Saturday, April 19, 2014

Who says that faint contact scorches (like the Turin Shroud's?) do not respond to 3D enhancement?

Here's one I did earlier in  ImageJ:

Click once or twice to enlarge

These were imprints from horse brasses obtained by serial stamping as the template cooled.

Note there is still 3D enhancement in the faintest of the 4 images.

What if there had not? (Would that mean that the Turin Shroud image cannot be a contact scorch?).

I would simply have increased the contrast first, to turn a faint image into a more intense one.. Cheating? Not at all. 3D enhancement is basically an empirical process where one adjusts a range of controls to achieve the best effect - 3D enhancement with minimal distortion. There is no law that says one cannot start by adjusting contrast to get the appropriate image intensity first, upon which to apply the 3D program (ImageJ).

The notion that faint scorches do not or cannot respond to 3D enhancement is a false one, and is certainly no basis upon which to dismiss the scorch hypothesis.

Further reading; See this posting of mine from 2012 entitled:   There is something rather special - and scientific - about this image of the man on the Turin Shroud.

I would commend the  experimental technique employed - which I called 'normalization' - to anyone minded to make comparisons between the Shroud image and model scorches, certainly where 3D enhancement is concenred.

Rather than just upload the 2D Shroud image into ImageJ, and twiddle controls to get the "best" result (what is "best" in a scientific sense?), I first produced scorch imprints off templates (horse brasses) and then used ImageJ to achieve the closest match between actual artefact and 3D-enhanced scorch image. Those same 'normalized' settings were then applied to the Shroud image - with what I considered (and still do) very satisfactory results, ones with greater scientific legitimacy.

Even so, one needs to be wary of comparisons between photographic images of Turin Shroud and model scorches. Quite apart from differences in the particular photographic methodologies employed, pre- or post digital, one has to be conscious that there may be age-related differences too that cannot readily be predicted, far less modelled.

Reminder: the definition of pseudoscience ( just one of several that could be quoted, this one taken from rationalwiki):

Pseudoscience is any belief system or methodology which tries to gain legitimacy by wearing the trappings of science, but fails to abide by the rigorous methodology and standards of evidence that demarcate true science. Although pseudoscience is designed to have the appearance of being scientific, it lacks any of the substance of science.
Promoters of pseudoscience often adopt the vocabulary of science, describing conjectures as theories or laws, often providing supposed evidence from observation, expert testimonials, or even developing what appear to be mathematical models of their ideas. However, in pseudoscience there is no real honest attempt to follow the scientific method, provide falsifiable predictions, or develop double blind experiments. Pseudoscientists often use the tactic of cheating the scientific method.

I particularly like the reference to conjectures that become elevated to the status of  laws. Beware especially the lawmakers of Shroudology,  especially those who peer down microscopes at their model scorches, and proceed to enunciate "laws" in their not-for-criticizing pdfs.

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