imageHe writes in his blog:

PS: I know what I’m getting for Christmas;-) It’s a microscope with a USB socket for linking to a laptop. It will hopefully serve as the equivalent for a bolt-on camera attachment. I’ll soon be able to take a better look at the superficiality issue. Now all I need is a uv lamp…

Now that is something all of us have been waiting for.

There is an interesting discussion going on over on Colin’s blog. The title of it is “Let’s poke ‘em with hokum…” | The Turin Shroud: but for the pseudo-science it would have been dismissed long ago as a medieval fake. Everything after the word hokum constitutes the title of his blog. No question about where he stands, is there? The discussion involves Colin, Hugh Farey, Adrie, and a brief appearance by Thibault Heimburger offering some literature finding help.

What Colin does throughout his blog – and we should thank him for this – is challenge what perhaps for some have become almost fundamentalist-like beliefs about the shroud: lack of fluorescence in the image, serum halos, bilirubin, no image beneath bloodstains, etc..

Here is a taste:

Colin Berry says:

Maybe fluorescent has a role to play in distinguishing between these two mechanisms – or, for that matter, any others that may be proposed. But the problem one is up against is that the fluorescence (or lack of) that we see now may not accurately reflect what might have been seen centuries ago immediately after image-imprinting. Fluorochromes tend to be fairly reactive and thus unstable chemicals – if not within weeks or even years – at least over decades and centuries as chemical double bonds become modified by oxygen etc. If Rogers’ vanillin can act like a chemical clock, albeit erratically, then so can fluorochromes that are initially yellow-green under uv light. As for those elusive red ones – well, I’m as much in the dark as you. The only red fluorochromes I have come across are free porphyrins, i.e. the cyclic tetrapyrroles that remain behind when iron is stripped out of haems.

Hugh Farey says:

I don’t know if my hypothesis works better when the ‘overall’ scorching happens before or after the ‘image’ scorching. However, we are told that the entire shroud is ‘yellowed with age’ and ‘weakly fluorescent.’ This is consistent with the entire shroud being heated (as part of the manufacturing process before the image, or in a reliquary after the image) to, say, 200C, producing some visible chromophores (yellow -I have still not been able to produce fluorescence without any visible change at all), and some invisible fluorochromes. (Your Phase 1 above) I believe the fluorochromes form at one temperature, and are indeed degraded into non-fluorescence after a very small increase in temperature. If I pour a blob of molten lead onto a piece of linen, and (after tipping it off) look at it under UV light, the scorch itself does not glow, it just looks brown, but it is surrounded by a coastline of yellow-green fluorescence, as if a steep temperature gradient is being illustrated, from no change, to fluorochrome, to visible scorch (shades of brown) and eventually to char (black). Your Phase 2 then, is the application of a hot template, which would turn more of the fluorochromes into non-fluorescing scorch, reduducing the overall fluorescence. I entered the shroudstory/shroudwithoutallthehype fray trying to demonstrate (with you) that the image could be a scorch, but was consistently obstructed by the “scorches fluoresce but the image does not fluoresce” chant. I think the idea that scorches only in fact fluoresce round the edges, and that the fluorescence of the shroud image is smothered by the overall backgroud fluorescence, overcomes this obstruction.