I am very glad that David Rolfe’s newest list of image characteristics is to be publically debated on the internet. This adds to its creditability.
Permit me to add my two-cents worth. The last time I checked, a Maillard reaction between reducing saccharides and a gaseous diffusion of amino groups was considered one of the most viable image forming hypotheses. I’m not here to defend it. I can’t do so. I don’t like it. But that is not why I’m here. I’m here to defend proper science.
The most recent public evidence against the diffusion hypothesis was contained in Prof. Giulio Fanti’s most recent paper in JIST. Based on Prof. Fanti’s scoring system of X’s and ?’s he concluded, “the hypotheses based on radiation are the best (with only seven ‘X’), followed, respectively, by ‘gas diffusion’ (with eight ‘X’ and one ‘?’), ‘contact’ (with ten ‘X’ and two ‘?’), and ‘artist’ (with 12 ‘X’ and ﬁve ‘?’).” Shortly, thereafter, scientists at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development, ENEA, argued that the image on the shroud, in their opinion, could only have been created by "some form of electromagnetic energy" such as UV light. This added to the list of possible hypotheses. We must wonder if there will be other hypotheses just as there have been many in the past.
Until I saw the newest list I thought we had multiple hypotheses that required different image characteristics. The diffusion hypothesis is impossible if the image is a molecular change to the fiber as the newest list states in its very first sentence.
The list needs work. That is good.