Rejecting all the “energetic” hypothesis for the Shroud of Turin image
Yannick Clément writes:
This comment can be seen as an addendum to my recent posts concerning Rogers point of view about the image chromophore of the Shroud. You can read these 2 series of quotes from Rogers (along with personal comments from me) here :
Recently, I discovered a new quote from Rogers in his book A chemist’s perspective on the Shroud of Turin that, I believe, will help us to understand better why he was rejecting all the “energetic” hypothesis concerning the image formation on the Shroud (particularly those involving some form of energetic radiation like UV light, corona discharge, protons, neutrons, X-rays, etc.).
In order to understand better the implication of this new quote from Rogers, I’ve decide to write again one part of my first long comment about Rogers point of view about the image chromphore of the Shroud, where I’ve integrated this new quote in the right context. Here it is :
“On page 86 of his book, Rogers show an image (figure X-7) that is the result of an experiment he made with a linen sample prepared with the same antique method described by Pliny the Elder in order to test the hypothesis of the corona discharge. Here’s what he said about his result : “A single fiber from the center of figure 2 in water. HEMICELLULOSES AND PECTINS have been oxydized, leaving most of the more stable cellulose.” Personal note : this observation from Rogers is highly important for 2 reasons : 1- It clearly show, one more time, that Rogers knew perfectly well the chemical structure of the primary cell wall of the linen fiber, even if he don’t use the term. And 2- It clearly show that, for Rogers, this kind of result, obtained from a corona discharge (and that also look pretty much the same as the result obtained by Di Lazzaro with UV lasers), was DIFFERENT from the coloration present at the surface of the Shroud !!! Effectively, for Rogers, the color on the Shroud DO NOT COME from an oxydation process ! Effectively, for Rogers, the color on the Shroud come from a Maillard reaction that imply uniquely a dehydration process. Here’s a little quote taken from the part of his book where he talk about tha Maillard reaction : “It takes some time at lower temperatures for the color to appear. The color is NOT a result of oxydation.” THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE !!! For Rogers, an OXYDATION of the hemicelluloses (principal component of the primary cell wall) and pectins (minor component of the primary cell wall) IS NOT the same thing as the DEHYDRATION of a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities that produce the body image we see on the Shroud. This example concerning the corona discharge, taken from page 86 of Rogers book, show that, for him, it was very clear that the primary cell wall, as long as the rest of the linen fiber, WAS NOT colored during the image formation process that affected the Shroud, and also, it shows that, for him, the image formation process did not involved some kind of oxydation process, but it involved a dehydration process (Maillard reaction) instead.”
Note that the new quote I’ve found is this : “It takes some time at lower temperatures for the color to appear. The color is NOT a result of oxydation.”
This is a very important point concerning the question of the image formation process and, honestly, I didn’t noticed that at all before I read recently this quote. Even if I’ve read Rogers book many times, this is one major point that didn’t caugh my attention… Before that, I thought that Rogers was thinking that the image formation has involved a dehydration-OXYDATION process of a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities but that’s not the case ! For him, the image formation process only involved a DEHYDRATION process without any kind of oxydation. Like I said, for Rogers, any image formation process (like the ones involving some kind of energetic radiations : UV light, corona discharge, protons, neutrons, etc.) that would caused an OXYDATION at the surface of the cloth MUST BE REJECT ! Why ? Simply because, in the light of all the data he knew about the Shroud’s image (including the shrinkage, crazing and corroded aspect of the coloration, the reduction of this coloration easily obtained with diimide, the ghosts of coloration found in the sticky tapes, the much more force it is needed in order to get some fibrils with a sticky tape from a non-image area in comparison with an image area, etc.), Rogers conclude that the image formation process involved uniquely a DEHYDRATION process and not an OXYDATION process.
This goes far beyond the question concerning the image chromophore. For Rogers, if an hypothesis of image formation would give some kind of oxydation (like, for example, the corona discharge that he was able to test by himself), no matter if this oxydation would involved the primary cell wall or a thin layer of impurities on-top of the fibers, IT MUST BE COMPLETELY REJECT because it is NOT compatible with the known nature of the body image that do not show the particular characteristics of any form of oxydation process… That’s why this new quote from Rogers is very important and that’s why I wanted to share it with all of you.
In sum, for him, if an hypothesis of image formation would result in a coloration of the linen fiber itself (including the primary cell wall) and/or if it would result in some kind of oxydation process at the surface of the cloth, IT MUST BE COMPLETELY REJECT because it is not compatible with the known nature of the body image on the Shroud.
That was Rogers point of view on the question at the moment of his death. Of course, he could be wrong, but presently, in the present state of our knowledge about the Shroud, I don’t think someone can prove that he really was wrong about that !!! And if he was right, that mean there’s a bunch of hypothesis that would have to be thrown in the garbage, including the one involving corona discharge as proposed by Fanti and the one tested by Di Lazzaro and Al. involving UV light, simply because these hypotheses would produce some form of oxydation at the surface of the Shroud.
Note that Rogers changed his mind about this important subject. During the time he was involved with STURP, Rogers thought, like the other members of the team, that the image was caused by some for of a dehydration-oxydation process involving directly the linen fiber. Then, after taking note of new observations about the image, he changed his mind. That means that these new observations were very important for him. So important in fact, that he had no other choice than to change his mind about the first conclusion he made in his STURP paper. Remember that Rogers was not driven by any religious or money-making agenda or something like that. There was no good reason for him to change his mind about his first conclusion, except for the fact that these new data forced him to do so… To me, this reality speaks very loud !