Colin Berry’s Latest and Greatest. Is it Enough?

September 3, 2015 2 comments

Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…

clip_image001Sometimes, you need to wait for Colin Berry to finish adding bits and pieces to his postings. When things settle down,  it is easier to report on them. Colin seems to have done so now. It is time to look at his latest and greatest technique for creating an image that may or may not be like the image on the shroud:

“It’s a distillation of some 40 months and more of virtually non-stop effort since Dec 2011 to ‘model’ the ‘enigmatic’ TS body image,” he tells us.

He goes on:

It would have been nice to use a real human subject instead of the plastic toy The technique lends itself to scaling up, and leaves the volunteer (?)  unharmed, except for a coating of vegetable  oil and plain white flour (most of that being imprinted onto linen, leaving less to be showered off).

Alas. I do not have a 4m x 1m length of linen, and even if I  did, one suspects the sourpuss contingent of sindonology would waste no time in telling me it had to be herringbone weave, centuries or millennia old, traditionally-bleached, lacking modern-day optical brighteners etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Nope. This science bod is content to model the TS characteristics, showing that no fancy gee whizz 20th/21st century technology is needed, certainly not pulses of intense uv rays  from excimer lasers or neutrons from rock-crushing tectonic activity etc.(the sort of things that could theoretically have affected a particular linen shrouds in a 1st century rock tomb we are solemnly assured).

No real argument there. I don’t know, however, if it is scalable. It seems that it would be. And I don’t know enough about chemistry or the science of images to weigh in on the issue of bleaching “etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”

clip_image001Let’s stick with the small scale model, and show how, step-by-step, the above image was created that, from where I’m standing, ticks an ever-growing number of boxes that says: YES – it is looking increasingly like a valid model, despite it using homely medieval technology that today’s blog-readers can confirm for themselves in less than an hour in their own homes if so inclined.  It requires nothing more than: (a) linen (I get mine from the clothes rack in charity shops, ladies’ white summer trousers especially) (b) plain white flour (c) vegetable oil (d) a hot oven (e) a bar of soap. Yes – indcredibly, insultingly some might say, that’s my DIY list for what’s needed.

Nothing insulting about any of that. It is actually intriguing in a “Bill Nye the Science Guy” sort of way.

Okay. Now you need to read: Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…

The rest of this posting will be in two instalments: first, the procedure for obtaining the above result, namely a faint, fuzzy, negative TS-like image and then, later, possibly tomorrow, the evidence from studies reported already on my other site that the image you see above meets many , possibly most, of the criteria of the TS image at both macroscopic and microscopic level.

Lots of good pictures help us understand.

[…]

3D properties? Do the faint and fuzzy imprints you see above respond to 3D rendering in software programs like ImageJ? is that too much to hope, given typicaly awestruck observations such as this one from the shroudstory site:

clip_image001[5]

 

Fact: there is nothing in the least bit "profoundly mysterious" about the 3D properties of the Shroud image, especially if it’s a contact imprint. This investigator has shown over and over again in the course of  3 years of entering a large variety of images into Image J that the 3D response of the TS, far from being ‘profounsly mysterious’ is in fact entirely predictable. What would be unusual would be for it NOT to respond to 3D rendering, given the way the software operates. Here’s an image that hopefully illustrates my point:

image

3D-rendered image of plastic toy(left) verus Shroud Scope image of TS (right). Note the embedded 2D reference (concentric circles with stepped intensity gradient) and the DEFAULT non-zero setting of z scale elevation setting (0.1)

Yes. One can enter 2D diagrams with no 3D history, like those concentric circles above, and they show a comparable 3D response (top left) to that of the model image OR the TS. Why is that? Look at the z scale next to the red arrow. It is on its default MINIMUM setting of 0.1. The software sets that non-zero default setting, meaning that ANY image one enters that has any kind of intensity gradient, simple stepped ones included, produce a 3D response.The latter is entirely artefactual unless one has evidence to the contrary. This investigator knows of no evidence to suggest that the so-called "3D properties" of the TS image are any different from those of contact imprints generally.

Late insertion: I’m saying there is no 3D mystique until proven otherwise. Right on cue we hear the rejoinder: "There is 3D mystique until YOU prove otherwise", adding technical details like RGB balance that were addressed previously in discussion with "OK" in Poland,.

Nope. i’m not buying into that pro-authencity attempt to shift the burden of proof. I repeat: there is NO 3D mystique until proven otherwise. The so-called "unique 3D encoding" of the TS image is pure agenda-driven moonshine.

See also this later comment from the inestimable Hugh Farey, with new 3D rendered images of this blogger’s hand both in original colour AND grayscale. Both show 3D enhancement (needless to say).  Thank you Hugh.

I said “profoundly mysterious” because I don’t know how, and nobody knows how, the 3D information was derived in the shroud image. Maybe it was Colin’s way? I don’t know. I would not have introduced the word “mystique”  as he did. Language is too tricky for that.   That is also why I don’t say the 3D data is “encoded.” 

In the shroud image we are looking at a brightness-map that seems, when smoothed, to represents elevation. It  happens to also look like a picture. Put the other way around, that is still true; it is a picture that, when smoothed, functions as a brightness-map (height-map, bump-map, etc.).

I’ve said, clearly, that I don’t think we can say with any certainty that the brightness information, the 3D information, means body-to-cloth distance. I’ve said that there are other methods of deriving that sort of information and that the information might be real or imaginary.  Regular photographs and paintings, by-the-way, can contain that information. It is wrong to say they can’t. Most don’t, though.

Colin has created an image that is also a brightness-map.  You can plot 3D images with it using ImageJ. The real question is this: Does the brightness-map correctly represent the shape of the body (the plastic soldier)? I’m not convinced it does. Or it is too crude.  We need some better pictures to work with. We need to do more in ImageJ. We need to be sure that ImageJ is being used correctly.

By-the-way, I have been impressed with the 3D imaging of Colin’s hand. So maybe Colin is onto something.  In his blog, however, he is trying to make an issue out of nothing by playing with the word mystique.

(Click on the image of the hand to see this image enlarged).

image

Categories: 3D, Image Theory

Carbon Dating with the Potential to Become Controversial

September 2, 2015 1 comment

AND:  The Get Religion blog gets down in the trenches with how journalist cover stories
like this. Be sure to read Jim Davis.

 

imagePaul Vale, in the UK edition of the Huffington Post, tells us that the Birmingham Koran Carbon Dating Reveals Book Is Likely Older Than Prophet Muhammad:

In what could prove something of a pot hole for current readings of Islamic history, a carbon test carried out on a Koranic manuscript recently discovered in England reveals the book is likely older than Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic faith.

The test used a piece of the ancient parchment, discovered in Birmingham University Library in July, with scientists dating the tome from between 568 and 645AD.

imageIslamic scholars believe Muhammad lived between 570 and 632AD and that he founded Islam after 610AD. The first Muslim community was founded in Medina in 622AD. This means the text was likely compiled either before the Prophet’s birth or during his childhood.

“It destabilises, to put it mildly, the idea that we can know anything with certainty about how the Koran emerged — and that in turn has implications for the history of Muhammad and the Companions,” historian Tom Holland told The Times.

[…]

However, Keith Small, a researcher at the Bodleian in Oxford, urged caution as the carbon testing only used parchment rather than the ink from the book. He said: “If the dates apply to the parchment and the ink, and the dates across the entire range apply, then the Koran — or at least portions of it — predates Mohammed, and moves back the years that an Arabic literary culture is in place well into the 500s.”

Small added: “This would radically alter the edifice of Islamic tradition and the history of the rise of Islam in late Near Eastern antiquity would have to be completely revised, somehow accounting for another book of scripture coming into existence 50 to 100 years before, and then also explaining how this was co-opted into what became the entity of Islam by around AD700.”

For additional perspective, see Oldest pages of the Koran found in England may date to Mohammed’s lifetime by Mark Miller at Ancient Origins.

There are other manuscripts that may be as old as this one, the BBC says. Radiocarbon dating provides a range of years for an object being dated, and the years of this and other manuscripts overlap. But these two pages are among the oldest known surviving Koran manuscripts in existence.

Muhammad Isa Waley, a British Library expert on old manuscripts called the discovery exciting and Muslims would rejoice over it.

AND:  The GetReligion blog gets down in the trenches with how journalists cover stories like this. Be sure to read Jim Davis at GetReligion.org

How soon will it be before journalists are somehow linking this to the carbon dating of the shroud?

Non-Fiction: The Vatican Prophecies Available September 15

September 2, 2015 4 comments

It looks like there are a twenty of more pages on the Shroud of Turin

imageThe Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age  by John Thavis (Author of The Vatican Diaries)

The Chapters:

      Introduction: At the Crossroads of Reason and Wonder

  1. A Piece of Holiness
  2. Mother of God
  3. The Sacred Image
  4. Full of the Devil
  5. The Miracle Trail
  6. Prophecies, End Times and Alien Saviors
    Editions at Amazon:
  • Kindle $14.99  Read with Our Free App
  • Hardcover $17.29
  • Audio CD $34.95

“The process by which these supernatural events are authenticated is expertly told by John Thavis, one of the world’s leading Vaticanologists. In fact, that a book on so secretive and complex a topic is so deeply researched, beautifully written, and artfully told is something of a small miracle itself.”—James Martin, S.J., author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Vatican Diaries, a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the Vatican investigates claims of miraculous events

Apocalyptic prophecies and miraculous apparitions are headline-grabbing events that often put the Catholic Church’s concept of “rational faith” at odds with the passion of its more zealous followers. To some, these claims teeter on the edge of absurdity. Others see them as evidence of a private connection with God. For the Vatican, the issue is much more nuanced as each supposed miraculous event could have serious theological and political consequences. In response, the Vatican has developed a highly secretive and complex evaluation system to judge the authenticity of supernatural phenomena.

Former journalist John Thavis uses his thirty years’ experience covering the Vatican to shed light on this little-known process, revealing deep internal debates on the power of religious relics, private revelations, exorcisms, and more. Enlightening and accessible to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, the book illustrates the Church’s struggle to balance the tension between traditional beliefs and contemporary skepticism.

Pre-Release Editorial Reviews:

“Thavis’s second book is a lively, far-reaching exploration of the paranormal aspects of the Catholic faith, investigating both the role that such phenomena play in the lives of parishioners and the official stance of the institutional church . . . . [The Vatican Prophecies] is an engaging introduction.”   —Kirkus Reviews

“This engaging overview of contemporary supernatural occurrences is filled with stories and case studies. Catholics and those interested in Christian history will appreciate this exploration of the efforts to balance modern rationalism with traditional devotional practices.” —Library Journal 

About the Author:

imageJohn Thavis is the prizewinning former Rome bureau chief of the Catholic News Service. He has written extensively on religious issues in Europe and the Middle East, has lectured on Vatican affairs in the United States and Europe, and has won awards for his firsthand reporting on the war in the Balkans. In addition to numerous awards for individual excellence and analytical reporting, he has received the St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor given by the Catholic press.  He lives in Minnesota.

Categories: Books

Ian Wilson’s 1978 Book for a Penny

September 2, 2015 1 comment

Hurry. There are only 83 copies available at this price.

 

imageimageThe Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ? Hardcover – 1978

by Ian Wilson (Author)

11 customer reviews


See all 4 formats and editions


Note: This item is only available from third-party sellers (see all offers).

One of the most baffling questions concerning the Shroud’s authenticity is how – and where – it was preserved through the centuries. Ian Wilson traces the history of the cloth from its creation almost two thousand years ago. He propsess ingeniuos solutions to the gaps in its history – explanations that link the Shroud to the Mandylion that belonged to the Emperors of Constantinople, to legends of Veronica’s Veil and the Holy Grail, as well as to the powerful Knight’s Templars of Medieval Europe. The Shroud Of Turin is a fascinating detective story that offers some intriguing answers to questions that have surrounded this frail piece of linen for centuries.

Hat tip to Joe Marino

Categories: Books

Checking in on Stephen Jones’ Blog

September 1, 2015 1 comment

imageStephen has been discussing the side strip: Sidestrip #5: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

< CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE >

Problem for the forgery theory. That the Shroud has almost invisible stitching in its seam that is identical to stitching found elsewhere only at the Jewish fortress of Masada, which was last occupied in AD 73, is yet another (see #1, #3 and #4) problem for the forgery theory. Since a medieval forger would be most unlikely (to put it mildly) to even know about almost invisible first century Jewish stitching; and even if he did know about it, he would be even more unlikely to go to the trouble of adding it to his forgery (what use would almost invisible stitching be to a forger?); and even if he wanted to use it, he would be most unlikely to have the high degree of skill needed to do such stitching. So again the forgery theory would need to resort to the pre-1988 fall-back position of the late leading anti-authenticist Walter McCrone (1916-2002), that "a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image":

"A carbon-dating test would be final if it led to a date significantly later than the early first century. A first century date, on the other hand, would remove almost all obstacles to universal acceptance of the `Shroud’ as authentic. Only the careful objective scientist might still point out that a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image"[18].

But, leaving aside whether that would be "objective," for anti- authenticists to claim that a medieval forger forged the Shroud’s image on a 1st century cloth would, as we saw in parts #3 and #4, mean admitting that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud claim was wrong…

Does Stephen mean this is overwhelming – the emphasis on the word in the title of his posting is his – or that this argument, in conjunction with a gazillion other (or a few other) arguments, is overwhelming. I think he means the latter. I’m just not a big fan of piling up weak arguments one on top of the other. But then, again, that’s just me. And maybe it’s not weak.

Your thoughts?

Categories: Uncategorized

Hey, Guardian. That’s My Job

September 1, 2015 1 comment

imageLast week, The Guardian dredged up a 1988 article for us; maybe some editor thought we missed Turin Shroud leak starts unholy row. Following the lead which reads, “Scholars at Oxford University believe the linen, said to have wrapped the body of Jesus, may be a fake,” the article begins:

Representatives of the Archbishop of Turin condemned Oxford University last night for allowing news to leak out that the Turin Shroud – revered by Roman Catholics as a bloodstained relic of the crucified Christ – is a medieval forgery. They announced that the university could not possibly know.

The furore began after Dr Richard Luckett, a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday that a date of 1350 “looks likely” for the 14ft piece of linen, which bears the imprint of the face, the thorns, and wounds of Jesus’s body.

He referred to laboratories as “leaky institutions”. A fragment of the shroud is being radiocarbon-dated at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford. At Magdalene the message was that Dr Luckett was away for the weekend.

It is now twenty-seven years later, and just in case we still had questions, The Guardian included this last line with a link that reads, “Scientists and the church still disagree about the authenticity of the shroud.”

Despite the fact that the cloth was radiocarbon-dated to the 14th century in 1988, an array of theories continue to be presented to support its authenticity – including, this year, the idea from scientists at the Politecnico di Torino that an earthquake in AD 33 may have caused a release of neutrons responsible for the formation of the image.

But, according to research by British scholar and author Charles Freeman, to be published in the journal History Today, the truth is that the shroud is not only medieval, just as the radiocarbon dating suggests, but that it is likely to have been created for medieval Easter rituals – an explanation that flies in the face of what he called “intense and sometimes absurd speculation” that coalesces around it.

Doesn’t the mainstream media understand that it is the job of bloggers to dredge up old news that nobody cares about when we don’t have anything else to say?

Categories: Article

Interesting Discussion About the Percussio Blow and Barbet

August 31, 2015 Leave a comment
Categories: History
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