Brace yourselves, all you deniers of the radiocarbon dating, all you proponents of supernatural photography via “resurrectional incandescence”.
Main finding: both the bread roll on the left AND the heat-treated flour imprint from the plastic toy have turned pristine white in the places where domestic bleach was added!
Relevance to the Turin Shroud and its ‘enigmatic’ allegedly science-defying body image?
Think the chemistry of bread crust formation from heated white flour, cleverly mimicked for the purposes of faked religious relic manufacture. How? Answer: via contact flour-imprinting off the adult male body onto linen as a means of simulating (“forging”) a 1st century sweat imprint of … YES, the crucified Jesus onto Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’. Clever these medievals…
Yes, the chemical properties of bread crust (bleachability with chemical “bleach” (NaOCl, left rear) , but not by strong acid (H2SO4, centre rear) or strong alkali (NaOH, right rear) as shown above fit perfectly with:
(a) those straw-coloured image fibres from the Turin Shroud, tested in 1978 by STURP’s Alan Adler and John Heller (shown to be bleachable with diimide – ordinary domestic bleach apparently not tested – but not affected by either strong acid or alkali) and:
(b) my model imprints off 3D-figurines ( as well as my own hand and face) using my ‘Model 10’ flour-imprinting procedure. The latter was published here and elsewhere (notably the Dan Porter site) in 2015, but has since been totally ignored these last two years and more by the largely pro-authenticity Shroud-research ‘establishment’ with more than its fair share of cliquish self-styled academics and scientists. Now there’s a surprise!
More to follow in a day or two …
Tuesday December 5
The imprinted linen you see above has now been washed, dried, pressed briefly with a hot iron, re-photographed and labelled to show the parts that were exposed to the three chemical reagents.
Note that bleaching, i.e. decolorisation, was confined to the parts of the flour imprint on the left that had been treated with commercial bleach (sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl). The parts in the centre (treated with strong , i.e. 35% approx sulphuric acid) and on the right (with strong alkali, sodium hydroxide, NaOH) remained essentially unbleached.
(Caveat: don’t be deceived into thinking that the acid in the centre has bleached. It hasn’t. The white area is simply the initially image-free gap between arm and torso of the figurine. If the acid had bleached the ‘subject’ would be missing his thumb – and more besides).
This comparative pattern of behaviour matches that reported by Adler and Heller for surface image fibres stripped off the TS by STURP’s Raymond N Rogers in 1978.
Whilst the above experiment does not of itself prove that the TS image fibres are chemically the same or very similar as the yellow or brown melanoidins in bread crust or my roasted flour imprints, it can surely be seen as constituting circumstantial evidence for that being the case.
None of what appears will of course come as any surprise to those who accept the pro-authenticity, non-supernaturalistic model proposed by the late Raymond N Rogers (STURP’s chemistry team leader). Rogers was the first to
identify propose that the Shroud body image as was a high molecular weight melanoidin, not on analytical grounds, for which there is and was essentially none, but on the basis of a narrative that pictures the process of image-formation starting with the release from the recently-deceased Jesus of post-mortem putrefaction gases or vapours, namely decomposition amines (general formula R-NH2, where R is a variable alkyl or aminoalkyl group). They were posited to interact with reducing sugars, formed, Rogers claimed, from a starch impurity coating on the linen, the latter having been employed he said as an aid to weaving in Roman times (with some somewhat anecdotal evidence for starch traces on the Shroud).
It’s not the intention here to discuss the Rogers’ model in detail (which this investigator would do with no great enthusiasm). But it’s necessary to flag it up, if only because I was instantly accused on the Dan Porter site of having plagiarized Ray Rogers when finally abandoning a simple hot-metal scorch hypothesis (Model 2) and proposing white flour (arguably a close relative of starch) and melanoidin end-products as the explanation for the chromophore colour.
Nope, I reject the charge of plagiarism, my having arrived at melanoidins via an entirely different route. That was through searching for a likely imprinting medium from which a medieval simulator of a 1st century sweat imprint might have generated a yellow chromophore via strong heating more easily and more controllably than by scorching the intrinsic carbohydrates of linen. In fact there are thermal mechanisms by which a flour imprint can turn yellow that do not involve Maillard (amino-carbonyl reactions) and melanoidin formation, notably by caramelization of free sugars without involvement of amines or other nitrogen compounds (though I have to say I consider the Maillard mechanism involving reaction between reducing sugars and amino side chains of proteins and peptides as being the more probable pathway).
(Added note: I return to caramelization v Maillard chemistry again briefly at the end of this posting).
It should be clear by now that the diagnostic test for medieval forgery, as distinct from 1st century provenance, cannot be melanoidins or even traces of flour or starch, even supposing they were to be present (almost certainly not in the case of flour). One’s first instinct is to propose that one seeks evidence of a thermal development step (forgery narrative). But that too cannot be relied upon. Why not? Answer: the 1532 fire that caused extensive burning and scorching. Who’s to say that any presumptive evidence for a high temperature exposure was not the result of the Chambery fire? Actually there is at least some circumstantial evidence for the thermal development from which 1532 can be definitely excluded – as flagged up here a short while ago – the so-called “L-shaped poker holes”. They are known (from the 1516 Lier copy) to predate the 1532 fire, so might well have been acquired when the Shroud imprint was being thermally developed.
Wednesday December 6
Future research direction? Need for new technology?
As indicated in the posting immediately preceding this one (dated Nov 22) there is an urgent need for transverse sections of image fibres, both from the Turin Shroud and from flour imprint v alternative model systems.
Why? Because the claim that the TS body image is highly, nay ultrasuperficial, on which so much starry-eyed speculation is based (with resort to those scorch-making uv-lasers etc to simulate conjectured ‘resurrectional incandescence’) really hasn’t been proved at all, at least not conclusively.
In fact, it’s not just transverse sections that are needed. We need to start by teasing out linen fibres from threads, and then blasting open those individual fibres to reveal the closely-packed microfibrils within. Are the latter really free of image colour in the TS? Are they really immune from coloration in model systems where there’s initially an intact primary cell wall (PCW) separating the bunched microfibrils from the outside world?
I shall be doing some experiments shortly with a view to getting a view inside the fibre. I’ll start in a modest way with freeze-thaw cycles (with threads pre-soaked in plain water or concentrated brine etc). I may even invest in an old fashioned pressure cooker, or mini popcorn-maker, with a view to creating an initial high pressure, temperature or both that is then suddenly reduced/released. (I once had a student vacation job at Quaker Oats, Southall, Middx., back in in the early 60s, making ‘Puffed Wheat’ (yes, it really is/was “shot from guns” – I had charge of 3 gun barrels!) so am maybe better informed than most on the physics of semi-explosive “puffing” technology!
This is an experimental set-up (transparent firing chamber) that shows the principle of “puffing”. The hinged end-flap of the gun barrel has been suddenly opened at the end of the pressure-cooking cycle, whereupon the cooked wheat grains – all 14lbs per batch – flies out the end, puffing up as they do so! Might it be possible to get linen fibres (fibres, note, not threads) to puff up explosively so as to blast away that pesky PCW, exposing and separating the internal microfibrils for microscopic inspection, both transversely and longitudinally?
Note to the sourpuss tendency: this investigator is focused on his latest model ( that’s Model 10 to be precise, 2015 vintage), but is not, repeat NOT, wedded to it. To repeat the old adage (first deployed by a Dutch economist but equally relevant to science): “Models are for using, not believing”. (which is why I’ve discarded or moved on via continuous fine-tuning/tweaking tendency from 9 previous models!)
Open-ended, open-minded research goes on where this blogger and this blogsite are concerned. Message to those with closed minds, or fixated with one or other “instant, pulled from the air, non-modelled solution” to the Turin Shroud : kindly stay away (assuming you have not already been banned for persistent misuse/abuse of another’s website).
Thursday December 7
As stated (well, bragged) a few days ago, this site made an all-too-brief appearance of Page 2 listings (Google, shroud of turin). It now languishes on Page 3. I check daily to see if/when lightning has struck, elevating it to the dizzy heights of Google Page 1 listings. No such luck as yet! But on checking this morning, I spotted a familiar entry, currently bottom of Page 2:
17 Apr 2015 – The 53-square-foot rectangle of linen known as the Shroud of Turin is one of the most sacred religious icons on Earth, venerated by millions of Christians as the actual burial garment of Jesus Christ. It is also among the most fiercely debated subjects in contemporary science, an extraordinary mystery that …
Dear (X, who shall remain nameless)
Nice to hear from you.
I’m travelling at the moment, and won’t have much free time for the next 24 hours or so. However, I will be thinking about your request, and will try to respond soon, hopefully by Saturday.Yes, I think the Shroud of Turin is a 14th century forgery. What’s more, it was NOT intended to represent a burial shroud, contrary to the view of those who promote the Shroud’s authenticity, and who seek an explanation in terms of resurrection (flashes of radiation etc). I believe the Shroud was an attempt to produce a whole body version of the then celebrated ‘Veil of Veronica’. As such it merely attempted to simulate the imprint that might have been left on linen by the newly crucified Jesus immediately after removal from the cross. Just as the Veil of Veronica was supposed to represent the imprint left on a small piece of cloth by the face of Jesus on his way to the cross, the so-called Shroud of Turin was intended to represent the imprint left by the entire body in sweat and blood on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen on its way from cross to tomb. Referring to the linen as a “burial” shroud has been a great distraction in my view from the reality of what the linen was intended to represent, one that has allowed all kinds of wild speculation about the image capturing energy-release at the the moment of resurrection.Note how difficult it is to get across my ideas in a few simple words. Fine but vitally important distinctions have to be be made.Thank you for your interest.More later.Cheers (etc)
Hello again (X)Here are a few extra notes I did early this morning, before your second email arrived, which I trust answers at least some of your additional questions. (Let me know if you need specific detail, though I’ll be out most of the day). I’ve also attached a photo (as requested) taken just 30 minutes ago!The 4 main Shroud ‘narratives’1. By far and away the most dominant narrative among those who promote authenticity is what might be called ‘resurrectional incandescence’ i.e. a blinding supernatural flash of radiation, or subatomic particles, or corona discharge etc etc. Regardless of which type, it’s accompanied needless to say by ‘photographic’ imaging (‘scorching’) of the incandescent body onto the cellulose of linen, the chromophore generally being assumed – wrongly in my view- to be chemically modified cellulose.2. Still pro-authenticity, but a poor relation, is Raymond Rogers’ so-called naturalistic aka diffusion model, one that could be described as post mortem decompositional imaging, either in direct contact or at a distance ( volatile amines from the cadaver interact with linen, starch-coated in Rogers’ model according to 1st century practice, either again to deposit an image. The chromophore is the Rogers’ model (and my own Model 10!) are melanoidins, formed by Maillard reactions between amino groups and reducing sugars.3. While both the above allow for some imprinting by direct contact, as indicated, they also invoke imprinting across air gaps.There is a third narrative, one that is dismissed out of hand by hardline pro-authenticity folk, namely imprinting by direct contact only. it comes in two variants – 1st century pro-authenticty versus 14th century ‘forgery’ (or as I prefer to say, modelling or simulation). .The first imagines that the crucified Jesus left a whole imprint in real sweat and blood on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ en route between cross and tomb. It is essentially a post-mortem version of the Veil of Veronica, much celebrated and viewed at Avignon etc in the mid-14th century. One sees evidence in 16th century literature of Shroud custodians and viewers having adopted this interpretation of the faint body image as a sweat imprint (yellowed by centuries of ageing) to which modern-day sindonology displays a curious blind spot despite my efforts to bring it centre-stage).The second considers the Shroud to be a 14th century simulation/modelling of such a sweat/blood imprint. Was real sweat /blood used? Unlikely I consider in the case of sweat, or even artificial sweat- if LIQUID. Why? Liquids smudge – do not produce sharp well-defined images. Luigi Garlaschelli used solid powder frottage, proposing that acid impurities in the original frottage media chemically etched/discolored the linen. But I ruled out acid in one of my earlier pre-Model 10 ideas, and finally, in Model 10, proposed a different powdered SOLID – namely white wheaten flour – as imprinting medium, in conjunction with WET linen, pressed onto flour-dusted naked male volunteers. (Yes two of them lying head to head, one face up other face down), though a bas relief probably substituted for the ‘difficult’ face, as also suggested by LuigiG. The flour-imprinted linen was then exposed to radiant heat from a bed of glowing charcoal embers. Infrared rays absorbed by slightly coloured constituents of flour, e.g. flavins, bran particles etc , but mainly reflected by white linen, produced highly localised heating with formation of yellow /brown melanoidins (same chromophore note as Rogers’ model).My developed flour imprints match most, possibly all the so-called enigmatic properties of the Shroud body image – negative image and 3D response in ImageJ in particular. Those two have been hugely over-hyped in my view… A full list is available if desired…Shroud blood (or should that be ‘blood?’) ? Not my speciality, but it can be worked into the model using either real blood, OR a non-clotting blood substitute e.g. digesta from medicinal leeches, OR artificial blood OR mixtures, with or without subsequent touching-up.Cheers (etc)
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk › Comment & Blogs
3 Aug 2017 – Sceptics may dismiss the Turin Shroud, but there is good evidence the relic is authentic.