Saturday, February 11, 2017

The evidence is OVERWHELMING that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

Or so says Perth-based Stephen E. Jones on his (dare one say) rabidly pro-authenticity blog site.

Here's a comment that I've just posted to that site. It's "awaiting moderation".  I don't expect it to appear (none of the occasional ones sent these last 5 years have done so).

Evidence for authenticity "overwhelming"? Nothing could be further from the truth. The evidence in fact is paltry and usually circumstantial, and even then, inconsistent and fragmentary.
 The radiocarbon date coincides with the first appearance of the TWO-FOLD, HEAD-To-HEAD image seen on the Lirey badge, whose date is self-evident from the De Charny coats-of-arms. All that is missing is a coherent narrative for the history and motivation, and one that accounts for what otherwise might seem enigmatic features - but which aren't in reality, once one has torn oneself away from the authenticity narrative.
This investigator has supplied the missing narrative, based on 5 years research and the resulting 'Model 10'. i.e. flour imprinting/thermal development/final water-washing.

The motivation? To simulate what a body imprint in sweat and blood onto Joseph of Arimathea's fine linen might look like 13 centuries later, acquired during TRANSPORT from cross to tomb. The TS was intended to be a whole-body rival to the then-celebrated Veil of Veronica, while based on broadly the same principles of image-acquisition. The negative image, 3D properties etc are exactly what one would expect from a contact image obtained with white flour onto wet linen, as I have repeatedly demonstrated these last 18 months, using 3D figurines as well as my own hand and face.

"Overwhelming" evidence for authenticity you say, when there's a rival narrative that ticks far more boxes?  How much longer are you prepared to blind yourself and others to the progress of science?

One could say more, much more about the tunnel vision of the pro-authenticity 'sindonological' mindset, one that will not admit, far less consider contrary thinking, or even acknowledge its existence on their tub-thumping websites.

 Such is the way of the world. The world that is intolerant of ideas contrary to one's own. The world that uses the internet to proselytize one's intolerant viewpoint.

Update: Tuesday 11th April: See my latest posting - a work in progress- on my specialist Shroud site:

STURP: Space-age Technology Unleashes Religious Propaganda

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Update: Saturday 29th April: here's a copy of my 'cold call' request sent yesterday to the Quekett Microscopical Club  (it has a page on its site  - see link below- for those wishing to make contact).


Hello all you splendid Queketteers, amateurs and pros alike!

Is there anyone here among you interested  in the Turin Shroud?  I refer in particular to the ongoing problem as to how it acquired its faint allegedly enigmatic body image (negative, 3D properties, peculiar microscopic properties - like the so-called half-tone effect, colour discontinuities etc)?
Rarely a month goes by without some new mind-blowing scenario - pulsed laser beams, earthquakes, nuclear radiation, Da Vinci dabbling with proto-photography etc etc.

I've been attempting to model the Shroud image for some 5 years, and have settled on what I call Model 10, aka the roasted flour imprint. Yes, it's mundane alongside the ones just listed, but there you go, that's science bizz.

(Smear back of hand with vegetable oil, sprinkle with plain white flour from above, shake off excess flour, drape wet linen over flour-dusted hand, press linen firmly to capture a flour-imprint, suspend linen in oven, roast (approx 180-200 C)  till the imprint turns yellow or brown, wash vigorously to remove surface encrustation of Maillard browning products,  to be left with an 'enigmatic'  faint sepia stain - a negative image of one's hand  and fingers that gives a 3D response in ImageJ).

It's the microscopy that proving the problem - the cylindrical 3Dness of linen fibres, their light-refracting properties. Having a bargain-basement microscope that relies on a web cam to capture (blurred!) images on a laptop screen does not help either.

There are two possible solutions:
1. Invest in a better DIY microscope, hoping someone here can give expert advice
2. Seek one or more collaborators who's interested in the Shroud, and willing to be supplied with my Model 10 fibres, maybe with a view to submitting a joint publication to Quekett's own peer-reviewed journal.

I think my Model 10 is the answer, confirming medieval manufacture in accordance with the radiocarbon dating  (1260-1390) but if the image fibres fail to match up to the microscopic properties described by STURP and other investigators, then I'm willing to publically concede defeat (that being an occupational hazard of being a scientist, in this instance long-retired).

Here's a link to my specialist Shroud site:

See also the recent thread on the International Skeptics Forum, where I participated as "meccanoman".


Colin Berry (PhD)

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