Home > Image Theory, Science > Is Radiation the Cause of the Image on the Shroud of Turin

Is Radiation the Cause of the Image on the Shroud of Turin

February 16, 2011

imageJerome Corsi has an interesting article at Bible Prophecy Update. I have my doubts. I’ll get to that:

Scientists are building the case that the image of a crucified man on the Shroud of Turin was created by radiation that emanated from the body itself, a theory remarkably supportive of the traditional resurrection account that is central to Christian theology.

A scientific paper co-authored by attorney and historian Mark Antonacci and physicist Arthur Lind argues that the image of the crucified man in Shroud of Turin might constitute what amounts to a photograph taken at the instant Jesus’ body transformed as he rose from the dead.

In the paper, “Particle Radiation from the Body,” Antonacci’s and Lind’s argument centers around the 29 unique or unusual features that scientists over the past four decades have found on the Shroud’s body image and fiber.

Among the 29 features are the following:

  • Lack of fading of the image;
  • Uniform coloring around each fiber of linen;
  • All fibers collectively colored with the same intensity;
  • Oxidation and dehydration of fibers;
  • Stability of the body image to water and heating;
  • Insolubility of the body image to acids, redox and solvents;
  • Equal intensity of the body image for frontal and dorsal views;
  • Negative images of the body with left/right and light/dark reversals that develop into highly resolved, photographic quality images;
  • Three-dimensionality encoded through the space between the body and the cloth.

Okay, now for my doubts. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not ruling it radiation. But here are many hypotheses, including natural chemical image formation. Let’s look at the statements from above with my comments in bold.

  • Lack of fading of the image; We don’t know that. It is an assumption.
  • Uniform coloring around each fiber of linen; This is not proven and is questioned.
  • All fibers collectively colored with the same intensity; That is debatable. Rogers has argued that the color may be the same but of varying density in places.
  • Oxidation and dehydration of fibers; Or of a coating on the fibers.
  • Stability of the body image to water and heating; That seems to be completely true within reasonable limits.
  • Insolubility of the body image to acids, redox and solvents; But it can be removed with sticky tape which strongly suggests that it in a coating on the fibers and not simply oxidation and dehydration of the fibers. It can also be reduced with dimide.
  • Equal intensity of the body image for frontal and dorsal views; That seems to be approximately and perhaps completely true.
  • Negative images of the body with left/right and light/dark reversals that develop into highly resolved, photographic quality images; That is true. But hair may be a light/dark (actually a saturation level) exception if the image was caused by a Maillard reaction.
  • Three-dimensionality encoded through the space between the body and the cloth. This is a category error. It is just as possible that the image is a height-field that happens to also look like an image – in other words, is encoded with a two-dimensional visual image. Nothing can be implied about space or body and cloth distance without a priori assuming what you are trying to prove.
    And the claim that only radiation can produce all of these characteristics is far from proven.
Categories: Image Theory, Science
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