Can you see those supposedly inimitable discontinuities and striations in Shroud image fibres?

Here’s screen grab from a pdf of the photomicrograph in  the splendid 2010 Fanti et al paper on the microscopic versus macroscopic aspects of the Shroud image. It’s Fig.7, the one that provides the visual evidence of those discontinuities and striations – invariably mentioned if one claims to have duplicated the main macroscopic aspects of the Shroud image (negative character, lacking directionality, 3D-enhancible etc). Yes, they say, but what about the striations, what about the discontinuities?  Well, yes indeed, what about them? The trouble is that I can’t really see them in the pictures supplied. Sure, I could try enlarging, but am reluctant/loath to do that for fear of seeing everything de-resolve into a fuzzy blur, and in any case screen grabs from pdf documents are  surely not the stuff of research investigations.

Fig 7 from Fanti et al 2010 with Mark Evans/Barrie Schwortz photomicrograph of Shroud image area

Fig 7 from Fanti et al 2010 with Mark Evans/Barrie Schwortz photomicrograph of Shroud image area

Caption that accompanies Fig 7 above, referring to those celebrated micro-iconic features of the Shroud image

Caption that accompanies Fig 7 above, referring to those celebrated micro-iconic features of the Shroud image

Note carefully the provenance of the pictures.

I shall now compose a comment for a recent posting that appeared on Dan Porter’s shroudstory.com site, the one that pays tribute to Barrie Schwortz’s Shroud photography. I shall ask politely if the folk who introduced us to “striations” and “discontinuities” were forced to base it on what you see above, or whether they had access to better pix, of higher magnification and resolution. If the latter, are they in the public domain, or are they still the private and/or copyright-protected property of STURP/Barrie Schwortz/Mark Evans estate/STERA/the Vatican (delete as appropriate).

First comment (mine) to Dan Porter’s posting:

November 9, 2013 at 11:30 am | #1

“Scientific photography and visual representation of science at its best.”

That I don’t question. But what about the claims for “striations” and “discontinuities” in Shroud image fibres? What’s the source of those claims. Is it really those x35  x32 and x50 photographs that bear the name of Barrie Schwortz and/or Mark Evans that one sees in pdf documents? Was that really the top magnification available to folk like Fanti et al (2010), the list including Thibault Heimburger, because if it was, then my ageing eye sight is simply not capable of seeing the detail that is claimed to be there. Is there a fancy Latinized term not just for seeing things that are not there, or not seeing things that are there, but as of this moment in time, not seeing things that are not there? Who’s to say these features, if present, are not a characteristic of retted flax fibre that are shown up in the imaging process, but in reality are also in latent form in non-image fibres? Might those discontinuities and striations be visible in the edges of the 1532 scorched fibres too? Has anyone looked? Were they photographed at high magnification too? So much to do, so little material to work with… maybe.

I’ve just this minute put a screen grab on my site of those under-magnified pictures if anyone’s interested in seeing the problem/non-problem (?) with their own eyes.

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More later,  if there’s interesting feedback  (but that “anonymous” who followed my comment, and who bangs on incessantly about the need to defer unquestioningly to the individuals he names as  “experts”,  notably the technically-proficient but demonstrably non-infallible Raymond N.Rogers RIP, does not IMHO constitute interesting feedback.).

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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.
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