Sunday, March 30, 2014

Message to Shroudie trolls: my calling that uv laser beam man a “Mickey Mouse scientist” was not a personal attack. It was intentionally impersonal.

Yes, as the title makes clear, my describing Paolo Di Lazzaro and his  ENEA team  as “Mickey Mouse scientists” was not a personal attack, It was actually generic and impersonal, a swipe at perceived lack of professionalism, but with no attempt to demean character. Professionalism, or lack thereof, is not about character (unless one adds that charge, which I did not). It’s about competence and/or incompetence.  It’s about delusions of adequacy. It’s about engineers who think they can dabble in science in order to promote an agenda (which in this instance was religious, but would have attracted my attention whatever the underlying agenda – real or perceived).

At all kinds of levels, which I shall now proceed to enumerate, the 2011 laser escapade by those ENEA state employees, apparently working after hours with company-provided equipment, was wrong, wrong, wrong. What’s more I said so almost immediately, stating first what COULD have been done (in my very first Shroud posting – on this very site under the title of  ‘thermostencilling by radiation’ ) before moving on to what SHOULD not have been done. Sure, it looks like cocksure confidence and even arrogance. But nobody condemns the sportsman who can summon up specialist skills when needed. So why deny seasoned scientists like myself, albeit long retired,  the opportunity once in a while to display the armoury at our disposal, one that may have taken a lifetime to assemble and polish?

This unwillingness to mince words on a subject close to my heart (and head), namely the use and abuse of science has in turn attracted unwelcome attention in the Shroudie world. The name calling began early in 2012, and has continued ever since, with Troll Central deserving my designation in allowing one “psuedonym” (sic) to emerge from the woodwork with a carefully-crafted attack. Yes, it was clearly a troll attack, possibly, probably by someone who is active in the Shroud world, more likely as a promoter and polemicist than as a genuine investigator. But you know what they say. Don’t feed the trolls.

This blogger has a different way of dealing with trolls. It’s called unimpeachable honesty and transparency. You see, they are the characteristics those anonymous trolls lack in choosing to snipe from cover in so furtive and underhand a fashion. I shall now detail blow-by-blow the thinking that led me to apply that “Mickey Mouse science” tag to the ENEA team and its chief spokesman, Dr.Paolo Di Lazzaro.

I shan’t disappear from sight (or site) to assemble it completely. I’ve flagged up what I intend to do, and more importantly why I am doing it now, more than two years after my first posting here. Trolls cannot be ignored. They try to elicit a response they hope will cause further (self-inflicted) damage to their target.  This blogger, this retired science bod, will respond by stating chapter and verse what led him to level the charges of pseudo- and Mickey Mouse science. If that results in self-inflicted damage, then so be it.

My recollections will be assembled carefully and methodically in bite-size portions, and added onto the end of this posting at intervals. Be warned: there will be a surfeit of the first person pronoun.  But then, that’s the way this blog and this blogger operates. It’s a (we)blog in the original sense of the term – a kind of running diary posted to the internet, warts ‘n’all. While not 100% certain, I  suspect that it’s the first time a research project  with a clearly defined goal (to discover how the Shroud image was or could have been created by a medieval artisan) has been reported in real time.  See the most recent postings on my specialist  Shroudie blog for a summary of progress to date.

Back again (April 1st). See this item on the BBC's site: "Is this the best April Fool's Ever?" (harvesting the spaghetti crop in the Swiss Tyrol)

I found myself checking the calendar in late December 2011 when reading all those headlines.

The Telegraph:

Italian Study claims Turin Shroud  is Christ's Authentic Burial Robe


The scientists set out to "identify the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a colour similar to that of the image on the Shroud." They concluded that the exact shade, texture and depth of the imprints on the cloth could only be produced with the aid of ultraviolet lasers – technology that was clearly not available in medieval times.
The scientists used extremely brief pulses of ultraviolet light to replicate the kind of marks found on the burial cloth.
They concluded that the iconic image of the bearded man must therefore have been created by "some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength)." Although they stopped short of offering a non-scientific explanation for the phenomenon, their findings will be embraced by those who believe that the marks on the shroud were miraculously created at the moment of Christ's Resurrection.
"We are not at the conclusion, we are composing pieces of a fascinating and complex scientific puzzle," the team wrote in their report.
Prof Paolo Di Lazzaro, the head of the team, said: "When one talks about a flash of light being able to colour a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things like miracles and resurrection." "But as scientists, we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes. We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate but we will leave the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals."

The Independent

Scientists say Turin Shroud is Supernatural


Italian government scientists have claimed to have discovered evidence that a supernatural event formed the image on the Turin Shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
"The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin," they said.
And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: "This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date."
A statement by lead researcher, Dr Paolo Di Lazzaro, said: "If our results prompt a philosophical or theological debate, these conclusions we'll leave to the experts; to each person's own conscience," he said.

Yes, when this retired scientist read those reports, his first thought was "This has to be some kind of joke, some kind of wind-up. A 20th/21st century uv laser, a modern day "miracle" by any reckoning, a miracle of quantum physics and highly sophisticated precision engineering, commandeered in orderto model an alleged 1st century supernatural event that left a long-lasting imprint on linen?

So let's model Noah's Flood shall we, by blowing up the hydroelectric turbine hall in the Aswan Dam...?

If this isn't a mis-scheduled April Day's joke, then it has to be Mickey Mouse science."

More to follow:

Let's not mince words. The crassness of deploying a uv excimer laser to model a supposed supernatural event has to be offscale where maintenenance of one's scientific credibility is concerned.  Just the idea of scanning the electromagnetic spectrum for promising radiations sources that might discolour linen is bad enough. OK, so the ultraviolet  region is capable in theory of yellowing paper and linen. How? It's not something mentioned in the ENEA press releases, but sunlight and other sources of uv can be absorbed by lignin to produce yellow-coloured phenolics. It might be possible to construct an image-formation mechanism around that. Except for one thing: human bodies or cadavers do not radiate uv. Nor do they emit any kind of coherent (laser) radiation in which all the waves are 'in step' regardless of frequency and wavelength.The entire idea of a burst of radiation of any sort having produced the image on the Shroud is a non-starter in scientific terms. It matters not that laboratory-generated radiation might conceivably do the trick, especially if emitted by a pulsed high-energy laser.  It is totally irrelevant, given that people do not emit radiation, except low energy infrared (heat). To propose a 1st century supernatural event that one calls "resurrection" and an accompanying image imprinting is perfectly in order if one is speculating within the religious sphere. To attempt to dress that up in scientific terminology, and to do so using a state-of-the-art man-made device like a uv excimer laser is not just pseudoscience. It is Mickey  Mouse science.

Let's look briefly at the marriage of science and technology that led to the laser - arguably one of the greatest high tech achievements of the latter half of the 20th century, inasmuch as light-producing processes in excited atoms were coaxed into doing something on Planet Earth which probably happens nowhere else in the Universe, at least spontaneously (alien civilizations are another matter, if at a comparable level of technological prowess as ourselves).

Let's begin with standard, intuitive easy-to-explain physics - the fluorescence phenomenon. Shine ultraviolet ("black") light at certain substances and they fluoresce, i.e. glow.  Why do  detergents claim to make clothes whiter than white? Answer: they contain 'optical brighteners', i.e. chemical compounds that absorb the uv radiation of daylight, and re-emit in the blue end of the visible spectrum. The extra blue light emitted tends to mask the yellow colour that comes with ageing, thus making the fabric look whiter.

At an atomic level, the phenomenon is easy to explain. A quantum (smallest packet) of high frequency uv light is absorbed by the brightening additive, which has the effect of converting it to its excited state in which an electron is promoted to a higher energy level, further from the nucleus. When the electron drops back to its original energy level, a quantum of light is re-emitted, always at a lower energy level, i.e lower frequency, longer wavelength. If the light is emitted is in the visible region, we say the compound is fluorescent. The accounting is simple: one photon of uv light in, one photon of visible light out. No special geometry is required, or inputs other than fluorescent chemical and uv radiation. The phenomenon can be observed in everyday life, requiring no special instrumentation. Not so with laser light.

The trick that generates a laser beam - one in which the wave trains are all in synch, giving a narrow concentrated beam - is to excite atoms, causing promotion of electrons, and then to irradiate with an external source of appropriately tuned radiation at the same time. Something remarkable happens which I don't pretend to understand. Instead of a single photon being ejected as the electron drops back to its ground state, two are produced. Thus the description "stimulated" in the acronym of LASER.(Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). That's the science, the non-intuitive quantum physics, for which we have Einstein to thank initially. But some fancy engineering is needed as well, to contain the extra photons during the stimulation process long enough to generate an energetic pulse of coherent light. That requires a pair of mirrors, between which the photons reflect repeatedly as their numbers build. Then, when the energy reaches a critical level, one of the mirrors then displays a hidden property - it is semi-transparent, allowing the full strength laser beam to escape as a pulse of intense light. Given the number of things that have to be just right to create the laser effect, it's hardly surprising that laser beams are not found in nature - they are entirely a man-made creation (nature merely supplying the raw materials). So is it not disingenuous, to say the least, for the ENEA team to allow the term "supernatural" to appear in headlines, having deployed not just ultraviolet light, as comes from the sun, not cadavers, but a coherent beam of laser light no less, one that comes only from a man-made laser? It's bad enough that laser light was used as a model to produce a radiation scorch on linen (about which more later). To claim that the interaction might account, even in broad principle only,  for an allegedly 'supernatural' event might seem to some to display a cavalier disregard for language at the very least, and more besides. Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Give unto science and technology what is science and technology's. Laser beams are not part of God's creation, anymore than rockets, atom bombs,  hydroelectric power stations etc etc.

So, the specific energy source chosen to model; the Shroud image - coherent light from a man-made uv excimer laser - was contraindicated on grounds of appropriateness to the task. But one may go further and ask why any source of radiant energy was chosen. What is so special, so unique, about the Shroud image as to restrict consideration to radiation alone, given it is just one of the Big Three under the heading 'heat transfer' (the others being conduction and convection)?

Let's take a closer look at what those ENEA people said in their published paper, dated June 15 2010, as distinct from media reporting at the time or subsequently.

2010 Society for Imaging Science and Technology.
DOI: 10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.2010.54.4.040302 

The faint yellowed body image embedded into the linen cloth of the Turin Shroud has peculiar chemical and physical characteristics that at the moment cannot be replicated all together in laboratory. The authors present experimental results of ArF excimer laser irradiation (wavelength 193 nm) of a raw linen fabric, seeking for coloration similar to that of the Shroud image. The authors achieved a permanent yellow coloration of linen as a threshold effectt of the laser beam intensity and number of shots. Most important, the authors have achieved for the first time a submicrometer depth of coloration of the outermost part of the fibers, leaving a colorless fiber medulla. The authors also obtained latent coloration that appears after artificial aging of linen following laser irradiations that at first did not generate any visible effect. The authors have recognized different physical and chemical processes involved in both coloration and latent coloration. The comparison of the Turin Shroud image with the results of our ArF laser irradiation shows an interesting overlap of the main physical and chemical features.

That abstract does not start at the beginning . There is no mention there of STURPm which I consider to have been seriously misquoted in a self-serving kind of way. To see how one has to move on to the Introduction (we'll return to the Abstract later).

INTRODUCTION (my bolded passages)

The Turin Shroud is a single piece of linen cloth measuring about 4.4 m by 1.1 m. Faint frontal and dorsal images of an apparently crucified man are embedded into the Shroud. These yellowish body images have peculiar chemical and physical characteristics that have stimulated a worldwide scientific debate.
Most of the scientific data on the Shroud image are from the work carried out by a team of 26 scientists under the auspices of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc., (STURP) (1978), that performed an in-depth examination on the Shroud with electromagnetic energy, from infrared to x-rays, obtaining data leading to the analysis of the substances making up the body image and bloodstains.

  The STURP measurements show that the body image is not painted, printed, singed by a heated bas-relief, or rubbed on a sculpture; moreover, the image color resides on the top-most fibers in the cloth weave. Reference1 listed more than forty chemical and physical features of the Shroud image, and up to date all attempts to reproduce an image with the same microscopic and macroscopic aspect as well as all the chemical and physical characteristics have been unsuccessful. In this respect, the origin of the body image is still unknown

"Not singed by a heated bas relief"? Did STURP say that, as distinct from one or other of its members in personal memoirs etc? It certainly never said any such thing in its Summary, which I reproduce here in full.

A Summary of STURP's Conclusions

Editor's Note: After years of exhaustive study and evaluation of the data, STURP issued its Final Report in 1981. The following official summary of their conclusions was distributed at the press conference held after their final meeting in October 1981:

No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies. Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP-8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three-dimensional information encoded in it. Microchemical evaluation has indicated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death. It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood. However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso, it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography.
The basic problem from a scientific point of view is that some explanations which might be tenable from a chemical point of view, are precluded by physics. Contrariwise, certain physical explanations which may be attractive are completely precluded by the chemistry. For an adequate explanation for the image of the Shroud, one must have an explanation which is scientifically sound, from a physical, chemical, biological and medical viewpoint. At the present, this type of solution does not appear to be obtainable by the best efforts of the members of the Shroud Team. Furthermore, experiments in physics and chemistry with old linen have failed to reproduce adequately the phenomenon presented by the Shroud of Turin. The scientific concensus is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself. Such changes can be duplicated in the laboratory by certain chemical and physical processes. A similar type of change in linen can be obtained by sulfuric acid or heat. However, there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately.
Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery.
We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.

If all one had was that STURP summary, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Shroud image was some kind of scorch, inasmuch as the characteristics listed ("oxidation, dehydration, conjugation of polysaccharides") are those associated with exposure to high temperatures, sufficient to cause thermal degradation and associated chemical reactions, often described as "pyrolysis reactions". No, the STURP summary never employed the term "scorch" as such (which is somewhat ambiguous if not further qualified). But then neither did it say that the Shroud image was definitely not a scorch either, contrary to what one might have assumed from the Introduction to the 2010 ENEA paper. One does not lightly misquote a landmark paper when introducing and justifying one's particular  approach to a research topic, yet that is precisely what those ENEA people did in 2010. What's more they went on to embellish their "definitely not a singe" pitch in that same Introduction.

 Do I feel the ghost of Raymond N.Rogers RIP hovering nearby as a write? Yo bet I do, since as soon as the term "scorch2 is invoked, he and his thinking are invariably summoned up in short order, so as to instantly crush any heretical thoughts as to the Shroud image being a mere contact scorch. It happened to this blogger a mere 6 weeks or so after engaging in Shroud studies and deploying the S word.

Note the categorical title: "The image on the Shroud is not a scorch".

It was Daniel R.Porter on his 'shredstorydotcom' site blowing the whistle on this upstart, later to be joined by innumerable character-defaming trolls. In an ideal world, I would have been able to focus purely on the ENEA team, but given the status accorded to the Rogers canon, a diversion to look at his oft-quoted arguments against "scorching" (read contact-scorching) is now essential.

Porter: The best we can do is use Rogers’ own words, and we might imagine him first saying, “Colin you are wrong because . . .”:
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.
. . .
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 radiation ­induced dehydration of the cellulose. Image formation proceeded at normal temperatures in the absence of energetic radiation of any kind.
Porter: I think Rogers would have pointed out, as I and others have already attempted in one form or another, that there are many characteristics of the image that cannot be ignored. Since Colin is interested in what Rogers might think, I will confine myself to some image characteristics that Rogers specifically mentioned, I will use Rogers’ own words.
  • Direct microscopy showed that the image color resides only on the topmost fibers at the highest parts of the weave.
 (edit: it goes on to discuss banding irregularities and some (I think) arguable interpreations, but let's stop here and look at the gist of Rogers' arguments thus far. To say I am/was  hugely unimpressed would be a gross understatement, with no disrepsect to someone no longer around to defend himself (such is science).

(In fact, I've just remembered that I had Rogers "thrown at me" just 3 days after my very posting.

I must say I was hugely unimpressed with Rogers' case there, citing as it did the Arrhenius rate equation (and having it deployed as 'ammunition' by Daniel R Porter, a non-scientist) What does the Arrhenius equation, which I used to teach to would-beUniversity entrants,  have to do specifically with scorching, given it's a general equation that underpins the whole of chemical kinetics?).

So what was fundamentally and some migth say spectacularly wrong with Rogers' argument against scorching?   Answer: he displayed there and elsewhere a touchingly simplistic assumption that a linen fibre can be regarded essentially as pure cellulose, and that no other polysaccharide components are worthy of mention.

While cellulose is the chief constituent, it is also a remarkably stable entity, physically, chemically and botanically. That's why chemists use it as a filter medium, able to withstand any number of harsh reagents(not all).

But there are other polysaccharide component of plant cell walls that are chemically very different, even if their names are similar, notably the hemicelluloses. These are not made entirely of glucose units, as is the case with cellulose, but have an abundance of chemically reactive 5-carbon (pentosan) sugars too.However, the chief point of relevance is that the hemicelluloses as heteropolymers, with a diverse range of monosaccharide monomer units that create an open matrix or matrix - a far cry from the highly crystalline fibres of cellulose - a homopolymer (identical repeating units).

What's more the pyrolysis temperature of hemicelluloses are much, much lower than that of cellulose.

See this paper by H.Yang et al.

Characteristics of hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin pyrolysis

Quote from abstract (my bolding):

In thermal analysis, the pyrolysis of hemicellulose and cellulose occurred quickly, with the weight loss of hemicellulose mainly happened at 220–315 °C and that of cellulose at 315–400 °C. However, lignin was more difficult to decompose, as its weight loss happened in a wide temperature range (from 160 to 900 °C) and the generated solid residue was very high (∼40 wt.%). From the viewpoint of energy consumption in the course of pyrolysis, cellulose behaved differently from hemicellulose and lignin;

Yes, sad to say, Rogers, a chemist, with no botanical training that I'm aware of, displayed a total blind spot for the hemicelluloses of plant cell walls. In fact, the only reference I can recall him making was to hemicelluoses as "surface impurities". Well, he was partly right there, not about "impurities" (!) but about being on the surface, inasmuch as hemicelluloses are a major component of the primary cell wall. The latter is the most superficial part of any plant cell, and thus the first part to come into contact with a hot surface (or radiation for that matter).

In short, the reasons Rogers cited against the Shroud linen having been heated, based mainly on cellulose, were simply irrelevant He was looking in the wrong place. He should have been looking tat the hemicellulose-rich primary cell wall. There should have been a botanist on the STURP team.

More to the point, re ENSA,  the STURP team collectively did not  rule against a contact scorch, at least in its Summary, and while one its team leaders argued against a scorch, he based his case on irrelevant considerations.  STURP said that no one method could account for the totality of the image.  Why should it? The Shroud image has had centuries in which to acquire secondary characteristics due to ageing etc that would not be reproduced in a fresh scorch.

ENSA could not have been ignorant STURP's refusal to  be dogmatic, given its  references elsewhere to the primary cell wall. ENSA's case for rejecting the scorch hypothesis and resorting to high tech lasers was based on a false prospectus.

Now to the $64,000 dollar question. Are, or were (when first imprinted)  the characteristics of the Shroud image really so subtle such that nothing so crude as a contact scorch could possibly have produced it, requiring recourse to exotic mechanisms featuring mysterious radiation, emanating from a particular 1st century victim of crucifixion?

Reminder of what was written in that Introduction:

"... moreover, the image color resides on the top-most fibers in the cloth weave."

Yes, precisely. And what is that, but a signature of a contact scorch?  How can it be anything but?

Had it been a radiation scorch, the image would have been on deeper parts of the weave that were still in direct, unobstructed line of sight of the incident radiation'. The superficial nature of the Shroud image, residing on the highest points of the weave, SHOULD have been recognized as a contact scorch. Instead, that property has been bizarrely attributed to a radiation scorch. Why? On what grounds? Where is the experimental  evidence that would support so improbable an assumption. Come to think of it, where is the experimental evidence that demonstrates what a contact scorch can or cannot do to linen? Whence cometh all this expertise about contact scorches that quickly rules them out from consideration? How many contact scorches had Paolo Di Lazzaro and his ENEA team done, prior to relating that risible "hot coin" experiment, specifically for this blogger's benefit, on 'shredstorydot come'?

Yes, risible. That surely must be the occasion when the scientific credibility of ENEA's chief spokesman hit rock bottom. Even the first commenter on that thread could see how threadbare (no pun intended) were the contrived and self-serving data presented.

Still to come: that Mickey Mouse experiment with the hot coin.

Here's the preamble, provided by Paolo Di Lazzaro no less. (Don't you just love those opening words: "from a physics point of view" as if chemical scorching was purely about physics).

Dear Dan and All:

I checked the idea of Colin Berry in the website you quoted.  In short, from a physics point of view, his model is untenable, especially concerning the depth of coloration. Let me explain why.

Berry wrote: “The scorching will initially be confined to those parts of the fabric that are in immediate contact with the hot metal; no air gap is permissible, since radiated heat will not scorch white linen. What is more, the scorch will be confined to the outermost fibres of the thread, because the scorch will tend remain trapped within the first-encountered fibres, rather than being able to “jump across” to adjacent fibres. Why is that? It is because the resistant cellulose cores that are unaffected are able to conduct away heat rapidly, bringing the temperature of the hot template down to below that which will induce scorching Is it realistic to suppose that cellulose fibres could conduct away heat without themselves becoming degraded? Yes. I believe it is.”
It is quite easy showing the above assumption is wrong, and it is one of the few cases where it is faster doing the experiment than to explain the theory. According with a paper quoted by Berry, the onset of pyrolysis in hemicelluloses is at about 220°C.  We have heated a 5-cents euro coin at about 230 °C in contact with a linen cloth. Just 5 seconds after the coin reached the max temperature the whole cross section of threads in contact with the coin was colored.  After15 seconds all the thickness of the cloth was colored and the round shaped image of the coin appeared on the opposite side. After checking in our Lab, we repeated this easy and small-size experiments in the RAI3 TV studios (GeoScienza) to demonstrate that heating linen cannot give a superficial coloration. See starting from the minute 16:30.
After the experimental demonstration, let’s approach the basic elementary physics that explain why the idea of Berry is untenable, and heat cannot produce a superficial coloration.


That quoted passage of mine regarding heat conduction away from the immediate zone of pyrolysis by intact, heat-resistant cellulose fibres was taken from a posting of mine on 18th Feb 2012 (my most widely cited one to date, according to WordPress stats):

What Di Lazzaro in his theorizing failed to mention was the real-life evidence that cellulose can conduct heat sufficiently well to prevent overheating and scorching. I had mentioned the ability to boil water in a paper bag held over a flame.

But things move on. If I were asked today why I think a scorch can be highly superficial, and confined to the first few fibres of a thread. I would not give heat conduction - a physical explanation - as the initial response, despite the comforting support of that paper bag 'party trick'.

What would I now say?
I would first show what happens when one does serial stamping from a cooling template, to get a series of scorches of rapidly decreasing scorch intensities.

Each was done immediately after the other. Note the rapid loss of heat from the template (a horse bras). Why was that? The answer I (now) believe lies more in the realms of chemistry (or physical chemistry - thermochemistry) than pure physics alone. It's because the pyrolysis reactions in an open system, one in which water of dehydration is able to escape as steam, is endothermic, i.e. abstracting heat. Each time a new scorch was produced, more heat was quickly removed from the template, with barely sufficient remaining after the 4th imprinting to produce another (or at the limits of visibility).

So which is the appropriate model for the Shroud image - the initial intense scorch with a very hot template, or the final faint one with a cooler one?

I say the final one if a medieval artisan had set out to imprint an image on linen without destroying the integrity of the fabric through its entire thickness, in other words, wishing to leave a 'minimalist' superficial scorch only, and being prepared to conduct a few preliminary tests to ensure there would be no over-scorching. (In fact, as I reported late last year, there is a technique for scorching imprinting, one I call the LOTTO method - Linen On Top, Then Overlay) - the overlay being a damp cloth - that virtually guarantees a faint, fuzzy topside image and NO reverse-side scorching).

Note carefully the way Di Lazzaro's alleged clincher of an experiment was performed: "We have heated a 5-cents euro coin at about 230 °C in contact with a linen cloth. Just 5 seconds after the coin reached the max temperature the whole cross section of threads in contact with the coin was colored.  After15 seconds all the thickness of the cloth was colored and the round shaped image of the coin appeared on the opposite side."

So you transmit heat into metal continuously it would seem (details not given) until you have reached the temperature at which hemicelluloses are known to pyrolyse. You maintain contact, and lo an behold, one begins to see reverse side scorching, which is proof that a superficial front-side scorch is not possible.

But that result was guaranteed, given the way the experiment was designed, using prolonged contact between template and cloth for as long as needed to see a reverse side image. That was not a scientific experiment. There was no systematic testing of variables (time, temperature, contact pressure etc), merely one fixed, some might say rigged choice to produce the desired answer. Let's not mince our words. It was a Mickey Mouse experiment, an own goal on the part of ENEA's team leader, providing indisputable proof of what I had been saying all the way along, namely that these people do not have the faintest clue about the scientific method. Laboratory instrumentation and other hardware is there merely to confirm their preconceptions, and hopefully to persuade others to adopt their particular 'philosophy and theology' regarding the Shroud of Turin.

In passing I would mention another phenomenon that can make one think one can "see" reverse side scorching that is not really there (e.g. if examined closely with a hand lens). If viewing the reverse side against a light background, one can get back-reflection of yellow-light from the contact-scorch on the opposite side through the interstices of the weave. Yes, a hand lens shows it's sometimes not the fibres and threads that are coloured on a 'reverse-side scorch but the reflective supporting surface behind the linen. It's important to view the fabric on a black matt surface before making any 'positive' sighting of reverse-side scorching. See my recent posting on the BROIL effect.

Let's see what follows the "experiment" shall we?

"After the experimental demonstration, let’s approach the basic elementary physics that explain why the idea of Berry is untenable, and heat cannot produce a superficial coloration." 

Ah "basic elementary physics". You mean the kind I studied up to University entrance level maybe?  That's London University A-Level Physics. Maybe also the physics that I used to teach as part of the physical chemistry modules in London University A Level Chemistry?

Here's the rest of the anti-scorch broadside in the Di Lazzaro missive to Daniel R,Porter. I'll be back later to deal with it point by point.

The hot metal transfers energy(heat) to the primary cell wall (pcw) of the linen fibrils by contact. From a microscopic view, transferring energy by contact means the hot (i.e. fastly moving)atoms of metal hit hemicelluloses molecules transferring momentum, thus increasing both amplitude and velocity of the motion of hemicellulose molecules around the equilibrium position (centroid). As a consequence, hemicellulose increases its temperature.

Response: As you say - elementary physics. But for whose benefit? Why start in this fashion, given your missive was directed at a named individual, one with a scientific background, and (probably) some two or three decades your senior? Maybe you didn't like that label "Mickey Mouse scientist". All you have done so far is confirm it.

In the regions of contact between pcw and cellulosic medulla, we still have a transfer of heat by contact, like in the previous metal-pcw case. The temperature of the medulla will increase.  In the region where there is no contact (e.g.,a small air gap between pcw and medulla) we have heat transfer by irradiation.   In fact, every material emits radiation having a spectrum peaked at a wavelength which depends on its temperature: the higher the temperature, the shorter the wavelength. This is the well known phenomenon of the black body emission, governed by Planck’s law, Wien’s law and so on (first year exam for students of Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Engineer).

Response : Someone is treading on very dangerous ground here. Yes, we know that all matter above absolute zero (0 degrees Kelvin) exchanges radiation with other bodies, including those at a higher temperature. But that is infrared radiation at normal environmental temperatures. It does not become visible radiation (except for a miniscule, probably undetectable amount in the tail of the distribution).  What is the relevance of infrared radiation where scorching of linen is concerned? Answer: scarcely any except under special conditions.  Infrared radiation can only increase the vibration, stretching frequencies etc of chemical bonds. It does not have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds directly, unless from a customised high-intensity source. So who is starting to show an alarming ignorance of "elementary physics" (and/or chemistry)? To stand any chance of scorching with infrared radiation from a realistic source you would need to have a matt black or otherwise opaque pigment present (one aspect of  "black body"radiation, black bodies being efficient absorbers as well as emitters of radiation). That substance could then continue absorbing radiation until its temperature became sufficiently high to cause thermal rupture of chemical bonds. But that;s not the same as beaming infrared at white or near-white linen and expecting to see it scorch without having that opaque sensitizer present. See my very first experiment, reported on this site, showing how charcoal could act as a sensitizer for scorching  under an incandescent light source (a mix of infrared and visible light - what I called thermostencilling).

As an example, at 20 °C the walls of a room emit radiation with a broad spectrum, peaked in the far infrared at about 10-micrometers wavelength. In the case of hemicelluloses at 200 °C the pcw emits infrared radiation peaked at 6,1 micrometers. In the case we are considering, the 6-micrometer wavelength will interact with the cellulose of the core of the linen fibril (medulla), exciting vibrational levels of cellulose that decay in heat thus increasing the temperature of the medulla.
In addition, a well known optics law tells us the penetration depth of the interaction between radiation and medulla cannot be smaller than the wavelength, that is, not smaller than 6 micrometers in this case. This fact alone explain why infrared radiation cannot produce a superficial coloration of fibers.

Response. Yes, in theory. Wrong, in practice (which is all that matters where realistic  modelling of the Shroud image is concerned). Cellulose may well have infrared absorption bands of the frequency or wavelength stated, but that is of no relevance, given that white linen reflects most of the infrared and visible radiation that falls on it. There is simply insufficient heating from the tiny ir absorption to produce localised scorching.

The proof of this is apparent each time one imprints from a template with sunken relief.

Note how the sunken features of the template (a pencil sharpener) failed to imprint. That's despite the recessed metal being a mere millimetre or two below the main plane. Yes, there was infrared  radiation streaming across that air gap, but insufficient could be absorbed by the chemical bonds of the linen to produced localised heating and scorching.  That's why I experimented (successfully) with charcoal in my thermostencilling experiments. By adding an efficient thermo-opaque absorber of radiation, sufficient radiant energy (visible and infrared) was absorbed to produce localised heating and scorching.

By the way, it is not possible that “the resistant cellulose cores that are unaffected are able to conduct away heat rapidly” (see above Berry’s statement) because of elementary fluid dynamic equations (a classical engineering problem), of a not convenient area/volume ratio of cylinders (elementary geometry) and because Berry assumes a exothermic pyrolysis of cellulose, that is,by definition, a runaway process, extended in time. 

Response: Who knows the mechanisms that come in to play when cellulose conducts heat? One cannot treat it as a simplistic "engineering problem". This physicist/engineer certainly knows how to insult the intelligence of those of us who have more extensive background in biochemical systems at the molecular level.  Plant cell wall materials represent a complex physicochemical system that could feature any number of mechanisms operating at the molecular level, notably by "melting" and recrystallization aka thermally-induced disorder/re-order processes involving multiple hydrogen bonding interactions,  a well known phenomenon in polysaccharide chemistry (there's a large literature on starch so-called retrogradation that can be studied by differential scanning calorimetry and other techniques).

No, I did not assume an exothermic pyrolysis of cellulose. I quoted Yang et al who said that cellulose pyrolysis was ENDOTHERMIC, It was hemicellulose pyrolysis they said was exothermic. But see my earlier  comment. While the latter may be exothermic under standard conditions (15 degrees C) it may well be endothermic in an open system where H2O escapes as steam.


In summary, when heating a linen cloth by a hot metal in contact, well known physics models foresee the pyrolysis of the whole fibers and threads, and this is exactly what we observe in the experiments.

Response: Carbohydrate pyrolysis is chemistry, not physics. How can there be well known physics models for something that is chemistry?  How can there be well known physics models for something (scorching of linen) that has not been systematically studied, where we are presented with a simplistic one-off imprinting with a hot coin that was totally misconceived, proving absolutely nothing.

Useless to say, it is all the approach of Colin Berry to find a middle age technology able to create the Shroud image that is hopeless: just consider the half tone effect.  It could not have been made by medieval forgers because they would need a modern microscope to observe and then control their micrometric-scale coloration. 

Response:  Aren't you making an unwarranted assumption - namely that the half-tone effect was produced in a single step at the instant of image imprinting?  How can you be so certain? Who's to say that it is not the result of two steps: initial imprinting by contact scorching, followed by loss over time of the more heavily scorched fibres, leaving just minimally scorched ones? See my recent posting on the two-step making/unmaking hypothesis to account for the half-tone effect.

Summary: Look again at that definition (more correctly description) of pseudoscience that I retrieved from ratiional wiki. Then look at ENEA's laser beam experiment, the accompanying 'rationale' (though I use the term loosely), the references to philosophy and theology. Then look at the anti-scorch diatribe that its team leader sent to Daniel R.Porter, and then  at that simply dreadful single-point experiment with the hot coin , and the accompanying 'theory'.

What we see is an open-and-shut case of pseudoscience. My description of Paolo di Lazzaro and his ENEA team as Mickey Mouse scientists was fully justified.

More to follow.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Finally, the media are waking up to the real nature of agenda-driven Shroud research - it's 90% pseudoscience.

Pseudoscience? Definition? One could do a lot worse than consult rationalwiki. Here are its opening  few words under the entry for pseudoscience.

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.

First it was Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post a few weeks ago, deploying the (silent) p word in connection with Shroud research..

Two days ago, checking my WordPress site meter, I found that a critique I had written of ill-defined wacky radiation scenarios had been cited by David Kyle Johnson in Psychology Today.

Annoyingly, I was totally unaware of his three-part posting when they first appeared some two weeks ago. Once again, the strangely selective Google search engine* and (it goes without saying) Troll Central aka (well, my stories) go a long way to explaining why I've been slow to pick up on a kindred spirit taking umbrage with shroudie pseudoscience.

*      Joel's    DKJ's article was nowhere to be seen when I first scanned current (shroud of turin) listings yesterday. Later, after a strong coffee, and trawling through page after page, it was finally tracked down to Page 38 (with 10 entries per page).  Something has to be done about Google, whose listings are still cluttered up with numerous identikit agency stories on the wacky earthquake/neutron nonsense. Yes, pseudoscience rules OK, thanks to media manipulators and the bilge-perpetuating brain-dead Google algorithm.

Here's the belated comment I sent to Psychology Today - though whether anyone gets to see it (except here) after the passage of time remains to be seen:

The curse of pseudoscience (that can ensnare anyone, scientists included)
I've long had a loathing for pseudoscience, and the way the media allows pseudoscientists to manipulate it to sell books, TV documentaries, or, worse still, agendas.
Two years ago I started blogging on the Shroud, gradually wading through the evidence for and against. Reckon on a ratio of approx. 10% science, 90% pseudoscience. The terrifying thing is the way that folk who have a genuine background in science can suddenly get hooked on the Shroud and its curious features (yes, it's still an enigma) and then start nitpicking at the radiocarbon dating, dreaming up and/or subscribing to all kinds of reasons why the answer is 1300 years too young ("invisible reweaving" etc). Before you know what you see the appearance of agenda-driven pseudoscience, always assuming authenticity, always model-building on that basis, and hey presto, finding and publishing the facts that fit and reinforce the assumptions. It's exceedingly rare to find scientists who take non-authenticity as an initial working hypothesis, based on the supposition that the radiocarbon dating is approximately right until proved otherwise. (I'm a rare exception!!!!!, albeit long retired from the laboratory bench).
Methinks the human psyche is perhaps not as advanced as we like to think it is - and we are not really that much better evolved, psycho-socially, than those who hounded Galileo.
Joel Achenbach is presently on Page 6 of Google listings under pseudoscience.  DavidKJ is not as yet in the top 10, though possibly bringing up the rear. These are early days. I'll be checking to see if the Shroud continues to make, er, headway, in the baleful genre that is pseudoscience.

 Update: Sunday.

Once again, I have been subject to an "out-of-the-blue" troll attack elsewhere by someone 'new' appearing out of the woodwork, and the site's proprietor apparently thinks it's fair play and deserved ("If you can't stand the heat of the kitchen etc etc) ". In classic troll tactics, it's specifically alleged that I have no grasp of the minutiae of chemistry - while carefully omitting to give specific examples. That's just the science. The rest is half-baked amateur psychology, intended to demean and damage.

My response: not to be drawn into argument with a troll who has adopted a pseudonym (misspelt), not knowing a thing about him or her. However, I note the rancour that my "pseudoscientist' tagging has aroused, and especially it seems 'Mickey Mouse science', or 'Mickey Mouse scientist(s)'. The site's proprietor has  furiously rounded on me more than once in the past, citing those tags as grounds for allowing character attacks to be made on me, calling me "a jerk".

Fact: the descriptors I have used are unflattering I grant you, but have allowed me to flag up my grievance WITHOUT being personal. Maybe that's a subtlety that some have failed to grasp. (And I would never dream of calling anyone a "jerk" on an internet forum).

Irrespective, the time has now come to document one of the most egregious examples of pseudo- AND Mickey Mouse science. It involves the Italian ENSA team whose report on uv laser beams to produce a "Shroud-like coloration" on linen  was accompanied by a preemptive dismissal of scorching-by-contact  in their paper, AND by a targeted attack on me later on the site in question, together with a risible one-off Mickey Mouse scorch experiment performed with a heated coin.

I shall now assemble a  step-by-step dossier of the entire sequence of events. I shall be denouncing ENSA and its front man Paolo Di Lazzaro as Mickey Mouse scientists but with NO personal attacks, and then send it to David Kyle Johnson as evidence that he and others in the MSM are right to be targeting Shroud pseudoscience, AND the specific tactics adopted by Shroud pseudoscientists.

I shall do that first, before returning to the constructive side of my Shroud research, a description of my latest "pseudo-bas relief' model having to wait for now.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dear critics. Please be on the look-out for a Mark 3 model for how the Shroud image was produced (the “pseudo-bas relief”/sand bed model).

There have been two interesting responses from (gastroenterologist) Steve Hammond and (pharmacist) Mike M- see tail end of previous posting re the chin level crease on the TS. (I maintain the latter gives important clues as to how the image was imprinted).

Rather than respond to them in detail (which I was minded to do, but am presently a bit pushed for time) I’ll simply say this.

The objections they raise would be serious ones if the model I propose for Shroud imprinting were either of the two  previously described, set in concrete. But they are not,  (phew, with a single bound he was free) since for some time I have been moving towards a third model that constitutes effectively a fusion of the two, i.e. incorporating elements of both in such a way as to address suspected weak points in both AND provide an important plus point.

What prompted the new thinking? There were a number of things, but this particular image below from shredstory   shroudstorydotcom that I referred to (and recommended recently) probably lodged in the subconscious and began gradually to link up with other inklings:

It's the way that face appears to be semi-embedded in a plane (or should one say plain?????), that appearance being accentuated by the oblique viewing option thoughtfully provided  by the ImageJ software).

I hope my two thoughtful critics won’t mind if I use this post to flag up the genesis of a new “improved” model, one l which I consider can provide satisfactory answers to their reasonable and indeed perceptive objections, but leave the details for a day or two, once they have recognized that this blogger’s ideas are evolving by the day. (And sometimes it takes a little flak to move things along at maybe a faster pace than I might have wished!).

The gist of the two objections to my “baked-in crease” idea was as follows. First the allegedly baked-in crease (one of them) extends beyond the body image onto supposedly blank image-free background where there is presumably nothing behind the linen to provide either a hot surface or resistance to imprinting pressure. Second, the twin track crease, with a pale centre, still has some coloration in the central area, suggesting it did not escape scorching through being out of direct contact with hypothetical hot template. Why not?

OK, here’s a hint to the way my thoughts are now going  (just a hint in case I change my mind). If things gel after looking at more images (newly enhanced Shroud Scope and Shroud 2.0)  I will hopefully have something more concrete to say in a day or two.

First: the Mark 1 model, proposed on this site over 2 years ago, was described as the ‘sand bed model’. Linen was placed over cold sand, and the hot template thrust in from above, with semi-yieding sand providing resistance and thus contact pressure. But there were drawbacks (temperature control, not  knowing the progress of scorching, too much risk of over-scorching or getting edges that were too well-defined, not “fuzzy” etc etc ).

More recently, I turned that mechanism on its head, literally, by proposing the 'LOTTO' model.  There, the heated template was laid on a support, linen was spread on top, then a damp overlay (e.g. sacking) and the latter then patted around the highest relief of the template. That made for easier temperature control (being judged by finger tips), the ability to mould linen manually around relief, and a fuzzier end-result, confirmed by experiment.

But there is still a drawback using either of these methods – excessive imprinting of the sides of a 3D template (unless a customised bas-relief were fabricated and used) with unsightly lateral distortion.

The new model combines elements of the two. I call it the “pseudo-bas relief” model (hint hint) , in which an essential role for a sand bed (or similar) is restored.

I believe there is corroborating evidence on the TS image for a role for some grainy material (like SAND)  in the imprinting process, one that might meet the objections raised by my two sharp-eyed critics. Be on the lookout for another posting in the next few days. First I must do a belated short posting on the three-instalments Psychology Today attack on Shroud pseudoscience, and bemoan yet again the not-fit-for-purpose Google search engine.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Modelling two distinct types of BAKED-IN crease in the still-enigmatic Shroud of Turin, ones that provide important clues to the image-imprinting mechanism.

The iconic Shroud image, Durante 2002/Shroud Scope after 3D enhancement in ImageJ. Note the prominent twin-track feature at chin level, the main interest of this and two previous postings.

This is the third in my series of postings on a feature (or rather, features) of the Shroud image which may tell us a lot about the way the image was created. The first was on this site, over two years ago:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why does the Turin Shroud appear to have scorched-in crease marks? Tell-tale signature for medieval forging?

 I am more than ever convinced that the answer to the question in that title was a resounding YES! The creases or, rather, some of them, contain imprinted MEMORY of what was happening to the Shroud at the instant it received its 'body image' (Blood arguably came later as a part of an extensive re-invention exercise - see my other site).

Later, I did a second posting on that specialist Shroud site after being made aware by IT expert Mario Latendresse of his now invaluable Shroud Scope tool, and learning to adjust contrast to facilitate interpretation of small detail.

Shroud Scope 4: No matter what process mysteriously produced a negative ‘snapshot’ of the Man on the Shroud, it captured that of creases in the linen too. Why?

Posted on June 15, 2012 by colinsberry

I refer to what previously I have referred to simply as "creases". In view of comments made elsewhere, some helpful, some less so, I shall now have to be more precise in my nomenclature.

First. let me state an article of faith, one that will not be shifted unless evidence to the contrary is placed in the public domain (Shroud Science Group insiders' references to what one has shown another cannot be given serious consideration on this, an open-access website, where total transparency is everything).

I believe the sepia coloration of the crease marks under consideration, largely indistinguishable from body image, means they are essentially part of the image, sharing the same provenance. They are NOT handling creases that have arrived later, not even with the 1532 fire and its creation of burn holes, scorched edges etc etc. That is why I now refer here to "baked-in" creases. As will be seen, one can model two situations, one in which there were pre-existing fold marks in the linen, rectilinear along obvious short and long axes, as with sheets stored for future use in one's airing cupboard, and secondly (and more importantly) creases that were generated as an "accident" of the image imprinting process and immediately baked in as a kind of memory, even if the fabric has since been smoothed out. The memory is still there, if one knows where to look, and HOW TO INTERPRET what one sees based on the model (we scientists like our models, even if at times we sound as if we regard them as fact- as distinct from working hypothesis. Don't be deceived. It would be tedious to have to keep repeating that the model is merely a mental aid to interpretation that could be promiscuously dumped for another any time it ceased to be of value in interpreting new data).

(Double click on this and other images to enlarge)
White rectangle - site of a "Type 1A crease, with 'baked-in' appearance and presumed to be such pending firm evidence to the contrary.  A cryptic Type 1B crease is probably present in corresponding area on right hand side (with ridge rather than furrow type fold ) which failed to "bake in" at time of image imprinting.  Type 1 creases were present before image imprinting, due to way fabric was folded initially. Yellow rectangles: sites of Type 2 creases, baked-in S-shaped infoldings of linen, that are  presumed to have been created during the imprinting process due to mechanical ruction and entrapment of linen.

Here's a Shroud Scope close up, intermediate magnification, of the highly conspicuous crease at the base of the chin.  Note the twin track appearance, the subject of my first of 2 postings on creases, here over 2 years ago. What I failed to comment on before, having spotted it just a week ago, is the suggestion of there being more "baked-in image" above rather than below the central pale area, perhaps better seen on the right than left half. The asymmetry appears to be a real effect (see what follows) and is easily modelled.

This is a close up of the left half above,  with added contrast  (MS Photoeditor). While there is ample pigmentation/imaging above and below, the upper band could be described as  more discrete, regular  and concentrated than the lower.

This is the right hand side of that chin-level crease. Here the asymmetry is plain for all to see. Is the effect unique to this particular crease?

Here's a similar Type 2 crease from the dorsal side of the Shroud (inverted figure).  It's from the small of the back (note signature 'blood belt' for that location. While the imaging of the crease is primarily discontinuous - a series of blotches - note the asymmetry, with most blotches below the central crease line.

So far, the focus has been on Type 2 creases - which I consider 'tell a story' about the manner in which the Shroud image was imprinted by forcible application of a heated solid template to linen, sufficient to cause distortion of the fabric, and thus mechanical entrapment of invaginated folds. What about Type 1 - preexisting folds that were also baked-in by the thermal imprinting process.  This is a handy photograph, showing the intersection of Type 1 and Type 2, horizintal and vertical respectively.

It's a lot harder to discern a Type 1 midline fold on the dorsal view (see bloodbelt and that blotchy Type 2 crease at left). In fact, I'm inclined to the view that the midline baked-in crease is exclusively a feature of the frontal side of the Shroud only, disappearing in the region between the frontal and dorsal images of the head. Modelling provides an explanation for this added asymmetry that I don't recall having ever seen commented on before (which means little, given the vastness of Shroud literature, much in conference proceedings).

Modelling of the more important Type 2 creases. Look carefully at the upper half, and you will see how the fabric was folded to create an intucked fold, such that there were THREE layers of fabric above the crease. When the hot template was applied, there was more intense scorching of the three-layer sandwich than of the single layer (for reasons that merit further investigation). When opened out and flattened one sees an asymmetrical  twin track arrangement, i.e. VERY DARK- LIGHT- DARK which matches that of the transverse Type 2 creases on the TS, the ones I consider were acquired at the moment of imprinting.
The lower half was a control, with the the same triple sandwich folding, but in the opposite direction.  It is still the triple sandwich side that acquires the more intense scorch.

Here's a schematic diagram, hastily put together with MS Paint, to summarise what happens when a hot template is placed across a Type 2 crease.

Explanation for the asymmetry of the twin-track of a Type 2 baked-in crease.

OK, I've been a bit naughty. I have discussed Type 2 before Type 1. That's probably a give-away to my sense of priorities. It's those Type2 creases that have captured and retained for posterity the genesis of the Shroud image from Time Zero (ignoring the history of the Shroud linen prior to imprinting). But it did of course have a pre-imprinting history. A 4.4 x 1.1m length of linen needed to be folded compactly before being pressed (or unpressed) into service as burial shroud. Given there were pre-existing folds (unless rolled up)  and even creases how would they respond to having hot template pressed against them?

 Here we see what happens when one imprints across a simple opened-out fold, either as a concave furrow, ie. V-shaped in cross section, or as a convex ridge (inverted V). The creases were ironed-in, to increase the odds of getting a result. Well, as you see, we got a result, indeed a striking difference between the two types of crease, Type 1A and 1B (furrow v ridge).

Modelling of a Type 1A  baked-in crease,

 Note the  narrow region of linen at the base of the V that has escaped being scorched, due to imperfect flattening-out of the linen for the brief time (a second or so) that the hot template made contact with the fabric.  Late edit: This is a match for the long axis midline "fold" that one sees on the TS frontal side - a twin track, pale centre, left and right rails of the same intensity. But I say it's a baked-in fold, or in current jargon, a Type 1 crease. 

If folk wish to provide a different provenance, based on those other imaginative models (radiation, gaseous diffusion etc) then fine, let's be hearing it, but I'm the one right now who has the experimental  AND theoretical model that together "tell a story". What's more, scorching by contact produces an image, and it's a negative, and it's 3D-enhancible, and , given the nature of thermal energy, it can be as intense or as superficial as one wishes. One does not get a third  degree burn from brushing lightly against a hot iron, painful though it may be. I say he contact scorch theory (that would include Luigi Garlaschelli's contact acid/thermal scorch) are scientifically coherent, if not down to the very last detail (some of which could be age and/or technique-related). But I would go further: all other rival models LACK SCIENTIFIC COHERENCE, with huge chunks missing, like failure to generate an image.

Now repeat the experiment, but with the creased linen turned over so that the V is inverted in cross-section. One has a ridge instead of a furrow in the linen:

Modelling the reasons why a Type 1B crease does not leave a baked-in image.

Note that with this reverse configuration there is scarcely if any interruption of imprinted image along the fold line. I would expect to have attracted much scepticism had I  tried to claim otherwise,

Type 1A (concave furrow) above - allows a symmetrical twin-track baked-in crease.
         Type 1B (convex ridge) - does not allow twin-track imaging.

Speaking of the 'eye of faith' which (if one's honest) can all too often be influenced by prior assumptions, including one's latest brainwaves, I said earlier that I could only see Type 1A twin-track on the frontal side of the Shroud. Having failed to see it on the dorsal side, or at best the tiniest hints thereof, I'm now going to stick my neck out (or place head on the block) and suggest that it's absent because the dorsal side is a Type 1B crease. In other words, it's a ridge, not furrow, and so has failed to capture the imprint from a heated template as in the experiment and diagram above.

If one takes a length of paper to represent a Shroud and its two images, it's easy to see how reversal of fold sense comes about. If one wants a midline furrow for the entire length, one fold along the long axis first, then across the short axis. But doing a long fold is awkward. It's more natural to fold across the midline short axis first, before folding along the long axis that is now half its original length. Do it that second way, and one finds, maybe with a little application of  a hot electric  iron to reinforce crease lines, that the sense of the  fold reverses at the midpoint. If the frontal side is a furrow crease, then the dorsal side is a ridge, The apparent loss of that frontal side midline crease, just above the head, is now entirely explicable. But let's not lose sight of the main point, that I'm certain will be contested by those who have no time for the  (contact) "scorch" hypothesis. While those folds were there originally, they are no longer simply ancient folds that are visible for mechanical reasons only (bending/kinking of threads). They are visible as part of the sepia Shroud image because they were baked in by the hot template at the time of image imprinting. Sorry to have to repeat myself, but this blogger/science bod does not wish to see two years of research and thinking about those crucial Type 2 creases being scuppered by inappropriate comparisons with the more mundane Type 1 variety. Indeed, far from weakening my case for Type 2 creases being template-inflicted, so to speak, they strengthen it by my discovery that Type 1A folds, while not template-inflicted, were template-boldened-up by acquisition of twin-track scorch marks. The fact that the Type 1A pattern is not visible (that I can see) on the dorsal side, consistent with modelling, inspired by theorizing AND  plain common sense, greatly strengthens in my view the credibility of the contact scorch hypothesis.

Methinks that is enough for now. I had originally intended to finish on a polemical note, deploring what I consider the pseudoscience that is deployed in so-called "sindonology". The best indicator for pseudoscience is the instant dismissal indeed contempt that can be elicited by mere reference to the word "scorch", even without the qualifying "contact".  One may be an enthusiast for all kinds of alternative hypotheses for image formation, based on exotic types of radiation (uv laser generated, corona discharges, neutron fluxes etc etc) or the so-called naturalistic hypotheses based on chemical emissions from a real corpse. But what one cannot do is dismiss contact scorching out of hand, or expect to fob off this 'enthusiast' for scorching with tired old checklists that substitute anecdotal hearsay for hard experimental data. I shall not mince my words. The rejection of the scorch hypothesis by almost the entire community of 'sindonological*' investigators, including those with fancy titles, puts almost all of them firmly within the realms of pseudoscience, and deserving of my favourite tag : Mickey Mouse scientists.

As I say, I'd better stop right here, before I'm tempted to name names, or especially egregious instances of so-called 'scientific research' displaying one or more blind spots for physical, chemical and biological principles, and all too often designed to grab media attention.

*Unfortunate choice of term one might think.

 "Sindonological research" = SIN. DO NO LOGICAL RESEARCH.

Late addition: Have just discovered a third posting I did on that chin crease a bit more than a year ago:

Title:  Could this be clinching evidence that the shroud image is a contact scorch?

Second addition:  Here's a comment (below) that appeared a few days ago from someone who signed himself off as representing a "Sindonology" institute (I've withheld his name, preferring to stick to the issues). The contempt I mentioned earlier is clear. Well, I take a pretty dim view of  his idea of science as well, especially the selective quotation of the bits that suit one's case, so that commentator's pitch will be the subject of my next posting on this site. (Yes, I now regard sciencebuzz as my main site, feeling this particular topic is now less about the Shroud of Turin in particular, and more about the generic issue of pseudoscience and the manner in which it is propagated in the media, with dissenting voices rarely getting heard - far less consulted - even when they set up blog sites!)

Oops.  The quoted comment has disappeared, maybe a glitch of copying/pasting from one site to another. I'll try again later.,

Update: 25th March

Here's an interesting comment that has appeared elsewhere from a newcomer. I'll respond to it in my next posting here, as well as the Shroud 2.0 pictures that have just been posted.

March 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm | #9

First post here from someone who has been fascinated for years by the shroud. I’ve been catching up on old posts here and on Colin’s blog. I am a physician (gastroenterologist) so no particular expertise regarding the shroud, but of course familiarity with science. I lean toward the shroud being authentic, but I applaud Colin’s probing endeavors and research and think it serves a valuable purpose.
That being said, I don’t yet buy that the creases he points out are “cooked in.” I see lots of creases on the Enrie and Durante images on Shroud Scope. Many of these are far from image areas and should be very different from the neck and head creases Colin points out as they should not be “cooked in”. (It would be interesting to see the enhanced images in these areas.) Also, I find it interesting that the neck crease crosses the lower edge of the non-image area lateral to the face, which is,according to Colin, an area of non-contact with the bas-relief. I find it hard to believe a crease could be “cooked in” in this location under Colin’s scenario.
Just some thoughts

Last time I cut-and-paste from that site, the item had disappeared by the time I next logged on. Let's see if Steve's comment sticks. While it's here, click on the blue hash 9 (comment number) to be taken to the (vexatious) thread in question with site proprietor in full interventionist club-wielding mode.

Update: New comment added to same site by Mike M, who posted the Shroud 2.0 pictures:

in response to Dan:
Mike M sent these along to go with Baked-In Creases. Really?  . They are from his iPad. I will leave it to him to explain them in comments. (You should be able to click on the pictures and get larger versions): Sorry, Mike, for the delays. #1 #2 #3 #4
Thanks Dan,
This is further to the previous post where it is claimed that the double track creases (with a clear centre is evidence for a scorch. Although, as you have indicated they can be caused by any image formation mechanism (natural or supernatural), checking them in Shroud 2.0 shows those double tracks off-image thus they can’t be produced by the hot statue as Colin has postulated (check the legend on the top right corner for the location of the crease). Furthermore, The crease below the chin shows the image continuous, so the colourless middle is not really that colourless.

See my next posting Mike. (Is he aware I wonder of my image re-invention hypothesis,that attempts to explain the curious testimony (April 14, 1503) from Antoine Lelaing, one that I have previously interpreted as an attempt to artificially-age the Mark 1 Shroud, not efface it as Lelaing supposed?).

I have responses prepared in rough outline for both Steve H and Mike M, but will hold off posting for a bit, maybe a day or two, while waiting to see what if any other points are raised.

Latest comment into this running archive:

in response to Mike M:
Thanks Dan, This is further to the previous post where it is claimed that the double track creases (with a clear centre is evidence for a scorch. Although, as you have indicated they can be caused by any image formation mechanism (natural or supernatural), checking them in Shroud 2.0 shows those double tracks off-image thus [...]
Colin, I realize you never claimed images # 3 & 4 were a double track creases. How could you when they are clearly off-image. # 3 sure looks like one though, lighting factors applies for all the creases not just the off-image ones. I included #4 because Hugh referred to it, IMHO it doesn’t look like a double track crease, there is an interesting double line to the right of it (at an angle) that looks like an imperfection in the weave, may be Mario was referring to that? The main point is; 1-the creases you mentioned extend off-image & 2- the middle line below the chin contains image information

Update: Some one (naming no names) has tried to question the validity of my contrast-enhanced images, It's odd he should choose to do so now, given I did over a dozen postings in 2012, showing the extra discrimination that could be achieved, e.g. between body image and bloodstains, without ever making claims that accompanying colour differences were real. In other words, the contrast control was used purely as a aid to visualization and discrimination within a particular image, not to make any extraordinary new generalist claims. It's what scientists do - we twiddle with the controls to see the subject more clearly, to make a better photograph.

Anyway, here's a graphic I have just added to one of those 2012 postings to show the modest changes that accompany step-by-step increases in contrast, after first making a minor adjustment (downwards) to brightness.

Shroud Scope/Durante 2002 TS face with step wise increase in contrast.The accompanying colour changes are incidental.

Oh, and here are some new settings with the same maximum contrast, but decreased brightness, showing one end of the chin crease where it crosses the hair.

Click to enlarge

Update: here's a photo-edited picture of the TS chin crease from Shroud 2.0, copied/pasted from, with altered contrast/brightness (done in two steps).

Shroud 2.0 photoedited

I say that the "baked-in" look is still there, and feel justified in homing in on this particular feature. One needs only one baked-in crease to sustain the case for a mechanical element in the imprinting process of the Shroud image to give enhanced imaging on a raised feature (like an S-shaped Type 2 crease!)

And here's my new high contrast/low brightness settings applied to the chin crease. Wow!

Click to enlarge

Update: new posting: "Dear critics. Please be on the lookout for a new Mark 3 model etc"