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If They Had Only Waited Until 2020 Or So

July 23, 2015 4 comments

Shucks. Why did they have to do it in 1988.  If they had only waited a few more years then we wouldn’t be having all these problem trying to prove the shroud is real.

imageFirst things first. What is the story here?  The Shroud of Turin?

This is how Sarah Kaplan writing in the prestigious Washington Post retold the story Fossil fuel emissions are making carbon dating more difficult. These are the very first four paragraphs accompanied by a photograph of the shroud:

Nearly three decades ago scientists were granted access to one of the world’s most mystifying and sacred objects: the Shroud of Turin. The ancient rectangle of linen, with its strange stains in the shape of a tortured body, had long been venerated as the burial garment of Christ. But the shroud’s origins were murky, and researchers had spent decades poring over the piece of fabric debating whether the story of its background could be true.

In 1988, thanks to a technique called radiocarbon dating, they had an answer: The shroud dated back to sometime between 1260 and 1390 — old, but not old enough to have been buried with Jesus.

“The Carbon-14 Bombshell,” National Geographic called the news, referring to the radioactive isotope that’s used for the dating process.

Carbon dating had never been, and likely never again will be, quite so glamorous — or so controversial. And, thanks to atmospheric changes caused by the burning of fossil fuels, it could become even more complicated.

Down some:

Graven expects that the change will start impacting the carbon dating process by 2020.

[…]

This shift won’t render carbon dating obsolete — it’s long been known that atmospheric carbon can fluctuate, and scientists are able to re-calibrate their estimates based on modern levels. But it does make the process more complex and less reliable for dating relatively young objects. If emissions continue at their current rates, Graven believes that carbon dating won’t be able to provide a definitive age for anything less than 2,000 years old

Shucks. Why did they have to do it in 1988.  If they had only waited a few more years then we wouldn’t be having all these problem trying to prove the shroud is real.

Categories: Carbon 14 Dating

Interview with Paul Maloney

July 23, 2015 1 comment
Categories: Science Tags:

The Morphing of Rogers and Berry?

July 23, 2015 34 comments

The most superficial part of the linen fibre is the PCW, and that comprises hemicellulose as a major constituent. Hemicellulose has a lot of pentose sugars, which are chemically reactive,  more so than the hexose sugars of starch and cellulose, and known to enter freely into Maillard reactions. Maybe the linen provided the sugar for the Maillard reaction.

image… on the shroud (or misnoma-shroud). Colin Berry teases it out a bit for us:

This blogger has already been accused of plagiarizing Rogers’ ideas (in seeing a role for Maillard reaction products, albeit between reducing sugars and proteins of white flour, and needing an exceedingly hot iron to get the colour). Well, I’m about to make things even worse for myself – by narrowing the gap between my medieval model and the pro-authenticity 1st century tomb scenario of Rogers. It involves volatile amines, those fishy smelling things with the general formula R-NH2 (primary amine)  where R is an alkyl group, e.g. CH3, C2H5, or, if a secondary amine, R-NH-R’, or a tertiary amine,  R-N(R’)-R”. What you may ask!  We know where the amines are implicated in the Rogers’ model (putrefaction of a corpse).  How can amines be implicated in a white-flour model?

Well, it’s a long shot, but here we go.  The yellow-brown image has been described here as a Maillard reaction product, formed between reducing sugars and proteins. But there’s a problem. The “Shroud” image was tested by Adler et al for protein – none were found.  But my image appears to have two components – an outer one that looks and feels thick, and can be reduced by washing, brushing etc, and a more resistant one that survives those treatments, and seems more like an intrinsic part of the linen fibres. What might have happened to produce the latter.  Well, there’s a little protein in linen fibres, and one might propose that had reacted with reducing sugar, and that the Maillard product formed had failed to react as protein. But one instinctively dislikes qualiofying assumptions. Might there be an alternative explanation? Yes, there is. The most superficial part of the linen fibre is the PCW, and that comprises hemicellulose as a major constituent. Hemicellulose has a lot of pentose sugars, which are chemically reactive,  more so than the hexose sugars of starch and cellulose, and known to enter freely into Maillard reactions. Maybe the linen provided the sugar for the Maillard reaction. But where did the amine come from? It might have been the protein of the flour or linen, especially the epsilon amino group of lysine (not involved in peptide bond formation). But there’s an intriguing alternative. Enter volatile amines. When one adds cold  limewater to white flour there’s an immediate strong fishly odour. So there’s an amine precursor there that is easily released by alkali. Maybe it’s released by heat also, even at lower pH closer to neutrality. Maybe it’s that amine that reacts with the pentose sugars of the linen PCW to produce the ‘resistant’ image that survives washing etc, and that does NOT test positive for protein.

What might be the source of the free amine? Am not sure. It might be glutamine, with terminal -CONH2. It might be polar secondary or tertiary amine groups of phospholipids (lecithin, phosphatidylethanolamine etc).  Much food for thought (maybe a few experiments can help reduce the search options).

Interesting Article on Radiocarbon Dating

July 22, 2015 7 comments

imageChemEurope just this morning posted an interesting article,  Fossil fuel emissions will complicate radiocarbon dating, warns scientist:

Fossil fuel emissions could soon make it impossible for radiocarbon dating to distinguish new materials from artefacts that are hundreds of years old. Carbon released by burning fossil fuels is diluting radioactive carbon-14 and artificially raising the radiocarbon ‘age’ of the atmosphere, according to a paper published in the PNAS.

Radiocarbon measurements have a range of uses, from analysing archaeological finds, to detecting fraudulent works of art, to identifying illegal ivory trading, to assessing the regeneration of brain cells in neurological patients. The new study suggests that some of these current uses will be affected over this century, depending on how much fossil fuel emissions increase or decrease.

The online Daily Times Gazette picked up the story and added this:

One of famous radiocarbon dating investigation is the Shroud of Turin, which allegedly has the image of Jesus Christ.

However, Scientists found that it was originated from 13th century, 1,200 years after the Death of Christ.

Of course.

Categories: Carbon 14 Dating Tags:

The Shroud is a Holograph?

July 22, 2015 34 comments

imageIn a comment to another posting, Dave Hines tips us off to a new video he has produced. He writes:

… Here is a video of my latest research project. Holography experiments. I am very close to being able record a interference pattern on linen that would match many of the Shroud image characteristics.

Shroud Image and Hologram Image Match Points

1. Both images are extremely superficial, thin depth image (1/50th thickness of human hair)
2. Both have good resolution
3. Both have 3D Qualities to Image
4. Both images cannot be seen from the back side
5. Both have light coming from only 1 direction to form image
6. Both images fade and or vanish when tilted to the far right or far left
7. Both are a single color image
8. Both images involve subject close to film plate to capture image (past 5cm there is no image formation on a reflection hologram) (I know because I tried it)

Over at YouTube he writes:

"I can affirm without fear of being proven wrong The Shroud of Turin image was created by a interference pattern of laser like light that emitted from the body of Jesus" Shroud of Turin is a linen holographic film plate. As highly improbable as that may sound that is what the forensic evidence says happened. There is no other logical alternative image theory explanation that matches the gospel account or the forensic evidence. What is presented in this video not only matches the Gospel account of the resurrection of Jesus it also matches the forensic evidence on the Shroud of Turin.

I’m not persuaded. I don’t see how any of this matches the Gospel accounts of the
resurrection and I think some of these “match points”  with the shroud are little more than some so-whats. But that is just my opinion.  I’m willing to hear more from Dave and anyone else.

Categories: Image Theory

In the Weeds: Vanillin and the Age of the Shroud

July 20, 2015 8 comments

Is there any validity believing that a lack of vanillin says anything about the shroud’s age?

imageTopic drift is a fact of life in this blog and almost every blog I’ve encountered. It is not a problem; it’s a useful feature. We were talking about radiation models for the images on the shroud and the subject of vanillin came up; it’s not important why. This caused Colin Berry to respond in the weeds – that is over in his blog – with an unrelated update to a posting on a different subject. Anyway that is how we got to this yesterday:

Vanillin is not a separate component from lignin. In fact it’s not even a component of  flax or linen. It’s a degradation product of lignin, derived from oxidation, side-chain shortening (loss of 2 carbons)  and detachment starting with one particular  monomer in the complex resinous polyphenol that is lignin, ie. coniferaldehye. See my earlier posting on the subject, this site.

Ray Rogers no less described and discussed vanillin as though it were a preformed component of lignin that gradually reduced with age. Nope: as the lignin oxidizes, the vanillin is newly formed, and being a relatively small molecule, gradually evaporates away, being responsible for the distinctive aroma of old lignin (the ability to detect it by smell being a sure sign that molecules are escaping into the air).

Anyway, if you haven’t read [Colin’s] earlier posting on the subject, you should. Do we really understand if the vanillin claim is valid?

And if you want to know what in the weeds means, it is this: In golf, when a shot lands on the fairway, it’s in plain sight in easy-to-play short grass. When a shot lands to the side, it’s in unkempt grass, and the golfer wastes time trying to find the lost ball. He’s literally "in the weeds".  And Colin wants to know why Google and people don’t find what he writes about on his blog.  There is a practical limit to topic drift.  What does comments about vanillin have to do with Here’s an updated version of my ‘iconoplastic’ modelling of that Turin so-called “Shroud” (probably a misnomer)?

Anyway, NOW, the topic is vanillin and the question is this: Is there any validity believing that a lack of vanillin says anything about the shroud’s age?

“Tell me this,” Colin writes:

What is the use of a clock that is either running, or has stopped completely? That is the situation with the Shroud linen. We are asked to believe that it’s the absence of Wiesner-reactive lignin that is the reason, ie that it is incredibly aged.

Sorry, I don’t buy that. The “vanillin clock” is so poorly documented that I decline to believe that the absence of a positive test is necessarily to do with age. It could be due to any number of factors….

And Colin gives us an alternate possibility, the sort of thing lawyers like to do to make us have reasonable doubts about a defendant in a criminal trial:

… someone decided to fumigate the reliquary (see my earlier comment). They removed the TS, then inserted a lit sulphur candle. Later the candle was removed, and the TS replaced, with its long sides folded in towards the middle before folding or rolling. Residual SO2 made better contact with the central regions of the TS than with the edges. So the reactive aldehyde groups of lignin in the initially peripheral Raes threads were better protected from the SO2 than the more central threads.

I’m not suggesting this was the actual process that gave the difference between Raes v the rest, but it’s an indication of the uncertainties that attach to using a chemical as distinct from radioactive clock, where one is at the mercy of environmental conditions that one can only guess at, as I am guessing right now.

Categories: Science Tags: ,

Those Gee Whizz Radiation Models

July 18, 2015 17 comments

Intense sources, e.g from a laser, may simply target a trace component that wouldn’t normally  be sufficiently energized to produce  coloration.


imageHopscotching over to his other specialized blog, recently renamed “The Shroud of Turin: medieval two-stage imprint? The blog that separates the science from the pseudo-science” Colin Berry presents us with …an updated version of [his] ‘iconoplastic’ modelling of that Turin so-called “Shroud”.

It is "probably a misnomer," he adds.

BUT THE BEST PART is what he has to say "about those gee whizz ‘radiation’ models”:

The First Law of Photochemistry states that light must be absorbed for photochemistry to occur. This is a simple concept, but it is the basis for performing photochemical and photobiological experiments correctly. If light of a particular wavelength is not absorbed by a system, no photochemistry will occur, and no photobiological effects will be observed, no matter how long one irradiates with that wavelength of light.

Anyone proposing a radiation-based theory MUST  (a) state the wavelength of the radiation and (b) the chemical species (chromophore) that is capable of absorbing that particular wavelength.

Be wary of those who try to sidestep the First Law by telling you that their radiation source is hugely intense and monochromatic, or a type of radiation unknown to physics. There is no escaping the First Law. No absorption means no photochemical reaction, no localized heating, no coloration. That applies to ALL electromagnetic radiation, from long wavelength radio waves  though microwaves, infrared, visible, uv, x rays to  the highest frequency/energy short wavelength gamma radiation.

Intense sources, e.g from a laser, may simply target a trace component that wouldn’t normally  be sufficiently energized to produce  coloration. Trace components of linen that come to mind as normally overlooked  chromophores, but more readily energized molecule for molecule than cellulose, would be lignin and other phenolicss with aromatic ring structures, absorbing moderately in the blue end of the visible spectrum and the near uv.

Categories: Image Theory Tags:
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