imageCan anyone really explain the first sentence of the evidence claim 6.0 in table I of the Siefker and Spicer paper:

The body image has a resolution of 4.9±0.5mm but no well-defined contours. This means that that human details such as the nose, lips, and beard are clearly defined, but that the body image seems to disappear if someone looks at it from a distance closer than about 1m.

End notes say only that this is based on a personal interview:

John P. Jackson, personal interview, December 8, 2011. (Jackson came to his conclusions concerning the lack of double superficiality of the dorsal image based on his analysis of the 2002 photographs of the Shroud and scientific articles published on the subject of double superficiality.)

Wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense.  Do we have some end notes that are mixed up? It seems that way.

Anyways: 4.9±0.5mm? Who measured this? How was it determined? What does it really mean? Is this uniform for the entire image?

We are getting a lot questions and comments on this topic.

Hugh Farey writes:

I’m intrigued by the ‘resolution’ of 4.9mm ± 0.5mm, and wonder what it means (especially the 0.5mm error bars). If it were true, would we not see nipples, say? or navel? or fingernails? toes? Can anyone explain?

anoxie responds to Hugh:

I don’t know how they got this resolution. I don’t think resolution is homogeneous and it may depends on local conditions.

But the best resolution around 5 mm doesn’t seem unrealistic, if you consider the distance between two points with a significant different color density it may even be lower.

daveb added:

I’m becoming increasingly disenchanted with this so-called “Critical Review” with its fuzzy ideas and poorly expressed text. Why bother to comment or even notice it? Like Hugh, I do not understand what is meant by a resolution of 4.9mm and its alleged tolerance of 0.5mm. It is more scientific to express resolution as a ratio or an angle. Thus the normal human eye has a limiting resolution of about 2 minutes of arc. Yet distance units are given. Does this mean that no image on the cloth is more distinct than half a centimetre across – I doubt it – the eyes for example clearly have better definition than 5mm. Some have claimed to discern lettering on coins say 1mm. Yet other parts of the body are quite indistinct. Clearly the question of resolution is not a constant across the cloth, but it varies, and its pointless to ascertain a single value as applying to the whole cloth. The fact that the image tends to disappear on observation closer than about a metre or so, is a matter of human perception, rather than being an objective property. A most unsatisfactory paper – I’ve seen better scientific writing in undergraduate reports.

Because we know that the text of many of the items come word for word from a paper published in JIST by Giulio Fanti’s “Hypotheses regarding the Formation of the Body Image on the Turin Shroud. A Critical Compendium,” we can follow the trail to check for citations in the JIST paper. Unfortunately, the JIST paper is behind a pay wall. Get past that wall you and you will find these works cited.

  • G. Fanti, J. A. Botella, P. Di Lazzaro, T. Heimburger, R. Schneider, N. Svensson, and G. Fanti, “Microscopic and macroscopic characteristics of the Shroud of Turin image superficiality”, J. Imaging Sci. Technol. 54, 040201 (2010). 9
  • G. Fanti, J. A. Botella, F. Crosilla, F. Lattarulo, N. Svensson, R. Schneider, and A. D. Whanger, “List of evidences of the Turin Shroud”, International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to the Acheiropoietos Images (ENEA Research Center of Frascati, Frascati,Italy, 2010). 10 
  • G. Fanti, B. Schwortz, A. Accetta, J. A. Botella, B. J. Buenaobra, M. Carreira, F. Cheng, F. Crosilla, R. Dinegar, H. Felzmann, B. Haroldsen, P. Iacazio, F. Lattarulo, G. Novelli, J. Marino, A. Malantrucco, P. Maloney, D. Porter, B. Pozzetto, R. Schneider, N. Svensson, T. Wally, A. D. Whanger, and F. Zugibe, “Evidences for testing hypotheses about the body image formation of the Turin Shroud”, III Dallas International Conference on the TS, Dallas, 2005;, accessed. August 2011.

Yes, I’m listed as one of the authors of the third item. No, I have no idea what this resolution claim means. (And I wish I was no longer listed as an author on that paper). If I go to the paper I find this:

A33) The body image has a resolution of 4,9±0,5 mm at the 5% MTF value (for example the lips); the resolution of the bloodstains is at least ten times better (for example the scratches in the scourge wounds) (Jackson 1982, 1984; Moran 2002; Rogers 2003, Fanti 2004-MTF, Fanti Sept. 2005-MTF).

Okay, I can spend the rest of my weekend playing pin the tail on the citation donkey or I can ask if anyone can explain what 4.9±0.5mm resolution means.