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:
This is the Last Post (cue one mournful trumpet) on this site, although comments are still welcome, critical ones included (provided the criticism is not intended to be purely destructive, and is preferably constructive and non-abusive).
If it’s a summary of this blogger’s somewhat unconventional views re the Shroud (unconventional = free-thinking, non agenda-driven) you seek, then I’d recommend this particular posting from August of last year, addressed to the then Pope Benedict XVI. It saves having to read the other (approx) 180 on which it is based!
My new site, which will run for about 10 postings only, each addressing a particular Shroud ‘story’, may look something like this.
Update: Or, on second thoughts, this one, a touch more aggressive:
or, even more aggressive:
And here’s a possible format I might use throughout the posting when I wish to make concrete proposals for Royal Society intervention:
If the Royal Society spots this post, (ed: with the, er deliberate spelling mistake – science bloggers being fallible like everyone else) ahead of the new start-up, possibly with a little help from yours truly, the following blog postings on this site should provide some background.
1. From 14th September 2012
An open letter to the President of the Royal Society. Would you and your Fellows be willing to assist in separating the science from the pseudoscience?
2. From 2nd March 2013:
So it’s a fond farewell then to those here who have informed and enlivened my comments, especially (no particular order) Adrie, Hugh, Matthias, Carlos, Jos, Charles and others. Hoping to see at least some of you on the new site – but I’ll understand if you decide to stay away, given I’m intending to get (still more) bolshy, still more more polemical.
It’s time now to focus entirely on the main issue – pseudoscience – especially that which is intended for general consumption in the main media outlets – newspapers, the internet, TV documentaries etc. (beware all you disseminators of self-serving theophysics, theochemistry and theophysiology – aka crucifictional (sic) pseudoscience – I have you firmly in my sights). Pseudoscience damages the reputation of real science, attempting as it does to shoulder real scientists, like you know, er, moi, yours truly, not to put to0 fine a point on it, ME, Colin Berry MSc, PhD, out of the debate, out of the public domain.
That Pope Benedict XVI should have commissioned a surprise snap exhibition of the Shroud on March 30th (Holy Saturday) in his last act as Pope was for this retired science bod/blogger the last straw…
I have previously told (now Emeritus) Pope Benedict XVI exactly what I think about his increasingly ‘less-ambiguous, less-fence-sitting’ more wholehearted endorsement of Shroud authenticity. I may be a low-profile blogger, but simply googling (pope calls it icon written with blood) will take you to my posting from August of last year, presently topping the list of returns.
Alternatively, go to this link.
Yup, shame the blood has an atypical porphyrin spectrum, no sodium or potassium worth speaking of, virtually no red blood cells – so atypical in fact that STURP’s Alan D Adler felt obliged to describe it as a “serum exudate from retracted blood clots”.
Funny that, like funny peculiar. I’d have said it looks more like real blood on the Shroud than an anaemic wishy-washy ‘serum exudate’, despite (or because of) that failure to lose its red colour over the centuries. No wonder some prefer to call that problematical blood a ‘serum exudate’.
Click to ENLARGE
If it doesn’t look or behave like real blood, then call it something different (while continuing to maintain the dogma that the ‘blood’ arrived first on the Shroud, as required for authenticity. “Serum-exudate’ first” dogma does not have quite the same ring of authority, does it?
Who was it who recently described the Shroud as a ‘can of worms’, one that the Royal Society would not bother to investigate? My advice to the Royal Society: start by looking at the semantics, and then perhaps you will see how that ‘can of worms’ came about, and how a ceaseless production line of canned semantic, pseudoscientific worms has become an essential strategy in Shroudology, being intended to wear down, browbeat and silence. No prizes for guessing the agenda (see those Vatican press-releases, see the reports of that day-long visit and homage that Pope Benedict made to the Shroud in May 2o10).
My hunch, for what it’s worth (and untested hunches come 12 a penny in that shroudological potpourri of science and pseudoscience) is that the non-coagulated blood on the Shroud came from the gut contents of a well-fed medicinal leech. It was accordingly semi-digested and thus atypical – not fresh or even relatively fresh whole blood when it was painted on to linen, probably by an overzealous monk who felt a wound-free image of a naked man alone did not quite do the business of packing them in (icon-gawking medieval pilgrims to the French village of Lirey that is).
Farewell, or rather au revoir, at another time, in another place.
Postscript (added 20 June 2013): Discovered today that I get a mention in the wiki entry for Shroud of Turin, under the Image section:
“Shroud researcher Colin Berry has observed that the scorch marks and holes in the shroud also produced clear 3D images under the VP8 analysis. He deduced from this that the shroud image was produced by light scorching, and has produced 3D images from scorches using appropriate software.”
Actually, I had decided the Shroud image was a scorch well before doing any 3D enhancement, having been playing around with concave mirrors, seeing if it would be possible to focus infrared radiation to produce an scorch/image from a hot object (an aluminium pencil sharpener). But there simply wasn’t enough energy radiating from the object (probably at about 250-300 degrees C). Wondering how much heat was left. I grabbed the sharpener with pliars and pressed it into linen. Eureka: the contact image was far better than I imagined possible. From that point on there was no looking back…
Retired science bod