Shroud of Turin: expect a 40-point summary of final conclusions very shortly, based on my 6 years of detailed scrutiny, to say nothing of hands-on modelling of that ‘enigmatic’ body image.

Yes, 40 key points will accompany my next posting – but not all in one go. Expect bite-size instalments, arriving over several days, maybe weeks. (Readability – not this investigator’s strongest suit – will be given a little more attention than before!).

Yes, the time has finally come to distil the essence of  6 years of fairly non-stop investigation by this long-retired science bod (mainly biomedical research in hospitals, medical schools and a food research institute –  eye-glazing stuff for the most part).

Warning: the conclusions will not generate a warm inner glow in those who are hung up on Shroud-authenticity (like it representing the actual burial shroud of the crucified Jesus).

Think simulated sweat/blood imprint onto a ‘fake’ version of Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’, made to seem as if pressed into service as a transport, NOT burial shroud to convey the crucified founder of Christianity from cross to tomb.

Think an entirely novel process of imprinting an entire body (front and back, not sides!) onto wet linen using dry powdered white wheaten flour as imprinting agent, followed by thermal development of the body image by gentle roasting over hot charcoal embers.

Think a final wash with soap and water to generate that oh-so-subliminal faint body image, later touched up with “blood” as a marker for body wounds incurred before and during crucifixion… The proposed technology is staggering in its simplicity, given the manner in which it has defied explanation over the centuries, right through to the present day.

So how did it succeed so brilliantly? Answer: by resort to  breath-taking originality (to say nothing of audacious mimicry of what happens when one ‘simply’ bakes a loaf of bread from flour dough to give it a golden-brown crust!).

Nope, the conclusions are not good for Shroud authenticity (but then, nor was the radiocarbon dating – 1260-1390).

Sorry all you folk who yearn for something tangible with which to back up your (possibly wavering?) religious belief.  But no apologies either for popping pseudoscience balloons (the latter being a fair description I say of the excesses of modern day pro-authenticity Shroud narratives, notably those  based on miraculous snapshots onto linen via ‘resurrectional incandescence’. Oh please, do rejoin us no-nonsense realists on Planet Earth!

But I say they are good for our collective global pride in humanity’s never-ending display over the centuries of inventiveness, resourcefulness and ingenuity. Shame about the intermittent fallings-out over this or that divisive issue (world wars etc).

I blame ideas (despite considering myself an ideas man).  Having ideas is good for the most part, but they do have an unfortunate habit of becoming first ideals, then ideological doctrines …  As the lady said, it’s a funny old world…

First instalment of next posting? This coming Friday (Jan 12) at the latest… That’s a promise…

 

 

 

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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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