Important update: Thursday 25th October: This comment appeared a short while ago from the formidable Kelly Kearse ( amusingly self-styled “card-carrying immunologist”) on Daniel Porter’s shroudstory.com site: Click on the #1 (blue) link below to see just the comment:
I have bolded two key passages.
Thank you Kelly. As I suspected: this was nothing more than a spectral modelling exercise, a Friday afternoon experiment. There was no QUANTITATIVE estimation of bilirubin. More importantly there was not even a QUALITATIVE test either. That was not science. It was PSEUDO-SCIENCE.
There are no SCIENTIFIC grounds whatsoever on which to base the claim that there is ANY bilirubin in the Shroud bloodstains, far less those “extraordinary” quantities that Adler claimed, and which have been quoted in perpetuity as if hard scientific fact. In a word: a major BULLSH*TTING exercise. Yet this is the work that the President of the also amusingly self-styled “Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association” (STERA Inc) cited as what for him was the clincher that overcame, he says, his initial scepticism re the blood stains (and authenticity) of the Shroud – a piece of bullsh*t research that models bilirubin interactions without bothering to check that the stuff was even there after centuries of exposure to light and oxygen (bilirubin is sensitive to both, being bleached and/or chemically altered – the basis of the phototherapy of neonatal jaundice on which I worked for two years at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School).
So thank you Kelly for confirming what I had long suspected, based on my reading those non-redacted parts of Adler’s work, like that “Orphaned Manuscript ” pdf file which are available free online, the rest being behind a paywall. I had refused to part with good money to see the rest, knowing , as a previous bilirubin specialist, that Adler’s entirely hypothetical methaemoglobin/bilirubin complex, as an explanation for ‘permanently red blood’, was pure hokum, and everything that Kelly Kearse has written above would confirm that with little room for doubt.
Oh, and here’s how wikipedia describes Adler’s concerns re the Shroud’s condition under the entry: “Conservation of the Shroud of Turin”
“American researcher Alan D. Adler, confirming the presence of bilirubin on the fabric, noted that it is not light-stable and may change the color under any light. According to Adler, since the image fibers are at or near saturation while the surrounding cloth is not, the latter will gradually get darker until the image first becomes a silhouette and later finally vanishes.
I chose to focus on the part relevant to bilirubin. Discussing the “wider context” would have been a needless distraction from my point that Adler had first argued for bilirubin as a stabilizing agent, allowing blood to remain permanently red for centuries, but was then contradicting himself when warning the Shroud custodians that bilirubin in the bloodstains is unstable to light.
End of update. Here’s my original posting.
This post is exactly as per title, no more, no less. No digs, no cynicism – just an open-ended question that I have been asking for months and getting no answer – either from reading or raising it in discussion.
Why raise it now? I have just come across the following comment on The Other Site:
“… remember the very high level of bilirubin folks because this can potentially be important in order to understand the nature of the image and to eventually solve the mystery…”
Well, we’d all like to solve the mystery of the Shroud, and if bilirubin has a part to play, then ought we not to know precisely how much was there, if only to be certain that SOME was there?
So what’s the answer. I’m happy to have the answer in old money (mg%) or in SI units, e.g mmoles /decilitre. But please don’t quote back Alan D Adler’s comment that there were “extraordinary levels of bilirubin”. I am already familiar with that quotation. However, there’s little prospect of “solving the mystery of the Shroud” (sic) when the amount of an allegedly crucial signature of trauma and crucifixion is reported as “extraordinary”, leaving one to speculate as to whether that is just 1 mg% or 20 mg%. That’s the difference between normal and highly jaundiced. Oh, and let’s not bother for now about the proportion of the bilirubin that was conjugated or unconjugated with glucuronic acid (which clinicians use an an aid to differential diagnosis, e.g whether the bilirubin was due to excessive haemolysis of red blood cells or due to liver or kidney impairment). Total bilirubin will do. If you can say how it was measured, so much the better.
Btw: there has to be lots of bilirubin according to Alan Adler, to explain why the blood looks permanently red. But that did not prevent him advising the Shroud’s custodians to instal extra light protection for the Shroud on the grounds that bilirubin was unstable to light. Yup, I’m confused too…
Postscript: Please see the post that immediately precedes this one for my initial response (Part 1 of 2) to the paper by Thibault Heimburger on the scorch hypothesis. Part 2, dealing addressing his microscopic findings, will follow in a day or two.