Skip to comments.Surprising new study on Shroud of Turin
Posted on 02/26/2005 8:43:02 PM PST by ETERNAL WARMING
Surprising new study on Shroud of Turin Simple technique could have been used to produce image
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted: February 26, 2005 1:19 p.m. Eastern
By Aaron Rench © 2005 Assist News Service
MOSCOW, Idaho The Shroud of Turin has long baffled scientists and scholars, Christians and skeptics for over seven centuries. The cloth bears a photonegative image of a man crucified and is thought by many to be the miraculously preserved burial cloth of Christ. Over the years, skeptics have been unable to convincingly demonstrate how any medieval forger could have produced such an image.
N.D. Wilson, a fellow of literature at New St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, believes that he has done just that.
"The Shroud has always been particularly mysterious because the image is both three-dimensional and a photonegative," Wilson says. "Artists are simply not able to produce images like that on their own, and so many conclude the Shroud is an authentic relic of Christ's resurrection. What I've done is demonstrate how easy it could have been for a medieval to create a three-dimensional photonegative."
Wilson, who describes his experiment in an article published in Books and Culture, (March/April, 2005) as well as on his website, began his experiment by painting faces on glass. The painted panes of glass were then set on top of linen and left in the sun for various lengths of time. Dr. Scott Minnich, a microbiologist well-known in Intelligent Design circles, provided Wilson with scientific advice on structuring his experiment. Minnich was not expecting the results the experiment produced.
"The success of these experiments was a surprise to me," Minnich said. "And as Nate [Wilson] aptly concludes in his paper, it doesn't disprove the Shroud's authenticity. However, it does show an alternative hypothesis for its making that has not been considered to my knowledge. And I don't think he goes beyond the data in his interpretation."
Commenting on Wilson's lack of scientific credentials, Minnich said, "It is the irony of science that often someone out of the mainstream shoots an outside shot with such accuracy."
Though the images Wilson produced look remarkably similar to the Shroud of Turin, he does not believe he has proved the relic to be a fraud.
"I believe it to have been faked. But that's not something I can prove," he said. "What I have demonstrated is that in order to produce an image like the one on the Shroud, nothing more is required than the cloth itself, and a painting on glass. All things available to a medieval. A forger would have three-dimensionally encoded a photonegative onto cloth, without even being aware of the completeness of his art, or for how long he would be confusing the rest of us."
Antonio Lombatti, a fellow researcher of medieval church history at the Deputazione di Storia Patria in Parma, Italy, was quite interested in Wilson's findings.
"I am eager to examine his results under the microscope to check the chemical properties of his shroud. What I really find interesting about Wilson's experiment is that his shroud has encoded 3D data even if it was not produced with a real face or a bas-relief."
Wilson said that his faith has surprised people: "Im a Trinitarian Christian. I believe in the Resurrection and all that it means for this world. Either the Shroud is genuine or, as I believe, it is a lie about a great truth. I think Christians should want to see religious fraud exposed wherever we can find it."
Scientists from around the world have already begun requesting samples of Wilson's shrouds. When asked if he would distribute samples from his experiments, Wilson was unsure.
I haven't thought that far ahead."
One of Wilson's Shrouds, as it appears to the eye (left) and as it appears in photonegative (right)
And the bits of pollen, insects, etc. that are only found in the specific corner of the world Jesus was crucified in that just happen to be stuck all over the shroud? Was that faked, too? How about the 3D nature of the head wounds, as if the bloody, matted hair passed through the shroud at a point in time? I suppose that was faked as well?
Sorry, just b/c this guy has found a technique that duplicates a single aspect of the shroud doesn't come anywhere close to showing it as a forgery.
When was glass invented?
About 2000 BC.
As hard as many, many people have tried, no one has been able to create an exact reproduction of the shroud, nor can anyone explain all of the evidence that suggests it actually is a genuine ancient death shroud of a crucified man. So many attempts to reproduce it are like this example, which fails to consider the limited medical and technical knowledge of even the most learned men of the 1300s.
A medieval man "could" have built the same phonograph that Edison built in 1877.
And the 3-D characteristics of the Shroud are NOT apparent to the human observer. It is only when a computer is used in order to plot the brightness of each point on the image onto a graph, that the three-dimensional information in the image becomes apparent.
Making any fuss about this particula experiment makes no more sense than waving a piece of fabric about and declaring: "The Shroud is made of cloth, and here is a piece of cloth manufactured in the 18th century, therefore the Shroud could have been created in the 18th century!"
Very clever. Now perhaps he can explain the pollen evidence and the amazing "coincidence" of the same blood type being on both the Mandylion ("Shroud") and the Sudarium (Head cloth of Christ - which is documented to have arrived in Spain ahead of the Mohammedan invasion of North Africa in the 700s, after having been in Alexandria for the previous 700 years.)
Good luck to him on explaining away that one.
Moscow, Idaho? Isn't that a forgery?
Well, there are only 8 different blood types. And all the shroud had to do was spend some time in the part of the world where that pollen was located. You state in your comment examples of pices of cloth moving great distances over time.
Pollen studies show that the Mandylion ("Shroud") traveled from Israel through Turkey to Constantinople (from where it was removed to Turin, either by the Crusaders who sacked Constantinople, or to save it from the Turks - we'll probably never know exactly which one).
The Sudarium pollen studies show it traveling from Israel through north Africa to Spain.
Corroborating the historical/traditional explanations of the travels of both objects.
Not only are the blood types the same, but the blood and wound patterns visible on the sudarium appear to match perfectly the dimensions of the head on the Shroud, as well as the location of the wounds on that head.
And, again - the history of the Sudarium is documented all the way back to the eigth century in Spain, and earlier in North Africa.
[Artists are simply not able to produce images like that on their own, and so many conclude the Shroud is an authentic relic of Christ's resurrection.]
I'm amazed at the number of people who insist that our ancestors were idiots and were incapable of crafting and constructing things that impress us today.
Why is it so difficult to believe that dedicated people living thousands of years ago built great pyramids and constructed accurate astronomical stone timepieces and created realistic human faces on cloth for artistic reasons?
Oak Hay, Oak Hay... I confess... I did it... It was me... All by myself... I created the Shroud of Turin while I was time traveling !!!
Now please take the panties off my head... I can't stand any more of this brutal torture !!! ;-))
About the 10th or 11th century.
About 2000 BC.
A far better question is "when was transparent glass formed into sheets like windowpanes invented?"
Early glasses were mostlly opaque. Window glass was not produced in the UK until 1226, and it was of poor quality. ref: http://www.londoncrownglass.co.uk/History.html
Early window glass was very expensive and not likely to be wasted in producing a forgery. Going to the hardware store and buying a windowpane was not really possible until fairly modern times.
While the Romans had glass and even transparent glass, it was all hand blown and used for drinking glassses, bottles, vases and the like. No windowpanes.
No matter how many painted bottles you collect, you will never replicate anything like the shroud.
Our ancestors may not have been idiots---but humans have been a bit slow to figure this one out.
The most curious thing to me, though, and the thing that hasn't been explained by any of these people is the total absence of anything else even remotely similar to the shroud. If this is a medieval fake, there should be other, similar examples.
In reference to the technique suggested by the article, it's a joke. I can't believe that anyone would even have the courage to put it out as a suggestion. The 1300s were referred to as the "dark ages". The concept of perspective in illustration and painting did not exist. Leonardo da Vinci is generally credited with developing the science of perspective in painting. He was born in 1452, and didn't become well known until he was around thirty. The concept of a painter of the 1300's understanding three dimensional design well enough to paint it on a glass and then use photographic development techniques (although rudimentary), is ludicrous.
The primary effect of all kinds of radiation is to heat the material it hits. This statement includes electromagnetic radiation (visible, ultraviolet, and infrared radiation); ionizing particles such as protons, electrons, and alpha particles; and non-ionizing particles such as neutrons. You can feel the heat when you hold a lump of plutonium, a flask of tritium, or a recently irradiated accelerator target. Intense irradiation can cause enough heat to explode explosives and burn metals (think of laser effects). Cellulose molecules are folded back and forth in a fairly regular arrangement, and they show the properties of crystallinity. This is called a "fibrillar structure." When you rotate the stage of a petrographic microscope with crossed polarizers while looking at a linen fiber, straight lengths change from black through colored to black again every 90?. The fiber is birefringent and has an ordered structure. When cellulose fibers are heated enough to color them, whether by conduction, convection, or radiation of any kind, water is eliminated from the structure (the cellulose is "dehydrated"). When water is eliminated, C-OH chemical bonds are broken. The C? free radicals formed are extremely reactive, and they will combine with any material in their vicinity. In cellulose, other parts of the cellulose chains may be the closest reactants. The chains crosslink. Crosslinking changes the crystal structure of the cellulose, and you can see the effect with a polarizing microscope. When cellulose starts to scorch (dehydrate and crosslink), its characteristic crystal structure becomes progressively more chaotic. Its birefringence changes, and not all parts of a straight fiber go through clear transitions from dark to light at the same angle. Zones of order get smaller and smaller. It finally takes on the appearance of a pseudomorph and just scatters light. A significantly scorched fiber does not change color as the stage is rotated between crossed polarizers. Specific types of radiation cause specific types of defects in the crystals of flax fibers. For example, protons ionize the cellulose as they pass through the fiber. This warps the crystals, making the protons' paths birefringent. You can see where they went in the fiber by the straight lines of their paths (see the "Proton-irradiated" figure). Not all kinds of radiation ionize the material they penetrate. Neutrons and neutrinos do not have any electrical charge. Neutrinos hardly interact with matter at all, the fact that made Proton-irradiated fibers by Rinaudo. Little, white, straight lines cutting across the fiber are the paths of the protons. Neutron-irradiated fibers from the Lyma mummy wrapping by Moroni. Observe the small, white, vertical streaks made by recoil protons between the bright growth nodes. There is also a faint haze in the background that was made by an associated gamma flux from the reactor. them so difficult to detect. They have practically no chance of being stopped as they shoot through the entire diameter of the earth. The effects of neutrons depend on their energy, but they normally interact with hydrogen-containing materials to produce "recoil protons." They knock a hydrogen nucleus out of the material, producing an ionizing proton. You can see the ionization streaks of these (usually lower energy) protons (see the "Neutron-irradiation" figure). The crystal structure of the flax fibers of the Shroud shows the effects of aging, but it has never been heated enough to change the structure. It has never suffered chemically significant irradiation with either protons or neutrons. No type of radiation that could produce either color in the linen fibers or change the 14C content (radiocarbon age) could go unnoticed. All radiation has some kind of an effect on organic materials. This proves that the image color could not have been produced by thermal or radiationinduced dehydration of the cellulose. Image formation proceeded at normal temperatures in the absence of energetic radiation of any kind. 4) How do you know that the image was not a scorch? How do you know that most of the Shroud had not been heated enough to start decomposition? As discussed in (3) above, the crystallinity of the flax fibers in all of the parts of the Shroud that were not scorched has not been significantly degraded. The Arrhenius Law describes the effect of temperature on rate constants for all consistent chemical reactions, as follows: k = Ze-E/RT where k is the rate constant at any specific temperature, Z is the Arrhenius pre-exponential (related to the probability that any specific molecule(s) will react), E is the Arrhenius activation energy, R is the gas constant, and T is any specific, constant absolute temperature (degrees Kelvin). If the image were a scorch or any part of the Shroud had been heated enough to make significant changes in the rates of decomposition of any of its components, we would see changes in the structure of the flax fibers and blood. The blood still evolves hydroxyproline on mild heating, and the cellulose crystals are largely undistorted. Image and control fibers show identical crystal properties. The image is not a scorch. The cloth was not heated, not even boiled in oil. Ray Rogers
No time for formatting, click on link.
Good point. If someone knew how to produce such images, why didn't he make more or try to further develop the process?
Also why go to so much trouble, when he could likely have produced a believable fake by means more commonly used during the period.
IMG URL: IMG SRC="http://tinypic.com/view.html?pic=zll3n"
Could someone please help me?
I've always wondered this about the shroud; why does everyone assume that IF it's not the burial shroud of Jesus, then it must be a fake designed to LOOK LIKE the burial shroud of Jesus.
How come it's never assumed to be just an artist's representation done for art's sake, and not with the intent of fooling people.
This is not a question to provoke anyone, I'm genuinely curious as to why the seemingly obvious answer is never mentioned.
Yes, it was indeed, but not by the original forger. See below.
How about the 3D nature of the head wounds, as if the bloody, matted hair passed through the shroud at a point in time? I suppose that was faked as well?
Unraveling the Shroud of Turin
STEVEN D. SCHAFERSMAN
Department of Science and Mathematics
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
This paper has two purposes: First, a response to the specific statements by Paul Maloney1 about the alleged pollen on the Shroud of Turin, and second, a brief summary of the convincing empirical evidence that makes it clear that the Shroud is a fourteenth-century artifact and not a first-century archaeological object. The Shroud of Turin is a notorious religious relic that, without the tremendous pseudoscientific support put forward in recent years to popularize its authenticity, would be as ignored and ridiculed by reasonable people today as are pieces of the true cross and nail clippings and foreskins of Jesus. The past efforts by some individuals, with scientific or technical training and access to scientific equipment, to promote the Shroud's authenticity by presenting irrelevant, misinterpreted, fudged, and even fraudulent data and interpretations--while at the same time ignoring, misunderstanding, misrepresenting, and clumsily explaining-away reliable evidence against authenticity--are nothing short of astonishing, and have put the Turin Shroud firmly in the pantheon of pseudoscience. The saddest aspect of the Shroud story is that these unfortunate efforts continue today--as if evidence, logical reasoning, skepticism, and analytical thinking are irrelevant when religious relics are concerned.
In a method shared with William Meacham2 in 1983, Paul Maloney1 presumptuously discusses the authenticity of the Shroud from an archaeological point of view. Meacham famously concluded that the archaeological evidence showed that the Shroud was authentic, while Dr. Maloney much less provocatively concludes that, while science and archaeology can never unequivocally prove the Shroud authentic, nevertheless so many questions remain--and so many analyses suggest authenticity--that science, history, archaeology, and medicine can build a case consistent with the Gospel narrative. Further, since scientific data are currently inadequate to finally end the controversy and firmly demonstrate authenticity, a new comprehensive examination of the Shroud is needed.
Unfortunately for this shared method and viewpoint, the status of the Shroud as an archaeological specimen--and not, for example, as an artifact or fraudulent relic--must not be presumed and presented as a proposition, but must first be the conclusion of logical arguments based on empirical evidence, and this has never been done. In fact, the opposite is true: the Shroud has been demonstrated by appropriate arguments and evidence to be a medieval artifact, contrived by a fourteenth-century artist for the purpose of representing the burial shroud of Jesus and creating a religious relic for exhibition and veneration. All the historical, artistic, iconographical, and scientific evidence compels one to accept this conclusion. No further examinations or tests of the Shroud are needed: the Shroud of Turin is not the burial shroud of Jesus, and certain individuals, authors3, magazines4, organizations5, and institutions6 should stop the unseemly exploitation of it as if it were or as if it could be.
Pollen on the Shroud of Turin
Dr. Paul Maloney, like other pro-authenticity supporters, attempts to use Max Frei's pollen data to support the authenticity of the Shroud and explain away the objections of others--primarily my own objections. I was the first person7 to publicly claim and document that, for a number of reasons, Max Frei's pollen data could not possibly be true, and his conclusions were incredible and could not be taken seriously. Contrary to some commentators, including Dr. Maloney, I did not claim that Max Frei was unquestionably responsible himself for putting the pollen on his sticky tapes and then falsely claiming that he found this pollen on his Shroud samples, only that his claims were so extremely unlikely that deliberate deception was far more probable than the veracity of the results that Frei claimed to achieve. Although I certainly did believe--and said as much--that Max Frei himself spiked his slides with Palestinian, Turkish, French, and Italian pollen, and plainly stated that Frei falsely claimed to have found dozens8 of endemic species of pollen on his Shroud tape samples, thereby perpetrating a fraud, I must obviously leave open the possibility--as preposterous as it may be--that someone else did the dirty deed and Frei innocently found the pollens and was duped. But I can't think of anyone else who might have wanted to deceive him, or would have the means to do so. After all, it was Max Frei alone who made repeated trips to Turkey and the Holy Land to collect endemic plants and microscopically examine, catalogue, and photograph their pollen. Photomicrographs of this collected pollen were the ones Frei illustrated when he claimed either that these were specimens taken from the Shroud itself or were examples of pollen of the same species that he observed on his sticky tape samples taken from the Shroud.
Palynologists know that it is almost impossible to identify unknown pollens to species, since the pollen of related plant species are often identical.9 Max Frei, however, had collected considerable comparative material, and he claimed that the pollens he allegedly found on the Shroud were exactly identical to those he had collected in the Middle East and illustrated. If what he was claiming about the pollen was true, he would indeed have strong evidence that the Shroud was at one time physically located in Palestine and Turkey (specifically Jerusalem, Anatolia (Edessa), and Byzantium/Istanbul), so it was possible to give him the benefit of the doubt on this point. In 1982, therefore, I used other arguments against Frei's claims:7Frei's pollen precisely supported an author's fantastic chronology10 of how the Shroud made it from Jerusalem to Edessa to Constantinople/Byzantium to France, a travelogue totally unsupported by any credible historical or scientific evidence, and this match seemed to me to be too coincidental to be true. Frei's pollen data, in fact, remain to this day the only empirical "evidence" that the Shroud was ever in the Holy Land or Turkey, which is probably why such evidence is still matter-of-factly discussed today by Shroud researchers despite its overwhelmingly fraudulent character.
The sticky tape samples examined by other Shroud investigators, including STURP11 and Walter McCrone12, found very few pollen grains. In fact, as revealed much later, even Max Frei's own sticky tape samples contain very few pollen grains (with one exception, discussed below).13 I knew that the number of pollen grains on these samples was far too few to account for the large number of different species that Max Frei claimed to have found.
I noted that many of the endemic Palestinian and Turkish plants whose pollen Max Frei claimed to have discovered on the Shroud were insect-pollinated, and this makes it extremely unlikely that their pollen could have been transported to the Shroud by the wind. The pollen of such plants is retained by the plants in special organs and can be removed and transported only by the appropriate pollinating insect species; furthermore, such pollen is not adapted to travel by wind, and would not go anywhere even if somehow it came loose from the flowers.
I also demonstrated that it would be essentially impossible (I used the term "miraculous") for the pollen of so many particular Middle Eastern endemic plants from such specific localities to reach Europe by natural winds, while the pollen from many more regions did not fall on the Shroud in France. Long-distance transport of pollen was STURP's explanation for dismissing Frei's data, but it was so ridiculous that Frei's authenticity claim was actually more plausible! I speculated that STURP did not believe or want to be associated with Max Frei's pollen claims, but they did not want to publicly state, as I was willing to do, that fraud was involved, so they concocted the outrageous explanation of intercontinental wind transport of pollen.
I stated that the overwhelming independent historical, artistic, and scientific evidence that the Shroud is a medieval artifact created by a fourteenth-century artist in France was sufficient reason alone to doubt that the Shroud had ever been in Palestine or Turkey, and that Frei's results were therefore strongly suspect--so suspect, in fact, that they could not be taken seriously. Now, with the radiocarbon dating, this argument is even stronger.
I now find that Dr. Maloney has attempted to use my own words against me, while ignoring the essentials of my arguments against Frei's pollen claims. Although twice emphasizing my belief that the Shroud is not authentic, he claims I had no "objective foundation" to state that Max Frei himself probably placed the Middle Eastern pollen he had collected on the tapes (or simply and falsely claimed that he had found such pollen on the tapes). Dr. Maloney quotes a long passage of mine in which I document the extreme unlikeliness that wind-transported pollen could travel more than a very short distance from the source plants, thereby refuting the STURP explanation and affirming how excellent Frei's findings would be, if true, that the Shroud had been in Palestine and Turkey. Needless to say, I was being ironic, since my whole point was to assert that Frei's data were, in fact, too good to be true.
Dr. Maloney also correctly quotes my insight that many of the pollen species that Max Frei claimed to have found on the Shroud were insect-pollinated species, and thus could not be expected in wind-distributed assemblages. With the references at my disposal, I could only determine this fact with respect to eight genera, therefore I am delighted to learn from Dr. Maloney's paper that Dr. A. Orville Dahl, an atmospheric palynologist, determined that no less than 32 of Max Frei's 57 species are insect-pollinated! Dr. Dahl, to his credit, correctly concluded that their presence on Frei's Shroud tape samples "must be due not to wind-borne deposition but to human activity of some sort since these pollen types are not transported any distance at all by wind."1 This was, of course, precisely my conclusion in 1982. Dr. Maloney believes this pollen found its way on the Shroud by celebrants placing flowers on the Shroud and their pollen fell off and stuck to the fibers!1 The overreaching quality of this simple-minded explanation appears to be lost on Dr. Maloney, who would have us believe that Shroud celebrants in Palestine, Anatolia, and Byzantium placed desert and salt-soil plants (most of the Middle Eastern species were xerophytes and halophytes) directly on the Shroud at the exact time all of these species were pollinating, and then pollinating insects came and removed and fortuitously dropped the pollen on the Shroud fibers (because the pollen of entomophilous flowers just doesn't fall out--the pollen must be physically removed by some mechanism, either insect or human!). Perhaps part of Shroud liturgical rituals in the first millennium involved the scrapping of pollen from flowers directly onto the Shroud.14
Dr. Maloney also explains the STURP team's lack of success in finding significant pollen on their sticky tapes by their use of a torque applicator (so as not to damage the Shroud). Max Frei, on the other hand, in both 1973 and 1978 used a simple cellophane tape dispenser to take his samples by pressing the tape down onto the cloth using his fingers (to the alarm of the watching STURP participants!). By this method, as Max Frei explained to Dr. Maloney1, he was able to secure samples of pollen between the threads of the Shroud, thus allowing him to discover 57 species when other investigators could find little or none. If we are to believe this, then we must also believe that almost all of the pollen on the Shroud worked its way by some mechanism down into the fibers, so that little or no pollen remained on the surface of the cloth to be retrieved by the tapes of unluckier investigators. And that's only if we accept the concept--which I do not--that Max Frei's special technique was the only way that pollen from between the fibers could be collected. So Dr. Maloney is overreaching again.
Fortunately, as alluded to briefly above13, Max Frei's own tape samples were examined by independent investigators in 1986 (five tapes) and 1988 (all 26 tapes), including by Walter McCrone, and--with one exception--were found to contain insignificant amounts of pollen, far too little to account for 57 different species of plants. Walter McCrone estimated that all of Frei's slides could contain no more than 100 pollen grains with about one pollen grain per square centimetre, a density, by the way, exactly the same as observed on the STURP tape samples! There was, however, that one exception: the "lead" (that is, one end of the tape on the slide) of slide 6-B/d contained dozens of pollen grains within a 2-3 square millimetre area, many more pollens than all of the other 25 tape samples combined.13 McCrone at first diplomatically called this extreme concentration of pollen "contamination," but he later admitted13 that it appeared that the tape lead had been pulled back and the pollens introduced by human "skullduggery." In addition, the same lead of slide 6-B/d contains dozens of cotton fibers from Max Frei's glove, apparently left there when the pollens were inserted, since there should be no cotton fiber contamination on a tape properly placed on the Shroud, and, indeed, the other 25 slides did not reveal these cotton fibers, but only linen fibers with red ochre pigment particles (identical to the STURP tape samples that McCrone first examined). Paul Maloney knows this history and these facts (in fact, he provided the photo of slide 6-B/d that Joe Nickell used to illustrate his article13), but he ignores them in his paper.
Finally, Dr. Maloney1 objects to my conclusion that Max Frei spiked his tape samples with Middle Eastern and falsified his true findings, by stating that my "suggestion is unfair because it needlessly impugns another man's reputation." I answered this objection in some detail in my 1982 paper15, since I was accused then of exactly the same thing, so I won't repeat my arguments here. Much later, in 199413, I learned that Max Frei had pronounced as genuine the forged "Hitler Diaries," and that he had "been several times found guilty and was censured" by the police administration in Switzerland for "overenthusiastic interpretation of his evidence," in other words, for faking his results to make it easier to obtain convictions, as a number of other forensic scientists have been accused of doing recently in the United States. His Basel counterpart expressed surprise that Max Frei was able to keep his position as head of the police crime lab in Zurich. Dr. Maloney knows this history and these facts, too, so I will thank him for not needlessly impugning my reputation in the future by his continued defense of Max Frei's "reputation."
And while we are on this subject of reputations, what is Dr. Maloney's purpose in recounting his story of how he "submitted" Max Frei's tainted pollen data to legitimate, presumably neutral pollen and botanical authorities such as Dr. Orville Dahl, Dr. Aharon Horowitz, Dr. Avinoam Danin, and Dr. Shokry Ibrahaim Saad, "requested" their professional "evaluation," and then published their observations which support Maloney and Frei's thesis1? In my opinion, Dr. Maloney is involving these neutral scientists and their reputations in a complicity to legitimatize Max Frei's data and conclusions and make it appear that there is widespread scientific support for them, when in fact there is none. In my experience, this is classic pseudoscience, and I object to such conduct. These individual scientists may not want their names associated with the conclusion that Frei's pollen data support the Shroud's authenticity, and therefore they should have been informed by Dr. Maloney, prior to the requested evaluations, that Max Frei's list of Middle Eastern plants derived from his pollen studies of the Shroud were almost certainly fabricated--or at least highly controversial and doubted--and any new conclusions derived from this list were scientifically worthless.
The Shroud is a Medieval Artifact
Artist's Pigment Particles on the Shroud
I wished primarily to discuss the fraudulent pollen data and their continued misrepresentation, but I also want to comment briefly on a number of other topics concerning the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. First, Walter McCrone16 found artist's red ochre (iron oxide) pigment particles covering the image area and both red ochre and vermilion (mercuric sulfide) pigment particles in the blood areas, but none of these particles on tape samples from the off-image areas. This evidence was sufficient for any objective and rational person to accept the fact that the Shroud was an artistic representation of the Shroud, and not the real thing. But McCrone was illogically and unjustifiably criticized by STURP participants and other advocates of authenticity, who then and now attempt to clumsily explain away the plain and obvious evidence of artifice that he first discovered. Walter McCrone recently summarized his results again in this journal17, so I will not repeat them again.
But let me assert that ad hoc, overreaching, counter-arguments to McCrone's conclusions--such as (1) some of the iron oxide particles came from blood iron, (2) most of the red particulate matter is from the blood on the Shroud, (3) most of the red particulate matter is "intimately associated with the image areas because shards of this material have broken off the blood areas and, since image area is always folded against image area, there occurred a translocation of the shards from the blood areas to the non-blood image areas," and (4) the presence of pigment particles on the shroud is due to paint chips falling off the frescoed ceiling and walls of the room use for the Shroud examination--are so far beyond the pale that they are a mockery of analytical thinking. Such explanations are pseudoscientific attempts to keep the possibility of authenticity alive in the minds of supporters who lack the ability to think critically. There is no blood on the Shroud: all the forensic tests specific for blood have failed18 (although some investigators19 unrigorously concluded that blood was present after conducting numerous forensic tests for iron, protein, albumin, etc., which came up positive because these materials are indeed on the Shroud in the form of tempera paint). Old blood is not bright red, and no amount of bilirubin20 can explain that away. Real blood mats on hair, and does not form perfect rivulets and spiral flows. Real blood does not contain red ochre, vermilion, and alizarin red pigments. Real blood and its organic derivatives have refractive indices much less than red ochre or vermilion, and they can be easily distinguished using Becke line movement under a light microscope. McCrone's examination of the red particles on the Shroud samples revealed no blood or blood derivatives.
The Shroud's Alleged Photographic Negative and
Three-Dimensional Encoding Properties
Let me next turn to two issues that I will consider together, the photographic negative quality of the Shroud image and the three-dimensional information it contains. These two properties are certainly among the paramount features that advocates claim as evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, for how could a fourteenth-century artist know about either photography or the embedding of three-dimensional data in a two-dimensional object? Yet, I will show that not only are these two properties NOT evidence for the Shroud's authenticity or supernatural origin, but that they confirm how the Shroud artist in fact created the Shroud.
The alleged photographic negative quality of the Shroud image has been championed by Shroud enthusiasts as evidence for authenticity since 1898 when the feature was first discovered. According to these accounts, a photographic negative of the Shroud image reveals a photographic positive, and both the original image and its photographic negative have been repeatedly published in books devoted to the Shroud. However, a number of investigators21 have documented the fact that the Shroud image is NOT a true photographic negative but only an apparent one--a faux-photographic negative. As with a true negative, light features such as skin are dark on it and light on the positive and shadows are light on it and dark on the positive. Unlike a true photographic negative, however, dark features like the beard, mustache, hair, and blood are dark on it and light on the positive. So unless Jesus was blond or white-haired and his blood was white, the Shroud image cannot be a true photographic negative.
The second odd property of the Shroud is the three-dimensional information allegedly embedded in its image.22 There is indeed some three-dimensional information contained in the image, but it is very crude, requiring much fudging and a number of blatant, scientifically-impermissible "corrections" to produce anything resembling a human face and body.23 Today, however, computer-generated 3-D images and videos, and three-dimensional models of the Man on the Shroud's body and face, are widely available; both have been used to illustrate depictions of the Shroud's formation in non-skeptical, pro-authenticity television programs. The outrageous statements, then and now, that such 3-D information is the result of a paranormal or miraculous burst of radiation or flow of vapors from the body--and was capable of "regenerating faith in a skeptical age"--are so contrary to scientific knowledge and common sense that their origin can only be ascribed to a religiously-inspired zealotry that separates a person from his or her analytical abilities.
Both the apparent "photographic negative" and crude "embedded 3-D information" properties of the Shroud of Turin can easily be explained by simply understanding how the artist created it. Although a direct painting on linen using red ochre pigment in a tempera binder17 cannot be absolutely ruled out as an hypothesis for the Shroud's creation, it is much more likely that the Shroud was constructed using a rubbing technique on a bas-relief model.18 Joe Nickell was the first person to suggest this method of producing the Shroud. He observed that contact imprints from bodies are invariably grossly distorted, and hypotheses involving a vapor or radiation would cause the image to penetrate the cloth, unlike the superficial Shroud image that is observed. After experimenting with various techniques, the Shroud artist prepared a suitable mixture of pigments and tempera binder, molded a wet linen sheet over the bas-relief he had constructed, and used a dauber (also termed a pounce or tamper) to apply the mixture to the surface of the linen.
The bas-relief rubbing method automatically produces not only an apparent negative image (that is, one without true photographic quality), but also an image with crude three-dimensional properties. Unlike a photographic negative, in which light and dark are reversed, a bas-relief rubbing produces a negative in which topographically high areas become dark and low areas become light. This is because the topographically higher areas receive more of the pigment and lower areas receive less. This is precisely what we observe on the Shroud: the nose, mustache, beard, hair, brow ridge, and cheek bones on the bas-relief were raised relative to the sunken eyes, the space between the hair and face, and the area below the nose and mustache, so the former areas are darker on the Shroud image and the latter areas lighter. A genuine photographic negative of the Shroud's faux-photographic negative image--that is, a faux-positive--looks appealingly natural and life-like, if one ignores the white blood and hair. Furthermore, as the pigment is applied, there is a gradation of pigment and binder density from topographically higher to lower areas, producing the tonal variation that creates a crude three-dimensional quality.
I remember typically extravagant statements from STURP members in the late 1970's and early 1980's to the effect that "no medieval artist could produce a photographic negative" and "it is impossible for a two-dimensional object to contain three-dimensional information." Rubbings are well-know from the Middle Ages and, as we now see, are a form of negative that precisely matches the faux-photographic negative quality of the Shroud. Also, it is quite easy to encode three-dimensional data onto a two-dimensional surface: topographic maps, bathymetric charts, isopachous maps, and many other kinds of maps do this with contour lines--lines that represent specific heights, depths, thicknesses, and other quantitative information along their length. The variations in pigment and binder density on the Shroud image can be quickly converted to numerical data using an image analyzer. This is precisely what Jackson and Jumper of STURP did, and when the resulting 3-D image was too crude to be recognizable--because the topographic-density variation of the original image was crude--they fudged and corrected the data until they achieved something that looked like a three-dimensional human face.
I basically agree with Walter McCrone that the Shroud image is composed of billions of microscopic particles of iron oxide (red ochre) applied to the surface of the linen cloth, but I am aware that some sindonologists maintain that the image on the Shroud today is formed entirely by dehydrated cellulose of the linen--that is, the alteration or recrystallization of the cellulose was effected by some component, still undetermined, of the pigment or binder. There is no doubt that this dehydration or recrystallization took place, since the linen of the of the Shroud image areas is distinctly yellowed compared to the off-image areas--that is, the color change is evidence of the alteration--but whether this alteration is solely responsible for the image is controversial and probably not true. If this alteration is solely or partially responsible for the image, it would presumably have a tonal variation derived from the density of the original pigment or binder, which subsequently evaporated, decomposed, or was mostly removed by washing. Unquestionably, the original Shroud image was darker and clearer to the unaided eye, since the Shroud was the subject of paintings in earlier centuries, when artists did not have the benefit of filtered images and high-resolution photography. The original conspicuous image was mostly destroyed by one or more washings (or perhaps by boiling in oil!)--which removed most of the original particulate iron oxide pigment--leaving the ghostly image that we know so well today.
The Shroud's Medieval Radiocarbon Date
Without question, the most spectacular refutation of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin was the determination that the linen on which the image lies dates from approximately 1325. The Shroud was sampled and the dates determined by the most scrupulous and scientifically-valid techniques and procedures that are possible. Sampling was carefully conducted and witnessed, the samples were properly cleaned and prepared, and three different laboratories performed the 14C dating using blind control samples in addition to the Shroud samples. All the dates were consistent among the labs. Since Robert E. M. Hedges has reviewed the radiometric dating analyses and results in this journal24, I need not repeat them here. I merely want to state that the quality of the radiometric data are so rigorous that no objective, rational person can reasonably deny them.
Naturally, believers in the Shroud's authenticity have thrown up numerous criticisms that are variously ludicrous, vacuous, and without merit. Contrary to pro-authenticity advocates, the linen samples were not deceptively switched, not taken from the wrong part of the Shroud material, not improperly cleaned and prepared, did not have a bioplastic coating, were not contaminated by modern bacteria and fungi that were not removed, the carbon-14 content of the cloth was not altered by the fire of 1532, the final results were not deliberately falsified by a conspiracy of anti-religious scientists, and so forth. As has been pointed out by others, modern material of approximately twice the mass as the Shroud samples would have to be added to the samples to bring authentic first-century linen up to radiocarbon dates of the fourteenth-century, and this would have been just too obvious to go unnoticed by so many independent investigators. Once again, the ad hoc excuses, criticisms, and counter-arguments of the radiocarbon dating by Shroud enthusiasts were put forward to preserve appearances at any cost, a classic characteristic of pseudoscience. In real science, legitimate and reliable data that falsify one's most treasured hypotheses and beliefs are accepted, and lead one to abandon one's former beliefs. But sindonology is a pseudoscience, not real science.
The Shroud's History, Artistry, and Iconography
Unlike many shrouds of Jesus known from the Middle Ages, the Shroud of Turin was pronounced by a contemporary fourteenth-century Catholic bishop in France to be a fake, since his predecessor as Bishop of Troyes, "after diligent inquiry and examination, discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed." I don't understand how such credible contemporary written evidence can be dismissed so lightly by supporters of the Shroud's authenticity, but they do. They believe the Shroud of Turin is authentic, but presumably not the other two dozen shrouds of which historians are aware. If letters from medieval Catholic bishops attesting the fraudulence of these other shrouds were in our possession today, would present-day Shroud believers then believe that the other shrouds are authentic, too?
In 1982, I was the first to point out that the image of Jesus on the Shroud had a number of physical abnormalities.25 Jesus' face, body, arms, and fingers were unnaturally thin and elongated, and his left forearm was longer than his right. Either Jesus was horribly deformed, or the image of Jesus was characteristic of medieval Gothic art. I defended the latter conclusion, but it seems my observations spawned, much to my amusement, a number of typical counter-explanations from pro-authenticity Shroud supporters about possible diseases that Jesus might have had, such as Marfan's Syndrome (F. Zugibe), or the idea that the elongation is an expected distortion created by cloth-to-body drape (J. Jackson).26. Once again, such suggestions to preserve appearances at all costs border on the comical (but only border, since they were proposed seriously).
Finally, many Shroud supporters have made much of the fact that the face of Jesus on the Shroud is very similar to the many Byzantine images of Jesus that are known. I agree that this observation of similarity is valid. From this, however, the pro-authenticity supporters illogically conclude that the Byzantine artists must have seen the Shroud and copied their images of Jesus' face from it. The much more obvious and logical explanation is that the Shroud artist had seen one or more of the Byzantine representations of Jesus, and copied it or them. Crusaders returning from the Holy Land by way of Byzantium probably brought such representations to France with them.
There are many more arguments and appeals to evidence I could make that would demonstrate the validity of my conclusions. But I and other writers, especially Walter McCrone and Joe Nickell, have already published these analyses, and I do not want to repeat them here. The references are now widely available on the World Wide Web at http://humanist.net/shroud/, the Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website, and on the new website of Approfondimento Sindone at http://humanist.net/appro-sindone/, to which I refer all readers.
All empirical evidence and logical reasoning concerning the Shroud of Turin will lead any objective, rational person to the firm conclusion that the Shroud is an artifact created by an artist in the fourteenth-century. Arguments to the contrary by pro-authenticity supporters are tendentious and marked by appeals to specious reasoning and misinterpreted or fraudulent evidence. There are no valid reasons to perform any more scientific tests or examinations on the Shroud, for the ones already performed are more than adequate to demonstrate its true nature. Sindonology is a pseudoscience whose adherents will stop at nothing to preserve the appearance of authenticity, irregardless of the illogical, ad hoc, and scientifically-invalid arguments they must use to prop up their beliefs. To all sindonologists, I say: Get a life!
1 PAUL C. MALONEY, Science, Archaeology, and the Shroud of Turin, in <<Approfondimento Sindone>>, 1998, Year II, no. 1, p. 67-104.
2 WILLIAM MEACHAM, The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology, in <<Current Anthropology>>, June, 1983, vol. 24, no. 3, p. 283-311. Meacham's paper was followed by the responses of both his supporters and critics, including mine, and all can be found on the Web at <http://www.shroud.com/meacham2.htm>. My response to Meacham's paper began as follows: "Although such a blatant example of human credulity rarely finds its way into the professional scholarly literature, . . ."
3 For example, IAN WILSON, The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic Is Real, 1998, The Free Press, New York, 333 p.
4 For example, DAVID VAN BIEMA, Science and the Shroud, in <<Time>>, April 20, 1998, vol. 151, no. 15, p. 53-61.
5 For example, the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), the Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin (ASSIST), Shroud Spectrum International (SSI), the Shroud of Turin Website at <www.shroud.com>, etc.
6 For example, the Roman Catholic Church.
7 STEVEN SCHAFERSMAN, Letter to the Editor, in <<The Microscope>>, 1982, vol. 30, p. 344-352. [This first-published version of my original letter was heavily edited and significant statements and arguments were deleted and meanings changed. A version without the editorial deletions--but which, unfortunately, has introduced numerous misspellings, dropped words, punctuation errors, and typos, including the consistent misspelling of my own name--was subsequently published as Appendix Two in WALTER McCRONE's book, Judgement Day for the Shroud of Turin, 1997, p. 298-308. I will undertake to publish the correct original version of my 1982 letter on the Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website at <http://www.humanist.net/shroud/> sometime in the near future.]
8 MAX FREI found 49 pollen species (34 endemic to Palestine and Turkey) on samples taken in 1973 (Wissenschaftliche Probleme um das Grabtuch von Turin, in <<Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschu>>, 1979, vol. 32, no. 4, p. 133-135), but this increased to 57 species (54 endemic to Palestine and Turkey!) after further study of a second set of samples he took in 1978 (Nine Years of Palynological Studies on the Shroud, in <<Shroud Spectrum International>>, June, 1982, vol. 1, no. 3, p. 3-7.)
9 RICHARD H. EYDE, Letter to the Editor, in <<National Geographic>>, February, 1985.
10 IAN WILSON, The Turin Shroud, 1978, Gollancz, London.
11 L. A. SCHWALBE AND R. N. ROGERS, Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: A Summary of the 1978 Investigation, in <<Analytica Chimica Acta>>, 1982, vol. 135, p. 3-49.
12 WALTER McCRONE found insignificant numbers of pollen in his examination of both the STURP tape samples (see Judgement Day for the Shroud of Turin, 1997, Microscope Publications, Chicago, for a full discussion and references to his original papers) and Max Frei's own tape samples (see note 13).
13 JOE NICKELL, Pollens on the "Shroud": A Study in Deception, in <<Skeptical Inquirer>>, Summer 1994, vol. 18, p. 379-385.
14 Just kidding!
15 See note 7. I might say, however, that as an investigator of pseudoscientific topics (such as scientific creationism, flood geology, and similar doctrines) for over twenty years, my experience has taught me that the first things to suspect and look for are fraud, forgery, deception, misrepresentation, sophistry, and specious reasoning, and if these are not in evidence, I then look for illogical reasoning, self-deception, misreading, inadvertently fudged data, and willful misunderstanding, and if these are not in evidence, I then look for ignorance, innocent mistakes, misinterpretations, equipment errors, out-of-date references, overlooked results or causes, etc. Unfortunately, ALL of these items MUST be examined FIRST when investigating any pseudoscientific topic, BEFORE one begins looking for presumed new or unusual natural phenomena. And I would like to remind readers that sindonology is a pseudoscience, no matter how scientifically-legitimate its practitioners and adherents try to make it out to be. After all, the whole purpose of a pseudoscience is to masquerade as a science, not acknowledge itself to be religiously-inspired nonsense.
16 WALTER McCRONE and S. A. SKIRIUS, Light Microscopical Study of the Turin "Shroud" I, in <<Microscope>>, 1980, vol. 28, no. 3,4, p. 105-114. WALTER McCRONE, Light Microscopical Study of the Turin "Shroud" II, in <<Microscope>>, 1980, vol. 28, no. 3,4, p. 115-128. WALTER McCRONE, Light Microscopical Study of the Turin "Shroud" III, in <<Microscope>>, 1981, vol. 29, p. 19-38.
17 WALTER McCRONE, Red Ochre and Vermilion on Shroud Tapes?, in <<Approfondimento Sindone>>, 1997, Year I, no. 1, p. 21- 28.
18 JOE NICKELL, Inquest on the Shroud of Turin, 1983, 1987 (updated), Prometheus Books, Buffalo.
19 J. HELLER and A. D. ADLER, A Chemical Examination of the Various Stains and Images on the Shroud of Turin, in <<Canadian Society for Forensic Science Journal>>, 1981, vol. 14, no. 3, p. 81-103.
20 As maintained by ERIC J. JUMPER and others, A Comprehensive Examination of the Various Stains and Images on the Shroud of Turin, in J. B. LAMBERT, ed., <<Archaeological Chemistry III, Advances in Chemistry Series>>, 1984, no. 205, American Chemical Society, p. 446-476.
21 Discussed in detail in NICKELL, 1987, p. 95-106 (see Note 18).
22 This observation was originally made by JOHN P. JACKSON and ERIC J. JUMPER, and their original analyses was published in KENNETH E. STEVENSON, editor, <<Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on the Shroud of Turin, March 23-24, 1977, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA>>, Holy Shroud Guild, Bronx, NY.
23 Again, discussed in detail in NICKELL, 1987, p. 85-94 (see Note 18).
24 ROBERT E. M. HEDGES, A Note Concerning the Application of Radiocarbon Dating to the Turin Shroud, in <<Approfondimento Sindone>>, 1997, Year I, no. 1, p. 1- 8.
25 STEVEN D. SCHAFERSMAN, Science, the Public, and the Shroud of Turin, in <<The Skeptical Inquirer>>, Spring 1982, vol. 6, no. 3, p. 37-56.
26 PAUL C. MALONEY, Reply, to the paper of WILLIAM C. MEACHAM in Note 2.
Copyright © 1998 by CENTRO STUDI MEDIEVALI (Pontremoli MS, Italy) APPROFONDIMENTO SINDONE Centro Studi Medievali C.P. 85 54027 Pontremoli (Massa Carrara) ITALIA Fax: + 39 (0)187 830870 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SHROUD OF TURING PING!
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I was thinking the same thing.The pollen really proves nothing except that the cloth was in that area at one time.
First of all, his "painted" image displays the shadows he painted on it... there are no shadows on the Shroud, only areas that are more distant than others.
Secondly, Wilson's technique fails to explain the SECOND face on the Shroud... on the obverse of the cloth.
Thirdly, Wilson's technique does not recognize the fact that we now KNOW what the image is composed of... and it is not a change in the Linen but rather a change in an layer of material on top of the linen fibers that is less than 1/100 the thickness of a human hair.
Wasent the cloth in a fire at one time ?
Another point is that glass in the period in question could only be made in panes that were quite small... few clear glass panes were even so large as a face... much less a complete body. If his technique were used with multiple panes, the overlap or lack there-of would be obvious.
About the 10th or 11th century.
True, but not of a size that would allow the painting of a complete lifesize head on glass. Such panes were extremely expensive. Glass panes were blown... and then flattened against a large plate of metal... introducing variations in thickness and distortion.
On the other hand it is extremely easy to prove that what was carbon dated was NOT exemplary of the subject. It has now been CONCLUSIVELY PROVED that the C14 sample taken in 1988 that produced an age varying from 1260 to 1390, was taken from an area that had been rewoven in the mid-16th Century with mid-16th Century linen. The sample is chemically DIFFERENT from the rest of the shroud. As a result the C14 tests you cite are now considered completely invalid.
In other words, the C14 tests reported perfectly valid dates for a sample that included a mixture of "new" and "old" linen. It did not report a valid date for the body of the shroud...
That paper cites McCrone. No one else was able to corroborate his claims. He lied and probably never even looked at the samples.
It declares itself as staunchly opposed to a belief in the supernatural, and includes lauds to Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Sanger Harris, Ted Turner, Faye Wattleton, Bill Baird, Oliver Stone, and assorted other people who can accurately be described as athiest nutballs. It's hardly an unbiased site. Thanks for playing, though.
I don't think there's any merit to this theory. If the shroud is a fake, it's faked through some method of transferring the image to the shroud of a sculpture or dead body. It might be fake, but the current claims supposedly proving it false have a lot of holes in them. Like I said, I'm neutral on it, but I do find it fascinating.
[It is always possible to find ways to negate the disproof by saying that "the scientists are wrong" or "the scientists are biased" or "the proof itself is unscientific".]
Here we go again...
Starting next year, many more hundreds of thousands of people world wide will become familiar with The Shroud as the Winter Olympics will be held in Turin.
In the meanwhile, here are just a couple sites folks might find interesting.
but only in tiny panes until cedturies AFTER the Shroud or even the 1200's.
see my post #41
Why is it that these "debunkers" of the Shroud of Turin NEVER publish their findings in Peer Reviewed journals??? Could it be that it is that Schafersman relies heavily on Dr. Walter C. McCrone whose un-peer-reviewed work, published only in his own vanity press Journal The Microscopist, has NEVER been duplicated by any other researcher who DOES publish their results in peer-reviewed scientific journals? Could it be that his claims that Dr. Max Frie PLANTED the pollen grains has been disputed and DISPROVEN by other researchers, including Dr. Avinoam Danin, the world's foremost expert on the pollens found in Israel, who have ALSO found pollen from the Palestinian area on the Shroud on samples that Dr. Frei did not handle.
This evidence was sufficient for any objective and rational person to accept the fact that the Shroud was an artistic representation of the Shroud, and not the real thing. But McCrone was illogically and unjustifiably criticized by STURP participants and other advocates of authenticity, who then and now attempt to clumsily explain away the plain and obvious evidence of artifice that he first discovered. Walter McCrone recently summarized his results again in this journal17, so I will not repeat them again.
Gosh... clumsy attempts to explain away McCrone's findings. It is McCrone who is clumsy in his findings and his science! McCrone has been completely discredited. NOT ONE scientist examining the shroud has seen what McCrone claims (not peer-reviewed) to have seen on the shroud fibers.
McCrone sees "paint" on the shroud... in fact, he claims it is Red Ocher that was painted on in a 1/10 dilute solution of water and egg albumin (how anyone can determine the dilution of something that has been dry for at least 700 years is beyond ANYONE who has read McCrone's ridiculous conclusion based on what he sees in his microscope). This cannot possibly be in agreement with what we now KNOW forms the image:
The substance is a dried carbohydrate mixture of starch fractions and various saccharides (sugars). It is as thin (180 to 600 nanometers) as the wall of a soap bubble. It is thinner than the invisible glare proof coating on modern eyeglasses. . . In some places the coating has turned a golden brown. This is the result of a chemical change: the formation of a complex carbon-carbon double molecular bond within the coating. There are two ways this could have happened chemically: 1) caramelization, whereby heat caused molecular breakdown into other volatile compounds and 2) a Maillard reaction in which a carbonyl group of sugars reacted with an amino group producing N-substituted glycosylamine. An unstable glycosylamine undergoes Amadori rearrangement, forming ketosamines, which then form nitrogenous polymers and melanoidins. Voila, pictures of Jesus.
There is a problem with caramelization. The amount of heat required for browning would also heat the cellulose fiber sufficiently to change its crystalline structure and cause it to change color as well. That has not happened. Where a picture bearing bit of coating is removed, either with adhesive or with a reducing agent such as diimide, the fiber beneath is clear and un-ablated.
A Maillard reaction seems more promising because of the presence of amines needed for a Maillard reaction. Of course, it didn't need to be Jesus; at least chemically. It could have been any recently deceased person.
Ergo, NO paint! This alone discredits McCrone... and by extension, Schafersman, who relies so heavily on discredited evidence.
McCrone claims "No blood" on the shroud... only Red Ochre (Iron Oxide - Fe2O3 and Vermilion (Mercury Sulfide - HgS)... he knows because he can see it in his optical microscope.
Instead of discredited McCrone, let's take the testimony of:
. . . chemist Dr. Alan Adler and biophysicist Dr. John Heller, experts on blood and blood fractions, who state categorically in peer-reviewed scientific Journals, that the blood stains consist of hemoglobin and its derivatives. Aside from light microscopy, Heller and Adler tested for hemochromagen (positive), cyanmethemoglovin (positive), bile pigment bilirubin (positive), and proteolytic enzymes (positive), human specific protein albumin (positive), presence of serum halos around stains (positive), and immunological determination that the blood is of primate origin. Perhaps we should look at Yale University's Dr. Joseph Gall's spectrophotometer tests that showed the blood absorbing light in 410 nanometers... a test that he states is "specific" for blood as "nothing in nature that absorbs light at four hundred ten nanometers that strongly". Or perhaps we should accept the word of Dr. Bruce Cameron, whose "double doctorate is dedicated to hemoglobin in all its many forms", who on reviewing the test results stated "You both should know what it is. It's old acid met-hemoglobin." (a remnant compound of aged blood.)
Ergo, according to some of the world's top experts on blood, the blood stains on the Shroud of Turin, are exactly that... blood stains. Again McCrone's bald statements are refuted. I could also go into McCrone's attempts to sabotage other researcher's work including preventing his own colleagues from having access to the samples of Shroud threads he had.
Schafersman's original letter was published where... The Microscope... edited and published by McCrone. His other source of "debunking" the shroud is Joe Nickell... whose degree is in English Literature... and who also has never been published in a peer-reviewed journal. And who is Schafersman... his PhD is inGeology... and a geologist who really is not qualified to judge the results of scientists like Rogers, Adler, Heller, Gall, Cameron, et. al., WHO HAVE HAD THEIR WORK CRITIQUED IN PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS.
All the historical, artistic, iconographical, and scientific evidence compels one to accept this conclusion. No further examinations or tests of the Shroud are needed: the Shroud of Turin is not the burial shroud of Jesus, and certain individuals, authors3, magazines4, organizations5, and institutions6 should stop the unseemly exploitation of it as if it were or as if it could be.
It is obvious to anyone who has research and read all the peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly work that has been done on the Shroud in the past 104 years, that Schafersman has NOT read it. He has an adgenda: "There is nothing here. Don't look. My mind is made up. Don't bother me with the facts."
Well, that presents a little problem... because if it were a 14th Century fake, we KNOW where it HAS been since it first appeared in Lirey, France, in 1352... and it has never been in the area of Israel since then.
The shroud is interesting, but it's not a dogma of Faith. The most it tells us today is that the man wrapped in it had suffered terribly.
Oh, he looked at the samples... but he, like Percival Lowell who say "canals" on Mars, saw only what he wanted to see... and he had to look mighty hard to find it.
For example, he DID find a scrap of Vermilion pigment on the Shroud... but that was all it was, a scrap, probably contamination from the Shroud being displayed in churches surrounded by art works painted with vermilion. Examination with much more delicate and precise instruments than a light microscope determined that while there was vermilion (Mercury Sulfide - HgS) on the Shroud, it was never more than 2 micrograms per cm2... way below the threshold of visibility, even in the blood areas that McCrone claimed were "painted with vermilion".
Also, there are hundreds of icons painted for churches and home shrines that are all of the same image - done before the 1300's - and oviously using the face in the Shroud ...
(above) Christ Pantocrator, c. 1100 from dome of Church at Daphni, near Athens. Note U at bridge of nose, triangle on nose, raised right eyebrow, uneven hair, owlish eyes.
In the 1930's, French Shroud scholar Paul Vignon described a series of common characteristics visible in many early artistic depictions of Jesus. The Vignon marking, as they are known, all appear on the Shroud suggesting that it is the source of later pictures of Jesus. Christ Pantocrator, c. 1100 from dome of Church at Daphni, near Athens. Note U at bridge of nose, triangle on nose, raised right eyebrow, uneven hair, owlish eyes. A square U-shape between the eyebrows.
A downward pointing triangle or V-shape just below the U-shape, on the bridge of the nose.
Two wisps of hair going downward and then to the right.
A raised right eyebrow.
Large, seemingly "owlish" eyes.
An accent on the left cheek and an accent on the right cheek that is somewhat lower.
A forked beard and hair parted in the middle, a custom of the Nazarenes.
Hair on one side of the head that is shorter than on the other side.
An enlarged left nostril.
An accent line below the nose and a dark line just below the lower lip.
A gap in the beard below the lower lip.
Draped clothing of white linen typical of the ancient Essenes
Excuse me... but "saying it" and PROVING IT are two completely different things. In this instance, the SAMPLE was flawed... it was contaminated by more modern materials. This is no longer in question. The proof of contamination has been published and peer-reviewed... the science is solid. The sample was contaminated with non-shroud linen of unknown provenance. Garbage in, garbage out. Mixed age material in, averaged age out. Harry Gove, the inventor of the C14 testing method used in testing the Shroud, is in agreement.
The tests were accurate for what they tested... a sample that was a mixture of old "original" shroud material and new "patch" material. Since there was "contamination" of the old linen with new, the reported date is skewed toward the date of the newer material. The sample was, against advice of all the scientists who had examined the Shroud, taken from an area that was KNOWN to have been repaired... and it has now been proven that the C14 test sample included approximately 40-60 percent rewoven linen that was not original to the Shroud.
Interestingly, this 40-60 percent contamination explains the extraordinary spread of dates reported by the three labs doing the tests. Although the four tested samples (of five) were cut from the SAME SAMPLE, the reported dates were spread over 130 years with a degree of confidence of only 25 years... giving a possible range of creation dates of an amazing 180 years! NOT ONE SUB-SAMPLE TESTED WITHIN ANOTHER'S DEGREE OF CONFIDENCE! Once the rewoven patch was noticed in the ONE remaining control sample (of 5), the discrepency became explicable. The French "invisible reweaving" technique requires that new threads be "rewoven" into old... and the junction between the old and new, as observed on the remaining sample, runs at a diagonal... and the later reported dates are proprotional to the approximate percentage of "NEW" material incorporated in the sample. One of the C14 scientists was asked to calculate what age the "original" material must be if it was mixed with 16th Century material... as it was. He did some calculations based on both the oldest dates and the newest dates (which incidentally were reported for the pieces cut closest and farthest from the edge) and came up with a date of 1st Century with a degree of confidence of plus or minus 100 years.
As a result of NOT FOLLOWING THE AGREED AND ESTABLISHED PROTOCAL, the sample was invalid and therefore, beyond doubt, the test is invalid.
Real, fake, what's the big deal?
If your computer supports "drag and drop" like my Mac G5 does, you can test the 3D-ability of Wilson's efforts.
Simply click on the picture in the acticle and drag the positive over the negative. While holding the mousebutton down, move the ghosted positive over the negative and offset them slightly to either side or up or down. On pictures of the real shroud, this produces a pronounced 3D effect... on photographs, it results slight 3D but in flattened 3D mesas.
Wilson's effort does have a slight 3D but it shows flattened mesas... In other words, it is a photograph, not a terrain map like the shroud.
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