Rude Comment of the Day

imageWhat is the point of writing something like this, Colin Berry? To be nasty?

Why do you ignore the new science, Mr.Rolfe?  Does it not fit with your preconceptions, the ones you were so keen to have carved on tablets of zone (sic maybe) when you pestered the  conference participants at Valencia to subscribe to your list of largely dud or redundant “consensus” points.

Science by consensus? No thanks. I prefer science by free unfettered enquiry, science by thinking out of the box. That’s why I am a published scientist and why you are a film producer, Mr. Rolfe,  the difference being  that I  have no desire to wear a second hat as a film producer, while you …   oh never mind.

This follows your sometimes flippant remarks on the seven image characteristics in the Dawkins Challenge. Look, I have taken issue with these and with the challenge. We should do so when merited. But why the flippancy like, “I thought real bodies, living or dead, had sides.”

I know, David has banned some of your comments on his site. Can you blame him?

Let’s look at your responses (in italics):

1. The body image is created by molecular change of linen fibres. There are also bloodstains. There is no body image beneath the bloodstains. (For the avoidance of doubt, this characteristic does not exclude the possibility that the molecular change may have taken place in an impurity layer at the linen surface).

Yes, there is probably molecular change of linen fibres.  That’s if one excludes Rogers’ Occam’s Razor blunting  hypothesis, the one  that posits a chemical reaction between putrefaction vapours and surface impurities.  It was the initial omission of that and the criticism that followed  that occasioned Rolfe’s later addition in italics. Shame it makes the opening statement self-contradictory.

There’s a simpler name for the molecular change in the linen fibres. It is called a scorch. It is not necessarily in the cellulose. It is more likely to be in the hemicelluloses of the primary cell wall.

There are no proven bloodstains, or at any rate ORIGINAL bloodstains. There may be pigmented stains that look like blood (strange that they are eternally red, differ from the spectrum of known porphyrins, lack potassium etc but never mind, let’s not get hung up on the geekish detail).

The original real or look-alike “bloodstains” may have later been  touched up with  blood, blood serum or fake blood.  That’s a bit more complicated than saying “bloodstains”.  But then science, real science, does tend be more complicated than the made- for-TV variety.

2  The body image does not penetrate below the surface fibres. The body image is not visible when illuminated by transmitted light. The bloodstains are.

Yes, the body image is superficial, It is called a scorch. Scorches tend to be superficial  What bloodstains? Proof positive please.

3  The body image varies in intensity that correlates to expected cloth-body distances had the cloth covered a body.

Where is the proof that the cloth was ever draped over a real body? Ever heard the expression “begging the question”? (Original meaning, that is, not to be confused with “inviting the question”)

4  The sides of the body are not represented even where blood has transferred to the cloth and between the head images.

Yes, we have no side image. That means there was no imaging of the sides. That’s because only the frontal and dorsal sides were imaged. Does that sound like a real body was imaged? I thought real bodies, living or dead, had sides.

5 The resolution of the image is sufficient to resolve body features of a few millimetres.


6  There are no outlines or directionality to the body image within the plane of the cloth.

Sounds like a thermal imprint if you ask me, produced by pressing cloth against a heated template. It’s what cattle ranchers call a brand (produced by pressing a heated template, aka branding iron, against cattle hide). Ever heard of transferable skills?

7 The body image has the visual characteristics of a photographic negative. That is, normal light and dark areas are reversed.

Again, it’s what cattle ranchers call a brand.

Fancy? Is rudeness a substitute for substance?

2 thoughts on “Rude Comment of the Day”

  1. Gosh, it must be a scorch-mark since he states it so many times. Of course, it it were a scorch mark, one would see it in the back-light photos Barrie Schwortz took in 1978. But darn, let’s ignore that evidence since it doesn’t fit his theory.

  2. yes and he conveniently ignores this in his response to point 2 above. In the past I’ve heard him state something along the lines of “I wish I had the lamp equipment to test a lower intensity scorch”. Well as a much self hyped prominent scientist, you would think he would be able to access one if he really wanted to, or at least get an ex colleague or someone to do it for him. It seems very convenient that he hasn’t.
    Until he does, I for one will continue to be totally unconvinced by his “scorch theory”, not just for the lack of flourescence, but for a multitude of other reasons too.

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