Monday, November 24, 2014

An overarching idea regarding the Turin Shroud that Wikipedia does not wish you to know about (well, not just yet anyway).

"The faint yellow Shroud body image was almost certainly an attempt to simulate a sweat imprint on linen, as if from a recently crucified man. In reality it was probably a thermal imprint ("scorch mark") from a heated 3D or bas relief template."

This blogger's solution (above)  to the Shroud of Turin  'mystery'  as been deemed by Wikipedia's editors to fall within its prohibited categories of "personal promotion"  and "conflict of interest".

Since when has it been wiki's policy to suppress latest new thinking on a subject  that has:

(a) gripped the public imagination for decades, nay centuries.

(b) been the subject of frequent media attention, with newspapers carrying headlines like "Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural "?

(c) been the subject of numerous books, magazine articles, TV documentaries etc. etc.

(d) been the subject of numerous blogs, web forums and websites.

(e) is shortly (early 2015) to be the subject of  yet another Shroud  Exposition in Turin to be attended  and blessed by Pope Francis. He will no doubt refer to the Shroud in Vatican code as the "Holy Shroud" or "Icon" while stopping short of claiming it to be the genuine burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth (hardly possible one might think in view of the radiocarbon dating, 1260-1390, albeit hotly disputed ).

See previous posting for details.

Brass crucifix (left). Thermal imprint aka scorch(centre) showing minimal lateral distortion, a reasonable model for a "sweat imprint" if suitably attenuated. .Wet imprint from tacky coating (right), clearly an unsuitable model for a "sweat imprint" given the large degree of lateral ("wrap-around") distortion.

What you see above is an image that was inserted into that post yesterday. It provides a flavour of how this blogsite and its retired scientist owner operates, and has done so for the last 250 or so postings, here and on a specialist Shroud website. Modus operandi? Doing and reporting experiments to test the claims and/or assumptions made on behalf of Shroud authenticity, experiments and results I might add you will find nowhere else.

And what was it that prompted the experimental modus operandi on my sites, the concluding and overarching IDEA which wikipedia does not wish you to know about? It is in fact that very same headline above that appeared in  December 2011 in the Independent: "Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural", one which quickly led to my first Shroud-related posting on this site. 

Yes, it described and experiment AND phenomenon that you will find nowhere else ("thermostencilling") but there was a subtext too for the "miraculous radiation" school of physics, namely: no absorbing pigment, or no chromophore, i.e. white linen, then NO IMAGE IS POSSIBLE. (First Law of Photochemistry). Coherent ultraviolet light from excimer lasers is irrelevant pseudo-science.
But it's vanity, all vanity needess to say, innit?, or what wiki calls "personal promotion", and wanting the world via wiki to know about my ideas demonstrates a clear "conflict of interest". Oh purleese!

Wiki has gone mad, bandying around such derogatory terms when it probably knows nothing about this site, its owner and his modus operandi in which all results deemed important are accompanied by photographs. (Could STURP claim the same?)  I repeat. WIKI HAS GONE MAD. 

15:00 Apologies for suggesting earlier that this blogger/retired science bod was the only one checking out the claims (experimentally) of the authenticists. Here's this progress report from Hugh Farey, checking out STURP's Raymond N. Roger's claim that the TS image could have been formed by a Maillard reaction between putrefaction vapours from the dead body of Jesus and the carbohydrates or the alleged starchy 'impurity coating' of the linen shroud. Hugh was using dead, decomposing  mice as a model (rather him than me). My bolding of that crucial passage in the text...

in response to Dan:
Colin Berry tells us, I’ve been misunderstood. I did not claim that the Turin Shroud image was an actual sweat imprint – only that is was made to SEEM like a sweat imprint. Got it? I thought I had. And I thought most of us had. But: As the comments on other Shroud sites, to […]

All very true, daveb. I used two samples of linen, each divided into four 15cm x 30cm sheets, folded over in half over two thawed rats of the kind called fuzzies (bred for herpetologists). They were all placed in an incubator at 23°C for 7 days. The four sheets were soaked in a 10% dextrin solution, a 10% sapinin solution, a mixture of the two, and nothing (as a control).

I did not consider red heifers, radon, or varying the magnetic field. Nor am I likely to. I didn’t check the humidity (dry), but it did occur to me that I might have had a result had I periodically misted the sheets.

Essentially the animals themselves were not the crucial part of the experiment. Either cadaverine, putrescine, urea, ammonia, or any other suggested vapour discolours cellulose, dextrin, saponin, myrhh, or some other suggested textile soak or it doesn’t. So far, in my experience, it doesn’t, although I agree that there are plenty of possible permutations not yet explored.

I’m not sure what Louis’ point is, unless it is about a possible miracle (defined as an occurrence outside physical laws). As I have said before, such a possibility cannot be wholly discounted, but is both impossible to prove and beyond the competence of science to test for, so I must exclude it from any of my considerations.

Don't give up just yet, Hugh. Negative results, as you know, play just as important a role in scientific hypothesis-testing as positive ones, indeed more so.

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