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:
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.