Late addition (July 2019)
Please forgive this postscript, correction, “prescript”, correction, intrusion, added many years later – based on some 350 and more postings here and elsewhere.
That’s including some 7 years of my hands-on investigation into image-forming techniques, chosen to be credible with simple, indeed crude, medieval (14th century) technology etc etc.
(Oh, and yes, I accept the radiocarbon dating, despite it being restricted to a single non-random corner sample, making all the oh-so-dismissive, oh-so-derogatory statistics-based sniping totally irrelevant – a ranging shot being just that me dears- a single ranging shot, albeit subdivided into three for Arizona, Oxford and Zurich).
Sindonology (i.e. the “science” , read pseudoscience – of the so-called “Shroud ” of Turin) can be simply summed up. It’s a re-branding exercise, one designed to pretend that the prized Turin possession is not just J of A’s “fine linen”, described in the biblical account as used to transport a crucified body from cross to tomb.
Oh no, it goes further, much further, way way beyond the biblical account. How? By making out that it was the SAME linen as that described in the Gospel of John, deployed as final “burial clothes”. Thus the description “Shroud” for the Turin Linen, usually with the addition “burial shroud”. Why the elision of two different linens, deployed for entirely different purposes (transport first, then final interment)?
Go figure! Key words to consider are: authentic relic v manufactured medieval icon; mystique, peaceful death-repose, unlimited opportunity for proposing new and ever more improbable image-formation mechanisms etc. How much easier it is to attach the label “Holy” to Shroud if seen as final burial clothes, in final at-peace repose – prior to Resurrection- as distinct from a means of temporary swaying side-to-side transport in an improvised makeshift stretcher !
As I say, a rebranding exercise (transport to final burial shroud) and a very smart and subtle one at that . Not for nothing did that angry local Bishop of Troyes suddenly refer to a “sleight of hand” after allegedly accepting it when first displayed. Seems the script was altered, or as some might say, tampered with! It might also explain why there were two Lirey badges, not just one. Entire books could be written on which of the two came first… I think I know which, with its allusion (?) to the Veil of Veronica… yes, there are alternative views (the face above “SUAIRE” a visual link to the face-only display of the Linen as the “Image of Edessa” or as that on the then current “Shroud” per se.
Face shown (left) on mid- 14th century Machy Mould (recently discovered variant of the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) above the word “SUAIRE” (allegedly meaning “shroud”). Inset image on the right: one version among many of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” image. I say the two are related, and deliberately so, but this is not the time or place to go into detail.
No, NOT a resurrectional selfie, but instead a full size version of, wait for it, the legendary VEIL OF VERONICA , product of inital body contact – no air gaps- between body and fabric, but with one important difference. The Turin image was intended to look more realistic, less artistic.
How? By displaying a negative tone-reversed image implying IMPRINT (unless, that is, you’re a modern day sindonologist, in which case ‘resurrectional proto-photographic selfie” becomes the preferred, nay, vigorously proferred explanation assisted by unrestrained imagination, creation of endless pseudoscience etc etc, with resort to laser beams, corona discharges, nuclear physics, elementary particles, earthquakes etc etc – the list is seemingly endless!
Welcome to modern day sindonology.
Personally, I prefer no-nonsense feet-on-the-ground hypothesis-testing science, aided by lashings of, wait for it, plain down-to-earth common sense.
Start of original posting:
From the Long Bets site that I stumbled upon this morning:
Yup, I don’t know if you can read it (CLICK TO ENLARGE) , but it’s a ‘long bet’ made by Dan Porter in 2002 (my capitalization of NOT) .
(ed: I see btw that I am the subject of his latest post, which I have only briefly glanced at so far*, and will read later with interest.)
“By 2012 scientists will NOT have developed an explanation for how images on the Shroud of Turin came to be on the cloth -an explanation that satisfies all of the physical and chemical properties of the images and does not violate basic laws of physics.”
If you look below, you will find my tally (August 2012, with just 4 months remaining) for a mechanism based on thermal imprinting onto linen, aka branding, using a heated metal or ceramic template(s) to produce a faint sepia-coloured scorch. Apologies if I have overlooked any major “criteria”. I shall shamelessly insert more as and when they come to mind, this being a ranging-shot kind of blog. Apols btw for the makeshift tick boxes: I can’t spare the time needed to master “How to insert a check box in Microsoft Office Word 😦
Here, listed below, are more that may one day be future ticks in boxes. But for the non-objective focus of virtually all Shroud research – STURP’s and current research included – on any mechanism, wacky ones included (corona discharges, uv laser beams, intracorporeal merging of cloth/body, collimated radiation etc etc ), indeed ANY mechanism that does NOT involve scorching from a template – the latter being seen as scurrilously anti-1st century provenance – there might today, August 21 2012, have been more ticks in more boxes. Incidentally, I exclude John Jackson’s splendid modelling from 3D artefacts from the above condemnation for scientific foot-dragging and avoidance of no-go areas: though shame that he dropped that line of enquiry like the proverbial hot chestnut – just as it was starting to give acceptable 3D imaging. That work of his demolished the claim – still current- that encoded 3D information is unique to the Shroud’s image. Not so: almost any quick outline sketch with minimal shading can be 3D enhanced in ImageJ and similar software, even Mickey Mouse cartoons, as I have shown previously.
Half-tone effect and 360 degree coloration of fibril circumference? Possible (exothermic pyrolysis of hemicelluloses in primary cell walls of flax fibres)
Lack of fluorescence? Keep temperature low to avoid formation of late-stage aromatics.
Bleaching by diimide? Did anyone ever check it out on a scorch? It seems highly probable that a light scorch is bleachable with so highly powerful a reducing agent (H-N=N-H).
Alleged faint obverse side image? Let’s first see evidence that it is a real image, and not merely a virtual image created by digital filtering and enhancement of a faintly visible frontal side image….
Lateral distortion? Often claimed that a thermal imprint would inevitably show this effect (emphatically not so if template were a shallow bas-relief). But lateral distortion is in any case conveniently invoked in Shroudology to explain away improbable blood trickles on hair which “were really on skin, you know, but transposed to hair by … guess what? Yup, lateral distortion (dressed up as “orthogonal projection”).
Strippable with adhesive tape: scorching weakens the fibres mechanically. In any case, since we are all agreed that the image layer is highly superficial, it is hardly surprising that it separates easily. No need to invoke Rogers’ “surface impurities” and hypothetical Maillard reactions involving advanced putrefaction amines that so fixate the Shroudie sites, Dan Porter’s especially, a highly tendentious
theory hypothesis that Dan Porter himself is at pains to promote on that slick but clearly agenda-driven “shroudof turin4journalists” site of his (about which I shall be saying more in due course).
Comments welcome, but please keep them civil. This blogger/retired science bod is only here for the science (while freely admitting to waging a one-man campaign against so much of Shroudie pseudo-science that masquerades as science).
* Have now read and digested the message. Once again, the response is mainly to things I have not said. I did not say that I regarded this site as struggling or unsuccessful – I am not dissatisfied with having 50 hits a day from all across the world, with the WordPress flag counter giving me a fairly good idea who is following it, even if they rarely if ever comment here (knowing they prefer to do so on The Other Site, which is their prerogative). My specific complaint is that my blog is largely invisible to ‘new custom’ via Google and other search engines from those who search simply under “Shroud of Turin” without adding an additional specific term. That’s because I have been unable to acquire the critical mass of crosslinks needed to make an impression on the search algorithms. That’s because I am under their radar, and that’s because my content is being quickly, indeed instantly hoovered up by The Other Site with MY titles or parts thereof appearing under ITS Google listings.
I read The Other Site with interest, even if I despair of certain of the commentators’ hang-ups on display there. But that site is more a hindrance than a help when it addresses the issues that I raise here through its resort to ‘cover versions’: it is misleading the search engines’ crawlers and depriving me of the kind of traffic that can come spasmodically but importantly through influential people who simply google “Shroud of Turin”.
Yes, I could get extra hits by inserting links to social networking sites, but I doubt if they would translate into long term growth. How can the Shroud be usefully discussed with Twitter’s 140 character limit? Digg? I ventured onto that site briefly and quickly beat a retreat.
Yes, this is a specialist blog – so I did not expect spectacular growth. My first blog, which I shall refer to simply as D&D was generalist, and topics I wrote about quickly became listed on the first page or two of Google returns of those subjects bar the blockbuster headline issues, so I do know something about the dos and dont’s of minority-interest blogging. I used to meet strangers on holiday who had come across my D&D site, probably because of the sheer range of topical issues that I addressed in the course of a typical ‘working week’.
I’ve listened to Dan Porter lectures on ‘netiquette’. Perhaps he will now listen to one of mine. Kindly stop doing those instant cover versions of my postings that appear in hours, sometimes minutes. Kindly stop quoting so much of my posts that nobody on his site feels the slightest need to visit mine. A link does not translate to visibility on Google radar if nobody clicks on it. Here’s thanking him in advance…
Current ranking under simple Shroud of Turin search with no additional descriptors:
Page 23 of listings: Bing; page 52 of listings: Google
(That’s despite nearly 70 postings on this site alone covering most of the scientific controversies).
Colin Berry 21st August 2012