Did the bloodstains really precede image formation on the Shroud of Turin?

imageA reader writes:

A couple of days ago Dr. Collin Berry made a rather significant comment and you ignored it completely. Instead you mocked his ideas about the blood stains being touched up over the years by well meaning monks. This does not make for dialog that arrives at the truth, which you say you want. What Dr. Berry wrote was:

As I’ve said before, the view, nay dogma,  that the bloodstains were imprinted before the body image arrived rests on  somewhat token and insubstantial evidence based on a single spot test with proteolytic enzyme on a microscope slide. I have to say that I am not in the least bit surprised that a STURP finding that provides a pro-authenticity answer should be instantly and uncritically accepted without anyone ever suggesting that independent confirmation is desirable by other workers using other methods. For my part I have used Shroud Scope to look closely at areas where there are both blood and body images. Not only do I see superimposition, but am fairly confident that where there is superimposition in patches where blood image has flaked away, leaving just a pinkish background, the body image (greyish on my adjusted contrast/brightness settings) is BENEATH the pink, not on top. If you had two rubber stamps, one with grey ink, one with pink, would you not be able to discern the order in which they had been applied by judging which colour was more or less superficial and dominant?  (paragraph reformatted by me)

Okay; I’m not ignoring it. But what he wrote above seems to have been added as an after-the-fact postscript to a posting he published earlier. I don’t make a habit of re-reading posts just to see if they have been changed. Here is the full posting for everyone to read: Did blood-sucking leeches help to establish – at least in some eyes – the ‘authenticity’ of the Shroud of Turin?

13 thoughts on “Did the bloodstains really precede image formation on the Shroud of Turin?”

  1. I prefer to leave Alan Adler (an expert in blood chemistry) to respond to the question of that topic. And is answer was a definitive YES !

    Of course, if new direct testings of the Shroud can be made in the future, it would be nice to get an independent confirmation of that fact, but nevertheless, I don’t see any good reason to doubt that conclusion for the moment.

    1. I forgot to add this : Since the Shroud is a real burial shroud of a crucified person, the fact that the blood went on first and prevent the image formation just seem to be completely logical. That’s why I don’t see a good reason to doubt the conclusion of Heller and Adler about that.

  2. – But is Berry correct that our opinion (the blood being on first) “rests on somewhat token and insubstantial evidence based on a single spot test with proteolytic enzyme on a microscope slide.” In http://shroud.com/pdfs/adler.pdf, Adler bases his claim on publications by himself, Heller and Jumper — but, are they all referring to “a single spot test”?

  3. I think this constitutes hysteria, not science. A simple call for another test to either corroborate Adler et al’s findings or challenge them based on whatever valid reasoning would suffice and be honorable. But given the hysterical behavior on display it can be a foreseen that no conclusion that points to authenticity will be accepted and all such observations for authenticity are the product of a conspiracy at worst or like-minded blindness at best.

    There can be no conclusion contrary to the opinion of the hysteric.

  4. From the paper “Sticky tape non-image, image, and serum coated fibers were extracted from the tapes, cleaned, and characterized as in previous studies (4,24,44) and tested along with a number of fibers from the radiocarbon threads employed in the FTIR studies (4,44). The protease was only active against the serum coated fibers and as in the previous study (24) revealed smooth, non-corroded fiber surfaces indicating that the blood images went onto the cloth before the image forming process and protected the underlying cloth. ”

    One of the first guidelines any scientist learns is that of reproducibility-samples are typically run in triplicate and experiments are conducted multiple times. It is hard to imagine that any respected scientist would announce a finding based a single result-repeatibility & reproducibility are cornerstones of the scientific method-this is Lab Bench 101-a single spot test would be most likely referred to as “preliminary evidence suggests”; this doesn’t strike me as a one-off. I don’t think Adler would discuss/publish something that he wasn’t confident in and that wasn’t based on multiple findings.

    Many scientific papers don’t tell how many times a particular experiment was done or how many replicates were included-sometimes you will see reference to this in the Materials & Methods or in a Figure legend, but often times you do not-it is understood that the data presented/discussed is representative of multiple trials. I don’t think Adler would discuss/publish something that he wasn’t confident in and that wasn’t based on multiple findings.

    Is it really a case of “instantly and uncritically accepting findings that are pro-authenticity” or might it also be considered that when Shroud science is the subject, there a heightened bias, a foregone conclusion that the science must be slipshod, second-rate because of the subject? I don’t think Adler would discuss/publish something that he wasn’t confident in and that wasn’t based on multiple findings.

    “Independent confirmation by other workers using other methods” would be fantastic-would be great to see it happen-any ideas as to what experiments might be used to more critically evaluate this? What if the reported result had been that the image was present under
    bloodstained areas? Would this be viewed as “pro-authenticity” or taken more at face-value, that an investigator was reporting what was observed?

    1. Excellent comment. I agree. And I also forgot to tell people that this particular conclusion from Adler was fully accepted by Ray Rogers because he include it in his own list of known facts about the Shroud. I know Rogers was not Jesus-Christ, but nevertheless, if a very profesionnal and rigorous scientist like him considered the conclusion of Adler as being an authentic fact about the Shroud, I have a tendency to think that it’s really the case… Don’t forget that Rogers too had red-coated fibers from the Shroud in his possession. I don’t know if he did verify the conclusion of Adler, but it’s interesting to think he might have.

    2. Excellent points Kelly! No other “Independent Confirmation” is needed!…Heller and Adler’s paper was published in a “PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL” (Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences Journal), a very distinquished journal. Meaning; The findongs have already been independently confirmed. So why are H&A’s results still questioned???
      This is much more then can be said for papers such as; the Carbon14 paper released in 1989 in Nature. Although Nature may claim the paper was peer-reviewed, no official report on the testing has ever been published, even the Church has not received a report as yet!!…Yet Shroud opponents will use this paper as PROOF the Shroud is fake…go figure.


  5. I have talked about that before, but I just want people to realize one very important similarity that would be very stricking if Rogers hypothesis concerning the chromophore of the body image is correct. Here’s again what Adler said about the absence of a body image under the blood : “The protease was only active against the serum coated fibers and as in the previous study, revealed SMOOTH, NON-CORRODED FIBER SURFACES.”

    It’s very interesting to note that these words from Adler that I just wrote in capital letters are almost the same (word for word) that were used by Ray Rogers to describe the state of the resulting linen fibers after the used of diimide to reduce the body image coloration and also to describe the state of the resulting linen fibers after a ghost of coloration was left stuck in the sticky tape !!!


    I have now a strong tendency to believe that both the blood and serum stains AND the body image are both “foreign” substances to the linen fiber (including the famous PCW) because both are probably resting on top of the fibers (both are probably coating substances) without having a direct oxydizing and/or dehydrating effect on those fibers, which remained white, smooth and clean under both sorts of coating.

    Interesting postulate don’t you think ??? If Rogers is right, that’s exactly the outcome of both the blood transfer and the body image formation… I have a feeling that one day, science will be able to confirm this postulate.

  6. Concerning what I said in my previous comment about the probable fact that both the blood and serum stains AND the body image are coating substances residing on top of the linen fibers on the Shroud, I want to share this little reflection with all of you. It’s a reflection that, if it’s right, can help to understand that Adler’s finding about the absence of a body image under the blood is most probably correct.

    Here it is : If we believe Ray Rogers opinion concerning the image formation process that caused the body image on the cloth, this process was very mild and was only able to colored the thin layer of impurities residing on top of the fibers while, at the same time, being completely unable to react directly with the linen fibers underneath this coating. If he’s right about the fact that the body image formation was very mild, wouldn’t be normal then that this process (most probably chemical in nature) was also unable to react with the fibers located underneath the blood and serum stains ??? I really think so !

    To me, this is a very good argument in favor of Rogers conclusion concerning the chemical and mild nature of the image formation process that happened on the top-surface of the Shroud !!! Effectively, if the image formation process was stronger than a chemical reaction (let’s think about a burst of some sort of energy for example), in Rogers mind, this would have affected not only the thin layer of impurities but also the linen fibers. In this context, don’t you think that if the Shroud’s image was caused by an energetic process like that, it would have also affected in some way the linen fibers located underneath the very thin layer of serum ? I think this reflection of mine deserve some thoughts !

    It would be nice, for example, if M. Di Lazzaro could be able to do an experiment with his UV laser on a linen sample where a thin layer of dried serum would be present and see if the linen fibers located underneath the serum would be affected by the UV light in some way. Of course, for this experiment, he would have no other choice except to use the UV laser shots with the very same characteristics (the same number of shots, the same intensity, etc.) than what he used before to obtain a thin coloration of the primary cell wall of the linen fibers. A similar experiment could be done also to analyzed the effect of a corona discharge on a linen sample where a thin layer of dried serum would be present. If the result would caused any kind of noticeable effect on the linen fibers located underneath the serum stain, then we would have a very clear indicator it is not that way that the body image on the Shroud was produced. I would be the first one to encourage M. Di Lazzaro and other scientists to do this kind of experiment…

    Of course, it’s interesting to claim that you have obtain a coloration pretty much like the Shroud’s image (and you might honestly think it is true), but if you really want to be scientifically rigorous in such a claim, your results MUST match every aspect that we know concerning the body image that is on the Shroud and not just the tone and the thickness of the coloration !!! You must be able to show proofs that your process will not affect at all the linen fibers that would be located underneath a thin stain of blood or serum !!! And presently, the fact is that we don’t know what would be the result of UV laser or corona discharge on samples like that…

    Of course, all this demand of whether or not Rogers hypothesis concerning the image chromophore is correct. But anyway, I still think my proposition of testing should be done to see more clearly to probable degree of similitude in the result of UV lasers and corona discharge (and also other energetic radiations) versus the body image on the Shroud…

    What do you think of this research proposal ?

  7. I made a mistake: You should read “Of course, all this depend” instead of “Of course, all this demand”. Sorry. I wish I could be 100% good in English !

  8. Someone has just linked to this posting that appeared in August of last year. If anyone wondered why I did not respond, then take a look at the mischief-making cartoon that accompanies it. How many folk reading the caption, could be forgiven for concluding that the “reader” who made the complaint was me, or suspected by Dan Porter to be me, using an anonymous email address? At least a few I suspect, especially if they felt the reference to “Dr.Collin (sic) Berry” was suspect, possibly “reader” himself wishing to flaunt his academic credentials. Was that Dan Porter’s intention – to sow that seed of doubt in folk’s minds? I thought the best response was simply to ignore the posting. One should never feed trolls, nor blogmeisters who attempt to use one as a target for knocking copy – or of funny ha ha cartoons with provocative and/or derisive captions.

    For the record, I am no more an attention seeker than anyone else on this site (while relishing lively debate) and indeed am resigned to being ignored. Being ignored is all part of life’s tatty, moth-eaten tapestry. Better to be ignored than to be patronized or trolled, the latter being sadly par for the course on this authenticity-promoting “blogsite”. The proof of that, if proof were needed, is that I closed down my own Shroudie site some months ago, and only comment here infrequently and spasmodically, as and when I think the record needs correcting on key issues, like the alleged radiocarbon dating “fiasco”.

    So no, I was NOT the “reader” who sent Dan Porter that email, and am only writing this now to forestall today’s new visitor from arriving at the wrong conclusion – and belatedly to set the record straight.

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