A guest posting from Yannick Clément that is relevant to the Dawkins Challenge:

* * *

imageI would like to share with you a reflection made by a French engineer named Marcel Alonso (member of the French group CIELT and also member of the SSG if I remember well) who supports the hypothesis of Rogers concerning the chromophore of the body image on the Shroud, i.e. that it is composed of a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities found on-top of the linen fibers (external to them). This reflection of Alonso gives us another possible clue that could support the hypothesis of Rogers. Here it is (translation is mine from an original article published in French) :

With adapted numeric treatment, the French engineers Castex, de Bazelaire and Doumax succeed to “equalise” the basic tint of each thread in the region of the face.” (Personal note : they did this to remove the banding effect we see everywhere on the Shroud, particularly noticeable in the region of the face, which had a proportional effect on the intensity of the body image). Alonso continue : “The image carried by the threads appear then purified of every parasites that can deform it, and it is a more regular face, less severe, and more conventional, that we can contemplate.

(Personal note : You can see the result of their numeric treatment of the face here : http://thierrycastex.blogspot.ca/) On this website, it is the second set of 2 side-by-side pictures, showing the face before and after their numeric treatment.

Then, Alonso make a very interesting deduction :

Since these treatment leave the image intact [personal note : with no deformation of the image], the formation of this image WOULDN’T HAVE ALTERED THE SURFACE COMPOSITION OF THE THREADS, which would go in the sense of a DEPOSIT OF COLORATION ADDED TO THE THREADS.

Before making this statement, in the same paper, Alonso said this :

The layer of coloration possess the “additive” nature that allow the numeric treatment (by removing the “noise”) to uncover the (real) image.

It’s maybe a bit complicated to understand, but I think his point of view deserve some serious thoughts ! For Alonso, the fact that a numeric treatment done to remove all the banding effect on the Shroud didn’t produce, at the same time, any deformation of the image is a good sign that the image hasn’t altered the surface composition of the threads (i.e. the primary cell wall of the linen fiber). And if his interpretation is correct, that can only mean, for him, that the conclusion of Rogers regarding the image chromophore (i.e. the coloration didn’t affect at all the linen fibers themselves) MUST BE TRUE !!!

Personally, I’m not enough skilled about things like that (numeric treatment of image versus the chromophore) to be sure if the point of view of Alonso is correct or not. Anyway, I found his reflection very interesting, mainly because this is the very first time I’ve heard something of that nature. For this reason, I thought it deserves to be known. I hope you will seriously reflect upon this, because in the end, it can well be a real good clue that point in favor of the hypothesis of Rogers concerning the chromophore of the image…