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Second Update to MSNBC’s Cosmic Log Posting on the Shroud of Turin

December 24, 2011

imageSecond clearly annotated update to the MSNBC’s Cosmic Log – Was Holy Shroud created in a flash?

Update for 2:15 p.m. ET Dec. 23: Nickell responded to Di Lazzaro’s question, and added a couple of questions of his own:

"Paolo Di Lazzaro claims the Turin ‘Shroud’ coloration depth is 0.2 micrometers, but surely he does not claim that that was uniformly measured throughout the cloth. The coloration indeed appears to be generally confined to the topmost fibrils (although the face image does show faintly on the back of the cloth). Using a two-part hypothesis I put forward in 1983, Italian chemist Luigi Garlaschelli has produced a replica shroud with such superficial staining. So let me ask Lazzaro a question in turn: Have you been able, using your high-intensity ultraviolet laser technique, to produce a replica shroud yourself? Until you do, shouldn’t you stop slashing carelessly with Occam’s razor?"

Nickell (picture provided by Joe Nickell) has bought into the Garlaschelli hypothesis by claiming it as his own. It’s a stretch. It’s foolish, too, because it is clear that Garlaschelli did not succeed in producing a replica at a microscopic level or that the match the chemistry, peculiar superficiality and profoundly mysterious three-dimensional information content of the images. Did he miss the point entirely? Di Lazzaro wasn’t trying to replicate a shroud. What does Occam’s razor have to do with any of this?

Incidentally, the online poll at MSNBC seems to have settled down. There is no evidence of attempts from other blogs (easily detectable) to stuff the results.


  1. cazab
    December 24, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Have you noticed that Fanti’s article for the JIST of Nov-Dec is now available?
    It’s a good answer to Nickell’s claims.

  2. Ron
    December 24, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Nickell’s claim to have any connection with Garleschelli’s work certainly proves he may be going senile! ;-) …and that he obviously doesn’t understand how ridiculously ‘OFF”, the reproduction was, or he’s in denial.

    I get the faint impression he has most likely never read any peer-reviewed papers, closely, on the Shroud’s ‘particular’ qualities. e.g; His mention of the second face for one, as to his rebuttal to Di Lazzaros’ depth claim.

    It truly is baffling that people still listen to this man.

    I’m with Dan, what does Occam’s Razor have to do with this?


  3. Gabriel
    December 24, 2011 at 9:05 am

    After so many years, it is clear that whatever the image formation mechanism is, it is very complex and not easily reproducible. In this sense, from a scientific point of view, it is doubtlessly a major challenge. I think this cannot be denied.
    Additionally, it is highly controversial due to to all its implications. Addressing such an explosive combination (true scientific challenge+Controversial) is a very, very difficult matter.
    In this sense, I find strong similarities with a recent subject: climate change. Perhaps, we could learn a few lessons from it. Only after a centralized body like United Nations thru IPCC started a systematic scientific approach providing free access to all available data and making its way only thru peer-reviewed journals, a clear and solid picture has appeared on the fact that Mankind is affecting climate and Earth is getting warmer. In this process, all agenda driven researches have been put in their place. Of course, they still have some small influence but their arguments are not scientific (now they have moved to conspiration theories) and the true solid fact cannot be denied any longer.
    I am afraid that in the case of the Shroud, we are still in the 80’s of climate research history when anyone could start a research and reach a conclusion by himself with his own piece of evidence. At that time, a great deal of researchers were also “climate stars” on the media -just like current “Shroud stars”-and used to attend talk shows on TV too often, while writing few JCR papers.
    Unless in the Shroud issue a similar step towards a centralized&coordinated research and open proof custody system is not given, researchers will attend TV shows and feed newspapers with more and more incredible headlines. At that time, acting like that was also helpful to raise some funds to go on with that particular piece of research. Just like with the Shroud nowadays. I think we have already had enough of that. This way is the best to keep the research on the Shroud in an endless “murkier than ever” status.
    That said, in the absence of such a system, I hope that Dr. DiLAzzaro could get forward with his research and address the challenges he has got ahead like trying to reproduce the 3D effect with his laser.
    Merry Christmas to all from Spain.

  4. co
    December 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Joe Nickell tiene muy mala memoria.

    OLVIDA que los experimentos con la técnica de frotamientos de bajo-relieves, como los realizados por Henri Broch y con SIMILAR TÉCNICA por el propio Joe Nickell, por Eric-Paul Blanrue, y por LUIGI GARLASCHELLI (en el caso del profesor Garlaschelli es un modelo humano el que hace el role del bajo-relieve para el cuerpo y un bajo- relieve para el rostro), fueron DESAUTORIZADOS por el propio Walter McCrone.

    Este documento desautorizando esa técnica es poco conocido por los lectores, y es probablemente lo ÚLTIMO que McCrone escribió sobre la Sábana de Turín:

    “Carta al Director aparecida en el Volumen 24 nº 5 (Septiembre/Octubre 2000) de la revista Skeptical Inquirer (páginas 67 y 68).

    El número de Mayo/Junio 2000 del Skeptical Inquirer incluía un artículo entristecedor donde se mostraba hasta que punto se han convertido en habituales las ideas paranormales, especialmente en Francia.
    El autor, Henri Broch, describía “como reproducir sábanas con todas las características de la sábana de Turín”. Estaría de acuerdo con él si se añadiese la siguiente salvedad, “si se observa a simple vista”.
    Acabo de escribir un artículo, actualmente en prensa (1) demostrando que la técnica de frotamiento de un bajo relieve produce una imagen que, bajo ampliaciones superiores a 500X, resulta muy diferente de la de la sábana de Turín.
    Ello quiere decir que la “Sábana” turinesa no pudo haber sido realizada mediante tal procedimiento, dejando como única alternativa convencional el empleo del pincel; sólo así se puede obtener una imagen con todas las características físicas microscópicas observadas en la “Sábana”.

    Ambas imágenes fueron realizadas con pigmentos artísticos (ocre rojo y bermellón) pero los pigmentos en las imágenes sobre la Sábana de Turín se encuentran bien dispersos por todas las fibras de lino, casi en su totalidad como agregados de entre 1 a 5 partículas individuales de tamaño inferior a una micra; por contra, en las imágenes obtenidas por frotamiento de un bajo relieve, el pigmento se dispersa en agregados de entre 100 a 1000 (o más) partículas individuales.

    Walter C. McCrone
    McCrone Research Institute
    Chicago, Illinois

    (1) Enviaré una copia de este artículo a cualquiera que lo solicite.Teléfono (312) 842-7100; Fax (312) 842-1078; correo electrónico: wmccrone@mcri.org

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