Déjà vu or what?

imageIt is interesting to note that one year ago a reader of this blog criticized the binary decision table used by Giulio Fanti. See Not happy with Giulio Fanti’s Paper in JIST. He wrote:

Baloney, baloney, baloney. This is based on a simple scoring table of 24 characteristics for 12 methods that looks like a street gambler’s punchboard. It assumes that each of the characteristics has about the same weight. C11 reads, “The pronounced rigor mortis of the body is evident, especially on the back image near the buttocks.” C24 reads, “No image can be found under the bloodstains, because they formed before the body image.” Should these two characteristics have the same weight? And why is there a “because” in C24 which changes the characteristic into an argument. The scoring is essentially binary, using x, o and ? for inconsistent, verified and dubious. All of it seems totally subjective, e. g. like how evident is rigor in the butt. I would trust Zugibe or a forensic pathologist, not Fanti on this. (emphasis mine)

Now look at this quote from the new paper on the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado website, The Shroud A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer. It reads, word for word, exactly like the sentence in Giulio’s paper “No image can be found under the bloodstains, because they formed before the body image.”

Yesterday, Paulette objected to the sentence in the new paper for the same reason that a reader objected to the identical sentence in Giulio’s paper last year. Paulette wrote:

. . . a scientist would never write “because” in an observation statement, particularly one that is not all that well confirmed. He or she might say is that the observation suggests a possible conclusion, never that it is explained by a conclusion.

I think Paulette comes off a bit too strong when she says, “a scientist would never write . . .” I agree however that it is unwise in a table called ‘Image Characteristics Evidence’ to use what is obviously a conclusion following the word ‘because.’ It is more problematic because (no pun intended) the astute and often questioning reader knows full well that it is a desired conclusion for what becomes obviously the goal of the paper as expressed in the binary decision table. (This is not to imply that I disagree with the conclusion implied by the bloodstain observation even as I disagree with the overall conclusion of the paper).

Now look at the punchboard-style binary decision table in the new paper and consider the criticism leveled at Giulio’s paper a year ago. Similar lists. Same terms such as inconsistent or dubious. Only the subjective decisions within the table seem different leading us to a different overall conclusion.  Déjà vu or what?

The blogosphere has changed the rules of shroud science. Bloggers are a tough crowd. Here, in this blog, for the most part, readers who comment are extraordinarily  well informed, very perceptive and thoroughly analytical. (And I mean to imply that I agree with Paulette and the previous reader.)

It seems to me that a positive thing to do with this paper over many days and weeks ahead is to take one item at a time, maybe one-a-day or so, and discuss it in this blog (or re-discuss it or choose to ignore it). And there will be no let up on the many other things that get posted like this wonderful new Guest Posting by Kelly Kearse: Distinguishing human blood from that of other species.



Chart from The Shroud A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses

3 thoughts on “Déjà vu or what?”

  1. So…

    Article I.1.0 The front and back images are equally dark. I think I agree with that.

    Article I.2.0.A. The normal tones are reversed. The normal tones of what? Of body parts? I’m not light on the nose and dark in the cheeks.

    Article I.2.0.B.The parts of the body closest to the cloth left the darkest marks. Sorry, but from a critical viewpoint you can’t just assume that a body was present to make the marks.
    Parts of the body which would have been closest to the cloth if the image was made by a cloth lying over a body? Sorry, can’t allow that either, as the cloth could have been horizontal or draped or wrapped.
    Parts of the body lying closest to a theoretical horizontal plane level with the tip of the nose? Sorry, but you need also to specify if the body was also horizontal. Were the knees, for example, higher off the floor than the nose or not?
    Parts of the body which would have been closest to a horizontal plane level with the tips of the knees assuming that the body was lying in a slightly knees-up position with the head also slightly raised? Er, no, as the head and particularly the nose is generally assumed to be the darkest area, and the knees would be much more prominent than the hands, for example.
    Parts of the body which would have been closest to the cloth if the cloth had been draped over the body? Back of the head? Sides of the hair? Sorry.
    Parts of the body which would have been closest to the cloth if the image was made by a cloth lying over a body which draped naturally from head to toe but not at all from side to side? Rather like unrolling a carpet or Venetian blind over the body? I think we may be getting there…

    Article I.2.0.C. The image has the characteristics of a photographic negative. Of a monochrome photograph of a person taken full face with a light source directly in front and a black background. Although we are often told that real photographs of people under just those conditions do not look like the shroud, as the 3D image derived from them is unconvincing. If this is true, the shroud does not have all the characteristics of a photographic negative. I concede that it does have some; rather general and rather subjective.

    Article I.2.0.D. The contrasting photographs. The negative is clearly not the negative of the positive, but a different photo altogether. It is also printed at a different size. A “true” negative would have the famous “epsilon” blood stain pointing a different way.

    Well that was exciting. Would anybody like to take over?

    Article I.3.0…..

  2. This new paper is a long (near 44 pages) and interesting document.
    But (into the table “Image Characteristics”, under the chapter : “Evaluation of Image Formation Hypotheses”) there is not the useful combination “contact-gaseous diffusion”
    as we can see in other works (or hypotheses). See f. e. the old work by Volckringer
    (and the the Volckringer patterns could be reconstructed in 3D relief …) who was
    quoted by Dobert Siefker and Daniel Spicer under “contact”.
    Then, see also : the past study by Eng. Marcel Alonso (CIELT) and the strange
    question of the japanese gyotaku.
    … But, unfortunately, in this new paper by Siefker and Spicer there is not
    the word “capillarity” … this argument was not treated (… if I was right in my reading
    of the file).
    — —
    In any case the question I7.0 (ID) = convex “hills” (the convex hills of the
    face = eyeballs and tip of the nose !), seems to be an interesting argument.
    What is your idea about these particular “hills” ?
    I hope you have the possibility to control the inherent x, y, z data
    obtained from the different images of the Shroud taken in the past.
    Then, see also : the old question of the grain (observations by Barrie Schwortz,
    an expert in this field) in the photographs by Enrie, the different kind of resolution,
    etc., etc. (included the images taken by HAL 9000, a company specializing in Art photography !) …
    — —

    B. T. W. :
    Have you tried to see what happens (= detailed image analysis)
    using the images taken by the company Hal 9000 of Novara ?

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