Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Is Colin Berry Onto Something?

July 2, 2015 18 comments

a chemo-graphic (à la photo-graphic) explanation for the shroud image

imageA reader from Palo Alto writes:

You and your blog mates are being unfair to Dr. Colin Berry. As I see it he is the real successor to Raymond Rogers. With imagination and exploratory experimentation Berry is developing new hypotheses for how the image on the Shroud might have formed. That is what Rogers did. Berry thinks out loud and shows us his trials along the way. That is also what Rogers did.

At this stage of development Berry is suggesting the image may have formed from a wet or moist organic coating on a body or statue. When a cloth is applied and removed some coating comes away on the cloth forming a latent image. That latent image is then developed into a visible image by a browning reaction, possibly a Maillard reaction.

Berry may be onto something, a chemo-graphic (à la photo-graphic) explanation for the shroud image. His latest method may help to explain an intentional fake image or an accidental natural one. An accidental image may have been from the tomb of Christ or a later reenactment. Mankind is forever reenacting important events.

There are many questions that need to be answered. Will a suitable chemical and physical process be found by Berry or a successor? I’m thinking about soaps, oils and spices. Can Berry’s process produce an image with many of the Shroud’s image characteristics? Can unmet characteristics be explained by age or circumstance?  I’m thinking about a damp cloth which might blur or soften away an outline and produce more plausible 3D like characteristics? A damp cloth may also produce a more superficial image.

Berry is certainly right to suggest that the image evolved over time because of handling, temperature, humidity and exposure to light.

I part company with Dr. Berry on the radiocarbon dating. There is too much historical evidence to believe it is correct. If the Shroud’s image was faked it was faked many centuries earlier.

Yes, but, Rogers was always respectful to others. That is a big difference. And, no, we have not been unfair to Colin.  I’d like to hear more.  I’d like to see his work continue. Maybe he is onto something. But there is some bad chemistry in this blog and his blog that is making this difficult.

Click on the image to see a larger version of this ImageJ 3D rendering by Colin. CLICK HERE to read Colin’s latest posting about his work.

Categories: Image Theory Tags: ,

A Shameless Plug

June 23, 2015 7 comments

Your words, Colin; not mine.

imageWe find Colin Berry, who has once again quit this blog forever for the umpteenth time, now posting in DISQUS. He is plugging his latest theory.

Here we go a quoting from DISQUS:

Title: "The Pope" … "sad world of make believe"


Colin is referring to a story in The Telegraph, The Pope joins the EU in a sad world of make-believe by Christopher Booker. It is an opinion piece about Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. It is not about the shroud. Not at all.

Who cares, Colin, right? Let’s trollishly intrude!

So Colin continues:

Fiddlesticks. For one moment I thought that might be a reference to his paying homage to the Shroud of Turin, allowing one shamelessly to plug (without splitting an infinitive) the latest Blue Peter "Make Your Own Turin Shroud" shamelessly immodest breakthrough discovery.


Simply paint a gluey cold water slurry of plain white flour onto one’s 3D subject – whether a real person or a bas relief (probably the latter for the face), imprint onto linen, then press the dried imprint with a really hot iron (linen setting). Hey presto, one gets a negative sepia-coloured Shroud-like image of one’s subject. Nope, it won’t wash out, so may well be permanent. It may even display those ‘mysterious’ 3D properties if you use dowloadable software (ImageJ etc) that excels in finding "3D" wherever there’s tonal contrast in one’s 2D image.

Maybe the children’s show will send Colin an honorary iron-on Blue Peter patch.

Read about Colin’s latest hypothesis, A new and simple thermal imprinting model for the Turin Shroud needing only plain white flour and a hot iron – in 12 pictures.

Categories: Image Theory

Resolution of the Shroud Image

June 20, 2015 16 comments

Ray Schneider has put together some useful charts on the subject in
The Shroud of Turin an Enduring Mystery – Part 4: Skeptics & Image Formation 
(Charts 14, 16-18 deal with resolution).

imageIn snippets from comments, Hugh Farey has raised some good questions about image resolution. 

To Louis, he wrote:

Can I ask for some opinion about ‘high resolution’ we keep hearing about. The resolution is not at all high. The resolution is poor. The fat that one smudge can be seen as the edge of the lower lip does not justify the complete absence of any nipples, fingernails, navel and so on, all of which would be expected from an image of any good resolution.

And in response to a comment by Max, Hugh wrote:

I wish I knew what people mean by a resolution of 5mm. Grab a pencil and draw the outline of the arms. How precise is it? 30mm, I reckon. The fingers and face are a bit better, but a contact image precise to an accuracy of 5mm is not good resolution, it’s poor. One of the arguments against the Shroud being some kind of bas relief rubbing is just that – its resolution is so poor.

Max had said:

The optical high resolution of the details of the TS body images –at least as good as 0.5 cm (see L. A. Schwalbe, R. N. Rogers, “Physics and chemistry of the Shroud of Turin, a summary of the 1978 investigation,” Analytica Chimica Acta 135, 3-49, 1982 and J. P. Jackson, E. J. Jumper, W. R. Ercoline, “Correlation of image intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D structure of a human body shape,” Appl. Opt. 23, 2244-2270, 1984) or even approaching 0.1 to 0.2 cm (see V. D. Miller and S. F. Pellicori, “Ultraviolet fluorescence photography of the Shroud of Turin”, Journal of Biological Photography, 49, 71-85,1981)– suggests a contact-and-gradual-loss-of- contact mechanism of transfer to account for the integrity of blood clots of which optical high resolution of their details is as good as 0.04-0.05 cm that is ten times higher than the body image details).

Optically speaking, what do you consider is the minimum for “high-res”?

Hugh wrote back to Max:

Yes that’s what they all say, and perhaps I misunderstand them. Can we detect collarbones or the Shroud image? Ribs? Kneecaps? You don’t need a very high resolution to see these clearly on images of people, and the Shroud shows none of them. I don’t know how the resolution of an image of a body should be quantified, but I do know that the Shroud isn’t very very high, regardless of what Schwalbe and friends think, unless, as I say, I misunderstand what they mean by a resolution of 5mm.

and later added:

You are still explaining why the resolution is poor rather than substantiating the opinion that it is good. Prof. Fanti did indeed say that the edge of the lower lip of the image was well defined, and I agree with him. The rest of the face is less so, and the rest of the body a mere blur. optically speaking a well defined Shroud image would be one around which it would be possible for different people independently to draw outlines of various features (e.g. arms, legs, eyes, fingers) and when superimposed they should not differ by more than a millimetre or so. I said that before. That’s my answer.

Ray Schneider has put together some useful charts on the subject in The Shroud of Turin an Enduring Mystery – Part 4: Skeptics & Image Formation (Charts 14, 16-18 deal with resolution).

Categories: Image Theory

The Masters of Comedy in Piedmont

June 17, 2015 31 comments

A promoted comment

clip_image001Daveb of Wellington NZ comments to my posting, Stephen Jones on the Thomas De Wesselow Presentation:

It seems likely that the European Space Agency’s laboratory Rosetta with its lander Philae will have a complete analysis of comet 67P, now 308 million km from Earth, chemical analysis, physical properties, spectral signatures, details of possible precursor life-forming organic molecules, relaying the data to earth and 67P will display its sun-driven shower trail, before refreezing over as it recedes into outer space on its return journey. All before the masters of comedy in Piedmont can draft an outline scientific programme of research for the holy object that has been under their noses these last 500 years. Would it make any difference if we sent the Shroud into a 308 million km orbit?

Philae report:


Categories: News & Views, Science Tags: , ,

Comment Promoted: Charles Freeman Comes Closest

June 11, 2015 34 comments

imagePaulette writes:

After three years reading this blog I have come to believe that of all the hypotheses ever proposed for how the image came to be Charles Freeman’s comes closest to the mark even as his arrow misses the target by a country mile.

Max opined:

To Paulette, it is easy to criticize but hard to act and substantiate your belief. BTW what is your opinion? Are you just another archmiraculist relying on biased observations?

And Hugh chimed in:

But keep an open mind, Paulette. There’s always a possibility that a naturalistic mechanism will turn up.

I sort of agree with you, Paulette.  And I’m not an archanythingorother whatsoever.

Categories: Image Theory

Colin Berry, Mario Latendresse and ME-29

June 6, 2015 Leave a comment

A reader writes:

I just encountered your postings on stochastic processes at Yahoo. Good material. Thank you. However, you failed to provide a link to Dr. Colin Berry’s helpful opinions on the subject.  You also failed to link to Dr. Mario Latendresse’s critical evaluation of the paper by Fazio et al. A link to the full sized jpeg of ME-29 would be most helpful.

By Yahoo I think he may be referring to a recent, private conversation going on over at the Shroud Science Group. It is hosted as a Yahoo Group. I have provided some links into this blog.

Well, actually, I did provide a link to Colin’s posting on the matter. Here it is again:

Here is a TinyURL version of the above link, just in case:

Here is a link to Latendresse’s evaluation entitled Matters Arising. It appears to be a letter to the editor of the journal. A reply by Fazio is included in the same PDF. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

As for ME-29, I can’t find anything larger than 870×616, and I think that has been stretched. I recommend the image found on Mario’s site which is 735×496. Access it by clicking on the above image or by CLICKING HERE.

I’d like to know from Barrie Schwortz what is the largest ME-29 image available and can it be put online for public examination. 

Categories: Image Theory

Is Charles Freeman Emerging as the World’s Leading Shroud Skeptic?

June 1, 2015 21 comments

“This is a small sample of Charles Freeman’s research on the subject, which should be more widely known so that National Geographic would be embarrassed to take the shroud seriously.”

— Ophelia Benson

clip_image001While Colin complains that the world is ignoring his two-stage imprinting model, Charles Freeman is getting special attention for his painting theory from Ophelia Benson over at Butterflies and Wheels in the well-read Free Thought blogs collection.  Benson is particularly well known for her criticism of pseudoscience and religious fundamentalism. She writes: 

Charles Freeman has an article in History Today about the Shroud of Turin. He tells me the subject is neglected by academics, and “the absurd ideas of the authenticists are given full and virtually unchallenged internet space.” He adds that National Geographic is especially bad on this, maintaining “the idea that there is something inherently mysterious about the Shroud when in fact an afternoon in a conservation lab – which would find the traces of gesso and paint – would probably sort things out.” He gave me carte blanche to use the article, so have a feast.

So have a feast. Or not.


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