Thursday, October 13, 2016

Turin Shroud: how the agenda-driven so-called 'science' train came to be derailed.

The  current Flying Shroud of Turin locomotive (flying off its rails).

Well, I say it happened like this (approx chronological order):

1. It began with that astonishing landmark Secondo Pia tone-reversal (negative to PSEUDO-positive).

Yes, a truly arresting image conversion, deserving of much analysis and interpretation re the photograph-like appearance of that pseudo-positive on the right (above).

But that has been taken to mean the TS is a positive photograph, as recently as this last week (Stephen E. Jones site). NO!

Why not? Watch this space. Discussion will centre on  FREE-HAND SKETCHES and IMPRINTS, specifically contact imprints, NOT photographs.

As for contact imprints  - making the point better than sketches and photographs -  they have a long history, going back centuries ( like those brass rubbings in churches and cathedrals).

The concept of positive-negative would have been recognized long before photography, even if the terms were not employed.

2. Irrelevance of Walter McCrone's microscopy to the body image, attempting to implicate dispersed solid paint pigments - iron oxide, mercury sulphide etc, given that other STURP members, notably Heller and Adler, discovered that the image was bleachable with diimide (which acts ONLY on organic compounds with C=C double bonds). Same consideration applies to pop historian Charles Freeman - traditional inorganic paint pigments, fresh or faded, can be ruled out.
Details to come. Watch this space.

3. Attempts have been made to this day to exclude thermal processes, especially relevant in context of 'appropriate' medieval technology. How?  By reference to uv fluorescence. But they are not based on modern experimental data. They are based on the uv fluoresence of the charred edges of the 1532 burn holes, with claim that "all scorches fluorescence under uv". Taking as one's sole reference a centuries-old event involving fire, exceedingly high combustion or carbonization temperatures -  ones creating full thickness burns, not mere scorches - is pseudoscience.  Scorches incidentally are just one type of thermal  change.

Details  to come -watch this space.

4. Rogers' starch-coating theory:  good inasmuch as it considered the possibility of the image being an added coating, highly superficial,  instead of on the linen per se. But why did he stop at purified starch, and proceed to develop a theory as if starch were equivalent to - or easily transformable to - a reducing sugar? Answer: he cited Pliny, 1st century linen technology, betraying (intentionally or otherwise) a pro-authenticity bias that hitherto had been well-concealed. He should have considered a wider range of coatings, including those that could have been deployed in a medieval context.

Details to come. Watch this space.

5.  The TS body image responds to computer software programs that map image density as height, ie. creating an imaginary z (vertical) dimension. So what? All imprints and indeed diagrams with no 3D history respond the same - it being a function of the software and the way it re-processes image density - NOT a tool for investigating supposed "encoded 3D information".  Yup, starry-eyed  hyping - up of the so-called 3D properties of the TS, as if specific for the TS, with inappropriate refs to conventional photographs performing poorly - distortions etc - only to be expected due to lateral lighting, shadowing etc. (focus should be on imprints!).

Details to come.  Watch this space.

6. The blood story. First on scene was the pathologist Robert Bucklin MD, publishing and proselytizing his pro-authenticity views way back in the 60s, long before STURP, using the terms "bloodstain" and "wound" interchangeably. NO! There is no evidence on the body image for wounds as distinct from blood, despite explicit claims to the contrary. It is entirely unscientific to describe a bloodstain as a "wound", if there is no independent evidence in the body image for speared, flayed or punctured skin. Even the scourge marks are blood imprints ONLY!

Details to come.  Watch this space.

7. Failure of STURP to provide convincing evidence for the existence of blood-derived porphyrins - an essential criteria for identifying the stains as derived from blood.  Atypical porphyrin spectra, coupled with claims the blood was "too red" were  attributed to presence of  'extraordinary levels of bilirubin' with no hard evidence for the presence of ANY  bilirubin (which is photochemically unstable and unlikely to survive for months, far less centuries).  As with Rogers. the 'bilirubin trauma' hypothesis betrayed a pro-authenticity leaning, unbecoming surely of hands-on researchers willing to investigate (and exclude ) the painting hypothesis while failing to display appropriate scepticism elsewhere.

"Blood-before-image' claim, based on enzymic micro-spotting test was interesting,  possibly true, but questionable in the light of other data, notably the so-called half-tone effect which means that blood-coated fibres sampled with sticky-tape from' image areas' cannot be assumed to have been image-bearing fibres, as appears to have been the case. Yup, blind-spot territory ...

Details to come. Watch this space.

8. Returning to the body image (it being the basis of the "enigmatic" tag): there has been indecent haste to exclude contact-imprinting, based on image-intensity data that assumes linen draped loosely over a body, making limited contact.  We are quickly asked to consider imaging across air-gaps,  of "cloth-body" distance being critical, albeit with peculiar qualfications (max distance of separation not to exceed approx 4 cm for example). That model 'begs the question' i.e. assumes the very thing that is being tested, making for a circular argument. What if the cloth had NOT been draped loosely, as in a 1st century tomb, but pressed firmly against some body features and not others, with conscious control over which parts to imprint, what not.  (Consider selective application of imprinting medium also).

Details to come. Watch this space.

9. The assumption that image formation occurred across air gaps, with exclusion of contact imprinting as the sole mechanism, has led to those "radiation" models, associated at least initially by STURP team leader John Jackson. with resort to biblical "resurrection" scenarios that permit a body and /or linen to merge in space ("collapsing cloth" theory"). That has no place in a scientific context, being impossible to put to an experimental test., being merely a highly-coloured interpretation, wishful-thinking some might think.

Details to come.  Watch this space.

10. X-ray or gamma-ray imaging? Based on claims that the fingers are 'too boney" or teeth are imaged, with failure to consider, far less to model experimentally, contact-imaging that might well produce such effects through providing something more resistant under the linen than soft tissue.

Details to come. Watch this space.

11. Assumption that the TS represents a "burial shroud", when the biblical record suggests otherwise (namely that Joseph of Arimathea's's linen was intended solely for dignified TRANSPORT of a bloodied, naked or near-naked man from cross to tomb, NOT as final burial shroud.

 See my late 2014 posting from this site for more details, including artistic representation, e.g:

Here's Joseph of Arimathea's 'clean linen' being used as an improvised means of transport from cross to tomb, with no biblical evidence it was ever used, or intended to be used as final burial shroud. (Di Ciseri, 1883).

See also this posting from my specialist Shroud site with more artwork showing the Shroud being deployed in 'transport mode'.

Resurrection scenarios for image formation are excluded in the transport-only model if J of A's linen was replaced with 'winding strips' as suggested by the Gospel according to John. Instead, the focus should be on the possibility that the TS was an attempt to recreate what a sweat/blood imprint onto a transport shroud might look like 13 centuries later.

Details to come. Watch this space.

12.Failure to give due consideration or even acknowledge that the TS body  image may have been an attempt to simulate a sweat imprint, with bloodstains alone used to implicate a  particular  and highly revered crucified body , i.e. that of Jesus of Nazareth, with crown of thorns (missing), lance wound, nails wounds etc. (See previous ref to blood that serves as proxy for "wounds" that are otherwise absent from body image).

Details to come. Watch this space.

13. Failure to acknowledge the resources at the disposal of Geoffroi de Charny (France's King John the Good's favourite, both when younger as fellow 100 Year's War combatants and later at the Royal Court ), the king having financially assisted his knight/comrade-in-arms  in founding and staffing a so-called private chapel (5 -6 staff!). Those hired clerics may well have been the initiators, possibly even artisans, who originated the idea/project to recreate J of A's transport linen with a simulated sweat/blood imprint. Sindonology rarely considers the crucial  and arguably historical role of G de C and his wife, later widow, despite both their individual coats-of-arms appearing on that Lirey pilgrim's souvenir badge (Cluny Museum)  indicating a determined effort to attract pilgrims from far and wide ,the latter paying handsomely no doubt for the indulgences etc to be had at the oh-so-fashionable "Shroud"  shrine, a rival and closer attraction than the then extant 'Veil of Veronica'.

Details to come.  Watch this space.

14. Italy's Govt. supported ENEA research institute (team-leader Paolo Di Lazzaro): uv laser modelling. No image - mere superficial coloration only. No detailed consideration of likely chromophore - merely refs to cellulose as the target, despite that carbohydrate  consisting entirely of stable C- C, C-O  and O-H single bonds - no C=C or other double bonds as is usually the case for molecules that are susceptible to chemical change resulting from absorption of energetic uv radiation.

Sure, the coloration may be superficial, but it's wrong to assume that supernatural radiation is the only means of producing a superfical image, with laser pulses offered optimistically as a weak modern-day proxy  (the nearest man-made equivalent you understand).

Let's not mince our words - it was deplorable pseudoscience to make that suggestion, especially when accompanied by refs to philosophy, theology etc and being described as "scientists" in newspaper headlines when in fact the investigators were laser-technologists, said to be working after hours with their Govt-supplied hardware  to promote and proselytize their preferred take on scripture.


The major failure in this list, 14 points so far?  I would nominate that failure to consider the TS as a sweat imprint, whether as I believe simulated (14th century) or even 'authentic' of 1st century origin, there being a clear ambition to link the TS image with supernatural flash of radiation at the instant of biblical resurrection. See banner on Stephen E. Jones 'blog'  (manifesto?) for the continuing attempt to make that link, based not on science but PSEUDOSCIENCE.

So where does one go to find the non-derailed still-on-track science, steadily chuffing along, making progress, month after month, year after year?  Why, my specialist Shroud site of course, started in early Spring 2012, reporting  researches in real time (some 350 postings there and elsewhere to date)!

This investigator's specialist Shroud site (showing current posting at 13 Oct, 2016 with modelling of TS body image using 1/12 scale 'Galaxy Warrior figurines)

The cureent model (and indeed I suspect the FINAL one) is what I call the oil/flour thermal-imprinting model. See the above link for details.

I've also added a series of photographs on a recently-resurrected subsidiary Shroud site showing how it's done in 10 simple steps. I used my own hand as 'subject' to show how the imprinting technique works as well if not better with human skin.

Flour/oil imprints of my hand at the oven-roasting stage (approx 190-200 degrees C).

 One can try it out in one's own home, if one has an hour or two to spare.

Postscript: New Year's Eve, 2016: have put up a new posting on my main Shroud site, under the title: "What's Dan Porter up to these days...?".  For the last year there's been a Dan-shaped hole in the Shroudie blogosphere!

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