imageA reader writes:

In response to Dr. Rofle’s invitation for advice on his David and Goliath challenge to Professor Dawkins, I offer these suggestions. Thank you for allowing me to do so.

Professor Fanti’s paper in JIST does an excellent job of summarizing various image formation hypotheses. Perhaps the summary can be extracted from the full paper and presented on Dr. Rolfe’s website.

As for the specification of image attributes that must be satisfied by any image formation solution, avoid any language suggesting a real human body or any form of unexplained energy. To mention any such hints of a miracle will certainly cause any secular skeptic to justifiably refuse the challenge.

Limit the attributes to 1) the 200-600 nm superficiality of the image on a fiber and omit mentioning the primary cell wall as this is uncertain, 2) the superficiality of image to the top two or three fibers of the yarn, 3) the superficial image of facial hair on the reverse side of the fabric, 4) the fact that the image can be removed from a fiber with adhesive tape, 5) the fact that the image doesn’t fluoresce in UV light, 6) the halftone effect from striated color patterns, 7) the fact that a negative of the image is a reasonably photorealistic positive image of a man, 8) the fact that the photometric luminous intensity of various parts of the image can be plotted as an isometric drawing of a valid human body shape and 9) the fact that no image content has been found below any bloodstains.

Do not include anything about rigor mortis, blood flow, putrefaction, distortion of human proportions or formation at a distance as all of these are subject to interpretation. 

The first part of the challenge should be an invitation to Professor Dawkins to jointly review, confirm and finalize the definition of essential image attributes.  

But didn’t Goliath issue the challenge? And wasn’t it David that accepted? Otherwise I essentially agree with this. One thing, though: on point 3, I don’t think it is necessary to produce an image on the reverse side of the fabric, but the method must accommodate the possibility and not make it impossible.