the lightly scorched fibers on the Shroud is colored.
Please, purchase a good microscope and test your hypothesis.

Being like a scorch is not the same as being a scorch.

Regards.

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Shroud of Turin and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Reply – in small considered instalments – to Thibault Heimburger re my “Sorry Mr.Rogers” posting

  1. Thibault HEIMBURGER says:

    I will not comment your ad hominem attacks. Except that your description of my job is an insult, not only for me but for the many people I try to treat. You obviously don’t know what you are speaking about.

    A few days ago, I gave you privately the possibility to obtain for free some of the Mark Evans photographs (no answer, no thanks) from the copyrights owner.
    There are at least 3 of them showing bloodstains from low magnification (with the weave pattern, furrows etc..) to high magnification.
    By looking at them, you’ll obviously see that you are completely wrong.

    Regarding the proteolytic enzyme (please read carefully the original article), you’ll find the details of the experiment. But, most important your comment ” and when nothing is known for certain about the integrity of the target protein, or the presence or absence of other proteins, e.g those of flax cells that may play a role in image formation and adhesion” is simply a non sense in this context. Incidentally I also have a degree in Biology.

    I’ll probably will not waste my time here.

  2. colinsberry says:

    ” A few days ago I gave you privately the possibility to obtain for free etc etc…”

    Sorry, but I have not the faintest clue what you are talking about Thibault. Privately? By what means? An email? I have received no email. Nor have I seen a comment on this site or on Dan’s (which would hardly be private anyway).

    Why privately anyway? Are these images not already in the public domain? Are you not able to provide a link? I hope those pictures are better than the ones I displayed above from the source you mentioned…

    Oh, and while I don’t take kindly to people who adopt the overbearing tone you did in that comment above, I most certainly did not respond with an ad hominem attack. If you think I did, then please accept that was not my intention. I am very happy to discuss the science – but you are wasting your time telling this retired scientist that such and such was “dismissed ” years ago. Nothing is more guaranteed to get me intensely interested in the grounds on which something or other was dismissed, especially as the objectivity of so many ‘authenticists’ – including I hasten to add some STURP scientists – has repeatedly been called into question by their resort to novel and often bizarre “crucifixion” or “resurrection” physics, chemistry or physiology.

    But until I see those images, and have had a chance to study them, I see no point in commenting further.

    • Thibault HEIMBURGER says:

      On 24/6, I received in my mail box a message from “casting a critical eye…” (you), beginning by the words “Hello Thibault; is is kind of you visiting my humble blog..”;
      On 25/6, I replied using the same way (=privately = it does not appear in your blog). This is the message I was speaking about.
      Apparently, it does not work.
      No, the ME photographs are not in the public domain.

      Would you give me your private email and I’ll send you immediately my previous email.

  3. colinsberry says:

    I use sciencebod01 as the first part of my email address, followed by the “at” symbol, followed by aol.com, broken up here to make life a little difficult for the spammers.

    I look forward to receiving those photos (but wonder why they are not already in the public domain if they are supposed to be a key exhibit in any debate as the authenticity or otherwise of the Shroud).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s