Just read your sidebar on the shroud blog and I find your assertion that Pro. Dawkins questions the validity of carbon dating actually as being inaccurate leads one to believe that the good Doctor believes the technique is wholesale inaccurate. That simply isn’t true. Prof Dawkins claims it is not reliable for dating purposes that deal the evolutionary timescale dealing with MILLIONS of years. He claims it is very accurate in terms of dating hundreds and THOUSANDS of years. That would make the procedure highly useful in dating an organic piece of cloth 2000 years old or less. Also, when you write, "We simply do not have enough reliable information to arrive at a scientifically rigorous conclusion. Years ago, as a skeptic of the Shroud, I came to realize that while I might believe it was a fake, I could not know so from the facts. Now, as someone who believes it is the real burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, I similarly realize that a leap of faith over unanswered questions is essential", it’s not up to the non-believer to prove its’ validity, it’s up to the claimants, or as Carl Sagan once said,"extraordinary claims (which belief in the shroud is) REQUIRE extraordinary EVIDENCE". If you say your belief in the shroud requires a "leap of faith" after stating your conclusive belief in the item, yet at the same time admitting there are "unanswered questions", you’ve just taken real science out of the picture. In other words, you arrived at the conclusion long before any conclusive evidence. Sorry, Daniel, that is not how real science works. Your blog claims science as its’ tool, yet it fails at using actual scientific methodology. Without "extraordinary evidence" a conclusion to the question, in terms of real science, cannot be reached. The second you use the word "faith" you’ve just raised belief as a priority over the head of real science. That, in reality, is NOT real science. Belief does not require reason, and without reason, there cannot be reality. I think this site (shroud blog) is just another example of apologetics masquerading as science. Or, pounding the square peg into the round hole.
I don’t know how from what I wrote that anyone might “believe that the good Doctor [=Dawkins] believes the technique is wholesale inaccurate.” And what you say about what Dawkins believes about radiocarbon dating is very accurate. I don’t dispute it. But what I was thinking about was from his wonderful book, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” (pp. 105-106):
The dating of the shroud remains controversial, but not for reasons that cast doubt on the carbon-dating technique itself. For example, the carbon in the shroud might have been contaminated by a fire, which is known to have occurred in 1532. 1 won’t pursue the matter further, because the shroud is of historical, not evolutionary, interest.
Re Extraordinary claims:
It is true that Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," but the real credit should probably go to David Hume (1711-1776) who wrote,"A wise man . . . proportions his belief to the evidence" or to Marcello Truzzi, a cofounder of CSICOP, who wrote in an essay on pseudo-skepticism in the the Zetetic Scholar . . .
In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis — saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact — he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof.
Truzzi elaborates enough to remind us to be cautious. So when you write, “Carl Sagan once said,"extraordinary claims (which belief in the shroud is) REQUIRE extraordinary EVIDENCE,” two things come to mind:
- Is belief in the shroud extraordinary? I say it is not.
- Is the evidence in support of that not extraordinary.
Spend some time with us in this blog. You may not change your mind about the shroud but you may come to agree with what I contend here.
Regarding faith as a priority over reason.
You say to me, “The second you use the word "faith" you’ve just raised belief as a priority over the head of real science.” Would you rather that I was dishonest? Should I not say that I believe it is real when in fact I do? Should I pretend that the evidence is better than it is? If anything, being honest and not denying science (e.g. by quoting scripture or an apologetic argument) elevates science.
Belief is something Dawkins tries to address in a letter to his then ten year old daughter (A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love, 2004):
Inside feelings are valuable in science too, but only for giving you ideas that you later test by looking for evidence. A scientist can have a ‘hunch’ about an idea that just ‘feels’ right. In itself, this is not a good reason for believing something. But it can be a good reason for spending some time doing a particular experiment, or looking in a particular way for evidence. Scientists use inside feelings all the time to get ideas. But they are not worth anything until they are supported by evidence. . . .What can we do about all this? It is not easy for you to do anything, because you are only ten. But you could try this. Next time somebody tells you something that sounds important, think to yourself: ‘Is this the kind of thing that people probably know because of evidence? Or is it the kind of thing that people only believe because of tradition, authority or revelation?’ And, next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.
And this blog is about finding answers that don’t depend solely, or even at all, on tradition, authority or revelation.
An enigmatic thing about the shroud is that to claim it is fake is as extraordinary (if not more so) as to claim it is real. You can do this thought experimentation without making any claims one way or the other about what might be supernatural causes or reasons or consequences for belief.
Al, you say I have arrived at the conclusion long before any conclusive evidence. Maybe, I’ll have to ponder that. (Why do I think of Enrico Fermi pulling out those cadmium rods?)
Al, your comments are welcome here. There are quite a few scientists participating in the discussions.
Re the square peg:
It all depends on the size of the hole.
Thanks for writing. Join in the discussion, please.
. . . "Third Encounter of the Two Linens," sponsored by the Pontifical University in Rome, was originally scheduled to be held at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center in Israel from November 25 to December 1, 2012. However, due to the political situation at the time, the conference was postponed and has now been rescheduled to take place on June 26 through July 2, 2013. The conference deals specifically with the Shroud of Turin and the Tilma Cloak of Tepeyac (aka Our Lady of Guadalupe). You can read the stated objectives of the event at this link.
or right here:
To pair off the two cloths (the Shroud of Turin and the tilma cloak of Tepeyac) that have had the greatest impact on the Church throughout history in order to:
- Appreciate their evangelizing, historical and scientific value.
- Reflect upon the interplay between these two gifts of God to the world for the evangelization of the XXI century.
- Determine, in the light of Shroud science, what research should be done on the tilma containing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The conclusions and proposals will be presented to the Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera
With many invited speakers from around the world, the Encounter will consist of presentations by experts and round table discussions. As far as I know, the speakers remain the same. Among those invited are Prof. Adolfo Orozco and Dr. Jose Aste Tonsmann from Mexico, Prof. Bruno Barberis, Piero Savarino, Paolo Di Lazzaro, Fr. Hector Guerra and Fr. Gianfranco Berbenni from Italy, Dr. Alfonso Sanchez Hermosilla from Spain, Dr. John and Rebecca Jackson and Barrie Schwortz from the USA and Dr. Petrus Soons from Panama.
I took it on the chin a bit (perhaps deservedly) back in 2010, when I expressed reservations about connecting the Guadalupe Tilma with the shroud. Thus, A Special Posting: A Letter from John Jackson followed.
Upon our return [from Turin], Rebecca called to my attention some discussion on the Shroud Science Group regarding this event and I wish to offer some of my own reflections. It seems that the discussion was precipitated by comments made by Dan Porter on his “Shroud of Turin Blog” where he writes about the event in Turin, “What kind of signal does this send? Confusion. Keep the story tiny and buried.” With respect for Mr. Porter, I could not disagree more with this summation; I think the signal sent is, to the contrary, Spiritually valuable and that the story should be widely disseminated and definitely not buried.
I still have reservations about associating the Tilma and the Shroud, at least scientifically. But I understand John’s point expressed in A Special Posting: A Letter from John Jackson.
Stephen Jones has published the next part of his extensive survey, The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (6): Writing in his Shroud of Turin blog. He begins:
That I have included a page on the topic of "writing on the Shroud" should not be taken to mean that I am claiming that there is any writing on the Shroud (apart from the inscriptions on the coins over the Shroud man’s eyes – see part 16, "Coins over eyes"). Rather, I am covering this topic for completeness of my "Other marks" section.
With the possible exception of the 11th century writing above the right knee (see above), there is no compelling evidence for, and much evidence against, the theory that there is writing on the Shroud of Turin. Even among scholars who believe in the Shroud’s authenticity, most have dismissed as unreliable the computer enhanced images of `letters’ on the Shroud upon which Marastoni’s, Marion and Courage’s, and Frale’s, theories are based. As Dr Bruno Barberis, director of the International Center for Shroud Studies of Turin, commented, "There is no evidence that those letters do exist. Many have seen faint writings on the cloth. Rather than a shroud it looks like an encyclopedia"!
Stephen, as always, does a good job of crawling through the published material. I have a much easier time with his assessment of the writing than his assessment of coin images.
Barrie Schwortz is updating his website and Google just spotted a new PDF file, Behind the Scenes of a New Smithsonian Channel Shroud Documentary. It’s by Barrie. Here is a short sample from page 2 of 6:
The first thing we taped that morning was in the outdoor area of the facility where two dead pigs had been placed, partially exposed to the elements, with the linen cloth samples draped over their sides. They were laid on the bare ground in a wood frame shed that was covered with a thin plastic film, but had open sides. It had been raining off and on for several days and the ground was soft and muddy and the humidity was quite high. There was also a steady breeze blowing which would seriously impact any type of gas diffusion and I immediately realized that this test was completely inappropriate for comparison with the Shroud, since the body it had covered had been placed in a dry, sealed tomb. At that moment I had my first doubts that we would get any results at all. (Above: Dr. Anna Williams, her assistant and several crew members prepare to tape the decomposing pig sequences).
It’s important to read the whole paper: Behind the Scenes of a New Smithsonian Channel Shroud Documentary
Now what else is going to pop up at shroud.com? Okay, we got a whole new Late Breaking News page dated June 3, 2013.
10+ Questions that I would ask Alan Adler
In the light of several recent discussions involving various Shroud investigators, I decided to jot down several specific questions that I would ask Dr. Alan Adler if given the opportunity to have a face to face discussion with him. I tried to limit my questions to 10 main points of interest. Of course, Adler "is not here to defend himself", but he doesn’t have to-at least not to me. The intent of this posting is not to represent a type of cross-examination, far from it-this posting merely models a focused discussion with specific questions from someone who is seeking to increase their understanding. These are the questions I would have. Yours, of course, may be different. And the answer to one question may naturally spawn three more. But that’s how discussions move forward. If you’re old enough to remember the lines, "I asked Bobby Dylan. I asked the Beatles…"; well, in this discussion exercise, I am asking Alan Adler-or at least pretending to. Of course, others may eavesdrop on this imaginary conversation and contribute as they choose-that of course, is the point.
First, allow me to say that it is truly an honor & privilege to have this opportunity. I have followed your work with great interest-my background is in immunology & cell biology, the blood typing studies are what first seriously caught my attention about the Shroud. I am not a blood ‘specialist’; my questions may appear somewhat detailed at times, and at others, rather naïve. I hope that is okay. I appreciate this opportunity and thank you again for your time.
1. In your article “The Origin and Nature of Blood on the Turin Shroud”, published in 1986, you wrote: “The next test we did was to take micro-spectrum photometry on the non-birefringent red-coated fibrils from the Shroud. It was obvious that the spectrum it produced did not match the spectrum of methemoglobin, at least not given in the standard references, which is a solution spectrum of blood. This is one of the problems in trying to look in the literature for references to compare the results to.” It is somewhat surprising that the literature is rather limited relative to the spectra studies of blood that is not in solution. Besides the oxidation of hemoglobin to methemoglobin in dried (aged) blood, what are the other major differences in the spectra of blood in solution versus dried blood? Also, what are the major differences in the spectra of freshly dried blood (2-3 days old) versus blood that is years, even several decades (or more) old?
2. In the same article, you mention that “In a film of hemoglobin there is a conformational change; it no longer remains in the “met” form but goes to the para-hemic form. Can you distinguish for me, exactly what the difference is between the structure of the para-hemic form and the met form? Is the para-hemic form an opened ring form of hemoglobin that has begun the breakdown process, or does this refer to the position of an attached group shifting its location on the ring (ortho, meta, para like we learned in organic chemistry years ago)? Or is the term “para” in reference to paramagnetic, a species that contains unpaired electrons? Forgive me if this question is very basic, but when I search the terms on the internet, most of the references that come up are the sentences from your article. I’ve also thumbed through various physiology and physical chemistry texts but so far, have struck out. Can you draw me a diagram or give me a reference that has a picture of the two structures? Also, what drives this conformational change-does this result from the dehydration of the blood as it dries into a film?
3. In the same article, it is said that “It is known now that there is a certain species which will spontaneously go to the para-hemic form if there is not enough turnover in the spleen and the liver to process the blood fast enough”. This sounds like a relatively recent observation. The word that confuses me the most here is “spontaneously”, is this a type of isomerization that is occurring here? Is there a specific enzyme that catalyzes the change? Is this independent of the oxidation state of hemoglobin?
4. Also in the 1986 article, it states “We found a spectrum that was characteristic of only one known group of compounds-the so-called high-spin, high-iron porphyrins. What we were seeing is the breakdown products of hemoglobin-bilirubin and biliverdin. There is an extraordinary high bilirubin count, almost as high as the methemoglobin” Just to clarify, this is methemoglobin (deoxygenated hemoglobin), all or most of which exists in the para-hemic form, not the typical met-form? Also, what is the relative proportion of bilirubin and biliverdin that is observed?
5. What exactly is meant by “high-iron” porphryins? High spin refers to the electron configuration, that this conformation has the maximum number of unpaired electrons available, but what does the term “high-iron” denote? Is this in reference to Fe-containing porphyrins to distinguish them from other porphyrins (which contain a ligand other than Fe being bound), or is there another significance?
6. In the 1986 article, you state “You now mix bilirubin which is yellow-orange with methemoglobin in its para-hemic form which is an orangey-brown and you get blood which has a red color. In fact, we have been able to simulate this spectrum in the laboratory.” Relatedly, in the 1998 Shroud Symposium held in Dallas, TX, in the article “Further Spectroscopic Investigations of Samples of the Shroud of Turin” it says “A simulation of such a traumatic blood exudate prepared from laboratory chemicals as a control matches the appearance and properties of this class of test objects. A traumatic clot exudate simulacrum was approximated by mixing 3 drops of blood (finger stick) with three drops of a bilirubin/human albumin diagnostic standard (Sigma Chemical Co.). Dried whole blood, bilirubin, and human hemoglobin samples were employed as controls.” Exactly how much exogenous bilirubin was added relative to the hemoglobin present in the finger stick? How does this compare to what would be considered normal levels? In this article (and others) there is no mention of specific amounts-[I have looked through the current Sigma catalog, but was unable to find this particular product-may have been discontinued]. Also, was the majority of hemoglobin used in these experiments (finger stick) in the deoxygenated form? Finally, did you ever spot such samples onto cloth (linen) and evaluate if the red color persisted over time?
7. In whole blood, the relative amount of bilirubin present is normalized per blood unit volume, making it straightforward to compare levels between individuals. In dried bloodstains, how does one accurately quantitate or even approximate the relative level of bilirubin present as volume cannot be used for normalization? Several spectroscopy and forensic “experts” I have e-mailed or talked to on the phone have acknowledged that spectroscopy of dried samples is semi-quantitative at best. I have run across a few presentations suggesting that the samples may be weighed and then normalized relative to Fe content, but such techniques involve larger volumes of blood than would be present in tape lift samples or individuals threads, and appear to be in the early stages of development. It is unclear even today if such methods would be sensitive enough to apply to the relative small amounts of blood in your analysis. No specific values or approximate ranges for the relative amount of bilirubin present were ever given in your articles-can accurate values be obtained from the techniques that were in use during these studies? If so, what are the estimated values?
8. In the 1980 article “Blood on the Shroud of Turin”, you state that in reference to the spectra of the Shroud fibrils that “the high degree of scattering from these solid samples makes the visible band shape features less distinct and does produce peak shifts from the solutions spectra. Therefore this identification is much less positive than desired.”
In the 1998 Shroud meeting in Dallas, TX you note that “Hemoglobin exists in lots of states and it’s a real problem on the Shroud to know what some of these states are.” In communicating with several specialists in heme spectroscopy about the spectral profiles (without indicating they were of the Shroud and cropping all identifiable labels on the Figures), the opinion was voiced that “it is impossible to really say what species are present there-the background is too high and the peaks are poorly resolved.” Different scientists have different opinions & viewpoints-I am certainly confident in your ability to identify the sample as blood and in the characterization of blood components, but it sounds as though there are still some large unknowns as to exactly what species might exist. Is it possible for us to look at the spectra of a Shroud sample together (and also a blood simulacra sample) and for you to take me through this, from left to right, peak by peak, and point out the probable identity of everything that is represented there? Is the resolution of biliverdin, bilirubin or other breakdown products more straightforward than various oxidized species of hemoglobin that may be present?
9. In your 1993 article, “Conservation on the Shroud of Turin” you emphasize that “bilirubin can be readily and quickly photodecomposed under a variety of conditions”. Given the relative instability of bilirubin, how do you account for its preservation on the Shroud over a relatively long period of time? Could this be due to aggregation of (high concentrations of) bilirubin in dried bloodstains as opposed to bilirubin in solution? Or some type of chemical bonding/association between bilirubin and the cloth? Thoughts?
10. Growing up, what first stimulated your interest in science? Were you always interested in pursuing a scientific career?
Here’s two very relevant quotes from Adler’s book “The Orphaned Manuscript” about the color of the blood, which I would like jesterof, Mr. Kearse and other “specialists” to comment, especially when it comes to what Adler said about the bilirubin level found in the blood samples he analyzed…
The first quote come from the article “The Origin and Nature of Blood on the Turin Shroud”, which Adler wrote in 1986: “The next test we did was to take micro-spectrum photometry on the non-birefringent red-coated fibrils from the Shroud. It was obvious that the spectrum it produced did not match the spectrum of methemoglobin, at least as it is given in the standard references, which is a solution spectrum of blood. But in a film of hemoglobin there is a confirmation change; it no longer remains in the “met” form but goes to the para-hemic form. It is known now that there is a certain species which will spontaneously go to the para-hemic form if there is not enough turn-over in the spleen and the liver to process the blood fast enough. We found a spectrum that was characteristic of only one known group of compounds – the so-called high-spin, high-iron prophyrins. So instead of being wrong, the spectrum peaks were in the right place. What we were seeing was the breakdown products of hemoglobin – bilirubin and biliverdin. And one began to make sense out of all this. There is an extraordinary high bilirubin count, almost as high as the methomoglobin. Now how does one account for such a high bilirubin in a person? One possibility is that the person had a severe malaria, but this does not seem very likely. But a torture, scourging and crucifixion leading to shock – that would produce a tremendous hemolysis. In less than 30 seconds, the hemolyzed hemoglobin will run through the liver, building up a very high bilirubin content in the blood. If that blood then clots, the exudate forms, and all the intact cells with hemoglobin stay behind, only the hemolyzed hemoglobin goes out along with the serum albumin which binds the bilirubin. So what one ends up with on the cloth is an exudate which has an enhanced bilirubin index with respect to the hemolyzed hemoglobin. You now mix bilirubin which is yellow-orange with methemoglobin in its para-hemic form which is an orangey-brown and you get blood which has a red color.
In fact, we have been able to simulate this spectrum in the laboratory by the process described above. This very strongly suggests that the blood stains are of a man who was severely beaten. No one would have ever dreamed, when we first started doing the analysis, that the chemistry would provide corroborating evidence to what the pathologists concluded long ago about the Shroud figure. The blood has no cells, is very low in potassium, and has the right colour and composition for the blood of a man who was severely flogged and crucified. This is entirely consistent with the forensic evidence.”
And here’s the second quotes, which come from the article “Chemical and Physical Characteristics of the Blood Stains”, which Adler wrote much later, in 2000 (just before his death): “In traumatic shock, as would be experienced under flogging and crucifixion, red blood cells lyse and the released hemoglobin is both bound up in haptoglobin-hemoglobin aggegates (a brownish denatured methoemoglobin color) and also degraded by enzymatic action in the liver to bilirubin which is also bound up in protein complexes, mainly with albumin (a yellow orange color). When such blood is shed and then clots, the exudate will contain these protein bound complexes and aggregates with an expected range in non-uniform color from red to orange, while most intact cells will remain in the clot. A simulation of such a traumatic blood exudate prepared from laboratory chemicals as a control matches the appearance and properties of this class of test objects. However, a simulated artistic paint pigment mixture of iron oxide and mercuric sulfide in a gelatin binder does not make such a match. Thus the chemical testing not only supports the forensic conclusion that the blood marks are derived from contact of the cloth with clotted wound exudates (note: this was first described by Pierre Barbet, in the 1930s I think), but that the shed blood was from someone who suffered a traumatic death as depicted in the images.”
Comment from me: After reading these quotes of Adler, the first conclusion that came to my head is the real possibility that the formation of both the body image and the bloodstains on the Shroud can well be due, at least partially, to the highly traumatic state of the Shroud man’s body when it was placed inside the Shroud… I have a sense that this very particular state of the Shroud man’s body could have had huge impact, not only on the formation of the body image, but also on the resulting coloration of the blood, by causing a dramatic increase of the bilirubin level in it. After reading everything Adler and Rogers wrote about the Shroud, I came to this conclusion and, honestly, I really think this idea that we cannot understand the real nature of the blood, as well as the real nature of the body image, if we forget the fact that the corpse who was placed in the Shroud was a highly traumatized corpse, as some very good chances to be true.
I also think these two quotes from Adler’s paper gave us, among other things, an interesting clue concerning the question asked by jesterof the other day about why the bilirubin has been able to be preserved in the blood for so long. Effectively, Adler told us that the very particular blood transfer that occurred on the cloth came from exudates of humid blood clots instead of coming from whole blood in liquid form (a nuance by the way that Zugibe never seemed to have fully understood or else he would never have proposed his “theory” about the washing of the corpse) and that such a form of blood transfer have caused the formation of bloodstains which have AN ENHANCED BILIRUBIN INDEX. I think this particular part of Adler’s paper can give us at least part of the solution concerning jesterof interrogation… One thing’s for sure: If we believe Adler’s conclusion, the very particular kind of blood transfer that occurred on the Shroud really HAD A HUGE IMPACT on the bilirubin that was trapped inside the bloodstains (on its particular nature and also, I think, on its high level). I really think that this particular blood transfer mechanism can well be the major cause of the reddish coloration of these stains that we still can observed today, particularly when they are placed in sunlight or under another source of UV light. I think this kind of transfer could have helped to “stabilise” the bilirubin (which is normally an unstable compound) inside the bloodstains.
I really think also that a blood expert should analyse this hypothesis in deep under proper lab conditions, because it seem that a major part of the solution concerning the very probable preservation of the bilirubin inside the bloodstains until this day could lie right there, along with the very probable historical fact that the Shroud was almost constantly kept and preserved inside different kinds of containers, which greatly helped the bilirubin inside the bloodstains to avoid to get exposed to open-air, sunlight and any other source of UV light.
Now, I’ll wait for jesterof, Mr. Kearse and any other blood specialist to tell us what they think of these particular quotes from Adler’s book, especially when it comes to the presence of a very high bilirubin content in the blood that he claimed to have been able to scientifically demonstrate? I would also like to hear you about my hypothesis concerning the particular blood transfer from exudates of blood clot, which could be one of the major causes of the good preservation of the bilirubin inside the bloodstains until this day (which is, in my mind, probably the main cause of the brightness of the color of the blood when it is exposed to sunlight or to another form of UV light)…
Cover photo from publisher Cantalupa (Torino) : Effatà Editrice, 2002 via Google Books
Following an interesting exchange on the blog concerning the question of the color of the blood on the Shroud, I would like to share with everyone two very important and relevant quotes concerning the question of the authenticity of the blood that is on the Shroud.
The first one come from Al Adler’s book “The Orphanes Manuscript” and was written by Dorothy Crispino: “On the 10th of June (1997), Adler saw the Shroud for the first time. It was, for him, an awesome experience. It was a recognition, by sight, that, as he had been demonstrating in tireless experiments, the Shroud could not be a painting. (Adler said:) “When they unrolled the Shroud… Just look at it! It takes two seconds… This is no painting! That blood is blood!”
And the second quote come from Pierre Barbet’s book “A Doctor at Calvary” (personal translation): “(On the 15th of October 1933), I saw the Shroud in full daylight, without any glass interposition, at a distance of less than 1 meter, and I suddenly felt one of the most intense emotion of my life. Because I saw, at my surprise, that all the images of wounds had a color clearly different than the whole body (image) and this color was that of a dried blood that had soaked the cloth. It wasn’t, like it is for the rest (of the image), brownish stains on the Shroud reproducing the relief of a corpse. The blood itself had stained the cloth by direct contact and this is why the images of wounds are positives while the rest is negative. The exact tint was difficult to define… but the general aspect was that of red (carmin mauve, said Mr. Vignon, following the thought of Antoine Legrand), more or less faded depending of the wound: more accentuated for the side (wound), at the head, at the hands and at the feet; paler, but very perceptible, on the numerous scourge wounds… But the surgeon understood, without any doubt, that this was blood that had soaked the cloth…”
So, in the end, I think these two quotes coming from true blood experts that have seen the Shroud in person in Turin (Barbet even saw it in sunlight) are well enough to understand that the question of the supposedly unusual color of the blood on the Shroud is really secondary… The fact that these two experts have immediately recognized, with some surprise and even with some shock in both cases, that these stains cannot have been made of anything else than blood is what really matter when it comes to the blood issue! And what is really important to note is the fact that, in both cases, these two blood experts didn’t made any mention of a problem concerning the color of the blood when they saw the Shroud with their own eyes of expert and recognized immediately that the blood on the cloth is really blood! Their first reaction in front of the Shroud is very telling because, in both cases, the color of the blood was not an issue that could have made them doubt if these stains were really made of blood or not! Truly, what they saw was evident for them: it was real blood… In other words, if the color of the blood they saw was as unusual as some think, they would never have made this kind of instant conclusion that the stains are really made of blood!
So, when you add the fact that Adler and, indepedently in Italy, Baima Bollone, have both scientifically proved that these stains are made of real blood, surely primate and probably human, then there are no question about the fact that what appears to be blood on the Shroud is really blood, no matter his color! Again, that’s what really matters in the end.
On that subject, it is very interesting to read this other quote from Barbet’s book (published in 1950): “Of course a rigorous scientific proof that these stains are blood would need physical or chemical tests… but since it is proven that the other images (note: he refers to the body image) are not manmade, that this Shroud contained a corpse, can these traces of wounds, so riches in details as real as unexpected, could be colored by something else than blood?”
Since it has been scientifically proven since that time that the blood is real blood, I think Barbet, following his previous comment, would have easily conclude that such a blood, in the context of a real burial cloth that really contained the corpse of a crucified man, cannot be anything else than real human blood… I think we can easily forget about the possibility that it can be baboon’s blood!
I think it’s fair to conclude that the question of the authenticity of the blood on the Shroud has been answered since a long time! All the rest (like the question of the color of the blood) are details that cannot be taken (even by honest skeptics) as being potentially able to prove the contrary of what has already been proved, i.e. that the blood could be anything else than real human blood.
Final note: It is important to also keep in mind that most of this blood is not made of whole blood but is made of exudates of blood clots that were humid enough to stained the cloth. This had a huge impact on the shape and texture of the bloodstains on the cloth and who knows if this could not also had some impact on the resulting color of these bloodstains on the cloth? Anyway, no matter if this had an impact on the color or if the color is really redder than normal, the most important thing to understand, once and for all, is that what has stained the Shroud cannot be anything else than real human blood and this scientific fact represent a huge problem for anyone who wants to demonstrate that this relic is in fact a human creation, probably made during Medieval time! That’s what matters the most concerning the blood that is present on the Shroud…
I have been following comments from a small handful of your blog readers claiming that there are images of coins over the eyes. These claims are fraught with difficulty. Those who tilt LCD computer screens or enhance photographs exhibit a breathtaking ignorance of how the technology they use works. What you must do is only use technically superior full color images, the color in order to help identify invalid image parts such as dirt, fiber anomalies, blood and foreign particulate matter. Then you must develop analytical methods and tools that don’t rely on the vagaries of human visual perception or individual judgment. For now, it is utterly foolish to claim there are any coin images.
Flowers anyone? Lettering? Other things?
I’m sorry that I have not been a direct part of the discussion on Dan Porter’s valuable blog. Unfortunately, I have been working for my oldest son in State College, PA and time and resources have not been available to me to conduct extensive research to respond to the many important observations offered by the participants.
On May 18, 2013 Giorgio paid me a great compliment by stating that I was President of ASSIST. I thank him for that kindness but, in fact, I am not now, nor have I ever been the President of ASSIST. That honor belongs to Dr. Frederick T. Zugibe, M.D., Ph. D. who, though now retired from his position as Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York, is still President of ASSIST. I can see how the error came to be because in my position as General Projects Director of ASSIST I have often been in the public eye, working for ASSIST.
Yannick Clement, also on May 18, listened to my presentation available on Russ Breault’s site (of my paper read at the Columbus, Ohio conference on Aug. 14-17, 2008) and wonders why the findings of Alan Adler, John Brown and Ray Rogers have not been the subject of greater discussion since my presentation hints that such components as those found in the “Raes Corner” may be present throughout the Shroud”. Later, however, he listened again to my presentation and correctly recognized that my view was actually a support for the invisible reweave approach; he goes on to say “It’s important to note that this could also have been caused by the numerous manipulations and the numerous folding and unfolding of the cloth over the centuries—I’m surprise[d] that Maloney did not talked about that possibility in his speech because, in my mind, this is the most probable one.” Actually, while that is a possibility, I don’t think I can place any of these specific scenarios on a sound provable basis. Let me explain: For example, I am not able to present any evidence to show the presence of madder rose “throughout the Shroud”; I only know of just the two STURP sticky tape samples studied by McCrone (i.e., tape 3 AB and 3-CB—both of which came from the dorsal end of the Shroud and over near one of the 1534 patches on the “side-strip” side of the cloth). I still view these examples provided by McCrone as trace contaminants, a point I think McCrone himself was using to show that the Shroud was in an artist’s studio. 3-AB is an off-image tape sample very near the image margin but which cannot be solidly placed on the image area itself. 3-CB, however, apparently is on a blood-flow across the back, just below the 1534 patch also on the “side-strip” side of the cloth. Can any of these "contaminants" be used to prove either McCrone’s point or mine? (Please see the link to the file of the McCrone-adapted photograph at the end of this missive.
My Columbus paper was not a discussion of the “contaminant” problem, but was wholly devoted to discussing the radiocarbon dating problem—especially as the sample(s) taken on April 21, 1988 for testing by 3 laboratories came from the “Raes Corner” area of the Shroud. What was the nature of that corner compared to the nature of the rest of the Shroud? It is, therefore, perhaps appropriate for me to address the broader concept of “contamination”. McCrone gave one interpretation of the madder rose; I offered a different one. However, I cannot scientifically “prove” that either the artist’s studio or the weaver’s workshop is the actual context for demonstrating a scientific concept. The problem is a difficult and knotty one: this is because we need to distinguish between “signal” and “noise” to firmly ascertain the difference between proposed scenarios. The presence of the contaminants–by themselves–may confuse the issues.
Over a period of some seven years, I have been compiling a pictorial atlas of the many kinds of particles and fibers and other trace “contaminants” that can be found on the 26 Max Frei sticky tapes which he took from the image side of the Shroud in October of 1978. This compilation is still in progress–now approaching more than 90 pages. I have taken perhaps some 7000 Kodak transparencies using first an E. Leitz microscope with a camera mounted on top and then a Nikon Optiphot microscope to obtain these views. I wish to emphasize that I have not used any kind of spectrometry or chemical testing to ascertain the physical identity of the individual particles or fibers. I have largely employed the very same techniques as Walter McCrone and Eugenia Nitowski using my own eyes to create a kind of “informal” identification of the material I found. I was never able to “see” anything I thought might be specific evidence of madder rose on linen fibers as a “contaminant”. I did, however, see variously dyed cotton but these may actually have originated from the clothing of visitors who came to see or study the Shroud. Or maybe they were devotees who simply touched a piece of cloth to create what we call a “brandeum” to obtain by transfer the holiness of the Shroud.
Thus, while I suggested the weaver’s workshop in my 2008 Columbus, Ohio paper, I don’t think that is the only possible explanation for such contaminants. Members of STURP took note that the room in which they conducted their 1978 exam of the Shroud had paintings on the walls and ceiling of that room and when trucks trundled by on Turin’s busy streets it was completely plausible to think that tiny particulates drifted down on the cloth surface.
But one should also not forget the important studies of the True Copies marvelously gathered together by the late Don Luigi Fossati and published in Shroud Spectrum International (SSI, no. 12, September 1984, pp. 7-23 and no. 13, December 1984, pp. 23-39) noting that there is documentation that at least 52 True Copies were laid cloth to cloth and image to image on the original. Can the medieval formulae yield to such sloughing off to leave traces on another cloth? The True Copies are clearly paintings and these could have left traces of their pigments on the Turin Shroud. To test this hypothesis, I requested that Dame Isabel Piczek, with the help of Dr. Robert Koehler in Los Angeles (magnanimously arranged for us through the kind efforts of the late Dr. Robert Bucklin) and over a period of several weeks tested various formulae spanning the medieval recipes for pigment mixing (See Theophilus, On Divers Arts, Dover Publications, New York, 1963 [Originally written ca. A.D. 1100]). She took swaths of linen and placed them against dried painted samples and then, using the microscope, determined that–in her words to me in a phone call "They slough off like mad!!!"
I have also attached the McCrone map which he published in "Judgement Day for the Shroud" (p. 79) but my attachment here was actually a scan taken directly from a glossy McCrone sent me. This would give the public a clearer view of (generally) where the two STURP tapes were taken. However, I have not had the time to compare McCrone’s drawings of tape samples superimposed on the Shroud with the actual documentation photographs taken in 1978 by Barrie Schwortz. There may be a problem of interpretive accuracy on the part of McCrone, who simulated the shape of the tapes, with the actual markings of the original sample sites which were indicated by round magnetic markers (laid down by Dr. Tom D’Muhala, I think), not by rectangular "tape-shaped" markers. Moreover, the original tapes were stretched across a clear plastic "rail" by Ray Rogers for transit from Torino to the United States so that the fibers would "hang down" and not be vitiated by the adhesive on the tape. McCrone, however, adhered them directly to microscope cover slips which were then, in turn, taped to a microscope slide, so he could view them with ease beneath his microscope. But the few STURP slides I personally saw showed tape samples which were much shorter (not more than maybe several centimeters in length) than could have been stretched across the plastic rail and I am tempted to believe that someone (McCrone??) actually cut them shorter for convenience of handling. In this process could other extraneous materials have accidently "contaminated" the original STURP samples? Did McCrone conduct this process in a "clean room"? It would be difficult to state unequivocally that this did or did not happen to the STURP slides in McCrone’s possession and, unfortunately, Walter is no longer amongst the living to have him detail his process.
Thus, I think a very profitable study could be made of such “contaminants” and this might be very informative about the past history of the cloth. But at this point in time I am unable to provide a solid scientific footing to “prove” that the trace contaminants bearing madder rose actually came from a weaver’s workshop.
The full size file is at http://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/scan0002.jpg
Regards to all,
General Projects Director, ASSIST
A reader writes:
I have always wondered, hypothetically, according to current physical theories (one or more hypothetical theories) _if_ a body (an "object" with mass in space/time, assuming some kind of unobserved QM state)… simply "disappeared".
What would happen? What would be the signature effects?
Would there be any non-local QM side-effects? What happens with "entanglement"? Is unobserved "disappearance" (or collapse to nothing) possible given current hypothetical physical theories?
And Thomas Aquinas only wanted to know if an angel in going from point A to point B had to travel through the in-between. It’s a good thing the good saint didn’t know about entanglements.
Here is a readable article by Tia Ghose from LiveScience that appeared in the Huffington Post just last month: Quantum Entanglement Experiment Reconfirms Physics Phenomenon Einstein Called ‘Spooky’
Want a brief definition? This is from a HuffPo mouseover for the above picture:
According to quantum mechanics, two or more particles can become "entangled" so that even after they are separated in space, when an action is performed on one particle, the other particle responds immediately. (Shown here, two entangled mechanical oscillators made up of two pairs of trapped ions.)
In referencing a discussion in this blog, Long time blogger, Jason Engwer, in Triablogue writes on The Failure Of Naturalistic Theories To Explain The Shroud Of Turin:
Here’s a thread discussing the failure of various naturalistic theories to explain the Shroud of Turin. We don’t just need to explain how the image could have been produced, but also why it happened with Jesus in particular and not with other individuals, the timing of the image formation (around the time when other evidence suggests Jesus was resurrected), and how the removal of the body from the Shroud didn’t do more to disturb the bloodstains and damage the cloth. I think that Jesus’ resurrection is the best explanation for the totality of the phenomena. But what I want to highlight here is something Barrie Schwortz wrote in the comments section of the thread linked above. Schwortz is an advocate of the view that the Shroud image formed as a result of a Maillard reaction, and Ray Rogers held the same view, yet Schwortz writes:
Ray Rogers told me personally that he believed, “Something else was at work with the Maillard reaction,” but he didn’t know what that was and didn’t live long enough to explore it.
[ . . . ]
Of course, we might imagine that the something else might be miraculous. I rather suspect that Rogers didn’t think so. I do. But then again, as I have said, I consider any image caused by radiation, as well, naturalistic. The only question is where the very natural radiation came from – like from a resurrection event?
I think Jason thoughts on this are most useful.
John Klotz writes in a posting, The Shroud, Dr. Pangloss and Sammy Glick;
There is a controversy brewing about a Smithsonian Channel documentary about the Shroud of Turin. It sounds like another attempt by the Main Stream Scientific Community (the “MSSC”) to debunk the Shroud. The most interesting thing about this controversy seems to be the FACT that the militant atheists can’t escape the Shroud and so must destroy its authenticity. They can not accept a world (or existence) in which the Shroud of Turin proves not only that Christ existed, but that in three days his body parted company with his burial cloth.
I come to this controversy as a lawyer who has had a life long interest in science and, alas, politics. I have ridden too many horses going-off in too many different directions. I also write and did win an honorable mention award from New York Press Association for –In-Depth Reporting. That piece was about corruption in the appointment of mortgage foreclosure receivers and was a least one cause of reform in the appointment of receivers in the New York State. I also remember someone remarking that one of my briefs read like a novel (it was meant as a compliment – I think.).
The late New York Supreme Justice Theodore Roosevelt Kuperfman described one article I wrote as “the best piece of political reporting I have ever read.” . . .
Aw shucks, dot dot dot. You’re just going to have to read The Shroud, Dr. Pangloss and Sammy Glick for yourself.
Yannick Clément, in a very long winded comment repeated below, does have a point. Well several. But for your clarification, as you read it, I did talk with Barrie Schwortz yesterday. I can confirm that the experiment with the pig was not his idea and not his experiment. He was thrust into the situation, unaware, during the production of the documentary. He offered his comments and the rest was a matter of creative editing. As Barrie writes:
Watch for the next update on shroud.com (due at the end of this month) for an article titled, “Behind the Scenes of a New Smithsonian Channel Shroud Documentary” in which I will give some details on the techniques the producers used for creating the program.
And now for Yannick’s comment:
After having seen the TV program, I have some good comments to make :
1- In the program, there are two huge historical mistakes : 1- The program seem to suggest that Geoffroy de Charny was some kind of an obscure knight when he became in possession of the Shroud, which is totally false. In fact, de Charny was one of the leading knight of all the kingdom of France when he build the Lirey church. And 2- The program tell us that de Charny claimed he get the Shroud during a crusade he made, which is also totally false. In fact, de Charny NEVER SAID A WORD about how and when he became in possession of the Shroud. It’s also very important to understand that de Charny never participate in the 4th crusade, which saw the Latin crusaders making the sack of Constantinople. This terrible event, which most probably lead to the transfer of the Shroud from that city to Europe, happened a century before de Charny’s time. The only crusade in which Geoffroy de Charny participated is the Smyrna crusade in 1346 and it’s highly improbable that he could have come in possession of the Shroud at that occasion, no matter what Ian Wilson and other “historians” can think.
An article, Ten objects that sum up Gary Vikan’s life, by Mary Carole McCauley in The Baltimore Sun reports that he is working on a book about the Shroud of Turin.
Vikan is best known in shroud circles for an article published in Biblical Archaeology Review in the November/December 1998 issue reprinted on shroud.com. (See the article here and read the comments on the same page).
From the Sun:
You can get a pretty good idea of someone’s journey through life by looking at the objects with which he surrounds himself.
For Gary Vikan, who stepped down this spring as the director of the Walters Art Museum, those objects include a pair of tickets to Woodstock, a piece of the gate guarding Graceland, a collection of Russian icons and a miniature replica of the Shroud of Turin.
[ . . . ]
He’s just completed his next big project: a book on the Shroud of Turin, in which he attempts to prove that the linen burial cloth that many believe once wrapped the body of Jesus actually was made in the Middle Ages, around 1350.
"I’ve been working with a scientist who found out how the image on the Shroud was made," Vikan says. "And I think I know when and why. It was made to deceive, at a time in the Middle Ages when relics meant pilgrimages, and pilgrimages meant money."
Vikan said the manuscript could be published as soon as this fall.
Which one of the scientists? And which one of all the many ways it was made?
I’m a Shroud of Turin expert, sort of second tier I suppose since I restrict my work to processing the images and giving talks on the shroud. This is worth a look for those who wonder how the image got on the cloth.
Go have a look at his blog.
RECENT: I don’t know if this will stay up, so watch it soon. There is some discussion about image formation including an experiment with a pig. The video runs just about 44 minutes.
A Description of the series from Quest:
Discover five of the world’s greatest treasures, all with remarkable secrets that have remained hidden… until now.
Treasures Decoded examines five of the world’s greatest treasures: The Turin Shroud, The Dead Sea Copper Scroll, The Jesus Tablets, The Death Cult of the Sphinx and The Golden Raft of El Dorado. All of these hold remarkable secrets that have remained hidden… until now.
Filming with archaeologists, historians, scholars and scientists, no stone is left unturned in search of answers. Using a range of new techniques, including state-of-the-art forensics, our experts explore the history and possible implications of exposing the fascinating truth about each treasure.
What does the obscured writing on the Turin Shroud mean? Is the Golden Raft the key to finding the treasures of El Dorado? All will be revealed…
The link if you need it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmNk6LxUPiA
Hat tip: David Rolfe
Are the words from this pearl of wisdom by one of the many great philosophers of the shroud blog, daveb of wellington nz in a comment in Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, mea natibus?
I personally think that the Deity likes to have his little jokes with his creatures. He seems to have wanted to teach Russell & Whitehead an important lesson in humility, and have said to Einstein, “Don’t tell Me what to do with My dice!”. As far as the Shroud image is concerned, I think He may be saying, “Bet you can’t discover how I did it!”
Here is the full quote.
Because of Colin’s most recent comments about Rogers, bordering on conspiracy theory thinking, I thought it valuable to repost a posting from more than a year ago (January 9, 2012). But before repeating it, let me pull forward one particular paragraph:
Kim Johnson of [ the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry affiliated New Mexicans for Science and Reason] wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.”
And now, déjà vu again: Sciencebod, Do some homework on the Shroud of Turin (Or is Colin having a senior moment?)” Oh, I know, ad hom, ad hom, ad hom:
* * *
Hello again Dan
I keep asking myself how I could have been so misinformed re the date of reweaving on which you corrected me so comprehensively with you references to Margaret of Austria. Might it be because pretty well everything I have come across in reading states that the repairs, including reweaving were indeed carried out AFTER the 1532 fire, regardless of who commissioned them, e,g, this from a Reverend gentleman:
So my original objection still stands – why go to all the trouble of invisible mending, in a corner, when there is massive fire damage elsewhere. In fact, why would anyone even think about mending before the fire, given that an unmended cloth, showing at least some of the ravages of time, would make for a more convincing holy relic…?
PS Have you seen my latest theory re mummified cadavers, like the ones in that Capucin Brno monastery that missus and I gawped at just two or three years ago.
Dear ColinB: You have got to be kidding me. This is how you change your mind, on the basis of one reference on a web page? Some “Reverend gentleman,” you say? Here is what your reverend gentleman says:
Physicist Ray Rogers, prior to his death, uncovered the reason why the Carbon14 tests were invalid. The Shroud had had invisible repairs, carried out by Poor Clare nuns, after the fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery, France. The samples for the Carbon14 dating had been taken from the area which was not the original Shroud. . . . Unfortunately, when the sample sites were chosen, the 1532 repairs were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence that the samples that were tested came from the patch added by the Poor Clare nuns and not the original Shroud. It was therefore to be expected that the 1988 Carbon14 results pointed to a 16th century date.
Oh, my. You have got to be kidding. Not only is this reverend gentleman wrong, not only does he not know what he is talking about, you are utterly uninformed and naïve. Now these other four reverend gentlemen are holding up the cloth long before the carbon dating. You can see the patches in what is an old painting. Bet they knew!
Rogers, who was a chemist, not a physicist, did not uncover the reason. It was Joseph Marino and Sue Benford.
The fire was on December 4, 1532 in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry. The shroud was protected by four locks. With the fire going on, Canon Philibert Lambert and two Franciscans summoned the help of a blacksmith to open a grille. By the time they succeeded, a reliquary made by Lievin van Latham to Marguerite of Austria’s specifications had partly melted. The shroud folded inside was scorched and severe holes were formed by molten silver. Chambéry’s Poor Clare nuns repaired the Shroud beginning on April 16, 1534 and finishing on May 2, 1534 not 1532 as the reverend gentleman says. The nuns knew. From that day forward, the repairs were the most prominent feature of the shroud, more so than the faint image. To suggest that the 1534 (let’s be accurate) repairs “were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence,” at the time of the carbon dating sampling is just laughable. In fact, if anything, the carbon dating protocol discussions frequently referred to the patches sewn on by the Poor Clare sisters.
Patches applied to the shroud in 1534 were obvious; as noticeable as leather patches sewn to the elbows of an old sweater. Would earlier repairs in 1531 (a plausible date from the historical records) or at any other time, have been so expertly done that that they would have gone unnoticed when the carbon 14 samples were cut from the cloth?
Rogers was actually very skeptical. According to Philip Ball of Nature, “Rogers thought that he would be able to ‘disprove [the] theory in five minutes.’” (brackets are Ball’s). Inside the Vatican, an independent journal on Vatican affairs, reported:
Rogers, who usually viewed attempts to invalidate the 1988 study as ‘ludicrous’ . . . set out to show their [Benford and Marino] claim was wrong, but in the process, he discovered they were correct.
It was close examination of actual material from the shroud that caused Rogers to begin to change his mind. In 2002, Rogers, in collaboration with Anna Arnoldi of the University of Milan, wrote a paper arguing that the repair was a very real possibility. The material Rogers examined was from an area directly adjacent to the carbon 14 sample, an area known as the Raes corner. Rogers found a spliced thread. This was unexpected and inexplicable. During weaving of the shroud, when a new length of thread was introduced to the loom, the weavers had simply laid it in next to the previous length rather than splicing. Rogers and Arnoldi wrote:
[The thread] shows distinct encrustation and color on one end, but the other end is nearly white . . . Fibers have popped out of the central part of the thread, and the fibers from the two ends point in opposite directions. This section of yarn is obviously an end-to-end splice of two different batches of yarn. No splices of this type were observed in the main part of the Shroud.
Rogers found alizarin, a dye produced from Madder root. The dye appeared to have been used to match new thread to older age-yellowed thread. In addition to the dye, Rogers found a gum substance (possibly gum Arabic) and alum, a common mordant used in medieval dying.
Several years earlier, a textile expert, Gilbert Raes (for whom the Raes corner is named), had been permitted to cut away a small fragment of the shroud. In it he found cotton fibers. Rogers confirmed the existence of embedded cotton fibers and noted that such cotton fibers are not found in other samples from anywhere else on the shroud. Cotton fibers were sometimes incorporated into linen threads during later medieval times, but not earlier, and not even as early as the carbon 14 range of dates. This, along with the dyestuff, suggested some sort of alteration or disguised mending.
In 2005, Raymond Rogers, after four years of study on this matter and months of peer review published his findings in the scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta. Go read it. Go study the real history of the shroud and shroud research. Find out how many scientists have confirmed the work Benford and Marino started and Rogers completed.
BTW: Ray Rogers, a distinguished chemist, was a Fellow of the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Originally, the home of the Manhattan Project during World War II. It is now part of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
Rogers had been a charter member of the Coalition for Excellence in Science Education in New Mexico. He campaigned vigorously for the teaching of evolution, and against teaching creationism, in the public schools.
He also served on the Department of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board as a civilian with the rank equivalency of Lieutenant General. He had published over fifty scientific papers in ethical peer-reviewed science journals. He was a member of New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR), an organization affiliated with CSI.
Kim Johnson of NMSR wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.”
Rogers once wrote to The Skeptical Inquirer (letter was published):
I accepted the radiocarbon results, and I believed that the "invisible reweave" claim was highly improbable. I used my samples to test it. One of the greatest embarrassments a scientist can face is to have to agree with the lunatic fringe.
Colin, you tell me you are a real scientist. Then you change your mind because you read something on the web page of a reverend gentleman without checking it out. Are you a real scientist? I’ll believe you when you admit you are wrong on the patches.
Oh, that “latest theory re mummified cadavers.” You don’t mean theory Mr. Scientist. Really. Check out the facts about the images. Really. You might want to read Giulio Fanti’s, “Hypotheses Regarding the Formation of the Body Image on the Turin Shroud. A Critical Compendium,” in The Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, (Vol. 55, No. 6 060507-1–060507-14, 2011). It is a marginal paper but it does nicely summarize what many people before you have tried with a bit more science. There is a handy list that might allow you to call your wild-ass speculation a hypothesis (not theory, though) if you can meet some of the criteria.
Do some real home work.
Colin Berry, by way of a comment, writes:
Nobody goes to the trouble of invisible, highly painstaking mending of an inconspicuous corner of the Shroud when there is major fire damage elsewhere that has been crudely patched. Rogers’ attempted demolition job on the C-14 dating offended common sense more than anything else…
No, it offends common sense to think that countless people in the world of shroud studies, those who agree with Rogers’ conclusions and those who do not, have simply ignored the reality that nobody goes to that much trouble to invisibly repair an “inconspicuous” corner of the cloth when there were all those crude patches elsewhere.
Unfortunately, there have been a few misleading newspaper accounts that confuse the repairs made following the Chambéry fire of 1532 with the repair Rogers identifies. But that doesn’t mean Rogers or any of us who study the shroud are/were confused.
We (all of us) reason that if before 1532, had a significant corner of the shroud been cut away for any reason whatsoever, including the taking of a part of a holy relic for its healing or talisman properties or so another church might have part of a relic (none of this was uncommon – in fact it goes on today even on eBay) and had the methods and skills been available to mend the not inconspicuous corner, it might well have happened. That is all that is needed to permit a scientific finding:
The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is
significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud (Rogers, Thermochimica Acta, 2005: 193).
But there is more in the fascinating story of Margaret of Austria. Read about her in New Historical Evidence Explaining the “Invisible Patch” in the 1988 C-14 Sample Area of the Turin Shroud by M. Sue Benford and Joseph Marino.
. . . The purpose of this paper is to: 1) characterize the state of the weaving art during the time period of the hypothesized C-14 sample-area patch; 2) describe the crucial role and passions for tapestries of the House of Savoy’s Margaret of Austria and her nephew/ward Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, which would have mandated an expert restoration to the Shroud following the removal of the large corner pieces; 3) to posit a plausible scenario illustrating how and why the invisible mending on the Shroud took place around A.D. 1531, including new evidence as to why the undocumented repair took place, who was the overseer of the work, and what became of the missing corner pieces.
Only after 1532, was the damage was so severe, that it is unlikely that an invisible repair would have been made. All bets would have been off, so to speak.
John Klotz has a nice post, Behold the signs of the times over on his blog:
And who should emerge as the preeminent spokesman for the Shroud but Barrie Schwortz, a man who in 1978 was a gangly young photographer and in the interim has now aged, and created the number one Shroud source on the web: shroud.com …
[ . . . ]
And now America, the Jesuit Magazine that Fr. Peter Rinaldi avoided in 1934 because of the sway of Shroud critic Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J., reports on his views. http://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/mystery-shroud
Behold the signs of the time! He is coming, but He is coming not on a cloud but through science and the Internet.