Creative Comment of the Day by Colin Berry

imageColin, by way of a comment writes:

Irrespective, wearing my  referee’s hat, the one I was called upon to wear a few score times, and all done absolutely free of charge  (referees are not paid for their services), here’s the kind of report I might have filed on that paper which appeared in "Melanoidins" that began with quoting Pliny and 2000 year old linen techniques:

1.   So Pliny described how linen was manufactured, using starch and Saponaria as processing aids. What good evidence is there that the Shroud has starch and Saponaria?  For starch, all I see in this paper is a red colour with iodine/azide used to test for something completely different (sulphur proteins). Why did you not use the standard iodine reagent without the azide?  And why is there no evidence that the cloth has been treated with Saponaria? What is the evidence that it dates back to the Pliny era – scientific evidence that is?

2.    Why the need for starch anyway in this Maillard reaction. Starch is not a reducing sugar unless broken down to glucose, maltose etc?  Ah, I see you have switched from using starch in your model study to “dextrins” i.e. partly broken down starch”? Is that a way to get reducing sugar into the Shroud under the cloak of starch?  If so, that is not terribly scientific, is it, or even transparent?  scientific. And why the need for “Saponaria” in your model. Is it because the Saponaria has pentosan sugars, some of which might just  tbe able to break free from the rest of the polymer, and may then provide more of that "reducing  sugar" that is needed in your model.  Or iare you saying that the combination of starch and a natural soap  helps to release those reducing sugars?   Sorry, but since your model depends crucially on having some reducing sugars you must be chemically precise if you want it to have any relevance to the Shroud.

3.    Now about the other component you need for your Maillard reaction – organic amines. What evidence is there that the image areas of the Shroud have more nitrogen than non-image areas? None? I see.  And I see you use ammonia as the source of amine in your model studies. Ammonia is much lighter and more rapidly diffusible than a much bigger molecule like cadaverine, putrescine etc.

So we have some model studies based on ingredients that we cannot be sure are on the Shroud, except perhaps some “starch” (which is not a reducing sugar) and we are asked to believe that the coming together of putrefaction amines – with no evidence they would ever be released in quantity from a recently deceased individual – with starch/hypothetical Saponaria (now conveniently transformed to reducing sugar) can produce all the image characteristics of the Shroud, right down to hair, moustache, beard etc, despite those being stable keratinaceous protein that would never release putrefaction amines.

4.    Sorry, but this journal is Melanoidins. Your paper makes no contribution to melanoidin chemistry. You have simply hypothesised that the Shroud image is the product of a Maillard reaction which then polymerises to a melanoidin, without providing any direct evidence, and your model studies use ingredients that are largely hypothetical as far as a particular piece of fabric in Turin  is concerned.

5.    If you can provide evidence that there is a melanoidin on the Shroud, with extra nitrogen in the image areas, with evidence for diamines as the precursors, with information of which specific reducing sugar(s) is involved, whether hexose or pentose etc, and better still some evidence for unreacted precursor molecules in the non-image areas then it may be possible for me to to recommend your paper for publication.

15 thoughts on “Creative Comment of the Day by Colin Berry”

  1. As ever, a comment has to be read in the context of what preceded it. Mine above was a response to Yannick’s elevation of the (sadly) late Raymond Rogers and his Maillard hypothesis to near- sainthood and the status of Holy Writ respectively.

    Ray Rogers BS, MS was a competent and resourceful explosives chemist (most of the time). But I have to say (candidly) with no disrespect that he might have benefited from doing a PhD training program(me). There is no better training for a research career than acquiring the habit of writing every paper as if it were a doctoral thesis, and that one’s life (or 3 to 4 years thereof) depended on it. That means imagining that one is to be grilled line-by-line as if in a viva voce exam by an external examiner who is highly knowledgeable in one’s field.

    There is scarcely a scrap of real evidence, certainly not experimental evidence, in favour of the Rogers’ hypothesis. That’s unless one counts a somewhat inclusive starch test (but meaning what, since intact starch is not a reducing sugar, as required for a Maillard reaction?). Let’s not beat about the bush: The Saponaria suggestion was pure speculation, with Rogers expecting the reader to take for granted his assumption that the linen had been made exactly as described by Pliny. Does the Shroud have a stitched-in label that reads Genuine Pliny linen, manufactured in first century Palestine, hand wash only)?

    1. I want to answer some questions you ask :

      Concerning the starch fractions found (and confirmed) in the image area, here’s what Rogers said about it : “A search for carbohydrate impurities on the Shroud CONFIRMED McCrone’s detection of some starch fractions. Starch and low-molecular weight carbohydrates from crude startch would color MUCH MORE EASILY than would cellulose as a result of either thermal dehydration or chemical reactions. The hypothesis on carbohydrates impurities is SUPPORTED by observations of TRACES OF SOME STARCH FRACTIONS ON IMAGE FIBERS.”

      Also, you have to consider the FACT that there are also pectin deposits on the Shroud that could easily have taken part of a Maillard reaction.

      Also, you have to take notice of an important quote from Rogers book (page 108) that can answer some of your questions : “The Maillard reactions are some of the most studied reactions in food chemistry. The reactions are commercially important , and they have been studied for many years. They involved the condensation of amino groups (the –NH2 in amines, proteins, peptides, etc.) with reducing sugars and reducing polysaccharides such as SUGARS (note : like pectin) AND SOME STARCH FRACTIONS. All reducing sugars and polysaccharides take part in the reactions. WHEN AMINES (note : that include ammoniac gas) AND REDUCING SUGARS COME TOGETHER, THEY WILL REACT. THEY WILL PRODUCE A COLOR. THIS IS NOT AN HYPOTHESIS : THIS IS A FACT. A cloth with crude starch on it WILL ultimately produce a color, if it is left in close proximity to a decomposing body (note : Rogers talk here of the very first phase of the decomposition that doesn’t include the apparition of putrefactive liquids).”

      This quote from Rogers is VERY IMPORTANT. Like I said to Ron : since science have proven that there really is deposits of starch fractions and pectin on the surface of the cloth, you have to imagine that the dead body that was inside the Shroud (we know for a fact that there was one) emit no amines at all (including ammoniac gas) in order to pretend that a Maillard reaction really had nothing to do with the body image we see on the Shroud !!! I think someone need a very big faith in order to believe that !

      And concerning the question of the ancient method of cloth production as described by Pliny the Elder, I just want to repeat what I’ve already said to Dave : It is impossible to know whether or not the shroud was made with the same exact technique as describe by Pliny the Elder, but what we can say is that some observations and facts (like the banding effect who most probably come from the ancient technique of bleaching the cloth before the weaving was done, the confirmed presence of starch impurities and pectin deposit on the surface of the Shroud, etc.) tend to show that it was really the case…

      Collinsberry, you can have a totally different opinion than Ray Rogers of course, but between an expert in chemistry like him and someone who is not an expert like you (this is an admission you made), I will always choose to believe in the words of the expert Rogers was. Read my long comment that I post below. I didn’t found anything in Rogers writings to suggest me that I should put in doubt everything he said about the Shroud. Of course, that doesn’t mean we have to believe everything Rogers said blindly, but that mean that unless a real expert can scientifically prove him wrong on one aspect or another, I don’t know why we should think that Rogers conclusions about the Shroud were most probably wrong.

  2. This long comment (sorry !) can be entitled “Advocating in favor of the professional integrity of Ray Rogers, especially when he applied the SCIENTIFIC METHOD to his research on the Shroud”. It is not a direct response to those 2 comments from Collinsberry but I think it is the right place to post it. Have fun !

    In fact, I would like to explain more in details what I tried to express yesterday versus Ray Rogers, his credibility and his Maillard reaction hypothesis, especially concerning the question of the water insolubility of the colored impurities.

    First, on the question of the credibility of Rogers, I don’t think there’s anyone who can show us one single PROOF that the science of this man was driven by his faith or by any other purpose than to find the truth about the Shroud. There’s NOTHING in all his writings to even SUGGEST something of that nature. I should add : on the contrary to some researchers in the Shroud world today who don’t mind mixing science with some religious ideas (like the resurrection of Christ)… When you take this FACT concerning Rogers into account and you add another fact to it, namely the great professional quality of the man (especially in chemistry and microscopy), I don’t see any good reason to constantly put in doubt everything he said about the Shroud.

    Of course, it’s not a bad thing to ask some questions about some particular points of his conclusions regarding the Shroud (I do it myself !), but that need to be done by someone who his honest and who seek the truth and by someone who’s only driven by some anti-Rogers philosophy ! Because if it is so, I really believe this person and his questions will lose any sense of credibility.

    Now, let’s think for a second that Collinsberry is not driven by an anti-Rogers mindset, I would like to reflect upon his question concerning the fact that nothing in body image on the Shroud has move with the water used to extinguish the fire of 1532 versus the Maillard reaction hypothesis of Rogers.

    First of all, it’s important to note that it’s not because Rogers didn’t talk specifically about one thing in his writings that he never thought about this subject or do some analysis to make some verifications.

    Secondly, it’s a fact that Rogers was fully aware of the interesting property of the body image (a property that is almost strong enough in itself to eliminate any painting theory). If you go to the pages 109 and 110 of Rogers book, you’ll see a pretty exhaustive list of FACTS concerning the body image on the Shroud. By the way, I think M. Rolfe should have consider that list with an extreme care before writing his own list ! Obviously, he did not ! If you go to point #1 of Rogers list, you’ll read this : “Nothing moved from an image area when water flowed through it.”

    This single phrase is enough to prove that Rogers was fully aware of this property of the image. And more than that, we have to take note of what Rogers said in the introduction of his list (page 109) : “A summary of the observations that I believe can now be confirmed and that MUST BE USED in hypothesis testing.” So you can see that, for Rogers, it was clear that any serious hypothesis concerning the image formation on the Shroud should be able to match all these observations !!!

    So, when you take this into account, along the fact that Rogers was a real meticulous and professional scientist (a real one and not some wannabe), it’s easy to understand that he would never have written “Maillard products are NOT water soluble, and they do not move when wetted” if he was not convinced that it was completely true ! Here, it’s important to note that Rogers was talking about the products of a Maillard reaction in the context of the Shroud (a reaction that would involved a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities on-top of the cloth and some gases coming from a corpse) and not in the context of the food industry (concerning the fabrication of beer or other products like that)…

    So, in summary :

    1- We know for a fact that Rogers science was not driven by his faith or by anything else than a quest for truth regarding the Shroud. Taking that into account, I don’t see any good reason to think that he would have proclaim something important in his writings if he wasn’t convinced that it was really a FACT. On the contrary, if we could detect even the slightest sign of some religious bias in Rogers thinking, writings and/or sayings, that would be a totally different story. But that’s not the case ! And I think anyone who knew him well (Barrie Schwortz for example) can testify that Rogers was only interested to find the truth regarding the Shroud and nothing else. In other words, he had absolutely no philosophy or religious belief to defend and, in that respect, there’s nothing to suggest that he could have “USED” the Shroud for some unclean purpose. Note : Rogers himself made it very clear in his book that he was following the scientific method, meaning that he was only going in the direction where the facts and observations were leading him in order to find a credible hypothesis regarding the body image. And note that he did it in the correct way : Firstly, he took note of all the confirmed facts and observations he could find about the Shroud (the list of observations he wrote on pages 109 and 110 of his book is the perfect example of that) and then, only after this collection of data was done, he started to reflect on a possible hypothesis that could fit properly with all those facts and observations. In sum, there’s absolutely no proof at all that can show that the pretension of Rogers to follow properly this scientific method was a lie or that he put aside some data that wouldn’t fit with his preconceived ideas (in fact, there’s nothing to even suggest that). The way Rogers have worked regarding the Shroud is the right way to do science. Here, I just want to add a personal comment : Sadly, following the carbon 14 dating of 1988, some other Shroud researchers (I don’t want to give any name here) have done precisely the opposite, meaning that they have firstly thought about a possible process for the formation of the body image (often influenced by their religious belief and also their will to contradict the C14 dating at all cost) and then, they have started to collect all the data that could help them to comfort their preconception, while forgetting some others that would be problematic ! That’s the wrong way to do science.
    2- We know for a fact that Rogers was an expert in chemistry and knew anything that needed to be known about the Maillard reactions. Note : On that subject, when you read his book, it’s evident that he made an extensive research about those kind of chemical reactions in the context of the Shroud.
    3- We know for a fact that Rogers was fully aware of the way the body image on the Shroud has reacted (in this case we should say has not reacted) in presence of water.
    4- We know for a fact that he considered this observation has an authentic and important criterion that NEED TO BE MATCH by any credible hypothesis regarding the image formation.
    5- We know for a fact that Rogers proposed his hypothesis with the sense that it was, for him, the most credible hypothesis concerning the body image on the Shroud. Note : This was the case simply because the Maillard reaction hypothesis he proposed was, for him, the best one that exist in order to match properly a majority of the facts and observations he mentioned on pages 109 and 110 of his book.
    6- We know for a fact that Rogers was convinced that the coloration that would be obtained with a Maillard reaction (as described in his book in the context of a layer of carbohydrates impurities and some gas coming from a dead body) WOULD NOT MOVE IN THE PRESENCE OF WATER. Note : If he said so in his book, it can only mean one thing : For him, there’s no question that the Maillard reaction hypothesis he described was able to closely match this criterion concerning the water (an important criterion that we found in the point #1 of his list, on page 109).

    When you take all those facts into account, I think you need the highest faith in the non-professionalism of Rogers to still pretend that his Maillard reaction hypothesis is not able to match the fact that “the image color does not dissolve or migrate in water.” (page 106 of Rogers book).

    All this reflection leads me to believe that Rogers assertion MUST BE TRUE concerning this point. I simply don’t see him pretend something important like that (he consider it himself to be an important criterion) without having done some important verification to confirm his claim… In fact, this question is pretty much like the question regarding the primary cell wall ! You can be sure of one thing : If Rogers wasn’t totally convinced that the Maillard reaction he proposed could match this important criterion (and that it was something else than impurities that was colored, like the primary cell wall for example), he would have dropped this hypothesis well before he died !!! A criterion like the one we found at #1 in his list is simply too important to be forgotten (or to not be verify) when you want to propose any credible hypothesis regarding the image, and you can be sure that Rogers was completely aware of this situation (he wouldn’t have put this criterion at #1 in his list if it wasn’t the case). In that context, I just cannot see Rogers claiming something like “Maillard products are NOT water soluble, and they do not move when wetted” if it wasn’t the case in reality.

    Now, it’s up to you. Do you really believe that Rogers hypothesis is wrong because of the claim made by Collinsberry, i.e. that “Maillard products are water soluble” ???

    P.S. 1 : Of course, all I said here doesn’t mean that Rogers never made any mistakes or misinterpretations, but thinking that an expert in chemistry like him could have pass by the supposed “fact” that every Maillard products would always move in presence of water, that’s enormous !!! And more than this, if this was true, that would even mean that Ray Rogers was a liar because he explicitly pretend the opposite on page 106 of his book !!! And I can say that it’s pretty much the same thing with the idea that he could have confused a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities with the primary cell wall of a linen fiber, because he clearly states that the linen fiber was not affected at all during the image formation process !!!
    P.S. 2 : The fact that so many people around here ALWAYS put seriously in doubt everything Rogers have said is a pretty good indicator of the great importance of his contribution to the Shroud world, because if it wasn’t so, those people would not consider him and his science seriously at all and they would NEVER even speak about him ! Like I said before, for many people in the Shroud world, Ray Rogers was a big pain in the a**, simply because his findings and conclusions don’t go well with their preconceived ideas concerning the Shroud !!! I’m sorry for those people but, no matter what you pretend, the science of Ray Rogers was never buried with him when he died in 2005 and I think it is here to stay… unless a real scientist can PROVE him wrong properly on a particular point (while using also the scientific method, just like Rogers did). And on his most important conclusions (the thin layer of impurities as the image chromophore and the fact that we don’t need a miracle to explain the body image on the Shroud are 2 examples of these conclusions), I’m not aware that any scientist has ever succeeded, for the moment, to officially and completely discard even one of them… It’s one thing to freely claim he was off-track about this or about that, but it’s another thing to go into a laboratory and scientifically prove your pretension with some experimentation done the right way !!!

    1. So many words in defence of a man who quite simply did not do enough experiments to back his claim. It’s not rocket science. You make two classes of yellow-brown pigments – one with a Maillard reaction between known sugars and known amines, and the other by pyrolysis/caramelisation reactions with carbohydrates alone. You then compare the two classes in their response to a range of chemicals, e.g. hydrogen peroxide, diimide etc, or behaviour on electrophoresis (do they migrate to the positive or negative electrode?) – or ion exchange resins etc. Having established one or more tests that distinguish between the two classes (which should not be an insuperable task, given the major effect of having an organic base present or absent) you then see how the Shroud image behaves in that discriminating test. Based on the number of factors that would have to coincide for Rogers’ hypothesis to work, I’d estimate the chances of the Shroud image being a Maillard reaction product at about 1% of less. In fact, I’ll make a prediction. The nitrogen content of an image area per mg of organic carbon will be no higher than that of non-image area (a Maillard reaction requiring nitrogen in the form of protein or simple amines). I see no a priori reasons for giving the Rogers’ hypothesis equal footing with that of chemical change not needing an external source of nitrogen or reducing sugar. There are plenty of reactive chemicals present in situ, especially the pentosans of PCW hemicelluloses without having to invoke adventitious impurities.

      Moderator/censor Dan can now have a break for a while, since I’m off on a touring holiday and will only be on line to check emails.

    2. Sorry, but I found one more little mistake in my long comment. I really should read myself again before sending my comment ! Here is the right formulation I wanted to express : “If Rogers wasn’t totally convinced that the Maillard reaction he proposed could match this important criterion (and that it was really a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities that was colored on-top of the fibers), he would have dropped this hypothesis well before he died !!!” Sorry again.

  3. I have made a little typing error in a phrase near the beginning of my long comment. You should read : “Of course, it’s not a bad thing to ask some questions about some particular points of his conclusions regarding the Shroud (I do it myself !), but that need to be done by someone who his honest and who seek the truth and NOT by someone who’s only driven by some anti-Rogers philosophy !”

    The word “not” is important I was not there in my long comment. Now, it will be easier for you to understand what I mean. Sorry.

  4. I am reluctant to get in too deep with this debate, as I lack the technical expertise and detailed knowledge of Rogers’ paper. However with regard to Colin’s previous posting #1, last para, there is persuasive evidence that the cloth is of 1st c Middle East provenance, although I appreciate that Colin might not necessarily accept this. It is a fair assumption, and I agree only an assumption, that the cloth was therefore very likely manufactured in the way that Pliny describes, and therefore has the properties postulated by Rogers. I also agree that Rogers’ paper cannot have the status of Holy Writ, as the necessary chemistry facts to prove his case conclusively do not seem to be presently available. My present view would therefore have to be that the question of a Maillard reaction would have the status of a credible hypothesis yet to be proven. There may well be some other (unknown) processes that might have naturally formed the image, if indeed it was a natural process.

  5. I have I agree mostly with what you said Dave. On this topic, I think it is a good thing that I write again what I just write to Ron in another section of the blog, because it turn around the very same topic. Here it is : “Ray Rogers would not have defended his hypothesis until his death if he didn’t thought that it was a very good hypothesis. But I agree with you (Ron) that even Rogers never claimed that his hypothesis, alone, seemed to be able to explain all and every single observations and facts we know about the Shroud. Here’s what he said about that on page 110 of his book : “The requirements make it apparent that no single, simple hypothesis will be adequate to explain all of the observations made on the Shroud. The impurity/Maillard hypothesis is proposed in an attempt to incorporate more observations into a single, complex hypothesis for image formation. It is important to recognize that Maillard colors WILL FORM every time amines (note from me : that include ammoniac gas) and simple starches and/or sugars come together.” One more thing : It is important to note that there is some possibilities that the hypothesis of Rogers CAN be one part of a combination of chemical processes. Rogers himself was fully aware of this possibility. And one last thing to conclude : It is impossible to know whether or not the shroud was made with the same exact technique as describe by Pliny the Elder, but what we can say is that some observations and facts (like the banding effect who most probably come from the ancient technique of bleaching the cloth before the weaving was done, the confirmed presence of starch impurities and pectin deposit on the surface of the Shroud, etc.) tend to show that it was really the case…

  6. Collinsberry wrote this : “So many words in defence of a man who quite simply did not do enough experiments to back his claim. It’s not rocket science. You make two classes of yellow-brown pigments – one with a Maillard reaction between known sugars and known amines, and the other by pyrolysis/caramelisation reactions with carbohydrates alone. You then compare the two classes in their response to a range of chemicals, e.g. hydrogen peroxide, diimide etc, or behaviour on electrophoresis (do they migrate to the positive or negative electrode?) – or ion exchange resins etc. Having established one or more tests that distinguish between the two classes (which should not be an insuperable task, given the major effect of having an organic base present or absent) you then see how the Shroud image behaves in that discriminating test. Based on the number of factors that would have to coincide for Rogers’ hypothesis to work, I’d estimate the chances of the Shroud image being a Maillard reaction product at about 1% of less. In fact, I’ll make a prediction. The nitrogen content of an image area per mg of organic carbon will be no higher than that of non-image area (a Maillard reaction requiring nitrogen in the form of protein or simple amines). I see no a priori reasons for giving the Rogers’ hypothesis equal footing with that of chemical change not needing an external source of nitrogen or reducing sugar. There are plenty of reactive chemicals present in situ, especially the pentosans of PCW hemicelluloses without having to invoke adventitious impurities.

    Moderator/censor Dan can now have a break for a while, since I’m off on a touring holiday and will only be on line to check emails.”

    Here’s my reply :

    When you say that there’s no need to call for a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities on-top of the cloth to explain the image because there is some carbohydrates in the pcw, you completely forget all the facts and observations that were collected regarding the body image and, by acting like that, I can include you in the category of those who do bad science (or science “in reverse” because they start with a preconception instead of the facts). In reality, it’s obvious that you can’t or you don’t want to follow properly the scientific method. Unlike you, Rogers did. He took ALL the facts that are there and follow them in the direction they were pointing. Sorry, but that’s not what you seem to do. Just because there’s some carbohydrates in the pcw, that’s enough for you to proclaim it the chromphore of the image ! WOW ! What a nice reasoning !

    If you really want to defend the hypothesis of the pcw, then can you give me some clear and scientific answers to those questions :

    1- If the pcw was colored, how can you explain the reduction of the color with diimide that LEAVE A COLORLESS, LUSTROUS AND UNDAMMAGED LINEN FIBERS BEHIND (that’s a new quote from Rogers that I just discovered recently). How in the world the reduction of the pcw with a chemical agent like diimide would left A COLORLESS, LUSTROUS AND UNDAMMAGED LINEN FIBERS BEHIND ???
    2- If the pcw was colored, how can you explain the ghosts of color in the sticky tapes who also left a clean linen fiber behind ?
    3- If the pcw was colored, how can you explain the direct correlation between the banding effect and the body image, especially for the 2 sides of the face where it’s proven that there’s really an image but it is so faint that it is almost impossible to see it with the naked eyes ?
    4- If the pcw was colored, how can you explain (without being obliged to invoke a miracle) the extreme superficiality od the body image ? As I know, every single fibers that composed the Shroud have a pcw around them, whether they are located on-top of the cloth or more deep into it !!! If the pcw was really colored, I really don’t think there’s one known and natural mechanism that can account for the extreme superficiality of the image, simply because there’s pcw in every parts of the cloth… If the pcw was colored, then why, in no part of the body image (even those who were probably in direct contact with the body), there is absolutely no penetration of the color after we pass the second or third superficial fiber ? In this context, what natural process could have created a barrier to avoid any penetration of the color and protect the pcw located more deep in the cloth ? On the contrary, the hypothesis of the thin layer of impurities on-top of the cloth is able to account perfectly, naturally and logically for this very particular aspect of the body image.
    5- If the pcw was colored, how can you explain the doubly-superficial image of the hair, mustache and beard that can be present on the Shroud ? Here, I know this is not a confirmed fact, but I would like you to think that it is for a second. IF one day science can confirmed that there really is a doubly-superficial image in the region of the hair on the Shroud frontal part, then I don’t see one natural mechanism of image formation that can account for the fact that there would only be the most superficial pcw that would have been colored on both sides of the cloth and that, at the same time, absolutely no pcw located more deep into the cloth would have been colored. In other words, what was so special about the most superficial pcw to explain that it was the only pcw that have been colored ? This is completely illogical ! On the contrary, the hypothesis of the thin layer of impurities on-top of the cloth is also able to account perfectly, naturally and logically for this very particular aspect of the body image if there really was a Maillard reaction that was going on at the time of the image formation between a thin layer of impurities (located on both surface) and some gas emit by the dead body.

    I’ll wait patiently for your answers to those questions…

    One more thing, even if it’s true that the pcw his partially composed of more reactive carbohydrates (hemicellulose and pectin) than cellulose itself, if we understand Rogers writings well, it is MUCH MORE EASY to color a thin layer of starch impurities by chemical means than the linen fiber itself (including the pcw). Note : When Rogers talked about cellulose in his writings, he was referring to the whole linen fiber, including the pcw.

    And since that’s a proven fact that there really is some starch fractions (along with a deposit of pectin coming from the retting process) on the surface of the Shroud, it is completely logical to assume that this impurity layer would have been colored well before the pcw of the fibers if there was a presence and/or a release inside the Shroud of any products (like ammoniac gas for example) that could react with carbohydrates. On this particular question, I don’t know why you always seem to dismiss out of hand the FACT that there really is some starch fractions and a pectin deposit that have been found on the Shroud. Not taking that most important FACT into account properly is a good example of someone who doesn’t follow correctly the scientific method, on the contrary of Ray Rogers…

  7. Here’s another message for Collinsberry and all of you who are interested in the question of the chromophore of the image :

    I want to share with you some additional quotes from Ray Rogers that I found recently in a paper entitled “The Shroud of Turin from the viewpoint of the physical science” published in 2011 by Emmanuel M. Carreira. You can find this paper here : http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/carreira.pdf

    Most of these quotes are really helpful to confirm my idea that Rogers was using the word “cellulose” in his writings as a general term for “the whole linen fiber”, including most certainly the primary cell wall. And once you understand that this is really a fact, then all the quotes from Rogers on this important topic became much more clear and you understand that, for him, there was nothing in the data from the Shroud to suggest that the primary cell wall of the linen fiber had been colored during the image formation process.

    So, here’s the quotes, along with some personal notes from me :

    1- The image color can be reduce chemically (diimide and sodium borohydride), leaving COLORLESS, LUSTROUS LINEN FIBERS. Also, in the same paper, there’s another quote from Rogers on the same subject : The layer of color can be specifically reduce with diimide, leaving a COLORLESS FLAX FIBER behind. Diimide reduction CONFIRMED the presence of double bounds. Personal note : It’s very interesting to compare those 2 quotes with another one, found in Rogers book this time, concerning the same topic : “Heller and Adler found that the image fibers could be decolorized with diimide. Reduction left COLORLESS, UNDAMAGED CELLULOSE FIBERS BEHIND.” So you see ? Rogers was sometines using both expressions “cellulose fibers” and “linen (or flax) fibers” to speak about the very same topic. This little comparison between two different quotes from Rogers is nothing less than a confirmation of my interpretation of Rogers words ! Here, there’s no room for misinterpretation. It’s evident that Rogers was often using the term “cellulose” in a very general sense that was meaning “the whole linen fiber” in reality. And because it is so, we have to think that this general terme “cellulose” was also including the primary cell wall, since it is an integrant part of a linen fiber. There’s no way to believe that Rogers wanted to exclude the primary cell wall when he was using the expressions “cellulose fibers” or “linen fibers”.
    2- Later we found that the image color reside ONLY ON THE OUTER SURFACES of image fibers : the FLAX FIBER WAS NOT COLORED AT ALL. Personal note : Here again, it is very interesting to compare this quote with another one, found in Rogers book, concerning the same topic : “The color reside only on the surface of the fibers, and it is the result of conjugated double bounds. The underlying CELLULOSE (LINEN) FIBERS are not colored.” Here, again, we have a very good confirmation that Rogers was sometines using both expressions “cellulose” and “linen (or flax) fibers” to speak about the very same topic. And again, since it is really the case, we have to think that this general terme “cellulose” was also including the primary cell wall, since it is an integrant part of a linen fiber. There’s no way to believe that Rogers wanted to exclude the primary cell wall when he was using the expressions “cellulose fibers” or “linen fibers”.
    3- I studied the chemical kinetics of the impurity materials and conclude that it was improbable that the impurities had been scorched by heat or any radiation source : the crystal structure of the flax image fibers was NO MORE DEFECTIVE than non-image fibers. It would take very good temperature control specifically to scorch impurities without producing some defects in the cellulose. Personal note : Here, we can’t use this quote to confirm the fact that Rogers really meant “the whole linen fiber, including the primary cell wall” when he was using the word “cellulose”, but this quote is interesting nevertheless, because it help to understand that the linen fiber itself, including the primary cell wall, was most probably unaffected during the image formation process, because there’s no more defaults in the crystal structure of the flax image fibers than there is in the crystal structure of the non-image fibers. That’s why this last quote is also very important.

    After reading those quotes, if someone still pretend that Rogers didn’t thought about the primary cell wall as a possible chromophore for the image, then I think we can say that this person don’t want to see the reality !!! All the quotes from Rogers that I found during the last week are well enough to conclude, without any serious doubt, that Rogers was well aware of that part of the fiber (like any other part of the fiber) and conclude that this was not a good candidate for the image chromophore, in the light of all the facts and observations that he knew about the body image on the Shroud. Instead, he conclude that a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities that came from the ancient way of manufacturing linen was a much better candidate. Even if I know that some Shroud researchers don’t like it, I’m sorry for them but THAT’S THE REALITY !!! Now, it’s up to everyone to believe Rogers conclusion or not… Personally, I think that until there’s another round of direct chemical, spectral and microscopic researches done on samples from the Shroud, Rogers hypothesis will most probably stayed the most probable hypothesis we have concerning the image chromphore, simply because it is the only one who seem to be able to fit correctly with all the known observations and facts we know about the body image (like, for example, the diimide, the ghosts, the banding effect and the extreme superficiality of the image).

  8. Every time I read Yannick’s long posts it confirms a lot of what I have read and have speculated in my private mind – not all of it, but much of it. I also get the sensation that we all should be handed a diploma.

    1. Stop worrying about who I could worship and start thinking about what Rogers said. Forget about Yannick Clément and concentrate about the facts and observations bring forward by Rogers and the way he interpret those. That’s what really matters. I’m just the messanger !

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