To the science:
First, I established it was possible to 'unspin' linen threads, simply by rolling the ends between thumb and forefinger to alternately untwist then re-twist, with occasional (gentle) stretching and compression to separate the individual fibres.
So what price shroudology's oft-repeated claim that the TS image is far too superficial to be a contact scorch, at least at the level of threads and fibres (claims for superficiality at sub-fibre level being largely speculative or at best anecdotal, and needing more targeted research). Those attempts to dismiss out of hand the scorch hypothesis and indeed scoff at those who consider it viable generally come with no supporting evidence from actual experiment. In other words they are unscientific, and mere resorts to rhetoric, bluster and occasionally laced with ridicule and condescension too. Yet as seen above, the experiments are simple and straightforward, requiring just half hour or less at home, needing no specialized laboratory equipment.
I say it's time shroudology stopped making duff claims it cannot back up with experimental evidence. In the two instances where experimental 'evidence' has been proferred, the authors of those inappropriately-designed and/or misinterpreted experiments, made in both instances on Dan Porter's shroudstory.com should do the decent thing and withdraw their claims.
1. From Dr.Paolo Di Lazzaro
See my updated and final critique (scroll down past halfway point to entry on Saturday Aug 9) with my responses in blue font.
2. From Dr.Thibault Heimburger
See my earlier critique of this posting.
If they fail to do so, then Dan Porter ought in my view to take the initiative, and excise their misinformation from his blog. That's assuming he has no wish for his site to be seen as a repository of fatally-flawed so-called science, supposedly mounting a robust defence of authenticity while in reality finding entirely imaginary errors in the opposition case.
Saturday pm (afterthought)
What about faint scorches, the sort we are told cannot possibly exist, the ones at the limit of visibility? How do they look under the microscope?
Well, I have some of those in the archive too, and would normally be hesistant to show them, given there's so little to see (odd, I know, given that we're assured that scorching is an all-or-nothing phenomenon). But look hard and ye shall see, not much admittedly, but enough I hope to be persuaded that a scorch can be as faint as you wish.
|Here are two very faint scorches. I teased out threads from the cut side on the right. Locating the colour under the microscope took a little time, but it was there - at the limit of visibility.|
Look hard and you will see a few very faint yellow fibres (CLICK TO ENLARGE) but the great majority are uncoloured, proof if any were needed that a contact scorch can be highly superficial, affecting only a few surface fibres of a thread.
To conclude: here's a comment by writer/historian Charles Freeman on that other site, followed by my candid response:
New addition Sunday Aug 17
Just to be absolutely certain, and to cover myself against the charge of selecting a 'fluke 'result' I have just this minute repeated the first experiment, starting with a highly-scorched imprint from the same piece of linen.
|Detach a single thread|
|Intermittent scorch marks visible (CLICK TO ENLARGE)|
|Same thread, after 'unspinning'|
|Seen under low power "as is"|
|As above, with adjustment of brightness, contrast and midtone values to emphasise the scorched regions, confined one notes to short regions of particular fibres|
New addition: Wed Aug 20
Comment from me posted to shroudstory.com (to a posting that reports on this one):