Archive for the ‘Other Blogs’ Category

Colin Berry’s Method and 3D Information

May 10, 2015 5 comments

it is presumptive to think the 3D information represents cloth-to-body distance.
It is presumptive because you must have a method in mind

clip_image001A reader writes:

Colin Berry’s method may provide synthetic cloth to body information represented by varying color density for close together body features such as fingers beside each other. It cannot provide proper relative spatial information for disparate features related to each other at a distance such as the tip of the nose and the outer edge of each cheek.  Dr. Berry’s method cannot generate the sort of spatial information we see in Petrus Soon’s 3D renditions.

You are possibly right that Colin’s method cannot produce meaningful, relative 3D information for “disparate features related to each other at a distance.”  That seems obvious when looking at his method. But is that 3D information really contained in the shroud image in the sense you suggest? Does it represent reality?

1) I’m still not convinced that the 3D information represents cloth-to-body distance. It works out, it seems to me, to somehow represent body shape but it is presumptive to think the 3D information represents cloth-to-body distance. It is presumptive because you must have a method in mind to even suggest it.

 2)  I certainly have serious reservations about the 3D work undertaken by Petrus Soons.  I suspect that the real 3D information on the shroud is more like what we see with ImageJ, the VP8 and John Jackson’s 3D corrugated cardboard plot exhibited at the U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado.

Might Colin’s method produce that kind of 3D data? I don’t think so, “synthetic” or otherwise. But I don’t know that. I think we need to wait and see.

Categories: Other Blogs Tags: ,

Colin Berry Has It All Figured Out, Sort Of, Maybe

May 9, 2015 71 comments

You’ve got to love the experimentation and impressive results so far

imageColin Berry gives this lengthy title to a blog postings over at his Science Buzz blog: The chemical principles behind the iconic Turin Shroud can now be explained. All that remains is to produce a look-alike copy. Then he goes on to say:

It’s taken over 3 years of almost non-stop experimentation, but this blogger/retired science bod is now able to explain how the faint negative image of the Turin Shroud was obtained (as a feat of medieval technology, aided by alchemists).

The task: produce a contact image that could be claimed to be that left by the crucified Jesus on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’.

It’s incredibly simple in principle (why didn’t I think of it sooner?):

1. Paint an adult human male (alive or dead) with an organic paste …

2. Press linen against the subject (or subject against linen) …

3. Develop the image chemically….


So I maintain that the plausible science is established – at least in principle-  so far as producing a negative  sepia 2D image from imprinting off a 3D subjectis concerned.  Whether it matches all the additional or peculiar characteristics of the TS image (extreme superficiality, lack of reverse side image, lack of uv fluorescence, microscopic characteristics etc.) remains to be seen. However,let’s insert a note of caution: not all those listed characteristics were necessarily there immediately after image formation, regardless of age – centuries or millennia. Some of those characteristics may be a result of ageing. At present it seems sensible to adopt a broad-brush approach, attempting to accommodate  only those ‘headline’ characteristics of the TS that have led to its being described as iconic or enigmatic. Where the latter are concerned, the prize for the most ‘iconic’ must surely go to the pioneering 1898 photography by Secondo Pia, which converted the Shroud negative back into a positive (by innocently treating the TS as a positive and convereting to a negative!).

Categories: Image Theory, Other Blogs Tags:

A Folding Method Charles Freeman Might Accept

May 8, 2015 17 comments

Click on the image to see how it is done in steps 1 through 5

clip_image001[4]Stephen Jones, back in September of 2012, wrote:

A commenter on Dan Porter’s Shroud of Turin blog pointed out what I had previously realised, but had forgotten, that Dan’s "Tetradiplon" graphic illustrating how the Shroud of Turin, when "four-doubled" (Greek tetradiplon), with Jesus’ face uppermost, results in Jesus’ face only within a rectangle, in landscape aspect (exactly as in the oldest copies of the Image of Edessa), has a flaw in that it only shows three doublings of the Shroud (see above).

Even Ian Wilson’s illustrations of this in his books (e.g. "The Evidence of the Shroud," 1986, p.113; "Holy Faces, Secret Places," 1991, p.142; "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, p.153; "The Turin Shroud," 2000, p.111; and "The Shroud," 2010, p.141), show the Shroud doubled only three times.

But some months ago I cut out a photo of the Shroud and proved to myself that the Shroud can be doubled four times in such a way that it results in Jesus’ face in a rectangular segment of the cloth, in landscape aspect,exactly as it is in early copies of the Image of Edessa. Here I will show how it can be done, in what is a reasonable way to fold a long cloth, minimising strain at its fold edges.

Stephen goes on to say:

This is consistent with major foldlines at one-eighth intervals, found on the Shroud by Dr John Jackson from raking light photographs of the Shroud taken in 1978 by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP).


Ye shall know them by their photographs

April 22, 2015 5 comments


An old friend who just discovered this blog writes:

We keep reading that the Catholic church does not have a position on the shroud. Like they can?  That’s BS!  Look at the picture on their website. It’s a big case of watch what I do and ignore what I say. Do you think all those bishops and priests are ( What’s the word? Venerating? ) what might be a medieval forgery? Give me a break. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Ouch. Not good context. Matthew 7:15&16 (NRSV) reads, “15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.”

Not good context at all.

The above picture that my friend included in his email is in rotation on the official exposition website,, and is currently the masthead for the Archdiocese’s official exposition Facebook and Twitter pages.

I get the point but is it valid?  Stephen Jones is saying similar things in his blog, absent the photograph:

As I have stated before, it is duplicitous (i.e. two-faced), of the Vatican to refuse to confirm or deny that the Shroud is authentic. By its actions of spending the equivalent of tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars preserving the Shroud and exhibiting it to millions of people as though it is authentic, the Vatican clearly does believe that the Shroud is authentic, so it should say so. Shroud anti-authenticists cite the Vatican’s refusal to state that the Shroud is authentic as evidence that it is not. I am not being anti-Catholic in this, I am being pro-truth! (italic emphasis is Steven’s)

For what it’s worth, I think the church is saying the right thing and showing the shroud in the right way.

God Does Whatever He Feels Like

April 18, 2015 46 comments

Mark Shea is wound up.  Perhaps to much caffeinated chocolate.  Try the carob Mark. But then again, I agree with you.

…not a painting, not a scorch, not a photograph.

imageThat’s cuz it’s the real thing. Challenge to Skeptics: If it’s medieval forgery made by and for primitive suckers then get with the program. We live in the 21st century. There’s nothing technological a medieval could do that we can’t do ten times better and faster. So make another one.  But do it using the 14th century tech you say created this.  And don’t give me this piece of carob on the right…,,,and call it chocolate.  If that thing on the right is a “reproduction” of the Shroud then Justin Bieber is Enrico Caruso.


Not that Catholic faith rests on  the Shroud.  Millions of Christians have lived and died never so much as having heard of, let alone seen, it.  But such grace notes are kindnesses from a God who, under carefully controlled laboratory conditions and despite advice from the finest ideologues money can buy, does whatever he feels like.

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With Anyone Interested in Listening

April 13, 2015 9 comments

Okay!  No problem with your masthead suasion.  We listen, around here.

imageGary writes at Escaping Christian Fundamentalism, Does the Shroud of Turin prove that Jesus had a Human Father?

One other thing about the Shroud of Turin I find shocking is that believers claim the shroud has blood on it with AB blood type. How is it that Jesus had a recognizable blood type? We each obtain our blood type by receiving one allele from each of our parents. Here is an example:

“How are ABO alleles inherited by our children? Each biological parent donates one of their two ABO alleles to their child. A mother who is blood type O can only pass an O allele to her son or daughter. A father who is blood type AB could pass either an A or a B allele to his son or daughter.”

You can’t obtain both an “A” allele and a “B” allele from your mother! So Jesus would only have one allele, from his mother, as his father was a ghost.

Do ghosts have a blood type???

The Shroud of Turin is either a fake or Jesus had a human father!

Of course, there is always the tried and true fall back: God went “poof” and Jesus was given AB blood by magic.

Okay. Now it is your turn to listen. I count at least 50 postings on the subject of blood type in this blog. That is for starters, just to get you acquainted with the subject. I’m sure we will have something to say about your argument.

Categories: Other Blogs

On David Gibson

March 8, 2015 2 comments

imageKate O’Hare, in the Catholic Channel of Patheos, discusses a conversation with David Gibson (pictured), one of the co-authors of “Finding Jesus,” the book on which the CNN TV series of the same name is based:

On the relics examined:

Some of them are not as claimed; some of them are probably forgeries. even; but some of them are the real deal. Some of them, all of them, open a window on history and onto the Gospels and what really happened.

Even if this piece of the True Cross isn’t the True Cross, what happened? How did these things migrate across centuries, why are they so important?

On why he’s a Catholic:

Honey, I don’t have enough time. That’s a whole other thing. I was raised Evangelical. My mom’s a Billy Graham Evangelical and very strong in her faith, but for me, I found a deeper tradition and a liturgical practice in the Catholic Church, like a number of Evangelicals have.

But again, not to diss anything else, there are so many aspects of conversion which are fascinating. Each conversion story stands on its own.

In the context of this book and this series, coming from a tradition where anything associated with relics was ridiculous or superstitious, to a tradition that reveres and venerates relics, and is also very strong on historical, Biblical research, there’s a common ground there that both sides can learn from the other on the value of looking for the Jesus of history.


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